The nitrogen molecule is more stable and larger than that of oxygen; it takes 3 to 4 times longer for it to escape through porous rubber tires. Nitrogen fill increases safety, reduces tire wear, improves handling, minimizes blowouts and its environmentally friendly.  Nitrogen-fill is not new. It’s been used by NASCAR, in airplane tires and NASA space shuttle tires for more than a decade.

We NY’ers know cars are a huge issue in our city and, let’s face it, we love our vehicles. There’s some good news, though. Not all car enthusiasts are thinking horse-power…some of us are thinking green.

Under-inflated tires are an enormous issue. It’s the number one cause of thousands of tire related accidents annually which result in many fatalities, scores of serious injuries, property damage, increased insurance premiums, etc.

Also, under-inflated tires cause gas mileage to plummet costing more at the pump which is especially significant during this recession and while prices of gas are spiraling. However, by utilizing nitrogen-fill gas savings can be 3-10% per tank of gas.  And, more important, to those of us thinking green: saving gas = saving money = reducing emissions = a greener tomorrow.

Our use of gasoline pours tons of pollutants into our atmosphere. That contributes to the sky-rocketing numbers of sufferers of breathing issues and other serious health concerns, especially, for kids and senior citizens.

Jay Leno, a passionate car enthusiast himself, is national spokesperson for nitrogen fill. He states that if 85% of us switched to nitrogen, the U.S. would save $3.8 billion gallons of gas per year. This equates to preventing 79 billion pounds of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases from pouring into our fragile environment. Saving that amount of gas equates to planting 7 million acres of forest.

The CEO of 106 St. Tire & Wheel, Christian A. Lucero, a lifelong resident of Queens, is operating his 4 store chain and raising his family here. He’s part of the growing number of business owners, parents & concerned NY’ers committed to a healthier planet. Also, he’s one of the few tire dealers in Queens offering environmentally-friendly nitrogen tire fill and he’s done that for years.

106 St. Tire has been on a crusade to increase awareness about the advantages of nitrogen fill and, in Queens, its happening. Costing only $32 to fill all 4 tires, customers are streaming into 106’s locations in Corona, Elmhurst and Jamaica to save gas & reduce pollution especially after last summer’s oppressive heat and poor air quality.

As the 2nd generation family run business owner, Lucero, whose parents previously ran 106 St. (his mother was the only woman to run a tire business on Long Island) feels that being progressive is critical for the future of our planet.  He explains, “My children are growing up in Queens like I did. What’s good for our city is good for all of us.

By Irene Mazzio

Irene Mazzio is 106 St. Tire and Wheel’s community outreach director; reach her at  Please visit the 106 St. site at  for a free downloadable e-book and more information about nitrogen, improving driver safety and 10 tips that save gas=save money=save the environment. Also, follow us at for about saver driving, saving gas and keeping pace with automotive  technology.