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nitrogen tire inflation programIncreased fuel efficiency, longer tire life, and increased safety are just some of the benefits of having a nitrogen tire program in your fleet. Recognizing the benefits isn’t always the most difficult part. The toughest aspect is implementing such a program and ensuring that your managed fleet actually gets to see these benefits. Here’s how to implement a nitrogen tire inflation program into your fleet:

Assess the Cost and Carbon Savings

Nitrogen tire inflation will benefit one vehicle as well as a hundred or a thousand, but if you have a small fleet, then it might take a long time for your managed fleet to recoup the cost of the equipment. One nitrogen tire system can run several thousand dollars, so it’s important to consider the initial cost and how long it will take your fleet to recover that cost. The cost and carbon savings are much more substantial for larger fleets, and the initiative to go green may also be an additional incentive. A good place to start to calculate these numbers, if you are considering a nitrogen tire inflation program, is to use our carbon reduction calculator to get an idea of what you would save.

Make Your Purchase

This is an obvious step, but the hardest part is figuring out how many machines or inflation carts you need. Although this will differ from provider to provider, our nitrogen tire system can fill up to six tires simultaneously. It takes about seven minutes to purge those tires of air and to refill them with nitrogen.The number of machines that you purchase will depend on how many vehicles you have in your fleet, as well as how many locations your fleet has to do regular maintenance. For example, you could have a fleet of 1000 , but if there are five maintenance locations for your fleet, then you might only need 10 or 15 machines to ensure that each maintenance location is adequately serviced.

Transition Your Vehicles

Once you have your machines, the next step is to transition all of your vehicles. You want to purge them of the regular air and refill the tires with nitrogen. This is the only way to get your program started right, and to be able to track certain metrics. Your results will be skewed if you start by only topping off your tires with nitrogen, as the benefits won’t be as noticeable.

Educate Your Drivers

One of the most crucial elements in implementing a nitrogen tire inflation program, and in doing it successfully, is educating your drivers and maintenance workers about nitrogen tire inflation. This is more than telling them why the company is doing this and what nitrogen is supposed to do to the vehicle. It’s also about educating them on the importance of proper tire care i.e. checking tire pressure regularly, how to check tire pressure, when to do it, and what’s considered proper tire pressure. This ensures that while the vehicle is on the road, the tires aren’t over- or under-inflated on accident, which puts the driver at risk for a flat or a blowout. Nitrogen won’t make much of a difference in driver safety if the tire is over-inflated in the first place.

Track Certain Metrics to Measure the Savings

Once you implement the program and get everyone involved, you ought to track certain metrics to measure your savings and to show that the initial expenses were justified. Some of the metrics that you want to track include fuel costs, number of blowouts per month, average tire pressure upon maintenance, number of tire retreads per month, and length of a tire retread. Of course, you will need to track these metrics over several months to be able to see the benefits and the difference nitrogen made to your fleet. It would help if you had some or all of these numbers prior to starting the program, so that you can compare the results, but that’s not always necessary.

nitrogen tire inflation white paper cta

Putting Nitrogen in Your Bike Tires

On July 11, 2013, in Nitrogen Tire Inflation, Tire Care, by allisonmreilly
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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

managed fleets nitrogen tire inflationNitrogen tire inflation is still a new technology, one that has yet to be widely adopted by managed fleets as a way to go “GREEN” while improving the fleet’s efficiency and the company’s bottom line. Although it has been embraced by entities such as the airline industry and NASCAR for decades, it remains out of the mainstream. Some fleet managers and transportation directors have never heard of using nitrogen for tire inflation, or may be skeptical that this application is just a gimmick. Others may just be reluctant to change from compressed air, which has worked well all this time, or are hesitant to invest money into a process they know very little about.

