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Westcoaster

Using Nitrogen to fill tires

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I see that this is becoming more common these days and appearently for good reasons, I have read that it is superior to air in many ways, at least in tires that is!

1) does a new car from Porsche come with nitrogen filled tires?

2) is there an easy way to change out the air and replace it with nitrogen (without loosing the bead seal)?

Cheers!

Edited by Westcoaster

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I think you are taking what you have read about nitrogen in tires WAY too seriously.

While roadracing motorcycles for years we used Nitrogen to fill shocks as it was pure, non flamable, and contained no moisture. We were aware of use for tires but why??? Nitrogen is basicly air with the O and other trace gases impurities and moisture removed. I would worry much more about the purity of the air you breathe than what goes in your tires.

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I use nitrogen fill in my tires. I like it a lot. I just got done with a 6-month winter hibernation, with NO flat spotting and the tires only "lost" about 2-3 PSI during the storage period. Prior to storage, the tires were overinflated to 58-59 pounds.

Many local tires store do the nitrogen flush & fill for about $20. That's about one week's allowance for Starbucks!.

Costco fills all new tires with nitrogen.

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Air is about 80% nitrogen. The oxygen molecules in air are smaller than the nitrogen molecules, so the oxygen escapes from the tire faster.

So if you inflate your tires 120% the oxygen molecules will escape and you are left with 100% nitrogen.

Free nitrogen for your tires....

Costco, from when I had my 1988 Toyota truck tires put on.

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This whole Nitrogen thing is smoke and mirrors, save your money or invest in better tires for the money saved. It's about the moisture, absolutly nothing to do with the gas. Clean dry, -60 dew point, air is just as good as Nitrogen. The stuff they use on the bead of the tire for mounting contains water, so even if they use Nitrogen, it is wet and no better than plain air. I'm really tired of hearing about people buying into this urban myth and getting taken by this scam.

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This whole Nitrogen thing is smoke and mirrors, save your money or invest in better tires for the money saved. It's about the moisture, absolutly nothing to do with the gas. Clean dry, -60 dew point, air is just as good as Nitrogen. The stuff they use on the bead of the tire for mounting contains water, so even if they use Nitrogen, it is wet and no better than plain air. I'm really tired of hearing about people buying into this urban myth and getting taken by this scam.

Ray, if it's a scam then the car manufacturers are propagating it as well! This on a brand new car...

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Hey, has anyone tried Argon? Argon is used in scuba diving to inflate a dry suit, because it has low thermal conductivity and “keeps you warmer”, also energy efficient windows as a thermal insulator. The tire pressure should not change as much with temperature, and it helps prevent oxidation that ages tires, but who keeps them that long. Argon is also inexpensive since it is a byproduct of the production of liquid oxygen and liquid nitrogen. It also has over twice the atomic weight of nitrogen and oxygen and is very inert.

If anyone has tried it, it would probably be Tool Pants. Hey T.P. what do you think?

:lol:

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First Argon is not inexpensive, not sure of actual cost but it is on orders of magnitude more expensive than Nitrogen, no contest. Coefficient of expansion of all gasses is close enough to be considered equal. Thermal conductivity is margionally better (lower) but could you tell the difference in a dry suit. I'd be suprised.

Second, I'm continually amazed at the fact that people continue to throw their money away on this marketing crap. I'm a retired engineer having worked for a major industrial gas company and currently working at a state university as a research scientist. I continue to tell people of their folly but they seem insensed to throw their money away. Well feel free, but don't say I didn't tell you so.

Edited by RayGT3

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If I had TMPS I would buy it. It takes a lot longer for nitrogen to leak out and cause a low pressure warning light on the dash. You could get around that by simply checking your tire pressure more often but 99% of the public is driving around on tires at least 5-10 psi low because they never check their pressures.

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First Argon is not inexpensive, not sure of actual cost but it is on orders of magnitude more expensive than Nitrogen, no contest. Coefficient of expansion of all gasses is close enough to be considered equal. Thermal conductivity is margionally better (lower) but could you tell the difference in a dry suit. I'd be suprised.

