Nitrogen inflation is unique from traditional compressed air inflation in several ways. Nitrogen maintains a tire’s inflation pressure longer than compressed air. This stability is possible because Nitrogen consists of larger molecules that do not seep out of a tire as quickly as compressed air. Proper inflation reduces a tire’s rolling resistance, which improves gas mileage, and increases tire life.
Nitrogen inflation also allows tires to run cooler. Under inflated tires flex and bend more when rolling. This additional movement generates heat. Heat is a tire’s worst enemy because it accelerates tire wear. Nitrogen seeps less than compressed air, so it is less likely to cause under inflation.
Nitrogen inflated tires also run cooler because nitrogen is an inert gas. The air inside a tire expands when heated and contracts when cooled. Typically, one p.s.i. (pound per square inch) is lost for every ten degree change in temperature. Being inert means that Nitrogen will fluctuate less despite temperature changes producing more stable inflation pressures.
Nitrogen causes less oxidation and reduced rim and wheel corrosion than compressed air. Compressed air comprises of 78% Nitrogen, 21% Oxygen, 0.9% Argon and 0.1% miscellaneous gases. Compressed air also contains moisture that reacts with and deteriorates rubber while corroding rims and wheels. This damage causes air to seep from a tire more quickly making it very difficult to maintain appropriate inflation pressures.
Nitrogen avoids several of compressed air’s disadvantages. Its ability to maintain inflation pressures longer over time results in extended tire life; improved fuel economy; and reduced tire aging — benefits that help reduce vehicle operating cost.