Filling Your Tires With Nitrogen

March 22, 2006--Posted at 5:10 p.m. CST

JONESBORO, AR--Compact cars and hybrid cars are all the rage when it comes to improving fuel efficiency to save you from high prices at the pump. But your tires can also help with your fuel economy. It doesn't matter if your favorite NASCAR driver is Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart or Jeff Gordon, what they use to get performance out of their tires is now available to consumers here in Region 8.

"Several years ago NASCAR, Indy, and Formula 1, the major airlines started using nitrogen to replace oxygen because it reduces tire failure and the tires run cooler," said Danny Cook Retail Manager of Gateway Tire of Arkansas.

Instead of filling up your tires with oxygen, using nitrogen as an alternative leads to an 80% reduction in tire failure. In addition to more reliable tires, nitrogen can also save you at the pump.

"Runs 20% cooler than the oxygen so the cooler it runs the less road resistance it has so your tire rolls easier," said Cook.

With gas hovering around $2.40 cents, using this alternative that makes up 70% of the air we breathe can make your next trip to fill up a little less painful.

"Tests indicate that it will increase your fuel economy up to 4% on the life of your tires," said Cook.

Having your car's tires filled with nitrogen can improve your fuel efficiency by up to two or three miles per gallon and at 40 miles driven per day that will save you 2.5 gallons per week and with the high price of fuel almost $300 a year.

Gateway Tire in Jonesboro says they have filled over 3000 vehicles tires with nitrogen since offering the service back in the fall. Nitrogen molecules are larger than oxygen which means less of the gas escapes out of the tire helping to preserve a proper tire pressure on your car.

"Whether you have nitrogen or oxygen the tire pressure is the most critical thing in the life of a tire," said Cook.

It costs roughly $5 to fill each tire with nitrogen. A small price to pay in return for the money you can potentially save by switching over from oxygen. Right now the only tire store in Jonesboro offering nitrogen was Gateway Tire of Arkansas but other stores say it is a service they are looking to add in the near future.