Does anybody run nitrogen in their tires? I live in NE Ohio and have an ECO Cruze with the polished aluminum wheels. Supposed to keep the wheels from corroding inside. I have had cars with many rim leaks in the past.
I don't buy into the hype.
The area where rim leaks occur (the rim) is supposed to be sealed where the tire meets it.
That means, there should not be any air present at the interface and, in theory, it cannot corrode.
But, obviously, it does over time.
Over the years, I too keep wodering what causes this.
I think it may be related to the lubricant used on the bead at mounting time and here's why:
My 96 Blazer (still have) in 2000 was due for tires.....and, they all had developed rim leaks.....like 5 lb loss per week rim leaks.
At dismount, the rims displayed a great deal of white corrosion at the bead interface. I used a 3M sanding block and took them back to smooth.
Rather than use Ru-Glide (traditional mounting lube) I used silicone spray.
The new tires about jumped on the rims and beaded up with less than normal drama (the BANG)..............
Fast forward to 2005, now at 110k and tire time again.......no rim leaking ever developed.
Broke the tires down and found the interface exactly as I left it five years earlier......absolutely zero corrosion.....interesting.
In the fall of 2010, at 155k I changed tires again......no rim leaks and the rims were still corrosion free at the interface.
I learned that Ru-Glide and other mounting lubricants are mixed with water......I believe that sealing a bit of H2O at the interface is the likely culprit.....that and carwashes spraying high pressure reclaimed (saline) water at the rims doesn't help either.
If you wan't to talk about pressure stabilization and the negatives to that just ask.
I autocross my Miata from time to time.
Over time, you learn what tire pressure works best for the temperature/track surface/track layout etc.
Nitrogen works out great in this environment because the vehicle handling doesn't change much throughout the day with the changing air and track temperaure.
BUT......as far as a daily driver, that stabilization is not so good and not what the tire manufacturer intended.
Using my eco as the example......the recommended COLD (ambient temp) pressure is 35psi.
Using a 70 degree day as my starting point, it can be assumed that the tires, once at operating temperature, approxametly 120 degrees, the tires are now operating at 41/42 psi based on one psi increase for every 7/8 degrees.
What this means is Chevrolet and the tire manufacturer have determined that for the majority of operators this pressure will result in the best ride/handling/rolling resistance and tire wear.
If one was to set the tire at 35 psi using nitrogen, once at operating temperature, the tire is actually being operated in a underinflated condition......not dangerously underinflated but because of increased carcass flex the wear rate will be increased and mileage will suffer.
Tire manufacturers aren't going to say a thing......they are in business to sell tires.
Nitrogen is great for racing and aircraft......it is a lousy scam that has been foisted on the public for many years when talking about street car usage.......MY OPINION AND THE FACTS BEAR ME OUT.
Unless you can get the nitrogen for free, don't bother. Nitrogen expands and contracts just as much as regular air, which is 78% nitrogen to begin with. The only thing that nitrogen, if done properly, doesn't put into the tire is water vapor. However, it doesn't remove any pre-existing water vapor from the tire.