Why Nitrogen Tire Inflation is a Great Way to Go Green

Regardless, myths about nitrogen tire inflation are generally used to influence fleet managers and transportation directors away from nitrogen’s use in their vehicles. One of those big myths is that nitrogen tire inflation cannot contribute to ending America’s dependence on foreign oil. This is absolutely not true, especially when you consider that 70% of the fuel consumption in this country is used by the transportation sector. Anything and everything to reduce that number will contribute. Here, we are providing transparency and in-depth clarity on WHY nitrogen tire inflation is not a scam or a gimmick, but a viable way to create hybrid tires, to reduce the U.S. dependence on foreign oil and to improve a company’s environmental footprint through carbon reduction and sustainable practices for future generations of Americans.

When 11% of our carbon consumption is in the transportation sector, and 400 million gallons of gas are consumed every day in the United States, it’s simplistic to say that a few percentage points of improvement in fuel efficiency won’t do much of anything to solve the problem. Those few points add up significantly as more managed fleets make the change to nitrogen. When over 300 million tires are disposed of in landfills every year in the United States, it is completely short sighted to say that nitrogen tire inflation can’t do anything to reduce that number. Nitrogen tire inflation can improve the life of the tire and tread-wear rate and reduce the number of tires purchased by managed fleets. The impact on America’s dependence on foreign oil is relative and is completely tied to Economy of Scale, but the impact becomes DRAMATIC when a managed vehicle fleet, such as the Federal government’s, of over 660,000 vehicles is using nitrogen as an inflation medium – the argument for ALL of the points made here for nitrogen’s use in tires becomes that much more compelling.

Nitrogen Tire Inflation Can Contribute

The cost for replacement tires have increased between 6 and 9 percent per year for the past several years. To have proven green technologies helping managed fleets absorb costs and getting the best ROI for their tires is our goal. Nitrogen tire inflation is not only a sound investment; it‘s sustainability factor in carbon reduction and reducing waste in our environment makes nitrogen‘s use a responsible transportation solution for the 21st century. We’ve busted nine nitrogen tire inflation myths that have previously moved fleet managers and transportation directors away from its use and have provided clarity and a strong, sensible, scientific logic to better all of our understanding as we rapidly look for solutions to preserve our planet and reduce oil consumption.

This myth is just one of nine big myths about nitrogen tire inflation, and we’ve debunked all nine in our latest white paper: 9 Debunked Myths on Nitrogen Tire Inflation. Click the link to download this white paper and to learn how nitrogen tire inflation can help your managed fleet and our country’s dependence on foreign oil.

winter benefits of ntirogen in your tiresWinter is in full swing! Over 20% of the U.S population was affected by last week’s storm, making driving difficult for many people (and driving still might be difficult in some places). One of the last things people are thinking about in these road conditions is the condition of their tires, but tires with right pressure are what you need to navigate winter roads. The best way to ensure that your tires have proper tire pressure is with nitrogen tire inflation. Here are the winter benefits of putting nitrogen in your tires:

Proper Tire Pressure Ensures Better Handling

When driving on icy and slippery winter roads, you need tires that can handle those conditions. This means that tires that are underpressure, or have uneven wear, are going to give you as much trouble as the road conditions themselves. Proper tire pressure solves the first, and it solves the second since its typically a tire that’s below pressure that will wear unevenly. To solve for proper tire pressure, nitrogen tire inflation does the trick. Nitrogen tires maintain proper tire pressure for longer periods of time, which is one comforting thing to have when traveling through severe weather.

Nitrogen Tire Inflation Improves Fuel Efficiency

With winter road conditions, commute times are longer because you have to be more careful on the roads. You might also have to take different routes to avoid accidents and traffic. All that means you’re burning more fuel and increasing how much you spend on gas. To keep that to a minimum, (besides avoiding the roads all together) you can fill your tires with nitrogen. Because of the proper tire pressure benefit, nitrogen tire inflation increases your fuel efficiency by three percent, which can make a big difference as gas prices and the amount of gas we’re using goes up. Of course, one of the last things you want to happen when driving in this weather is to run of gas and to be stranded. Get the most out of every drop of fuel with nitrogen tire inflation.

