Ask the Expert: Why check tire pressure every month (even when the tires are filled with nitrogen)?

Q: Why check tire pressure every month, even when the tires are filled with nitrogen?

A: Actually, there are many reasons that make sense for consumers:

It’s the right thing to do. Every vehicle manufacturer, every tire manufacturer, every automobile insurance company and the US government all recommend that all tires be checked and calibrated for proper tire pressure every month….regardless of the inflation medium. In fact, Tire Inflation Maintenance is listed as a required monthly service in every owner’s manual for every vehicle sold in North America.

Permeation is only one reason that tires lose air. While nitrogen does seep through, or “permeate,” a tire’s carcass much slower than the oxygen in air filled tires, permeation is only one way that tires lose pressure. Tires can also lose minute but meaningful quantities of pressure via small leaks from tiny tire punctures, faulty tire valves or porous or corroded wheels. 

Climate changes. All gases expand and contract with temperature. Hence, tires will lose pressure as the temperature drops. Tires lose about 2 percent of their total pressure for every 10 degrees in temperature reduction. 

Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems don’t monitor closely enough. The federal government requires that all passenger vehicles be equipped with Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS). However, these systems are only required to indicate a low tire after a tire loses 25 percent of the factory’s suggested inflation value. While some systems do report real-time tire pressures, no system is required to illuminate the warning light until the affected tire is 25 percent below its target inflation value. In other words, if a tire’s recommended inflation pressure is 30 psi, the warning light doesn’t have to illuminate until the tire pressure reaches 22 psi…a level that is unsafe, diminishes fuel economy and greatly accelerates tire wear.

A little can mean a lot. Consistent with the above, there are many reasons that tires lose pressure…no matter what they are filled with….and if a tire loses just a few psi, you may never know unless you actually check the pressure. How little matters? Consider the following:

A tire that is underinflated by just 10 percent, as little as 3 psi, wears out 25 percent faster
Fuel economy diminishes by over 1 percent for every 1 psi a tire is underinflated
For every 1 psi of under-inflation, our country loses 4 million gallons of fuel, each day
A tire can be over 50 percent underinflated before it appears underinflated to the naked eye

Tire Pressure is only one reason to check tires. A vehicle’s tires are its foundation. The vehicle and everything and everyone in it are riding on its tires alone. Keeping them in proper “condition” can be as important to a vehicle’s safety and performance as their pressure value.  As the duration between manufacturer’s recommended maintenance services, such as oil changes, grows, customers have fewer and fewer opportunities to have their tires inspected by a professional. Monthly tire checks can save customers money and maybe much more, by enabling you to spot premature or irregular tire wear, balance and alignment issues and other tire related needs. 

And one enormous reason that makes sense for your customers:

They will sell more tires.

When a car care professional becomes a customer’s tire inflation/tire inspection destination, they also become their tire service and new tire provider. It’s that simple. Nationwide, 78 percent of all replacement tires are sold by the first car care professional that informs the customer of their need for tires. 
To learn more about the NitroFill Tire Inflation Maintenance Program and how it can help you increase your customer traffic by 400 percent, please view our short introductory video on the home page of

Information provided by: Dan Brancaccio, NitroFill, LLC