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Filling your tires with N2 (Nitrogen)

JonnyRotten

Well-Known Member
1,673
771
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Vehicle Model
Civic Si
Body Style
coupe
So I'm now driving a 2014 Civic Si couple.
I've noticed that the valve caps have a N2 symbol on them so I have to assume they are filled with Nitrogen.
I'm going to have to verify that with my dealership next time I'm in.
I live in Canada :canada: so I'm not sure if all Civic Si's come with Nitrogen filled tires or if it's just put in Canadian cars. Not sure if non-Si vehicles in Canada get it as well?
I'm wondering if the US versions of the Civic Si or non-Si come with Nitrogen filled tires? :usa:

:feedback:
 

squiggy

Cartographer
Super Mod
Toys For Tots
11,187
6,657
Michiana
Vehicle Model
'12 Civic Si
Body Style
DBP II Coupe
So I'm now driving a 2014 Civic Si couple.
I've noticed that the valve caps have a N2 symbol on them so I have to assume they are filled with Nitrogen.
I'm going to have to verify that with my dealership next time I'm in.
I live in Canada :canada: so I'm not sure if all Civic Si's come with Nitrogen filled tires or if it's just put in Canadian cars. Not sure if non-Si vehicles in Canada get it as well?
I'm wondering if the US versions of the Civic Si or non-Si come with Nitrogen filled tires? :usa:

:feedback:

It usually depends on the dealer. I have used the same dealer for four Honda's over 10 years or so and only one vehicle (wife's previous Insight) came with nitrogen in the last few years. My Si does not currently have it. I always thought it was a hassle anyway. The only way to get a fill up was to make a trip to the dealer. I suppose from their standpoint it gets you in the door more often and creates a good relationship with clients. Plus, there really isn't much if any worthwhile benefit anyway.

Good article from Tire Rack:
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=191
 
Last edited:

squiggy

Cartographer
Super Mod
Toys For Tots
11,187
6,657
Michiana
Vehicle Model
'12 Civic Si
Body Style
DBP II Coupe
Forget the link. The article is worthwhile to post in the thread.

Clearing the Air About Nitrogen Tire Inflation

Lea esta página en español

One of a tire's primary tasks is to carry the weight of the vehicle. But anyone who’s ever had a flat tire knows that the tire doesn't really carry the load...the inflation pressure inside it does! Using the correct inflation pressure not only provides the appropriate load capacity, it also enhances the tire's performance, durability and contribution to vehicle fuel economy.

Tires are typically inflated with air that’s a combination of roughly 78% nitrogen (N2), 21% oxygen (O2) and 1% miscellaneous gases. And since all gasses expand when heated and contract when cooled, tire inflation pressures rise and fall with changes in temperature by about one psi (pound per square inch) for every 10° Fahrenheit change in temperature. This is one of the reasons it’s recommended that tire pressures be checked early in the morning before ambient temperatures, the sun's radiant heat, or the heat generated by driving causes the tire pressure to rise.

And while tires appear solid, if you could see their microscopic structure you would find that rubber looks a bit like strands of cooked spaghetti stuck together. These molecular strands continuously stretch to and from their relaxed state every time the tire rolls and conspire to allow some of the gas to escape through the microscopic spaces between the rubber molecules (called permeation or diffusion). It's been estimated that up to one psi of pressure may escape each month a tire is in service.

Fortunately compressed air is often available at gas stations, tire stores and auto repair shops. Sometimes it’s free, while other times it’s only available from coin-operated compressors. Unfortunately the compressed air often provided contains varying degrees of moisture depending on relative humidity and the compressor system’s ability to dry the air by removing moisture.

So what can we do to help maintain more constant tire pressures? We could change what we inflate our tires with.

Pure nitrogen has been used to inflate critical tire applications for years, primarily because it doesn't support moisture or combustion. These include racing tires (IndyCar, Formula 1, NASCAR), aircraft tires (commercial and military) and heavy-duty equipment tires (earthmovers and mining equipment). The challenge facing nitrogen inflation hasn't been its application, it's been its method of supply and cost.