Nitrogen Tires Better Withstand Extreme Temperatures

Air-filled tires are much more sensitive to temperature changes than nitrogen tires, so with air-filled tires you run the risk of driving on tires that are below pressure. It also means that while you’re driving, your tire pressure will also fluctuate with larger swings. These sorts of changes do not represent the safety that you want when you are driving on icy roads, or at the beginning of snow fall when the road surface changes. Since nitrogen tires better withstand the extreme temperatures of winter, they are much safer for driving than air-filled tires.

Driving when the roads aren’t safe may seem like a gamble, but you can increase your chances of arriving safely with tires that are ready for these conditions. Even with snow tires, you want your wheels to be reliable and to be able to withstand the unpredictability of winter roads. Winter may already be halfway over, but the driving never is, and nitrogen tire inflation is still beneficial once the snow stops. So, it’s not too late to fill your tires with nitrogen, and you don’t have to wait until next winter to do it.

Related Links:

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Nitrogen Tire Inflation

4 Ways to Winterize Your Tires Before February

Prepping Your Tires for the Winter Season

One of the ways we that we come up with blog post ideas is that we look at competing blogs to find topic ideas that we haven’t yet covered. By simply taking a title, topic, or keyword, we then write our own nitrogen tire inflation article with our own perspective and information. It was through this routine process the other day that we came across a video of… ourselves.

While looking through the competitor’s blog, we found a post that had a video in it. We noticed that in the video screenshot was a man that looked a lot like Ken Lawton, the CEO of Nitrofleet99. Curious, we watched the video. Sure enough, it was Ken! Not only did this competitor post a video that showcased his competitor very clearly (the video introduces Ken and shoots a few seconds of Nitrofleet99’s banner) , the video was an interview with Ken about nitrogen tire inflation. The competitor was never featured in the two and half-minute piece! We found it interesting that our competitor shared a video about nitrogen tire inflation, but failed to consider the his direct competitor was the one prominently featured as the source and expert on the issue. He focused too much on the fact that the video was about nitrogen tire inflation.

We couldn’t not share this video and this story! The video (which is part one of two, another fact the competitor failed to notice) and its transcript are below. We will share part two and its transcript next week.

Transcript

But, with the average price of gas in St. Louis at $3.87 a gallon this morning, filling up your tank is not something to be taken lightly these days. But, there are ways to save a little money at the pump and Heidi Glaus is here to share the secrets. Heidi-

Glaus: Yeah, well there’s a lot to know about filling your tires and what that can do for your gas mileage. So, this is Ken Lawton and you’re all about the nitrogen, which is some people have probably heard about but maybe they don’t know exactly what filling your tires with nitrogen can do.

Lawton: Heidi, nitrogen tire inflation has been around for a very long time. The military, the NASCAR community, and big business has been using nitrogen for over twenty years.

Glaus: So, what you’re saying is that it hasn’t really been affordable to the common person for the last few years?

Lawton: It is completely been unaffordable due to the technology changes; in recent years have made it affordable to automotive groups and tire stores and the public in general. So, it is come of age.

Glaus: So what are we talking; what are the benefits of using nitrogen instead of, you know, oxygen?

Lawton: Well, it begins with aging. The oxygen in air degredates tires and causes premature aging. The tire of simply wears out more quickly. With nitrogen, what you have is the benefit of a completely dry, inert air that simply makes the tire perform as a hybrid. What you’re doing by converting to nitrogen is creating a hybrid tire.

Glaus: Really! So, we hear all about the hybrid cars and all of that and this is just what we’re doing to the tires. So, how much can somebody save on gas mileage by filling a tire with nitrogen?

