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Fuel Efficiency Tire Care

Tire Alignment Basics

The proper alignment of your car’s tires are crucial in order for it to
perform adequately. When mechanics talk about tire alignment, they
are looking specifically at toe, camber, and caster alignment.
Having your wheels aligned correctly will help keep you safe on the
road and boost your fuel economy.

What Does Alignment Refer To?

When someone tells you that your tires need to be aligned, they are
referring to adjusting the vehicle’s suspension so that the wheels
are angled correctly. Wheels can be adjusted by placing the car on
an alignment rack and having a computer measure the angles of the
wheels. The person working on your car will then adjust the wheels
based on these measurements. Four-wheel alignments are recommended
over two-wheel alignments, because four-wheel alignments will
properly adjust all four wheels at the same time.

Why Should I Get My Tires Aligned?

Getting your tires properly aligned is important for not only your safety,
but also the lifespan of your tires. Proper tire alignment makes
handling your vehicle significantly easier. Wheels that are out of
alignment will lead to tires that have uneven tread wear. Getting
your tires aligned is easy at places such as Action
Gator Tire
, and they offer a four-wheel alignment service that
will allow you to maximize the life of your tires and cut down on
fuel costs.

When Do I Need a Tire Alignment?

There are no specific requirements for how often you should get your tires
aligned. However, wheels can come out of alignment from everyday
driving, or from hitting potholes or curbs. There are a few indications that your tires
need to be aligned. Here are some of the ways that you can tell when
your vehicle’s wheels need to be aligned:

  • Vehicle pulls strongly to one side

  • Uneven or abnormal tire wear

  • Steering wheel vibration

  • Steering wheel off center

Toe, Caster, and Camber

There are three factors that contribute to proper wheel alignment: toe,
caster, and camber. Toe alignment is the measurement between tires.
When viewed from above, the tires should be parallel to each other
and in equal positions. Caster is the angle of the steering pivot,
and plays a huge role in balancing steering and stability. Positive
caster means that the steering axis tilts toward the driver, while
negative caster means that the steering axis tilts toward the front
end of your vehicle. Lastly, camber is the angle of the wheel, and
it should not have too much inward or outward tilt (negative and
positive camber). Instead, it should be perpendicular to the ground.

Boost Your Performance and Schedule a Wheel Alignment

Getting four-wheel alignment is important because it can help you prolong the
life of your tires and boost the performance of your vehicle.
Vehicles that are out of alignment will suffer from uneven tread wear
and poor tire performance. It is recommended that you schedule an
appointment immediately if you suspect you are in need of a wheel
alignment.

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Fuel Efficiency Sustainability Tire Care Trucking Industry

Tips to Avoid Problems When Using Snowfall Tires

Tips to Avoid Problems Using Snowfall Tires Using a Tire Pressure Monitoring System

Tire Pressure Monitoring SystemsOver the last few years the government has cracked down on car drivers who have switched tires for the season but haven’t had their Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) replaced. Most garages used to replace them for free back in the day but nowadays you will see plenty of garages charging for this.

The truth is that you can avoid this, and you can also avoid having any issues with your TPMS when you switch from summer to winter tires.

One big tip is to avoid pot holes because our roads are scattered with these annoying dips and they do have a massive effect on tire pressure, not just in cold conditions but during any time of the year.  If you are driving on well-known routes then just pay attention to these, and avoid them if you can.

 

Why Does Cold Weather Affect my TPMS?

Snow is always going to set off your TPMS sensor, and it won’t take long until you see that lovely light illuminate your dash.

Are you ready for the science behind this?

When we get a bout of cold spells, or snow, the air in your tire will become much denser than when it is warm, especially when the car has been left overnight during a particular cold or snowy period.

However, as soon as you have drove around for 20-30 minutes you should notice that as the tires get warmer through friction, your light on the dashboard should turn itself off. Just give this tip a try before you decide to take it to our local garage as you should find that this works. Oh, and you shouldn’t worry too much on colder mornings if you see your TPMS light show up, that is normal behavior.

