A refresher on free air and water at service stations – from “Honk,” in the Orange County Register

Note – CDFA’s Division of Measurement Standards regulates fuel dispensing accuracy and signage at California service stations and also oversees the free air and water law.   

By James Radcliffe

Q. Mr. Honk: I am pretty sure California passed a law requiring gas stations to provide air for free. This was to reduce emissions as vehicles get better gas mileage with properly inflated tires. You might want to inform your readers of that. Thanks.

– Nick Berger, Westminster

A. Nick is banking off of a short mention by Honk last week about a nifty air dispenser for tires at some gas stations and, yes, he is correct about the law.

If you didn’t buy petrol at the station, well, start tossing coins into the ol’ machine. Otherwise, you can head inside the gas shack and say you fueled up and need some air or water – for free.

Gas stations must provide free air, water and the use of a tire gauge to those who purchased fuel under a California law passed in 1999, said Steve Lyle, a state spokesman. Legislators wanted to ensure vehicles roll along safely.

Operators can flip a switch or give you tokens or coins.

The state’s Division of Measurement Standards can cite violators with a $250 fine. To make a complaint, go to the state agency’s online site and type “air” into the search bar to find the form.

Link to “Honk.”

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