Nitrogen delivers no great benefit
EVERY so often we get asked about the benefits of inflating tyres with pure nitrogen instead of good old air available at our local service stations.
Generally we’ve argued against its use, saying that the benefits for the normal motorist are minimal and can’t be justified when you consider the cost and availability of the gas.
Air is mostly made up of nitrogen and oxygen, which is fine for normal use, but oxygen does permeate through the rubber sidewall of the tyre, causing a slight loss of pressure over time.
Nitrogen also permeates through the sidewall, but at a 30 per cent slower rate. The pressure loss is less with nitrogen, but regular pressure checks are still required. When you do need to reinflate your tyres to adjust for the pressure loss, you have to find an outlet with nitrogen.
The proponents of nitrogen also argue that it’s a more stable gas and delivers more predictable tyre performance.
While that’s true, it’s really only beneficial in extreme conditions like motor racing where higher tyre temperatures are generated. There’s virtually no benefit for the ordinary motorist.