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Discussion Starter #1
I bought a Honda and it came with nitrogen filled tires. Dealer said it was "way better" than plain air.
But, plain air is 78% nitrogen, the rest is oxygen and some trace gases.

I can believe that replacing the other 22% may help keep tires inflated longer (since nitrogen molecules are larger than oxygen
and don't leak out as easy) but is it worth doing? Ain't plain air good enough?

I wonder if Dealer charges to "top off" that nitrogen when in for service.
I have chosen to ignor all of this nonsense and just put in good old air when tires look low.

Am I wrong?
 

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My tires were filled with N from factory but I've kept them topped off with regular air from an air compressor. The tires loose little if any air. Regular air is fine, don't believe the nitrogen BS. Air is 78% N anyways.
 

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This should bring out some debate. Nitrogen is used in aircraft tires because it is dry and the aircraft fly up when the temperature is below zero. Water would freeze and imbalance the tires which go from stopped to landing speed (> 125 mph) in an eyeblink. It also leaks less and the dryness should help with prevent wheel corrosion. I'm just not sure it's worth the price alot of places of charging and the inconvenience if you did need to add some. My biggest heartburn is the new car dealers that put in the tires and charge you $60 plus - just like the worthless $500 paint and uphostery treatments.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I've got aluminum wheels and as far as I can tell, my Focus won't fly.

Looks like I don't need 100% Nitrogen after all. And when I was young and stupid,
I let Dealer charge me for Paint and Upholstery sealant on my first new car in 1980.
 

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Not worth it unless you are regularly racing. Just keep air in your tires and check every few weeks and you are fine.
 

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When asked if I wanted to upgrade to nitrogen filled tires, I laughed and said

me - "air is like 3/4 nitrogen, are you serious?"

sales - "It is a recommended upgrade we are proud to provide customers here at ..."

me - "I'm sure you are, and as soon as I add jet propulsion I'll let you know so you can add it."

sales - "I'm pretty sure it can only be added during the initial sales prep, but I'll check for you."

me - "OK"

Sometimes I worry about the human race...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Whatever happened to the forced "Pin Stripe" added cost.

I love pin stripes...
 

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I've got aluminum wheels and as far as I can tell, my Focus won't fly.

Looks like I don't need 100% Nitrogen after all. And when I was young and stupid,
I let Dealer charge me for Paint and Upholstery sealant on my first new car in 1980.
Lol!

BTW, I've owned several aircraft and we've never put anything other than standard air in the tires.
 

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Moved to "Wheels, Tires, Brakes & Suspension"
 

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I think the only advantage is nitrogen escapes from the tires at a slower rate than regular "air" and your tires will likely keep a constant pressure better than regular air.

good answer over at popular mechanics, more info than my summary above
http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/how-to/repair-questions/4302788
I vote filling them with a liquid. Since a liquid can't be compressed you won't ever lose the nice round tire shape due to pressure changes. Also, you can add food colouring to the liquid so that you can easily see if it's leaking.

Better yet, use a different colour for each tire. That way, you'll immediately know by the colour of the liquid on the pavement exactly which tire is misbehaving.

Personally, I use beer. IPA for the front right, Guinness for the front left, Bud for the left rear (I have a hard time with this one as I can't tell whether my tire is leaking or someone just pissed on it) and Rickard's Red for the last one.

If you follow my advice, you'll need to be careful where you park lest you arrive at your vehicle to find vagrants sucking on the valve stems.

[nutkick]
 

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To me this is more about the cost of tires and rims. We can find statistics on anything and everything, facts about this or that, but sometimes real world defies the facts. With most of us the first mod is wheels and tires, usually low profile tires and oversized wheels. The problem here is no sidewall flex and a very vunerable rim. Sure the immeadiate response is "check your air pressure!" because we all know that low air pressure and low profile tires usually means blown tire and bent wheel, and possibly bent suspension (read $$$$). Here's where the nitrogen comes in, bigger molecules slower loss of tire pressure, less probability of damage. My "real world" experience is that I'm on my first set of performance tires, I've had to replace three of those tires to "real world" potholes and unavoidable debris in the road (remember low profile/no sidewall flex, loss of air pressure) so why not use nitrogen and benefit from it's properties. I currently use it in my tires and have noticed a real world difference. After all we all rationalize the cost of the many accessories that we install on our cars that do not add true added benefit. The cost of nitrogen fill varies, but the cost over the life of your tires is negligble. In my opinion it's worth it and in "real world" situations it has shown it's advantages.
 

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I vote filling them with a liquid. Since a liquid can't be compressed you won't ever lose the nice round tire shape due to pressure changes. Also, you can add food colouring to the liquid so that you can easily see if it's leaking.


[nutkick]
you ever see a tire guy rip the valve stem out when changing tires? what about when its full of fix-a-flat? lol
 

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The theory is that it makes air leak out slower and also reduces aging and corrosion (oxidisation). The oxidisation part might make a difference if you drive so little the tires last 8 years, but otherwise not.

As for leaking, Consumer Reports tested 31 pairs of tires and found that with straight air the tires lost 3.5 psi per year and with all N2 they lost 2.2 psi. I'd take it if it was free but it's not worth extra money to save 1.3 psi a year, which I will probably lose anyway when swapping winter tires, etc.
 

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If you buy your tires at Costco, they come filled with nitrogen and top-ups are free whenever you bring them in for rotation. That takes the cost issue out of the equation.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Are the tire rotations free at Costco? This seems like a good marketing ploy to get you back to the store as often as possible.

Lots of places offer Free inspections, etc., just to get you in to find things to replace or repair. Not saying Costco is looking to take your money, just that there is usually a hidden agenda.
 

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I vote filling them with a liquid. Since a liquid can't be compressed you won't ever lose the nice round tire shape due to pressure changes. Also, you can add food colouring to the liquid so that you can easily see if it's leaking.

Better yet, use a different colour for each tire. That way, you'll immediately know by the colour of the liquid on the pavement exactly which tire is misbehaving.

Personally, I use beer. IPA for the front right, Guinness for the front left, Bud for the left rear (I have a hard time with this one as I can't tell whether my tire is leaking or someone just pissed on it) and Rickard's Red for the last one.

If you follow my advice, you'll need to be careful where you park lest you arrive at your vehicle to find vagrants sucking on the valve stems.

[nutkick]
[rofl][rofl] If I lived in Canada, your car would be low-riding every day!! (I'd leave some bucks under the windshield wiper though to let you know it wasn't one of the vagrants!!)[rofl][rofl]
 

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Lots of places offer Free inspections, etc., just to get you in to find things to replace or repair.
That's how shops stay in business. They offer free inspections to find out if anything is wrong with the car, then make the recommendations to the customer. It's up to the consumer whether or not they want their car fixed or not. There's nothing wrong with that. An inspection is the only way to find out if anything is wrong with the car.

As for the Nitrogen fill in tires, I'm all for it.

1. Molecules are larger so you don't have as much seepage
2. Tire Pressures don't change with temperature or elevation changes, which saves tires and, while slight, helps promote fuel economy.
3. Drier air product. I can't stress Nitrogen enough to customers with Chrome wheels. Moisture causes Electrolysis, basically the chrome chipping away. I've seen countless customers with Chrome wheels where they come in for a flat repair only to find out the chrome around the bead seat is flaking off causing the leak. Only thing we can do is either put a layer of bead sealant around the bead seat (temporary fix) or replace the wheel.

We only charge a one-time, $5 per wheel fee for Nitro, and it's free for life after (on that particular car)
 
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