Should You Put Nitrogen In Your Car’s Tires?

Should You Put Nitrogen In Your Car’s Tires?

Air typically features about 78 percent nitrogen, so why should you pay more to fill your car’s tires with pure nitrogen? Is there a tangible reason to spend more on this or are dealerships and auto shops just blowing hot air?

The short answer is that nitrogen is a waste of time and money and that mechanics are trying to make some money from a problem that doesn’t really exist.

When it comes to your tires, air is a big deal. Air contracts and expands depending on the temperature. For every change of 10 degrees Fahrenheit, a tire’s pressure will change about 1 PSI (pound per square inch). This is why it’s recommended to check your tires on a regular basis.

tire-pressure-checkIf it’s cold out, the pressure will drop, deflating your tires slightly, and there’s a chance your fuel-economy might go down too. To resolve this, you will have to pump some more air into your tires. On the flip-side, if it’s hot, the PSI of your car’s tires will increase, and you may get reduced traction or uneven wear of the tire. To solve this, you may need to let some air out of your tires.

Air isn’t the only gas to be affected by the weather like this, nitrogen is just as reactive to the temperature.

“Nitrogen does not replace the need to regularly check your air pressure,” says Lou Trottier, owner of All About Imports a repair shop that sees its fair share of tire-changes. Trottier said he just doesn’t see the benefit of nitrogen for consumers.

Less Leaking

Checking Tire PressureWhere Nitrogen exhibits an advantage over regular air is when it comes to pressure loss over time. Despite their sturdy appearance, tires actually allow air to pass right through the rubber. Air is made of 21 percent oxygen, which slowly leaks out of a tire regularly. On average, a tire loses about one psi per month.

However, a tire filled with pure Nitrogen leaks less, at a rate that is about one third slower than normal air. This means that if you’re not in the habit of checking your tire pressures often, then using nitrogen wouldn’t be a bad idea. Since the tire would lose pressure at a slower rate, your lazy habits will be absolved.

The reality is, most folks are getting their tires checked on a regular basis, every time they get their oil changed.

Water Resistant

If unpredictable air is an issue then water is too. That dingy air pump at the gas station may not be giving your tires the good stuff, and might be slipping a bit of water-vapor into your tire. That’s really bad since water reacts even more drastically to temperature than just air.

In comparison, nitrogen is considered a dry gas, which means filling your tires with it will ensure you won’t get any water in there, making for consistent pressure changes in cold or hot weather, and giving you some peace of mind.

SEE ALSO: When Should You Put Your Winter Tires on?

Is It Worth It?

At $10 a tire, filling up with nitrogen isn’t cheap. For the lazy bunch out there, it might be appealing, but certainly isn’t worth it. Besides, checking your tire pressures should be part of your responsibilities as a car owner.


Even tire company Continental has an official stance on filling their tires with nitrogen.

“For normal everyday consumer tire service applications, nitrogen tire inflation is not required,” says a bulletin posted by the company. “The use of nitrogen alone does not substitute for the importance of regularly checking tire inflation pressure.”

But commercial and work trucks fleets have been using nitrogen in their tires for years, why would it make more sense to those operators? The reasoning is scale: ensuring all the tires in a fleet are at the correct PSI means that the fleet’s fuel economy will not fluctuate. Most trucks already don’t have good fuel economy and fleets are spending a lot of money on gas.

As these vehicles are on the road for a long time, they might not get the chance to have their tires checked often. The longer they’re at the optimum PSI, the better their average fuel economy and the less money is spent on fuel over the whole fleet.

SEE ALSO: When to Get Your Wheels Balanced

The Verdict

While nitrogen filled tires are more consistent when it comes to pressure and temperature, the better money would be spent on an accurate tire pressure gauge and quality air compressor. As a one-time purchase, these two products will make themselves useful every time you check your tires.

  • ricktherealtor

    Nitrogen is not flammable like oxygen, so it’s a good idea to use N2….. if you’re slamming your F-18 unto a carrier deck! Otherwise, don’t waste your money. Those tire shops are making a killing on this scam.

  • Transpower

    I use nitrogen in my tires. The pressure is much more constant than with air, and there is much less wear on the tires–they last longer! This is NOT a scam!

  • Robby G

    You are gullible.

  • Transpower

    HaHa. I am a full member of the Society of Automotive Engineers, and you are not.

  • Shawn C

    then you should know better.

  • Skip tortious

    Does it make you proud to be a full member of the society of automotive engineers? I think a real member would be a little more modest!

  • Interested

    So it’s OK for fleets, but not passenger cars? You’re right… tire pressure is (presumably) checked at every oil change… which is once every 2 years on my M5, and just about once a year on every other car manufacturer today, but the average tire loses 3psi every month… which would total a 36psi loss in just 12 month. I guess Nissan has no clue what their doing filling tires with nitrogen during assembly. You may be interested in researching the formal statements from Goodyear, Bridgestone, Firestone, and countless others.

  • Mr. J

    I love when uneducated people write technical articles… slowly but surely ruining the internet.

  • Noel K Frothingham

    One more reason to use nitrogen. Since it does not introduce moisture into the tire, your steel wheels are much less likely to develop rust/corrosion.

« Back
SWEEPSTAKES – OFFICIAL RULES, TERMS AND CONDITIONS’s Monthly Overlay Newsletter Signup – By subscribing to our email newsletter, Entrants are eligible to win one (1) Gift Card (value of $100.00 USD). One (1) winner will be chosen every month at random and contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. * is not a sponsor of this promotion. Except as required by law, Gift Cards ("GCs") cannot be transferred for value or redeemed for cash. GCs may be used only for purchases of eligible goods at or certain of its affiliated websites. For complete terms and conditions, see GCs are issued by ACI Gift Cards, Inc., a Washington corporation. All Amazon ®, ™ & © are IP of, Inc. or its affiliates. No expiration date or service fees.