Second, I'm continually amazed at the fact that people continue to throw their money away on this marketing crap. I'm a retired engineer having worked for a major industrial gas company and currently working at a state university as a research scientist. I continue to tell people of their folly but they seem insensed to throw their money away. Well feel free, but don't say I didn't tell you so.

Wow! Thanks for this info. I'm gonna forward it to NASCAR so all those teams can stop wasting money.

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Ray:

First I agree that anything but air is a waste of money.

But if you must, for that .001 second, I still would use Argon.

An average tire is about 35 cubic foot of gas at 32 PSI.

A lot of welding supply shops sell both Nitrogen and Argon.

20 cents per cubic foot of Nitrogen and 42 cents for Argon.

Or about $7 per tire for Nitrogen and $15 for Argon.

Argon will add a little more weight however 1666 grams v/s 1225 for Nitrogen or Air,

but as a gas, for this purpose, it's properties are much better I would think.

But my question still goes unanswered, if your going to waste your money

why not Argon?

:huh:

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In my opinion you can use whatever gas you'd like as long as it is dry. It's the play of water that is responsible for the majority of tire inflation maladies. There's some that don't like the Oxygen in air commenting on how it degrades the elastomer (actually Ozone), that is a somewhat a true statement. The only thing one must consider is time. If you have a show queen and never expect to change the tires over the next twenty or more years, use Nitrogen. But the tire outside will just dryrot before the insides. The effect of Oxygen over the average 3 year lifespan of todays tires is of no consideration. It is very difficult to get all the moisture or air, for that matter, out of a tire being filled. At best you can expect to get most but normally you just get rid of some of the moisture by several iterations of filling and refilling. So what is the gain? Getting rid of any moisture is a good thing.

This whole thing caught on by racing teams dragging Nitrogen bottles to a racetrack to fill tires. And the reason they used these bottles was it is easier to bring the bottles than a chiller and compressor for clean dry air to use in their "air" tools and tires. Nitrogen was and is cheap, dry and convenient. Using air tools with wet air you could encounter the tool actually freezing from the compressed gas expanding (cooling) and the entrained water in the gas.

As to the Argon question, not sure what advantage this might have over dry air. As you mention, if you're going to spend the money, why not Argon? As I refered to above, use whatever gas you want so long as it is dry. As to the expansion differences between the gasses, there is no relative difference, gas laws apply here. There is some small difference in thermoconductivity but can't really relate this to tire performance.

I have tried to explain this overly promoted and seemingly personal issue that always seems to poke its ugly head up from time to time. If you might have any comments or questions, they would be certainly be welcome.

Edited by RayGT3

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As I refered to above, use whatever gas you want so long as it is dry. As to the expansion differences between the gasses, there is no relative difference, gas laws apply here. There is some small difference in thermoconductivity but can't really relate this to tire performance.

I have tried to explain this overly promoted and seemingly personal issue that always seems to poke its ugly head up from time to time. If you might have any comments or questions, they would be certainly be welcome.

If you wanted to have a "performance" improvement, you should fill with Helium.

It has great thermal conductivity, would reduce unsprung weight and of course would cost even more for that enhanced snob appeal.

Especially if you buy Semiconductor Grade or 6-9's purity.

regards,

Salty

(A practicing engineer, one day maybe I'll get it right)

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This whole thing caught on by racing teams dragging Nitrogen bottles to a racetrack to fill tires. And the reason they used these bottles was it is easier to bring the bottles than a chiller and compressor for clean dry air to use in their "air" tools and tires.

Well that clears it up for me. I just didn't realize that plain ole dried air was so much more expensive to bottle than a single element.

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FYI I use nitrogen on my Radical's tyres at the track. With nitrogen, the tyre pressures do not fluctuate as much as when the they are filled with air. But the MAIN reason I use nitrogen is that the race car is fitted with airjacks. This makes for fast tyre changes during pit stops: plug in the nitro lance and the car is raised in a split second. I need about 250 bar of pressure to raise the car and the nitro bottles are filled to around 320 bar. If the nitro bottle is in the pits, it makes life much easier to fill the tyres with the same gas, otherwise I need to carry more bottles and/or a compressor.

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