What's the Deal with Nitrogen in Tires?
Most times, when we go to get our oil changed or tires serviced, we’re offered nitrogen for our tires for an upcharge. If you’ve ever wondered if you should say yes, here are some facts to help you make your decision.
Nitrogen is commonly used to inflate tires that take a beating: NASCAR and Formula1 racing tires, heavy-duty farm equipment tires, military vehicle tires. The reason they use nitrogen is that it performs better at holding air pressure (providing your tires and rims are in good shape). Racing teams like 100% nitrogen because the gas doesn’t support the presence of moisture or combustion. In short, it helps keep the tires from overheating.
Nitrogen also can reduce the loss of tire pressure that occurs through the rubber and reduce tire aging, according to Consumer Reports.
The most important bit of tire maintenance is monthly pressure checks on your tires. Under-inflation will cause uneven and excessive wear and tear on tires and compromise fuel economy, not to mention pose a potential safety risk.
As nitrogen can help your tire pressure remain more constant, that can mean less time and money spent on tire maintenance and fuel costs. However, the upcharge associated with nitrogen can be sometimes be high.
So, your decision may depend on how much the upcharge is, and whether it’s worth the time and cost you could potentially save. In the end, it's up to you.