2. PRIZE: One (1) Winner will be randomly selected every month to each receive: one (1) $100.00 Gift Card (the “Prize Supplier”). Total approximate retail value of all prizes is approximately $100.00 USD. Prizes are not transferable and no cash or prize substitution is allowed. Prize package is awarded "as is" with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied.

3. ELIGIBILITY: From the time of entry through the final date of prize fulfillment, each contest entrant and selected entrant must be a permanent lawful citizen and resident residing in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia or in Canada, and be twenty one (21) years of age or older. VOID IN PUERTO RICO, THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, IN ALL FOREIGN COUNTRIES OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES, AND ALL OTHER U.S. TERRITORIES OR CANADA AND POSSESSIONS AND WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Employees, officers, directors, agents and representatives, of the Sponsor and the Prize Supplier and each of their respective parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, promotion partners and any entity involved in the development, production, implementation, administration or fulfillment of this Sweepstakes, and the immediate family members (e.g., spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, grandparent, in-law, daughter and son, regardless of where they live) and persons living in the same household (whether or not related) of such individuals are not eligible to participate or win. Only one selected entrant per household. All decisions of the Sponsor with respect to this sweepstakes are final. The Sponsor shall have the right at any time to require proof of identity and failure to provide such proof may result in disqualification from the Sweepstakes.

4. ENTER BY INTERNET: You may enter this sweepstakes via the Internet by logging onto and subscribing to our email newsletter via the pop-up overlay.

5. SELECTION OF WINNER: One (1) Entrant will be selected by random selection who have subscribed to our email newsletter. The winner may be announced publicly on and will be contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. The winner will be required to provide a mailing address (that is not a P.O. box) to receive the prize which will be shipped free of charge.

6. ODDS OF WINNING: Odds of winning a prize are determined by the total number of eligible entries received.

7. RESTRICTIONS: The prize package consists of one (1) Gift Card with an approximate value of $100.00 USD. If prize cannot be awarded due to circumstances beyond the control of the Sponsor or Prize Supplier, no substitute prize will be awarded due to the unique nature of the prize. Sponsor and Prize Supplier shall not be liable to the winner or any person claiming through winner for failure to supply the prize or any part thereof, by reason of any acts of God, any action(s), regulation(s), order(s) or request(s) by any governmental or quasi-governmental entity (whether or not the action(s), regulations(s), order(s) or request(s) prove(s) to be invalid), equipment failure, utility failure, internet failure, terrorist acts, threatened terrorist acts, air raid, blackout, act of public enemy, earthquake, war (declared or undeclared), fire, flood, epidemic, explosion, unusually severe weather, hurricane, embargo, labor dispute or strike (whether legal or illegal) labor or material shortage, transportation interruption of any kind, work slow-down, civil disturbance, insurrection, riot, or any other cause beyond Sponsor's or Prize Supplier's control (collectively, "Force Majeure Event"). Sponsor shall not be responsible for any cancellations, delays, diversions or substitutions or any act or omissions whatsoever by the performers/events, other transportation companies or any other persons providing any of these services and accommodations to passengers including any results thereof such as changes in services or accommodations necessitated by same.

8. CONDITIONS: By entering the Sweepstakes, entrants agree to be bound by the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions and that Sponsor has the irrevocable right to use in perpetuity entrants' names, user names, likenesses, photographs, voices, home mailing address, biographical and prize information, and entry materials, without notice to entrants and without compensation or obligation, in any and all media now or hereafter known throughout the world, in any manner whatsoever, to advertise and promote Sponsor, its products and services, the Sweepstakes, and for any other purpose except where prohibited by law. Entrant waives the right to assert as a cost of winning a prize any and all costs of verification and redemption or travel to redeem said prize and any liability which might arise from redeeming or seeking to redeem said prize. Sponsor is not responsible for fraudulent calls or emails made to entrants not by the Sponsor. If the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned by reason of damage by computer viruses, worms or bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical limitations or failures, any Force Majeure Event or any other cause which, in the sole opinion of Sponsor, could corrupt, compromise, undermine or otherwise affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, viability or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes, Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend all or any part of the Sweepstakes, and to select a winner from among all eligible entries received by Sponsor up until the time of such cancellation, termination, modification or suspension, as applicable. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual that (i) tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operations of this Sweepstakes in any manner, (ii) violates the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions or (iii) acts in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS. SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK CIVIL AND/OR CRIMINAL PROSECUTION AND/OR DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. Any expenses and receipt and use of the prize and federal, state and local taxes and fees applicable in connection with the prize awarded are the sole responsibility of the winner. An IRS Form 1099 will be issued in the name of the winner for the actual value of the prize received. This Sweepstakes is subject to all federal, state and local laws of the United States. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Sponsor, Prize Supplier, and their respective officers, directors, parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies, employees, representatives and agents are not responsible for and shall not be liable for (i) any injuries, losses or damages of any kind caused by a prize resulting from acceptance, possession or usage of the prize, or (ii) printing, distribution or production errors. Sponsor or its affiliates may rescind any promotion found to contain such errors without liability at its or their sole discretion.

9. SPONSOR: The Sponsor of this contest is VerticalScope Inc. (the owner and operator of, 111 Peter Street, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2H1.

Subscribe to our email newsletter and automatically be entered to win.
*Restrictions apply. See offer for details

Get Breaking Automotive News, Reviews and Video in your Facebook Feed!

Already Liked