The ‘gen’ on nitrogen versus oxygen in your tyres

A One Tyres - Thursday, June 15, 2017


We are sometimes not too good at letting our customers know about the ‘new and cool’ in the tyre industry. A lot of people in Northern Ireland have never heard of inflating their tyres with nitrogen so I thought I’d give you the “gen” and you can make up your own mind.

How is your tyre inflated?

Currently most tyres are inflated using ordinary air which is made up of 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen and 1% other gases. So is there any benefit in using pure nitrogen to inflate your tyres? The aircraft and motorsport industry have been doing this for years as the preferred gas in their tyres, so why? Well, mainly this is because it improves fire safety when flying at high altitudes with tyres stored in wings or in the fuselage. Of course fire safety is also paramount at high speeds in motor sports. But in reality the reason Formula One uses nitrogen is because it is easier and more reliable than using an air compressor.

Does nitrogen inflation make any difference? 

But what about the gas that inflates your car tyres on your daily commute, or your trip to the shops, or the school run? Some experts say that filling your car tyres with nitrogen mainly does two things:

It eliminates moisture

this can reduce rust on wheels, which isn’t a huge issue on cars in normal use, but may be an advantage on work vehicles exposed to high levels of moisture. Moisture in any tyre will eventually cause rust on steel rims or corrosion on alloy rims which can lead to a leak. This leads to poor handling, increased fuel consumption, and uneven wear.

It keeps tyres inflated for longer

it replaces smaller oxygen molecules with larger nitrogen molecules reducing the rate at which compressed gas is lost through tyre walls. In theory that means that a tyre filled with nitrogen retains optimal pressure longer, leading to more uniform tyre wear and improved fuel consumption.

What should you do?

Clearly these sound like good arguments, but to be honest, keeping a regular eye on your tyre pressure, no matter what’s in the tyre may be all you need to do. In A One Tyres we have calibrated air-line gauges for measuring tyre pressure accurately. If you do your own checks, make sure you use a gauge that will give you correct pressure readings.

What can we do for you?

A One Tyres offers a nitrogen tyre inflation service. But no matter what floats your boat, or rather what inflates your tyres, we recommend you check your tyre pressure regularly (about every two weeks) to help maximise tyre wear, ensure passenger safety and improve fuel consumption.
Feel free to drop in on your way passed our Dromore depot and we will check your tyre pressures free of charge. If you like the idea of nitrogen inflation just ask, whatever your preferred -gen for tyre inflation we are here to help.

If you need help with anything in this blog please contact me at our Dromore depot or leave your comment below.


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