Winter tires are one of the smartest purchases any vehicle owner can make, especially if you live in a location where the winter season is typically snowy, cold, and slippery, which lasts from November to March. However, once the winter seasons are through, you must address the issue of how to store winter tires properly. The method is straightforward. The first step is to clean the tires prior to storing them as grime, tar, gravel, and other debris can quickly accumulate. Allow tires to dry thoroughly as damp wheels can create rust and pits in the metal if they are stored wet. Give a detailed inspection and then it should be kept somewhere cool, dry, and dark. Winter tires should never be stored outside, even if they are covered, and should never come into contact with solvents, fuels, lubricants, chemicals, or other similar liquids. To prevent your tires from cracking, do not store them under external pressure or stress.
If at all possible, get a set of tire storage bags. This will protect them from naturally occurring ozone in the air, which can dry out and damage your tire rubber. Because motors emit ozone, keep your tires away from any motorized devices while they're being kept. We will discuss everything about how to store winter tires in detail in this article.
How do you store winter tires?
Here is how to store winter tires with more detailed explanation of the procedures:
- Washing the winter tires properly.
Tires are an important part of your vehicle, and while they are a wear-and-tear item, if they are properly cared for, they will last longer. To remove road filth and brake dust from the rims before storing your seasonal tires, wash them with automotive soap and water.Before continuing, make sure the remaining water has had enough time to evaporate. When storing tires, do not use tire dressing or tire gloss. If these chemicals are left on for too long, they will harm the tires.
Prior to storage, there is no need to apply any form of dressing or shine agent to the tires. Tire compounds are designed to withstand ozone cracking and other forms of environmental stress. Such products can actually shorten the life of your tires rather than help them last longer.
- Detailed winter tires inspection.
Before storing tires check its condition for cracks and aged rubber deterioration. Check the tire depth; if it's near or at the wear indicator, you'll need a new pair of tires for the start of the next season's transition. Make a budget for new tires and plan ahead of time.
Pick out the small stones packed between the tread blocks with a screwdriver so that the tread can be stored without being stretched. Check tire pressure and make any necessary adjustments to reach the specified PSI. Make sure the valve stems are not seized.
- Store indoors in a dry cool place.
The most crucial part of how to store winter tires is to keep them in a temperature-controlled indoor environment, such as your basement, heated garage, or workshop. Tires should not be left outside to be exposed to the weather. The UV radiation of the sun will reduce tire life. Rain and other weather conditions will hasten tire deterioration. Tires are frequently stored in unheated garages or sheds. Temperature and moisture changes make this an unsuitable setting, but it's better than leaving them outside if it's your only option.
Also consider using bag tires. Sun and water will shorten the life of your tires. Water is one of the most abrasive chemicals, despite the fact that humans drink it to stay alive. It corrodes metal and causes tires to degrade. Additionally, the sun's UV rays will cause the lubricants in your tires to evaporate. Store your tires in an airtight bag to keep them safe from the sun and water. It will suffice to use a huge garbage bag.
Making it as airtight as possible (with a vacuum cleaner), and taping it shut is beneficial (though not quite required). This helps to keep the rubber's oils from evaporating, which can cause dryness and cracking. Bags also protect the tire from humidity and moisture variations in the environment.
If you don't have enough space to store your tires indoors, talk to your mechanic or a car dealership about tire storage solutions. There are also tire storage facilities that specialize in the storage of seasonal tires. When it's time to replace your seasonal tires, they'll come pick them up and return them.
- Keep away from chemicals that might damage it.
If you're keeping tires in your home, keep them away from carbon monoxide-emitting appliances like a furnace, central vacuum, or sump pump. Tires should be stored in a cold, dry, and humidity-free environment. Tires are not suited for storage in attics. Also maintain a safe distance between your tires and air compressors, central vacuums, furnaces, and sump pumps. Electrical motors, which emit ozone, are used to power these utilities (O3). This chemical will cause your winter tire to age quickly and break over time.
- Do not store winter tires under external pressure or stress
How to store winter tires properly also has something to do with how they are positioned. Stacking tires is a common method of storage, however this might put strain on your tire. Standing is the greatest option because it puts less strain on the tires. If you have to stack, don't stack too high. You don't want it to topple over and damage the tires. Is it true that the tires are installed on the rims? In this scenario, stacking is actually desirable. Hanging tires on rims from tire racks or hooks is another wonderful alternative. Unmounted tires should never be hung since they will distort and harm.
