I am considering purchasing new 17 inch rims and tires. One company wants to fill the tires with nitrogen. If air leaks faster than nitrogen after several months won’t my old tires have all nitrogen in them?
This is a scam. Normal air is 78% nitrogen anyway. Filling your tires with nitrogen just fills the cash register for the tire company. Politely tell them to fill the new tires with good old air. Air is a mixture of 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen with the rest being composed of carbon dioxide and water vapor. The answer to the last part of your question is…no.
Unless it’s free, skip it. You’re right, if there was some magic difference between oxygen and nitrogen allowing nitrogen to stay in place while the oxygen (which is just very slightly smaller) leaks, you’d just have to refill a few times to end up with 100% nitrogen. Of course it doesn’t really work that way. ALL claims that I am aware of for nitrogen are false…except maybe one, the elimination of some water vapor. That might have some slight value if you have tire pressure sensors in your wheels, or if the alloy wheels are poorly-finished and corrode. The rest of the claims, zero value.
Nitrogen is fine, just don’t pay a penny extra for it.
I get nitrogen free, and I use the air God gave us. Hope that tells you something. It’s fine if it’s free but when a tire goes low you must travel back for a refill, hassle. If you pay for it you will never recoup you cost.
The previous posters are correct, but they didn’t anser your question. The answer is “No”.
Even if you fill the tire with 100% nitrogen, oxygen will leak in trying to reach about a 6% level. If you start with air, the oxygen will migrate out faster than nitrogen - and the oxygen will again try to reach about a 6% level. The principle is called the Law of the Partial Prssure of Gases.
CapriRacer…please read to the bottom of my answer which was the first one. I said no but did not mention the principle by name.
In addition to all the others having pointed out that it’s a scam, let me ask you this:
When they mount the tires on the rims, they’ll be full of the air in the shop, 77% nitrogen, 22% oxygen, and 1% argon + misc (or thereabouts). When they then pressurize the tires with pure nitrogen, will not the oxygen and the argon from the shop air still be in them? Ask them how they’ll purge these gasses. Their answer should be good for a laugh.
Skip it. It’s a scam.
Yes, it was a good laugh. An acquaintance asked that question, and they claimed to him that they used a vacuum pump to pump the air out before putting in nitrogen. Personally, I can’t imagine tires sealing to the rim with a vacuum applied.
I Love it! I wonder how many inches of Hg they pumped the tires down to before declaring them “purged”.
Thanks for the post.
Racing rims that are made for Nitrogen use have two valve stems. One valve stem allows air to escape while they fill the tires with Nitrogen using the other valve. If your rims only have one valve stem each, how are they going to get all of the Oxygen out of the tires when they fill them with Nitrogen?
CapriRacer–so you’re saying that in both scenarios–getting nitrogen put in the tires, or just air, the end result will be about 94% nitrogen? I would love to go to a place that tries to sell you this service and lay that on them. Thanks, CapriRacer.
I can’t see how that is really going to do much. How are they going to prevent the new nitrogen from going out along with the old air? I would guess the race cars, who care a lot about 0.0001% increase in net power, might just keep on blowing it in until there is little of the original air left.
Yeah, nitrogen’s not that expensive, food factories use lots of it for packing chips, coffee, etc.
Of course, it’s REALLY expensive at the tire store!