The snow is melting, and spring is on the way. As we say farewell to Frosty The Snowman and the Ottawa Winterlude, it’s also time to transition from your winter tires to your set of summer or all-season tires.
But for some, there’s confusion on how to properly store your winter tires. You may think that this doesn’t matter, but in reality, not storing your tires properly could potentially damage or ruin them, forcing you to buy another (expensive) set.
Now is an excellent time to learn about how to store your winter tires. Find out about all there is to know and what could happen when you don’t store them correctly.
Clean and protect your tires before you put them away!
Everyone’s home garage seems to be the place for tire storage. But unless your garage is temperature-controlled, storing your winter tires outside or in a garage can do damage to the tire’s integrity.
The heat and sunlight (UV Rays) from the summer sun will degrade the rubber – which can cause your winter tires to crack. Most of all, it is the continuous cycles of heat and cold that will do the most damage to your tires. Ideally, you will want to find yourself a climate-controlled area like your basement, garage, or workshop where your tires can be stored safely.
Cleaning your wheels before storing them is a crucial first step to maintaining your tire’s life. Without cleaning your tires, road grime, brake dust and road salt can corrode and deteriorate the rubber compounds over time. Wash the tires down with dish soap and a pressure hose, dry to reduce moisture and use a vacuum cleaner to remove any built-up dirt and debris. Apply a coat of tire protectant as the last step.
Once you’ve cleaned, dried and protected your tires, cover them with airtight plastic bags, also known as tire totes. These covers will keep the tire’s rubber compounds well oiled and moisture-free.
Should Tires Be Stored Vertically Or Horizontally?
The optimal way to store your winter tires is in – a vertical position. When you store your winter tires upright, you’re relieving strain on the material and shape of the tires.
The typical way to store tires is by stacking them, but this could pressure on your tire. If you’re going to stack your winter tires, place dividers in between the tires to keep them from rubbing and affecting the rubber compounds.
If your tires are not mounted on rims, your tires won’t have the proper support to maintain shape, possibly causing them to develop flat spots and leave them uneven. Uneven tires could be the reason why your car is pulling to one side. Don’t hang them from hooks either; doing so will also distort the shape of the tire. The proper way to store unmounted tires is by placing them side by side on a tire rack, keeping them level and even.
How Long Will Tires Last In Storage?
Unused tires won’t last forever. However, as long as you clean your winter tires, treat them properly and store them vertically in a temperature-controlled environment, they should last you a long time, generally 6 to 10 years.
Keep your tires away from air compressors, central vacuums, furnaces and sump pumps. These utilities are powered by electrical motors, which emit ozone (O3). Over time, this chemical will cause your winter tire to age rapidly and crack.
Once you know when to put on your winter tires, inspect the tread, inflate the tires to their recommended PSI and ensure your tires are crack-free. If your tires are cracked, it’s time to buy some new ones.
Don’t have a spot to store your tires?
Storing your winter tires in a climate-controlled garage will keep your tires in top shape. But that isn’t always possible for those living in apartments, condos or moving often. Our tire storage facility is ready to be your winter tire’s second home, and our team will keep your tires clean, safe and secure. When the season changes and it comes time to swap your tires simply make an appointment and we will swap, store and inspect everything for you – you will never have to haul around dirty tires again!
By trusting Bemac’s car care professionals, you can entrust they know how tires work and how to keep them well maintained to pass any safety inspection. Whether you’re looking to store summer or winter tires, Bemac’s ready to serve the people of Ottawa. Give us a call today!