Automotive

Replacing Nitrogen with Air in tires?

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  • Nov 8th, 2010 11:16 pm
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Deal Addict
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Jan 23, 2008
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Toronto

Replacing Nitrogen with Air in tires?

Hi folks,

I got 4 nitrogen filled winter rites with my used car purchase. Now that it is time to put them on, most garages don't have a nitrogen supply. So I am thinking about what is the best and what is the easiest way to replace nitrogen with air in winter tires? Can I mix air into nitrogen in the tires?

Unless someone can recommend cheap nitrogen fill up in west GTA?

Thanks.
24 replies
Deal Expert
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May 10, 2005
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Ottawa
Thing is, nitrogen was THE thing to do a while back.
Purists will still tell you that nitrogen molecules are bigger and won't leak out of the pores in the rubber (yea right LOL). They will also tell you nitrogen is dry and it will make your tires last longer.
Realists will tell you just plain air which is 90%nitrogen anyway has been used in pneumatic tires since day one and tires all survived the attempted rot from plain air. That and how long do you really think the tires should last? I would think the tread would wear off long before the rubber rots. :)
Sr. Member
Apr 5, 2007
549 posts
32 upvotes
Whitby
You can add air to them no problem.
The whole nitrogen thing is BS.
Even if smaller molecules leaked out more quickly than the bigger N2.. guess what.. by the time you refill it a few times you're going to have 99% nitrogen..
Standard air: 78% N2
All other molecules leak out? 100% N2, but 78% full.
Fill it up again, adding 22% * 78% = 17.16 + 78 = 95% N2
If the remaining 5% were to leak out, top up 95% making it 98.9 % N2

see where I'm going with this? :p

Of course I assumed no N2 leaked out during each stage (for simplicity of calculation/illustration), but if N2 did it would just take a couple more top-ups to make it nearly all N2.

Bottom line is that if you had a tire filled with N2 already and top up say, 5%
It's still going to be 98.9% N2 inside.
Sr. Member
Mar 27, 2009
513 posts
55 upvotes
add with regular air. dont use nitrogen anymore.. it was a farce to get you to pay more money to fill your tires..
Deal Guru
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Jun 12, 2007
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Nitrogen makes a difference in big truck fleets where tires get retreaded/ reused 3 or 4 times. If a truck tire carcass can be retreaded an extra 1 or 2 times because its in better shape due to nitrogen fill, that's a big cost savings.

Whether it's a benefit for passenger car tires is debatable
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Jun 23, 2005
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What's the point? How are you going to get 100% nitrogen in the tire anyways?
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Deal Addict
May 2, 2010
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Toronto
Anonymouse wrote:
Nov 1st, 2010 6:15 pm
I heard that you don't want Nitrogen in your tires because it's very poisonous and you might breathe some in when you're putting the air hose on the valve and some escapes. I try to only inhale the Oxygen in the atmosphere; you can separate it from the poisonous Nitrogen if you swish the air around in your mouth a while.

Your body cannot selectively inhale Oxygen from atmosphere. You breathe in the air that contains 80% nitrogen all the time. What makes nitrogen poisonous?
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Dec 28, 2007
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Alberta
Anonymouse wrote:
Nov 1st, 2010 6:15 pm
I heard that you don't want Nitrogen in your tires because it's very poisonous and you might breathe some in when you're putting the air hose on the valve and some escapes. I try to only inhale the Oxygen in the atmosphere; you can separate it from the poisonous Nitrogen if you swish the air around in your mouth a while.



This guy is nuts! What the hell is he talking about breathing only the oxygen in the air? It's more like what was he smoking before he wrote this.
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Sep 7, 2010
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Anonymouse wrote:
Nov 1st, 2010 6:15 pm
I heard that you don't want Nitrogen in your tires because it's very poisonous and you might breathe some in when you're putting the air hose on the valve and some escapes. I try to only inhale the Oxygen in the atmosphere; you can separate it from the poisonous Nitrogen if you swish the air around in your mouth a while.
LOL, I dare you breathe pure oxygen for more than 20 minutes.
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Feb 9, 2007
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Anonymouse wrote:
Nov 1st, 2010 6:15 pm
I heard that you don't want Nitrogen in your tires because it's very poisonous and you might breathe some in when you're putting the air hose on the valve and some escapes. I try to only inhale the Oxygen in the atmosphere; you can separate it from the poisonous Nitrogen if you swish the air around in your mouth a while.

I can't believe a few fell for it...
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Deal Addict
Feb 19, 2009
1015 posts
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Burlington
Nitrogen is for suckers. Helium is where it's at now.

You fill your tires with helium and it reduces unsprung weight to give your car better handling and it increases fuel economy too! :)
Newbie
Mar 20, 2010
22 posts
2 upvotes
London
I'm not saying I believe this but...
if you start topping up your nitrogen filled tires with normal air, there will be unequal amounts of nitrogen on each side of the car. And since normal air heats/expands more than pure nitrogen, your vehicle will pull towards one side especially if they are the front tires used for steering.

I love the helium idea :)
Deal Guru
Feb 29, 2008
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Montreal
Pffft.... real men use Radon in their tires.
Deal Expert
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May 10, 2005
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conix67 wrote:
Nov 1st, 2010 7:35 pm
Your body cannot selectively inhale Oxygen from atmosphere. You breathe in the air that contains 80% nitrogen all the time. What makes nitrogen poisonous?
Double :facepalm:
rackets wrote:
Nov 1st, 2010 10:54 pm
I'm not saying I believe this but...
if you start topping up your nitrogen filled tires with normal air, there will be unequal amounts of nitrogen on each side of the car. And since normal air heats/expands more than pure nitrogen, your vehicle will pull towards one side especially if they are the front tires used for steering.
.. :)
Finally, someone who got it right :)
Anonymouse wrote:
Nov 1st, 2010 6:15 pm
I heard that you don't want Nitrogen in your tires because it's very poisonous and you might breathe some in when you're putting the air hose on the valve and some escapes. I try to only inhale the Oxygen in the atmosphere; you can separate it from the poisonous Nitrogen if you swish the air around in your mouth a while.
You win the prize, excellent!
I also try not to suck Nitrogen when working on cars. ;)
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Aug 11, 2008
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Regina
The Nitrogen is a gimmick. But for those of us that bought our tires from Costco we got it for free. I say why not.
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