The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has mandated that all service centers are required to check and inflate customer’s tires to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure--regardless of whether or not the car’s service has anything to do with tires. California’s goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars driving around with under-inflated tires, which have higher rolling resistance. These circumstances result in cars using more fuel and thereby emitting more greenhouse gasses. Initiated in 2009, the law’s intent is to help car owners to have their vehicle’s tire pressure checked every time the car comes in for service.
In its third and latest revision, the regulation applies to all automotive service providers who do maintenance or repair service, but excludes certain automotive repair shops including auto body, auto glass installer, auto dismantlers, and auto parts retailers.
There could be gray areas if a service provider offers a mix of services, such as repair and body shop work. Also, consumers who have nitrogen filled tires can decline inflation service if the shop does not have nitrogen filling capacity. Shops would be required to keep accurate pressure gauges to check tires, but how they would ensure gauge accuracy is unclear. Questions remain on checking tire pressure in traditionally cold and hot states, as well as determining the responsibility of deciding if the tire is unsafe when performing the service.