There are many things you only use during the winter season and keep for storage once the season ends. Since you’ll be treading on snow or under extremely cold conditions, the tires of your car fall under this seasonal category. You use different tires for summer or fall and change them into your winter tires once the cold season kicks in.And when winter is coming to a close, you would need to put away the tires you’ve used throughout the season. It’s already a challenge to swap tires but after removing them, it’s a must to prepare these tires for proper storage. In this way, you’d be able to preserve and prolong the life of your winter wheels. After all, winter comes every year and you wouldn’t want to keep buying new ones just because you didn’t store your winter tires properly. Here are simple and easy steps that you should do to make sure that your winter tires are in good storage condition and may last you for years.
1. Inspect your tires.
After removing them from your vehicle, make sure to thoroughly check the tires for visible cracks, if there are any damages, if the rubber is already deteriorating, and whatnot. An expert eye should also check the tread of the tires. If you inspect that the tire depth is already nearing the wear indicator, then it’s much better to discard this and just purchase a new one for next winter.
2. Clean your tires.
After a thorough inspection, the next step is a thorough cleaning. Grab a gentle soap and water to scrub your tires with a brush. Make sure every road grime, tire dressing, and brake dust that you see in that tire is removed. These dirty particles can lead to corrosion during storage so you would want to get rid of them before storage. After scrubbing, dry the moisture out and repeat step one as you may have missed some cracks in your initial inspection. Do note to not apply gloss or dressing, especially if it’s petroleum-based because it will have a negative impact on the rubber’s weathering agents and could also lead to cracking prematurely.
3. Place your tires in airtight plastic bags.
If you could find large plastic bags that are opaque, then go for it. Make sure that your tire and the bag don’t have any moisture left. Remove air in the bag before sealing it with tape. It’s best to store your tire in an airtight environment because it reduces oil evaporation from the rubber material of your tires.There are actually tire storage caddies and tire totes available in the market, but we advise against it because they don’t give your tires an airtight environment. Sure, they make transferring tires from one area to another easier and they help maintain the cleanliness of the tire but they can’t reduce evaporation from oil. If you’re still going to use these, put your tires first inside a plastic bag before storing them in one of these.
4. Look for an area to store your tires.
It’s a challenge for many to find a storage area for their tires not because they don’t have the space for it, but more because their garage is full of clutter. If you’re looking for an area, check your garage first. You need to maximize your garage’s ceiling and wall vacant spaces to declutter it. Plus, you would be rewarded with precious floor space if you maximize the storage capacity of your walls and ceiling. There are smart storage solutions available in the market such as the GR Series Classic Overhead Garage Storage Rack from FlexiMounts. It can carry 400 to 600 pounds of weight and the height can be adjusted from 22 to 40 inches. It’s waterproof and will protect your tires from water damage.Note that you shouldn’t store your tires in direct sunlight because the UV rays can damage the rubber materials they are made of. The garage is a great area to store your tires because you can manage and control their climate and thus adjust to prolong the life of your tires. You could also take care of the ventilation that will make it perfect for tire storage. Remember to not store your tires beside or near electric motors that generate ozone or emit carbon monoxide. Storing them beside generators, furnaces, switches, sump pumps, and vacuum cleaners is a no-no. Also, avoid storing them in an area where fluids may spill over the tires.
5. Stack your tires vertically.
Some people may be divided on this but if you store your tires in a vertical position, you avoid straining the material and shape of the tire. According to Bemac, if you decide to stack them, it’s best to place dividers in between the tires so that they won’t rub and affect the rubber compounds of one another.Note that if your tires are not mounted on rims, they won’t be properly supported for shape maintenance. This can cause flat spots from developing that will make your tires uneven, which is probably why your car kept pulling over from one side to another. You shouldn’t also hang your tires in hooks because this may cause shape distortion. The ideal and proper way of storing your unmounted tires, according to Bemac, is that you place them side by side on a rack. This storage layout will keep the tires level and even.
It is wrong to assume that your unused tires would be working forever. But you could for sure prolong their life if kept properly in storage. If you clean them thoroughly after the winter season and store them in a vertical position in an environment where you could control the climate, then your winter tires may generally last for six to 10 years. Not bad right for a few precautionary measures? You’ll be saving a lot of money for sure when you don’t need to buy season tires each time the season nears.