r/LifeProTips Aug 23 '22

LPT: If you pay to put air in your car tires at a gas station, "truck stops" have free air in the back. Traveling

Speedway, Buc-ees, etc usually have dedicated diesel pumps around back for 18 wheelers. And more often than not, each pump has its own free air line. If there's not a line of trucks waiting on fuel, pull through and air up for free instead of paying $2 for 60 seconds of compressed air around front.

EDIT: Spelling/ Yes, it is obviously a much wiser choice to invest in an air pump than feed a machine quarters, yet there are still people without one, and this is for them.

Also, as usual, the real LPT is always in the comments. Apparently a few states require compressed air to be free, but you have to ask for it, otherwise it is assumed you are willing to pay for no reason. The comment section here is a bountiful treasure trove of free air spots and tricks. Worth a read IMHO. Good stuff.

P.S. To those who say "a TrUcK CoMpReSsOr is dangerous because they achieve HiGhEr PrEsSuReS" that's not how compressed air works. Just because your car is capable of driving 100 Mph does not mean that is the speed you drive at. If you can't help yourself from overinflating your own tire, that's on you. (My crappy backup $15 compressor I keep in the car will make 110 psi, there is no such thing as a "more dangerous compressor" for a certain tire, just a more capable one.)

2.8k Upvotes

u/keepthetips Keeping the tips since 2019 Aug 23 '22

Hello and welcome to r/LifeProTips!

Please help us decide if this post is a good fit for the subreddit by up or downvoting this comment.

If you think that this is great advice to improve your life, please upvote. If you think this doesn't help you in any way, please downvote. If you don't care, leave it for the others to decide.

505

u/bingold49 Aug 23 '22

Check your state laws, they may be required to turn it on for you for free anyway

318

u/blolik5 Aug 23 '22

Yep in California, they still have payment signs, but you just ask the attendant and they are required by law to turn it on.

92

u/ekinodum Aug 23 '22

They are also required to provide an air pump in California.

22

u/ackermann Aug 23 '22

That’s good, I wish all states required this

4

u/azidesandamides Aug 24 '22

provide an air pump in California

And that it is working. However you need to buy gas. I wonder I drive electric what then. Can they deny me? DO I start a gasoline fight a la Zoolander.... I thought that was also illegal XD

3

u/[deleted] Aug 24 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

2

u/azidesandamides Aug 24 '22

You know I emailed the state could an amendment somehow take place cuz i drive electric 😆

2

u/SterileProphet Aug 24 '22

As far as I know even without a purchase they need to turn on the air for you. I’ve had to do this plenty of times, ask for the air to be turned on without buying gas. It’s never been an issue.

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u/SomeRedShirt Aug 24 '22

You put the boom boom into my heart 🎶

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u/skeetsauce Aug 23 '22

Just say you bought gas and they’ll hook it up.

10

u/CyborgElephant Aug 23 '22

Not all stations are as helpful. I’ve literally had many stations tell me to get fucked and pay.

22

u/skeetsauce Aug 23 '22

Illegal in California.

5

u/invalidmail2000 Aug 24 '22

You can report it in states where they are required to report it.

4

u/Charming_Love2522 Aug 24 '22

That's weird because we don't even get the profit??? Were a totally seperate "company."

The only thing the air machine company does is rent the space, I believe. don't think it changed any cost either, same goes for the vacuums.

It could be different at another station, though.

3

u/issius Aug 23 '22

So just an option to pay to avoid interaction lol

3

u/Iz-kan-reddit Aug 23 '22

Only if you purchase gas.

14

u/subsonicmonkey Aug 23 '22

I have never had a gas station clerk in California make any sort of check on if I’ve purchased gas when I ask them to turn on the air. I don’t think they actually give a shit.

12

u/Iz-kan-reddit Aug 23 '22

I don’t think they actually give a shit.

I also don't think the majority care at all. People still need to know the actual law so they don't wind up confidently incorrect in an argument with a clerk that does.

