Repair Industry Struggling With Use Of Nitrogen

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Editor:

Remember when you were told you had to flush your fuel injectors? Today, all the car makers say please don’t. Remember when flushing your engine was the rage? Today we know we ruined many engines by trying to flush them. Remember the Vitilizer, the Gas-O-Miser, the Tornado and Radar License plate fluid?

Today, my repair industry is struggling with the use of nitrogen in tires. Your newspaper has letters speaking to one side of the issue. There is another side.

I agree that certain parts of SV may have cars going 200 mph or rigs on the road weighing 50 tons, but NASCAR and airplanes have nothing in common with Payson cars and trucks. To suggest that nitrogen is some kind of a stop leak or will eliminate a leaking tire is simply not true. And weather changes will affect your tire pressure even if it is filled with Jell-O.

Studies show there is a difference of air pressure of 3 to 4 pounds annually between compressed air and nitrogen. Yes, the air in your tire is 80 percent nitrogen, however, over the last three years of testing of nitrogen-filled tires, using a sophisticated sensor, I have yet to find a nitrogen-filled tire that has more than 95 percent nitrogen. That is because many machines cannot make pure nitrogen. Most will not tell you what percent they make.

Secondly, there is no way to suck the remaining air from a deflated tire to create a 100 percent virgin nitrogen-filled tire. That is exactly why our testing shows the average nitrogen-filled tire has 89 percent nitrogen.

So here is what I say to my 45,000 customers. If you want to change the nitrogen in your tires from 80 percent to maybe 90 percent or less, go ahead and pay $29 to $89 to have a shop fill your tires.

But some will tell you, from that point on, you must go to them for tire inflation service. If you think that is a good idea, why not give the key to your locking gas cap to one station? This is another way for some in our industry to take money from your pocket and put it in theirs and give you nothing in return.

Mark Salem, mechanical expert Phoenix KTAR Car Guy

Salem Boys Auto, Tempe ASE Master Tech, L-1 and a new Star Valley resident

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