Get better gas mileage and longer life on tires

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Race cars have a lot of things going for them but what you may not have realized is that you can borrow one of their tricks of the trade for the family car.


9 p.m. Extra: Nitrogen Tires

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Scott Jeffrey says, "All that really stood out to me is race car drivers use it and they were high performance and I thought 'I'm driving a little Saturn from here to a client'."

Scott is talking about nitrogen, something a lot of Nascar drivers and the airline industry have been using for years to fill up their tires.

Scott adds, "The thing that really sold me is when I took the time to go and see how much it would save me."

Scott says he headed to Community Tire and Automotive Service Specialists in Phoenix.

Howard Fleischmann, who owns Community Tire, says, there are several benefits to using nitrogen. He explains, "We went to nitrogen because it's better for the tires. It's also better for the inside of the tire. In Arizona we have a problem with casings actually wasting because of the heat. This helps from the inside to keep the tire at a constant pressure, less flexing and keep the rubber pliable."

Howard also says there are several benefits to using nitrogen. He says, "Nitrogen is a larger molecule than air so it doesn't dissipate through the tire as quickly. It also doesn't change by temperature, in other words, air will expand and contract based on the heat. Nitrogen doesn't do that at the same rate."

Research suggests that nitrogen maintains its proper pressure about three to four times longer than air-filled tires. Howard suggests, "You still need to check your tires, air still works but if you use regular air you need to check it more often."

Howard says going nitrogen can also help you save money when going to the pump and the life of the tires can be extended. Howard explains, "It helps because it keeps the tire running further. It keeps better gas mileage and it does a lot of things to help the environment."

Nitrogen is even non-flammable. Howard admits, "It's one of the reasons they use it in aircraft tires. If they have a tire explode, oxygen burns. If you have a 100% nitrogen it actually puts out the flames."

Nitrogen is not free. If you go to Howard's place to fill up five tires it will cost you just under $25.

As for Scott, he thinks it's something worth spending now to save down the road. He says, "They have a calculator that you can click on to determine how much cost-saving would be a year based on mileage and what kind of cost per-mile you get." He explains, "It was about $120 a year at the cost of gas currently that I would save in fuel savings and extending the life of the tire."

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