Lawton: Well, various studies have been done by Ford Motors, Exxon Mobil has done studies as well. What we’re finding is savings up to ten percent on fuel and extended tire wear by up to 30 percent. This is significant information for consumers.

nitrogen tire inflationWe’ve done out best to bust nitrogen tire inflation myths and other arguments against the practice. Some of these arguments are understandable and logical, but others are just plain wacky. These wacky arguments skew the discussion because some people may believe them, leading them to thinking nitrogen tire inflation is a scam because nitrogen tire dealers and providers are making wild claims about the practice. Not only are dealers and providers not making these claims (we can’t speak for the mechanic or the salesperson, but we assure that those who sell the equipment aren’t making these claims), but these claims are just wrong. Here are a few them that we found and would like to bust right now:

As for moisture, changes in humidity affect tire performance two ways. First, the density of humid air fluctuates more with temperature than that of dry air, so removing humidity can keep your tire pressure more consistent, especially when the temperature climbs over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. That may be a legitimate concern in Formula One racing, but it’s not much of an issue if you’re just tooling around town. – The Straight Dope

The density of humid air has nothing to do with tire performance. Humid air is bad for your tires because it is humid, because the water vapor is very susceptible to temperature changes and causes the tire pressure to fluctuate. This also happens at temperatures below 100 degrees Fahrenheit because as you drive, you heat up the tires, no matter what the temperature is on the outside. They’re moving, there’s friction, and all that creates heat. All this is a concern if you’re just tooling around town, because tooling around town creates heat as well, and the water vapor in your tires is still reacting.

Another claim I’ve seen is that since nitrogen is slightly lighter than air, you’ll save weight and get better performance. However, we’re talking about a weight difference of less than 4 percent of the gas in the tire – in other words, a difference of less than an ounce for most vehicles. – Also The Straight Dope

We have no idea who said this, but the better performance from nitrogen doesn’t come from saving weight. It comes from the fact that nitrogen maintains proper tire pressure for a longer period of time, and its the proper tire pressure that creates better performance and handling.

The argument for using Nitrogen in your car tires is this: Air and Nitrogen would compress at different rates depending on temperature, with air being more squishy than Nitrogen, and that would cause your tires’ pressure to vary more with air than with Nitrogen. – Scienceblogs.com

More squishy? What does that even mean? Just because this argument is coming from a science blog doesn’t meant that it’s scientifically sound.

Proper inflation is the real issue. Under-inflated tires reduce gas mileage. They flatten out, creating more surface area and thus adding friction, which makes the engine work harder. The extra friction, and resulting heat, also increases the chance of a blowout. A properly inflated tire is always safer and more efficient than under-inflated shoes (unless you’re driving across a sand dune). – The Truth about Cars

If only it were this simple. Since air-filled tires are much more susceptible to temperature changes, there are chances for an inaccurate reading when checking the tire pressure of an air-filled tire. For example, if a consumer stops at a gas station after spending some time running errands and driving around, and decides to check their tire pressure, it’s likely that they’ll get a reading that is higher than what the tire pressure really is. The reason is the tires have been heated up from the previous driving,

This could mean that the consumer gets a reading that says their tire pressure is fine, or is too high, and will do nothing about a tire that’s really low or will make it low by releasing pressure to compensate for the high reading. This is why it’s recommended to check tire pressure when the tires a cool, such as before starting the car or after being parked for a few hours. Since tire pressure ought to be checked when the tires are cool, this means that tires would need to be refilled at home with an at-home air compressor (since most people would have to drive to the gas station to get to their air compressor, heating up the tires and ruining the reading).

How Water Harms Your Tires

On November 29, 2012, in Nitrogen Tire Inflation, Tire Care, by allisonmreilly
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water in your tiresMany of those who are against nitrogen tire inflation will tell you that keeping an eye on your tire pressure and even using an air compressor at home to do it yourself will achieve the same results of nitrogen, but at a fraction of the cost. Although nitrogen tire inflation isn’t a replacement for checking your tire pressure regularly, many DIY options aren’t the best because they give you air that still has moisture in it. Here’s why that moisture is so bad, and why most air compressors and other tire-filling tools don’t do a good job of getting rid of all that air.

There is Never Zero Humidity in the Air

Even if you live in a particularly dry or cold climate, there is still some level of moisture in the air. There’s always water in the environment, and as long as there is water in the environment, there is always some level of moisture in the air. Using an air compressor to fill your tires on a dry day or a really cold one may help to an extent, but it doesn’t mean that the air you’re putting in your tires is dry.

