Category Archives: Tire Inflation

Nitrogen Filled Tires

Air is 78 percent nitrogen, just under 21 percent oxygen, and the rest is water vapor, CO2 and small concentrations of gases such as neon and argon.How important is it to have nitrogen filled tires. Nitrogen is less likely to migrate through tire rubber than is oxygen, which means that your tire pressures will remain more stable over the long term.  Humidity (water) is a Bad Thing to have inside a tire. Water, present as a vapor or even as a liquid in a tire, causes more of a pressure change with temperature swings than dry air does. It also promotes corrosion of the steel or aluminum rim. Some air pumps at stations do not check for moisture in the tank To check if moisture is in the line have moisture in line depress the tire chuck’s valve with your thumbnail and vent some air. If your thumb gets wet, there’s water in the line.

Nitrogen fill systems deliver pure dry nitrogen. Filling tires with nitrogen involves filling and purging several times in succession, serially diluting the concentration of oxygen in the tire. This will also remove any water. It is time-consuming, for a tire technician to fill and bleed tires. But most shops use a machine that not only generates almost pure nitrogen by straining the oxygen out of shop-compressed air, but will also automatically go through several purge cycles unattended. This may cost a few bucks maybe as much as $30.00 but if you’re buying a new tires, it should be far less.

Finding tire shops with nitrogen could be an issue, A recent study revealed America’s Tire Co., Discount Tire and Walmart do not.

Is Nitrogen Worth It?  Based on cost, convenience and actual performance benefit, it is questionable. A much better use of your money would be to buy a good tire-pressure gauge and check your tires frequently even if you have a tire-pressure monitoring system. The warning lights aren’t required to come on until you have less than 25 percent of the recommended tire pressure. Having the correct tire pressure will get you many of the benefits of using nitrogen and will ensure that your tires last longer.

Tire Pressure Monitoring System

                        Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems

The tire industry first in Europe and more recently in the United Sates have introduced an electronic tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) designed to monitor the air pressure in tires. TPMS either via a gauge, a pictogram display, or a simple low-pressure warning light warn the drivers when tire pressure in low. TPMS are provided both at an OEM (factory) level as well as an aftermarket solution.

Tire pressure monitoring systems continuously monitor the pressure in the tires through sensors located in the tires (direct system) or the use of wheel speed and other vehicle sensors (indirect system). The information collected by the sensors is transmitted to an on-board processor that interprets the sensor signals and warns the driver when tire pressure is below the minimum acceptable level by illuminating a warning lamp.

TPMS warning lamp on the instrument panel illuminates while driving, it means that the system has detected at least one tire with a pressure below the accepted minimum psi for the vehicle. The tires should be inspected. The lamp will extinguish after the tires are properly inflated.

On cold mornings, the warning lamp may illuminate for a short period of time and then extinguish. This type of warning lamp response is likely caused by marginally low tire pressure that dips below the warning threshold over-night but rises to an acceptable level as the tires heat up through vehicle operation or an increase in ambient temperature. The tires should be inspected and the tire pressure should be checked. The lamp should not illuminate when the tires are properly inflated.

TPMS warning icon may also light up due to malfunction from : sensor batteries can become discharged and fail, installing the incorrect valve core (TPMS sensors require a special nickel-plated valve core), tire changing procedures can damage a TPMS sensor;

pulling a stem out of the wheel will lead to a broken sensor, over tightening a new sensor valve will result in a broke and road hazards – collisions, potholes, curbs – can damage the TPMS system. In all cases when the icon appears have your vehicle serviced.

Correct Tire Inflation

Correct Tire Inflation is critical for the following reasons:

1. Fuel savings: It has been reported that for every 10% of under-inflation on each tire on a vehicle, a 1% reduction in fuel economy will occur. In the United States alone, the Department of Transportation estimates that under inflated tires waste 2 billion US gallons (7,600,000 m3) of fuel each year.

2. Extended tire life: Under inflated tires are the #1 cause of tire failure and contribute to tire disintegration, heat buildup, ply separation and sidewall/casing breakdowns. A difference of 10 lbs. in pressure on a set of truck duals literally drags the lower pressured tire 13 feet per mile resulting in reduced tread life. Under inflation can significantly reduce the number of casings that can re-treaded. Over inflation  wears excessively in the center of the tread

3. Safety: Under-inflated tires lead to tread separation and tire failure, resulting in 40,000 accidents, 33,000 injuries and over 650 deaths per year. Properly inflated add greater stability, handling and braking efficiencies. Not all tire failures are caused by under-inflation. Structural damages caused, for example, by hitting sharp curbs or potholes, can also lead to sudden tire failures, even a certain time after the damaging incident.

4 .Environmental Efficiency: Under-inflated tires, as estimated by the Department of Transportation, release over 57.5 billion pounds of unnecessary carbon-monoxide pollutants into the atmosphere each year in the United States alone.

Cold temperatures affect the air pressure in your tires. There is a loss of one pound for each ten degrees of temperature drop.

Check pressure when tires are cold having been sitting for a few hours. Low profile tires do not necessary look underinflated so check your tire regularly.

Under normal loads, you should inflate tires according to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations, NOT the maximum pressure listed on the sidewall.