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Hydrogen (nitrogen....I'll leave original for the jokes) in the tires

Hydrogen (nitrogen....I'll leave original for the jokes) in the tires

A friend told me he has had other cars that had hydrogen in the tires instead of air. That way he never needed to deal with tire air pressure. Anyone do that with the 18"s?

Joshan | 15 oktober 2019

yes, costco did it for me.

95dawg | 15 oktober 2019

Oh, the Hindenburg brand tires that have hydrogen in them? They are dynamite.

joe.lynn.atp | 15 oktober 2019

Do you mean nitrogen?

Passion2Fly | 15 oktober 2019

Kaboom!

majassow | 15 oktober 2019

But think of the weight savings!

Mike UpNorth_ | 15 oktober 2019

oops, yeah nitrogen.....@Josh, so you just went to Costco and they did that for you? You need a Costco membership? Time it took? Cost?

Joshan | 15 oktober 2019

yes, you need a membership. I had them rotate the tires ($20) and the offered to re-inflate with nitrogen ($40). I took them up on it. It is very nice in the winter when your tires do not lose pressure.

Joshan | 15 oktober 2019

I shopped for about 20-30 mins. When I was done the car was also.

rob | 15 oktober 2019

I fill mine with 80% N for free.

tesla | 15 oktober 2019
Mike UpNorth_ | 15 oktober 2019

Cool. Thanks all.

BobDobbs | 15 oktober 2019

If N leaks out more slowly than the other gases in air, then by repeated filling with small amounts of air you will be left with almost all N in the tires anyway. Seems kind of dumb to pay for what you get for free anyway.

Joshan | 15 oktober 2019

the difference is it is not affected by temperature. So you have the same tire pressure at -20 and 95.

mtesla | 15 oktober 2019

Highly unlikely that anyone would be using hydrogen in their tires. Besides the obvious safety and insurance issues, hydrogen's molecule is far smaller than those of nitrogen and oxygen (you know: the main components of regular air), so you'll likely experience a much higher self-deflation rate (I imagine, your tires will deflate in a few seconds).

majassow | 15 oktober 2019

While it makes sense for racing (where you can purge O2 and water vapor at race time), permeability to O2 and water vapor works both ways in tires. Just because the N2 is at a higher total pressure does not keep O2 and water vapor from diffusing in. The diffusion rate is proportional to the partial pressures, which in a 100% N2 filled tire is initially 0 for O2/water, so it will tend to diffuse INTO the tire. So if you are worried about the 1/2 lb or so of pressure change for having water vapor in your tire when it heats up: I hope you are purging with N2 often! Otherwise, Costco thanks you for the $40 tip.
If your reason is that you top off the tires less often, and spending $40 is worth it to go from adding a pound or two every 3 months to adding a a pound or two every 4 months (O2 is only 37.5% more permeable than N2 in vulcanized rubber), then more power to you. You may have more money than sense.

Joshan | 15 oktober 2019

on a forum where cars are from 40-100k base... your going to toss insults about $40? ok...

jrweiss98020 | 15 oktober 2019

"the difference is it is not affected by temperature. So you have the same tire pressure at -20 and 95."

Joshan, you need to review your elementary physics. The ideal gas law applies to N2 as well as air.

RES IPSA | 15 oktober 2019

Costco in San Diego charges $20 for nitrogen replacement. I do it because I do not have the check the tire pressure as often. I just stop in every six months and they top it off with the nitrogen for free. Only lose 2-3 psi every six months. worth it to me.

Frank99 | 15 oktober 2019

And how much pressure do you lose in those six months if you fill with air?

howard | 15 oktober 2019

RES IPSA | October 15, 2019
Costco in San Diego charges $20 for nitrogen replacement. I do it because I do not have the check the tire pressure as often. I just stop in every six months and they top it off with the nitrogen for free. Only lose 2-3 psi every six months. worth it to me.

