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Nitrogen Vs. Air: Which is Best For Your Tires?

Front side view of close-up of tires bunched together

Nitrogen or air? Which is best to fill up your tires with? You’re met with many decisions when owning a vehicle, and you may not always know the route to go down, but our team here at Southside Dodge is here to help you make an informed decision. You’re obviously aware that air is used to fill your tires, but you may not know that nitrogen can be used as well. How do they differ, what’re their pros and cons? Follow along with us as we compare the two over their advantages and disadvantages, and help you make the best decision for you and your vehicle.

Tire Pressure

Tire pressure is the main benefit for nitrogen-filled tires. The molecules of nitrogen are larger than those in air, thus these slow-moving nitrogen molecules will take longer to escape from your tire than air will. That allows you to maintain the proper desired tire pressure in your tires longer, especially pertinent for those who don’t check it as often (or don’t even know how). Proper tire pressure not only helps your tire last longer and provide better handling, but can also contribute to better fuel efficiency.

Cost

This is a big plus in the corner of air. You can find air to inflate your tires pretty much anywhere, whether it’s at a gas station, car wash, dealership or even just at home, and all at a minimal cost or free. Nitrogen, on the other hand, is a different story, as it’s nowhere near as readily available, and may not even be, and if you do find a dedicated filling location it will cost you much more. As a last resort, and to answer a popular question, yes, you can mix air and nitrogen together, if you need a quick top up, but that creates a diluted product that isn’t able to perform at its intended potential. If cost is an issue for you, then the traditional air-filled tire is the way to go.

Fuel Efficiency

Which of these, nitrogen or air, provides better fuel economy than the other? This factor is a little more nuanced, and comes out to a tie, as neither one has far-and-above benefits that help it more than the other. The biggest factor with your tires in ensuring you get the best fuel efficiency possible is making sure you’re always running on properly inflated tires. If you’re good about checking your tire pressure often and top it off when needed, you’re more than set with air-filled tires. If you often forget to check your tire pressure and go long periods without looking at it, nitrogen-filled tires are best for you as they slow tire pressure loss.

Front-on view of line of tires in front of the sky

Nitrogen-Filled Vs. Air-Filled Verdict & Summary

You now know some of the biggest pros and cons between air and nitrogen tires, so which one should you use? There’s no one right answer, as it all depends on your situation and how you drive your vehicle. Read on below and see which category you fall under:

Choose Air-Filled Tires If:

  • You check your tire pressure often.
  • You want to be cost effective.
  • You want the convenience of being able to fill up your tires practically anywhere.
  • You drive your car everyday and consistently maintain it.

Choose Nitrogen-Filled Tires If:

  • You don’t check your tire pressure that often.
  • Extra cost in exchange for not having to check your tires as often is worth it to you.
  • You drive a sports car that is often used on a racetrack.
  • You go long periods without driving your vehicle.

If you have any more questions about nitrogen vs. air, and which one you should fill the tires of your vehicle with, our service team here at Southside Dodge is more than happy to help you with whatever you need.

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Why Regular Maintenance Is So Important

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