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u/NorCalRT Aug 24 '22

Managed a gas station in college in CA, 100% told people to get fucked. But always was just weird fucking people doing weird drug shit. Normal customer, never would tell you no, most likely would offer to help.

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u/trevmflynn81 Aug 23 '22

Only if you buy gas, but I doubt the clerk will much care either way!

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u/Reissycup Aug 23 '22

There are only two states that require free air to be provided at gas stations currently - CT and CA (when you purchase gas).

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u/FlyingBearSquid Aug 23 '22

Was just going to say this. I always go up to the attendant and ask them to turn the air on and they always do. I live in CA btw.

8

u/missionbeach Aug 23 '22

I wish that were true for gas pumps too.

7

u/Where_is_Bambi Aug 23 '22

Connecticut gas stations are required to turn them on for free if you ask (even if they advertise a few), Colorado they are not mandated to have free air.

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179

u/Previous_Water6832 Aug 23 '22

You have to pay for air?

531

u/ouyin2000 Aug 23 '22 Silver Gold

Yup. Inflation is a real bitch.

15

u/Utexan Aug 23 '22

Underrated comment

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36

u/fuckyou2dude Aug 23 '22

Most gas stations (in the south/eastern United states) have customer "turnkey" air pumps out front that require some absurd amount of quarters or accept credit cards in exchange for a timed ~ 2 minute activation of the compressor. It is crazy the number of times I have seen people using these pumps, or demanding a refund because the machine didn't work.

18

u/stealthdawg Aug 23 '22

Most are 3rd party owned like a vending machine.

6

u/fuckyou2dude Aug 23 '22

Yeah, that's why I said it was a turnkey machine. Same concept as a touch less car wash lol

3

u/halfeclipsed Aug 23 '22

I've never used a air machine that was less than 5 minutes

8

u/sold_snek Aug 23 '22

I thought if you walk inside and ask them to turn it on that they have to.

5

u/Saint-O-Circumstance Aug 23 '22

I don't know if they have to but every time I've asked them to in the northeast they oblige. I'd imagine most will, especially if you got gas or bought something else anyway. I also know the BJs around here have automated pumps (program the desired tire pressure and it will cut off automatically when that pressure is reached). They don't require a membership to drive up and use.

6

u/rosecitytransit Aug 23 '22

In California, the law requires it

2

u/Iz-kan-reddit Aug 23 '22

Only with a fuel purchase.

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u/KmartQuality Aug 23 '22

There are BJ membership clubs where you live?

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u/listlessloss1994 Aug 23 '22

Not everywhere. I recently worked at a gas station in NC and we couldn't do shit for people who needed air. When the machine stopped working all we could do was put a sign on it. People tried to use it anyway and would come in demanding their change back, but we weren't responsible for it 'cause it was a third party company that owned and maintained it.

Same for tobacco products, especially vapes. If someone's shitty vape pen didn't work, they had to contact the company to get a refund. We couldn't give them one.

20

u/TroutFishingInCanada Aug 23 '22

Maybe, but I'm a millennial, so I'd rather pay 25 cents that interact with someone.

9

u/Rico_B_Suave Aug 23 '22

It's like minimum $1.50 and they never fucking work. Even when they do you end up needing to reup for the second side. I just bought an onboard compressor to use because I regularly change my air pressures.

2

u/Affectionate_Ear_778 Aug 23 '22

Do you go beach driving a lot? I’ve never had the timer go out on me but that’s cause I just fill up from time to time and have regular size tires

3

u/Rico_B_Suave Aug 23 '22

No but I have 35s and go up and down for towing, daily or off road etc. if I’m trying to go from 35 to 45 on all 4 for instance the timer will last me about 2.5 tires lol

1

u/ThisSorrowfulLife Aug 23 '22

Yeah you get about 3 minutes for $1-$2 dollars in coins

1

u/Luffy987 Aug 23 '22

We have to pay in the UK too now, supermarkets like Sainsbury's used to do it for free but now they charge as well.

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u/mrmadchef Aug 23 '22

In Wisconsin, we go to Kwik Trip, like civilized people.

