As the weather turns for the worse, we’re starting to hear this question a lot… “why does my tire pressure light keep coming on?”
That little yellow/orange light (located somewhere near the speedometer or RPMs) with the exclamation point in the middle lights up when there is a noticed change in tire pressure. This could happen for a number of reasons… the most common of these reasons is a slow leak due to tire malfunction or, more realistically, lower temperatures.
As the temperatures drop, the pressure in your tires drops with it… some more than others. So how can you avoid the hassle of stopping by the gas station every couple of weeks to fill your deflated tire with compressed air?
The answer: Nitrogen.
There are several compelling reasons to use pure nitrogen in your tires. Consider this… air is 78% nitrogen, just under 21% oxygen, and a small percentage of CO2, water vapor and small concentrations of noble gases such as argon and neon (these can be ignored).
Nitrogen is less likely to migrate through tire rubber than is oxygen, which means that your tire pressures will remain more stable over the long term. Race car drivers use nitrogen rather than air because they quickly figured out that tires filled with nitrogen rather than air exhibit less pressure change with temperature swings.
Your car can also benefit from the more stable pressures. Humidity (usually in the form of water) is obviously not a good thing to have in a tire. Water (and water vapor) causes more of a pressure change with temperature swings than dry air and promotes corrosion of the steel/aluminum rim.
AutoMax Hyundai Norman has a new machine that generates pure nitrogen by straining out the oxygen from the shop-compressed air. While not being used, the system automatically goes through several purge cycles unattended.
With nitrogen, your tire pressures will remain more constant, saving you some fuel and tire-maintenance costs, you’ll see less moisture inside your tires (meaning less corrosion on your wheels), and you should start feeling a subtle difference in the ride, handling and braking. The nitrogen will almost immediately bring your tire levels back to the proper numbers.
If you’re interested in this service or would simply like more information, call our service department at 405-364-2000.