Nitrogen or air in tires: Which is one right for your vehicle? What happens if you put air in nitrogen-filled tires? Is there any harmful reaction if you do so?
Filling your tires with nitrogen offers some scientific benefits such as a stable tire pressure for a longer period, better fuel economy, longer tire life, and a smoother ride.
However, the benefits of nitrogen are sometimes overstated. When it comes to passenger cars, is nitrogen truly worth it?
Nitrogen Vs. Air In Tires
With all the hype around the benefits of pure nitrogen, let’s check out whether or not it’s worth the cost.
The most prominent benefit of nitrogen is a more consistent pressure, which is important to keep your tires in good shape. Normally, the air will seep out the tires over time, which reduces the pressure.
However, since the nitrogen molecule is bigger than normal air, they escape the tire at a slower speed, leading to the difference in pressure loss. Besides, normal air consists of 20% oxygen and a small amount of water vapor, so when pumping into tires, the liquid will come inside.
Oxygen and water vapor can cause some chemical reactions inside your tires. This leads to the rapid degradation of the rubber, causing the whole wheel to quickly wear out.
Nitrogen is a colorless, odorless, and inert gas, meaning it’s not flammable or reactive under normal conditions. The injected nitrogen air for tires helps extend the tire’s lifespan, and at the same time, reduces the cost of maintenance or tire replacement.
View more: Where To Fill Tires With Nitrogen?
There’s nothing wrong with mixing nitrogen and air in your tires. Many drivers have been using air for years without any problem. While regular air is extremely affordable, the cost of nitrogen is more expensive.
Besides, nitrogen filling isn’t available at every car wash or gas station, so it will take more time to search for a spot to fill up your tires. When it comes to cost and convenience, compressed air is the obvious winner.
Can You Put Air In A Tire Filled With Nitrogen?
If you enter the phrase “Can I put air in nitrogen tires?” on Google or any online forum, you may receive thousands of different answers.
The main key to tire performance and safety is inflation pressure. It is safe to put air in nitrogen-filled. Physical responses of the two gases adhere to The Ideal Gas Law in the same way. The law states that pressure and temperature are closely related. If one changes, the other will follow suit.
Every 10-degree change in temperature will lead to a 1-psi change in tire pressure. This change is the same for both pure nitrogen tires and tires filled with nitrogen and normal air.
Will Your Tires Explore If You Mix Nitrogen And Regular Air In Tires?
No, it isn’t. It is not harmful to use compressed air in tires that already contain nitrogen.
These gases can coexist in your tires without causing any detrimental chemical reaction. The only effect is that it will reduce the nitrogen’s purity and its intended effects.
There’s not exactly a right or wrong answer in the debate of nitrogen vs. air in tires. Whether you decide to inflate your tires with air or pure nitrogen or maybe both of them, it is advisable to maintain the recommended tire pressure.
If you have any other questions, feel free to leave a comment below.