Nitrogen in the tires
March 10, 2010 12:43 PM Subscribe
Would initially filling my automobile tires with pure nitrogen then later topping them off with air cause any long or short term problems with the tires? Does the pure nitrogen have any real effect on tire life or performance?
posted by dforemsky to science & nature (21 answers total)
I buy my tires at Costco who make a big deal about the fact that they fill your tires with nitrogen, putting green caps on the valve stems to indicate this.
The problem is that when I have my oil changed, the mechanics refuse to top off my tires (with air, I assume) unless I insist. When I got new tires last night, I asked for black valve stem caps so that I no longer have to do this. The Costco tire guy agreed to do this but ominously told me to make sure to never put anything but nitrogen into the tires.
My questions are:
1. Does nitrogen make any difference in the first place?
2. Does topping the tires off with air make any difference?
My thought is that atmosphere is already 80% nitrogen so the 100% nitrogen thing is just quackery anyway. I love me some Costco, but the insistence on pure nitrogen just seems silly.