But seriously, if you're ever in Wisconsin or Minnesota, head to Kwik Trip if there's one nearby (I believe they go by Kwik Star in Iowa). Free air, and the pump is super easy to use. Just use the buttons to adjust to desired PSI, connect to the valve stem, and it does the rest.

16

u/ETvibrations Aug 23 '22

In Oklahoma, we go to Quik Trip. Don't think they have the smart settings on them yet, but free is free.

7

u/TheReal-Chris Aug 23 '22

If in Pennsylvania Get Go has free air!

5

u/Liathano_Fire Aug 23 '22

In Illinois we go to Casey's.

2

u/UberWidget Aug 24 '22

Along part of the I-80 corridor in Illinoise, Shell has free air but BP charges

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u/SillyPhillyDilly Aug 23 '22

Ope don't ferget da Glazers

2

u/toothpastenachos Aug 24 '22

Went to a Kwik Trip once and the dude in front of me took 20 minutes to air up ONE tire 😭 Like man it’s not that hard

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u/simonf75 Aug 23 '22 Helpful

Also, if you have no choice but to pay for air, remove the valve stem caps before you put the money in. Don't be futzing around with those while the clock is running.

33

u/Lenithriel Aug 23 '22

Very good point that most people wouldn't think of until it's too late. It also doesn't hurt to have a good idea of which tire is lower than the rest. In my case I had a tire that I knew had a valve stem issue that caused my tire to lose air periodically. I always knew to have the valve stem cap off on that particular tire before starting (before I was able to get it in the shop to get it repaired).

6

u/the1nfection Aug 23 '22

Most air pumping meters also come with a mechanical tester built in, which works even if the pump is off! You can remove the caps, test all tires, then start the pump in most places!

12

u/Imaneight Aug 23 '22

Pull a couple extra feet of hose out from the winder and step on it with your foot while you crouch down to use the air, that way you're not fighting the windback spring the whole time while you're filling.

2

u/Deirachel Aug 24 '22

Valve caps.

Valve stems are the things in the middle of the valve with thebpin sticking out inside the tube. They hold the air into the tire/tyre and generally need a special tool to remove. You don't remove them outside of a shop.

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u/TheSchwartzIsWithMe Aug 23 '22

Costco also have "Free" air by the tire installation area. There's a sign that says you need to be a member, but I've never been carded in the several years I've been using them

19

u/MBThree Aug 23 '22

Doesn’t Costco fill their tires with nitrogen? Is that used at their free pumps too?

24

u/tb422 Aug 23 '22

Yep. I just used them yesterday I’m suburban Chicago. Nitrogen with a hand sign telling people it’s safe to combine with “air filled” tires.

4

u/toothpastenachos Aug 24 '22

Why nitrogen?

12

u/Mattcheco Aug 24 '22

It expands less when the tires heat up and shrinks less when they cool down.

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u/FancyDare1012 Aug 24 '22

Less moisture in the mixture vs normal air so psi is more stable as temperature changes.

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u/azidesandamides Aug 24 '22

Why nitrogen?

The air is like 78% nitrogen first off, second filtering that last 20% is easy

7

u/AnnyuiN Aug 23 '22

Same! It never asked me for my Costco card. Still a Costco member for every other perk they have but it isn't required:)

4

u/bullybullybully Aug 23 '22

Lowes often does too, by the “pros” entrance

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u/ronin1066 Aug 23 '22

Wawa has free pumps

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u/ThankeeSai Aug 23 '22

I just commented this, didn't see yours. Wawa is the best.

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u/TehFuriousOne Aug 23 '22

Lowes home improvement stores usually have a free pump as well. It's usually near the "pro" entrance.

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u/Dirk_The_Cowardly Aug 23 '22

Just go to discount tires. They fill anyone's for free.

11

u/Ogre8 Aug 23 '22

Firestone will also. Gives them a chance to look at your tires.

7

u/Dirk_The_Cowardly Aug 23 '22

Discount tires just fills, no sale pressure

3

u/PortraitOfAnubis Aug 23 '22

Who has that kind of time though?