Most Air Compressors Don’t Have an Air Dryer

Many of them come with an air filter, which does help in getting rid of moisture as well as dirt and grime, but it’s not the same as an air dryer. Air dryers are not only sold separately, but most of them are industrial-sized and several thousand dollars, something that the typical driver can’t afford and that most gas stations and auto shops don’t have. An efficient air dryer can get rid of the moisture so that you fill your tires with dry air, but this simply isn’t the case most of the time. The best someone can do with air compressors is to drain water from the air lines, but all that indicates is that the air you are putting into your tires has moisture in it.

Air Compressors Don’t Eliminate Water from the Air

Air compressors actually concentrate the water that’s in the air instead of removing it. This means that air compressors at the gas station also contain water and aren’t a better solution than using your own compressor in the garage. In fact, the air compressors at the gas station are probably worse if the gas station or the auto shop doesn’t do anything about the moisture problems, like drain water from the lines. The water vapor from air compressors accelerates rust and corrosion inside your tire and on the axle.

Umm… There’s Water in Your Tire

That moisture can accumulate over time, and then you’re driving with water in your tire. Not just water vapor, since when your tires cool the vapor turns back into the liquid. A variety of things can happen here. If it’s cold enough overnight, that water is freezing in your tire. In the first few minutes of the drive, that water is sloshing around, which can’t be good for handling or tread wear. Granted, liquid water in your tires doesn’t stay that way for long, but that doesn’t mean the harm goes away.

Water vapor also absorbs and holds heat, which only increases as you drive and as temperatures heat up outside. Tires inflated with air tend to run hotter and to fluctuate in pressure more, increasing the chances of a blowout and the chances of an inaccurate reading when checking tire pressure. Also, when it changes from liquid to vapor, water expands tremendously in volume, decreasing its handling, tire life, and fuel efficiency.

Overall, this argument that you can fill your tires at home with an air compressor and achieve the same result as nitrogen tire inflation is just nonsense. The technology that exists for air doesn’t provide dry air, while a nitrogen tire inflation machine does provide dry, inert nitrogen. Please still check your tire pressure regularly, but filling you tires on your own doesn’t compare to nitrogen tire inflation.

nitrogen tire inflation myths paper

nitrogen tire inflationEven with mass communication as powerful as the Internet, it’s still possible (and perhaps much easier than ever) to disseminate misinformation and untruths. The topic of nitrogen tire inflation is no exception to this, and we’re committed to busting myths and eliminating the untruths that circulate online, even if we have to bust certain myths more than once and really drive home a few key concepts. Here are some old, and new, untruths about nitrogen-filled tires, and what the truth really is.

If you have a nitrogen-filled tire that needs air and you top off with regular air, you’ve negated any of the benefits you had gained. (Because so few places have nitrogen equipment, you’ll often find yourself seeking out a regular air pump at a gas station.)

Absolutely not true. It’s not as if topping off an air-filled tire with nitrogen benefits your tire like a tire filled 100 percent with nitrogen. Granted, topping off a nitrogen-filled tire with air isn’t the best, but you don’t negate all the benefits. Just because it’s harder to top off with nitrogen doesn’t mean that nitrogen tire inflation isn’t worthwhile.

A while ago, I replaced the air in my tires with nitrogen at a cost of $20. Now I’ve noticed that I’m getting about 40 miles less per tank of gas. Can nitrogen cause a drop in gas mileage?

Anyone who says that with nitrogen tire inflation, you don’t have to worry about tire pressure ever again, is lying. Nitrogen tire inflation maintains proper tire pressure for a longer period of time, but it doesn’t keep your tires properly inflated forever. It’s not the nitrogen that ruins your gas mileage, its the underinflated tires. You still have to check them regularly, even if it’s just to make sure you don’t have a leak. As the myth says, tires that are underinflated will diminish your fuel efficiency.

The other argument for nitrogen over air is that oxygen within normal air causes ‘oxidation’ within the tire. However, I haven’t seen any concrete evidence as to what oxidation really is or why its such a bad thing.

