Not Logged In Log In   Sign Up   Points Leaders
Follow Us    7:04 PM

Message Forum - Read Message

Category: Suggest a GasBuddy improvement > Topics Add to favorite topics   Post new topicPost New Topic
Author Topic: MSL Update - Free Air Back to Topics
DellDude2

Champion Author
Nashville

Posts:12,437
Points:2,735,835
Joined:Aug 2005
Message Posted: Jun 4, 2013 1:49:30 PM

Should we change the Master Station List (MSL) to identify stations that do not charge for tire inflation (i.e. offer "free air")?

• Yes
• No

I believe this change could help all GasBuddy users save money on their travel expenses.

When viewing the front page, not only would members see the cheapest gas locations in their area, but also which ones offer Free Air, to help them keep their tires properly inflated at no cost.

To easily spot the Free Air indicator, make it a bright green color. It could be a small button shape, about same size as the "map" indicator button. The letters could be white on the green background.

To make it easy to update a station's air status, all MSLs would have a checkbox for "Free Air".

If a member sees a station offering free air, go to the MSL and check the box. If a member disovers the station has stopped offering free air, uncheck the box.

DellDude2
REPLIES (newest first) Post a Reply
Profile Pic
kwzh
Champion Author San Jose

Posts:23,271
Points:4,286,530
Joined:Jul 2001
Message Posted: Jun 13, 2013 5:41:18 PM

Not quite a non-issue -- the expanded form of the question would allow us to distinguish between "free air for everyone" vs "free air for customers". And, technically, "no air available despite the law requiring it" might still show up on occasion, perhaps as a temporary situation when the pump is broken.
Profile Pic
nvn8v
Sophomore Author Nevada

Posts:134
Points:714,165
Joined:Feb 2005
Message Posted: Jun 13, 2013 12:07:26 AM

Well, for California, this would be a non-issue because stations are required by law to give free air with a gas purchase.
Profile Pic
Michael29644
Champion Author Greenville

Posts:6,939
Points:1,211,200
Joined:Jan 2011
Message Posted: Jun 11, 2013 12:12:37 AM

"Maybe I need to buy a better compressor."

I would suggest that. Air compressors come in many variations. You want a high volume compressor. I even have a 120v A/C compressor that I can power using one of 3 inverters I carry in my car. I know a couple of people who purchased 250 PSI low volume compressors. They take forever to blow up a car tire and no car tire requires 250 PSI. I went with a 50PSI high volume model instead. It only takes a little more time than a service station unit, plus I don't have to drive around on a semi-flat tire to find a station where I can pump it up.
Profile Pic
DellDude2
Champion Author Nashville

Posts:12,437
Points:2,735,835
Joined:Aug 2005
Message Posted: Jun 10, 2013 8:50:28 PM

For me it comes down to speed and convenience. I have a portable compressor in the trunk and only use it in an emergency because it is so slow and inconvenient to hook up. Luckily for me I live fairly close to a gas station with free air, is kept in good shape, and it is a lot faster and more convenient. They usually have the best gas prices too. When I had a flat tire a few months ago, it took over 30 minutes using the portable compressor just to get me out of the driveway. Maybe I need to buy a better compressor.
Profile Pic
TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

Posts:7,443
Points:827,425
Joined:May 2004
Message Posted: Jun 10, 2013 6:43:13 PM

Michael29644 - Exactly. Coworker had flat in parking lot at work. Spare was also flat. He wasn't too happy until he saw me walk up with my air compressor. He went out and bought one that night as did one of the other coworkers present at the time.
Profile Pic
Michael29644
Champion Author Greenville

Posts:6,939
Points:1,211,200
Joined:Jan 2011
Message Posted: Jun 9, 2013 11:45:22 PM

This suggestions falls into my "Who cares?" category. Just not an important issue to me. How many times do you need to stop for air on a single trip? Heck, do what I do. Buy a 12v air compressor and keep it in your trunk. Then you can get all the air you need, for free, even in the middle of nowhere.
Profile Pic
borsht
Champion Author Oakland

Posts:3,339
Points:792,070
Joined:Aug 2012
Message Posted: Jun 8, 2013 12:21:10 PM

I'm not sure how some stations are exempt from this law in California; but the courts have upheld the free air, water, gauge with gas purchase.
http://www.metnews.com/articles/mass092702.htm
also don't see why this wouldn't be a national mandate.

Most newer cars have a tire pressure sensing system build in for safety.
Having correct tire pressure is a safety issue.
I got a kick out of the station owner that testified that he'd go out of business if he had to provide free compressed air and water.

Profile Pic
DellDude2
Champion Author Nashville

Posts:12,437
Points:2,735,835
Joined:Aug 2005
Message Posted: Jun 5, 2013 10:05:09 PM

kwzh, I like your idea to have a radio button that shows/hides gas stations w/ free air. That would keep the clutter off the front page, and for those who care about free air (myself included) would be served.
Profile Pic
scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

Posts:97,436
Points:3,864,565
Joined:Mar 2003
Message Posted: Jun 5, 2013 6:37:30 AM

While this would be a nice feature, I don't see this high on the list of things to do.

In my opinion, syncing the MSL to the grades that can have prices posted per station is #1 with a bullet.

"The CA law also includes the requirement that the customer be furnished a air gauge."

Actually, the law requires the establishment to have am accurate tire pressure gauge available. Big difference.


