Visiting a gas station for fuel often involves more than just filling up the tank. Many motorists also take advantage of the air compressor machines at these stations to inflate their tires. But if you’ve never used one of those machines to remedy low tire pressure before, you may be surprised that you must pay for the service. Shouldn’t air be free? Learn reasons gas stations charge for compressed air.
Why Gas Stations Charge for Compressed Air
The primary reason gas stations charge for compressed air is to generate additional revenue. Charging for compressed air provides an extra source of income that helps boost their bottom line.
Plus, maintaining the machine to prevent common air compressor issues is not without cost. These machines are subject towear and malfunctions just like any other kind of machinery. They require regular servicing to ensure they function correctly and safely. The fee charged for compressed air helps offset the cost of maintenance and any necessary repairs.
Alternatives to Paying for Air
While some gas stations charge for compressed air, others offer it as a free service, particularly to customers who purchase gasoline. Motorists can therefore save money by seeking out these gas stations. Alternatively, investing in a personal air compressor or portable tire inflator can eliminate the need to use the gas station service altogether.
Laws Requiring Free Air
Interestingly, some states in the US have laws that require gas stations to provide free air. In California, a law passed in 1999 mandates service stations to provide free water, compressed air, and an air pressure gauge for customers who buy fuel. It doesn’t prevent gas stations from asking for a fee, but customers who request free air must receive it. Similarly, in Connecticut, the law requires air pumps at gasoline stations to dispense air for free.
While gas stations charging for compressed air may seem odd, the reasons are rooted in generating additional revenue and covering maintenance costs. However, customers have alternatives, such as using stations or retailers that offer free air or investing in personal equipment. Additionally, being aware of state-specific laws can help motorists access free air services where available.