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Inflating tyres with Nitrogen


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I went to book in my car for a B&A today. And the guy started rambling on about Nitrogen and if I would like that at an extra cost of $30 for all tyres. Then he pointed out a piece of paper on the wall the benifits etc and the whole sales pitch. I never heard of this before, so I said I'll book it in for a B&A but I'll come back tomorrow and tell you if I want the Nitrogen.

So far I came up with two links about using this stuff on your car:

http://www.racq.com.au/motoring_advice/abo...rogen_for_tyres

http://www.toyo.com.au/tech_info11.htm

Pretty much tells you everything you need to know.

But just wondering if I should in my 2007 aurion that still has its stock tyres from the factory? The tyres are good for at least another 20,000KM. I'm usually driving the car by myself, and sometimes its max 4 passengers.

Should I give it a pass or should I try it out? Because once its filled up with this stuff, I have to keep using it. And the guy said something like, if I do it once, I can get unlimited free refills or some crap like that, I didn't quite bother listening to his sales pitch.

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For future reference, we have this forum on the board:

Wheels & Tyres

This would be a better place to ask such a question. There has been some discussion on this nitrogen thing already, but someone didn't name the thread appropriately. It can still be found by doing a board wide search for 'nitrogen'.

You will find good answers like this:

Helium in tyres

The New Nissan GT-R's tires have unusually pliant sidewalls, improving steering, agility and ride comfort. They are filled with
nitrogen
rather than conventional air, which prevents pressure change during high speed driving.

Going to do some rapid driving in the Kluger hey?? :)

A couple of sites which compare nitrogen vs air for tyre inflation:

Reasons used as arguments for nitrogen are:

  • Nitrogen bleeds through the rubber slower than oxygen so pressure loss over time is less with nitrogen than air.

  • Nitrogen has a higher specific gas constant than oxygen and therefore exhibits less pressure change with increased temperature (volume and mass being equal). Nitrogen also has a higher specific heat than oxygen so it therefore takes more heat energy to increase its temperature. Combining these two properties means that pressure in nitrogen filled tyres will increase less than air filled tyres. The pressure will still change in the tyre due to increased tyre temperature from rolling friction as described by

  • Nitrogen fills use equipment that minimises water vapour in the gas, whereas most air fill stations don't filter water vapour and may not properly bleed air lines of water. This can result in water in the tyres. Having water in tyres is more weight to move around therefore increased fuel consumption.

  • Reduced oxygen content inside tyre reduces oxidation of rubber and extends tyre life.

Bottom line of argument is all of the above reduces variation in tyre pressure and therefore provides better tyre life and fuel consumption.

However the practicality of using nitrogen in the tyres of everyday cars I would think is pretty limited. Every time you want to fill your tyres you would need to go to a specific nitrogen fill station and pay for the privilege. Compare that to air where you can just go down to the local service station and fill for free. Also if you need to change your tyre pressure regularly, for example when going off road, you would need to carry a nitrogen fill station with you, which I imagine is going to be far more expensive than a small portable compressor from one of the discount auto outlets.

If you are racing where every little bit of performance counts, or your own a fleet of vehicles with your own facility for nitrogen fills then it is probably worth it. As an individual with one vehicle that is your daily drive then it will probably cost more than what you would save on tyres and fuel.

Best bet is to check the air pressure in your tyres regularly and fill up for free at the local servo.

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Save your $30 and spend it on a few car washes instead , you will get more value from your money that way.

Yeah, I looked around other forums too. It's best I don't. Its not a scam as it is something that works if used for the right scenario. But for everyday family cars its more of a gimmick.

Free Air from the servo will do for me.

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Well got my tyres balanced, rotated and aligned. Guys did an amazing job. I was in the workshop the whole time watching them do it so they couldn't do anything dodgy. The balance of each tyre was out by a lot. Everything was Zero'd out and tyres rotated and then aligned. Very happy now. Road noise has gone down and the car drives dead straight. :D

That also with the VVT-i oil line change and brand new oil cap changed.

The car is in perfect state. Love it.

Edited by unique
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