Friday, October 21, 2005

Car Tire Pressure

We have an article before in ccWeekly discussing to maintain proper tire pressure is important for safety and money.

I replaced my tire recentl in costco.com. I learned something new. Costco inflate tires with Nitrogen. Why nitrogen?

  1. Plain old air 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen. Oxygen molecule size is smaller than Oxygen. Oxygen escapes from  tire 3-4 times faster than nitrogen.

  2. Air contains moisture. The moisture in air will expand and contract with ambient temperature changes. This results in fluctuating tire pressure.

  3. Nitrogen is an inert, dry gas. It helps to stabilize a tire’s inflation pressure.

  4. A stabilized tire can maximize vehecle handling and tire life. Your tires have even contact with roads. Your tire will prematurely wear on the shoulders if under-inflated; wear in the middle if over-inflated.

  5. A stabilized tire can maximize can maximize fuel efficiency.

It won’t harm yourself to top them off with regular air if necessary. But the more air you  put in, the less benefit you will get from the remaining nitrogen.
Also Michelin recommends to rotate and balance tires every 5000 miles. Also alignment is important. If you notice unusual tire wear or that your vehicle "pulls" one way or the other, the wheel alignment may need to be reset. If you notice your vehicle vibrating on a smooth road, your wheels may be out of balance. My tires wear out at 25000 miles because I did not pay attention to alignment.

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