Oxidation is the interaction between oxygen molecules and other elements. It’s what causes an apple to turn brown, unopened food to spoil after a long period of time on the shelf, metal to rust, and rubber (such as the rubber in tires) to deteriorate. If any of those examples don’t count as concrete evidence, than I don’t know what does. Just because we typically call it rust or rotting doesn’t mean that oxidation doesn’t exist or is some fancy scientific principle that’s too difficult for normal people to understand.

The advantage of nitrogen being more stable and less prone to changes in pressure due to heat in the tires seems of little benefit to average drivers.

Not true. Sure, normal drivers aren’t driving under the extreme conditions that NASCAR drivers and airplane pilots do. Both use nitrogen-filled tires on a regular basis, and are right to do so because there are much more extreme temperature changes than in daily life. However, just because the temperature changes aren’t extreme doesn’t mean that they don’t happen in daily life, and it doesn’t mean that those less extreme changes don’t make a difference in handling and tire pressure. Since nitrogen better handles these changes, it means that a driver will get more accurate readings of his/her tire pressure, and will less likely overinflate/underinflate their tires unnecessarily. More stability also means a safer tire, one that is less likely to suffer a blowout.

nitrogen tiresWe can all agree that drivers need to check their tire pressure regularly in order to ensure proper tire pressure and tire safety. Nitrogen tire inflation is never to be considered replacement for checking tire pressure at least once a month. However, this need would only exist, and this practice wouldn’t be necessary if tires didn’t leak, which leads us today to discuss how tires leak and the biggest sources of these leaks.

If your tire pressure is low, then at least one of three things are happening:

  1. A leak. Most tire leaks are the result of a hole or puncture, faulty valve, a porous or corroded wheel, or even a poor fit of the tire to the rim.
  2. Permeation. Permeation is the normal process by which the air in a tire bleeds through the tire’s body or carcass. It is typical for an air-filled tire to lose 1-2 pounds per square inch of pressure every month through normal permeation.
  3. Temperature Change. All gases expand and contract with temperature. If you live in an area that experiences dramatic temperature changes, you will have to adjust your tire pressure accordingly. Typically you will only have to adjust your tire pressure “up”, adding pressure as ambient temperatures decrease. Count on losing about 2% of your total tire pressure for every 10 degrees in temperature reduction (which can easily take place between daytime and nighttime, mind you).

Granted, most tire pressure loss can be resolved by replacing the tires if they’ve been punctured or have a faulty valve stem and by ensuring that they are properly fitted to the rim of your car. However, this doesn’t eliminate all possible leaks. It’s not as if fixing those leaks will mean that you never have to worry about your tire pressure again. We point this out because it’s been argued that nitrogen tire inflation doesn’t work because by fixing the leaks, you fix most of the tire pressure loss. Therefore, you don’t need nitrogen.

Nitrogen Tire Inflation Maintains Proper Tire Pressure for a Longer Period of Time

However, that argument doesn’t disprove the fact that nitrogen tires maintain proper tire pressure for a longer period of time. The argument doesn’t disprove that nitrogen tires are great against the other two conditions that cause low tire pressure. No, nitrogen won’t help you if you have a puncture in your tire, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t help at all.

First of all, permeation happens no matter what. It’s the process of a vapor, gas, or liquid penetrating through a solid. It’s why our groceries have a shelf life. Before product is opened, we don’t want oxygen getting in. We don’t want oxygen getting in because oxygen is a very reactive element, and will cause food to go bad if its exposed long enough. However, if product sits in our pantries long enough, long after that shelf date, it won’t be good even if it was never opened because oxygen is still slowly getting in through permeation. Permeation also happens with tires, and it’s why we lose tire pressure over time, even in the absence of leaks, faulty valves, and poor fitting. And, guess what? Nitrogen permeates slower than regular air! Tires lose 1 to 2 psi per month when filled with air, while nitrogen tires will take over six months to lose that same amount of pressure. Permeation decreases tire pressure, and nitrogen substantially slows that process.