If you are seeing the light more frequently, just be aware that for every 10 degree drop in temperature, you will lose on average 1 pound of air pressure out of each tire.

This brings us nicely onto nitrogen for your tires.

 

So Why Use Nitrogen?

If you don’t check your tire pressure regularly then some good advice is to start using Nitrogen which will help in reducing TPMS resets.

Most new cars come with these funky new dashboard lights that tell you when your tire pressure is low. The problem is, you will stop by a garage and pump air into them, and then hey presto a few weeks later that lights back on again.

However, if you were to use nitrogen your tire could last months longer, meaning you don’t have to see that annoying flashing light appear so often.

You see, replacing oxygen, water vapor and other gases that go into a standard tire, with nitrogen, will mean your tire pressure will maintain at a certain level for a lot longer. So if you were to use 95% nitrogen in your tires you would be looking at a retainer of optimal pressure for as much as 4 times longer than if you had 22% of oxygen, water vapor and other gases.

Perhaps the biggest reason for people using nitrogen is that not only can you keep a well-balanced tire pressure but you can increase fuel efficiency, safety and generally a longer tire life for each of the 4 tires on your car.

Learn more about tire sensors at the Tire Sensor Warehouse.

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Nitrogen in Tires Myths Proper Tire Pressure Tire Care

15 Myths About Tire Labels

In the world of consumer products, labeling plays a crucial part. Whether it is a new vacuum cleaner or a new set of tires, a label carries valuable details about ap roduct that consumers mus never overlook.

Learn more about tire myths and truths in our 15 Myths About Tire Labels infographic:

15 Myths About Tire Labels - Infographic

15 Myths About Tire Labels – Infographic

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Nitrogen in Tires Myths Nitrogen Tire Inflation Tire Care

Can I Put Regular Air in Tires that Have Nitrogen?

mixing air and nitrogenThis is the most common question we get in the nitrogen tire industry, and what we’ve seen in many online forums and websites is that many people answer this question by saying  you cannot put regular air into tires that have nitrogen.

This is not true.

It is FALSE that air cannot be used to top off a tire filled with nitrogen. It is simply not true that air and nitrogen cannot coexist inside a tire. There is no harm in topping off a nitrogen-filled tire with regular air.

Air Doesn’t Take Away All the Benefits of Nitrogen Tire Inflation

The main reason why people say air and nitrogen can’t be mixed is that air negates all of the benefits of the nitrogen inflation. This isn’t entirely true because a tire that’s 100 percent inflated with regular air isn’t the same thing as a tire that’s 80 percent inflated with nitrogen, 20 percent with regular air. Although neither tire has all the benefits of a 100 percent nitrogen tire, the 80/20 tires still retains some of the benefits and has fewer of the consequences of the 100 percent air tire. The 80/20 tire has less water vapor, so it is still less susceptible to the temperature changes that happen throughout the day (this doesn’t include the temperature changes that happen between driving and parking the car for a few hours). The 80/20 tire will also retain proper tire pressure for a longer period of time, giving you an improved fuel efficiency and better traction with the road.

It’s Tough to Find Nitrogen Tire Inflation Services

We understand that topping off nitrogen tires with more nitrogen gas is difficult because nitrogen isn’t as accessible as regular air. Many auto repair shops sell nitrogen inflation as an add-on, and won’t offer it or advertise it as a stand-alone service. Also, some places that sell nitrogen tires do not sell nitrogen tire inflation services. For example, Costco inflates all new tires with nitrogen. It’s not an add-on, but a service that anyone who purchases a set of new tires receives. However, Costco doesn’t offer new or existing tire customers to option to convert or to top off their ties with nitrogen. But, don’t worry about topping off your nitrogen tires with air from time to time. With the nitrogen, you shouldn’t have to top them off as often as you would with a tire that 100 percent inflated with air.

