Nitrogen vs Oxygen to fill your tyres

Now why would you fill your tires with nitrogen instead of oxygen? Here are the why’s and how’s to some advantages of nitrogen filled tires that might surprise you.

We usually fill our tires with compressed air, 78 percent of which is nitrogen and about 21 percent oxygen, the rest being CO2, water vapour and other small concentrations of noble gases. This is quite different than actually filling your tires with pure nitrogen that may have some very significant benefits. If you’ve been hearing talk of better fuel economy, longer tire life and a general smoother ride, have a look at these next few discussion points.

If tires are not properly inflated, they can start wearing unevenly and faster than usual. This will have a big effect on your car’s fuel economy. Pure nitrogen is better at maintaining the correct pressure for your tires and helps your car to work as efficiently as possible. This is a non-corrosive, non-combustible, non-flammable gas.

Though all tires are bound to lose some pressure over time, due to gasses permeating through the rubber of the tire. In comparison to regular oxygen, nitrogen does this much slower, around 40 percent. Resulting in more stable tire pressure for longer time-periods. This is also the gas with the biggest molecules. This means that it is the slowest gas to migrate through the rubber of a tire. Losing pressure at a much lower rate. And also reacting less to changes in tire temperature, since it does not hold heat and the tires are then able to run cooler. This also increases the tire tread life, up to about 20 percent.

In the case of filling your tires with normal air; the rubber of the tyre has a reaction with the oxygen that permeates through it. This then leads to thermo-oxidative processes that have a degrading effect on the rubber over periods of time.

Overall the benefits of filling your tires with nitrogen are that you will save small amounts in fuel and tire-maintenance costs, your tires’ pressure will be able to remain more constant, less moisture in your tires, and less corrosion on your wheels.

Regardless of what gas you will be filling your tires with, remember to check your tire pressure once a month, at least.