The air we breathe is 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen and a small
amount of trace gases. When it comes to tires however,
moisture within oxygen causes oxidation and other
heat-related problems. Nitrogen alone is a dry,
non-flammable gas, with inert properties proven safe enough
to be used for tire inflation by NASA, the U.S. military,
NASCAR and the airline industry.
Here are the
Benefits to Nitrogen ...
Tire Pressure Retention - Nitrogen migrates through a
tire three to four times slower than air. It may take 6
months to lose 2 psi with nitrogen compared to less than a
month with air. The thinking is that nitrogen's larger
molecules prevent it from seeping out of a tire as quickly
as air. So inflating tires with nearly pure nitrogen - which
has been done for years in race cars, commercial airliners
and long-distance trucks - allows them to retain correct
Improved Fuel Economy -
Maintaining the proper tire pressure reduces the rolling
resistance, boosting potential fuel economy. Filling tires
with nitrogen increases fuel efficiency because it allows
tires to maintain proper air pressure longer.
Extended Tread Life -
Tires inflated with nitrogen retain the optimum designed
profile and run cooler than tires inflated with compressed
Elimination of Oxidation -
Oxygen in air is highly reactive at high pressures and
temperatures. Replacing air with dry nitrogen helps
eliminate oxidation that damages inner liners and belt
Reducing Road Hazard Issues
Due to Tire Failures - Without the oxidation and
excessive heat, tire failures can be significantly reduced.
Do you really need Nitrogen in your
Tire Company officials recommend nitrogen only for tires
used "in a high risk environment and/or when the user wants
to reduce the consequences of a potential abnormal
overheating of the tire-wheel assembly (for example in some
aircraft applications)," according to a company statement.
But for all other tires in normal use, nitrogen is not
required and does not necessarily bring the expected
"It is true that the physical properties of nitrogen reduce
the pressure loss due to the natural permeability of the
materials of the tire and thus the broad use of nitrogen
will in general assist motorists with pressure maintenance."
"Nevertheless, the existence of several other possible
sources of leaks (tire/rim interface, valve, valve/rim
interface and the wheel) prevents the guarantee of better
pressure maintenance for individuals using nitrogen
The biggest pusher of the idea of Nitrogen filled tires is
Money and Profits, the way the idea is
sold to professionals is "there is money to be made."
So we can save the expense if we just
check our tires regularly.