With all the advice about gas-saving ideas, many consumers are wondering if you should use nitrogen in your tires? Here at iSeeCars, we’ve turned to Consumer Reports for a more in-depth look at some of the publication’s testing and results.
The publication notes that nitrogen-filled tires are becoming more popular with consumers, particularly in the replacement tire market. It’s also a quite lucrative market for tire dealers, although the practice of using nitrogen instead of oxygen to fill tires is considered a safety measure.
There are several benefits proponents claim for using nitrogen in your tires. These include safety benefits, including the possibility of reducing pressure loss when compared to a tire that’s filled with air. Proper tire inflation also helps prevent overheating of tires. Nitrogen can also promote longer-lasting tread life and increase fuel efficiency. Cutting down on wheel corrosion and rubber aging are two other claimed benefits of using nitrogen in your tires.
An article in Automotive Discovery also touts the benefits of nitrogen-filled tires and says that NASCAR, commercial airlines and even the U.S. government are currently using nitrogen.
Should you use nitrogen in your tires to potentially realize the benefits? Consumer Reports, during a year-long test, found that use of nitrogen does indeed reduce pressure loss over time, but it was only a 1.3 psi difference from air-filled tires. In addition, the publication cautioned that consumers who decide to go with the nitrogen in place of air choice should be sure to check their tires’ air pressure routinely. Just because you fill your tires with nitrogen doesn’t take the place of regular tire-pressure checks. And, if you decide to fill your tires using nitrogen, you need to continue to refill them with nitrogen. That’s because all tires – air-filled or those filled with nitrogen – will have their air pressure drop as seasonal temperatures fall.
Where to Find Nitrogen for Tires
Should you use nitrogen in your tires? If you’ve made the decision to do so, the next step is to find where you can get your tires filled with nitrogen. A good site to check is Get Nitrogen Institute where all you have to do is enter your zip code and the search will return dealers in your area offering nitrogen. The site also has a savings calculator and some other useful information. Don’t miss the Jay Leno video to hear why he has all his cars in Leno’s Garage filled with nitrogen. Hint: Leno is big on nitrogen’s benefits, including extending tire life, increasing tire performance, environmental benefits of using nitrogen, and more. Did you know that even Air Force One has nitrogen-filled tires?
Should you use nitrogen in your tires? If you’re a Costco member and you purchased your tires there, you can get them refilled with nitrogen free of charge for as long as you own your car (and those Costco-purchased tires). That will save you money and ease your mind. After all, you can have your tires refilled while you’re doing your shopping.