If you are a person who owns a vehicle, then you must have found yourselves in a situation where you were asked if you want the normal air or Nitrogen in the tyres. Over the years, we have seen many talking about the positives and negatives of filling Nitrogen to the tyres. It has been one of the most asked questions when it comes to vehicle maintenance. The regular air is free while you have to pay for the Nitrogen. So, is filling Nitrogen in your car or bike’s tyre a good option and does it make much of a difference? That is what we are discussing here in this article.
The air around us is actually a mixture of Nitrogen, Oxygen and other gases. The normal air consists of 78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen and 1 percent other gases. This means, the normal air that you have been filling in the tyres so far already consisted of mostly nitrogen. If you think that filling nitrogen would make a huge difference then you are mistaken.
In comparison to the normal air, nitrogen might last a few days more. But should you spend more on something that is only slightly efficient than your regular air? We don’t think so. After all, regularly checking tyre pressure and filling it is the right way and its better not to wait till the pressure is too low, right?
The other problem is regarding the purity. How can one be sure about he purity of the nitrogen air that is being filled into the tyres? We are pretty sure that it is not 100 percent nitrogen. People also believe that they don’t have to refill the air in their tyres as the nitrogen molecules are larger and are less likely to escape from the tyre like normal air. This again brings us to the point that the difference between the nitrogen filled air and normal air is very little. Many tests have been carried out by agencies to prove the same in the past.
This is what Continental Tyres says:
But for the most part, nitrogen makes absolutely no difference when it comes to a loss of pressure caused by tire punctures, tire bead leaks, valve leaks, or other mechanical leaks. There’s no discernible benefit over air-filled tires, and that includes performance factors such as rolling resistance, fuel economy, and tire aging. See here
One of the other claims made by people who fill nitrogen in the tyres is that it improves the handling and performance of the vehicle at higher speeds. Formula 1 racing teams use nitrogen in their race cars for a different reason. Nitrogen is an inert gas and it negates how the exterior environment condition could affect the F1 tyres. The tyres play an important role in the race and the quality of the nitrogen that is being filled into the F1 tyres is top-notch. This is not the case with the nitrogen gas that we get from our nearby gas station. Pure nitrogen does not contain oxygen which can form vapours inside the tyre and corrode the wheel from inside. It is true to some extent but, we must understand that every wheel that is installed in a car or a bike is painted on the inside which deals with the rust problem to a great extent. For high performance tyre applications like racing, yes, there is an advantage to be gained from using nitrogen.
Filling nitrogen in tyres makes people lazy as they are always under the impression that the tyre pressure is not very low. One should always get the air inside the tyres checked once a week or whenever they are at the gas station to fill fuel. Not checking air pressure is not a good practice as it would affect the fuel economy and even the handling to a great extent. in short, you don’t need nitrogen in your tyres. Normal air would do the same job. If you are participating in a race, then things are different. But for everyday use normal air is sufficient. Just make sure that you keep a checking the tyre pressure regularly.