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New tire technology finds way to Holyoke PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chris Lee   

Nitrogen takes place of air in automobile tires

New technology is always presenting itself in today’s society. It’s no different in Holyoke, as something new has been implemented in the tire service business.

Nitrogen filled tires are now being offered at Scholl Service Center.

The first thing many people think about when they hear tires are being filled with nitrogen is something bad is being pumped into them and they could explode. This is a common misconception, according to Arlan Scholl.

Scholl said he became aware of the nitrogen process nearly four years ago and said it is something that has become more common in larger cities recently.

“We felt like it was something that had some merit and was worthwhile to take a look at,” Scholl said.

Scholl noted it’s always nice to be on top of things and know what’s going on in other parts of the state and country and be at the leading edge when possible.

To his knowledge, Scholl said the nearest place nitrogen is being offered is in Sterling. It is more widely used in larger cities.

One of the deciding factors to go ahead with it was that newer vehicles have a sensor system to let vehicle operators know when a tire is low. Scholl said the sensors are affected by moisture and rust and that wouldn’t be the case with nitrogen.

Some of the advantages of nitrogen-filled tires include:

—consistent proper inflation and cooler operating temperatures provide up to 25 percent longer tire life.

—nitrogen is not as affected by outside air temperatures and will maintain more consistent pressure through seasonal variations in temperature.

—properly inflated, nitrogen-filled tires have less rolling resistance, increasing fuel economy.

—nitrogen is a dry gas which does not transport the damaging effects of moisture and oils inside the tire as is often the case with compressed air.

—nitrogen-filled tires run cooler and maintain proper inflation four times longer than air.

—proper inflation helps prevent blowouts.

—properly inflated tires help maintain a tire’s proper footprint, providing improved handling, which is especially important in emergencies and in poor weather.

The process of filling a tire with nitrogen is much different than simply turning on an air compressor and holding a hose to the valve stem. This new machine purges, or sucks, all of the air out of the tire before filling it up with nitrogen. This ensures all of the oxygen is out so moisture won’t build up and the tire will be filled with pure nitrogen.

After a vehicle’s tires are filled with nitrogen, green valve caps are installed instead of black ones. This lets people know the tires are filled, or are supposed to be filled, with nitrogen in the case of a vehicle changing ownership.

“What happens if I have nitrogen in my tires and need some air but am a long way from the nearest nitrogen dealer?” Matt Jordan, a Scholl employee, said this is something that concerns some people. The answer: air can be put into the tire to bring the pressure up if need be. The air we breathe has nitrogen in it and wouldn’t hurt anything if mixed.

Scholl said NASCAR has utilized nitrogen-filled tires as well as some local stock car drivers. Other areas where nitrogen has been used is NASA and commercial airlines.

Jordan spent a lot of time researching the product and actually became the first customer last week, as he believes in it that much. He researched different prices comparing the cost to have a vehicle’s tires outfitted with nitrogen.

“I don’t think it’s a flash in the pan that’s going to be something that kind of started and then just disappears,” Scholl said. “I think that it’s for real.”

Jordan said consumers can learn more about nitrogen at www.getnitrogen.org.