If you are looking to cut the cost of driving your car, then finding free air for your tires can be a good place to start. By keeping your tires properly inflated you’ll save money on gas, your tires will last longer and your car will drive better.
There are likely to be 15+ places near you that will give you free air for your tires. The cost of owning a vehicle can be staggering. Between car payments, insurance, regular maintenance, and gas, you could be spending several thousand dollars a year to drive your car.
Add to that the cost of $1.50 to $2.00 to put air in your tires every month or so.
We’ll share lots of places near you that will either let you fill your tires for free or do it for you. After that, we’ll share why it’s important to monitor your tire condition AND tools to help you do that.
A Website To Find Free Air
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a website that helped you find free air for your tires in your area? But wait … there is …
FreeAirPump.com is a great way to find free air in your area. It is also a good resource to have on a road trip.
They have a Google-type, zoomable map showing lots of free air locations near you.
Although you might not be familiar with the free local air pumps, freeairpump.com will be able to help you find one close by.
The site is extremely easy to use! Just zoom around the map to find your area. Then check out the free air pump options available to you.
Nearby Stores With Free Air for Tires
Now that you’re ready to fill up your tires, you’ll need to find a place to do it for free. Try some of these locations near you. We researched dozens of gas and convenience stores and found more than 3500+ locations across the country. There are bound to be several in your area.
RELATED ARTICLE: Save Money at the Pump
Discount Tire has 1035 locations in 38 states. If you live in California, then you would know this chain as America’s Tires. The chain will check your tire pressure for free whether or not you purchased them at their store.
Drive near their service bays you’ll see a sign that says “Free Air Check.”
Try to avoid going to Discount Tire on a Saturday. Because you’ll usually find that there is a long line of cars waiting to get their tires filled with air.
Depending on where you got your tires, other companies may offer free air to refill your tires. You may need to call local tire shops to see whether or not they offer this service in your area.
QuikTrip is a gas station with over 805 locations that offer free air to its customers. You can find QuikTrip in Arizona, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas.
Sheetz offers free air to its customers that you can use to fill your tires. The company has 580 locations across the Mid-Atlantic, Appalachia, Upper South, and Ohio.
WaWa is a rapidly expanding chain of gas stations and convenience stores offer free air at all 800 locations.
Although you may traditionally associate WaWa with the Northeast, the chain has been making in-roads in Florida. Currently, you can find these gas stations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Washington D.C., and Florida.
This local chain has 72 locations in Pennsylvania that offer free air.
Royal Farms has 205 stores that offer free air to fill your tires. You can find these stores in Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.
Gate gas stations offer free air at their 200 locations. These locations can be found in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
More Sources for Free Air for your Tires
Local Oil Change Companies
Many oil change services include topping up your tires without an extra cost. Simply ask your oil change mechanic if they offer this service.
If you are already paying for an oil change, then you might as well get free air in your tires.
Gas Station RV Lanes
Some gas stations have specialty RV fuel lanes for these oversized vehicles. More often than not, this lane has a free air compressor. Feel free to check out your local gas station to see if this is an option. You do not need an RV to hop in this lane!
If you live near the car dealership where you bought your car, then they may provide free air for your tires. Typically, dealerships want to treat their customers nicely in hopes of future sales.
Simply ask if they are willing to pump up your tires. It is extremely likely they will be able to help out.
All Gas Stations in California or Connecticut
If you happen to live in California or Connecticut, then you are in luck. State law requires that all gas stations provide a functioning air pump free of charge. Just head down to the closest station to fill up.
Florida Turnpike Rest Stops
If you are planning to take a road trip through Florida, the Florida Turnpike Rest Stops are a great place to refuel. Most have free air pumps that will allow you to top up without stopping your adventure.
DIY Air For Your Tires
You may have the resources to fill your tires already at hand. Check out these options.
Open Your Trunk
According to Consumer Reports about 33 percent of all new cars don’t have a spare tire.
They said, “…though they may be equipped with a compressor and sealant kit to temporarily fix a flat tire. Some cars without spares come with “run-flat” tires, which are designed to operate for a limited distance after losing air from a typical puncture.”
If you have a newer car, then you may find a tire repair kit in the back of your car. This kit usually includes a small hand pump or a can of tire repair sealant that could provide a free way to boost your tires.
Many people own small air compressors to fill their tires. Ask your friends and family to see if someone is willing to share. You can return the favor with the loan of another tool someday.
Or Buy a Compressor
Steve at MoneySmartFamily has this Pancake Compressor along with a tire inflation gauge in his garage.
The Porter-Cable pancake compressor cost about $100 and is used on projects besides inflating tires.
The inflation gauge came from Amazon and cost about $15.
Use a Bike Pump
You likely have a bike pump laying around the house. If you only need to add a small amount of pressure to your tires, then a bike pump is a viable option. Unfortunately, this can take a lot of time to reach the desired psi.
Check out these best selling, quick filling bike pumps from Amazon
Check out the free air compressor options above before resorting to this unless you are up for a relatively intense workout.
Why Should You Check and Inflate Your Tires?
