: Nitrogen in Tires



cooncat
04-30-07, 09:15 AM
Hi folks,

I'm going to start this here, but what do you know about putting nitrogen in tires as oppose to regular air. Is there any real advantage/disadvantage? If there are what are they? Has anybody had any experience with doing this?

Thanks.

bobs-sts-v
04-30-07, 06:00 PM
Don't bother. The ONLY advantage, supposedly, is to prevent the expansion and contraction of the tires due to changes in temperature and weather conditions. Unfortunately, in most climates this is negligible, and in the northern climates (like Chicago) a complete waste of time. 78% of your tires' current gas composition is already nitrogen, and eliminating the oxygen and carbon dioxide will have little effect on the compression rate of the tires. If you live in a cold climate, you WILL have to add air in the winter, and that negates the effect of having them nitrogen filled (unless you want to take them to the tire dealer to have them add the air). An honest tire manufacturer will explain in detail the pros and cons, but up here (north of the Mason-Dixon line) it just is not worth the effort or the added expense. I had this conversation with 3 different manufacturers/installers, and they all said the same thing.

dkozloski
04-30-07, 06:58 PM
The use of nitrogen is a way to get to the real target which is the elimination of water in the tire. Dry nitrogen is easier to find than dry air. The average filling station air compressor seems to put out about as much water as air. A much more practcal answer is a good air dryer on your compressor. As air is compressed from atmospheric pressure it loses the ability to hold water as a gas. The water condenses and here comes trouble.

G.A.R.Y.
04-30-07, 07:25 PM
A lot of gm dealer's service writers are pushing this right now, talk about a big profit. The air I breathe is good enough for my tires.

WillySTS
04-30-07, 09:08 PM
I have it my tires, keeps the pressure good and steady and helps the ride a bit on my V.

I am a GM service writer, I don't push it any more than I push the Amsoil that I sell. If you ask me, I'll tell you about it, if you don't I won't.

Onalaska
04-30-07, 09:15 PM
Our dealer sent us a cupon for PurigeN 98, but it did not say what it was. I wonder if this is the same thing as putting nitrogen in your tires? They state: Tires Last Longer, Saves Fuel, Less Blowouts, Smoother Ride, Better Braking, Improves Steering, Increases Stability, Reducts Pollution for $39.95 Sounds like snake oil to me.

WillySTS
04-30-07, 09:20 PM
Better jump on it, ours is $59.95.

Onalaska
04-30-07, 09:30 PM
We use nitrogen in our business. I might give it a try. Would have to just deflate and reinflate the tires. That's a lot of improvement for just changing the air in your tires.

Jesda
04-30-07, 09:43 PM
For the casual everyday driver, pass on it. For the track enthusiast or high speed driver, perhaps.

dkozloski
04-30-07, 09:48 PM
Here we have a new candidate for the most rediculous con. As stated in an earlier post, 78% of the air in your tires is already nitrogen. Of the remaining 22% probably 1/3 has properties that are superior to nitrogen, 1/3 is about the same, and 1/3 is slightly worse. We're looking at improving slightly, 7 1/3% of the contents of your tires with a waste byproduct from the production of industrial and breathing oxygen. I'll bet the guy that thought this one up got a bonus from the boss. This is right up there with buying bottled water that comes from the water supply of the local utility compnay.

Caroutisine
04-30-07, 09:55 PM
Sounds like snake oil to me.
Agreed. :D

evaccaro
04-30-07, 10:07 PM
As was stated by another member, the key here is reducing the moisture content in the tire. A dry gas, whether it is pure nitrogen or plain old atmosphere (Nitrogen/Oxygen/Trace Gases) will perform more consistently across the entire operating range than gas saturated with moisture. This is because of the erratic behavior of moisture as the gas is heated. This really only comes into effect at sustained high speeds in very hot weather. Under normal conditions, most drivers wouldn't know the difference. One side benefit of Nitrogen is that it is a larger molecule than Oxygen. As such, the leakdown rate is slower requiring fewer pressure checks. Instead of paying my dealer for filling my tires with nitrogen, I would invest in a good compressor with a good moisture separator. I would buy an accurate digital pressure guage. Ensure everything is inflated to spec and enjoy the ride.

WillySTS
05-01-07, 01:06 AM
As was stated by another member, the key here is reducing the moisture content in the tire. A dry gas, whether it is pure nitrogen or plain old atmosphere (Nitrogen/Oxygen/Trace Gases) will perform more consistently across the entire operating range than gas saturated with moisture. This is because of the erratic behavior of moisture as the gas is heated. This really only comes into effect at sustained high speeds in very hot weather. Under normal conditions, most drivers wouldn't know the difference. One side benefit of Nitrogen is that it is a larger molecule than Oxygen. As such, the leakdown rate is slower requiring fewer pressure checks. Instead of paying my dealer for filling my tires with nitrogen, I would invest in a good compressor with a good moisture separator. I would buy an accurate digital pressure guage. Ensure everything is inflated to spec and enjoy the ride.

I'm trying to keep quiet on this, but...maybe I,m not a normal driver(well, not maybe...I quess I know that I'm not, but you didn't know it...)because I have found my tire pressures vary less than 2 psi now rather than 6-8(29-31 rather than 28-35), I don't have to add air for months rather than once a month, the car(s)(I have it in all 3 of my cars) ride/drive better and more consistent rather than darty when warm or after driving 30 minutes or so(only noticed in the STS and the Firehawk, it doesn't matter in the truck). It is a minor difference but it is a difference...for the better, in my opinion. If you can't tell the difference, then you shouldn't get nitrogen for your car, it doesn't mean that it's a bad idea.

