Reduces the tyre's running temperature
While there is some truth in this statement, the difference relates to the moisture content of the inflation gas rather than the use of nitrogen per se. In fact, dry compressed air will also produce a cooler running tyre. It's also only likely to be of benefit in cases where the tyres are operating at or near their maximum load and/or speed capacities.
Nitrogen improves ride quality
No explanation has been offered as to why this should be the case. There should be no significant difference in the way air and nitrogen behave at normal tyre operating pressures and temperatures.
Nitrogen increases tyre life
A tyre's operating temperature plays a part in how rapidly it will wear. A reduction in temperature at high speeds and loads will be beneficial. However claims by some supporters that nitrogen will double tyre life are questionable.
Reduced pressure build up
The reason that tyre pressures should only be checked when cold is that the tyre s inflation pressure increases in relation to temperature. Nitrogen is claimed to provide a more stable pressure range in relation to tyre temperature. However once again the moisture content of the inflation gas plays a bigger part than the gas itself. Any benefits are likely to be achieved only under heavy load and/or high-speed conditions.
Pressure loss is slower with nitrogen than with air
Tyre liners and tubes are to some degree porous, and as a result air will eventually leach out. Hence the need to regularly check tyre pressures. Nitrogen, due to its chemical structure, is slower to leak out than compressed air. Therefore the pressure loss is slower. However that doesn't mean that regular pressure checks can be neglected as there is still the possibility of a puncture or some other form of slow leak.
Nitrogen doesn't react with the metal wheel rim or the tyre materials
Probably true. The presence of oxygen and moisture inside the tyre can cause oxidisation (rust) of the metal components. There is also a suggestion that air reacts with the rubber of the tyre itself, however it is not clear if this is detrimental or in any way reduces the life of the average car tyre. Because nitrogen is a relatively inert gas (though not a member of the 'noble' gas family) and because it is dry, this problem is, in theory, eliminated. However, unless the tyre is evacuated (i.E. The air is removed) before the nitrogen is added, there will still be some air and possibly moisture in the tyre.
Wednesday, March 6th, 2013 AT 10:06 AM