[Edited by: scoutmaster at 6/5/2013 6:46:21 AM EST]
Profile Pic
kwzh
Champion Author San Jose

Posts:23,271
Points:4,286,530
Joined:Jul 2001
Message Posted: Jun 5, 2013 12:55:58 AM

As for adding an indicator that's easy to see, I'd say no, not by default. There's a lot of information on the page, and what's important to one person is useless to another. If one of those things is going to be highlighted, it should normally happen only by user request; in this case, some element (maybe a radio button) that says "show me which stations have free air". I would suppose that this would be useful for both the list view and the map view.
Profile Pic
CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

Posts:12,951
Points:2,056,625
Joined:May 2007
Message Posted: Jun 4, 2013 10:42:35 PM

Be prepared to wait another 2 years to see if this one "took." :-)
Profile Pic
DellDude2
Champion Author Nashville

Posts:12,437
Points:2,735,835
Joined:Aug 2005
Message Posted: Jun 4, 2013 8:59:22 PM

Thanks for the update CampKohler; I had no idea that things were so complicated in CA until you and Gas_Buddy informed me. I wonder if other states also have complicated rules.

Nor did I realize manapuaman attempted this change 2 years ago. But I do believe the statistic on the front page - in some form - would further help GB help achieve it's mission: "Consumers working together to save on gas."
Profile Pic
CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

Posts:12,951
Points:2,056,625
Joined:May 2007
Message Posted: Jun 4, 2013 8:38:48 PM

This suggestion has been added to the Suggestion Tracking List as a new topic on an existing subject.

The CA law also includes the requirement that the customer be furnished a air gauge. But there is also an exemption from having air if a sufficient amount of vandalism occurs.

Another complication to kwzh's list:
• Station has air that you have to pay for after hours, but free with purchase during hours. (The latter is most frequent in CA; they can make a buck if they aren't there to push the air button for you. I don't know how they square this with selling gas with the station closed.)
Profile Pic
DellDude2
Champion Author Nashville

Posts:12,437
Points:2,735,835
Joined:Aug 2005
Message Posted: Jun 4, 2013 8:17:43 PM

That's a cool website to check on free air, Gas_Buddy, and I agree with you to keep it simple.

Yes, I agree things can get complicated by the requirement of having to make a purchase in order to get the free air. In order to keep it simple, this is a place to start; the fine tuning would come later.

My original idea was that the checkbox for free air would only be found on the MSL, and not on the front page where the prices are.

Once a station was updated on the MSL by checking the box, then the front page listing prices would show a small green button under the word "map" for that station that had "free air". The other stations not having free air on the front page would simply be blank (no button) under the word "map".

That way visitors could quickly scan the front page and immediately tell which station was nearest them with the cheapest gas and free air.
Profile Pic
Gas_Buddy
Champion Author Maryland

Posts:29,886
Points:3,646,250
Joined:Aug 2004
Message Posted: Jun 4, 2013 7:56:33 PM

For the sake of drivers going through California (for example), should there be an indication that California law requires that station operators provide free air and water to customers who purchase gasoline or diesel fuel? Or that (again, in California), that without a fuel purchase there is no legal requirement that air and water be provided by the station, and that Members-Only Discount Warehouse Retailers and Cardlock Facilities are not subject to this law?

If you don't include that information, you're not providing complete information to people who are transiting.

I assume that the above comment could be put in the Station Notes, but then so could the words "Free Air" (for non-California stations).

Or maybe there needs to be a link to: http://www.freeairpump.com/

kwzh left out that that for many stations offering air, the hose is damaged or the connection has been damaged or removed (either accidentally or deliberately/mischievously).

Further, should there be an indication (or a check box) indicating if there's a pressure guage provided with the hose, and/or comments on the accuracy of the gauge? (For reference, see: http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-add-air-to-your-tires.html )



[Edited by: Gas_Buddy at 6/4/2013 8:01:57 PM EST]
Profile Pic
kwzh
Champion Author San Jose

Posts:23,271
Points:4,286,530
Joined:Jul 2001
Message Posted: Jun 4, 2013 7:44:48 PM

I think there are actually four reasonably-common options for the air situation.
* Station does not offer an air pump at all.
* Station has air, but you have to pay for it, even if you're buying gas.
* Station has air that's free for customers making a purchase.
* Station has air that's free to the general public.

[Edited by: kwzh at 6/4/2013 7:47:14 PM EST]
Profile Pic
Gas_Buddy
Champion Author Maryland

Posts:29,886
Points:3,646,250
Joined:Aug 2004
Message Posted: Jun 4, 2013 7:24:24 PM

Rather than whistles and bells (colors, etc.), why not make it simple like the other check boxes?

Just have a check box for: Air (For pay)
and a check box for: Air (Free)

Otherwise we can suggest that there be different colors for different price ranges (or if it's free) for ATM use, etc.

Keeping it simple is best, in my opinion.

Profile Pic
SUVFan
Champion Author Columbus

Posts:279,830
Points:2,238,155
Joined:Oct 2008
Message Posted: Jun 4, 2013 4:19:18 PM

DellDude's suggestion, that the MSL be changed to indicate stations that offer free air strikes me as a good one. What's not to like about cheap gas and Free air?

DellDude originally posted this suggestion in the Suggest a Member Poll thread, where there is more background for the concept. As I posted there, the GetGo stations in our Columbus area started offering free air about a year or so ago. With the HQ being in Pittsburgh, Scoutmaster may know if they do the same thing at their Pennsylvania stores?
Post a reply Back to Topics