Nitrogen

Octo๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ 6, 2020

When we purchased our Jeep, I noticed it had green caps on all four tires.  I remember thinking, โ€œThat is sort of cool,โ€ but did not give it any further thought.  I had no problems with my tires the first year, but when we entered the second winter the tire pressure dropped by several pounds.  No problem.  I took it to the station and filled the tires to regulation.  When spring and the next oil change came the tires were overinflated.  I asked the shop to check the tires, and while they did, they refused to change the pressure.  They informed me they did not want to remove any of the nitrogen from my tires.  As I had never been told of this by my dealer, I assured them they did not contain nitrogen.  Since they would not do it, I let air out to maintain the proper pressure.

While tires appear solid, they are more like strands of cooked spaghetti stuck together microscopically which stretch and relax every time the tire rolls.  This allows air to escape.  Compressed air is readily available but contains varying degrees of moisture which breaks down both the tire and the rim.  Pure nitrogen has been used to inflate critical tire applications for years, primarily because it does not support moisture or combustion (unlike flammable oxygen).  The challenge facing nitrogen inflation has not been its application, it’s been its method of supply and cost.

Since I now knew my tires contained nitrogen, I figured I needed to find somewhere to fill them when needed.  My sister in law told Melissa last year the shop where she bought her tires also supplied nitrogen.  They had topped her off for free.  I took the Jeep in and they told me it would be $9 for a lifetime fill.  That seemed reasonable so I gave the ok.  When they learned I already had nitrogen and just needed a top off, they said it was free.  That was an even better deal.  They brought the car into the shop and put a number on my hood.  Thirty minutes later I had a complete nitrogen fill.  I think my next tires might come from this shop.

๐—ง๐—›๐—ข๐—จ๐—š๐—›๐—ง๐—ฆ:  Nitrogen is the most abundant element in our atmosphere and is crucial to life. Nitrogen is found in soils and plants, in the water we drink, and in the air we breathe.  It is also a key building block of DNA, which determines our genetics.  As with everything, balance is the key.  Too little nitrogen and plants cannot thrive, too much nitrogen can be toxic and harm the environment.  Every ecosystem on earth is based on balance.  I heard on a report tonight that if we continue to ignore the climate change occurring around us, over 40% of the plant species that now exist will be extinct in 20 years.  We need to act while we still have a choice.  We need to maintain the balance.  Follow the science.  Change is coming and it starts with you.

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