The use of nitrogen tire inflation has been becoming common day by day. Nitrogen filled tires are an alternative to tires filled with regular air. The idea is gaining traction lately among average consumers though the United States military, NASCAR, and the aviation industry have been using nitrogen tires for years.
Like other things, using nitrogen in tires has its unique benefits and downsides. Let’s take a look at the both sides of the arguments to make your own decision:
Pros of Nitrogen Tire Inflation
Stable tire pressure. Nitrogen filled tires remain steady over the long term because nitrogen hardly goes through the rubber of tires. The underinflated tires also show less pressure fluctuation with the change of temperature. As a result, they are popular in the racing arena because conventional air-filled tires display pretty inconsistent pressure when they heat up.
Fuel efficient. The consistent tire pressure has improved the fuel efficiency in nitrogen tires. A single tire can save you 3%-6% of fuel over its lifetime, which is not huge but still counts.
Photo Credit: Douglas Infiniti
Eco-friendly. More than 300 million tires are disposed of each year. However, using nitrogen in tires can reduce that number by 30%. Plus, nitrogen tires lower carbon footprint by reducing fuel combustion.
Durability. Nitrogen tires have a longer lifespan because they don’t have the corrosive properties of standard air-filled tires. Nitrogen is dry, so it doesn’t form rust to degrade the tires and the metal wheels.
Safety. Nitrogen is not combustible, so nitrogen tire inflation will not worsen a fire accident, unlike the air-filled tires.
Cons of Nitrogen Tire Inflation
Costly. Nitrogen tire inflation is more expensive than conventional air inflation. You may need to spend more than $5 for inflating a single tire.
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Unavailability. Nitrogen tire inflation is available at only some selected filling stations. Sometimes, you have to fill your tires with regular air since nitrogen inflation may not be available where you are.
Maintenance is still needed. Nitrogen tire inflation does not mean that you fill up the tires once and then forget about them. They need maintenance and pressure checks from time to time because both the inflation level and the tire pressure will not be the same forever.
As you now have seen the both sides of the coin, you can decide for yourself what type of tires will suit your needs best. However, nitrogen tire inflation should be your first choice if you are into racing, motorsports, or just love to enjoy speed on the highway!