Painters Collision Centers

Nitrogen vs Air PCC

Is Nitrogen Really Better for My Tires?

Did you know that the average tire loses up to two psi every month?  Did you also know tire pressure can significantly affect your fuel economy, handling and cause uneven tire wear?

So, here is a blog concerning the pros and cons of inflating your tires with regular air vs. nitrogen, brought to you by all of us here Painters Collision Centers, with two locations in Arizona.

A few decades ago, the racing industry discovered the benefits of nitrogen versus air in their special racing tires. They realized that nitrogen wasn’t affected as much by temperature than ordinary atmospheric air was, as it allowed them to have perfectly inflated tires all the time.

The main issue with normal atmospheric air is the fact that it contains things like O2, H20 and CO2 that exist in standard air and don’t help to achieve pressure stability. For example, oxygen’s molecules are slightly smaller than nitrogen’s, so they easily pass right through the walls of your tire and can escape between the tire and the wheel, the valve stem and the wheel or past the rubber seal in the valve core as well.

Additionally, O2, H2O and CO2 expand and contract more than nitrogen when the temperature changes and are slightly corrosive as well.  This causes oxidization on steel and aluminum wheels and can also accelerate the aging of the rubber in the tire significantly.

To bypass all of these issues, why not simply fill your tires with pure nitrogen, but you will also have to pay for it–as much as $15 per tire. Sure, you can get “real” air for free (or for a dollar if the gas station is charging for it), but in the end you’ll be getting a better solution for your car and your tires will thank you down the road with nitrogen.

Here are the pros and cons of using nitrogen vs. standard air:

  • Nitrogen costs up to $50 while air costs $1 (or free).
  • Filling your car with nitrogen could take 30 minutes. Air takes five minutes.
  • Nitrogen is available only at some dealerships and tire shops. Air is available everywhere–at gas stations and from a bike pump, if necessary.
  • Nitrogen is nearly unaffected by temperature while air is sensitive to temperature.
  • Nitrogen molecules are slightly larger than oxygen molecules, so they don’t slip out. With air, oxygen molecules are smaller, so they escape over time.
  • Nitrogen is dry with literally no water vapor, thereby nearly eliminating wheel corrosion. Air can be wet, particularly if the shop doesn’t have correctly maintained system dryers, which makes wheel corrosion likely.

About Painters Collision Centers

Today’s vehicles are essentially large computers on wheels, so you need a collision repair company with the right tools, equipment, and training to diagnose and fix these sophisticated machines at a high level. At Painters Collision Centers, with two locations in Chandler and Queen Creek, AZ, we stress quality, transparency, and complete accountability. People praise us for being thorough and providing over-the-top customer service on every repair. When you hire us at Painters Collision Centers, you tap into our 35 years of cumulative experience in the collision repair industry. Owners Jim and Kelly Huard aren’t just in it to win it. They’re in it to be the best!

Sources: Wikipedia and Automotive Institute

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