When Filling Tires, Skip The Air


Steve Ellis of Steve’s ACDelco Pro Lube and Tire Center recently began offering nitrogen replacement for tires. All new tires sold at the shop will also receive an initial fill with nitrogen.

Steve Ellis of Steve’s ACDelco Pro Lube and Tire Center recently began offering nitrogen replacement for tires. All new tires sold at the shop will also receive an initial fill with nitrogen. |

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The next time you fill up your tires, consider using nitrogen, the switch may increase the life of your tires and lower the number of top offs, one tire and lube owner says.

Recently, Steve’s ACDelco Pro Lube and Tire Center, at 108 W. Wade Lane, became the sole proprietor of a nitrogen compression station in town.

John Zilisch, a backer of the shop, said they decided to invest in nitrogen because they heard more drivers were making the switch and going to Phoenix for service.

“So many were going to the Valley to get it done,” he said.

Like air, nitrogen is also used to fill tires; however, that is where the similarities stop.

Zilisch said nitrogen-filled tires are more stable than air-filled tires, experience minimal change in pressure from altitude variation, rarely require top offs, extend the life of tires and result in better mileage.

“For these reasons, all aircraft have been using nitrogen-filled tires for years and presently, most commercial vehicles are converting to nitrogen,” he said. “They know that for the greatest safety, best fuel mileage and extended tire life, nitrogen is the only way to go.”

The thinking goes, because nitrogen molecules are fatter, they diffuse slower from a tire compared with oxygen molecules, thus tire pressure is maintained for longer, leading to better tire wear and extended performance.

“In addition, the stability of nitrogen will eliminate many of the tire pressure sensor problems that result in those irritating dash lights constantly coming on,” Zilisch said.

In March 2009, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) compared nitrogen with air and found that at the end of 90 days, nitrogen-inflated tires lost less pressure than air-inflated tires.

However, the NHTSA warns that although nitrogen diffuses slower, tire pressure should still be checked regularly. The NHTSA found that only 30 percent of drivers report checking their tire pressure once a month.

If you are interested in switching over to nitrogen, stop by Steve’s ACDelco Pro Lube and Tire Center. The initial cost is $29 for most cars and more for SUVs.

If tire pressure ever decreases, Zilisch said it is safe to add air to nitrogen-filled tires. For more information, call (928) 468-0415.

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