As the seasons change from winter to spring, you’ll need to change out your winter tires to all-season or summer tires.
However, when switching tires, you need to pay attention to how you store them so that they can maintain their quality in the off-season. So, how exactly should you store your winter tires? Keep reading for all you need to know!
How Do You Store Winter Tires?
Winter tires are quite important for driving during the cold season, therefore, they should be stored effectively. When storing tires, you need to clean them, avoid chemical exposure, keep them away from the sun, store them in airtight bags and stack them properly. If you store your tires properly, you’ll prolong their lifespan in time for the next winter season.
To learn more about how to store winter tires, the best methods to use, and how to prevent them from rotting, keep reading for more facts!
How Should You Prepare Your Winter Tires For Storage?
Tires degrade after several years, but you can slow down the process by implementing some methods for storing them properly.
Storing your winter tires properly will prevent them from rotting away during the summer or springtime. However, before putting them away, here are some of the things you should do to prepare them:
1. Remove Your Tires From Your Car
According to Consumer Reports, you should remove your winter tires when the temperatures are consistently above 4°F to avoid damaging the rubber compounds.
It’s recommended to remove your winter tires from the car for proper storage, which allows you to reduce the amount of stress your tires are in, such as vehicle weight and temperature changes.
When removing them, you need to note the placement of the tires so that they can be rotated accordingly during the reinstallation process. Therefore, removing them makes it easier to rotate the tires back to their original positions.
On occasions where you’re unable to remove tires for storage, you should park the car in a way that doesn’t damage the tires.
You can unload the car so that you have minimum weight on the tires. On the other hand, you can also rest the car on jack-stands to make it lighter.
However, if you plan to store the car for extended periods, move it around at least once every 30 days to prevent flat spotting that arises from the vehicle sitting in one place for too long.
2. Clean The Tires
Tires accumulate a lot of dirt, grime, tar, and debris when driving. If you let your tires sit with these contaminants during storage, it might accelerate tire damage.
Use warm soapy water to clean and scrub the tires and then rinse with clean water to completely remove any debris, brake dust, or road salt. Afterwards, leave them out to dry completely.
Avoid storing your tires when they’re still wet, as this can lead to rusting on the rims and metal parts that age your tire. Additionally, you shouldn’t use cleaning products that are corrosive on your tires.
3. Inspect The Tires For Damages
Before putting your winter tires away for summer and spring, inspect them for any cracks, bulges, and damages. In addition, you should also check the tread and tread depth to determine whether they’ll be usable for the next winter season or if you need new ones.
Winter tires should be in good condition at all times due to extreme road conditions. According to the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada, 81% of drivers say that winter tires helped them during dangerous driving situations in 2020.
Therefore, you should check that the wear is not past the legal limit for your safety and other motorists and that the tires can still be used during winter.
4. Inflate The Tires
If your tires will be in storage for several months, they need to be inflated according to the recommended manufacturer’s PSI, which ensures that the tires stay in good condition throughout.
5. Source For Storage Bags
Your tire needs to be stored in airtight bags to protect them from any damages. Therefore, you need to source the right bags to make the process much easier.
Where Should You Store Your Winter Tires?
Now that you’ve prepared your tires for storage, some drivers ask where you should store your tires to protect them.
If you don’t know where to start, below are some tips:
1. Place Tires In Airtight Plastic Bags
After your tires have dried from the cleaning, place them in airtight plastic bags and close them. Allowing any oxygen or moisture in these bags will accelerate tire rotting. Therefore, you should ensure the bags are tightly closed.
2. Keep The Tires Away From Direct Sunlight
When tires are exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet rays and heat, the rubber can soak up a lot of heat, causing premature deterioration.
These UV rays penetrate the rubber and cause the oil and resins that keep it moist to degrade and leach to the tire’s surface. Therefore, you should avoid storing them in such locations.
3. Store Tires In a Cool and Dry Place
Temperatures below 45°F and above 68°F can accelerate dry rotting. Therefore, when choosing a place to store your winter tires, ensure the area is cool, dry and the humidity and temperature always remains constant.
If the temperatures keep changing, the rubber will age prematurely. You can place them in the basement or garage but away from furnaces, water tanks, and appliances that emit carbon monoxide.
In addition, your tires shouldn’t come into contact with solvents, fuels, lubricants, and chemicals in the garage that could affect the tires.
4. Stack The Tires
How you place the tires can also determine how well they last. Before putting them horizontally or vertically, you need to pay attention to the condition of the tires.
For instance, tires on rims can be stored vertically or on tire hooks, and unmounted tires can be stacked on top of each other or stored in an upright position. However, you shouldn’t hang unmounted tires on tire hooks to avoid tire deformity.
When stacking tires, ensure that they’re off the ground by keeping them on a shelf or pallet.
Winter tires are necessary when driving during the winter seasons. Therefore, they need to be preserved properly during summer and spring to maintain their good condition.
When storing winter tires, you need to wash them, inspect for any damages, place them in a cool, dry place, away from the sunlight and keep them locked in airtight bags to prevent dry rotting.