Can You Actually Air up Your Tires for Free at Walmart?

So you are completing your standard vehicle maintenance walk around and notice a tire looks low. You know your local Walmart has a tire center, but will they top off your tire PSI for free? The truth is that free air is a privilege Walmart offers to Sam’s Club members, but not every customer.

Can you fill your tires for free at Walmart?

If you are a Sam’s Club member, you can get free air at the Sam’s Club tire center. Walmart is actually unique in that it offers Sam’s Club members free tire PSI checks and adjustments, regardless of where they bought the tires.

A walmart's storefront, palm trees visible in the foreground.
Walmart storefront | Getty Images/Bob Riha, Jr.

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In addition, Walmart will offer free tire tread depth checks to Sam’s Club members. This offer benefits Walmart in the long run, because if you find your tire tread is dangerously low, Walmart offers many affordable options for new tires.

Can you fill your tires for free at BJ’s or Costco?

Costco offers free air compressor stations for any member. But it offers premium nitrogen tire filling if you choose to purchase your tires at Costco. BJ’s only offers members tire PSI checks and inflation for tires they purchased at BJ’s.

The hours of operation sign at a Costco gas station, a customer pumping in the gas visible in the background.
Costco gas station | Tim Boyle via Getty Images

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BJ’s offers more services than just tire top-offs. If you purchase your tires at BJ’s you will also enjoy lifetime tire rotation, wheel rebalancing, and flat repairs on those tires.

Costco offers a premium option, filling members’ tires up with nitrogen and replacing old valve stems for free. But this offer only extends to tires that members purchased from Costco. In addition, Costco maintains tire inflation stations near its Tire Centers. Any Costco member can swipe their card and use this center to top off their own tires.

Where can you inflate your tires for free?

Certain warranties you already have may include free tire pressure checks and inflation. In addition, some gas station chains offer free tire inflation.

Closeup of hands holding the end of a compressor hose, filling up a tire PSI.
Inflating a tire | Sven Hoppe/picture alliance via Getty Images

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If you purchased your car from a dealership and have purchased a dealer maintenance package or warranty, you may get free tire pressure checks. Simply call and ask if they offer this service.

Likewise, if you purchased your tires from a tire specialist or garage, they may have come with a warranty. This warranty may include pressure checks and top-offs for the lifetime of the tires. Again, it’s worth a phone call to double-check.

In addition, many gas stations offer free air. Gas station chains that offer compressors you don’t have to pay for include GATE, GetGo, QuikTrip, Royal Farms, Rutter’s, Sheetz, and Wawa. There are other chains, and individual branches, that offer free air. You can find a user-generated map of businesses with free tire inflation at FreeAirPump.com.

Finally, some gas stations in California and Connecticut install coin-operated compressors, but they will turn them on for free if you ask. This is because local law requires they offer free air to customers (in California) or all motorists (in Connecticut). But because many people don’t know this law, they waste their quarters activating the air compressor machines.

Next, find out how to adjust your tire pressure to a road trip or learn more about Walmart service centers in the video below:

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