Why You Probably Don’t Need Nitrogen in Your Tires

 In Tire Shops in Oakville, Ontario

Why You Don’t Need Nitrogen In Your Tires.

Today’s blog topic is NITROGEN and why you probably don’t need it in your tires – that’s right, I said you don’t need it in your tires.  But if you really want to spend your money, here are the benefits of nitrogen:

  1. Nitrogen has a slightly larger molecule than good old air so theoretically, it will leak slower if you get a puncture.
  2. Pure nitrogen has no moisture in it so corrosion is never an issue and it will change pressure less with changes in temperature.
  3. When you are landing your Boeing 737, you will want nitrogen for the reasons above but we don’t work on many of those, ditto for Formula 1 Race cars.

That’s it, there are no other benefits.  Anyone who tells you that you will get better fuel mileage is blowing hot air.  If your tire is happy at 32 PSI, it doesn’t care whether it has air, nitrogen or propane in it, although we don’t recommend propane for obvious safety reasons!

Now the dealer will tell you that you have to have nitrogen for various nonsense reasons and when he does, ask him what was in the tires when it was delivered from the factory to the dealership,  well, ummmm…… AIR!  That’s right, it is the dealer who has gotten you all in a kerfuffle over nitrogen.  They probably installed the nitrogen as part of some package and trust me, you paid for it, and will continue to pay if you insist on nitrogen. They may even tell you that nitrogen doesn’t leak, trust me nitrogen leaks.

Now here’s why you don’t need nitrogen;

  1. Air is free.
  2. When your tire is low because of a puncture on a Sunday, you can put some good old free air in it and not drive around destroying your tire because you need NITROGEN!
  3. In order to be of any use, the nitrogen has to be 100% pure.  Most shops use a nitrogen generator that converts good old air to nitrogen but if it is not meticulously maintained and the filters changed religiously then what you are buying is…..air.
  4. Nitrogen will not give you better fuel economy.  Keeping your tires properly inflated will and if your vehicle has tire pressure monitoring, it will magically tell you when a tire is leaking!

So OK, we understand you engineering and car guys and gals may still want nitrogen, so MTC Tire Oakville has it, and, we use pure nitrogen from a bottle which is real nitrogen.  And, nitrogen costs money so we charge $8.00 per tire to purge and fill your tires but trust me you will be getting what you paid for.

Just as an experiment when I got my new pickup truck, I filled two tires with air and two with nitrogen, no low tire lights or issues with any of the tires for two years and then I picked up a nail, yes in the Nitrogen tire and yes it leaked.

So to me, the bottom line is practicality.  Here’s a good analogy – breathing pure oxygen all the time would have health benefits no doubt but do you really need the hassle… I rest my case.

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Showing 4 comments
  • Port Saint Lucie Tire Store

    A very useful post, I agree that nitrogen is not necessary for the average passenger because air is free and serves the important functions for any tire. However engineers or mechanics may want to go the extra mile for their car.


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  • Eric Arnaud

    True but…

    I do track day with my Camaro SS 1LE and nitrogen does help.

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