How to Store Your Winter Tires When Not in Use

Edith Carroll
How to Store Your Winter Tires When Not in Use
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The best place to store tires is a dry basement or climate-controlled storage unit. This keeps them away from sunlight, heat, ozone and impact hazards that can damage rubber.

First of all, always buy quality. Winter tires are designed to provide better grip and traction on icy, snowy, and wet roads. This improved grip can help prevent slipping or skidding on roads, reducing the risk of accidents and potentially saving lives.

Clean and Inspect the Tires

Your tires are an important part of your car, and if you don’t take the proper care of them when they are not in use, they may wear out prematurely. By cleaning and storing your winter tires correctly, you can prolong their lifespan and save money in the long run.

Before putting your winter tires away for the season, you need to clean them thoroughly to remove any road grime and brake dust that has built up over time. You can do this with a simple mixture of mild dish soap and water and a tire brush. Rinse the tires down and dry them completely before storing them in an airtight plastic bag.

You should also inspect the tire’s tread to ensure that it is in good condition and that it isn’t damaged or deformed. Cracked or worn treads can make it difficult to grip the road, which can increase your risk of an accident.

Inspect the tire’s pressure as well to ensure that it is at its recommended PSI (pounds per square inch). Having the right pressure will prevent your tires from blowing out and help you drive more safely.

Even the best winter tires need inspection. It’s not so much about the quality of the tire, but the quality of the storage. Store your tires in the best possible conditions, that’s the only way they will serve you to their maximum potential.

If you are storing your winter tires in a garage, it is crucial to make sure that the space is cool and well-ventilated. This will prevent sunlight from damaging the rubber compounds of your tires, which can lead to premature aging and cracking. 

Choose an Appropriate Storage Location

Once the snow melts and your winter tires are removed for the season, you need to store them properly so that they can last you through the summer. Keeping the tires dry and out of the sun will help extend their life and slow down wear.

Ideally, you should keep your winter tires in a temperature-controlled indoor location such as a basement, garage or workshop. Don’t leave them outside as the sun’s ultraviolet rays will shorten their lifespan and rain will accelerate their degradation.

If you cannot find a storage location for your tires inside of your home, consider storing them in a temperature-controlled commercial building. However, you should not store your tires in an attic as it is not a climate-controlled space and may cause the tire’s quality to degrade over time.

You should also avoid storing your winter tires in areas that contain ozone as these can deteriorate the rubber in your tires. This can lead to ozone cracking or dry rot of your tires.

A good way to protect your tires when they are stored is to use a plastic storage bag for each one. These bags can be purchased from automotive stores and online e-commerce retailers. You should seal the bag tight and tape it shut to prevent air from entering.

Consider using a plastic tire storage bag

When storing your tires on racks, do not stack them with the sidewall up as this will put pressure on the tread of the tire and damage it. Similarly, don’t hang your tires from the ceiling as it can warp them and make them unusable.

Lastly, don’t forget to monitor your tires and re-inspect them periodically. This will allow you to see any problems that have developed and make sure they are still in good shape before you put them back on your vehicle.

Consider Using Tire Bags for Long-Term Storage

If you are looking for a way to store your winter tires for long-term storage, consider using tire bags. These bags can help to keep the tires safe during storage and can also protect them from moisture.

You should consider using a large, opaque, airtight plastic bag to store your tires. You should remove as much air as possible before sealing the bag tightly, and you should tape the bag shut to prevent air from getting in. This will create a mini-atmosphere for your tires to help reduce oil evaporation and protect them from moisture.

Before storing your tires, make sure to clean them thoroughly with soap and water. This will help to ensure that the tires are completely free of dirt, debris, and other contaminants. You should also make sure to dry your tires before putting them away.

Mistakes to avoid while cleaning car wheels and tires

Finally, you should store your tires away from any heat sources or ozone-producing appliances. These can deteriorate the rubber of your tires and cause them to lose their pliable condition.

If you have a garage or basement that is climate-controlled, this is an excellent place to store your tires for extended periods of time. However, if you do not have this type of space, you may want to consider other options for storing your winter tires.

Monitor and Re-Inspect the Tires Periodically

Inspect the tires on a regular basis to spot issues before they get out of hand, such as cracks or bulges, objects lodged in the tires, punctures and uneven tread wear. These issues can quickly become expensive and time-consuming to repair.

Ideally, you should perform tire inspections on a daily or weekly basis. However, if you regularly drive over potholes, travel long distances or live in an area with extreme weather conditions, you should conduct these inspections more often to make sure your tires are in top shape.

Evaluating your tires is important

Another important aspect of monitoring your tires is ensuring they are not in contact with other items that can harm them. For example, keep your winter tires away from furnaces and large electrical equipment that emit ozone, which can degrade rubber compounds over time.

When inspecting your tires, look for signs of uneven or irregular wear across the width of the tire. This can be a sign of misalignment, which could be caused by an accident or by hitting a pothole or road debris.

Inspect the sidewalls to ensure there are no gouges or cuts that could result in slow air leaks. Also, check to see if there are any objects lodged in the tires, such as nails or sharp rocks.

Final Words

When it comes to storing your winter wheels and tires, you may need to store them separately from your car in order to keep them as rust-free as possible. You could store them in a basement, garage, or even at a friend’s house. 

However, if you do not have the space to separate your wheels from your vehicle, you should consider using a storage unit that is climate-controlled and safe for winter wheel storage.

If you have steel rims on your car, you should also make sure to store them in a dry environment to prevent moisture from developing on them that can lead to rust. This can be especially important if you are planning to seal your wheels in a bag for long-term storage.

Make sure to re-inflate your tires before storing them for any amount of time. Improper tire pressure can cause poor wheel balance, which can lead to uneven wear and damage to your tires over the long-term. If you are not sure how to properly inflate your tires, contact a local mechanic for assistance.

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