If you fill your tires with nitrogen will you save gas? Many nitrogen advocates say yes. Here is the reasoning behind their answer.
A significant factor in poor fuel economy is under inflated tires. The EPA agency that monitors fuel usage has found that properly inflated tires can improve gas mileage by 3 percent. The EPA also estimates that 30% of the cars on the road have at least one tire under inflated.
It is estimated that drivers in the US aggregately loose more than 2 million gallons of gas every day due to under inflated tires. Decreased air pressure causes the tire to flatten which creates more surface area between the tire and the road. The greater surface area increases friction which causes the engine work harder.
When an engine has to work harder it burns more gas. More tire surface due to under inflation means it takes more power to roll that tire. More power needed means less fuel economy. A tire that is correctly inflated is going to roll more easily using less power from the engine and less gas.
How does all of this relate to nitrogen? It has to do with how tires loose pressure. As has been described earlier under inflated tires require the engine to burn more gas. But why do tires become under inflated? It is a common characteristic of all tires, they loose air over time. That doesn’t mean you have a leak.
Permeable materials are used in making tires. The permeable material allows the small oxygen molecules in the air to escape from the tires over time. As the small molecules of air permeate out of the tire it results in the tire becoming under inflated. It is an malady that all tires suffer from. It is why car experts maintain that you need to check your tire pressure every month.
The pro nitrogen camp suggests that tires inflated with nitrogen loose pressure 3 times slower than tires with air in them. This is explained by basic science. Nitrogen has a higher density than oxygen. Because of that, nitrogen has larger molecules than oxygen. The larger molecules of nitrogen will not filter through the permeable material in the tire as easily as the smaller oxygen molecules. . That results in a slower loss of tire pressure over time.
Your car’s tires will maintain themselves at full pressure longer when filled with nitrogen because the gas loss through the tire is so much slower. The result is tires that roll with less friction, and that translates into less gasoline needed to move your car which means better fuel economy.
The price to fill your tires with nitrogen is around $40.00 per set of 4 tires. Is it worth $40.00? Those who support nitrogen as a substitute for air say absolutely it is. There is, however another side to this issue. There are those that argue that it is not worth $40.00. It might be worthwhile to find out why critics of nitrogen suggest not using it before you commit to spending that $40.00.