Nitrogen vs Air in Tires: Which is Better for Your Vehicle?

Car tires perform an essential role in weight support and ensuring motion. It means for a smooth driving experience; they should be in good shape. You can perform routine care measures, like ensuring the tire pressure is at the recommended level. Talking about pressure, we bring you the nitrogen vs. air in tire debate.

When filling up the tires, you have a choice of either nitrogen or standard air. Which of the two is the best, and when should you use them? Stick on as we go through the nitrogen vs. air discussion for a better understanding.

Nitrogen vs. Air in Tires Advantages and Disadvantages

nitrogen in tyres disadvantages

Nitrogen in Tires Advantages

We start the discussion by looking at the pros and cons of nitrogen-filled tires. Using nitrogen has plenty of advantages over standard air. They come from nitrogen’s large molecular structure, which prevents it from seeping out of the tires. The result is that you have stable tires that maintain their pressure for a long time.

Another perk of a nitrogen tire refill is that it reduces the running temperature of your tires. It translates to a slower wear process. In the long run, it will save you a fortune that you may incur from tire replacements.

Additionally, many drivers who use nitrogen-filled wheels admit that the drive is smooth. On rough roads, the comfort will be of a higher degree compared to that of regular tires. While there is no clear explanation, a provable one is due to the large molecules of this element that offer a cushioning effect.

Compared to oxygen, nitrogen is less reactive. This is a perk as it won’t cause the degradation of metallic components. When oxygen and moisture come into contact with metallic parts like the wheel, they can cause rusting.

Finally, nitrogen is stable in temperature changes. It translates to stability in pressure, whether it is cold or warm. It explains its extensive use in heavy-duty applications like in race cars, airplanes, and trucks.

Nitrogen in Tires Disadvantage

Among the nitrogen in tire disadvantages include fewer nitrogen filling stations. They are rare, and you may need to have spare tires filled with gas for your convenience. The good thing is that there are units that allow you to fill tires with nitrogen at home.

Nitrogen is quite expensive and prone to inflation. It means you may have to dig deeper into your pockets, especially when prices fluctuate. The maintenance of nitrogen-filled tires is also pretty expensive.

Air in Tire Advantages

The main reason why many people opt for regular air in tires is their availability. It is easy to come by, and it is very affordable. In most refill stations, refilling can be free or a couple of bucks. Air for tires is also less prone to economic inflation.

You can inflate your tires at home using a pump. The pumps are easy and cheaper to get than those of nitrogen. Maintaining air-filled tires is affordable and straightforward.


The main disadvantage of air in tires is that air seeps out fast. It is due to the small molecular structure of oxygen, which allows it to leak through the rubber. As such, low pressure is a common problem. Oxygen is also more reactive and can lead to issues like rusting and wheel rot. It reduces the life of your tires.

In a comparison between nitrogen and air-filled tires, you find that most drivers prefer the former when it comes to the driving experience. The complaint is that air-pressurized wheels do not handle the road perfectly; hence, the driving experience may be rough.

Nitrogen vs. Air in Tire

Nitrogen PSI vs. Air PSI

PSI is a unit of pressure, denoting pounds per square inch. It is advisable that your vehicle has the correct pressure for a smooth ride. Regardless of the air, you are using; the PSI should be as per the manufacturer’s recommendation. You will see this value indicated on the door of most vehicles.

Is nitrogen PSI the same s air PSI? Yes, the PSI values are the same, but you should account for temperature changes. Regular air will expand when the heat rises. Nitrogen, on the other hand, is more stable when the temperatures fluctuate. As such, you are sure of accurate reading when you fill tires with nitrogen.

To get a precise pressure level, pressurize the wheels when it is cold.

Nitrogen vs. Air in Tires Mpg

An essential subject you need to grasp is the nitrogen vs. air in tires mpg.  In this case, we look at how each of the gases fares in fuel economy. Many auto pundits suggest that nitrogen will offer a better economy. It is mainly because it seeps from the tires gradually and also contributes to overall tire health. A fully pressurized tire drives well with no hitches.

Air-filled tires are prone to air seepage; thus, there is a loss of pressure. This situation brings about a drag effect, and the engine will need more fuel to move the car. The miles per gallon debate concludes with nitrogen taking the win.