+1

dgstan | 15 oktober 2019

Just to elaborate on what others said: The air we breathe is ~80% nitrogen. You fill your tires with regular air and the nitrogen (supposedly) leaks out slower than the other elements/compounds found in normal air.

Therefore, as your tires lose pressure, that means the percentage of nitrogen in your tire will go up, because it is not leaking out - the other stuff is. By default, you are slowly creating tires filled with a saturation of nitrogen.

Just saved you $40. Now, if you're so rich that you don't care about $40, please donate it to a worthy charity.

Mike UpNorth_ | 16 oktober 2019

Living in MN our daily temperature changes are drastic (unlike CA which I'm guessing many of you live). Therefore, I'm getting tire pressure warnings a lot IMO. The other day I started out my drive with 2 warnings, both front tires, at 37-38 PSI. By the end of my drive both tires were over 41 PSI.

As I originally mentioned - I heard N is more stable across all temperatures so I'm going to give that a try. Thanks again ya'll.

Joshan | 16 oktober 2019

It is mike. Ignore the haters and enjoy not having to worry about your tire pressure while they are outside in the winter pumping air in their tires.

Joshan | 16 oktober 2019

I will never understand why everything acts like such dbags on this forum.

majassow | 16 oktober 2019

Mike: Your tires are low. They should be at the right pressure when COLD. If you get the warnings starting out, then you need air BEFORE driving. The pressure while HOT is not relevant (unless the hot temperature is excessive, indicating a potential tire failure). Hopefully you are not letting the air out when the tires heat up and they go "over" the pressure target. If your intended operating pressure is 45 psi, then make sure they are filled to 45 psi cold. Yes, the pressure will rise a few pounds as you use the tire (or the day heats up). Doesn't matter. The next morning your tires will be the proper temperature again.

You'll also notice that if you set the pressure correctly in the summer, that in the winter it will read low. You will need to bring the tires back up to 45 psi cold. This has NOTHING to do with Air vs. N2. You will see the same effect with both:

That the pressure goes up and down with temperature is physics. PV=nRT. It has nothing to do with whether you have N2, O2, or H2 in your tires (R is identical for all gases). The pressure will go up with higher temperature, down with lower.

However, if you have water vapor in the mix, it does behave differently at higher temps by 0.5 - 1 psi. I doubt you'll notice. But if even if you fill with just N2, water vapor will permeate in to the tire due to the partial pressure of water vapor being higher on the exterior of the tire. So again, over time you bought nothing extra.

I've also heard the earth is flat... but I tend not to believe a lot I hear.

Mike UpNorth_ | 16 oktober 2019

Thanks Josh.

@majassow

I appreciated the explanation. And maybe you're right. But my friend said he drove his BMW with N in the tires for years and never had to deal with low pressure. I'm sick of the warning so I'm going to try N. If you're right and its all the same I'll come back and admit I wasted $40.

kevin_rf | 16 oktober 2019

N2 is nice, but do people really not keep compressors in the garage?

One thing I love about the Model 3 is the tpms gives you a fairly accurate glance at the pressure. Just look at it, and if you are low grab the compressor. With winter coming, temperatures dropping, it's something I always keep an eye on.

Now I will say, the air hose did put the first ding in my Model 3. Snagged on something, then went flying across the garage. Stupid slow leak on the Insight, Grrrrr.....

majassow | 16 oktober 2019

Mike: if you are having a problem with it going from 45 cold to 37 cold on a regular basis: ie, you fill it to 45 cold and a few weeks later it's 37 cold, it's not the gas: it's the tire. You likely have a slow leak, and you will be bleeding off your $40 N2. Get that checked while you are in there.

And realize that filling with N2 is not "enough". The tire needs to be purged of the existing O2, or you're not getting your "money's worth". Also, when your pressure does drop--and it will, despite the apparently magic tires on BMWs -- you will need to top off with N2 --or again, you are defeating the "purpose".

