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I know that many tire shops add Nitrogen instead of air in the tires. I don't think my new CT has Nitrogen in the tires. Should I opt to change the air in my tires? Will it benefit me in anyway? Better fuel mileage? Tires last longer?
 

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The theory behind Nitrogen is that the molecules are larger so therefore don't leak out as fast as Oxygen.

The resulting greater consistency in tire pressures supposedly leads to increased tire life and safety.

It's one of those things that while technically true, there is no huge difference. If it makes you feel better, do it. You may very well see a slight benefit.

If you are cheap and think air is fine... you're not going to kill your family.

Here is a Consumer Reports article on it:

http://news.consumerreports.org/cars/2007/10/tires-nitrogen-.html
 

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My dealer charges quite a bit to change the factory air to Nitrogen. Since air is 78% Nitrogen to begin with I opted out of it. Now some tire places (Costco) only fill their new tires with Nitrogen and put the little green caps on the valve stem. Air sems to be OK for me.
 

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If you can ensure you're going to check the air at least every two or three weeks, then good-old regular air will be fine. Do yourself a huge favor though... Use some kind of in-line or mounted filter/dryer. I live in South Florida where, duh, the air is loaded with moisture. One or two little filters in series should do the trick. I have a special air chuck that I use for my tires with two of the following referenced filters attached. They work great.

http://www.harborfreight.com/inline-desiccant-dryerfilter-68215.html
 

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my ct has nitrogen in the tires. so far they have held pressure very consistently, till it took a nail through the tire. as for putting air into it, you can put a fairly large amount of regular compressed air into it before it starts acting like normal air, but that is just what i was told by the dealership.
 

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Seems most dealers miss the most obvious place to use nitrogen because of pressure consistency, the not-so-easy to access spare.
 

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My dealer charges quite a bit to change the factory air to Nitrogen. Since air is 78% Nitrogen to begin with I opted out of it. Now some tire places (Costco) only fill their new tires with Nitrogen and put the little green caps on the valve stem. Air sems to be OK for me.
A36 hot roll steel is 96% iron. . .T316 stainless steel is 65% iron and it costs 4 times as much, so there's a lot in the percentages.

Seems most dealers miss the most obvious place to use nitrogen because of pressure consistency. . .

And "pressure consistency" is exactly right. . .the fact that compressed nitrogen is 100% pure nitrogen, it doesn't absorb water. . .thus not filling your tires up with water vapor, thus they won't have the 6-8+psi swings due to air and tire temperature that a tire filled with ambient compressed air will have. Compressed nitrogen will maybe have .5-1psi swings in a race tire, so probably less in a street tire.

Long story short, in theory, it should make for more even MPG (for all of you fastidiously tracking your MPG, you should probably fill up with nitrogen, because the margin of error induced by temperature change is a lot), and more consistent handling and braking (because the right sized contact patch is on the ground all the time). That's in theory. . .and the fact that places like Costco (where I've bought tires too) use Nitrogen only, at no extra cost, does lend some creedence too it (as does its use by practically every professional race team in ever facet of racing).

The hard part is for the shadetree mechanic, how do we top off our tires at home? I did some googling it's not quite as crazy as I thought it'd be, compressed nitrogen is pretty easy to get, you can buy a full 80cu ft tank via UPS for $150ish. I can get 340cf refill (+ tank rental) for $48. Just add hose & chuck. I actually might look into this.

Seems most dealers miss the most obvious place to use nitrogen because of pressure consistency, the not-so-easy to access spare.
Yes you're, theoretically, supposed to check your spare when you check your other tires, it's recommended level is in the door jamb (60psi).

Manual emphasizes to check your tires cold (i.e. "when sitting for at least 3 hours") or else temperatures may result in a pressure increase. And for both 17" & 18" wheels it recommends 32psi (though I swear my door jamb said 33. . .no big deal).

Your TPMS will kick on if you're doing over 28mph for at least one mile and it senses any one tire below 25psi. The TPMS light will go off if it's been filled up to at least 29psi and driven for at least a mile at 28mph or more.

Your car's computer will store codes that should be able to be pulled with any OBD2 code scanner that will show you which tire (only labeled numerically) threw the code, and if it was low pressure, or "abnormally high temperature."

-ace
 

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Don't believe the spare has a sensor for TPMS. When I took delivery of my CT in 5/11 the dealer had filled the 4 road tires to the max pressure on the sidewall, not a good idea. I try to check my tire pressures monthly but don't always feel like dropping the spare. I keep meaning to purchase an "Accu-gage - Chek A Spare, Valve Extender" to make the task easier.
 

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Don't believe the spare has a sensor for TPMS. When I took delivery of my CT in 5/11 the dealer had filled the 4 road tires to the max pressure on the sidewall, not a good idea. I try to check my tire pressures monthly but don't always feel like dropping the spare. I keep meaning to purchase an "Accu-gage - Chek A Spare, Valve Extender" to make the task easier.
Yes that's correct:

The low tire pressure indicator comes on and stays on after you replace the flat tire with the compact spare tire. After several miles (kilometers) driving with the compact spare tire, the TPMS indicator comes on and the low tire pressure indicator goes off.
And I keep a good tire pressure gauge and a good flashlight and a utility knife in the glovebox of both my cars, actually also a tire inflator too (I got one to fit in the little storage area on the right side of the trunk, not the big one in the middle).

