I’ve been driving around lately with a slow leak in the right front tire, meaning to get in and get it patched. During the procrastination window, I’ve discovered more “gas stations” have bolted a coin slot to the air compressors.
Really corporate guys? Air? You’re now charging for air?
If you’re a baby boomer or thereabouts, you remember back in the day when the family pulled into a service station and a man in a clean, crisp shirt and sometimes wearing a bow tie would come up to the window and ask if he could check your tires.
No fooling, you drivers under 30. He would also open the hood and check the oil.
I’m dying if I’m lying.
And while he’s doing all that, another man in uniform would clean your windshield.
It used to be service with a smile.
The smile was also free.
You probably should bring your own tire gauge, too.
Personally, I will not pay for air. I’ll use my bicycle tire pump; I will be sweaty and late, but I’ll have the satisfaction knowing I didn’t patronize those air sellers.
(And here’s a shout-out to the Mini Mart at the corner of Washington and First in Downtown Kennewick. It’s the one convenience store remaining that I know of where air is still free, though the last time the compressor was out-of-order.)
BTW, Les Schwab patched my tire free, recognizing that I’ll return when I need new tires.
And the smile was free too.