The great Acadiana search for working air pumps at gas stations is on!

A Dangerous Repair
(Photo by Harry Dempster/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)


How many times have we had a cold snap in South Louisiana, and the next morning you have a tire, or tires, that are almost completely flat? Then, you carefully navigate to the closest gas station to inflate your tires, only to see an "Out of Order" sign on the air pump.

And of course, this usually happens when you're already late for work.

Once you finally find a working air pump, it will cost you $2 to $3.

Why Do Tires Lose Air Pressure During Cold Weather?

Air expands when it heats up. Conversely, it also shrinks when it gets cold, thus causing the air pressure in your tires to drop. Air pressure inside of a tire can drop one to two pounds for every 10 degrees of temperature change according to the Rubber Manufacturers Association.

OK, technically the air doesn't "shrink", the colder temperatures just cause the molecules to slow down, causing the drop in tire pressure. When heated, the molecules bounce around, creating higher pressure in your tire.

Staff Photo
Staff Photo

Can You Stop Tires From Losing Air Pressure From Cold Weather?

The short answer is no. It's science and, and we can't change how molecules react to temperature.

But, we can help change the temperature.

If you have the opportunity to park your vehicle in a garage at home overnight, keeping the garage a bit heated will obviously help your tires from losing air pressure. However, depending on the situation, keeping your garage heated will probably wind up costing you more over time than the cost of using air pumps.

You can also use nitrogen to inflate your tires rather than compressed air.

From Jeremy Walmsley via -

"The air you currently have in your tires is about 78 percent nitrogen. Going pure nitrogen increases pressure stability. Since tire life and fuel efficiency are correlated to tire pressure you may see some gains there to, albeit small. Nitrogen is used in race cars and commercial aircraft.

Another benefit is pure nitrogen is dry. Compressed air contains water vapor that over time causes corrosion on the inside of your wheels (though many cars run aluminum or alloy wheels). Most good tire shops can fill you up with nitrogen."

Back in the day you could easily get air for your tires free from just about any gas station. These days, not so much...

Are there any gas stations where you can get free air for your tires?

Where To Find Free Air For Your Tires

Believe it or not there are still some places that offer free air for tires, and there's actually a website that has a map to show you where to get it.

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(Photo by Kat Wade/Getty Images)
loading... is a crowd sourced, and works like "apps that find cheap gas near you. It features a map of places offering tire air for free, and you can enter your address, city and state or zip code into the search box and find free air near you" according to


As you can see above, it will show you the closest available gas stations and places where you can find free air for your tires according to your zip code and location.

The information can change daily as users update with new locations.

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