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Old 04-10-2011, 06:57 PM   #15
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I asked our Ford service mgr. He just rolled his eyes!
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Old 04-10-2011, 07:15 PM   #16
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Ive been using nitrogen for yrs. I get my nitrogen tank refilled for $12. I would guess that bottle would fill more than 30 tires. I fill my friends tires for free. There is benefits using it, but its not worth more than $3. a tire.
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Old 04-10-2011, 08:58 PM   #17
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Was considering the purchase of a Nissan GTR a short while ago and noted that nitrogen fill on tires was a must. I imagine that the expansion of the heated air in your tire generated by your 170+ mph turn around the track is not something you'd want to risk.

I asked the dealer what it ran for the N2 fill service, and he said it was about 6 bucks/tire. Cheapest thing you'll ever see on that car.....

For $30 a tire you could fill the tire with liquid N2 (not that you'd want to).
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Old 04-10-2011, 09:28 PM   #18
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I run nitrogen in all of our vehicles as well as the Airstream. I also have my own tank to fill from, so it is almost as cheap as compressed air. I find the tires hold pressure longer and don't react to thermal changes as much. The primary use of nitrogen in tires that I am aware of is in aircraft tires. The minimal pressure change with wide thermal differences being the reason. Thankfully, my Airstream does not have to spend eighteen hours at -60f then almost instantly accelerate from 0 to 160mph at +95f.
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Old 04-11-2011, 08:58 AM   #19
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The primary use of nitrogen in tires that I am aware of is in aircraft tires. The minimal pressure change with wide thermal differences being the reason.
The reason Aircraft tires have Nitrogen is it does not support combustion.
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Old 04-11-2011, 09:40 AM   #20
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Pure bunkum.
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Old 04-11-2011, 10:45 AM   #21
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Pure bunkum.
Bunkum, can only be supported by data, not opinions.

Measure the temperature and you will see a difference, as we have done.

Andy
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Old 04-11-2011, 10:53 AM   #22
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I understand the physics BUT when I fill my tires with "nitrogen", get a flat, and reinflate with "air" it does not throw the car off, it doesnt drop my mileage an amount I can notice and doesn't improve my driving experience. I find it impossible to justify spending money on snake oil (air) for my tires for my airstream, track car, 4x4 or TV for this reason.

If I dont notice it on the track I probably can't notice it daily driving.
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Old 04-11-2011, 05:14 PM   #23
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To further confuse the issue lets make sure weíre comparing apples to apples.
I believe that Lew and Andy are referring to pure gas provided by a commercial supplier.
From what Iíve seen of the shops in this area, and in talking with people in training classes, they are using nitrogen tire filling machines. These connect to shop air and use a filter membrane to extract the nitrogen content from the incoming air. The manufacturer of the unit in our shop claims 95% nitro content after two purge and fill cycles.
Shop air is a soup of oil, water, rust and who knows what else. Obviously if the filters in the machine havenít been maintained the quality of the gas produced is suspect.
By coincidence I ran across a jobbers catalog today offering this type of equipment starting at $129 per month lease. With 2 fills youíve covered your cost and the rest is pure profit.
If you can verify the shop is using pure gas I donít see any harm. However, I still maintain if you have to pay for it youíre paying too much.

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Old 04-11-2011, 05:30 PM   #24
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Measure the temperature and you will see a difference, as we have done.
Andy
So what were the temps Andy?
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Old 04-11-2011, 05:37 PM   #25
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Our mechanic said he was approached about buying one of the machines, but felt he would be ripping off his customers as there is little benefit.

I attended a tire Q&A at a car event. The moderator explained that the nitrogen molecules are big and can't as easily escape from the tire. That makes some sense, but what is the harm in checking tires every month or so.

The green caps do look cool though!
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Old 04-11-2011, 05:59 PM   #26
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For street use: see if you can get the cool green valve stem caps and call it even.

Some facts: N2 is used in aircraft tires and race car tires because it is more stable and does not have the smaller molecules of hydrogen (<1% of air) that could leak out more readily. More importantly, N2 also does not have water vapor, which will be found in most compressed air. Water expands in the tire at race temperatures, can freeze at aircraft flight temperatures (-40 deg. or cooler) and both of these critical uses of pneumatic tires are a little bit out of our normal driving experience. Andy's suggestion of taking real-world data on the freeway will show you that compressed iar (and dried if possible) is not noticeably different.
@Michelle: since the outside of a tire is surrounded by air, the relatively small amount of "pure" N2 in a tire would not inhibit combustion. Aviator's stability response sums up the rationale.
The Costco-purchased tires on my toad were N2 filled at no extra charge, but now have been topped off by air and the tires have not exploded, disintegrated, but had lost over 10% pressure as I tracked them over about 4 months until I topped them up.

There is some value in having a dry gas fill. If the shop has a regen or refrigerated drier on their compressed air then there would be no practical difference. Unless you decide to run the Silver State at 170 mph.
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Old 04-11-2011, 08:46 PM   #27
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After reading all of these informed opinions, I am going to follow Andy's recommendation and put it to the test. The $30 figure the Ford sales person threw at me may have been the sales person shooting from the hip. In any event, I am going find the best place to get the nitrogen, probably Costco as Andy suggested, fill one or two tires and determine the best way to measure my tire temperature after being on the road. The nitrogen tires will either run cooler or they won't. If they do, it has to be easier on the tires.
I want to thank you all for your experiences and thoughts. Lets see what happens.
John Dibble, Punta Gorda, FL
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Old 04-11-2011, 10:05 PM   #28
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Don't forget that ordinary atmospheric air is already 78% nitrogen and 20% oxygen.
Tim
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