No, Your Tires Won’t Explode

One of the most common myths about mixing air and nitrogen in your tires is that it’s dangerous and may lead to an explosion. Part of this crazy misconception is the myth that tires filled with regular air are an additional hazard in a fiery crash because the oxygen is fuel for the fire. We don’t know where this myth came from, but it’s not a “benefit” that’s touted by the nitrogen tire industry, and it’s certainly not a “benefit” we support here at Nitronomics.

NO ONE IN THE NITROGEN TIRE INFLATION INDUSTRY SUPPORTS THE IDEA THAT NITROGEN TIRES WILL HELP YOU IN A FIERY CRASH

Anyway, mixing air and nitrogen in  your tires isn’t dangerous. It doesn’t increase your chances for an explosion or a fiery crash.

You also don’t need to replace the green cap on your tires. The green cap comes with tires that are inflated with nitrogen when you purchase them, such as the tires you may get from Costco like we previously mentioned. It’s been suggested that the green cap needs to be replaced with a black cap because the tire is no longer 100 percent nitrogen, but it doesn’t have to be replace if you don’t want to change it or if you don’t have a black cap. The green cap is more for the seller than the consumer, so there’s nothing wrong with keeping the green cap.

photo credit: gever tulley via photopin cc

nitrogen tire inflation myths paper

 

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Hybrid Tires Proper Tire Pressure Tire Care

Tire Care and Maintenance: Everything You Ought to Know

tire care tipsTires are a crucial part of vehicle maintenance, but often get the least attention. Everyone focuses on the engine while simply ensuring that the tires are inflated, or checking to see if they need to be rotated or changed entirely because the tread wear it too low. However, tires need much more attention than that. They can’t be treated like other parts of the car where you can simply replace them when they wear out. How should you treat your tires? Our article roundup regarding tire care and maintenance has everything you ought to know about giving your tires the care they need.

How Maximum Tire Pressure and Saving Gas are Related – Your tire pressure affects your gas mileage, and an over-inflated tire hurts your fuel efficiency (and your tire’s tread wear) as much as an under-inflated tire. Some have recommended that maximum tire pressure is what you need to have the best fuel efficiency and the safest ride, but this isn’t exactly the case. Proper tire pressure is not the same as maximum tire pressure.

3 Things You Need to Know About Buying New Tires – When purchasing a set a new tires for your car or managed fleet vehicles, there are three factors you need to consider: size, performance, and weight. Size is of particular importance, as a tire’s fit can be off by a few millimeters, and those few millimeters can mean that yours will lose its pressure much more quickly. Obviously, the tires needed for a tractor trailer aren’t the same as those needed for a two-door, but determining the right size for your car is much more complicated than that.

How Water Harms Your Tires – Water isn’t good for your tires. You don’t want to be driving with it sloshing around inside, which can happen if the air you use to inflate your tires has water vapor (which happens more often than not). Water can deteriorate the rubber of your tire, rust the axel, and cause your tire pressure to fluctuate more often as the water heats and cools as you drive. Removing the water vapor from the air when you inflate your tire, even if you do it yourself, is much harder than it sounds.

The Cost of Under-inflated Tires – Under-inflated tires hurt your fuel economy, your tires, and even your safety. Under-inflated tires also hurt because it can be hard to tell when your tires are under-inflated. You can’t always tell by looking at them, and if you’re using regular air, then your tire pressure is likely to go up or down, depending on when you measure it because the heat from driving will increase the pressure.

Guess What? Air Isn’t Free Anymore. Nitrogen Tires are a Better Deal – One of the arguments against nitrogen tire inflation is that air is free, so why pay the money? But, not everyone offers the service for free anymore, where it can cost up to $2 to use an air compressor. With this in mind, comparing nitrogen tire inflation and air tire inflation becomes a product/service comparison instead of a straight price comparison. Does a $2 charge mean you’re only getting $2 worth of tire inflation?

