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Nitrogen

04 Commemorative

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I bought tires at Costco...for my Blazer...calm down lol and they filled them with nitrogen. Now they do have a "touchless" mounting machine so has anyone bought and had tires mounted at Costco and would nitrogen make a difference with the tire sensors on our beloved Vettes?
 

Victory Red C6

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I bought tires at Costco...for my Blazer...calm down lol and they filled them with nitrogen. Now they do have a "touchless" mounting machine so has anyone bought and had tires mounted at Costco and would nitrogen make a difference with the tire sensors on our beloved Vettes?

From what I have read the normal air that we breathe and normally fill out tires with is 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, and 1% other gases. Also, there is moisture in the normal air, which I think would potentially cause more damage to the sensors. Other benefits that I have read about include cooler tire temps, and the tire pressure should hold steady up to 3 times vs. regular air.

I cannot imagine that 100% nitrogen would do anymore damage to the monitors vs 78%.
 

Jistari

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From what I've read, it certainly can't hurt.
The bits about moisture, combustability, weight (of the gas) all seem like hooey. They are true but the benefit gained is like offsetting the argument in favor of using regular air by saying "what if I get submerged in the vehicle, I can breath the air in the tires" , ya it's true, but pretty unlikely.
They say the Nitrogen is a bigger molecule and should stay in the tire longer, so you may not need to add Nitrogen to the tire as often. And since compressed Nitrogen should be dry (as opposed to normal compressed air) the affect of heat should change the pressure in the tire to a lesser extent.

BTW, I had my Michlien ZP's mounted at Costco. The machine they had to mount them never touched the rims, they had the good balancing machine, and the guy that worked on my car was maticulous (s/p?) in lifting the car, popping the center caps and generaly treating the car well. I would have no problem going back there. (of course I did stand there and watch from start to finish, but you gotta give credit where credit is due :) ).
 

04 Commemorative

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Good to know...thanks. Their prices are good and the service is great...as long as you get there EARLY lol
 
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I bought Michelins for my Z06 at Costco. They had to order them, but it can be done.

I think the nitrogen thing is mostly BS, and I hated the green valve stem caps. If they want to fill them with nitrogen, that's OK with me. But the valve stem caps will be gone, and I will add regular air when needed.
 

Jistari

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Jistari

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2001 Black on Black A4 Coupe
Yes........thank you <spoken like Steve Martin in "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels as Ruprick>....but, I was referencing the Combustibility of Oxygen :) as in the benefit gained by using Nitrogen instead of regular air . . .:SLAP
 

KOPBET

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Ok, well since air or oxygen itself doesn't burn or combust there was some confusion ...

:bash
 

Tom Bryant

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Race tires are often adjusted to correct handling proplems in as little as 1/4 pound changes in pressure. Nitrogen is less affected by heat changes so that is why it's used.

I think that the whole nitrogen thing at tire stores is a gimmick based on the knowledge that NASCAR uses it so it must be better. If they have a good compressed air system with proper dryers you won't get enough moisture in a tire to mean anything. If the air hose is blowing water out of it from a poorly designed or maintained compressor system than I'd go someplace else.


Nitrogen that is sold to end users in cylinders in compressed gas form comes from sources like Air Products that seperate air into it's elements, purifies it and transports it as a liquid. The liquid is pumped into bulk tanks at the cylinder fill operation. It stays liquid as long as it is maintained at -283*F or colder. Normal temperature in a storage tank or a trailer going down the road is around -320*F. Our liquid nitrogen is less than 1 part per million of oxygen and is absolutely dry. It's anylsis is usually .01 ppm and far exceeds all FDA requirements for food and medical grade nitrogen. In other words you will have no moisture or cantaminents in your tire if it can be properly purged during the fill. Race tires have a valve system where nitrogen is flowed through the tire until only pure nitrogen is coming out of the purge valve. How a tire store can do this with a single fill valve I don't understand. That is why I doubt that they are getting a pure fill so why bother.

Every time we fill a customer tank the fill lines are purged until only pure liquid nitrogen is flowing freely out of the purge valve on the tank end of the line. Anything less is not a pure fill.

Tom
 

bwing

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I've heard that you can drive a nitrogen filled tire all day and the psi won't spike like when using regular air. Is this true?
 

Tom Bryant

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Here's a couple of paragraphs from NASCAR.com. From this we can see that the spike in pressure when air is used is around the point where the tire temp causes the moisture in the air to vaporize. This rapidly expanding water vapor (steam) will cause a rapid rise in pressure that will vary depending on the % of moisture in the air in the tire. With nitrogen in the tire you have no moisture or any other element in the tire that can rapidly vaporize and cause a spike. You will get a more even and predictable rise in tire pressure with the temp of the tire as a result so I would say the answer to your question is yes. If you use nitrogen I would suggest inflating and deflating the tire with nitrogen several times to purge out as much air and moisture as possible. Then your last nitrogen inflation should be fairly pure.


Fact: Goodyear gives the teams tires with air in them, but the first thing the tire specialists do is let the air out and replace it with nitrogen. Why? Well, compressed nitrogen has less moisture in it than compressed air.
When the tire heats up, the moisture inside it will vaporize and expand, increasing the tire pressure. By using nitrogen instead of air, we have more control over how much the pressure will build when the tires heat up.
We also use nitrogen to power the air guns for pit stops, for the same reason. Those guns are expensive tools, and the moisture in compressed air would damage them.
Fact: A half-pound of difference in tire pressure can make a huge difference in how the car handles.

credit: nascar.com

This has my interest up now. I'm going to have to watch the readout on my wife's Equinox a little closer to see how much rise in pressure occures. I have only noticed a 1 lb rise from the sensors in normal driving on 55 mph roads even on hot days. (36lbs in the garage and 37lbs after driving). I'll have to remember to look while I'm interstating some time. This could also mean that GM uses nitrogen at the factory or has a very dry air source.
 

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