Recently I went for a tune up and was talked into filling my tires with nitrogen for 48 dollars. Was it worth it and why?

It was not worth 48?.

Nitrogen is good. It has several good advantages and no disadvantages except for the cost and inconvenience. Some places offer it for free. $48 is outrageous.

I would suggest that it is really worth about 25? per tyre, if that. Standard old air is 78% nitrogen and unless the vacuumed out the air, you likely don’t have much more than that now.

It only really makes sense for race cars and even there is is only a small advantage, but they live by those very small advantages.

I would suggest that you avoid what every place SCAMED you. Was it a quick oil change place by any chance?

I suggest that you post the name of that shop with a negative review.

The other advantage to nitrogen not previously mentioned is that it is completely dry (i.e. free of water). Water can cause minor problems with air pressure when it condenses in cool weather and with balance when it freezes in cold weather.

Costco fills all tires with nitrogen for no additional charge and still sells and installs tires for a very competitive price. This shop probably just bought an air separator and wants to pay for it as soon as possible, so they are charging $48 a car. However, if they led you to believe that it was worth $48, then they intentionally misled you.

You were scammed.

Air is 78% nitrogen, the small amount of other gasses, if you are driving your race car it might be worth it and even then it might not be worth it depending on the type of racing you do.


I’ve heard that using nitrogen has something to do with corrosion protection, temperature control, pressure consistency, or something like that. Racing people use it for those reasons or others I’m un-aware of, but I’m not convinced that I need to use it in any of my 3 trucks.

Yes, there are lots of claims, most of them false. Here are the ones I’m aware of:
1-leaks less. CR tested this for a year, found a couple of psi difference. Since people should check tires at least once a month, no value to this.
2-better mileage. Nonsense, gas is gas, both nitrogen and oxygen behave as ideal gases at these pressures.
3-better ride. Nonsense, see 2.
4-temperature control. Nonsense, see 2
5-pressure control. Nonsense, based on racing team use of nitrogen where they want to control pressures to a fraction of a psi, with readings taking frequently. No relation to road use.
6-corrosion protection. I’ve not had corrosion problems with air, I guess it’s possible, but very unlikely. A normal air compressor (with a tank) has a bleed valve at the bottom to bleed off the water that condenses with compresion. As long as the tire’s at lower pressure than the tank, water won’t condense in the tire, except in especially cold condition.
7-longer tire life. Suposedly keep air from reacting, but tires degrade from the outside in, rather than inside out.

Another problem with the ‘nitrogen’ is that it’s not pure nitrogen, but about 95%, with the remainder oxygen. One final problem is that people with nitrogen will (wrongly) feel nervous about putting plain old air in their tires when they’re low, resulting in poorer tire life, mileage, etc.

This has been around for years, a simple scam/money maker. Free, no problem, but not worth paying anything for it.

It would take years to make up the $48 difference. It is not worth it!!!