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Old 03-11-2013, 09:50 PM   #1
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Nitrogen Filled Tires

Just bought a 2012 Rubicon and it comes with nitrogen tires. Dumb question - but - do you dump the nitrogen and refill with air? I am planning on spending most of July in the Ouray-Silverton area (and maybe Moab). And airing up or down with nitrogen seems impractical. Open to suggestions and ideas. TIA

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Old 03-11-2013, 09:51 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by ski.jumper View Post
Just bought a 2012 Rubicon and it comes with nitrogen tires. Dumb question - but - do you dump the nitrogen and refill with air? I am planning on spending most of July in the Ouray-Silverton area (and maybe Moab). And airing up or down with nitrogen seems impractical. Open to suggestions and ideas. TIA
Most o the air we breathe is nitrogen. It is a waste to fill ten with pure N

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Old 03-11-2013, 09:56 PM   #3
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Most o the air we breathe is nitrogen. It is a waste to fill ten with pure N
It's about 78% nitrogen to be exact. But still just reiterates the point that its completely useless to fill your tires with nitrogen.

Plus. The second you air down its gone
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:58 PM   #4
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Just fill like you would with normal air pumps from now on.
Nitrogen filled tires are mostly valuable for high performance tires that see time on a track. The main benefit is the lack of water vapor which is the main thing that expands or contracts with heating and cooling, so you can maintain a consistent pressure while running around a track.

On a Jeep... I don't see any real benefit to N. It's only worth it if you're racing for money and not paying for it yourself... for amateurs, not even close to worth messing with.
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:36 PM   #5
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Nitrogen is a scam to take your money. You would need to pull a vacuum before filling to make any difference. Til I see that, I don't believe any of the stories.
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:54 PM   #6
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If someone was insulting enough to try to sell me nitrogen for my tires, especially on a Jeep, I think I'd tell them they just lost a customer, and leave.

Of course, it would probably be the same guy that said I was getting "ten ply" tires. Even though there is no such thing in the modern world of load range E Light Truck tires. So I'd already be on edge.

There is always someone trying to separate us from our hard earned cash. Buyer beware.
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:00 PM   #7
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Just fill like you would with normal air pumps from now on.
Nitrogen filled tires are mostly valuable for high performance tires that see time on a track. The main benefit is the lack of water vapor which is the main thing that expands or contracts with heating and cooling, so you can maintain a consistent pressure while running around a track.

On a Jeep... I don't see any real benefit to N. It's only worth it if you're racing for money and not paying for it yourself... for amateurs, not even close to worth messing with.
Any gas, be it nitrogen, helium, or water vapor expands exactly the same with change in temperature - Ideal Gas Law. Tires with pure nitrogen gain and lose pressure while running around a track EXACTLY the same as tires filled with good old air.

The singular advantage to Nitrogen is that water vapor will condense from the gaseous mixture when whatever dew point of the water vapor in the mixture is reached. That could add to corrosion inside the wheel.
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:23 PM   #8
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When you’re in Ouray and maybe Moab just pretend you have plain old air in your tires and air down and up with plain old air. Mixing the air in your tires with plain old air won’t hurt, and will save you some money.
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:37 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Ponderosa
Any gas, be it nitrogen, helium, or water vapor expands exactly the same with change in temperature - Ideal Gas Law. Tires with pure nitrogen gain and lose pressure while running around a track EXACTLY the same as tires filled with good old air.

The singular advantage to Nitrogen is that water vapor will condense from the gaseous mixture when whatever dew point of the water vapor in the mixture is reached. That could add to corrosion inside the wheel.
This is not true. Air is not an ideal gas. Nitrogen is. Ideal gas law only applies to noble gases, for ease of calculations it is assumed for gases at low temp and pressures. Water vapor is totally different from helium and nitrogen.

The moisture thing is true but id have to do some looking to see if would actually occur in tires.
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:40 PM   #10
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Nitrogen fills have a definite purpose in aviation. The main reasons that come to mind are that nitrogen carries less moisture, reduces the corrosion of the wheels (little to no oxygen), and reduces the potential for a tire to catch fire on landing. There are probably a lot of other benefits, like weight reduction, that can be cited as well.

