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Nitrogen Tire Inflation

Discussion in 'General Chevy & GM Tech Questions' started by 1flyfisher, Nov 21, 2010.

  1. 1flyfisher

    1flyfisher New Member

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    I bought my BFG T/A KO's at Costco and they fill all their tires with nitrogen.
    Apparently the nitrogen molecule is of a larger size and this reduces air loss through the pores of the tire.

    Are there any other benefits?
    Thoughts?
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  2. The_Duke

    The_Duke New Member

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    From what I read on the web and I would tend to agree.

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  3. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Moderator

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    Nitrogen is an inert gas that slows the formation of corrosion inside the wheels.
    The bit about it being a fat molecule isnt really accurate, I ran a cryogenic gasseous spectra analyzer testing different types of gasses that we produced with cryogenic pumps (mostly Aviators Breathing Oxygen and Nitrogen) for the Navy at one of my duty stations for a few years and I can tell you from experience and the tech manuals that oxygen and nitrogen molecules are the same size (roughly since every molecule differs in size).
    A benefit of nitrogen due to its low moisture and oxygen content is it isnt affected by temperatures and remains more stable than pressurized air when used in tires.
    Aircraft have been using nitrogen vice air for years due to the rapid heating and cooling on tires during take-offs and landings.
    I've yet to see any factual data that it increases fuel mileage though.
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  4. wis bang

    wis bang New Member

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    I've seen trade publications on this. The real benefit is to long haul truckers who re-tread their tires a few times. The lack of moisture is the key issue as it limits wheel corrosion and that helps keep the wheels inflated. Also truckers usually check tire pressure during regular PM inspections and use other technology to keep tire pressure where it belongs to limit heat induced 'zipper' failures caused by the imbalance of dual tires causing extra sidewall flex and fatigue of the tire with greater pressure.

    Several studies have shown that it doesn't help gas mileage. Your best key to mileage is a tire pressure gauge used on a regular basis.

    On the other hand; this is becoming the latest item displayed at the new car stealerships giving them another reason to reach deeper into the average person's pocket.
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  5. 1flyfisher

    1flyfisher New Member

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    Here's some info from tirerack on nitrogen tire inflation.
    Since it is available to me from costco at no cost I will stick with it and maybe I'll maintain better consistent tire inflation as the temperatures drop and less often having to fill them/top them off and less tire wear.
    I have chrome wheels so the nitrogen may have some benefits against corrosion of the inner wheels.
    http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=191
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2010
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  6. stephan

    stephan New Member

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    Yep, & if the governments "Cap & Trade" (Crap & Tax) passes, we will all be required to use nitrogen I'm sure. Not so bad for the anti-corrosion properties, but I can just see the lines of cars in small towns where there is only ONE SUPPLIER with one pump for miles around who is legally authorized by the government to pump up your tires for you..ha ha ha
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  7. randomsandwhich

    randomsandwhich New Member

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    I will continue to use compressed air. It's done its job for many years, with minimal if any increase in gas mileage and no real hard evidence that it is proven to be better. I won't switch to nitrogen, until my local gas station offers it and I can buy my own nitrogen filling compressor for my own garage. I have no need to spend any money to fill my tires with.
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  8. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Moderator

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    Ingersoll-Rand offers portable and stationary Nitrogen servicing systems for home use, a little expensive at this time.
    I agree I've never had problems with regular old air in my tires and I'll continue to use it as long as I dont have to pay extra for it.
    My wife has Nitrogen in her HHR tires and during the last service they offered to fill them to the proper pressures for $20, needless to say she brough =t the car home and had me service the tires with my air compressor.
    #8
  9. wis bang

    wis bang New Member

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    Since 70% of that compressed air IS nitrogen, you won't be diluting it much...
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  10. stephan

    stephan New Member

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    LOL Tim, glad your wife is smarter than most. Not only would my past w/gfs have fallen for the new nitro b.s. & happily paid $40. for the fill, they'd have been so excited, they'd have been out there waving people in off the street to buy some ha ha ha:rofl:
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  11. Bigbomber

    Bigbomber New Member

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    Hey stephan I don't know why your laughin.This kind of stuff will probably happen.
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  12. 1flyfisher

    1flyfisher New Member

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    LOL, Yeah no way in hell would you ever want to PAY for nitrogen for your tires but if it is FREE then I will continue to take advantage of it and IF there are any benefits then that is ok. I see no disadvantage to it and the benefits might be slight. But never pay for a nitrogen fill that would be a complete rip off..


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  13. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis New Member

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    Hey, I will fill your tires with 78% nitrogen for just $1 each-can't beat that!!

