The air that we breathe may not be good for our tyres!


When you next pop an airline on your tyres to adjust pressures, consider for a moment what you are doing. Standard garage/service station airlines fill road car tyres with compressed air which contains water vapour, and can lead, over time, to corrosion within the tyre. Furthermore, due to the size of oxygen molecules, air leaches out of the tyre wall leading to a drop in tyre pressure, up to 2psi in a single month. However, there is a solution to this problem – fill your tyres with nitrogen!

Nitrogen, a colourless, odourless, tasteless and non toxic gas that forms about 78% of the earth’s atmosphere delivers important benefits when used in tyres:
– slows the rate of pressure loss
– keeps tyre pressures more constant
– increases tyre life
– reduces the tyre’s running temperature

Nitrogen, due to its chemical structure – its molecules are larger than oxygen – means that it is much slower to leak out of a tyre, therefore, pressure is held more constant. However, this does not mean that tyres should not be checked regularly and frequently says TyreSafe – the UK’s leading tyre safety organisation. Nitrogen also provides a more stable pressure range in relation to tyre temperature and a tyre’s operating temperature plays a part in how rapidly it wears. It is for this reason that nitrogen is used in motorsport, notably Formula 1, as tyre temperatures often get close to 100 degrees C and require consistent pressure.

All in all, the use of nitrogen can mean up to a 25% increase in tyre life and a 5% reduction in fuel consumption together with a reduction in CO2 emissions, a vitally important consideration in today’s environmental debate.

An increasing number of garages are now offering motorists the choice of a nitrogen fill for tyres. Garages will evacuate all the air from within the tyre, a necessary prerequisite prior to filling with nitrogen which can cost as little as £2.00 per tyre. It must be remembered that any topping up of the pressure must be done with nitrogen.

TyreSafe does however make the point that the use of nitrogen should not prevent drivers from carrying out regular tyre checks not just for pressures but also tread depth and general tyre condition.

Note to Editors:
TyreSafe is the campaigning arm of the former Tyre Industry Council, a not for profit, non commercial organisation set up to promote tyre safety and raise the awareness of the dangers of driving on defective or badly worn tyres. Illegal or badly worn tyres are a contributory factor in many accidents particularly in the wet. According to the latest DfT figures more than a third of all road crashes resulting in injury are as a result of under inflated or defective tyres. TyreSafe research indicates that 12% of car and vans on UK roads have at least one tyre below the legal minimum tread depth of 1.6mm. TyreSafe campaigns for good tyre husbandry – look after your tyres and your tyres will look after you.

For further press information please contact either Chris Wakley or Simon Wittenberg at Automotive PR on 020 7494 8050

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