Mike UpNorth_ | 16 oktober 2019

@maj

I hear you. Rotation + N scheduled for Monday. $65 total....I'll make sure to request them to drain the tires fully before N. Which I would assume is the norm.
And I'll report back if its a waste of $ :)

Syed.Hosain | 16 oktober 2019

@Joshan "the difference is it is not affected by temperature. So you have the same tire pressure at -20 and 95."

Ummm ... no.

Nitrogen is affected the same as air (and other gases) with temperature changes for pressure. Basic physics - Boyle's gas law.

Syed.Hosain | 16 oktober 2019

@Mike UpNorth "I appreciated the explanation. And maybe you're right. But my friend said he drove his BMW with N in the tires for years and never had to deal with low pressure."

Sorry, I simply do not believe your friend in the slightest ... if the tires were *that* good (kinda impossible), then air would have leaked either (remember that air is essentially 78% Nitrogen.)

Plus the temperature change from Winter to Summer affects tires too.

Maybe he took it in to a dealer or a shop often enough that they filled it back up for him without him realizing it.

Syed.Hosain | 16 oktober 2019

@Mike UpNorth "I'll make sure to request them to drain the tires fully before N. Which I would assume is the norm."

Ummm ... tire places don't put tires into a vacuum (like a deep space vacuum). That would be about the only way to "drain" the tires FULLY before filing with Nitrogen. :)

Tires do not deform onto the wheels to evacuate them completely of air. Simply cannot be done physically.

About all you can do, if filling with Nitrogen, is change the amount of other gasses by some percentage. Given that air is about 78% Nitrogen and the rest is mostly Oxygen plus other gasses, at about 14.5 psi ("normal" air pressure), you *might* get it to about 90% to 93% Nitrogen.

That also assumes that the Nitrogen source is perfect Nitrogen *only* too!

I could probably calculate the exact percentages by applying Boyle's Law calculations, but it is not worth the effort, sorry! :)

Joshan | 16 oktober 2019

you guys are WAY overthinking this. Put some nitrogen in your tires and test it out. I have... It is FAR superior to air if you live in a place that changes temperatures a lot.

Syed.Hosain | 16 oktober 2019

Oops, a correction.

I said "Nitrogen is affected the same as air (and other gases) with temperature changes for pressure. Basic physics - Boyle's gas law."

I should have said "Ideal Gas Law" ... Boyle did not take temperature into account.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ideal_gas_law#Combined_gas_law for more info.

Thrillion | 16 oktober 2019

I would like to warn everyone of the DANGERS OF NITROGEN.
Pure nitrogen is an asphyxiant, it can and has killed people working with it.
Please be careful out there.

Syed.Hosain | 16 oktober 2019

@Joshan "you guys are WAY overthinking this. Put some nitrogen in your tires and test it out. I have... It is FAR superior to air if you live in a place that changes temperatures a lot."

Particularly given that air is 78% Nitrogen, the *temperature* effects on tire pressure are about the same for air as it would/could possibly be for Nitrogen.

PV=nRT has been proven true for centuries. You cannot change physics.with superlatives like "FAR"! :)

Joshan | 16 oktober 2019

whatever. when I put air in my tires I have to change them like 12 times a year. When I use nitrogen I got to costco twice.

But whatever... Me and the OP will enjoy driving while you play with your tires.

Syed.Hosain | 16 oktober 2019

Okay ... :)

Syed.Hosain | 16 oktober 2019

FWIW, I bought and use this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000BNS7Y2/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin...

and this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0015DQ81G/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin...

and this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000E4BW7W/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin...

to keep all my tires on all my cars (been driving for 40+ years now) at a uniform tread depth across the width of the tire. Yes, I check and adjust once every month or so, as long as the tires do not have a leak.