Also if you're going to stack your winter tires, use dividers between them to keep the rubber compounds from rubbing together. If you bag them, there will be a protective barrier between the tires and the rims; otherwise, place cardboard or a towel between the tires to keep the rims from being scratched (if tires are mounted on rims).
Do your tires have whitewalls or other white components (such as lettering)? If you don't want to bag your tires, store them with the white parts contacting each other and the black areas touching each other. This is why: On the white side, the black rubber is mixed differently than the black rubber on the other side. On the white side of the tire, a layer of non-staining black rubber is utilized to prevent oils from moving from the black to the white sections and producing discoloration. Standard rubber is used on the black sidewall. To keep white rubber bright and avoid blemishes, store it black-to-black and white-to-white.
Tire storage accessories include tire racks, stands, and shelves, which can be found in auto supply stores. Tire racks, stands, and shelves help keep your tires off the ground and out of the way by hanging them on the garage wall or stacking them neatly in the corner. For long-term storage, it is desirable (but not compulsory) to stand tires up on their treads rather than stacking them on top of one another. Tire racks are used for garage organization and aesthetics rather than tire care.
If your tires aren't mounted on rims, they won't have the support they need to maintain their shape, which can result in flat spots and uneven wear. Uneven tires could be the cause of your car dragging to one side. Also, do not hang them from hooks because this will harm the tire's contour. The best way to store unmounted tires is to arrange them side by side on a tire rack, level and even.
How long can winter tires be stored?
Tires that haven't been utilized in a long time will eventually wear out. Winter tires, on the other hand, should last you a long time if you clean them regularly, handle them properly, and store them upright in a temperature-controlled environment. They should last about 6 to 10 years.
How about how long winter tires last? When choosing winter tires, keep in mind that you'll only be using them for around 4 months before storing them for a longer life cycle. Consider a winter tire with a tread life of 40,000 miles. In addition, the average number of miles driven by Americans each year.
According to the Federal Highway Administration of the United States Department of Transportation, that figure is around 13,500 miles each year. That means that if you drove on winter tires for four months, you would have put 4500 miles on them. If you extrapolate that out, you'd need 8.9 winter seasons to cover 40,000 kilometers.
You may, of course, drive a lot more than the typical individual (or much less). Whatever the situation may be, your winter tires should easily last 4-6 seasons. If you estimate the cost of four to be around $500, your total season cost will be less than $75. It's even less if they last eight seasons. We believe that most people would agree that $75 is a good investment for enhanced winter driving safety. But how long your winter tires will survive is also about where you live in the country and whether you comply with the rules of how to store winter tires properly. Tires have an almost infinite shelf life when properly maintained in a climate-controlled warehouse, and good care once on the road can extend the life of a tire by several years.
Should tires be stored inflated?
Tires that have been inflated should be deflated to 50% of their original pressure before being stored. Keep the valve caps on the valves if tires are fitted on a vehicle for long-term storage. If at all feasible, park the vehicle on blocks to relieve all weight from the tires and to protect them from the elements.
If the vehicle can't be closed off from the storage surface, totally unload it so that the tires aren't overloaded. The storage surface should be firm, flat, well-drained, and free of debris. It is acceptable to pump the tires to the maximum pressure specified on the sidewall in circumstances where the tires will be supporting the car. Before driving the vehicle, make sure the inflation pressure is back to the recommended usage pressure.
It is advised that the car be moved once a month in circumstances where the tires will be supporting the vehicle to prevent ozone cracking in the bulge area and the formation of a “flat spot.” If the tires do acquire “flat spots,” they should go away after a short period of use.
Do tires expire if not used?
Tires last 6-10 years when not in use, depending on storage and climatic circumstances. In general, the time limits for stored tires are similar to those for used tires. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and official tire manufacturers, a tire is only completely safe to use until it reaches the age of 5-6 years. However, other experts believe that if a tire is checked for faults annually after the fifth year, it can last up to ten years.
The service life of a tire is limited by the aging of the rubber, which occurs as a result of the material's constant exposure to oxygen, which causes the particles to grow harder and less flexible. As a result, the rubber begins to fracture both on the exterior and inside, potentially leading to tread or steel cord separation and tire failure.
Furthermore, because they aren't greased, storage tires only last a short time. When you ride a tire, the heated oils inside circulate and lubricate the rubber, preventing it from drying out prematurely. The oils and emollients dry out in storage, which has obvious implications. It is not suggested to utilize a tire that is more than 10 years old because even the most durable rubber ultimately ages.