Nitrogen tire inflation is a new technology that is widely embraced by large companies like NASCAR and airlines, but not so much by the general public.
To tell you the truth, nitrogen is not magical, nor does it change the properties of a rubber tire. Although, it has proved to be somewhat superior to air-filled tires.
Some people never heard of, or are skeptical about, using nitrogen to inflate car tires.
Still, it is good to know which statements are true and which are not, if you are ever being offered to switch to nitrogen-filled tires.
That is why today we are talking about the most common myths about using nitrogen for tire inflation.
MYTH#1: Nitrogen-filled tires are not safe
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Nitrogen isn’t flammable, so it won’t make your tires explode. Filling your tires with nitrogen is as safe as filling them with regular air.
MYTH #2: With nitrogen, you don’t need to regularly check the tire pressure.
Nitrogen leaks out of a tire at a slower rate than oxygen but it still does leak. No matter what you use to inflate your tires, you should get them checked regularly. Many tire problems require attention for maintenance.
MYTH#3: Nitrogen-filled tires are not affected by temperature
The fact that nitrogen maintains inflation pressure longer than oxygen-filled tires is of little benefit to car owners because nitrogen doesn’t eliminate temperature-related pressure changes if their tires are regularly maintained.
MYTH#4: Tires filled with nitrogen last longer
This statement comes from the fact that nitrogen-filled tires oxidize at a slower rate than oxygen-filled ones. That is useful information, but considering the fact that tires are specially designed to handle standard air, there is no proof of tires failing due to oxidization.
MYTH#5: Nitrogen increases fuel economy
The truth is that the fuel economy is not affected by what is your tire filled. It is affected by under-inflated tires that lack proper maintenance. If you notice a drop in gas mileage, and your tires are fine, there are potentially other issues with your car.
Fleet owners would have the most benefit from nitrogen-filled tires. You can ask your fleet tire service for more details.
MYTH#6: Pressure loss is reduced with nitrogen
This statement is somewhat true. Filling tires with nitrogen results in less pressure loss. This happens because the oxygen content oxidizes faster than nitrogen, which means oxygen leaks more through the rubber of a tire.
The truth is, the pressure loss problem occurs only if you fail to properly maintain your tires. You should always be sure that your tires are regularly checked. If you don’t have the time to visit the workshop, try searching for a mobile tire service and have it checked at your home, business, or the side of the road if you get a flat tire.
Tire maintenance pays off much more than just filling your tires with nitrogen. It can be beneficial to those owning a race car or buying new tires, but refilling your current tires can be an unnecessary cost. Owners of truck or car fleets could also benefit from it, as they have more vehicles to maintain.