Friday 23 March 2018

Letting off steam over garages charging for air: opinion is divided over €1 cost

Tell Eddie: Air rage ... Your response

Pumping a car tyre
Pumping a car tyre
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

Such was the reaction to last week's piece on garages charging €1 for air we've had no option but to publish a tiny selection of your views and opinions.

Surprisingly, quite a few are in favour - so long as they get a proper service.

Here is a small, representative sample of the flood of opinion (all names, addresses and mobiles are with us).

Let us know if there are other issues you feel should be highlighted.

* 'As someone who moved to Ireland from the UK, I find it bizarre that the Irish have such an issue with paying for a service. The argument that water or air is free is ridiculous. So to expect someone not to charge you to get it from one place to another is crazy.

Unless they have their own sewage plant or air compression system they (motorists) do not have the skill or equipment to get it from where it is to where it needs to be.

If people say it stops them checking their tyres, this is just idiocy which risks their own lives but more importantly others. The fact Topaz have a special area with multiple services is neither here nor there in this discussion, although if I hear someone moan about paying for a car vacuum I will suggest they just suck it up themselves because after all air is free.

* I live in Artane and a number of years ago the Esso service station there started to charge for air and I voted with my feet and took my business elsewhere to the Topaz station (funnily enough) in Donnycarney which does not charge. If and when it does I will vote with my feet again. Incidentally, I suggested at the time to Esso Artane that maybe they could give a token for the air every time you spent €50 or more on fuel, but it appears to have fallen on deaf ears.

* I don't mind paying if it works. But I have never yet managed to get my four wheels topped up in the allowed time.

On half the occasions I tried to use the Topaz air machine it couldn't get itself to the 60psi pressure before the time ran out let alone a single tyre on my van.

The air tank is too small in the machines and the pressure in the tank is always in the 20s or 30s psi when you start. I drive a van that requires 60psi and these machines are incapable of pumping them. I resent paying for the bad service/product that it is.

* I liked your article regarding charge of €1 at some petrol stations. Let me explain why it makes sense.

Compressed air at any garage costs as follows:

A. New compressor cost including installation of pipe work and gauge on average is €3,000.

B. Life of compressor is 10-year average, therefore €300/year capital spend cost.

C. Electrical cost for compressor run is €1,000/year.

D. Wear and tear, tyre gauge, hose etc €200/year.

Therefore average running cost per year is €1,500, or €125/week.

So there is no such thing as free air.

Regards and keep up the good work.

* I have a bigger problem with the design layout where the vacuum and airline are placed side by side.

If you want to check your tyre pressures you have to wait for someone else to finish vacuuming their vehicle first. They should have stand-alone airlines. This is an issue at most service stations.


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