Nitrogen or just air in car tyres? Here is what you need to know
26 Feb 2016
Its use in passenger cars has been a more recent trend. It is still is not without its share of critics. Opinion has been divided over its out and out acceptance in cars. So what really are the benefits of nitrogen over regular air in car tyres? Let’s find out what the experts have to say.
- More stable range in pressure: Unlike air, retention of the specified levels of pressure is easier with nitrogen. Running temperatures, therefore, are at a cooler level and puts lesser load on the rubber even when used for long periods and rough rides.
- Control over pressure leakage: Unlike normal air, nitrogen leaks very slowly and, hence, requires lesser number of refills. With permeation levels at only a third as compared to oxygen, nitrogen does not escape through the rubber.
- Less impact on metal: As a dry gas, nitrogen does not allow for moisture to build up unlike oxygen. This is particularly helpful in reducing the chances of corrosion and damage to the rims and related parts.
- Better ride quality: With stability in pressure levels and longer periods of retention of the gas level, the ride quality is much better with a consistently fuller tyre.
- More fuel economy: When the car is running on full tyres, it is also possible to maximize on mileage and it is common to see better fuel economy figures.
- Longer tyre life: With such diligent maintenance of pressure in tyres and the attendant benefits, getting more miles out of the tyres becomes a possibility.
These advantages do make a case for nitrogen in all brands of car tyres including Federal Tyres. But are there any reasons that question either the theoretical or practical aspects here?
How much does it cost?
There surely is the cost factor. A more modern technology comes at a cost. Typically, it may set you back by up to $10 to fill a tyre with nitrogen. Considering that air is virtually free, just the budget factor works against it, to some extent.
Is it easy to maintain?
Filling tyres with nitrogen is an ongoing process. Any incremental refills have to be with nitrogen and using air occasionally is not advisable. However, if it happens, it would require completely emptying the air and making a full refill as against a top-up.
Is it widely available?
Nitrogen as a replacement for air in tyres for cars is still not a widely accepted practice. Hence, finding it everywhere is still a challenge.
Clearly, research proves that nitrogen comes loaded with some technical advantages. There is the cost factor that can be countered by regular, diligent monitoring of tyre pressure. Suffice to say that it could be useful for those who find it cumbersome to keep a tab or do not use their car regularly. For others who are fine paying a little extra and want the obvious benefits of nitrogen, it could be a yes.