Nitrogen inflation can be done to any tyre, regardless of make, model or year. Using nitrogen gas to fill a vehicle’s tyres for the everyday driver is a relatively new practice and the beneficial effects may be minimal and hard to appreciate. It’s quite common for heavy commercial vehicles, aircraft and racing cars to use pure nitrogen for tyre inflation. Given the extreme conditions that these tyres endure, the benefits of nitrogen are considered worthwhile.

So what are the proposed benefits of pure nitrogen in tyres? Compressed air is comprised of around 78% nitrogen, which means that even tyres that are air inflated are made up of a large portion of nitrogen. Put simply, the benefit to filling your vehicle’s tyres with pure nitrogen relies on two simple principles:
  • Nitrogen’s resistance to leaking 
  • The lack of water vapour suspended in the gas 

Is this all starting to sound a bit like a high school science lesson to you? Not to worry, we’ve done all the research so that you don’t have to!

Nitrogen is more resistant to leaking as the molecules are larger than oxygen molecules. This means that pressurised nitrogen stays inside a tyre longer, unlike oxygen which escapes more readily over time. So, in this instance, nitrogen assists in maintaining the correct tyre pressure for longer.

Water (humidity) inside a tyre can cause internal corrosion. It can also affect the pressure of a tyre with changes in temperature. A tyre’s operating temperature plays a part in how rapidly it will wear. Because there is minimal moisture content in nitrogen, a cooler running tyre is produced, which potentially increases the overall life of the tyre. 

Once tyres are filled with nitrogen, it’s important to continue only filling them with nitrogen if you wish to receive the associated benefits. Lastly, it’s important to highlight that filling your tyres with pure nitrogen doesn’t reduce the need to regularly check your tyre pressure. Maximum tyre life can only be achieved when they are properly maintained.

Update: Check out our Are nitrogen filled tyres a scam? article for more information.