Benefits of Nitrogen in Tires

Benefits of Nitrogen in Tires (why choose N2 over air)

With the high gas prices we’re facing across the country, it’s no wonder so many drivers are looking for ways to get better fuel efficiency. But safety is a factor you’ve got to keep top of mind. While some methods are ineffective and may even compromise your safety on the road, one viable option is to add nitrogen to your tires instead of air. I’ll go through the benefits of using nitrogen in tires here.

Maybe adding nitrogen to your tires sounds strange, but it actually offers several benefits for your tires and vehicle overall when compared to the air you typically find at the gas station. Let’s take a closer look at why you should consider adding nitrogen to your tires and whether it is better than air for keeping you safe on the road.

Benefits of Using Nitrogen in Tires

The benefits of adding nitrogen to your tires include better fuel economy, better tire pressure for longer, better tread life, and cooler tires that stay safer. While most car owners choose to just add traditional air to the tires, adding nitrogen can keep you safer on the road and will ensure that your tires can last longer.

Nitrogen Tire Fill Station

Thanks to these benefits, many car owners will choose to using nitrogen instead of air in their tires. Let’s explore all the benefits of nitrogen below.

Cooler Tires

Heat is a big enemy for any tire.

When the tires get too hot, they may suffer from flexing in the sidewalls, causing the sides of the tire to stretch and bend. This is enough to cause the rubber to weaken, meaning the tires will wear out faster.

When you fill the car tires with nitrogen instead of compressed air, it can help keep the tires cooler than before. Nitrogen will reduce the risk that some tires have with regular air, helping the tires to maintain their normal temperature and stay safe on the road.

Better Tread Life

Tire wear can be caused when rubber oxidizes, such as when oxygen starts to break down the bonds in the rubber over time from use. Nitrogen is an inert gas, which will not react to a lot of other substances.

Using this in your tires will help to avoid issues like oxidation, which could (to a degree) help you extend how long your tires last.

While regular tire air is more than 79% nitrogen, it also contains oxygen. Oxygen can contribute to the amount of oxidation in your tires.

Adding in nitrogen can prevent some of these problems.

Better Tire Pressure

Regular air can often leave the tire quickly, especially when there are big changes in the temperature around it. Nitrogen can solve this problem.

As nitrogen has a larger molecule size compared to oxygen, it is less permeable. This results in less leakage through the tire compared to oxygen.

When you choose to use nitrogen in the tires instead of oxygen, it allows the pressure to remain stable for longer. Nitrogen will help maintain this pressure, even when the weather is hotter in the summer.

Better Fuel Economy

Adding nitrogen to your tires can improve the tire pressure and ensures you don’t end up with underinflated tires. This, in turn, could improve your fuel economy.

While traditional air is going to do the same thing if your tires are well inflated, nitrogen can last in the tires longer without refilling, which can help keep your vehicle’s fuel efficiency high.

This helps keep you safe on the road as your tires are less likely to get underinflated and run into those problems.

Is Nitrogen Better Than Using Air?

Nitrogen is generally seen as a better alternative to keeping your tires aired up and ready to go compared to using air.

The key is keeping your tires well-inflated. This is an important factor in fuel efficiency and road safety.

In other words, whether you use regular air or nitrogen, you have to keep your tires well-inflated. But with nitrogen, your tires will stay well-inflated for longer.

But you’ll remember we talked about the benefits of nitrogen over regular air that we talked about earlier.

Benefits of N2 in Car Tires

Regular tire air can cause some damage to the materials in your tires. This may lead to the tires getting worn down faster than they would with nitrogen.

The air can also permeate through the rubber faster than nitrogen, which makes it more likely that the tires will end up underinflated more quickly.

Add in the problems that air can have with heating up and harming the tires, while nitrogen can keep the tires cool, and it is even easier to see why nitrogen is a great choice.

The Cost of Adding Nitrogen to Your Tires

The overall costs will depend on where you go to fill up your tires and the type of tires that you have.

Filling up a new tire with nitrogen can cost between $70 to $175 for the first time. To refill it after a drain of air from the tire can be about $30 a tire.

Topping off the tires is less expensive, with many places costing $5 per tire.

Compared to getting free air for your tires from most service stations and gas stations, this can cost more to do, usually an average of $112 a year.

You will need to decide whether the extra costs are worth your time or not, and also figure out where to get Nitrogen near you.

Is it Safe to Add Nitrogen to Your Tires?

It is safe for you to add nitrogen to your tires. Nitrogen isn’t flammable and you will not have to worry about them making your tires explode.

This can make it a safe gas to add to your tires, especially if you are looking for some of the benefits above.

Using Nitrogen Can Give You Better Gas Mileage

When you choose to add nitrogen to the tires, you can ensure that the tires stay properly inflated for longer. Properly inflated tires help improve fuel economy.

However, if you add air to your tires and make sure the tires are always properly inflated, you can enjoy the same fuel efficiency too.

Nitrogen itself does not cause any better gas mileage out of the tires than using regular air. You can always see an improvement in your fuel economy when your tires are inflated properly, whether you choose air or nitrogen.

When the tires are underinflated, they can lower your fuel efficiency. This can also cause the tires to wear out faster and become more prone to failure.

Nitrogen in Tires Benefits

Nitrogen May Help Prevent Tire Rot

Compared to oxygen found in regular air, nitrogen is going to be a dry gas.

That means that when you fill your tires with nitrogen, they won’t generate as much moisture when they expand from friction or contract when they cool down. This can help prevent issues with tire rot.

However, you should be aware that rubber rot from moisture inside of the tires is not that common.

Unless you do not drive the vehicle all that often, it is more likely that the tread on the tires will wear out before any moisture in the tires can degrade the rubber. It is not necessary to use nitrogen to prevent this problem.

Where Can I Get Nitrogen for My Tires?

Nitrogen for your tires is not going to be available everywhere that you go. Unlike air that you can get at many gas stations and other locations, you will need to search for a nitrogen dealer to find this gas to add to the tires.

Nitrogen Filling Station for Car Tires

Keep in mind that some filling stations will require that you have a membership or purchase tires through them to use their nitrogen, so check into that first.

Pros and Cons of Inflating Your Tires with Nitrogen

Here’s a handy overview of the advantages and disadvantages of adding nitrogen to your tires.

  • Tires stay fully inflated longer
  • Better fuel efficiency
  • Better tread life
  • Cooler tires
  • Tires may last longer
  • Higher cost
  • More difficult to find

Final Thoughts About the Benefits of N2 in Tires

Some car owners claim that they notice a difference when they start adding nitrogen to their tires rather than air. However, there isn’t any objective difference in the ride quality or handling of the car when the tires are filled with nitrogen or air.

What nitrogen does do, however, is keep your tires well-inflated for a longer period of time.

Adding nitrogen to your tires is also a smart way to help protect the materials that make up the tire.

While it usually takes more effort to find a place that provides nitrogen for tires, many drivers find it well worth the effort.

Make sure to check out my full comparison of nitrogen vs air in tires to more fully understand the differences between these gases and how they work within your tires.

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