Free air and water at California gas stations

I made a note to myself to research about gas stations and the reasons why they charge for air and water. From the California Department of Food & Agriculture:

Gas stations are required to provide air and water free to customers who buy gasoline or diesel. You may have to ask the attendant for a token or to turn the equipment on for you. If the attendant does not give you a token or turn the equipment on, posted on the equipment is the 1-800-356-7057 number where you may call to file a complaint. You may also submit a complaint form online to the Division of Measurement Standards.

Related to that, here’s some tire pressure links:

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Bryan Villarin

Bryan is a Happiness Engineer at Automattic. He's also a photographer, card magician, and cat whisperer. (Thanks to my friend and colleague Steve Blythe for the sweet photo!)

14 thoughts on “Free air and water at California gas stations”

  1. The link provided for the complaint form led to CA website but did not lead to the complaint form.
    Please provide a link to the page if possible.
    Thank you.

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  2. Do you know the CA statute/law reference that requires gas stations to provide free air/water equipment for motorists?

    Thank You,
    Peter Floodman

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  3. I’m trying to file a complaint against a gas station that refused to give free air on two occasions but I can’t find the website…can you help?

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  4. Your free air claim is only valid if you purcahse fuel at that location per visit only

    Most consumers automatically assume they can get air because they shop at a station daily show up the next day want free air.

    Again the law is clear free fuel per visit only when you purchase fuel.
    what consumers do not realise is that most station owners do not own/operate the air machines ,rather a company called air-serv.com in california owns/operates more then 50% of all air machines in the state.

    I have been in this industry for 15 years and trust me it costs station owners 1000k-3000k a year to maintain these machines until air-serv took over

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  5. I think that is crap to make us pay for air or water. I went to a station and paid up to $3.00 on their so call up to date air machine, for only one tire. Wow, they sure keep it up. Next gas stations will start making us pay for the water to clean our wind shields, the paper towels, oh then the water and electricity in the restrooms. I think that is stupid. WELL for all those gas stations that charge I WILL not be using your stations.

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  6. By law it’s free to people that buy gas or diesel at that gas station on the same visit they want air. You think it’s “crap” that they make you pay for air or water… someone has to pay for it… shouldn’t it be the person using it?

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