4

u/Dirk_The_Cowardly Aug 23 '22

It is a lane outside and usually less than 2 minutes for 4 tires.

They do that so you remember the cool tire place. They also fix most flats for free if you buy from them.

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u/thisoneiaskquestions Aug 23 '22

Used to work at Lowe's, this is new?

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u/TehFuriousOne Aug 23 '22

I noticed it about a year ago and have seen it at a few locations. Dunno when they started it but it's on the website

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u/Dumsht5588 Aug 23 '22

Wawa also has free air at their locations

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u/HeadOfMax Aug 24 '22

A lot of costcos have free nitrogen as well usually near the tire center

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u/Eighty7lx Aug 23 '22

Came to post the same. 👍

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u/veggie_saurus_rex Aug 23 '22

I believe it's always free at Sheetz stations if you have them near you. I have never seen one that charges for air.

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u/AsAnasae Aug 24 '22

I’m from PA and have never heard of paying for air? I usually go to Sheetz because they’re everywhere but I’ve gone to some other gas stations when it’s an emergency and I’ve never paid for air.

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u/SometimesMoody Aug 23 '22

Is that a US thing mainly? I live in Denmark and all gas stations have free air pumps for cars. Even a lot of bike shops have free air for bicycles outside the shop.

It seems absurd to me to have to pay for air.

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u/k_sheep1 Aug 23 '22

Yes this seems insane to me. What is wrong with the USA??

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u/Onair380 Aug 23 '22

in germany its free as well

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u/YouKnowWhoIAm2016 Aug 24 '22

Every gas station I’ve ever been to in Australia has free air pumps, buckets full of water and a windscreen squeegee in/around them. You guys in the U.S are getting screwed in yet another scummy way

3

u/Trickycoolj Aug 23 '22

Yes the air pumps at gas stations are coin operated usually. I couldn’t find enough quarters in my car last time the tire light came on so I went to the hardware store and got a cordless pump that works with my other cordless tool batteries and pumped it at home.

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u/fuckyou2dude Aug 23 '22

I have noticed that big chain stores are less consumer friendly when it comes to air. The smaller mom and pop shops or service stations that actually perform a service are more community oriented and have free air.

It is absurd. I'm fairly certain the US govt or fortune 500's will find a way to charge/ tax us for gravity eventually.

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u/Michael310 Aug 23 '22

In Australia we have free air and non potable water at our gas stations. I didn’t realise elsewhere in the world it would be a charged service.

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u/Strychnine85 Aug 24 '22

I think it’s just the US. Greatest country in the world /s

51

u/wonanddones Aug 23 '22

Or buy a 12v powered compressor for $30

10

u/MuluLizidrummer Aug 23 '22

Mine has been a life saver. Best gift I ever recieved.

3

u/TheReal-Chris Aug 23 '22

Which one do you have? I’ve been looking into getting one to keep in my trunk.

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u/MuluLizidrummer Aug 23 '22

Its a "Husky Inflator with light" (it has a flashlight too) My dad got me it like 14 years ago, I only saw used ones for sale online though

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u/theoriginalstarwars Aug 23 '22

Project farm on YouTube did a review of several different ones.

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u/ForTheHordeKT Aug 24 '22

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07VDQYCJW/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

This one is $60, but I've had it for a few months after I accidentally broke my old one. To be fair, my OG air pump I have had for nearly 20 years and the little cigarette lighter plug thing finally got brittle and busted when I plugged it in. But what I like about this new one here I linked, is it's digital instead of a needle gauge and I can tell it what PSI I want my tire set to, and it will stop its self automatically when it gets there. Handy because one of my vehicles has a slow leak and my lazy ass hasn't gone to the tire shop. I can't find a nail/screw puncture, or figure out if it's leaking out a faulty stem, or what. I just know in about a week it'll get down to 25 PSI so every Sunday I go out there and plug this badboy in, it remembers that I want it at 35psi so I just let it rip and go back in the house for a few minutes lol.

I'll never not have one of these handy. Even a cheapass $20-$30 one is worth it to not have to specifically go out of your way somewhere to air up.

