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After reading this article another question arsises. Focusing on the following line:
" Nitrogen will run cooler than normal compressed air"
The reason why we have warm up laps in F1 races is that it is a proven fact that the temperature of the tyre for racing cars is raised for better grip on the road. If the tyres run on Nitrogen which would cool the tyre quickly, it would thus decrease the grip of the tyre. As temp is directly proportional to the grip of the tyre.
This brings us to an irony that if the usage of nitrogen would actually benefit with respect to the grip of the tyre.
For an expaination to this irony, I could think of the following reason :
The racing cars move around so fast that the temperature of their tyres would increase temendously, thus it would help to use nitrogen and eventually get to the ideal temp for the best grip. Agreed.
But this is not the case for the city cars, in my opinion we would prefer the temperature of the tyre to increase as we would have better grip when tyres are warm. Also our tyres are not going to get so warm that we would require nitrogen. Thus we can come to a conclusion that using nitrogen in city cars would actually decease the grip a tyre would provide.
What do you think ppl?
I hope I am able to put forward my opinion in understandable language.
I agree that the F1 race car tyres are filled with Nitrogen, but still I couldn't relate to the answer that you gave. Maybe I was not able put forward my thought clearly, I will give it another shot and this time I will use bullet points of my understanding. I will be happy to know where I have misunderstood any concept, please correct me.
- Nitrogen Filled tyres decrease the opreating temperature of the tyres, and increases their life. Using nitrogen lowers the temperature of the tyre.
- A dry-weather racing tyre in Formula One generally operates at an optimal temperature of around 100° C. Thats why they have warm up laps. Also they use tyre heaters. All this to increase the grip which the tyre provides at the optimal temperatures.
- Now using nitrogen decreases the temperature, thus it would lower the tyre grip as well.
- Irony being: Why do they use nitrogen to cool it down when the have warmup laps and heaters to increase temperatures?
- A MAY BE explaination to the irony: What I could personally think of: The F1 cars move so fast that they increase the tyre temperatures tremendously, thus ruining the tyre perfirmance and creating an imbalance between the grip and wearing out of the tyre (due to the heat). So they must require nitrogen. (am i correct in saying this?)
- Now leave the F1 world, come to ours: We donot have warmup laps, nor tyre heaters, nor do we move around very fast during our city drive. Thus our tyre temperatures SHOULD not increase so tremendously.
- If we use nitrogen to fill our tyres, it would help decrease the temperature which is already not very high.
- As a result of which we would get lower grip.
Now my point is if Nitrogen eventually leads to lower tyre grip, why should we use it?
Yesterday I have filled tyres of my car with Nitrogen for the sake of having a first-hand experience. I went for a small drive on highway (total 40/45 kms) & have driven it in city conditions a little (10 kms).
I will be undertaking a 4-day trip of 1500kms during the month-end. I will thereafter post my experience here in regard to my observations & difference/s felt, if any, on road-grip/handling/braking etc.
Yes, I understand. I’m passionate but not over-passionate (at least wouldn’t like to be called so ).
And even if I’m, be rest assured… I’m very impartial & unbiased and so will my observations/findings be.
By the way, any suggestions on other things (safe of course) that I could possibly try for the sake of acquiring first-hand experience?
Sure. I’ll be checking the running temperature of the tyres (crude way) – like I do even otherwise on looong drives, and also for fall/rise of pressure (PSI).
These are the 2 aspects of prime concern, as, if the temp. increases & the pressure fluctuates like it does in air-filled tyres, the basic purpose of nitrogen is defeated.
In fact, the dealer has assured me against these 2 concerns, and that, if required…the tyres will be re-filled free for next 6 months (though he hasn’t charged me in the first place).
Yes, the tyres contain more nitrogen (at same PSI) as it isn’t compressed like air. Besides, Nitrogen is normally filled more, say by 2 PSI each (like they have done in my case).
Anyway, will keep posting here my experiences/observations and on drivability after I undertake the long trip scheduled in the month–end.
By the way, as experienced/observed by me, Nitrogen takes 3 to 4 times the time Air takes to fill-in in the tyre. This is because Nitrogen is not as compressed as Air is.
Like-wise/therefore... in case of puncture, Nitrogen takes 3 to 4 times the time Air takes to escape out - an advantage that I would obviously not like to have any first-hand experience on
I have since undertaken a trip with Nitrogen filled tyres. The 3-day trip was of 869 kms (shortened from originally planned 5-day trip of 1500 kms). Of the total 869 kms, I have driven as under at a stretch at a constant speed (almost) of 80/85 kmsph…
Local driving (next day)
Return Journey (3rd day)
My observations are briefly summarized herein below…
The rise in the temperature of the tyres is of lesser degree. The pressure (PSI) doesn’t increase, and if it does, it isn’t noticeably felt (as in air-filled tyres). I couldn’t measure the PSI during the trip but can say so from the ride-quality, which remained same through out.
contd… (next post)
…contd. (previous post)
Regarding road-grip, it’s very difficult to conclude whether it improves or not. On glossy type of roads there is absolutely no difference – at least I didn’t feel/observe. But on non-glossy type of roads (smooth & leveled), I, at times, did feel that the grip was a little better. Like-wise, I also felt a slight difference while driving through (without slowing down) over very minor speed breakers (so called) that appear in numbers/sequence (5/6).
There is no difference in mileage either – I derived same mileage figures, as I normally do in such driving conditions (& style).
All in all, notwithstanding the other benefits, if any, discussed before in this thread & elsewhere, Nitrogen filled tyres are basically not meant for people like us who have more of city use. People who drive very often on highways, can, however, consider in favour of it – mainly because the tyre temp. increases at lesser degree & resultantly keeps the pressure (PSI) almost at the same level.
I will be using the Nitrogen filled tyres for next 6 months, as the re-filling is free till then. I will post my further observations, if any.
No difference in ride-quality & handling in city drive – but no disadvantage, for sure.
Regarding steering-feel / handling (I forgot to mention that)… yes, I did feel better (slightly) along with ride-quality on those non-glossy types of roads.
The basic advantage is that the tyre/tube life will increase over a period of time for the reason stated by you - reduction in hot-cold cycle; no vapour formation - leading to benefits like reductions in wheel corrosion & rubber deterioration (discussed earlier in the thread).
@Binoy, if you don't mind, I suggest (only)... you too can try Nitrogen & see how you feel - especially before undertaking long drive - and can share your observation/experience.
I suggest so, as I feel it's worth spending once for the sake of first-hand experience - especially if re-filling is free for 6 months (or so) , like it is over here.
Just give a thought. Right?