Nitrogen vs. Air in Tires Which Is Better

Nitrogen or air in tires, which one should you go for? The best answer is that it is a matter of convenience. While nitrogen seems to be the better choice, you will have hurdles like getting nitrogen air for tires near me. The gas refill stations are rare, and you get charged for the service. Typical air pressurization is free.

Among the situations where you should go for nitrogen are if you want a smooth ride, for long-lasting tires and if you drive heavy-duty vehicles like trucks and race cars. Regular air is an excellent option for everyday driving and if you cannot come across nitrogen-filling stations. Furthermore, go for it for budget driving as maintenance of the tires is a walk in the park, and you do not have to break the bank.

In short, for a comfortable ride on the road and longevity, go for nitrogen. For affordability and availability, the air in tires is the best choice.

Can You Put Air In Nitrogen-Filled Tires?

Picture this you are driving on nitrogen tires, then all of a sudden, you have a flat one, and there is no nitrogen station within. The logical move is to use the regular air instead of getting stuck on the road or driving with a flat wheel.

The good thing is that the standard air contains a considerable percentage of nitrogen, at 78%. Oxygen also has a huge portion, with the good thing being that it is not reactive. However, using regular air on nitrogen tires may slightly affect their efficiency.

Nitrogen vs. Air in Tire


Q: What Happens When You Mix Air And Nitrogen In A Tire?

Some situations may compel you to use air in tires instead of nitrogen. It is a common occurrence, seeing that getting nitrogen may be pretty hard. While mixing is not bad or dangerous, it may lower the effectiveness of nitrogen. You may experience air escaping and issues like rust due to oxygen exposure.

Q: Do Nitrogen-Filled Tires Make A Difference?

A sizeable fraction of drivers are going for nitrogen tire refilling. Nitrogen makes a huge difference, offering perks like optimum performance and fuel economy. The wheels are also durable, courtesy of the inert nature of nitrogen. With this gas, you can say goodbye to rust and wheel rot.

Additionally, you do not have to worry about deflated tires. Nitrogen’s molecular structure does not allow it to seep out easily.

Q: Is Nitrogen Tire Pressure The Same As Air?

When pressurizing your tires with any gas, ensure they meet the manufacturer’s recommendation, usually on the door. Nitrogen pressure is the same as that of air. A thing to note is that the normal inflation air has 78% nitrogen. Always adhere to the indicated PSI.

Q: Is Nitrogen-Filled Tires A Gimmick?

In the auto industry, several gimmicks come without any backing up facts. Fortunately, nitrogen-filled tires are nowhere near a scheme. Backing up points include its inertness and molecular structure. They are scientific facts that show you how nitrogen’s effectiveness comes to play when on your wheels.

Q: Is It Better To Fill Tires With Nitrogen Instead Of Air?

Nitrogen in tires comes with a ton of benefits. Prolonged tire life, comfortable driving, and fuel economy are a handful of them. The problem comes when looking for where to buy nitrogen for tires due to the rarity of nitrogen filling stations.

The main advantage that air has over nitrogen is that it is readily available. If you can easily access this tire pressure gas, go for it.

Final Words

Did you know you can use nitrogen in your car tires? If you did not, this article shows you it is possible and comes with many pros. It is a suitable choice, mainly if there is a dedicated filling station in your vicinity. Optionally, you can get a personal nitrogen filling unit for your favorability.

Air is likewise a good option as getting it is a walk in the park. Pick a preferable gas, and do not forget to perform routine maintenance practices like tire rotation.

Read More:


Hi there, I am R. Hasan Tito, a mechanic, and owner of this website. My friend and I created this website to share our knowledge, expertise, and experience with our fellow mechanics' community and car users. I am a specialist and certified automotive mechanic (Both Heavy Commercial and Private Cars). I worked as a Mechanic and Mechanic Supervisor for over fifteen years at Global Rebound Automotive companies - Toyota, TATA, BMW, Nissan, TVs, and Others. Now, I enjoy my new role of leading a team of automotive experts (in their respective fields) and publish new content on a regular basis on my website and social media.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts