Nitrogen in your Tyres

I’ve been using Nitrogen in tyres for years and it does seem to make a huge difference. The biggest bonus is the consistency of the running pressure so you tend to run your tyres at the correct pressure. The other difference is apparently the heat is controlled much more effectively. What makes it even better is it is so cheap to use. Click the images to see Hi Res

Rafe getting Nitro'd
Rafe getting Nitro’d

My regular tyre shop in Bridgestone Tyres Devonport, have had a machine for years which effectively sucks the air (and other things like moisture) out of your tyres and replaces it with Nitrogen from the atmosphere. Yep, the atmosphere is 78% Nitrogen.

Jane and Monty with The Nitrogen machine
Jane and Monty with The Nitrogen machine

I went down today to get a top up and check as my recent service rotated the tyres and they didn’t have a machine so it was off to Jane and Monty today to get the tyre pressures sorted. I’ve got 70psi in the front and 74psi in the rear and that seems to work fine with a GVM of 4300kg.  I’m using soft compound Michelins and with my 30,000k service and tyre rotation, the engineers that rotated the tyres, were really impressed with the condition of the front tyres, especially given that its front wheel drive.  No scuffing at all and absolutely even wear right across the treads. Some of that can be directly attributed to Nitrogen but also I tend to mother it a bit.

Monty watching the machine top up my tyres
Monty watching the machine top up my tyres

Below is what the experts say:

  • Nitrogen is used in Formula 1 racing, aviation tyres, military vehicles, NASCAR and heavy construction vehicles.
  • Nitrogen maintains tyre pressure 3 to 4 times longer than air-filled tyres and disperses heat more effectively resulting in better fuel economy.
  • Nitrogen delivers longer tread life due to less heat generation.
  • Nitrogen inflated tyres deliver optimum handling characteristics for longer as pressure is more likely to be maintained at the correct level.
  • Nitrogen also slows the chemical ageing of the tyre’s rubber components resulting in fewer tyre failures.
  • Nitrogen results in improved performance, increased safety and lower maintenance.

A Poster on the wall
A Poster on the wall
To do a first bleed of Air and fill with Nitrogen takes about 20 minutes and costs about $40 and the top ups every 6 months are $20. While getting my tyres topped up today, I joked with Monty about how the high pressure was making their compressor earn its keep but that’s normal, so they can deal with the high pressures. If you want to get the Nitrogen in, call Jane at Bridgestone Tyres, Devonport before you go , as Motorhomes do tend to take up a big chunk of their parking 🙂

2 thoughts on “Nitrogen in your Tyres”

  1. I’m afraid this post is a bit misleading. I’m enjoying reading about your adventures, but this is a serious matter which needs addressing.

    No scientific evidence exists that supports any claims that 100% nitrogen in tyres is advantageous compared to air. Indeed, tyres are designed to be air-filled, so please bear that in mind. Do not rely on non-expert tyre retailers for this information, go direct to the British Tyre Manufacturers Assoc website who have issued an unbiased statement on this topic.

    Air does not ‘leak’ from any good quality tyre, unless there is a fault in the valve or a puncture. Google ‘Boyles law’ to learn about gas/moisture thermastic expansion. The reason why F1 & aviation tyres are nitrogen-filled is for reduced risk & fire prevention. Driving on Nz roads is NOT the same as a race track or runway!

    Incidentally, in the US & UK (where a more litigious society exists) major retailers like Costco cannot charge for nitrogen because there is no evidence it is beneficial. They could be sued for making profit from that claim.

    In short, ALL premium brand tyre manufacturers like Michelin recommend you check your tyres regularly AT LEAST every 2 weeks for correct air pressure with a authentically calibrated gauge (when cold). Also check for wear or damage. 6 months is far too long between checking your tyres and is potentially risking your own life and other road users.

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    1. Hi Justin
      Thanks for your comment. I’m aware that there are some thoughts that Nitrogen in tyres is a gigantic con. I’ve used it over several vehicles and while I can’t prove that the Nitrogen had made a difference, it does seem to improve the wear and I don’t see the changes in tyre pressure that I used to. Maybe I’m just getting older and driving more sensibly 😀 or imagining things!
      I’m happy for now to keep chucking $20 at it every few months.
      I have changed the 6 month thing out of the post for safety reasons so thanks for that.
      Cheers Chris

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