Second of all, since nitrogen is less reactive to temperature changes than oxygen and water vapor (both of which are in the air you use to fill your tires), it helps to maintain proper tire pressure for a longer period of time. This is why the airline industry and NASCAR have used nitrogen tire inflation for decades; it prevents their tires from blowing out under the extreme temperature changes. As stated, we lose 2% of our tire pressure with every 10 degree drop in temperature. That easily takes place between morning and night, as, for example, it’s supposed to happen today in St. Louis and it happened yesterday in St. Louis. Sure, you’re not driving 200 miles per hour or flying a jumbo jet, but the planet is still spinning and the weather is still changing, so your tire pressure is changing with it. Don’t believe what Bankrate.com argues on this, if you can even understand the paragraph that tries to argue against this.

Overall, your tires will lose pressure over time. If there was a way to prevent this from happening all together, then we wouldn’t need to fill them up regularly or to check the pressure from time to time. However, that’s not the case, which means that tires lose pressure, and anything that can be done to retain that pressure is a good thing. Nitrogen tire inflation is one of those things.

compressed air nitrogen tire inflationOne of the biggest gripes about nitrogen tire inflation is that air is free, so why pay for something that you can get for free? However, it turns out that’s an outdated notion, as in some places, consumers have to pay anywhere from $.50 to $2.00 just to use the air compressor. Granted, in states like California, consumers can get air for free if they buy gas, but in most states, such a law doesn’t exist. This means, in most places, this gripe about nitrogen tire inflation is completely moot.

Since in most places you have to pay for both compressed air and nitrogen tire inflation, then consider it a comparison of product instead of a comparison on price. Much like a comparison of cheap shoes versus expensive shoes, or a cheap restaurant versus an expensive restaurant, you’re looking at much more than the dollars. You then have to consider if paying a little bit more for nitrogen tires provides more benefit and value than regular air.

But, Air is Already 78% Nitrogen

Yes, but that’s one of the biggest misunderstandings of nitrogen tires. It’s presumed that nitrogen is used because nitrogen is so special. However, the main reason why nitrogen is used is because the other 22% of air is so harmful for tires, primarily the oxygen and the water vapor. Both oxygen and water vapor are much more receptive to temperature changes, causing tire pressure to fluctuate. This means, if you don’t check your tire pressure when your tires are cool, such as when you pull into a gas station to fill up, you could be getting an inaccurate reading of your tire pressure. So, you’re filling up and you think you might be adding needed pressure, when in fact you could be overinflating them. On the other hand, if you do a reading and see that your tire is already overinflated, you could be releasing tire pressure from a tire that was already at proper tire pressure. Whether your tire is overinflated or underinflated, both conditions negatively impact fuel efficiency and tire life.

 Checking Tire Pressure Regularly will Do the Same Thing

We certainly don’t recommend nitrogen tire inflation as a substitute for checking tire pressure regularly, but when you consider that 85% of people don’t know how to properly inflate their tires, what good will regular tire pressure checks do for most people (unless they get it done at an auto service station)? At least with nitrogen tires, proper tire pressure is maintained for a longer period time, and  pressure checks can be done at regular maintenance checks with little worry. With nitrogen tires, consumers will have one less thing to worry about, which is a nice thing in our incredibly busy lives. Unless skeptics are going to start teaching people how to properly inflate their tires instead of complaining about how nitrogen tire inflation is a scam, then they aren’t solving for the fact that 44 million people in the United States are driving on at least one underinflated tire.

Nitrogen-Filled Tires are a Better Product

When it comes down to it, nitrogen tire inflation offers a much better product than a tire filled with compressed air. Sure, it costs more, but there are a lot of products that cost more and are much better than their cheaper counterparts. Nitrogen tire inflation provides tires that will maintain proper tire pressure for a longer period of time and will help those people who, for whatever reason, don’t check their tire pressure regularly or don’t know how to properly inflate their tires. By going to a professional or to an auto service shop that offers nitrogen tire inflation, you are sure to get someone who knows what they are doing and can provide you this better product correctly.

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