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Question DetailsAsked on 5/10/2014

Do nitrogen filled tires really "prevent fewer blowouts?"

The May 2014 print edition of Angie's List states on page 7 that "Nitrogen (filled tires) can prevent fewer blowouts." Does that mean fewer blowouts are prevented with nitrogen than if you fill the tire with air, i.e. you are more likely to have a blowout using nitrogen? Or is it the other way around?

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2 Answers


Hi, this is Meranda with Angie's List.

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I checked with the magazine writer and editor, and we're going to include a clarification on the piece. The correct interpretation according to the reporter who conducted the research on whether nitrogen-inflated tires are worth it is, "By filling your tires up with nitrogen, you’ll have fewer blowouts. The quote just below that explains that nitrogen has larger molecules causing a slower rate of deflation."


Answered 6 years ago by Meranda


They do leak slower, reduce internal degradationof the rubber from moisture and oxidation, and provide slightly better gas mileage. However, the way they reduce blowout is primarily, except for very old tires, by holding the air a bit better.

If you routinely eyeball your tires weekly or so, and actually check the pressure at least 2-4 times/year and get any leaker repaired, any blowout you have will be due to defective tires or road hazard anyway. The key is if a tire is losing pressure, get it fixed ASAP,, so you do not end up running on a soft tire -the main cause of blowouts, as soft tires rapidly overheat at speed.

And have them use rubberized bead sealer when mounting any tire - a $10 quart can from auto supply store or JC Whitney lasts quite a few sets of tires, and I have NEVER had a tire leak in 40+ years that was not due to a damaged valve stem or road hazard like nail or screw. Usually new vehicle tires seal well enough they do not need it, but as the rim gets older and starts corroding it does. My tires have held air for up to 15 years without needing air added, and I have winter/summer changeout sets right now that are 11 years old with about 40,000 miles on each set and have never had air added, because of the bead sealer. IT is so simple, and costs probably less than $1 for a 4 tire mount to wipe it on the rim before mounting, but tire shops just do not do it.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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