It is not what nitrogen IS that makes it such a beneficial inflation medium, but what it is NOT. Nitrogen is an inert gas, so by definition, it is “nothing,” and that is exactly what you want in your tires: nothing, except proper pressure. The air we breathe is about 79% nitrogen. The reason it is such a poor inflation product is that it also contains about 20% oxygen. While essential for human survival, oxygen is harmful to just about everything that is not a living organism. Oxygen is a component of water (H2O) and the catalyst of oxidation (rust, corrosion and rot). Without the presence of oxygen, there is no opportunity for rust or corrosion to occur, or condensation to form.
Additionally, and more importantly, oxygen has a very small molecular structure. So small in fact, that it is normal for air filled tires to lose 1-3 psi per month from permeation (the process through which the oxygen molecules in compressed air seep through the carcass of a tire). Nitrogen, on the other hand, has a very large molecular structure and the use of nitrogen can virtually eliminate pressure loss from permeation. And, while air is bad for tires, compressed air is even worse. Running air through a compressor typically adds trace amounts of oil and particulate, as well as water vapor…none of which are good for a tire. So, simply put, nitrogen is air that has been cleaned and stripped of all particulate, oil, water and oxygen, leaving an inflation medium that is pure…and stays put.
How Tires lose pressure and why it’s important
- Tires lose air pressure naturally through the process of
- A tire inflated with compressed air will normally lose 1 to 3
pounds of pressure per month.
- The warmer the weather, the more pressure tires will lose.
- Nitrogen has larger molecules and is 3 to 4 times less likely to
escape from tires.
- Maintaining steady and proper tire pressure reduces wear and
What Nitrogen will do for you
- Increases tire life up to 30%
- Improves fuel economy
- Reduces the chance of tire failure up to 50%
- Improves braking and handling
- Reduces running tire temperature
- Reduces wheel corrosion
- Maintains proper tire pressure
Why “wet oxygen” in compressed air is harmful
- The “wet oxygen” found in compressed air contains moisture,
- Over time oxidation breaks down tire rubber
- Oxygen molecules are smaller than nitrogen and leak 3 to 4
- After rubber is broken down, it loses elasticity, strength and
leaks even more.
Why nitrogen is better than compressed air
- Nitrogen is a dry gas and free of moisture.
- Doesn’t deteriorate rubber like the ”wet oxygen” in
compressed air does.
- Has a larger molecular structure and won’t leak
- Makes tires less susceptible to air loss with
Cecil Clark Chevrolet offers Nitrogen Tire inflation service. The cost is $99.95, and includes unlimited top-offs as well. To schedule your service make an appointment today!