Checking Tire Pressure Now Law in California

FillingTire Remember when presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama got into a tiff about tire pressure during the campaign?

Unsurprisingly, it looks like California was on Obama’s side. Effective July 1, 2010, the state will require most auto-servicing businesses to check tire pressure and add air, if necessary, on all the cars they service. For every 3 psi a tire is low, it loses 1% efficiency.

The law will affect 40,000 businesses, and California’s Air Resources Board estimates the law will save 75 million gallons of fuel per year, eliminate 700,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases, save drivers about $12 per year in gas, and make tires safer and last longer.

Of course, that’s the glass half-full scenario. On the flipside, if CARB’s numbers are right this will amount to less than 0.5% of California’s greenhouse gas reduction goals due by 2020, which might not be big enough to count as a “drop” in the bucket.

Body shops, car washes, glass-repair shops and parts stores will be unaffected by the law. The state will let service stations, oil-change joints and all the rest decide for themselves how much they want to charge, but they are required to make the checks with a high-accuracy pressure gauge.

California to Require Mandatory Tire-Pressure Checks at Automotive Businesses (Autoblog)

By Stephen Markley | April 3, 2009 | Comments (15)
Tags: In The News



Sounds like the state is allowing a practice that will certainly lead to ripping off consumers. Imagine, "I checked your tire pressure Mrs Senior Citizen, and noticed your "thing-ga-ma-jig" also needed adjusting..that'll be $20 on top of your oil change". Just another reason I'm glad I do not live in California anymroe. I'll be darn if I'll pay for this simple "service".


I'm with Terry on this one. It sounded like a good idead at first... up until the charge part. Most places will check your tire pressure for free. The last thing we need is having another one of those "hidden" charges like "shop fees" "recycling" "disposal" "rags" etc.


i doubt many places will have the nerve to charge for something like adjusting tire pressure. They'll probably just include it in as part of the process like all the other stuff they throw in with oil changes- ie. checking and topping off fluids.


Pretty soon we all won't be able to pass gas in public because of its undetermined effect on the environment. California has bigger problems. For example, IOUs for tax returns.


If these businesses do not have enough sense to do it for free, as an extra service, they do not deserve your business anyway. Go somewhere else.


Two thoughts:
Good that they specify the use of a high-accuracy gauge. Would be bad if a shop over- or under-inflates due to a bad gauge.

Second, now that shops are required to do this, does this open them up to liability in the event of a tire failure, for whatever reason? First instinct would be to sue the last one to check it...

I see some factors to consider as well.I know the purpose is for the safety of people who own the car and maintenance that tires will do good on the road.A question had in mind is the same thing in terms of liability and what if the customer themselves don't want to check their tires.

Brian B.

Hey You guys Voted or this President Of ours. And i Voted For Mc ain. SO STOP COMPLAINING> !!!!!!!!!!!!!!






Hey morons, nothing is free. If you don't have enough sense to check your tires then you should pay. It's called being a responsible car owner. Besides, do you have any idea how long it takes to air up just one big rig truck tire? you can easily spend 1/2 hour or more on all 10. Sorry guys, not me for free.

This law is going to increase the cost of every vehicle repair. We had been in business serving our community, for over 15 years, checking the tire pressure and condition at no charge, even for non-customers. It is the vehicle’s owner responsibility to maintain their vehicles. We as a service facility are here to help maintain their vehicles, but this law make us 100% responsible and the possibility of been sued. Now we are going to be reluctant to check tire pressure for free for those non customers and implement a program to limit our liabilities in case that some irresponsible vehicle owner wants to sue us. It seems that this country is drifting in the wrong direction, eliminating personal responsibilities and becoming a nanny system from cradle to grave.


I will probably get flamed for this but as a mechanic who gets paid 100% on commission, no base salary to fall back on, this is just one more thing i have to do for free. I do not get paid hourly so I guess I can consider this my contribution to the community. All most people see with a law like this, is that they will get a free service. They dont realize someone else behind the scenes has to pay for it.
Another thing to consider is that the time to complete service on your car will likely go up. The biggest complaint most people have is having to wait too long for their car to be worked on. Even if you decline the tire check on your car if you look around the waiting area at the 10 other people sitting in there with you I would bet 9 of them are getting the tire check done, so your wait time will also be affected. Maybe not by much but if you add 2-3 minutes onto 9 cars you might have an extra 20-30 minutes waiting. Sorry for the rant but I'm just giving you my individual perspective on this. It's great to get free stuff until you are the one who has to pay for it.


this is an example of another law that willnot be enforced. how much will it cost to enforce this. as a mechanic i check the tires on cars that i perform a service on. you can look at a tire and guess within 5 lbs of its pressure..


Hell, while were at it why dont we check every car that drives into a shop for a dirty air filter? This would save hudreds of dollars a year in fuel savings,and lower smog emissions. And maybe a free windshield cleaning, this would lower the accident rates! Goverment needs to stay off our ass!

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