03 September, 2018

Nitrogen tyres - are they worth it?

Nitrogen Tyre Inflation

Some tyre fitters, independent and national, recommend inflating your tyres with nitrogen. As you can imagine they will charge a pretty penny for this service, so is it an essential or just a gimmick?

Pure nitrogen has been used to inflate aircraft tyres as well as some racing cars for some time. It’s used mainly because standard compressed air contains an element of moisture in it and in the case of motorsport, if their tyres were filled with standard compressed air the moisture in that air would heat up and in turn heat up the tyre quicker. 

Nitrogen doesn’t contain such moisture, so it helps to keep the tyre cooler at higher speeds. 

Whilst this may be the case for motorsport, how often do you find yourself doing 100mph + on the road? We would suggest not very often.

There is also some suggestion that nitrogen helps to prevent air leaks, preventing your tyres from naturally losing air. Whilst nitrogen molecules are larger, the best way to prevent leaks is by replacing the black cap on the tyre valve, don’t bounce your wheels on and off curbs and regularly checking your tyres for items likely to puncture it, for example screws. 

Whilst it only costs a few quid (literally about £5 for four tyres), who would you rather have that £5? If I walked up to you and asked you for £5 for something you would reap little or no benefit from, would you give me it? I suspect not.

Finally, when you’re asked if you want pure nitrogen, remember that the air we breath, the same air that will be going in to your tyres is around 78% nitrogen and around 21% oxygen, the remaining 1% being made up of other gases.