Nitrogen molecules have a more difficult time escaping through the microscopic spaces that exist between a tire's rubber molecules. Nitrogen is a "slow" inactive gas labeled as an inert gas due to its nonreactive nature with many materials. Oxygen on the other hand is a "fast" active gas that reacts with many materials called "oxidation." Additionally nitrogen is a dry gas that doesn't support moisture while oxygen combined with hydrogen makes water (H2O).

What are the effects of using pure nitrogen to inflate tires?

  • Nitrogen is a gas and is still affected by changes in ambient temperature (about one psi for every 10° Fahrenheit). Nitrogen filled tires will require pressure be added during the fall/winter months as ambient temperatures and tire pressures drop. Nitrogen is good but can't change the laws of physics.
  • Nitrogen reduces the loss of tire pressure due to permeation through rubber over time by about 1/3. This helps maintain the vehicle's required tire pressures a little longer, but doesn’t eliminate the need for monthly tire pressure checks. This is good for people who don’t maintain their vehicles well.
  • Nitrogen is non-corrosive and will reduce oxidation and rust due to the absence of oxygen and moisture. This will help minimize wheel corrosion to promote better bead sealing. Tires that are used routinely will be replaced long before any life benefit would be received by using Nitrogen. This is most beneficial for drivers who drive their vehicles infrequently (car collectors, track drivers, snow tire users, motor home owners, etc).
  • Nitrogen is a dry gas and will not support moisture that could contribute to corrosion of the tire’s steel components (bead, sidewall reinforcement and belts) due to the absence of moisture over extended periods of time. However it’s important to remember that atmospheric pressure is constantly pushing oxygen and moisture into the rubber from the outside of the tire. This is especially good for low mileage drivers who don't wear out their tires quickly or those that run average annual mileages but use long wearing radial (60K and 80K warranted) tires.
  • Nitrogen assures more consistent pressure increases due to increases in operating temperatures in a racing environment because of the absence of moisture. This is especially good for participants in track days, high-performance drivers education schools and road racing.
  • Drivers should use standard air if pressure adjustments are required when a local source of nitrogen can’t be found during a trip. While this reduces the benefit of higher nitrogen content, it is far better than running the tires underinflated in search of a source. Often the original nitrogen provider will refill the tires for free or a nominal cost when the driver returns to his hometown.
Several service equipment manufacturers have developed small, on-site nitrogen generator systems that use the selective permeation principle to separate oxygen and moisture from the shop’s compressed air lines to capture nitrogen. The key component is a membrane that separates the gasses. Each module contains hollow fibers that allow the oxygen and water vapor to be selectively removed, resulting in a source of nearly pure nitrogen that is kept in a separate storage tank until it is used to inflate tires.

The nitrogen generator, storage tank and filling system aren’t free and the dealer is entitled to some return on his investment. It’s time-consuming for a technician to bleed air from the tires (sometimes requiring several purges during the initial inflation) to achieve the desired nitrogen purity, however some of the latest equipment automatically goes through several purge cycles without requiring the technician’s participation.

While inflating tires with nitrogen never results in 100% purity, most nitrogen service equipment providers advise that reaching at least a 93% to 95% purity is necessary to receive the desired benefits. This ratio is normally achieved by initially purging the tires of existing air (down to just a few psi) and then refilling them with nitrogen. The purge/fill cycle is often repeated to achieve the desired level of nitrogen purity.

NOTE: Tires should never be subjected to a vacuum in an effort to eliminate the oxygen. Distorting the tire as shown in the accompanying picture can be as detrimental to the internal structure of the tire as running over potholes and road hazards.



So what should drivers do?

Overall, inflating tires with nitrogen won't hurt them and may provide some minimal benefits.

Is it worth it? If you go someplace that provides free nitrogen with new tires, why not? Additionally we’ve seen some service providers offering reasonable prices of about $5 per tire (including periodic adjustments for the life of the tire) to a less reasonable $10 per tire (with additional costs for subsequent pressure adjustments) or more as part of a service contract, which we believe exceeds the value of nitrogen’s benefit.