Prep Your Tires for Summer Travel Season – Winter may not be over yet for a few more weeks, but summer travel season (especially Memorial Day Weekend) is the weekend with the highest incidences of tire troubles. This includes blowouts, flat tires, and other scenarios that require the help of AAA. Stay safe as you use your long weekend for a quick vacation by prepping your tires for the road trip ahead.

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Nitrogen Tire Inflation Tire Care

4 Tire Life Advantages with Nitrogen Tire Inflation

extended tire life
With an extended tire life, fewer tires will be wasted and placed into landfills.

Nitrogen tire inflation has a very slight improvement in one vehicles over the course of its lifetime. It doesn’t sound like much, but to a managed fleet of 100, or 10,000, or 100,000 vehicles, improving each vehicles slightly translates into significant improvements for the whole fleet. However, many managed fleets are still hesitant about nitrogen tire inflation, unwilling to try something new or failing to see how the practice is different from regular air. One big difference in tire life, and here are four tire life advantages with nitrogen tire inflation, advantages that you want to capitalize on in order to cut costs and to improve your bottom line:

Increased Fuel Efficiency

If gas tanks are draining family budgets, then they are probably draining fleet budgets, especially since you have more than two or three vehicles to worry about. Fuel is one of the largest expenses for a fleet, if not the largest. A quarter of government fleets surveyed said their fuel costs increased by 25% between 2006 and 2011. Any improvement in fuel efficiency is an improvement on the bottom line, and nitrogen tire inflation is a fuel efficiency improvement because it keeps tires at the right tire pressure for a longer period of time. Just having the right tire pressure can increase fuel efficiency between three and 10 percent, which is incredibly for a fleet of 100 or 1000 vehicles. Nitrogen can do this, and it compliments the fact that your drivers should already be checking tire pressure regularly and correctly.

Less Wear and Tear

Proper tire pressure for a longer period of time improves fuel efficiency, but it also improves tire life. overinflated tiresThis is because tires that are over- or under-inflated, as shown on the left, don’t grip the road the same way a properly-inflated tire grips the road. Because the grip is different, the wear patterns will be different, meaning that the wear patterns for over- and under-inflated tires decrease their tire life. Tires with those wear patterns aren’t safe for driving and they will need to be replaced. Tires that are properly inflated will also wear slower, so they can be used for much longer while needing fewer retreads over the course of their lifetime.

Protect Your Fleet Vehicles

Regular air causes corrosion to inner liners, rims, and steel belts. Although regular drivers aren’t concerned about that kind of damage to their vehicles, commercial drivers and managed fleets ought to be a little more concerned. You need these vehicles to last as long as possible, and be as safe as possible, while not costing a boatload in maintenance. Nitrogen tire inflation can do this by extending tire life and extending the life of these parts without cutting corners or requiring a lot of investment over time. Once you have a nitrogen tire program in place and you have your employees trained in proper tire care, your fleet vehicles will be protected from these problems, giving you a significant advantage over your competitors, who will have to spend extra time and money keeping their vehicles in top shape.

Savings for Your Managed Fleet

Firestone reports that with just one vehicle, you average about $116 per year in savings with nitrogen tire inflation. Granted, that’s not a lot and the practice isn’t necessarily worth it if you have just one vehicles. However, when you consider that the largest commercial fleet in the country has almost 100,000 vehicles, $100 per vehicle per year is a monumental amount of savings. Even though most fleets aren’t anywhere near that size, also consider that a fleet of 10 vehicles will save $1000 a year, which is also substantial for the small or medium-sized business that needs every dollar it can get.

