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Old 06-13-2011, 08:36 AM   #1
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Claimed Increased Mileage With N2 Filled Tires

I have a question to put out there concering the claim of better fuel mileage with nitrogen filled tires. And let's keep this civilized, please.

The nitrogen lobby suggests that filling your tires with an extra 15% on nitrogen lets the tires run cooler, and also allows you to get better gas mileage.

So those using nitrogen go down to the local gas station and pay $10 per tire to top of tires off to 50 lbs. cold inflation pressure as the tires specify. Going down the road on a hot day, those tires are supposed to run cooler, so figure they run 52 degrees.

I fill up my tires to 50 lbs. of air from my compressor. Going down the road on a hot, sunny day, my TPMS will sometimes indicate 57 lbs. The tires are made for this increase......that is why the manufacturers indicate an "cold inflation pressure".

So, here is my question: How can tires running at 52 lbs./per sq. inch be getting better gas mileage than tires running 5 lbs. higher ??
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Old 06-13-2011, 09:34 AM   #2
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At the last few (NASCAR) races they put 1/2 lb in the right rear,and Win the race on gas mileage. So that is proof it works! Youroo!!
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Old 06-13-2011, 10:55 AM   #3
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Hi Mtnguy,

From the articles that I've read, it appears that the primary idea behind nitrogen in the tires is to decrease the rate of natural deflation over time. With that theory, a properly inflated tire runs cooler than one that is, say, 5lbs underinflated, both @ max weight capacity.

So if a person buys new tires and never rotates, never rebalances, and never checks the air pressure....nitrogen fill is for them. If a person is like some of us and checks tire pressures on a monthly basis (for our own peace of mind), then there's no need to waste the money on nitrogen.

Here's a few references:

Do Nitrogen-Filled Tires Enhance Fuel-Efficiency?: Scientific American

Interesting article from the NY Times - http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/09/au...es/09MOTO.html

Consumer reports 1 year study - Tires - Nitrogen air loss study

Hope that helps...

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Old 06-13-2011, 11:38 AM   #4
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This topic comes up many times and as always there is far more to the nitrogen story than any of the above. To say waste money and imply that people who use it do not properly maintain their stuff.. you really have no idea of the benefits of nitrogen then do you. Try living where the temps drop to -35 or 40 and see how well regular air works vs nitrogen. The 1st winter we had our 08 Ram 2500 the TPMS sensors always lit up when the temps hit -25 or so (it is not uncommon at -35 to lose over 10lbs of air pressure), fast forward to last winter with nitrogen and the TPMS lite never came on once that is how much better nitrogen is in temp extremes. Also yes them pressures stay more stable at high temps as well. I would much sooner have a tire stay with +_ a couple lbs vs 8 to 10 any day. Maybe alot of the other advertising gimickry for nitrogen is a bunch of you know what but IMO for the few bux I paid to have the truck redone with nitrogen it was worth it. Also around here there are a number of tire shops who put in nitrogen for free now when you get new tires.
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Old 06-13-2011, 04:42 PM   #5
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rthrbelsewhere & TheSasks, both of your posts make sense.

If people regularly monitor their pressure, then N2 is unnecessary. In colder climates, there should be less pressure differences as the temperatures fluctuate with N2, but keeping a handle on compressed air if you use the camper during cold weather will accomplish the same thing......just gotta remember to let some air out come spring.

I know that I have to unplug my TPMS during winter, as the low pressure alarm go off in my truck while sitting in the garage. But come spring, those tires are right back there where they are supposed to be.

I still am under the impression that compressed air should give you better mileage if both tire fill methods use the same "cold inflation pressure".

Thanks, Guys
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Old 06-14-2011, 11:21 AM   #6
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All of us with just air have 78% N already, I read a few months ago that filling with N is not worth it!
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Old 06-14-2011, 03:55 PM   #7
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Another "advantage" of the N2 is it will be dry. No humidity from the ambient air. At extreme temperatures this may cause some issues.

I've had someone who bought a new car tell me the tires must be filled with N2. When I asked her why she told me the dealer gave her some story about TPMS sensors being ruined by the moisture in the compressed air. I told her to go by what the owners manual. (it says nothing about using N2) There may be some truth to that but that would mean that if you got a flat tire on a rainy day the sensor would be ruined.
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Old 06-14-2011, 06:08 PM   #8
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" here is my question: How can tires running at 52 lbs./per sq. inch be getting better gas mileage than tires running 5 lbs. higher ?? "
==============================================
Excellent question. Obvious answer is that they won't.
This nitrogen gimmick is just another way of seperating people from their money.
I had to chuckle at the claim that "pure" nitrogen makes a HUGE difference in cold weather. The difference between air that is already 78% nitrogen and pure nitrogen isn't worth the hassle and cost.
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Old 06-14-2011, 06:22 PM   #9
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It is actually very difficult to get pure nitrogen in a tire. You would have to evacuate every bit of the air inside of the tire during installation, which would be next to impossible......you would have to suck the air out and bring the tire down to wheel size. About the best you can hope for would be a 95% nitrogen fill.
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Old 07-11-2011, 01:20 PM   #10
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What I read it is not worth fooling with N2. The air in the tire is 78% N2 as is. What would you expect with full N2? I read that it is not worth the bother! I read that in one of the mags, Trailer Life, Highways or Escapee, as they are the only ones I receive. It was in the past few months.
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