Where Can I Buy Nitrogen For Tires
Nitrogen (N2) has become a popular alternative recently to filling up tires. It is now considered acceptable inflation gas specifically for tires on passenger vehicles, light trucks and trucks. for the Bridgestone and Firestone brands. So today we will address where can you get nitrogen refills for tires, the benefits, how much it costs, is it safe and more. I will also share my experience with the place where I fill my tires with nitrogen near me.
where can i buy nitrogen for tires
A nitrogen filled tire will loose tire pressure at a slower rate then an air filled tire. The loss of tire pressure from permeation through rubber over time is reduced by about 1/3 compared to oxygen.
While the are benefits, there are somethings that are the same as oxygen filled tires. Like Oxygen, Nitrogen is a gas and is subject to changes in ambient temperature. An N2 inflated tires requires pressure to be added during the fall/winter months when it gets colder outside.
Now with a nitrogen inflated tire you will have to add air less often. You should still keep them topped off every two to three months and the cost adds up. Especially when you consider there are still plenty of places with free air for tires.
Well for one if you have a race car. This is what they do at the track and where the trend started. If you track your car you should be using nitrogen. You may also consider it if you have new set of tires being filled for the first time. Other reasons may be that you live close to a nitrogen filling station or you are a person who just never checks your air pressure.
There is a Nitrofill, that specializes in such service and they provide N2 to specific companies. They have a Nitrofill dealer locator here, but that is certainly not your only local options. Filling tires with N2 is becoming more popular. Because of the expense though I doubt we will ever see it as frequently as cheap O2 stations at your local gas station.
A member of the Edmunds forums was negotiating for a new truck at the dealership. He was presented with a price breakdown, which included a number of dealer add-ons. He'd seen most of the items before (window etching, wheel locks, etc.), but a $249 charge for a "nitrogen upgrade" caught his attention. The air in the tires of the vehicle had been replaced with nitrogen and the valve stems topped with a telltale green cap. He was able to get the fee waived, but not without a fair bit of haggling.
This isn't an isolated case. It has become increasingly common for car dealerships to charge this fee for nitrogen-filled tires on new vehicles. The prices can range from $100 as a stand-alone item to more than $700 if it is bundled with other items such as window tinting or door edge guards.
Nitrogen proponents claim that filling your tires with this gas will save you money on fuel, prevent wheel rot and offer better performance than old-fashioned air can give you. But a closer look reveals that nitrogen has few benefits and much higher costs. Here's the short version: Save your money and stick with air.
The Get Nitrogen Institute, a nonprofit group that promotes nitrogen, says that with nitrogen tire inflation, drivers will note improvements in a vehicle's handling, fuel efficiency and tire life. All these benefits are achieved through better tire-pressure retention and cooler-running tire temperatures, the institute says.
Better tire-pressure retention: Over time, a tire will gradually lose pressure. Changes in temperature accelerate this loss. The rule of thumb is a loss of 1 psi for every 10-degree rise or fall in temperature. The institute says that nitrogen has a more stable pressure than oxygen since its larger molecules are less likely to seep through the permeable tire walls. But what does that mean in the real world?
Consumer Reports conducted a yearlong study to determine how much pressure was lost in tires filled with nitrogen versus those filled with air. The results showed that nitrogen did reduce pressure loss over time, but it was only a 1.3 psi difference from air-filled tires. Among 31 pairs of tires, the average loss of air-filled tires was 3.5 psi from the initial 30 psi setting. Nitrogen-filled tires lost an average of 2.2 psi from the initial setting. Nitrogen won the test but not by a significant margin.
Improved fuel economy: The Environmental Protection Agency says that underinflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.3 percent for every 1 psi drop in pressure of all four tires. The theory is that since nitrogen loses pressure at a slower rate than air, you are more likely to be at the correct psi and therefore get better fuel economy.
If you are proactive and check your tire pressure at least once a month, you can offset this difference with free air, and you won't need expensive nitrogen. We think this invalidates the "better fuel economy with nitrogen" argument.