Related Links:

How to Implement a Nitrogen Tire Inflation Program into Your Fleet

3 Effective Ways to Improve Fleet Safety

How the Cost of Carbon Affects the Trucking Industry

nitrogen tire inflation white paper cta

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Guest Posts Tire Care

Car Repair: When to DIY and When to Go to a Mechanic

DIY car repairA recent study by the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA) found that the trend of DIY car repair is shifting. Perhaps as people recover from the 2008 recession, they are going back to the old means of car repair: hiring a mechanic to do it for them. While DIY can save money, it isn’t always worth it and may be more expensive in the long run—especially if you don’t fix the right part (or don’t fix the part correctly) and then need to take your car to a professional anyway. Learn when to DIY and when to have someone DIFY when it comes to car repair.

DIY: From Beginner to Expert

As The Humble Mechanic notes, there are five variables to consider when deciding whether or not to make that car repair yourself:

  • Price – How much will the job cost to outsource, and how much will you save by doing it yourself? If you can purchase a part for $25 and save $50 on labor, that seems like a good deal. However, if a job takes you three times as long, you lose out in the end.
  • Passion – If you can take or leave car repair, leave it to the pros and spend that time doing something you love. But if you love tinkering, you might opt to challenge yourself with long repairs just because you love it, and that’s fine.
  • Time – It may make sense to pay for the repair if it will take you a long time to complete the job. For simple tasks with a low time frame, DIY makes sense.
  • Knowledge – There are many ways to get knowledge, so if all that’s holding you back is lack of knowledge, get to work. You can use print and online resources to boost your skills.
  • Tools – If you need special tools to complete the job, it’s generally worth it to pay the mechanic rather than invest in tools you may not use again.

With these tips in mind, evaluate the difficulty of your project and decide whether to DIY or call your go-to guy. AASA recommends that auto repair newbies begin with easy jobs like changing the antifreeze or replacing the car battery, and folks with some experience try mid-level tasks like installing brake pads and brake shoes. High skill-level projects like changing water pumps require expertise and special tools and aren’t usually good candidates for the average DIYer.

Tips for Dealing With Your Mechanic

Even if you decide to leave the job to your Savannah mechanic, you don’t have to trust every word he says. The AutoParts Warehouse app lets you check the price of car parts to ensure you’re not being overcharged for make/model replacements.

The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence enables you to search for qualified mechanics by zip code, and you can check the value of your old car with Kelley Blue Book. When your car’s maintenance costs outweigh its value, you can find used cars in Savannah by Drivetime dealer or zip code, for example. When you need a mechanic’s aid, these tools help ensure that you’re getting quality service for the price point and that the vehicle you’re driving is safe.

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Managed Fleets Nitrogen Tire Inflation Tire Care

Why Mechanics and Auto Shops are Marketing Nitrogen Incorrectly

marketing nitrogen tiresRight now, if you want to purchase nitrogen for your tires, you have to go to a mechanic or an auto shop. You can get nitrogen tires somewhere like Costco, but you usually will only get nitrogen tires if you purchase a new set of tires. If the ones on your car are just fine, then the neighborhood auto repair shop is your best bet. It’s great that nitrogen tire inflation is available at these places, but these same places are also marketing the practice incorrectly, saying things that simply aren’t true about nitrogen tires while not understanding the science behind the practice. Here are what mechanics and auto shops are getting wrong about nitrogen tire inflation when trying to sell it to consumers:

Nitrogen is Less Volatile than Oxygen. Thus, it’s Safer in a Fiery Crash

Although nitrogen is less volatile than oxygen, the point that nitrogen is safer in a car accident is false and doesn’t mean anything. Once the car is on fire, the car is on fire, and nitrogen tire inflation isn’t going to prevent that fire or make the fire any smaller. The way this argument should apply is that since nitrogen is less volatile, your tires are less likely to overheat and to result in a blowout. There are 23,000 collisions per year due to a tire blowout, and this is a safety problem that nitrogen tire inflation can actually solve.

