Tires

Tire storage tips: Protect tires during seasonal changes

Tires stand out as crucial safety components in a vehicle, requiring drivers to exercise necessary care throughout the various seasons of the year to ensure optimal performance and prolonged service life.    This becomes particularly crucial during seasonal transitions, where the impact on tire condition becomes more pronounced.    This article will delve into some practical tips for storing and safeguarding tires during these seasonal shifts.

  •  Clean and Examine Your Tires

Before the process of storing tires, it is crucial to perform a comprehensive cleaning. Eliminate any dirt, debris, or brake dust that might have gathered on the tires. You can utilize a gentle soap and water solution in conjunction with a tire brush or sponge.   After cleaning, ensure that the tires undergo complete air drying. Examine the tires for any indications of damage, such as cuts, bulges, or uneven wear. If you observe any issues, it is advisable to seek professional inspection.   Maintaining clean and well-inspected tires is essential for ensuring both the safety and optimal performance of your vehicle. Regularly cleaning and examining your tires is a proactive measure that contributes significantly to their longevity and overall effectiveness on the road.

Cleaning:

  • Dirt, mud, and other debris accumulated on the surface of your tires can not only detract from the vehicle’s appearance but also impact its performance. Routine cleaning is necessary to remove these contaminants, preventing potential issues such as uneven wear and reduced traction. Utilize a mild detergent and a brush to gently scrub the tire surface, paying attention to the tread grooves and sidewalls.

Examination:

  • Thoroughly the examination process of your tires involves more than a visual scan. Start by checking the tread depth, as worn-out treads can compromise traction, especially on wet or slippery surfaces. Use a tread depth gauge to measure the depth, and if it falls below the recommended level, it might be time to replace the tires.
  • Additionally, examine the sidewalls for any bulges, cuts, or irregularities. Bulges may indicate internal damage, while cuts and punctures could lead to air leakage. If you notice any of these issues, it’s crucial to address them promptly to prevent further damage or potential blowouts.
  • Check the tire pressure regularly, as underinflated or overinflated tires can adversely affect fuel efficiency, handling, and tire wear. Refer to your vehicle’s manual for the recommended pressure levels and adjust as needed.
  • Ensure Adequate Tire Inflation

Inflate your tires to the recommended pressure before storing them. Check your vehicle’s owner’s manual or the placard on the driver’s side door jamb for the correct tire pressure.    Proper inflation helps prevent flat spots and maintains the tire’s shape during storage. Additionally, inadequate tire pressure can lead to sidewall damage or tire bead leaks over time.   To ensure adequate tire inflation, use a reliable tire pressure gauge to measure the pressure in each tire, including the spare. Refer to the vehicle owner’s manual or the information placard located on the driver’s side door jamb or inside the glove compartment for the recommended pressure levels. It’s advisable to check tire pressure at least once a month and before long journeys.

  • Store in a Cool, Dry Location

Find a suitable storage location for your tires that is cool, dry, and away from direct sunlight. Extreme temperatures and exposure to sunlight can cause the rubber to deteriorate, leading to cracking and reduced tire life.   Avoid storing tires near sources of heat or ozone-generating equipment such as electric motors, furnaces, or generators. If possible, use tire storage bags or covers to protect the tires from dust and UV rays.

  • Stack or Hang Tires Properly
  • When storing tires, you have two options: stacking or hanging them. If you choose to stack the tires, place them in a standing position, one on top of the other. 
  • Avoid stacking them too high to prevent deformation or damage to the lower tires. If you opt for hanging the tires, use a sturdy rack or tire hangers specifically designed for this purpose. Hanging the tires helps maintain their shape and prevents flat spots.
  • To prevent direct contact with the ground, use tire racks or pallets. This helps maintain air circulation around the tires and prevents moisture from accumulating, reducing the risk of degradation.
  • When stacking, place the tires vertically with the tread facing down. This minimizes stress on the sidewalls, preventing distortion or deformation over time.
  • Do not stack too many tires on top of each other. Overloading can lead to compression, affecting the shape and integrity of the tires. Follow recommended stacking limits based on the tire size and type.
  • Rotate Your Tires:

To ensure even wear, it’s a good idea to rotate your tires periodically during storage. Every few months, remove the tires and rotate them from front to back or side to side. This practice helps distribute the weight and prevents one area of the tire from bearing excessive load for an extended period.

  • Avoid Tire Stress:

During storage, it’s important to avoid putting unnecessary stress on the tires. Do not place heavy objects on top of them or stack them near sharp or pointed objects that could puncture the rubber. If you’re storing the tires for an extended period, consider using tire cradles or stands to support the weight and reduce sidewall stress.

  • Regularly Check Tire Pressure:

While in storage, it’s essential to periodically check the tire pressure. Over time, tires can lose air pressure, and maintaining the correct pressure helps prevent flat spots and other potential damage. Check the pressure every few months and inflate the tires as needed to the recommended level.

  • Maintain a Storage Log:

To keep track of your tire storage routine, maintain a storage log. Note the date of storage, the tire condition, the pressure, and other relevant information. This log can serve as a reference for future tire storage and help you identify any issues that may arise.

Conclusion

Following these tire storage tips ensures that your tires remain in optimal condition during seasonal transitions. Proper storage not only extends the life of your tires but also enhances your vehicle’s performance and safety. Remember, a little effort in storing your tires correctly can go a long way in saving you money and ensuring a smoother driving experience when you reinstall them on your vehicle.