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u/drumsripdrummer Aug 23 '22

Watched the project farm compressor shootout, decided on the best bang for the buck compressor. It's good enough to get you to a gas station with air. Probably would take 15 minutes to properly fill a single tire.

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u/IsuzuTrooper Aug 23 '22

jack it up and the tire fills in 5 min or less

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u/drumsripdrummer Aug 23 '22

Silly I didn't think of that. I aired down my tires a little bit for offloading once and thought I could add 10 psi back quickly. Foolish I didn't think of lifting it.

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u/IsuzuTrooper Aug 23 '22

yeah get the weight off. now back to practicing paradiddles you and me bofe

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u/damarius Aug 23 '22

Wouldn't there be a significant increase in pressure once you lower the vehicle?

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u/IsuzuTrooper Aug 23 '22

interesting point but I dont think so. the air is inside is pushing against the entire earths atmosphere either way. maybe 35 psi would go to 36 or 37 once let down? you air up bike tires then add weight and ride and the pressure is about the same. I just know a unweighted tire fills faster. Less resistance.

heres the answer....

https://community.cartalk.com/t/tire-pressure-on-the-lift-on-the-ground/1980

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u/nrsys Aug 23 '22

If you have a reasonably recent car, it is also worth checking out the emergency kit in the back too - a lot of cars no longer pack a full spare wheel, and instead include a bottle of tyre sealant and a 12v compressor.

The one I got isn't the fanciest, but it has a pressure gauge and lets you air up your tyres if needed...

2

u/DonkeyTron42 Aug 23 '22

I keep a Ryobi compressor in my car. It's so much easier to just set the pressure, press the button, and wait until it stops.

2

u/theoriginalstarwars Aug 23 '22

Also get a tire plug kit so if it's not a big blow out you can patch and fill.

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u/Unlucky_Clover Aug 23 '22

That’s what I did with the quick release. Can do it anywhere I need then

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u/onelittleworld Aug 23 '22

If you fill your tires with any frequency at all... and have bikes, sports balls, pool toys, etc. that need regular inflation... just get a compact compressor/inflator that runs on household AC and/or 12V car current. They don't cost that much, and you can use it anytime at your convenience, right at home.

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u/simonf75 Aug 23 '22

It's not as compact, but a high volume bike pump (not high pressure, use the kind for fat bikes) will inflate your car tires in no time.

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u/PrisonerV Aug 23 '22

Get a small pancake air tank and pump. Those little 12v compressors are about worthless.

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u/hippyengineer Aug 23 '22

I got a pump that connects straight to the battery with clips and it fills a totally flat car tire in about 90 seconds. Way better that the cigarette lighter ones.

4

u/Abernathy999 Aug 23 '22

Also look for a 2-stage compressor. It holds the air better while the compressor prepares each "pump." It makes a vast difference if you value time and/or efficiency.

4

u/AnnyuiN Aug 23 '22

I use an inverter with an AC pump and it works really well

4

u/tbrugman Aug 23 '22

True. Also in some gas statons in the Netherlands (example: Highway A1 to Amsterdam De Hackelaar - the paid and free ones are only 15 meters apart and in a direct line-of-sight)

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u/carpediemracing Aug 23 '22

In Connecticut it's illegal to charge for air if the business is open.

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u/HereForTheUpvotes25 Aug 23 '22

Also in the back of truck stops…Lot Lizards!

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u/Katnapper66 Aug 24 '22

Their blow jobs usually cost

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u/Environmental-Car481 Aug 23 '22

Belle Tire shops in Michigan (and wherever else) has a free air pump. Kroger gas station attendants can turn them on if you ask.

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u/unwittingprotagonist Aug 23 '22

I tried this last weekend on a Sunday. There were 2 people in line to use it, so I decided to wait in a parking spot out of the way. Bad move--2 more people jumped in line. Belle tire pumps are a pillar of the community.

