Author Options:

Is it worth the added expense to use nitrogen to inflate tires? Answered

I bought a new car last week and while doing the final walk around inspection before leaving the lot, I noticed the tire valve stems all had green caps. I asked the salesperson about them. She informed me that the dealership refilled all of their new cars' tires with N2. And then she rendered a rehearsed pitch about the benefits of N2 vs. air, less leakage, little tire pressure change and so on.
By that time I just wanted to get the hell out of there and go home. I started thinking about the N2 issue today and after checking around, I found that it is very difficult to find places to refill the tires with N2 and those that do have it charge $5 to $10 US per tire for a refill.
As of now, I plan to refill the tires with regular air when needed and throw the green caps away.
My question is, does anyone have any real world experience with N2 inflated tires and any bits of advice or information to pass on.



Best Answer 6 years ago

Nope. No benefit.

Normal air is nearly 80% nitrogen anyway, and an almost undetectable fraction of a percentage of the rest is small enough to leak faster than the nitrogen.

It may make a small difference in the extreme conditions of an F1 race, or if you were planning to store your care without driving it for several years, but apart from that it's a waste of money and effort.


6 years ago

I live about 60 miles from Canada and before the border thing got crazy a lot of Canadians used to come through here. One shop owner, as a joke, started telling Canadian customers that they needed to have the Canadian air in their tires replaced with American air. He felt so bad about some of them believing him that he said he did it for them at no charge.

The only element in air that could possible cause a problem to rubber is O2. That is in reasonably small amounts AND if it did react with anything it would only do so with the small amount that is actually in the tire. Eventually there would be no O2 in the tire until you filled it again. Like Kiteman said, it's mostly nitrogen to start with. If you have steal rims it might prevent some rusting, that is about it.