questionsdoes putting nitrogen in your tires make a…

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Nitrogen weighs less than air and will therefore make your car weigh less and reduce the stress on your tires - it will also prevent leakage since there is less weight on the tires. A lighter car means your car will go faster and your tires have less work to so it prolongs the life of your tires and gives your better gas mileage. You shouldn't go too fast though because there are some instances of cars lifting off the ground.

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@eyeflytwohigh: Oh that makes a lot of sense! But how easy is it to get the nitrogen?

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I don't know if nitrogen is better, but if your tire gets a leak, it will sound high and squeaky. No, wait ... that's helium. Nitrogen ..hmm ..nitrous oxide .. so maybe your tire will feel no pain if they pick up a nail?

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I have a 4Runner with nitrogen in the tires. It seems to need far less times that nitrogen needs added compared to my air filled tires.

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Nitrogen inflation does not improve the performance of your car.

What does improve performance is properly inflated tires.

Nitrogen claims to maintain tire pressure longer because it allegedly won't leak out of your tires as fast as ordinary air. Even this is debatable because ordinary air is made up of about 78% Nitrogen anyways so the real difference would be pretty negligible.

But assuming the claim that tires maintain their pressure longer with pure Nitrogen inflation is correct, You could achieve the same performance gains by filling your tires with ordinary air and checking you tire pressure more often.

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When you put air in your tires, it is already mostly nitrogen (78%), most of the rest is oxygen (21%) and the final 1% are trace gasses (including the dreaded CO2 of global warming infamy). Putting pure nitrogen in your tires is probably of no benefit whatsoever other than minimizing water vapor in the tires. Speaking of water, if your nitrogen tire car is submerged under water with you in it, you will not be able to use your tires for air supply since there will be no oxygen in them.

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@mustardsquarepants: it appears naturally in caves but can be difficult to harvest since it's usually near lava.

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@eyeflytwohigh: So I should put nitrogen in my tires, drive really fast in the direction I want to go and bounce off a speed bump and just float to my destination? Do I need any kind of FAA clearance for this?

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@eyeflytwohigh: hmmm it might be tricky, but since my body is naturally flame-retardant, I should be ok!

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The only difference that I can see would be if you have to pay for it.

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@mustardsquarepants: An increasing number of places offer nitrogen, but Costco will do it for free. My new-ish car came with nitrogen tires by accident and Costco was willing to top off my tires even though I didn't buy the tires from them; they have machines that make nitrogen, so they said there's no cost to them to be nice. FWIW, I've had the car for a year and the tire pressure has remained steady w/o maintenance; I went to Costco after the "low pressure" sensor lit up, but the pressure was actually fine: we drained and added some nitrogen and the sensor reset. No problems since!

I'm not sure if nitrogen has much of an impact and I wouldn't have paid for it, but I have a new-ish car because I got into a bad accident triggered, in part, by low tire pressure partly caused by a sudden drop in temperature, so I appreciate it without being judgmental on either side of the argument. It was also nice to go through an entire winter without kneeling in the snow to put air in my tires!

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I used to work at a BMW dealer in the service dept. Here's what we said, and what I saw:

Nitrogen doesn't leak from your tires as quickly as air. (I didn't see definitive proof either way)

During extreme weather, nitrogen will maintain pressure with less variance than oxygen. Meaning, that in winter, when we get a cold snap that changes the temp buy -20 in one night, oxygen will compress and you will need to air up your tires; whereas nitrogen is more likely to stay the same. (true in my experience.)

The downside to nitrogen - if and when it does leak/lose pressure, you can't just stop by and have it topped off with more nitrogen. They have to hook it up to a machine that will deflate and reinflate your tire to the proper pressure - which takes time and is a PITA.

I knew a good number of people who used it in their winter tires only.

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@thumperchick: yea you beat me to it was going to state that it works for 1 thing mainly and that is with extreme temp fluctuations it should keep a constant pressure

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Is the only way to fill up with nitrogen to take your vehicle to some kind of servicing dealer?
I bought new tires a few months ago and they put on nitrogen tires without asking or telling me. If they're really that much less maintenance theyre fine, but if I still need to refill occasionally it's frustrating

Edit: Saw the answer above. Thanks!

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Works for airplanes. At least that's what we put in the tires and struts when I worked on them.