You may have heard about filling your tires up with nitrogen instead of regular air. But, does it really make a difference what you fill them with?
Believe it or not, using nitrogen to fill your tires has some benefits. They’ll last longer, and you won’t lose pressure as fast. However, a lot of people wonder whether they’re able to mix air and nitrogen.
You can use a mixture of air and nitrogen in your tires as long as you do not exceed the recommended tire pressure. However, the benefits of using nitrogen will decrease as more air is added to the tire.
Either way, you won’t have 100% nitrogen in your tires, even after filling them with it. That’s because they use a nitrogen-oxygen mix when filling them up.
You’ll still have some oxygen in your tires after filling them with nitrogen.
What Happens If You Mix Nitrogen and Air in a Tire?
Let’s say you’ve put nitrogen in your tires and went on a road trip. You get to your destination, only to realize one of them is a little low.
Should you fill them up with air if there’s no nitrogen available?
Yes, don’t worry about damaging your tires by mixing nitrogen and air. It’s much better to drive on properly inflated tires, even if they’re full of air.
Mixing them isn’t going to harm your tires at all. But, it may decrease the nitrogen’s effectiveness, since it’ll be less concentrated.
Using nitrogen has benefits, but fully-inflated tires are more important. Don’t drive on them unless they’ve been totally filled, up to the recommended pressure.
That’s going to have a much bigger impact on them than what gas you’re using.
Benefits of Using Nitrogen
Why would someone fill their tires with nitrogen instead of regular air? There are a few reasons nitrogen performs better when you’ve got it in your tires.
Everyone knows their tires last longer if they’re kept at their ideal pressure. However, most tires slowly lose air as soon as they’re full.
That’s why so many people drive on underinflated tires without realizing it.
Putting nitrogen in your tires could prevent that from happening. Since its molecules are larger than the ones in the air, leaks aren’t as common when using nitrogen.
It’s harder for nitrogen molecules to escape from the tire once you’ve put them inside of it.
As such, you won’t notice decreased pressure nearly as often if you’ve got nitrogen in your tires.
Maintaining proper pressure has a ton of benefits for your tires, too. They’ll last longer if they’re not low on pressure. Plus, you’ll be way less likely to have a blowout when they’re fully inflated.
You can even tell a difference in how a vehicle handles when its tires are full. That’s why nitrogen seems like it’s so popular now.
It doesn’t leak as much, so your vehicle handles better. Filling them up with nitrogen makes even more sense if you’re busy.
It’s not always easy to check your tire pressure when you’re heading out the door. If you don’t always check, then using nitrogen would be a good idea.
Your tires won’t lose as much pressure, so you don’t have to check them as often.
If you’ve had issues with underinflated tires, try using nitrogen next time. You probably won’t have the same problems if you’re using that, instead.
Where to Fill up Your Tires With Nitrogen
Obviously, nitrogen has a few advantages, compared to regular air. Where can you go to get nitrogen put in your tires, though?
More places have begun offering nitrogen to their customers. But, you may have to look around for somewhere nearby that has it.
We’d recommend calling a few tire centers near your place to see if they have it. Usually, they’ve got nitrogen they can give to their customers.
You’ll need to pay them if you’d like their help filling your tires, though.
Another place you can find nitrogen for your tires is at a dealership. You could even try calling the one where you purchased your car, originally.
They may be willing to fill up your tires with nitrogen for free. A few retailers also have nitrogen that you can use on your tires.
Give Costco a call if there’s one close to home. They’ll only charge you a few dollars per tire, and it’s free if they’re Costco tires.
It might take a couple of phone calls to find a place that has nitrogen. But, you can use them multiple times once you’ve figured out where to go.
That’s why we’d recommend looking for more than one place to get nitrogen.
Sometimes, one of them may be out. You could still go to another place if you need to reinflate your tires, though.
How Much Does It Cost to Fill Your Tires With Nitrogen?
The biggest betterment for most people is going to be how much it costs.
Filling up your tires with compressed air never costs more than a couple of dollars.
And, that’s what it costs to fill up all 4 of them.
You’ll definitely spend more if you’re filling them up with nitrogen. It’s not too expensive, but it’s quite a bit more than regular air.
Each store sets its own prices when it comes to nitrogen refills. Most of them will charge around $5 per tire.
So, if you need to fill all 4 of them, it might cost $20. You shouldn’t expect to pay more than $30 if they’re all flat.
There is one exception to this cost, though. Converting tires from regular air to nitrogen can be way more expensive.
That’s because they’ve got to purge all the existing air out of the tires.
To be effective, your tire’s nitrogen concentration must be above 93%. That’s why they have to deflate them when you’re switching from air to nitrogen. Otherwise, you wouldn’t get enough nitrogen to make a difference.
Switching from regular air to nitrogen can be over $100 per tire. You can find places where they’ll do it for as little as $70, though.
Most of the time, you’ll receive a discount if you’re doing more than one tire. You could end up spending $180 if you’re only converting a single tire to nitrogen.
Is Putting Nitrogen in Your Tires Worth It?
Seeing how much it costs to fill them with nitrogen might force you to ask if it’s worthwhile. You could fill them up with regular air while spending a fraction of the money.
Nitrogen tends to pay for itself because it extends tire lifespan. Since it doesn’t leak as fast, your tires won’t deflate as often.
Driving on them when they’re inflated doesn’t wear them out as quickly. So, putting nitrogen in them can make them last a lot longer.
Also, using nitrogen can improve your car’s fuel economy. Not only does it keep your tires inflated, but it’s also lighter than regular air.
So, your car won’t be as heavy when you’ve put nitrogen in its tires.