Rather than pay extra for nitrogen, most drivers would be better off buying an accurate tire pressure gauge and checking and adjusting their tire pressures regularly.
 

JonnyRotten

Well-Known Member
1,673
771
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Vehicle Model
Civic Si
Body Style
coupe
It usually depends on the dealer. I have used the same dealer for four Honda's over 10 years or so and only one vehicle (wife's previous Insight) came with nitrogen in the last few years. My Si does not currently have it. I always thought it was a hassle anyway. The only way to get a fill up was to make a trip to the dealer. I suppose from their standpoint it gets you in the door more often and creates a good relationship with clients. Plus, there really isn't much if any worthwhile benefit anyway.

Good article from Tire Rack:
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=191

Thanks for the feedback @squiggy and the link.
After reading that article it seems that the Nitrogen isn't a bad thing especially since Nitrogen cannot escape from the tires as easily as regular oxygen. Yes, it's a bit of an inconvenience having to go to a shop to top the Nitrogen up but that's going to be very infrequently if your tires maintain their pressure better with the Nitrogen.
 

squiggy

Cartographer
Super Mod
Toys For Tots
11,187
6,657
Michiana
Vehicle Model
'12 Civic Si
Body Style
DBP II Coupe
Thanks for the feedback @squiggy and the link.
After reading that article it seems that the Nitrogen isn't a bad thing especially since Nitrogen cannot escape from the tires as easily as regular oxygen. Yes, it's a bit of an inconvenience having to go to a shop to top the Nitrogen up but that's going to be very infrequently if your tires maintain their pressure better with the Nitrogen.

They actually fluctuate more than you would think...especially in the winter. I found it to be an annoyance and just started using normal air.
 

JonnyRotten

Well-Known Member
1,673
771
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Vehicle Model
Civic Si
Body Style
coupe
N2 is installed at the dealership, usually part of the "lot pack" which is costed to the vehicle. All Hondas currently come off the line with regular old air.
My previous 2012 had it and I believe it was part of a package that came with the car. It was a demo.
When I ordered this car I said I don't want any extras and I didn't pay for any extras so that's why I'm trying to figure out if anyone else has the N2 valve caps.
As far as I know I got just the car. Not even stickers. (hate those)
 

the insider

Well-Known Member
309
253
north of the 49th, south of the 401
Vehicle Model
civic si
Body Style
sedan
You may not have seen it itemized on your purchase agreement but its likely built into to the clean up or PDI portion of the car prep - often in the GTA the windows are also etched with a security serial number. The valve caps are not Honda - they are put on by the dealer and are put on to indicate the presence of N2 - sometimes green valve caps are also used.
 

JonnyRotten

Well-Known Member
1,673
771
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Vehicle Model
Civic Si
Body Style
coupe
You may not have seen it itemized on your purchase agreement but its likely built into to the clean up or PDI portion of the car prep - often in the GTA the windows are also etched with a security serial number. The valve caps are not Honda - they are put on by the dealer and are put on to indicate the presence of N2 - sometimes green valve caps are also used.
@the insider I specifically said I don't want the stupid security package that comes with the stickers on all of the body panels and the Nitrogen in the tires. I told the sales person who happens to be a friend of a friend that it's a waste of money. She agreed with me so I don't think it was installed on purpose. Maybe by accident. I'm going to text her and ask for sure but I thought I would throw it out to the group to see if any of the new Civic owners had any feedback.
I'll let you know what I find out. Thanks for your feedback!
 

JonnyRotten

Well-Known Member
1,673
771
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Vehicle Model
Civic Si
Body Style
coupe
My actual reason for creating this thread was to figure out if all Civic Si's come with Nitrogen now, only Canadian Civic Si's, or only those cars that the dealership fills with N2.
Although I appreciate the feedback and links to sites that give their opinion on putting Nitrogen in the tires of your vehicle.
I personally don't care either way.
So far it seems that the dealership has to put it in in order for you to have it in the tires.
 
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