PHOENIX, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - If you're hitting the road this summer, it's a good idea to make sure your vehicle's tires are road ready.
Proper tire inflation is key to good tire safety, especially with our hot temperatures. But some drivers believe there's another trick that may increase your safety, inflating your tires with nitrogen.
"It's going to change the way the car sits on the highway at certain speeds," says Howard Fleischmann, owner of Community Tire Pros, a Valley business that offers Nitrogen.
Fleischmann says, "We got into it many, many years ago and like many, I thought it was a gimmick when it was first introduced to me."
But Fleischmann says it didn't take to long to be convinced that nitrogen, in his opinion, is better than regular air for tire inflation.
"Nitrogen will increase your gas mileage, not significant, but probably over the life of the tire, will probably save you a tank. It will increase your stopping, it will increase your turning because it keeps that constant foot pressure and it will certainly give you longer mileage on your tire," says Fleischmann.
Nitrogen is used in the airline industry as well as race cars.
Car tires are easily identified as containing nitrogen because green caps are usually put on the tip of the tire valve.
But nitrogen generally isn't free. Fleischmann says his stores charge $7.00 per tire for nitrogen, but he claims it's worth it.
"Your first line of defense for safety is your tires," Fleischmann points out.
But some critics say nitrogen is nothing more than a waste of money.
Fleischmann acknowledges regular air in your tires will work, but he says you need to check your tire pressure once a week as opposed to once a month with nitrogen.
Fleischmann explains the science, "It's a bigger molecule, doesn't dissipates through the sidewall."
And if you're planning a drive up north to escape the heat, Fleischmann says having nitrogen filled tires will make a difference.
"Anybody that's in Phoenix is going to start heading up north as soon as it gets really hot down here, so we're going to go from 110-degrees to 70 and that tire pressure, on a regular filled tire is going to change 1 pound for every 10 degree change, OK? Nitrogen won't do that."
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