And though tire-pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) now come standard on cars, a National Highway Transportation Safety Administration study found that only 57 percent of vehicles with TPMS had the correct tire pressure. That's because most systems are only meant to signal that a tire has very low pressure, not to show that the pressure is optimal. Presumably, nitrogen-filled tires would save us from our own laziness, but at a price.
Cooler running temperatures: When air is pressurized, the humidity in it condenses to a liquid and collects in the air storage tank you use at the local gas station. When you add compressed air to the tire, the water comes along for the ride. As the tire heats up during driving, that water changes to a gas, which then expands, increasing tire pressure. Because nitrogen is dry, there is no water vapor in the tire to contribute to pressure fluctuations.
But this fluctuation in temperature isn't as significant as you might think. An ExxonMobil study plotted the changes in temperature over the course of various inflation pressures. The lines on the graph were virtually on top of each other. In other words, the change in temperature when using nitrogen was negligible.
"Alloy wheels don't really have a problem with water inside the tire," the engineer writes in a post on nitrogen inflation. "They are coated to keep aluminum from forming aluminum oxide, which forms a crust, which isn't very attractive. But even then, this crust protects the aluminum from further corrosion from the water."
Maintenance cost and convenience: Dealer costs aside, there are also maintenance costs to consider if you switch to nitrogen. Let's say you bought a set of tires at Costco, which uses nitrogen to fill all the tires it sells. If you need to top off the tires with more nitrogen, you can't go to just any gas station. Granted, you can use regular air if nothing else is available, but that would dilute the nitrogen in the tires. You'll have to go back to the shop with nitrogen and wait until the tire technicians can attend to the car. On a busy day, you could be there a while.
Nitrogen is free at Costco and at some car dealerships we called, but these are rare cases. We called a number of tire shops that carry nitrogen and found that the prices for a nitrogen fill ranged from $7 to $10 per tire. Assuming you're diligent about checking your tires monthly but can't make use of a free nitrogen service, you could potentially spend a few hundred dollars a year on nitrogen. Compare that to most gas stations where air is free or $1.50 at the most for a fill-up of all four tires.
The air we breathe is made up of 78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen and a few other elements. In order to get the desired benefits for tires, the nitrogen used needs to be at least 93 percent pure, according to TireRack.com. So we're essentially talking about adding an extra 15 percent of nitrogen and getting rid of as much oxygen as possible.
Based on cost, convenience and actual performance benefit, we don't think nitrogen is worth it. A much better use of your money would be to buy a good tire-pressure gauge and check your tires frequently. Having the correct tire pressure will get you many of the benefits of using nitrogen and will ensure that your tires last longer.
Because of its larger molecular size, nitrogen migrates through a tire three to four times slower than oxygen. A tire filled with compressed air will lose 1 PSI in less than a month; with nitrogen this could take three months or longer.
If you have the money and desire, fill your tires with nitrogen. Keep in mind that air is 78% nitrogen by volume, 21% oxygen by volume with the remaining 1% made up of miscellaneous gases. I for one will continue to use plain old air to keep my tires inflated and use the money saved for fuel ?
Atmospheric air is 78% Nitrogen. The nitrogen molecule (N2) is approximately 300 picometers while the oxygen molecule (O2) is approximately 292 picometers in diameter. With respect to the tire rubber compounds, both of these molecules are very small. . . . . .
The Nitrogen at Costco and elsewhere is produced through a molecular sieve or membrane, it is not 100% pure nitrogen. Having engineered, installed, operated and maintained these units over the years the nitrogen content could be as low as 95% purity although typically it is 99% purity. N2 is slightly lighter than O2 which may shave a few ounces off of a filled tire weight.
The benefits of N2 over atmospheric air fill on tires are probably somewhat over-stated. Dry air should always be used to fill tires for the following reason. The valve stem on the tire is designed to seal off against a dry gas (atmospheric air) and not against a wet vapor (water entrained air). The valve stem will leak if tiny amounts of moisture are present under the valve steam seat. It is always a good idea to blow down a compressed air fill line or hose to ensure that the hose has not entrained any moisture.
I would check with the tire maker to make sure they support putting Nitrogen in their tires. I tried it on one set of car tires and did not notice enough difference in wear, mileage or ride to make it cost effective, but that was just me. 041b061a72