filling my car tires with c02?

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trae08
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Thu Apr 10, 2008 7:23 pm

ok well for the past few weeks ive had a nail in my tire and i havnt had to time to get it fixed.. so every time the sensor in my car went off i would just fill the tire up using my 20 oz c02 tank. i got the hole plugged today but my question is would filling my tire with c02 cause any bad things to happen rather then filling with air?
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JDP12
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Thu Apr 10, 2008 7:26 pm

meh, scratch that, if you're in florida you should be ok, but i still wouldn't do it for too much longer because of pressure fluctuations.
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spudman029
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Thu Apr 10, 2008 7:46 pm

CO2 expands a lot under heat, and is also a liquid. I wouldn't do it.
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jrrdw
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Thu Apr 10, 2008 8:31 pm

The tire is the only thing between you and the road, better to be safe then sorry. Use air! After all, it was a blown tire that helped put me in a wheelchair. I hope that tells ya something.
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bluerussetboy
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Thu Apr 10, 2008 9:15 pm

Instead of asking spudders, why don't you ask a 4x4 forum. Four wheelers usually use C02 to air their tires up when they leave the trail. I've known four-wheelers who haven't used air in their tires for several years. Probably longer than most of the spudders on this forum have been alive.
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starman
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Thu Apr 10, 2008 9:29 pm

CO2 in your tire is fine in and of itself...the "greenies" are talking about using it to inflate tires as a way of "disposing" of it... :roll:

Anyway, it's only issue is that if you do have a slow leak, it will leak out faster than if you had air in there.

Edit: I agree with jrrdw. Tires aren't anything to fool around with. Go into debt if you have to, but keep your tires in good shape.
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willarddaniels
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Thu Apr 10, 2008 10:33 pm

In one past life I used to wholesale tires... CO2 is fine for tires. In fact, most competitive bicyclists use it for their bikes at pressures typically exceeding that of 4-wheeled vehicles.
Having said that, I would empty your tires and just use compressed air. ...there are some drawbacks to CO2, but they are not critical. Your peace of mind and the consistency between all 4 tires are more important.
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benstern
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Fri Apr 11, 2008 10:57 am

Heavier gases leak much faster.
IE: never try to refill a bike tire with propane. It leaks way too quick. I tried it on several occasions with the same result. Flat tire within 4 days.
grumpy
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Fri Apr 11, 2008 11:07 am

off roaders have been using co2 in tires for years without any problems that i know of.
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Jeeperforlife
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Fri Apr 11, 2008 11:16 am

grumpy wrote:off roaders have been using co2 in tires for years without any problems that i know of.
This is true several members of the local Jeep club use CO2 as on board air and have ran them for years. however if it does leak out faster we would not know. We air our tires down to 4-8 psi every weekend.
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DYI
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Fri Apr 11, 2008 6:17 pm

Heavier gases leak much faster
Well that's certainly a well thought out statement :roll:

The leak rate depends almost completely on the particle size of whatever the vessel is filled with. Essentially, the larger the effective particle size, and the higher the viscosity, the slower the leak rate.

This may be a stab in the dark, but considering that the largest abundant particle in air is N<sub>2</sub>, and that propane is C<sub>3</sub>H<sub>8</sub>, propane should leak quite a bit slower than air, as should CO<sub>2</sub>. Since denser (not "heavier") gases usually have larger particle sizes than less dense gases, and likely similar or higher viscosities, I have a problem believing that denser gases will leak faster than less dense ones.

Try filling a tire with helium, and you'll see what I'm talking about. It's the same as how air filled balloons can stay inflated for weeks, and ones filled with helium are lucky to last 3 days.
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bluerussetboy
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Fri Apr 11, 2008 10:54 pm

benstern wrote:Heavier gases leak much faster.
I have always wondered why my tires are only flat on the bottom.
miskaman
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Fri Apr 11, 2008 11:42 pm

I wouldn't do it. Car tires are designed with the notion that you were to put regular compressed air in there. Putting Co2 could definetly mess something up.

Sure the offroaders might use it, but have you ever stopped to think maybe they're using a tire that WAS designed for usage of Co2?
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Jeeperforlife
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Thu Apr 17, 2008 9:12 am

miskaman wrote:I wouldn't do it. Car tires are designed with the notion that you were to put regular compressed air in there. Putting Co2 could definetly mess something up.

Sure the offroaders might use it, but have you ever stopped to think maybe they're using a tire that WAS designed for usage of Co2?
I have been building off road buggies and Jeeps for a wile now and never seen a tire manufaturer say any thing about CO2.
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Ragnarok
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Thu Apr 17, 2008 9:35 am

The matter seems to be very much a split of opinion.
As an engineer (albeit, a student one) I would not say there are any real concerns with using CO2.
The pressures in car tyres are of the order of 30 psi - well below the pressure at which it will liquefy, so it will follow the gas laws the same as any other gas, expanding and contracting with temperature changes exactly the same as air would.

Unless you do a complete brainfart and fill your tyres to insane pressures with it, there are no safety concerns.

As for the rate of leaks, I would agree with DYI. Gasses with larger particle sizes will logically leak slower.
Helium, with the smallest particle size of any gas, is therefore used as a leak testing gas, as it will leak faster (and through smaller gaps) than any other gas, meaning that any loss will be noticed faster.

Now, I've never observed it myself, so I might be mistaken on that point.

Thinking it through, if anything, CO2 sounds a better choice to me. I can't see any reason why a tyre would need to be differently designed to accept CO2.
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