Nitrogen / Air

I’ve heard that nitrogen is better then air in car tires, they do cost more to have this done,is it realy necesarry?, I check my tires once a week.

Sure, it’s better than air. It won’t escape from the tire as fast as air will. But it also costs money, and air is free. Assuming your tires and wheels are in good shape (and if they’re not, nitrogen won’t help you) you shouldn’t have to adjust air pressure more than a few times a year (and most of the time you have to change the pressure, it’ll be due to seasonal temperature changes rather than air leaks). I’d rather just keep checking my tires like you do, and fill it with nice, free air than pay someone to put nitrogen in there.

Let’s see, last time I checked air was 78% nitrogen, so why pay more for pure nitrogen?

And how would you know, really, whether they used pure nitrogen or not?

This is just another way to get your money. Keep checking your tires (I only check mine every two to three weeks) and you’ll be fine with plain old, nitrogen-rich air.

Incidentally, as has been pointed out here before, good old free air is around 80% nitrogen anyway. Unless your vehicle is a space shuttle or a Formula One car, you’re not going to see much (if any) benefit from using 100% nitrogen.

(edit: posted before seeing mcparadise’s response…it’s not possible to delete your own reply?)

Complete waste of money.

Since all new vehicles require Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems, it’s important that no moisture damages the sensors for these systems. Nitrogen contains no moisture, air does.

Here’s what Pat Goss has to say on the subject.


Sorry, Pat Goss has ZERO credibility with me. He recommends frequent engine oil flushes, and showed an obviously-neglected engine as justification for doing it every 30K - complete nonsense.

As for nitrogen, I think it’s a waste of money. If someone can point me to a TPMS manufacturer, tire manufacturer, or other credible source that says otherwise, I’m all ears.

I’ll have to respectfully disagree here. Many new systems use the wheel speed sensors to monitor air pressure drop rather than pressure sensor. Especially those with ABS, since they already have the wheel speed sensors incorporated anyway for the ABS systems. Mine uses the wheel speed sensors.

The corrosion problems with the pressure sensors for those systems that do use them primarily affect the stems, and those are exposed to the outside environment, the salt, the water, the road crud. Aluminum does not hold up well to these things. While I remain open to convincing if someone can confirm pressure sensor corrosion on the inside of a tire, I’ve yet to see any and remain not yet convinced that nitrogen provides the corrosion prohibitive effects alluded to in Mr. Goss’ article.

Air is primarily nitrogen and oxygen. It can only hold a maximum of about 4% water vapor anyway. That’s not a lot of H2O molecules. And since the pressure sensor is the same temperature as the air inside the tire, the vapor will not condense on the sensors.

I still believe nitrogen for road use is all cost and no benefit. But I remain open to convinicing.

Thanks everyone, air it is.

Using the wheel speed sensors is called INDIRECT TPMS, and isn’t used on new vehicles. All new vehicles are equipped with a DIRECT TPMS, which means the sensors are in the tires.


I too have grown skeptical of what Pat Goss advocates. I can’t help but wonder if he’s promoting the views he truly believes or if there’s some financial motivation behind them.

I could be wrong about him, but I still need to take a “trust but verify” approach with him.

True, but direct TPMS has replaceable parts. Anything that will corrode due to exposure to air can be replaced for around 5 bucks when you get new tires.

Assuming the whole sensor dies, you can usually get one for around 50 bucks or less. So unless normally-aired tires will kill your sensor within a year, it’s just not economically worth it to pay for nitrogen, even assuming the sensors will degrade without it (which I still don’t think they will).

“you can get one for 50 bucks or less.”

Check the price of the TPMS sensor for this vehicle.


Your nomenclatures are correct, but Toyota, for one, is still using the indirect TPMS systems on some of its vehicles.

“Thanks everyone, air it is”? But Chucky, we’re not done. I haven’t added my two cents yet. There are a few holes in some of the comments listed above. Nitrogen is put into aircraft tires. Let’s discuss a difference between aircraft and autos: Normal aircraft tires are serviced up to the neighborhood of 200-300 psi. So pressure fluxuations through temperature changes is a critical thing. So with stable nitrogen, say a 200 psi tire filled up at 32 degrees might rise to 250 psi upon landing at a warmer climate with brakes heating up the wheels and tires. That’s a rather significant increase. A car tire with 32 psi, heating up, might go up to, what? 40 psi? Now throw in the larger molecular factor and the leakage issue is pretty important also. It is if I’m on the airplane. Now unless an auto tire has two valve stems, how will the existing air (80% Nitrogen and the rest O2 and other stuff) get out? It won’t. It wil be compressed, you you’ll never get close to 100% nitrogen when you fill up a standard tire. Corrosion on the aluminum valve stems? Sure it could happen. But I haven’t heard that it is a big problem Besides that, the sensor batteries only last 5-7 years anyhow and from what I understand, the batteries are not replaceable, you have to discard the sensor and new ones purchased. My opinion is that using nitrogen in auto tires while it doesn’t hurt anything, it is a waste of money. There…now we can be done, and you can put air in your tires.

The nitrogen machine applies a vacuum on the mounted tire to remove air and moisture prior to introducing the nitrogen.


Oh come on. The tire would collapse and lose the seal to the rim if anything close to a vacuum were really applied.

Then I’ll have to assume you’ve never seen a nitrogen tire filling machine. Go to a local tire store that has one, and ask them how it works.


That’s one of those annoying pages that does not store your choices in the URL, so I don’t know which vehicle you’re referencing.