free air rip off - sajid
Which brand of tyre air compressor is the best, it should have a accurate gauge, I checked out argos, and they sell the michellin brand, are they any good?

The reason is that i am fed up of paying 20p for the privilage of using the forcourts tyre compressor, it used to be free wonder if the aa lost objection to charging motorist for free air
free air rip off - Thommo
1. Yes I agree charging for air is outrageous.

2. All the gauges on the pumps are generally crap and or break easily. Go for the cheapest pump and also get yourself a seperate electronic gauge.
free air rip off - TrevP
Checkout Auto Express - Specials - Product Tests.
free air rip off - Dynamic Dave
AFAIA, none of these mini compressors that run from the cigarette lighter socket have accurate gauges. I agree with Thommo, buy a separate gauge.

You're not actually paying 20p for the air, but for the wear and tear of the air compressor on the garage forecourt.

If you've been driving to the garage to check your tyre pressures up until now, the pressures won't be that accurate anyway as it's recommended you check them when the tyres are cold.
free air rip off - Baskerville
I use a bicycle "track pump" that will take a fat-ish bike tyre from flat to 100psi in about six strokes. It pumps air on both in and out strokes, inflates a car tyre almost as quickly, and has an accurate gauge. The business I think.
free air rip off - Ian (Cape Town)
If you've been driving to the garage to check your tyre
pressures up until now, the pressures won't be that accurate anyway
as it's recommended you check them when the tyres are cold.

Fortunately I have a self-tester in the car, so use the forecourt pump on one tyre, check the accuracy, then do all 4 tyres to the forecourt pump's 'true'd' value.
I reckon the 600m drive to the garage isn't going to make that much difference - it still amazes me that people will stop on a long journey and check their tyre pressures!!!!
[oh, by the way, I don't pay 20p for air - and if I was a lazy so-and-so, the smiling gentleman who fills the tank, checks the oil, scrubs the dead bugs off the window etc would run round and do the tyres for me as well!]
free air rip off - DavidHM
At tbe risk of sounding like eMBe, I don't think that 20p for air is at all a rip off.

No one is charging for the air. You are welcome to go to any petrol forecourt in the country and take away as much air as you like for free.

Of course, you need to be able to put it in your tyres (or some other suitable container) at the right pressure. 20p for the use of a bit of the forecourt and a combined pressure gauge and pump is hardly unreasonable. I can't imagine any one person ever saving money in the long run by buying their own even if they went to the garage once a week.

Okay, they probably make a little bit of money out of it and in the past some garages were willing to provide free air as a marketing expense to get you on the forecourt, hopefully buying some petrol, coal or flowers at the same time. Now they're not - is that really so bad?
free air rip off - Homme van Blanc
> At tbe risk of sounding like eMBe, I don't think that 20p for air is at all a rip off.

After paying £40+/- to fill your tank then being asked for a further 20p to fill your tyres could be considered a rip off!
free air rip off - smokie
So do you expect a free Mars bar when completing the weekly shop at Tesco?
free air rip off - Mark (RLBS)
Why should they give it to you free ? Its their compressor, you're not forced to use it and they are supplying a service.

If they have decided that it is not a valid "attraction" tool and it has to pay its own way, what is wrong with that.

If you don't like it, don't use it. But for 20p ?? Oh dear.

free air rip off - Homme van Blanc
I said it could be considered a rip off after spending £40 on fuel not that it was!
free air rip off - smokie
That's semantics. The implied meaning of your phrase was that it is a rip off.

It doesn't seem unreasonable to ask for fair payment for a fair service. Don't forget that although you might have spent £40 on fuel, most of that is not retained by the petrol outlet. But that's another issue...

free air rip off - eMBe {P}

DavidHM: You are using my name in vain, good job I am not a lawyer and intent on suing you for slander! Only joking. 8-) !
Actually, I am for fair play and where there is real case of ROB rip-off-Britain, I am all for exposing it. But 20p for air; no I don\'t think it a rip-off.

However, Tesco\'s (and a Shell garage near Staines bypas that I use prior to joining the M25) actually have free air.
free air rip off - matt35 {P}
As I have posted before - I bought a Richmond brand from Halfords for around £18-00 some years ago.
Took it to the local Weights and Measures office who tested it for free to 100 psi and points in between - it was well within 0.01 all all pressures.
Easy to use - plug in to lighter socket, set pressure on dial and automatically cuts off at right pressure.

free air rip off - Dynamic Dave
Matt35, I stand corrected.