The way you guys talk, you might should have bought one of those high line Hyundais rather than an STS...with the... air is air,...then a tire must be only a tire,... a car can only be a car, etc...

z06bigbird
05-01-07, 02:52 AM
Nitrogen=opposite of floride.

similar pros and cons. Neither will hurt you.

dkozloski
05-01-07, 08:58 AM
I'm trying to keep quiet on this, but...maybe I,m not a normal driver(well, not maybe...I quess I know that I'm not, but you didn't know it...)because I have found my tire pressures vary less than 2 psi now rather than 6-8(29-31 rather than 28-35), I don't have to add air for months rather than once a month, the car(s)(I have it in all 3 of my cars) ride/drive better and more consistent rather than darty when warm or after driving 30 minutes or so(only noticed in the STS and the Firehawk, it doesn't matter in the truck). It is a minor difference but it is a difference...for the better, in my opinion. If you can't tell the difference, then you shouldn't get nitrogen for your car, it doesn't mean that it's a bad idea.

The way you guys talk, you might should have bought one of those high line Hyundais rather than an STS...with the... air is air,...then a tire must be only a tire,... a car can only be a car, etc...
I have Tire Pressure Sensors and they aren't swinging wildly up and down as I drive down the road with my 100% atmospheric air filled tires. Could it be that 78% of the fill is already Nitrogen, the wonder gas? As the smaller molecules leak out over time the concentration of nitrogen becomes higher and higher. In only a few short eons I'll have 100% nitrogen filled Wonder Tires.

The power of suggestion is a marvelous thing. It allows one to overrule the laws of nature in your mind. Wait! I'm forgetting the ability to consider one's self the reincarnation of Juan Fangio and can feel every nuance and perturbation transmitted through the steering wheel that the mere hoi poloi would never understand. Oh well! I guess I'll just have to bumble on down the road in my dotage.

What's amazing to me is the number of people on this forum that must have failed high school physics. The universal gas law states that ALL gases react in exactly the same way to changes in absolute temperature and absolute pressure unless they undergo a change in state from gas to liquid or vice versa. Molecular size makes no difference. Unless you have tire temps high enough to boil water under pressure there is going to be NO DIFFERENCE in pressure from the gas composition. Here we are at the escoteric item of increased leakage due to the molecular size of the gases. Many years ago tires that had natural rubber inner tubes suffered a very slow leakage. Synthetc rubber developed in response to WWII shortages of natural rubber has reduced this leakage to near negledgable levels.

cooncat
05-01-07, 09:52 AM
As you can tell, I have a 2006 STS with 18 inch wheels. The tires are high performance and I live in central Florida where it stays hot from mid April through the end of September. I am about to embark on a long drive to Ft. Lauderdale on Friday. The drive is about 4 hours. I have a coupon to have the tires filled for $20, the original price is $40. I thought I would give it a try.

dkozloski
05-01-07, 10:09 AM
There are other gas laws that take into account molecular size and non monatomic gases but for air at ordinary pressures the universal(ideal gas law) works just fine. Keep the water out and you're good to go.

evaccaro
05-01-07, 08:03 PM
There are other gas laws that take into account molecular size and non monatomic gases but for air at ordinary pressures the universal(ideal gas law) works just fine. Keep the water out and you're good to go.

This is exactly my point. :banghead: DRY AIR is what this is all about - Ideal gas law notwithstanding. Water vapor does play a part here if the air under pressure was saturated when the tire was inflated as temperature and pressure varies. At the end of the day the most important thing is to keep your tires properly inflated. The "difference" that people feel is really having the car set up with the proper inflation pressures at each corner.
:horse:

WillySTS
05-01-07, 09:01 PM
[quote=dkozloski;1068179]I have Tire Pressure Sensors and they aren't swinging wildly up and down as I drive down the road with my 100% atmospheric air filled tires.

What's amazing to me is the number of people on this forum that must have failed high school physics.

Actually, Physical Science was my favorite, next to Auto Shop...I consistently got an "A" in both.

Anyway...when we were running an RX7 in showroom stock, back in '86, we put the tire pressure at 34 psi cold to race on 43 psi. Maybe that why NASCAR uses it.

dkozloski
05-01-07, 09:50 PM
[quote=dkozloski;1068179]I have Tire Pressure Sensors and they aren't swinging wildly up and down as I drive down the road with my 100% atmospheric air filled tires.

What's amazing to me is the number of people on this forum that must have failed high school physics.

Actually, Physical Science was my favorite, next to Auto Shop...I consistently got an "A" in both.

Anyway...when we were running an RX7 in showroom stock, back in '86, we put the tire pressure at 34 psi cold to race on 43 psi. Maybe that why NASCAR uses it.
The advantage with racing would be that the pressure rise is predictable if the gas filling the tires is consistant. In ordinary driving there's no way to tell in advance what you'd want the tires to do.

WillySTS
05-01-07, 11:51 PM
Well, it really boils down to a preference, like everything else and I prefer my tires to be consistant.

cooncat
05-02-07, 06:56 AM
I spoke to my salesman and Ed Morse Cadillac in Tampa and told me that when they certify a car, they convert the air to nitrogen as part of the process. The tires have been replaced with 18 inch wheels and with the money the previous owner spent on my car before he traded it in, I'm sure he invested the extra $40 for the nitrogen.

Thanks for the help. I have learn a lot of information about my car and you all answered many questions I have had.

dwight.j.carter
05-07-07, 03:01 PM
I have Nitrogen in my 2000 STS and it does make it ride better. The one thing I really like about it is when it is at the proper pressure the tires look full all the time. I always hated looking at my tires and thinking one of them looked flatter than the others. As far as extending the life of the tire it seems to do that too I have been driving on my rear tires for a long time and they are very close to needing replaced. My mechanic changed mine over and I can take the car anytime and have them fill the tires but the point is I havn't had to.