Nitrogen is a good choice for your tires because it does not oxidize, which means it won’t break down the rubber. Nitrogen also does not expand or contract with changes in temperature, so you will have a more consistent tire pressure no matter what the weather. This improves traction and prevents flats from under-inflation caused by colder temperatures. On the other hand, normal air is mostly composed of oxygen and contains varying amounts of water vapor, both of which will oxidize rubber and lead to increased tire wear.
Yes, you can put normal air in nitrogen-filled tires.
Yes, you can put normal air in nitrogen-filled tires. It is not dangerous to do so.
Nitrogen gas is neither toxic nor explosive, flammable or corrosive, reactive or radioactive. It’s just a colorless, odorless gas composed of two nitrogen atoms and three oxygen atoms (N2O3). The only danger would come from overinflating the tire with this normal air; this could cause the tire to burst and possibly lead to an accident. However, even a small amount of oxygen (20 percent) will significantly reduce the risk of a tire bursting if it’s overinflated—which makes filling up your car’s tires at home with standard air valves particularly safe.
In fact, it may be even safer than filling them with pure nitrogen at a service center. Unlike when inflating your tires with regular air at home, an employee at a service center could accidentally overfill your tires with pure nitrogen using their specialized equipment. There are no safety benefits whatsoever to using pure nitrogen in your car’s tires; it may give you slightly better fuel economy and longer tire life if you’re willing to pay for it regularly—but that’s all there is to it.
Even if you top off a nitrogen tire with air, it is still primarily nitrogen. Nitrogen is inert and makes up most of the atmosphere around us.
Even if you top off a nitrogen tire with air, it is still primarily nitrogen. Nitrogen is inert and makes up most of the atmosphere around us. It is not flammable or combustible. You could breathe the gas in your tires without experiencing any harmful effects (assuming nothing else was wrong with your lungs). If you tried to use nitrogen gas as fuel for a fire, you’d be sorely disappointed!
Normal air is 78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen and 1 percent other gases.
As it turns out, your tires are probably already filled with air. Normal air is made up of about 78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen and 1 percent other gases such as argon and carbon dioxide. The percentages are approximate, by the way—and even those numbers vary based on where you live in the world.
So if your tires are filled with regular air, what’s so special about nitrogen? Well, for one thing, nitrogen is an inert gas—it doesn’t react with water at all. Nitrogen doesn’t react with rubber either (which means that it won’t cause a tire tube to degrade over time). However, since normal air contains a small amount of oxygen (which does degrade rubber), the idea behind filling your tires with pure nitrogen is that they’ll last longer than they would if they were filled with normal air.
You should not try to fill a Nitrogen tire with normal air.
Unfortunately, you cannot put air in a Nitrogen tire. The only way to properly fill a Nitrogen tire is by using a nitrogen generator. A nitrogen generator works to produce and separate the nitrogen molecules from other gases such as oxygen, carbon dioxide, water vapor, and other trace elements. Once these molecules are separated from each other the remaining product is 99.5% pure compressed air that can then be used to fill your tires with nitrogen.
Now you know the basics of how compressed nitrogen gas is separated from normal air so that it can be used to fill your tires. By filling your tires with compressed nitrogen gas rather than regular air you’ll increase safety as well as performance.