The one I bought a couple of years ago has an analogue gauge on it with a label stating "for indication only - check with a separate gauge for accuracy"

Is yours the one with a digital gauge on it?
free air rip off - matt35 {P}

Mine is not digital - just a round dial type where you set to the required pressure. The Weights and Measures guy was impressed by the accuracy and seemed happy at a break in his routine work.
It has also adaptors for inflating air beds or the Del Boy female companions if required.

free air rip off - J Bonington Jagworth
"it used to be free"

Indeed, and it still is at most of the remaining garages that sell petrol, as opposed to big petrol stations that are also small supermarkets (or, of course, big supermarkets that are also petrol stations). Proper garages have compressed air on tap and usually make it available to customers, but providing a separate compressor just for tyres is a different exercise, and sadly, one that we are expected to pay for.

Big compressors are noisy beasts, and a client of mine has the following sign on his: 'This compressor starts suddenly and without notice - it also stops suddenly, but this will not come as so much of a shock'.
free air rip off - Maz
I have been told, and have not seen anyhting to prove this wrong, that Motorway service stations must provide free air by law.

I know that tyres must be tested cold, but if you don't like paying the 20p out of principle (and I don't either), try testing them after a stop at said station.

For some reason paying £8.40 for a Chicken Zinger, but having free air is more agreeable to me.
free air rip off - ShereKhan
Why don't you go to your local tyre place. I went to local branch of National and the chap there offered to check my tyres for free whenever I needed to check them. He pointed out that their compressor is calibrated every two weeks.

That's what I call service with a smile.

306 2.0 SE Cabriolet
20p air - Onetap
I very much doubt that all the 20 pence pieces would cover the cost of the hoses that are vandalized or stolen, never mind the compressor servicing, running costs or annual insurance inspections.

20p air - Dynamic Dave
What everyone seems to have overlooked is that you can check your tyre pressures for free, as the gauge will work regardless. It's only if the tyres need some air in that it'll cost you 20p.
free air rip off - sean
I had a look at these at Argos.

Yes, I'm a tight Yorkshireman and probably wasted £s driving round garages looking for free airlines and driving out when it was 20p a go.

I bought a single barrel manual one first, from Argos, for a fiver.

It pumped one tyre up and then buckled sideways.

I returned it and got a double barrel one for just under a tenner. I've used it 18 months now and it's superb. It has a big analogue gauge on which is deadly accurate compared to my 2 pencil gauges.

I wouldn't advise a 12V electric one. You wouldn't believe how much power they take. It's about 50W, from memory, which means a current drain of over 4 Amps. A lot, and potentially flatten a dodgy car battery.
free air rip off - guzzler
And I thought I was tight!
Would you rather spend at least 5 mins (usually more - I've done it) pumping each tyre up by hand/foot?
It's only 5p/tyre after all!
free air rip off - sean
Ha ha ha !!

I was feeling quite emotional at wasting £10.

I used to use an adapter nozzle on the kids pushbike tyre pump.

I can tell you that hand pumping a car tyre from 25psi to 34psi is hard work.

Do you know, there really is something awfully satisfying about pumping tyres up manually (by foot?)

People are quite sedentary now. Exercise? Pay hundreds down at the gym or sort your tyre and motorbike pressures.

Quite invigorating, really.
free air rip off - guzzler
And I thought I was tight!

Would you rather spend at least 5 minutes (usually more, I've done it) pumping up the tyres by hand/foot?

It's only 5p/tyre after all!!
free air rip off - guzzler
Sorry about that, I was told I'de logged off, or something like that
free air rip off - HF
The last time I used a 'free' forecourt airpump, it sucked all the air out of my tyres rather than pumping some in. What followed was a very embarrassing scenario, with the garage refusing to do anything at all to help or admit it was their fault, and a long time spent panicking before a very kindly soul arrived with his in-car pump and helped to get me back on the road again.

So yes, personal pumps are good. But even the 20p ones are in my experience better than the freebies.
free air rip off - BobbyG
Just to bring a bit of "level headed" discussion to this link, I work for a company who has Petrol Stations.
To maintain accuracy of gauge we need to have it regularly maintained, minimum call out fee is £85 + vat. Just this weekend, someone decided to slash the pipe to it as well as break off the nozzle from the end of the vacuum cleaner.
So 20p is not a lot, bearing in mind, that the £40 of fuel you buy from me will earn me about 60p profit.
free air rip off - HF
And let's face it, 20p is hardly going to break any of us! This has become a really strange thread!
free air rip off - Wales Forester
We have a wonderful free air machine at our local Esso garage.
You enter the required pressure, put the nozzle onto the valve and it does the rest - alledgedly!
In reality you let it do it's business, it stops doing it's business, and your tyre is supposed to be at the indicated pressure, but it's not!
If you reapply the nozzle to the same tyre it still tries to add air even though it's just told you that the tyre is up to the indicated pressure.
God knows what pressure I had in my tyres a while ago, it was showing 31psi, I removed and reapplied the nozzle three times in succession and it displayed 30psi each time and added more air!

Highly inaccurate i think.

I use the free air with good old fashioned gauge at the Shell garage now, that may also be inaccurate but at least it's consistent.


Value my car