Q & A: Inflating Tires With Nitrogen?

Q. My tire dealer recommends using nitrogen to fill my tires because he
says that nitrogen’s larger molecules don’t seep through the tire’s rubber as quickly, but
it is quite expensive. What do you think of it?

 

A. We will defer to
Michelin, which has done extensive research on this matter. Michelin says that loss of
pressure due to air permeation through the tire is not the only cause of tire pressure
loss. “The existence of several other possible sources of leaks (tire/rim interface, valve,
valve/rim interface and the wheel) prevents the guarantee of better pressure maintenance
for individuals using nitrogen inflation.” Therefore, we think the cost/benefit ratio is
not favorable.

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