    If N2 does leak a bit more slowly than O2 then over time as the O2 leaks and is replaces with 80% N2 you would eventually end up with a N2 concentration of over 78%.
    In theory over time the conc of N2 will increase as the O2 leaks out faster.In fact I suspect the leaking differential is so small that it doesn't matter.
    Now the H20-can promote corrosion if O2 is present- in humid climates like Louisiana it could be 3%-6% of the air at times.At 99 degrees the partial pressure of H20 is 47mm- 47/760 so at 100% humidity 47/760 =6% Now most cars have aluminum wheels-not too big a deal for a little corrosion/

    It is mainly a gimmick for cars-a way to make a $$.
    Charlie
    PS I take that back-I'll put 100% N2 in for $1 wheel-how will you know that I'm pumping in 78%-I'll mark my tank 100% N2- I have a special "filter" in my compressor- it "catches" the N2!!
    #13
  14. stephan

    stephan New Member

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    You're right Bigbomber. I guess I was laughin to keep from cryin, cuz I can see it happening all around me in all areas of our everyday lives. People keep voting these controlling mutts into government without doing their homework first & seeing what they really stand for & what they are doing. And the elected mutts just keep legislating our cars, trucks, our sport & our freedoms out of existence.
    $20. for a nitrogen fill won't keep most of us from driving, but what about when it's $50. or $75.? They can covertly keep us from driving by raising the cost of everything associated with it, gas/diesel prices, registration fees, higher insurance cost, tire tax, tire disposal fees, battery tax & disposal, mileage tax, luxury tax, gas guzzler tax on new vehicles. It just never ends.:grrrrrr:
    #14
  15. 1flyfisher

    1flyfisher New Member

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    LOL, Nitrogen is Free at Costco and a bunch of other tire stores, Les Schwab, Tires Plus, DIscount tires etc.
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  16. stephan

    stephan New Member

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    Where do you live? It's not free here. It's free with new tires IF you bought them from the mutt who is supplying the N, but after that it costs $$$ no matter where you go.
    My buddy bought 4 tires from Costco, (free N. fill "I think") but it is 45 miles away to go back (90 miles round trip)..ha ha ha
    #16
  17. 1flyfisher

    1flyfisher New Member

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    I bought my tires at costco in reno, nv. There are 2 costco's in reno, you just pull up to the garage bays and they come right up and fill them up for you, they have free nitrogen refills, lifetime rotations and wheel balancing, lifetime warranty. I imagine if you tried to go to another tire store where you didn't get your tires they might try and ding you for $$$ if you need some air in your tires and you asked for nitro. Retailers are trying to squeeze any dollar out of your pocket they can these days. I go to gas stations around here and all over and you have to pay for regular air or water. They have machines that supply air/water and you have to feed it quarters. If I didn't have the free costco/nitrogen I'd just buy a Slime tire inflator for $50 and not have to deal with that hassle.


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  18. stephan

    stephan New Member

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    Yep, same here as far as having to pay for air & water with the little quarter machines at the gas stations. Reno's great. You're lucky. I love that place. I used to come down there all the time for the Porsche schools.

    I also just bought a set of BFG all terrain TA/KOs but haven't got my wheels polished out yet, so I haven't mounted them yet. Have you driven yours far enough to get any impressions? Are they noisy on asphalt/concrete highways/roads? Are they noisier at any patricular speeds?
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2010
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  19. 1flyfisher

    1flyfisher New Member

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    I have been running the BFG's since the early 90's on a Jeep and now on this GMC Savana you can see in the pics.
    http://www.gmtruckclub.com/forum/showthread.php?53541-2010-gmc-savana-awd
    I got close to 70K from them on the 94 jeep grand cherokee I used to have. I love them. They got me through some wicked deep snow up at Lake Tahoe every week and got my ass to the ski resorts 8 am for pow days.
    On this Savana I am very happy I stuck with them and bought them again. I looked at Good Year Silent Armours, Toyo Open Country's, Nitto's Grapplers, Michelin LTX at's all of which are very good tires but I took the safe bet and bought what I know. These tires are running beautiful on this van I couldn't be happier as they are running nice and straight with no vibration or anything at ANY speed. They are quiet. I got heavy on the peddle accidentally and got my vehicle up to 90. It felt like I was doing 50. I couldn't even tell I was going so fast as the vehicle rode so smooth with them. Now I don't know if that is due entirely to the tires or the vehicle... more likely both. So They drive great on the highway and get me through the off roads I drive on constantly to get in the boonies for flyfishing. I have yet to drive them in the deep snow with this 2010 vehicle but with my jeep they were great. In all the years I have run them and beat on them I have never had a tire fail in any way so I am a big fan.
    You'll love them.
    #19
  20. stephan

    stephan New Member

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    Thanks Flyfisher, It's nice to get a good report on the BFGs' as I've never owned a set before. I saw the photos of your van over at the other thread & it is NICE.:great:
    #20

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