Is nitrogen good for tires?

Nitrogen in tires - sense or nonsense?

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Nitrogen in Tires - sense or nonsense? 4.44 out of 5 based on 9 ratings.

We know it from airplanes, Formula 1 racing cars or hazardous goods transporters: Here nitrogen is used in tires because they are exposed to particularly high loads and high temperature fluctuations, because nitrogen offers various advantages: The gas prevents rust formation on rims and valves and works fire retardant. By displacing oxygen, tire fires and oxidation are to be avoided. In addition, pressure loss and rolling resistance are lower, so that driving comfort is better and rolling noise is quieter. And the tire pressure also lasts longer. The question remains, does the average German's car need such high-performance nitrogen in the tire, which the tire dealer or workshop is currently promoting?

Nitrogen in tires: gas instead of air

The question is simply answered: No, because it has not yet been proven that nitrogen in tires has a particularly positive or negative effect on driving comfort, road noise or tire pressure. And the different nitrogen proportions in the tires are just significantly different.

  • Normal air: 78% nitrogen content
  • Nitrogen as tire inflation gas: 90% nitrogen content

However, since nitrogen has slightly larger molecules than normal compressed air, it is more difficult for them to escape from the valve and the tire itself. However, tests have shown that after several months the pressure differences are only a few hundredths of a bar between the two types of inflation. And in the event of damage such as a broken splinter or a nail, nitrogen escapes just as quickly as air from the tire.

Despite nitrogen in the tire: Check tire pressure regularly

A possible danger, however, is based on the fact that the vehicle driver lets himself be guided by the argument of the lower pressure loss, believes himself to be in a false sense of security and no longer checks the pressure regularly. This negligent behavior is not only dangerous but also uneconomical. If the air pressure is 0.2 bar too low, that means that you use about 5 percent more fuel, at 0.5 bar you use about 1 liter more per 100 kilometers. Regular tire pressure checks, recommended every 2 weeks, should therefore be a must. In various tests, if the air pressure was correct, no negative effects on the wear of the individual tire components could be demonstrated by normal compressed air with oxygen. And with the additional costs incurred, filling the tires with nitrogen is not only financially unnecessary, but also not necessary in view of the fact that there are no noteworthy benefits.

Equalize tire pressure while driving

In order to prevent pressure loss and ensure constant monitoring, the developers are working on systems that permanently check the air pressure while driving and, if necessary, supply the tire with compressed air via a compressor and a hose attached to the wheel hub, making it ideal To guarantee tire pressure. With appropriate sensors, the tire pressure could be adapted to the respective road conditions and fuel could be saved. Incidentally, sensors of this type for checking tire pressure will be partly mandatory from November 1, 2014. Even in situations in which emergency braking is required, for example, the pressure could be reduced in order to increase the contact surface of the profile and thus shorten the braking distance. However, since the costs for such a system integrated in the vehicle will be very high, it is advisable to simply check the tire pressure regularly at the petrol station and, if necessary, to fill the car tire with normal air from the compressor. In order to avoid additional power consumption, the rule of thumb applies: 0.2 bar more air pressure in the tire than the air pressure specified by the manufacturer is possible without any problems. Less shouldn't be possible.