The Rubber of Nitrogen-Filled Tires Last Longer

This one’s important to note because naysayers will respond to this with, “What about all the air on the outside of the tire?” It’s a valid question, but the degradation of the inside isn’t on the rubber It’s on the axle, where the oxygen and water vapor can rust the axle over time. Axle’s are much harder to replace than a tire, and aren’t looked at as often. Also, the rubber ends up lasting longer because the proper tire pressure that comes with nitrogen leads to even tread wear. Even tread wear means your tires last longer because you don’t have to change them as quickly because of uneven tread wear. Although any excessive tread wear isn’t a good thing, if that tread wear is uneven (where it’s predominantly in the middle or on the outside of the treat), you will have to change your tires sooner because the uneven tread wear isn’t safe to drive on.

Air is 78% Nitrogen

Get this into your head, as most people consider this common knowledge, and waving this fact off with, “Well, I don’t know,” or “I’m not a scientist” only makes the practice look like a scam. This is true, so the point that needs to be emphasized is that oxygen and water vapor are the problems. Naysayers like to throw this one out there, thinking that 12% more nitrogen can be all that important, so it’s extra important to know the counterargument and to not get stumped by the resistance. Nitrogen tire inflation eliminates the oxygen and water vapor that’s in air, and this 12% increase in nitrogen concentration is substantial (as well as a 100% decrease in oxygen and water vapor) and it makes a world of difference in fuel economy and tire life.

This equipment is expensive, and you need to make your money back on that equipment. We understand that, but the way to do that isn’t to dupe people and not have counterarguments for those who aren’t as easily duped. The way to make money from this service isn’t to push it on as many people as possible. Once you understand the science and the pitches you’re making to these people, then you can be prepared to show that nitrogen tire inflation isn’t a scam, but is a practice that provides value to drivers.

Related Links:

How to Implement a Nitrogen Tire Inflation Program into Your Fleet

Nitrofleet99 Helps Drivers Green Their Vehicles, Create Hybrid Tires

How Nitrogen-Filled Tires Improve Safety

nitrogen tire inflation white paper cta

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Nitrogen Tire Inflation Tire Care

Putting Nitrogen in Your Bike Tires

nitrogen tire inflationSummer isn’t just a perfect time for a road trip. It’s also a perfect time to ride our bikes, to get some exercise, and to enjoy the warm weather. It also means that as we use our bikes again, we also need to think about maintaining them well and ensuring we will have a safe ride and will not have to worry (too much) about getting a flat. Much like with managed fleets and family vehicles, nitrogen tire inflation can also be a crucial component to tire care and safety with your bike tires.

What’s the Big Deal with Nitrogen Bike Tires?

We’ve talked about how great nitrogen tire inflation is for the consumer market, and how nitrogen tire inflation benefits managed fleets and the transportation industry. Those same benefits, with exception to fuel efficiency, also apply to bike tires, such as

  • the ability to hold pressure longer
  • reduced moisture going into the tires, which extends the life of the rims, tire, and tire valves
  • reduced rolling resistance
  • reduced chance for a flat or a blowout

On top of that, putting nitrogen in bike tires is a growing practice among cyclists. The Tour de France uses nitrogen in its tires, and bicycle sharing systems in cities such as New York, Montreal, London, and Paris also use nitrogen. This isn’t something that’s experimental, or something that’s practiced by only a small group of riders. Large systems and entities are using it, and wouldn’t be using it if it didn’t work or make any difference. As David Finlayson, president of Prestacycle, said in Velo News, “Remember that a 100-mile bike race is often won by only inches. Even the smallest difference in tire pressure loss reduction or rolling resistance can make the difference at the line.”

Not Everyone is in a Bike Race

This is true, and worth pointing out because it’s an argument that’s often used against nitrogen tire inflation as a legitimate practice outside of a competitive environment. Sure, the airline industry and NASCAR use nitrogen tires, but those are special circumstances, circumstances that don’t apply to everyone else. However, just because nitrogen tires are useful in a special circumstances doesn’t mean that the practice doesn’t have any place, application, or benefit in normal riding conditions. In fact, nitrogen tire inflation and proper tire pressure are even more important for bike tires and bike riders since bike tires typically hold less pressure than car and truck tires (normal bike tires are usually under 30 psi while car tires have a maximum of 50 psi). This means that any loss in pressure, or having under-inflated tires, has a much larger impact on the ride and in safety because there’s less pressure to work with. Although losing one psi in pressure makes a difference in cars, it makes a bigger difference in bike tire.