2

u/Environmental-Car481 Aug 23 '22

Been there. Done that. I had a tire that just kept going low. Checked out numerous times, rotated, new tire, etc. always the front driver’s side. Discovering the belle tire thing was a game changer. Easier than using the air compressor in my garage because of the built in gauge. The hubs even got me a Ryobi air compressor for my birthday. Shortly after I got a new set of tires and somehow that fixed the problem.

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u/FalconFred Aug 23 '22

NO trucks at Buc-ee's

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u/whatisboom Aug 23 '22

Came for this. They probably have free air, but it’s definitely not for semi’s

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u/LeMans1217 Aug 23 '22

It's actually illegal in California for gas stations to charge for air. The machine may have a coin slot, but just ask the attendant to turn it on.

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u/dodgerneighbor Aug 23 '22

I believe you must buy gas for the air to be free

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u/LeMans1217 Aug 23 '22

Not true. In fact, specifically addressed in the regulation.

11

u/dodgerneighbor Aug 23 '22

“California law requires that station operators provide free air and water to customers who purchase gasoline or diesel fuel.”

California Complaint form

If you have link to a .gov site showing no purchase is needed, I’d be interested.

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u/Milopbx Aug 23 '22

100% of the time I asked the attendant to turn on the air pump they did. Gas or no gas.

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u/Glum_Ad_4288 Aug 23 '22

Ditto (well, less than 100%, because sometimes they say the machine isn’t working), but I think that’s because attendants generally want to be nice and don’t really have any reason to be dicks over helping you in a way that doesn’t hurt them at all. They’re not legally required to give it to you unless you buy gas, though.

And the machine does accept payment, so I’m sure a lot of people just pay rather than asking the attendant.

2

u/25x10e21 Aug 23 '22

Right. Without a stipulation on the amount you could buy any infinitesimal amount if they choose to be petty. The attendant isn’t the one paying for the air (as if the station really is either…) and definitely don’t get paid enough to give a shit. Even where I live where it’s not required if you’re polite they’ll give you tokens for the pump even though it’s not required in any way. Politeness goes a long way a lot of ways in life.

3

u/ThisSorrowfulLife Aug 23 '22

Buy a portable air compressor for $20-$30 and never have to worry about blocking the lot, wait times, impatient Karen's, pumps not working or stealing your money, frozen connectors in the winter and you can do it safely in your garage. One of life's best investments.

3

u/Rorusbass Aug 23 '22

I just use a manual pump I also use for my bicycle.

1

u/engineerFWSWHW Aug 23 '22

Same here. It's a good workout as well. Bought one for $6 at harbor freight.

The 12v air pump that came with my car is useless.once it reaches 26psi, it just can't fill up anymore and it heats up. The bicycle pump can do a better job.

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u/BadDogEDN Aug 23 '22

Depending on the State you can go into the gas station, and just ask them to turn on the pump. They will still have an option to pay on the pump, but at least in CT you don't have to pay for air. In CT they can't force you to pay to use an air pump

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u/Abasakaa Aug 23 '22

Gas stations on the US are charging you for these? Lmao

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u/tvieno Aug 23 '22

Most tire shops will top your air off for free and they will do it for you.

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u/merci-lilliane Aug 23 '22

Yep! That’s what I do. They are also able to notice if there is a reason why your tire is losing air

8

u/fozard Aug 23 '22

Beware! Truck stop air pumps typically have way more pressure/flow than your typical coin operated pump. They will fill your car tires very quickly.

3

u/TahaEng Aug 23 '22

And it is absolutely fantastic. Fill up all four tires in a minute or two. Those coin operated ones are always slow as well as costly. I love the truck station ones.

2

u/HumpieDouglas Aug 23 '22

The QT locations here in AZ have free air too. Also if you just need the tires topped off just drive to any Discount Tire. They will inflate for free.

2

u/Osburg Aug 23 '22

I would recommend having an electric compresor on your car. They are inexpensive and a better solution for all cases. Some of them even double as battery backups.

2

u/PostalMike Aug 23 '22

I’ve lived in MInnesota and Wisconsin for 50 years and have never seen any place charge for air.

