Halfords demonstrate how to check and inflate your car tyres
Mechanic Scotty Kilmer has stressed it was a “joke” that many motorists were putting nitrogen in their car tyres.
In normal tyres, pressures rise and fall depending on temperatures with psi shifting by around one for every 12 degrees celsius.
However, nitrogen rubber has less tyre pressure variations which makes it ideal for demanding environments.
This tip is used by race teams and airlines but Kilmer has revealed ordinary road users did not need to worry.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Kilmer said: “Well basically a complete waste of money if you’re putting nitrogen in your tyres unless you’re a race car driver.
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“Something like 80 percent of the air we are not breathing in is nitrogen right, so all you’re doing is getting rid of 20 percent of the rest and putting nitrogen in.
“Nitrogen is an inert gas so it won’t rust the inside of your wheels, most people have aluminium or magnesium wheels, even the steel ones don’t really rust out. They don’t have the big temperature change, it’s not that big of a deal.
“They do put [nitrogen] in airplanes. You know what it’s like when you’re 40,000 ft in the air. It’s really cold. You don’t want them expanding and contracting from the temperature which nitrogen does.
“Race cars, they’re going 200 mph they get real hot the pressure will change a lot, it won’t change as much with nitrogen.
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“But for normal driving, it’s a complete waste of your money. Like come on, it’s a joke for most people.”
Tyre pressures are crucial to vehicle safety with police officers likely to issue a Penalty Charge Notice to any drivers with under-inflated rubber.
Dunlop warns that tyres which appear obviously under-inflated are also likely to fail an MOT test.
Experts at Continental Tyres stressed pumping nitrogen into your tyres would cause no damage but admitted there was little benefit to trying it.
They commented: “To be clear, inflating tyres with nitrogen is not harmful. Moreover, the PSI stays steady in the long term. (Tyres filled with regular air lose pressure through permeation a little more quickly.)
“But for the most part, nitrogen makes absolutely no difference when it comes to a loss of pressure caused by tyre punctures, tyre bead leaks, valve leaks or other mechanical leaks.
“There’s no discernible benefit over air-filled tyres, and that includes performance factors such as rolling resistance, fuel economy and tyre [ageing].”
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