And just a reminder to anyone that maybe hasn't used a space saver spare before - it is meant to literally get you to a gas station and/or dealer, it's not meant to drive around on for a week as you shop around for replacement tires. . .Most of them say on the side "limited to 50mph" or some such thing, I had one blow out on me after putting about 60-80 miles on it. . .and you are screwed when your spare blows out!

-Ace
 

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I've been considering using oxygen, but it feels like an unnecessary expense. Just keep your tires full, and you'll be fine.
Nitrogen, Nitrogen! :)

It probably is fine, we've all been doing it for a long time, but I think that whole Explorer/Firestone roll-over thing was a big wake up call that almost no driver checks his/her tire pressure on a regular basis, and catastrophic things can result.

Now it's the law that all vehicles have some kind of TPMS, some are super smart and can display the psi for all 4 tires on the dash, some are super dumb and will sense different twisting forces in an axle and acknowledge that a tire, somewhere, has something wrong with it.

The one advantage, well two, of running Nitrogen are: much less frequent need to top it off (but still check it regularly); and its complete lack of water vapor will lead to your tires behaving more consistently. Like I either mentioned above or linked to, tires fluctuate within a somewhat surprising range as they get hot and cool down, that can and will change the contact patches your tires make with the pavement a little bit.

Even the range that TPMS will alert to a problem is somewhat broad. . .not so broad you'll have a crazy accident within its limits, but maybe so broad that it will make mileage calculations a little inconsistent or handling feel slightly funky one minute but not the next.

I think eventually Nitrogen will replace compressed air everywhere just because it would save millions of gallons of gas a year.

-ace
 

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Aceman, you are probably right but in the scheme of things you would do just as well by checking your tires regularly with regular air and save the expense of nitrogen. My Honda can easily pull 27 to 28 MPG over the road at legal speeds with synthetic Mobil 1 0W-20 in the engine and Mobil 1 synthetic gear lube in the front differential. 2010 Crosstour EX-L 4WD

Mert Cheney
 

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Aceman, you are probably right but in the scheme of things you would do just as well by checking your tires regularly with regular air and save the expense of nitrogen. My Honda can easily pull 27 to 28 MPG over the road at legal speeds with synthetic Mobil 1 0W-20 in the engine and Mobil 1 synthetic gear lube in the front differential. 2010 Crosstour EX-L 4WD

Mert Cheney
True, but if you can get it for free and its convenient, why not. I probably wouldn't pay for it from a gas station. I wouldn't be surprised though if more and more start to carry it for free as time goes on (having just filled up at $4.55 @ gal for 87). I don't have it in either of my vehicles at this moment, but next time I swing by Costco I might have them switch it out.

If you get 27-28mpg at legal speeds, what mpg do you get at "illegal speeds?" :)

PS - the 4wd CT (working from back to front) has a rear differential (that takes Honda Dual Pump II fluid I believe), then a transfer case - which is just sort of a connection between two shafts (that takes 75w-90 I believe), then moving forward to the front the "front differential" gears are inside the torque converter, attached to the transmission.

Pretty much anything with a transverse mounted engine, that is FWD, will not have a true "front differential" as you might envision a RWD car's differential, they tend to be built into the transmission and sometimes referred to as a "transaxle."

There are a couple places I can think of high performance FWD cars having some sort of LSD in the transaxle, but it's sorta exotic and expensive.

Because of some differences between the 2wd & 4wd CT trans the 4wd takes about .5qt more ATF fluid.

I like Mobil One too though, and will be using the 0w-20 synthetic for my engine and either Motul 75w-90 or something TBA for my transfer case soon, and I'll be changing the rear Honda Dual Pump II w/ the OEM fluid shortly too. FYI, I'm not a lubricant engineer so take this for what its worth (maybe hunt around bobistheoilguy.com, those guys are pretty smart) but the Mobil One synthetic 75w-90 gear oil has limited slip additives in it, and is sort of engineered from an additive standpoint for a rear LSD. In the grand scheme those additives may be harmless, I'm just not educated enough on the subject to know. But that was one of the reasons I liked the Motul, it had no LSD additives and no heavy truck MT1 spec fitting additives.

From the limited research I did, it appears the transfer case is probably most lenient to the widest range of lubricants, "I've heard rumors" of guys even using ATF in them. . .so, you're probably cool. It would be interesting to have that oil analyzed though next changing interval.

I would say "just my $0.02" but I tend to babble, and I think you get less for your dollar w/ me. . .ha.

-aceman
 

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Aceman you are correct. I was talking about the oil in my transfer case, you must use dual pump oil in the rear diff. I beleive that Mobil 1 gear lube has an additive for LS as I also use it in my Duramax but realistically I don't think there is an issue as it does meet the oil specs for Honda. I try to drive as close to the speed limit as possible but usually 2 to 3 MPH over. My Crosstour is rated at 25 HWY and constantly exceeds that by 2 to 3 MPG. This car is one of best Hondas that I have owned even after $15000 worth of collision damage to the left rear due to a rear end collision which totaled an F-150.

Mert Cheney
 
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