2

u/TONER_SD Aug 23 '22

Costco has free nitrogen tire fill up for members

2

u/loststylus Aug 23 '22

Didn’t know there are stations literally selling air

2

u/Raptor188 Aug 23 '22

You guys pay for air?

2

u/Jazzlike_Duck678 Aug 23 '22

Also it is rarely broken for the truckers.

4

u/kraenk12 Aug 23 '22

Who TF pays for air???

8

u/ThisSorrowfulLife Aug 23 '22

Us Americans

3

u/kraenk12 Aug 23 '22

Turbo capitalism at its worst.

1

u/masamunecyrus Aug 24 '22

Tire shops, truck stops, and auto mechanic shops all usually have free use of compressors to fill tires. It's mostly gas stations that charge, and it's usually something like 50¢ or $1.00. Although if you drove up with a flat tire and no money, they'd probably turn them on for free, too.

Turbo capitalism at its worst.

I mean, I could say the same thing about the lack of public bathrooms or pay-to-use toilets in Europe. 🤷

3

u/whitefang-77 Aug 23 '22

People are paying for the compressor, it's maintenance and the electricity to run it.

I'm not arguing it should be that way, but characterizing it as "paying for air" is disingenuous. You have all the air you want, for free. What people need is access to a compressor, and that's what they pay for.

2

u/kraenk12 Aug 23 '22

I just think it’s really weird. It’s considered service at gas stations here in Europe. Same as water. It’s a necessary safety item, I think it’s despicable to charge for it honestly.

2

u/whitefang-77 Aug 23 '22

I understand, and I'm not arguing against your point. I'm just saying that "paying for air" doesn't really describe the situation. Thanks for the kind response. :)

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u/Travamoose Aug 23 '22

What the fuck.

Americans literally have to pay for air.

Another crazy new fact I've learnt today about your crazy country.

Shit is free at every single service station in Australia, because a running car uses petrol and is good for business

4

u/Kimorin Aug 23 '22

Air companies HATE HIM....

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1

u/Absurdionne Aug 23 '22

I always just tell the gas station attendant that I have no change and they give me a loonie to use it

1

u/ChaosDiver13 Aug 23 '22

Sheetz fuel stations have free air.

1

u/Yousername_relevance Aug 23 '22

I just use my bike pump.

1

u/EvenStevenKeel Aug 23 '22

My only request is that the machines WORK

1

u/wkomorow Aug 23 '22

I use nitrogen. There is only one place, the dealership that refills nitrogen. They do it for free but usually it is a 15-20 minute wait for mechanics to finish what they are doing, before refilling it.

1

u/Inside_Ice_6175 Aug 23 '22

Good to know

Also if you're near a Discount Tire, Walmart (if that store has a Tire and Lube Express) or Sam's club they'll put air in your tires as well.

1

u/masterGmanLOL Aug 23 '22

Costco has free nitrogen air pumps as well

1

u/harley9779 Aug 23 '22

Be careful using a truck stop air compressor on your car. Air compressors designed for inflating car tires run at around 60psi. Air compressors designed for inflation semi truck tires run at around 150psi.

If you don't know what you are doing and/or aren't paying attention you could easily overinflate or blowout your tire.

1

u/tSnDjKniteX Aug 23 '22

YMMV,

but most gas stations I been too from Arkansas to Dallas, and I think a few in LA I seen were all free.

BUT I have seen some paid ones but I couldn't remember if they were the ones with the car wash attached or the free ones were the ones with car wash attached to the station.

YMMV

1

u/DelayedIntentions Aug 23 '22

If your in California and you are purchasing fuel the gas station is required to provide free air and water. They may have a coin operated machine, but they can override it from inside.

Some shady places will say the override is broken, but just remind them of the law and the override usually suddenly starts working.

Im not sure if other states do the same, when I lived in Oregon it didn’t seem like it, but I was never in dire need.

1

u/vi3talogy Aug 23 '22

Costco has pumps near the tire station ands it’s nitrogen.

1

u/BeersandBread Aug 23 '22

If you live in CA they can’t charge you for air at gas stations. I mean, they try but it must be free. I went two days ago to a machine that took quarters, I checked if the air worked and it came right on for free. If that doesn’t work go into the gas station and ask them to turn the air on.

