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My dealer is recommending nitrogen in my tires. Do I really need it? – Julia C.

Does your dealer offer complimentary fill-ups and is it conveniently located? Nitrogen certainly can't hurt if the conditions are right for you.

Tires inflated with nitrogen offer a few notable benefits, inlcuding less pressure loss over an extended period of time, reduction in oxidation and corrosion and stability in pressure.

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So do these advantages outweigh the costs and inconvenience?

Nitrogen improves tire deflation time by approximately one-third over air. However, it does not completely remove the need to regularly check and inflate your tires. Corrosion reduction using nitrogen is a small benefit, one that you could never really attach a dollar value to.

Nitrogen never caught on as well as manufacturers of the filling machines had hoped for, leaving little infrastructure in place and creating a bit of a tough time for its users.

You are better off just purchasing a decent tire-pressure gauge and adjusting air pressure as needed.

Lou Trottier is owner-operator of All About Imports in Mississauga. Have a question about maintenance and repair? E-mail globedrive@globeandmail.com, placing "Lou's Garage" in the subject area.

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