BTW, please note that I said "uniform tread depth across the width of the tire" and not "pressure listed inside the door". There *is* a good reason for why I do this! :)

Joshan | 16 oktober 2019

Nice, but I am way to lazy for that :) There is a reason I bought a car with Auto-pilot :)

Syed.Hosain | 16 oktober 2019

Yup, okay. :) I still have fun driving my M3 ... now at almost 28k after 15 months! Each of us has choices we make with our cars, for sure!

I am not faulting you in the slightest, by the way ... as a former physicist (albeit semiconductor kind), I just wanna make sure that we do not ignore science. :)

Frank99 | 16 oktober 2019

>>> I will never understand why everything acts like such dbags on this forum.

Well, what you have on this forum is a bunch of people, who on average are probably reasonably smart, and on average are probably more likely Engineers and other techies than some other random bunch of people. And, frankly, there wasn't much hate thrown around. There was, however, a number of people correcting some anti-science baloney - about the same as what I'd expect if someone came on and cautioned people about driving too far because they'd fall off the edge of a flat earth.

IMHO, you're entitled to your opinion, but you're not entitled to get all ****-hurt because someone who knows more than you disagreed with it.

Joshan | 16 oktober 2019

I am talking about the personal attacks. Disagreeing with someone is not personal attacks. I am also not just speaking of this thread. Its every thread.

Telling people they have more money than sense is not opinions. It is rarely about science either...

Joshan | 16 oktober 2019

you basically did exactly what I talked about on another thread...

you picked one tiny piece of a large discussion because you could debate that one tiny aspect and ignored the actual issue or point.

RedShift | 16 oktober 2019

Do you know that Hydrogen is the lightest element? Thus, filling Hydrogen makes your car lighter. Lighter = better.

Now, I have taken that concept one step further. Since Hydrogen atom contains an electron and a proton, I thought of going directly to electrons. Why electrons? Well, we have a large reservoir of electrons in our batteries under the floor!

So I connected the Tesla charger to the charge port, designed an adapter to mate with the valve in the tires, and voila! Electrons filling up my tires!

I tell you, the car literally flies now. The range is quadrupled, the 0-60 is some thing like 0.5 seconds, and the cops don’t have a chance of catching me!

If you want more details, please contact me.

howard | 16 oktober 2019

oshan | October 16, 2019
you guys are WAY overthinking this. Put some nitrogen in your tires and test it out. I have... It is FAR superior to air if you live in a place that changes temperatures a lot.

+1 I guess Costco offers it as a service for what? I always use Costco for that reason. On my Airstreams, it was amazing how well the PSI held up season after season. As stated I don't have issues with low pressure in the winter. Not going to argue the science it just seems to work.

Mike UpNorth_ | 16 oktober 2019

Y'all crack me up.

@syed..... everything you said makes sense. I just don't get how it could be offered and sold if it's 100% worthless.
My friend has no reason to lie/make up his experience. He's a model 3 owner.

I'm spending the $40 in hopes of less leakage.

Mike UpNorth_ | 16 oktober 2019

@bighorn

Break this tie. Nitrogen. Ya or nay?

Ross1 | 16 oktober 2019

I imagine that if the tire pressure is low, there could be more tire flexing and therefore less stable pressure and temperature. I have not tested this but I know that quite flat tires get really hot and can self-combust.

gballant4570 | 16 oktober 2019

I must be rich - I don't worry about spending $40. But I also managed to gain just a bit of knowledge over my lifetime (or at least I've convinced myself I have) and so I know the percentage of N2 in the earth's atmosphere is around 78%, as previously reported. Being a curious fellow who keeps up on physics, I also know that pressure and temperature are always directly connected in physical systems - change one, the other changes too. Prevent one from changing, and you cannot change the other.

So I don't believe the friend with the BMW..... I don't mess with the air pressure in my M3 tires very often, maybe about twice a year. I just have an air hose hanging from a reel in my barn, that I can pull down to add air to a tire or other air holding thang. Keeping cold pressure at 47 psi keeps me from ever seeing any tire pressure alerts.

A lot of words to say if you want to fool with N2 in your tires, have at it. I won't....

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