1

u/billytheking2 Aug 23 '22

If you want to blow up your tires up, go ahead

1

u/Ithxero Aug 23 '22

Most, if not all, tire shops will check and fill your air for free as well.

1

u/nightraven3141592 Aug 23 '22

WTF? You need to pay to fill air in your tires? It’s free around here. Where there is a lot of vandalism you need to ask the cashier for the handle else it’s just go around and fill your tires. Same with cleaning the windshield.

1

u/searchfgold6789 Aug 23 '22

Don't drive for more than a couple miles before filling, it's bad for the tires

1

u/FormalProduct Aug 23 '22

If you’re too far away from big mainstreams gas stations Phillips 66 also provides free air. Usually you’ll spot it with the air hose wound up like a garden hose.

1

u/Dangerous-Choice-521 Aug 23 '22

If you're adding air regularly you have a leak, places like discount tire (usa) will patch a tire for free, thus eliminating the reason you're adding air, as long as its patchable. If it's not patchable, they will advise you and top up the tire to its recommended inflation. Constantly having to add air is what you should try to eliminate.

1

u/jumpyg1258 Aug 23 '22

Or you could pay $30 once and carry around a portable air pump in your trunk and never have to worry about your tires being out of air ever again.

1

u/Jasonxhx Aug 23 '22

In Michigan, if you buy gas from a station that has an air pump then they are required to provide you free air on request. Good luck though, no one knows this.

1

u/pipelineporter Aug 23 '22

Just buy an air pump on Amazon that plugs into the 12V

1

u/Robin_the_sidekick Aug 23 '22

Some stations will activate the air pump for free if you ask. This used to be prevalent. Not so much anymore but it is still worth the ask.

1

u/katmndoo Aug 23 '22

I've never had an issue using a tire shop. Usually they'll do it themselves, due to insurance I think.

1

u/Amerakee Aug 23 '22

QuickChek has free air pumps if you live in a state with one.

1

u/MustardyFartBubble Aug 23 '22

Just buy a small air compressor and store it in your car. Save money and gas

1

u/SUPRA239 Aug 23 '22

If you use air pumps that are made for trucks then you need to keep an eye on your PSI. Air pumps for cars typically max about 60 psi with most cars typically needing about 40-50psi. Air pumps for trucks go up to 120+ psi.

1

u/ThankeeSai Aug 23 '22

Wawa has free air for those of you in PA, NJ, MD, DE in the US.

1

u/consumercommand Aug 23 '22

Free air yes. But not free blow. That costs

1

u/Dodobrain38 Aug 23 '22

Discount tire will also air up your tires for free

1

u/Liathano_Fire Aug 23 '22

Casey's has free air in the front.

1

u/gowingman1 Aug 23 '22

I bought what looks like a cordless drill that is actually a Air pump for car tires, it may have been one of the best purchases I have ever made. One of the batteries is completely cordless and the other battery has a cord with a power point plug in. The whole thing fits snug in a small zip up case. NAPA sells it, I keep it in the car. I no longer have to look for air it's great. Also allot of air stations are broken or don't work. No more paying for air also is a plus

1

u/TheOldZenMaster Aug 23 '22

Sheetz always had a free air pump

1

u/Artsy_traveller_82 Aug 23 '22

Most petrol stations in Australia provide air and water for free. I say most because I haven’t done the necessary legwork to confirm but I’ve literally never come across a servo that charges for it.

1

u/Dis4Wurk Aug 23 '22

All Kwik-trips and Hess gas stations have free air all the time. Kwik-trips you can even set the desired PSI and just hold it on the valve stem until it beeps, super easy and user friendly.

1

u/vesperofshadow Aug 23 '22

Most tire service places will fill your air for free and someone will do it for you most of the time if your patient.

1

u/ackmondual Aug 23 '22

In California, if you buy gas from a gas station, they're required by law to give you free session of air. Some cases, if you ask, they'll give it to you anyways