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Old 03-03-2010, 12:39 AM   #1
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Nitrogen in tires, did I get hosed?

Ok so I took my car to get nitrogen in the tires because pressure was going below 30 in very cold temps and I didn't want them going above 36 during the summer.

Maybe I don't understand how nitrogen works, but one of my tires still dipped below 30 when it got to around 15 degrees, and was at 35 when it was 55 degrees out.

Did they just put green caps on and steal my money or what?
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Old 03-03-2010, 12:42 AM   #2
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Nitrogen is more stable at pressure than what is used normally in your tends to not fluctuate as much per se.

Not a bad call...unless they just put green caps on.
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Old 03-03-2010, 12:46 AM   #3
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Don't know if you got hosed but hosed yourself. Why not just adjust the pressure the old fashioned way?

Of course living in the south kinda makes it easy for me to say.
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Old 03-03-2010, 12:47 AM   #4

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yes you did.
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Old 03-03-2010, 12:52 AM   #5
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So...whatcha gonna do?

Go back to the dealership?

The Jeep dealership tried to get me to get nitrogen last year,when I went in to get an "oil change".
I declined...........never had my 30 x 9 Bridgestone Revo Duellers look "flat" or low air.

Now my GTI is a different story...but for the winter I just added more air,to get rid of that warning light.
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Old 03-03-2010, 12:57 AM   #6

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The laws of physics say that no matter what gas you're pressuring your tires with (as long as it's dry), the pressure will fluctuate the same way as temperature changes.
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Old 03-03-2010, 12:58 AM   #7
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Yes you got Hosed....
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Old 03-03-2010, 01:08 AM   #8
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Shoulda used helium!
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Old 03-03-2010, 03:59 AM   #10

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Old 03-03-2010, 04:04 AM   #11
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Nitrogen is good for aluminum wheels because it is a dry air and keeps the moisture out thereby slowing/preventing corrosion...thats the reason i use it, not for the pressure stability issues
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Old 03-03-2010, 05:11 AM   #12
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69% of atmospheric air IS nitrogen, 20.5% oxygen and the rest is other inert gases. I don't see where putting 100% nitrogen would change the expansion rate significantly. I also don't see where the small percentage of overall volume of humidity in compressed air is significantly a factor. And green stem caps? WTF?
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Old 03-03-2010, 08:14 AM   #13
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Moisture causes gas to expand more under higher tempuratures. If compresssed atmosphere were filtered very dry, yes it then would be just as resistant to pressure fluctuation as nitrogen. It is way cheaper to just buy a bottle of nitrogen than it is to filter the air this dry.
Race teams use nitrogen that also runs through a "drier" for this reason. The difference in fluctuation you will see on a street car will be existant, but minimal. I can't say it does not make a difference because it does, but on a race car 1 psi we weren't counting on can ruin our whole race. I don't think 1 psi is going to effect your tire wear or fuel mileage significantly. Remember that a race tire is likely to be filled at an ambient tempurature of let's say 90 degrees and then operate at upwards of 220 degrees. That is a difference of 130 degrees! If I filled my race tire with 28 psi of humid Florida atmosphere out of an air compressor, it would likely jump to around 34 to 35 psi at 200 degrees. Starting with nitrogen at 28 psi and 90 degrees it would grow to around 32 to 33 psi. These are real world numbers and you can see that the effect over a 110 degree swing is 2 to 3 psi. 2 to 3 psi on a race car is the difference between winning and getting lapped, but not nearly AS critical to your street cars performance, reliability, or fuel mileage. It is my beleif that nitrogen MAY make a difference of 1 psi or so over the typical tempurature swing a street car sees between seasons.
I use nitrogen because that is what is sitting in my shop and I get it sponsored to my race team. I would never consider paying for it to put in any of my street vehicles (ESPECIALLY at the prices I see automotive shops advertising)!!! To be honest with you, to the racing crowd, these shops are literally a joke because we know how minimal the effect is on these people's cars.
Obviously I live in Florida so the change in tempurature from winter to summer is quite a bit less than our northern freinds (although this winter has been terrible). For this reason I would assume that nitrogen would have a more positive effect for them than us down south.
Hope this info helps ........................................
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Old 03-03-2010, 08:38 AM   #14
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Just readjust your tire pressures for the seasons. The manufacturers know your pressure goes up when you start driving and the tire warms.
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