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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,

There are a bunch of threads and blog posts today about the benefits of nitrogen filled tires. I seem to be hearing mostly good things (such as they improve fuel efficiency, keep the tires cooler and maintain regular pressure) but I have some some posts (on Edmunds) where people are calling into question the benefits. I even read where N2 doesn't necessarily prevent tire rot because the they are coated to prevent AlO2 from forming in the first place. Anyway, I would like to know if anyone here has any experience with the it (I know Costco offers this standard) and what, if any, performance/MPG gains you've experienced as a result. Thanks again and Happy Monday!
 

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Hey everyone,

There are a bunch of threads and blog posts today about the benefits of nitrogen filled tires. I seem to be hearing mostly good things (such as they improve fuel efficiency, keep the tires cooler and maintain regular pressure) but I have some some posts (on Edmunds) where people are calling into question the benefits. I even read where N2 doesn't necessarily prevent tire rot because the they are coated to prevent AlO2 from forming in the first place. Anyway, I would like to know if anyone here has any experience with the it (I know Costco offers this standard) and what, if any, performance/MPG gains you've experienced as a result. Thanks again and Happy Monday!
I had it in my 2013 Santa Fe and never had the TPMS light come on. I've had my 2013 Sonata without nitrogen and the light came on a couple weeks back.

I think it is a worthwhile addition. I don't see why it would affect fuel economy though.

The local dealer will install it for $19.95 for all four tires.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Whenever I read any news posts, credible sources, etc they all say that nitrogen is not worth the cost.
Why nitrogen in your tires is a waste of money - Wheels.ca

What are the benefits of nitrogen-filled tires? - The Globe and Mail

Would I spend $5-$6 for all four tires? Sure. BUt spending $20 for all four might be more than I would be willing to spend. I would certainly take up Costco on their offer since its a part of their package already so why not.
Yeah, that is the impression I'm getting. A reader just went through my recent blog post point by point and destroyed each of the alleged benefits of N2. So, it seems that with the exception of the Costco deal, nitrogen isn't really quite the deal dealerships want it to be.
 

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Not to mention where you go to top off the tire when air is needed, back to Costco! May not be worth the hassle.
 

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Nitrogen filled??? %100??? I would like this explained. Go ahead and ask your dealership. Lol. Then ask where the second valve is to remove the O2?
 

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IIRC from my high school chemistry or biology classes, the air you are pumping into your tires from any compressor (the stuff we breathe) is 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen and 1% all the other stuff. For racing cars, that are run under extreme conditons and tires refilled before each race (becasue they are new tires), there might be some advantage - but that's where a .05% advantage may be the difference between winning and losing. For daily driving, I cannot see it being worth the cost - especially if they are not using a vaccuum pump to empty the air from the tires first (and how can they do that without breaking the bead?).

Remember the Fina Pink Air from the '60's. Wonderful promotion ploy (that never got off the ground because they couldn't make it work). This looks like the same thing to me.
 

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Nitrogen is been used in aviation.I used to work on fighter jets for many years and we always filled the tires with nitrogen.
Make you wonder why....?
 

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the only real benefit i've ever seen from running nitrogen tires is that they don't fluctuate pressure or temps as drastically as air filled tires.. my experience is 100% in motorcycle race tires in this case though, so i'm not sure if it's relevant to cars as much..

I could see there being a minor MPG benefit if you live in an environment that has drastic temp changes.. being able to fill the tire to a specific pressure and not have it fluctuate when the temps change could be beneficial. but that's probably a bit of a stretch..

my .02, if you can get nitro for cheap/free, then i don't see a reason not to go for it, but if you have to pay much more for nitro than air, it's probably not worth it.
 

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Nitrogen is been used in aviation.I used to work on fighter jets for many years and we always filled the tires with nitrogen.
Make you wonder why....?
For other reasons that you'd want Nitrogen in your tires on a car.

Fires (in wheels) is the most important one afaik. Highly compressed Oyxgen + heat = great source for fire. A few sparks and you'd get yourself a nice explosion after a flat-tire.

In a car everyone is better of checking the tire-pressure every 2 weeks and making sure that the rim doesn't have any dents in it before you put on a new tire (in the shop). Make sure that it seals well and you're fine and saved some money.
 

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When I bought my nitto tires dealer said it would be better to have it filled with Nitrogen for it will make the tire cooler and will maintain the tire pressure longer. So I decided to try it for it was just free.
 

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Curious how they would get the normal air out before refilling with N.
You would need a vacuum pump to purge the tire a few times to do it properly.
That may explain the $
 

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Curious how they would get the normal air out before refilling with N.
You would need a vacuum pump to purge the tire a few times to do it properly.
That may explain the $
Remember that "normal air" is about 78% nitrogen. Typical atmospheric pressure is about 15 psi (actually 14.7 psi, but I'll use 15 to simplify the math). The technique as I understand it is to mount the tire on the rim and add 5 psi of nitrogen (making the total pressure in the tire 20 psi (or 5 psi gauge).

Again, to simplify the math, if we say that air is 80% nitrogen, then the tire contains 12 psi nitrogen and 3 psi oxygen. If you add the 5 psi nitrogen, the tire now contains 17 psi nitrogen and 3 psi oxygen.

The tire is then vented back down to 15 psi (atmospheric pressure) through the valve. Since the N2 and O2 are mixed, they vent in proportion to how much is present (leaving you with 2.25 psi O2 and 12.75 psi N2.

Let's say you now pump the tire up to 35 psig with N2 (which is equivalent to 50 psia) This means the that the tire contains 12.75 + 35 = 47.75 psia in a tire holding 50 psia. This is equivalent to 95.5% N2 (you can improve the purity slightly by doing additional 5 psi purges, but you still don't get pure N2. However, this really doesn't matter as the only real issue with air in tires is the water vapour in the air that gets pumped into your tires (this is what causes the pressure changes with temperature as the water vapour condenses at colder temperatures). Nitrogen comes in cylinders or from nitrogen generators that result in dry gas being put in your tires. If you can get N2 for free, go for it. Personally I wouldn't pay for it.

Pumping the air out of the tire would cause the tire to be crushed against the rim
 

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IMO, nitrogen filled is fine, just not worth what a lot of places charge to get. This along with the TPM's are for those that neglect to use a tire guage ever so often.

If you can get it for free, great, if your paying $20 for it, not worth it.
 

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If the N2 does not leak as much as the O2 then wouldn't you think over time the N2 would build up to a greater concentration that the atmospheric norm of 78% inside the tire?
 
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