Air pump
Photograph ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

Where to Get Free Air For Your Tires: Earth Day 2022

How under-inflated tires contribute to air pollution.

When driving your own personal vehicle around the area where you live and work, you likely know of the best places to fill it up with fuel and to put air in your tires to keep them properly inflated — you might even own your own air pump — but when renting a vehicle while traveling, you likely do not know where to find fuel stations which have the best prices for gasoline or diesel; so you would use a tool such as GasBuddy…

Where to Get Free Air For Your Tires: Earth Day 2022

Air pump
Photograph ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

…but did you know that a similar tool exists for finding free air instead of having to pay up to $1.50 each time those tires need to be filled?

“Are you fed up with paying $0.75 to $1.50 just to fill up one of your tires? Think it’s ridiculous to have to swipe your credit card to get access to something that should be free? provides a map of locations that offer free air for tires”, according to this statement at the official Internet web site of “The map contains plenty of gas stations that have free air for autos. For bicyclists, you can also find numerous bike repair stations or stand alone bike pumps listed.”

Like GasBuddy for fuel, is a tool which uses crowdsourcing for people to find where to fill up tires with free air — but what does air for tires have to do with the environment?

“About 40% of the 5 million cars on Minnesota roads don’t have properly inflated tires”, according to this article from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, which also gives some useful tips and advice on how to keep tires properly inflated. “Those cars are spewing out up to 306,000 extra tons of carbon dioxide per year because their tires are under-inflated. These emissions directly contribute to increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Reduce pollution by keeping your tires at the proper pressure.”

Moreover, motorists can save up to ten cents per gallon of gasoline simply by keeping tires properly inflated.

“More than a quarter of automobiles and about a third of light trucks (including sport utility vehicles, vans, and pickup trucks) on the roadways of the United States have one or more tires underinflated 8 pounds per square inch (psi) or more below the level recommended by the vehicle manufacturer,” according to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the Department of Transportation of the United States. “A decrease in tire pressure can be caused by poor maintenance, driving habits, punctures, road conditions, and the quality of material used in tire construction. According to tire experts, under normal driving conditions, air-filled tires can lose from 1 to 2 psi per month as air permeates through the tires. Vehicles with underinflated tires have had handling problems that caused crashes resulting in fatalities and injuries. In addition, the fuel economy of vehicles driving on underinflated tires is slightly lower.”

Some states in the United States — such as Connecticut, California, and New York — have laws which require fuel stations which offer air to customers to access the air at no charge.

Final Boarding Call

Flat tire
Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

The reason why I wrote this article is because I rented a car recently to drive long distances — and the rear tire on the passenger side of the car kept slowly losing air to cause the on-board system indicator to alert me of the low pressure. I did manage to find air without paying for it several times — I did not have time to take the car to a location of the rental car company to have the tire repaired or the vehicle switched out — which caused me to wonder if a tool exists to help consumers find fuel stations which offer free air.

Sure enough, one does exist — and I hope that it is of some benefit to you.

Other articles at The Gate which pertain to Earth Day include:

All photographs ©2015 and ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

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