Why Are We Paying So Much For Air At Gas Stations In Michigan?
It's that time of the year again my fellow Michiganders. Winter is here. There are a lot of signs it has arrived. And I have come to learn that this is one of them.
That symbol drives me crazy. In case you don't know what it means, here let me show you.
Yup. One if not several of your tires are now experiencing LOW TIRE PRESSURE. It happens when it gets cold and the temps dip. You could ignore it but that light is going to stay on and it is problematic. Driving on tires with low pressure could sock it to you at the gas pump. Also if you don't check or refill your tires, you could come out to a flat early in the morning and AIN'T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT. Running late and you've got a flat tire?!? No bueno.
So you go in search of a gas station that has a working air pump and when you find one you get this.
Gone are the days of FREE AIR. Now you're paying through the nose and as you can see here, if you're not paying with cash it's going to cost you more.
And wait. A buck fifty to fill up your tires with air? And a buck seventy five if you don't have cash?!?
Gas is a buck seventy five per gallon as of the publishing of this article (11/20/20). And they're charging that much for air?
Did you know in California there's a law?
There’s a law that was passed in 1999, that made it a requirement for service stations in California to provide free water, compressed air and an air pressure gauge to customers who purchase fuel. (Conejo Valley Guide)
Why do they charge for air? How about those pesky air compressor use/maintenance fees.
In states that do not (like Michigan), some gas stations may voluntarily offer free air, but most do not. And paid air compressor use at gas stations can be highway robbery @ $1-2 per fill (under the stress of having to rush before you time out). (20somethingfinance)
Want to avoid getting stuck at the AIR PUMP?
- freeairpump.com offers a user-generated map of gas stations that offer free air compressor use.
- Belle Tire & Discount Tire are both gracious enough to offer you free air for your tires even if you didn't buy tires from them. They'll even check your pressure and more. See stores for details.
- You should pick up a tire pressure gauge (like this one)
- Buy a portable air compressor to use as a tire inflator instead. Amazon has a ton of them between $30 and $70.
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