Is anyone using Nitrogen in their tires?

Huw Powell audi at
Thu Jun 12 10:01:13 PDT 2008

> 2.      For long term storage keeping the rubber surfaces without 
> oxygen might reduce the rate of surface oxidation for the tires.
> This might be of value if long-term is interpreted as meaning 
> multiple years.  Of course, filling the tire with nitrogen will help
>  keep oxygen away from the interior of the tire but will accomplish 
> nothing for the exterior surfaces.

It's the outside of the tire that takes a beating anyway.  Next time you 
get a chance, look at the inside of a worn-out tire.

And what makes leaks is corrosion on the outside of the rim working its 
way under the bead, usually only a problem in the salt belt.

> From what I read, the biggest advantage of N2 in the tires is that it
> is DRY, so it's more stable (no phase change of H2O) when it heats
> up.

> I was always told nitrogen was good (moreso in high performance 
> situations) because it was dry. Water vapor changes pressure a lot
> more under changing heat loads, e.g. at a track.

This would only be an issue if, as the first quote above says, there is 
a phase change.  Water/ice take up a lot less space than vapor.  If your 
  ambient temperature is at least as high as when the tires were filled 
(and the compressor had a simple trap), any H2O in there should be vapor 
already - a gas.  And all gases expand at the same rate with temperature.

> Why else do racers use nitrogen in their tires?  Well, compressors
> aren't allowed on pit lane, so they already have large, high pressure
> nitrogen bottles to run the air tools and jacks.   That's how it
> started, surely, then they discovered that their tire pressures were
> more stable.

I think this one hits the nail on the head.  Racers already have 
nitrogen handy, so they put it in their tires.  Don't you want to use 
what racers use in *their* tires???

IMHO, what's more important when mounting tires is cleaning the rims 
carefully, and using plenty of the right sealing compound on the bead. 
It takes a few minutes, but its worth it in terms of avoiding slow leaks 
from the get-go.

Huw Powell

More information about the quattro mailing list