If you don't spend a lot of time thinking about your SUV tires, maybe what follows will give you some reason to do so.
Something new that may, or may not, catch on is filling tires with nitrogen. Let’s say a rough ballpark figure would be that the air we breathe is three-quarters nitrogen anyway, but proponents of nitrogen inflation will tell you a tire full of pure nitrogen will enjoy many benefits.
Many tire shops and race teams already do it by using a filter system to separate the nitrogen from ambient air. The claims are that, through better retention, tires remain fully inflated longer because the nitrogen will not slowly escape through the tire walls.
Pure nitrogen will not heat up as much, so the rolling resistance is reduced.
A cooler tire is a longer lasting tire and nitrogen will not contribute to rust on the insides of wheels or valve stems.
But, is it worth it?
It costs money to completely fill your tires with nitrogen. Let’s face it, there is always going to be roughly 75% nitrogen content coming through the free air hose at your garage or fuel stop, anyway.
And, if the nitrogen won’t escape the tire wall that wouldn't that mean that only the oxygen escapes, and the next time you top up your tires your nitrogen content would increase?
Debate is heating up over nitrogen, I have a close friend that deals in it so I enjoy the passionate debates that ensue with a broaching of the topic.
Popular consensus at this stage is that tires are designed to be filled with ambient air, wheels and valves are designed to resist a little bit of rust. However, if you are like my wife is about her SUV tires, you probably like to try anything that can save a little money, keep you a little safer and help the environment a little bit. At the moment, charges seem to be on average $7.00 per tire to fill up on nitrogen each time.
My argument is this; if you check your tires consistently, you should not need nitrogen. Especially at seven bucks a wheel!
If your tire shop does have a nitrogen system, try to get a deal where they top up your tires in the future free of charge to service the SUV tires you purchased from them. You shouldn’t need many top-ups if nitrogen never escapes the tire walls. Maybe that’s a way of selling it to them?
Although, I believe that these nitrogen systems cost between five and twelve thousand dollars, so my guess is that they have not spent that money as charity.
Note: Tireguy reserves the right to vent about certain tire-related, marital issues rather than face the issue at home where his wife appears to be the boss. A non-hospitable sleeping environment within Rex’s (Tireguy’s loyal canine) house also contributes to his hesitation to disagree with his wife’s opinion. Until such a time that Rex’s snoring and fleas are cured, Tireguy might occasionally bring up tire-related issues from home on this site.
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