Nitrogen vs. Air for Today’s Tires – Which One is Right for You?
Economic inflation is never good, but proper tire inflation is a good thing. An alternative to air for today’s tires is the introduction of pure nitrogen.
So, should you spring for nitrogen or just use free, everyday air?Air is made up of 78% nitrogen. The rest? Water vapor and oxygen. Using 100% nitrogen eliminates water vapor, which helps reduce rust inside steel wheels and corrosion inside alloy wheels. Getting rid of oxygen reduces oxidation, which deteriorates the tire. Nitrogen molecules are also bigger than air molecules, so leakage of “gas” is reduced over time.
Most auto repair or tire shops charge $5 to $15 per tire for a nitrogen fill. If you’re the type of person who seldom checks air pressure, or if you only drive 1000-2000 miles per year, you might be a great candidate for nitrogen. But if you check your air pressure regularly and have your car serviced at a competent, complete auto service center, just use free, everyday air and keep those extra dollars in your pocket.