Is the hype about nitrogen filled tyres just hot air?
I was asked a question a few days ago and realised that I should put a little more info about the subject on our website: so here it is. Would I benefit by converting from air filled tyre to nitrogen filled tyre was a question asked by a customer. I know that many people reading this have already raised their eyebrows at the idea. However, with aircraft and racing cars (and increasing numbers of heavy vehicles) using nitrogen filled tyres, it’s certainly something worth thinking about, what are the best tyres for you?
Here I looked at some of the advantages and disadvantages, and bust a few myths about nitrogen tyres, too.
· Nitrogen reduces tyre temperature
A cooler tyre increases tyre life and reduces fuel consumption, especially when the car is being driven at fast speed, or the vehicle is near maximum load (hence the increasing popularity for heavy vehicles to use nitrogen filled tyres).
But as far as nitrogen filled tyres are concerned, it’s the moisture content of nitrogen versus air that is the big factor.
· Nitrogen filled tyres last longer
We’ve found this to be true (because of the reason above), but some people claim that lifespan is more than doubled. In reality, although they’re good, they’re not quite that good. So don’t believe all the hype some people will try and pass about them.
· Pressure falls slower in nitrogen tyres
Even though they seem solid enough, tyres do actually let gas out! It’s a very slow process, but this is the reason why you should check tyre pressure every month (caradvice.com.au), and more regularly if you often drive at 120km per hour or faster. (Commercial vehicles will differ) Nitrogen molecules leak slowly, so your tyre pressure will fall slowly. Technically, that means you should be able to check your tyre pressure less often. My advice is to never get too technical, and check nitrogen filled tyre pressure as often as you would other tyres.
Pressure remains more stable in nitrogen filled tyres, too, because its temperature is more stable.
· Nitrogen filled tyres cause less ‘collateral damage’
Nitrogen is a relatively inert gas, and it’s dry. It follows that there will be less rusting of metal components, but unless there is absolutely no air in the tyre when converting to nitrogen then there could still be a risk of rusting.
· What’s the conclusion? Are nitrogen tyres the best tyres?
Whoa! Hold your horses! I haven’t quite finished. There’re a couple of disadvantages to mention, too:
The first of these is that nitrogen isn’t widely available. If you find yourself needing to increase your nitrogen filled tyres and there is no nitrogen available, you’ll need to add compressed air. The problem is that doing so negates some of the advantages, and so you’ll need to get a specialist to remove the air and refill with nitrogen as soon as possible.
Secondly, nitrogen is more expensive than air, typically costing between $5 and $20 per car tyre.
All in all, if you regularly travel at high speed or with a fully laden and heavy vehicle, or drive in a hazardous area like a mine, then the extra expense of nitrogen filled tyres will probably pay dividends. Other than for these reasons, it’s a nice-to-have rather than a must-have.
We have a nitrogen machine onsite ready to fill your tyres, just call us today on 3375 3566, and we’ll be happy to discuss your car tyres with you.