December 18, 2017

Is Nitrogen Right For Your Tires?


We have had many questions over the last few weeks about nitrogen in tires and it’s hard to say if we have an opinion on it just yet. Our research has found that the people who sell nitrogen really like it, as it not only provides a more consistent tire pressure, but they can also charge more for it than standard compressed air. The biggest drawback we have found is availability. Very few tire shops and air supply stations have a nitrogen source.

Here are some things to consider before making the decision to switch to Nitrogen:


● Nitrogen and normal compressed air react differently naturally. Normal air used for tires is a combination of roughly 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, and 1% miscellaneous gases and because of the difference in make up, nitrogen and normal air react differently within the tire. Nitrogen has a harder time escaping the tire compared to oxygen, which could result in a more consistent tire pressure.

● With a more consistent tire pressure, it has been recommended for people who do not regularly maintain their vehicle or people who drive their vehicles infrequently including car collectors, winter tire users, RV drivers, etc.

● Pure nitrogen has been used in tires for race cars, airplane, and heavy machinery.

● Nitrogen is a dry gas and does not promote humidity, whereas oxygen when mixed with hydrogen makes water. And water/humidity in your tire can make your tire pressure fluctuate more as the temperature changes. Because Nitrogen does not mix with water, this can help minimize corrosion and rust on the tire, extending the life.

● Having the right tire pressure improves your fuel economy and enhances your tires performance and durability.


● Although less air escapes through the tire when inflated with nitrogen, it does not eliminate the need for regular tire pressure checks.

● It may be harder to find places that will fill your tires with nitrogen, especially if you are in a rural area. So if you travel far distances and may need to top up on the road, you may wish to stick with normal air for your tires. Remember, it is safer and better to drive with properly inflated tires than to drive around to find a place to inflate a flat tire with nitrogen.

● You won’t notice a difference while driving regardless if your tires are filled with normal air or with nitrogen.

● Most shops will charge to fill your tires with nitrogen and depending how you drive, it may take some time to recoup the cost compared to the free air filling stations that you may find in your local area.

● Some say that tires that are used regularly will need to be replaced before a benefit is received by using nitrogen.

From a supplier standpoint, our advice would be as follows: make sure your supplier is providing a solution for your needs. Not a gimmick, or something that makes it difficult for you to move away from them. We have found that nitrogen is easy to access in a few dense urban areas of Western Canada, but very difficult in rural and smaller urban centers. Think about your customers and their best interests. Are you providing a selling feature with a strong benefit, or a product that may lead to complaints down the road.

What’s your opinion on Nitrogen?? Please leave a comment. 

Categories: Trailer Tip

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