Adding another to-do item to your list may sound like the last thing you want to do. However, inflating your tires to the correct pressure could not only save you money and time but also prevent accidents.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, proper tire inflation can save you 11 cents per gallon of fuel. Plus, proper inflation can add over 4,500 miles to the life of your tires.
They also report that:
- Only 19% of consumers properly check and inflate their tires.
- 1 in 4 cars has at least one tire that is significantly underinflated.
Although not all drops to fuel efficiency will be that dramatic, each represents a lost cost-saving opportunity.
For example, at MoneySmartFamily, their daughter Becky recently noticed a drop in gas mileage. Her Toyota Tacoma gas mileage dropped from 20 MPG to 17 MPG.
This significant drop was due to her tires dropping to 30 psi instead of the recommended 44 psi. Simply by keeping her tires at the appropriate psi, Becky stands to save a lot of money.
She lost 15 percent of her gas mileage. This means that each gallon of gas took her 15 percent fewer miles. Which also means that she was spending 15 percent more for her gas.
Here’s what 15 percent more looks like at the pump:
- Regular Price: $2.50 Plus 15%: $2.88
- Retail Price: $2.75 Plus 15%: $3.16
- Regular Price: $3.00 Plus 15%: $3.45
- Retail Price $3.25 Plus 15%: $3.74
Would you willingly pay 38 to 50 cents more per gallon if you didn’t have to?
You can keep track of your gas mileage each time you fill up your tank.
Simply record the number of gallons it takes to fill your tank and divide it by the number of miles driven for your total gas mileage. (Get a FREE gas mileage tracker here).
Save a Life
If the potential cost savings are not motivating, then the potential to save your life should be. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recorded 738 fatalities in tire-related crashes in 2017.
Keeping your tires well maintained is a good way to safeguard yourself against accidents.
Underinflated tires have more surface area touching the roadway. This results in more drag (lower gas mileage) and more friction on the tires. Back in the early 2000s, there was a lawsuit against Ford for telling owners of Ford Explorers to only inflate tires to 26 PSI instead of the Firestone recommended 30 PSI.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the 4 PSI difference resulted in more than 300 traffic death due to blowouts.
You may be able to avoid a fatal crash simply by keeping your tires inflated to the appropriate psi.
How Much Does it Cost to Inflate Tires?
Depending on the location, it will likely cost you between $1 and $2 dollars to fill up your tires.
Although that seems like a low amount, it can add up quickly if you fill up your tires on a regular basis. The U.S. Department of Transportation recommends check and top up your tires once a month. That translates into $12 to $24 a year just to fill up your tires.
Best 12-Volt Car Compressor for Inflating Tires
Amazon offers this highly-rated portable tire inflator for $33. It could pay for itself within a year and a half. However, seeking out free air for your tires is the more affordable option.
How to Fill Up Tires
If you don’t fill up your tires because you aren’t sure where to get started, that’s okay. I’ve been there. Without a mechanically inclined bone in my body, I’ve figured out how to pump air into my own tires. So can you!
It’s really simple. You just unscrew the cap on your tire. Put the air compressor hose connection onto the tire air portal. Fill until you reach the desired psi.
Finally, remember to put the cap back on.
If you are worried about the amount of time it takes to fill up your tires, don’t be! The whole process usually takes less than 15 minutes to suitably fill all four tires. That includes driving down the street to the gas station!
Where to Find Recommended Tire Pressure
Not sure what your car’s recommended tire psi is? That’s okay! Every car has a different recommendation, but we can show you where to find it.
Typically, you can spot the recommended psi on the sticker on the driver side door jamb. This is the first place you should look.
Other places include information in the glove compartment or the gas cap of your car. You may also be able to find some information about recommended tire pressures in your owner’s manual.
Where to Not Look for Tire Pressure
Do not look at your tires for the recommended tire pressure. The numbers on your tires refer to the maximum recommended inflation. If you exceed that recommendation, then you run the risk of a blowout.
Best Tire Gauge to Check Your Tire Pressure
As you start regularly monitoring your tire pressure, you’ll want to invest in a tire pressure gauge. The gauge will show you what your tire pressure currently is. You’ll know whether or not you need to add compressed air.
You have choices when it comes to a tire pressure gauge.
Pencil Type Gauge: You can go with a pencil, or stick, gauge. These gauges are often extremely cheap at an average cost of around $5. However, they can be difficult to read and finicky to work with. See the Best Selling Pencil Tire Gauges on Amazon.
These gauges are still affordable and they are easier to use for accurate measurements. See the best selling dial gauges on Amazon.
Digital Tire Gauge: Finally, a digital gauge is another option. Generally, these cost between $10 and $12 but are very easy to read. See the top-rated digital tire gauges on Amazon.
The option you choose will help you maintain your car’s tires for years to come. Choose a model that suits your needs and helps you comfortably assess the condition of your tires.
The Bottom Line
Regular checks of your car’s tires could save you money as well as protect against risky driving. Take advantage of the free air in your area to maximize these cost savings.
Our recommendation is to go to a location where they will check it for you, like a Discount Tire. Or buy your own compressor and do it yourself.