Overall, putting nitrogen in your bike tires isn’t a new practice, but it’s one that hasn’t received much attention or discussion. Granted, it’s a little tougher to put nitrogen in your bike tires because nitrogen isn’t as available for cyclists as it is for cars and trucks. Yet, with increased need and awareness, this situation could change.

Related Links:

Why Nitrogen is Great for Tire Pressure

Nitrogen Tire Inflation Proved to Create Hybrid Tires

Nitrogen in Tires will Absolutely Save on Gas

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Nitrogen Tire Inflation Tire Care

How Nitrogen-Filled Tires Improve Safety

nitrogen-filled tires safetyWhen we talk about safe driving, we often discuss things like distracted driving, wearing a seat belt, drinking and driving, and other aspects of driver behavior. However, an aspect of driver behavior that impacts safety, but is hardly ever talked about in this way, is tire maintenance. Flat tires and tire blowouts are unsafe situations for both you, and everyone else on the road, but it’s often not considered a part of ‘safe driving.’ We’re here to say that it is, and that the best thing to do about is it to have nitrogen-filled tires. Here is how nitrogen-filled tires improve safety:

Proper Tire Pressure for Longer Periods of Time

A recent study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that vehicles with tires underinflated by 25% or more were three times as likely to be involved in the crash linked to tire problems. The study also found that 66% of tire-related crashes involved passenger cars. This means that proper tire pressure is critical for safety, and nitrogen-filled tires have been found to maintain proper tire pressure for longer periods of time. On top of that, over half of all the vehicles on the road have at least one underinflated tire, so even if your tires are okay, many others on the road probably aren’t and could be putting you in jeopardy. So, with nitrogen tire inflation, you are not only doing your best to drive safely, but you are also doing something about the safety of others on.

Less Susceptibility to Temperature Changes

This is a point that nitrogen naysayers will argue that doesn’t apply to normal drivers. Just because you aren’t driving 300 miles an hour doesn’t mean that temperature changes don’t happen when you are driving. The temperatures do change, simply because driving around moves the tires and that movement heats them up. It happens with a lot of things that move, or when they move, as that’s how things work. However, air-filled tires are mores susceptible to that because of the moisture in the air.

This is especially crucial for long road trips in the summertime, when the tire will not only be hot for a long period of time, but everything outside of the tire will be hot as well. When tires are hot, say 120 degrees, and are that hot for a couple of hours (which they could be during a road trip or even a 3-hour drive), there is increased risk for a blowout. The moisture, and the oxygen, are much more reactive to temperature changes, therefore increasing the chances of hitting 120 degrees and being there for a longer period of time. Nitrogen-filled tires do not have this problem because they do not have moisture or oxygen.

Improved Road Handling

nitrogen-filled tires
Nitrogen-filled tires keep tires at correct inflation, which improves road handling.

When tires are at their proper tire pressure, when the tire pressure isn’t fluctuating with the temperature changes, then those tires handle the road better. This is because proper tire pressure keeps the tire wear even and maintains full tread contact with the road, as seen in the picture to the left. Obviously, the tire with the correct inflation is the safest, and looks most likely to handle a sudden swerve or slick  road conditions. The previously-mentioned study did find that underinflated tires were more likely to experience problems in bad weather.

If you want to be a safe driver, whether for yourself or for your family, then nitrogen-filled tires are the way to go. Behavior doesn’t mean as much if the vehicle you’re driving is not in the best and safest condition possible for the roadways and those with whom you share the road.

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