Nitrogen-Filled Tires


When buying a new car or tires for your current vehicle, the sales representative might try to upsell you on filling your tires with nitrogen gas instead of air. You can pick out the cars with nitrogen filled tires by their green valve stem caps.

There are many debated benefits to using nitrogen instead of air and frankly there have been many articles written on the subject.

I am not really here to throw my hat in the ring on that subject but instead how it may or may not benefit your vehicle during car storage.

The short answer is…NO there is no benefit to using nitrogen during car storage…

There are two main benefits to using nitrogen in your tires:

1)   Air escapes less quickly from a nitrogen filled tire than one filled with air.

2)   It prevents tire rot from the inside out.

While this sounds good in theory, here are the reasons why this doesn’t matter in practice:

1)   When we take care of a vehicle, we are checking tire pressure many times per week. Tires simply do not need to hold air for that long  if you check them regularly.

And despite what dealers and tire shops might tell you, nitrogen still escapes through the tire, meaning that you will still have to monitor tire pressures anyway.

Additionally, if a car comes in with nitrogen in its tires, we are not able to service them as we only have air.

OR we will use air to adjust tire pressures and cut the pure nitrogen with oxygen. This will cancel out any original benefit.

2)   Modern tires simply do not dry rot as older bias ply tires did. By the time you would experience internal dry rot, it would be time to replace tires by time anyway (most tire shops recommend tire replacement every 7 years).

So there you have it! If an auto storage company or tire store (prior to storing your vehicle) attempts to sell you nitrogen, say no thanks!

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