For your Jeep though, I'd opine that the advantages of a nitrogen fill are much less important. If you're getting the N2 fill for free (like my local tire shop gives to their customers) then go for it, otherwise I'd say that it's not worth the money.
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:47 PM   #11
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...If you're getting the N2 fill for free (like my local tire shop gives to their customers) then go for it, otherwise I'd say that it's not worth the money...
That probably can work for cars, but when you're wheeling in Ouray or Moab (or most any other place) and it's time to air up, the free Nitrogen shop isn't located at the end of the trail.
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:01 AM   #12
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That probably can work for cars, but when you're wheeling in Ouray or Moab (or most any other place) and it's time to air up, the free Nitrogen shop isn't located at the end of the trail.
Fill up with air on the trail, nitrogen when it's free. Since it's providing little benefit to auto tires, there's no need to seek it out or worry about carrying it around with you. I guess I should have stated that explicitly instead of implicitly...
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:06 AM   #13
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Fill up with air on the trail, nitrogen when it's free. Since it's providing little benefit to auto tires, there's no need to seek it out or worry about carrying it around with you. I guess I should have stated that explicitly instead of implicitly...
Yeah, I figured that since the OP was asking about wheeling in Ouray and Moab then after airing down and up his tires would just be plain old air anyway, and if he has any fun on the trails then the tires will get more wear from the trails then they'll ever see from the kind of air in the tires.
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:46 AM   #14
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"Pure" nitrogen is great, if it is free with the vehicle or tires. It is simply not worth paying for.
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Old 03-12-2013, 03:02 AM   #15
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This is not true. Air is not an ideal gas. Nitrogen is. Ideal gas law only applies to noble gases, for ease of calculations it is assumed for gases at low temp and pressures. Water vapor is totally different from helium and nitrogen.

The moisture thing is true but id have to do some looking to see if would actually occur in tires.
The person who mentioned Ideal Gas was speaking of the Ideal Gas Law as a commonly used principle at STP. It models the situation adequately. It is stated as:



P = Pressure of the gas
V = Volume of the gas
n = moles of gas
R = Boltzmann constant / Avogadro constant
T = Temperature.

Nitrogen is not a Noble gas, but it is nearly perfect for automotive and aviation tire uses. Nitrogen was chosen because it is chemically inert to rubber and rubber based compounds, is well tolerated in vehicle use, is inexpensive, and has a larger molecular size than other gases.
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:41 AM   #16
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This is not true. Air is not an ideal gas. Nitrogen is. Ideal gas law only applies to noble gases, for ease of calculations it is assumed for gases at low temp and pressures. Water vapor is totally different from helium and nitrogen.

The moisture thing is true but id have to do some looking to see if would actually occur in tires.
No, it is true. The Ideal Gas Law applies to any gas including gaseous water. A vessel filled with water vapor reacts the same to changes in temperature as a vessel filled with nitrogen or any other gas near STP. Conditions under which vehicles are operated are close enough that the Ideal Gas Law can be applied with very little difference.

Bottom line: nitrogen in highway vehicle tires is unnecessary and provides no benefit over using compressed air with the possible exception I stated earlier: water vapor in compressed air will condense on the inner walls of the tires and the wheels if temps fall sufficiently. That may, in turn, lead to corrosion of the wheels or affect the tires in some way.
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:54 AM   #17
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...total science nerd convention going on here. thread is killing me.
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:40 AM   #18
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:41 AM   #19
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No, it is true. The Ideal Gas Law applies to any gas including gaseous water. A vessel filled with water vapor reacts the same to changes in temperature as a vessel filled with nitrogen or any other gas near STP. Conditions under which vehicles are operated are close enough that the Ideal Gas Law can be applied with very little difference.
Umm, no. Can you apply it to any gas, sure, will it be correct, nope. You wont get a precise answer but you will be close. its "ideal gas" law for a reason.

As to the OP I would not bother with N2 unless your getting it for free. Even then you wont really notice a difference.
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:51 AM   #20
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...total science nerd convention going on here. thread is killing me.
No joke.

For the OP - the amount of debate over this matter alone should be proof that it's functionally irrelevant. If there was any clear, measurable benefit, it would be undisputed. As it's plainly not, any benefit is at most nearly imperceptible.
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:54 AM   #21
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I'll take a side of O2 w/my tires, please...

And Ideal Gas is something nobody else in the room notices.
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:01 AM   #22
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I'll take a side of O2 w/my tires, please...

And Ideal Gas is something nobody else in the room notices.
FTW... Made me giggle.

I had read that nitrogen loaded tires loose less pressure over time. Again, totally moot with airing up and down, but just curious if this is true.
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:08 AM   #23
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FTW... Made me giggle.

I had read that nitrogen loaded tires loose less pressure over time. Again, totally moot with airing up and down, but just curious if this is true.
Due to N2 being a larger molecule its kind of true but when you check your air pressure regularly you will notice your low on air anyway. Or atleast you should.

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