'To be or not to be' has always been the question attached to the much debatable topic of inflating car tyres using Nitrogen gas. Nitrogen is a colorless, odorless, tasteless and non-toxic gas that forms about 78% of the Earth’s atmosphere. While there are few people who believe that using nitrogen gas to inflate car tyres is beneficial, there are others who believe that has many disadvantages. Though nitrogen gas has been widely used in the tyres of racing cars, aircraft and heavy commercial vehicles, its use in the normal passenger cars is a relatively new concept. Read on to find the pros and cons of inflating the car tyres with nitrogen.
Pros And Cons of Nitrogen Gas For Inflating Car Tires
- Nitrogen reduces the running temperature of the tyre. The moisture content of nitrogen leads to a cooler running tyre, which is advantageous when the car is operating at its maximum load and speed capacity.
- Nitrogen in tyres improves the ride quality. That gas is very slightly lighter than air and thus, benefits the tires in terms of un-sprung weight.
- It is assumed that Nitrogen increases tyre life. It reduces the operating temperature during times of load and speed and thus, enhances the life of a tyre.
- It is believed that nitrogen keeps tyre pressures more constant. The gas is assumed to provide more stable pressure range in connection to the tyre temperature. However, again, the factor is applicable in times of heavy load/high-speed conditions.
- Tyres are susceptible to loss of pressure as a result of being porous in nature. Due to its chemical structure, Nitrogen leak out slowly as compared to compressed air. Therefore, it slows the rate of pressure loss.
- Oxygen reacts with the tyre and rim materials causing oxidation or the rust formation in the metal parts. Nitrogen, being an inert gas, does not react with the tyre and rim materials.
- Inflating tires with Nitrogen is quite costly. The cost generally comes to somewhere around $5 to $10 per tyre for a passenger car.
- Filling tyres with nitrogen requires more maintenance as compared to compressed gas.
- The availability factor is the biggest disadvantage of inflating tyres with nitrogen, as the gas is not readily available. It is usually found only with specialist tyre dealers.