Wintertime. For many car enthusiasts, this dreadful season brings a slew of annoying tasks, such as purchasing and installing snow tires. But while the installation process can be a hassle, proper storage between seasons is equally essential. After all, you won't need those heavy-duty seasonal tires until the next winter season. Most of the time, you just throw them in a garage or trunk and let them sit until spring when you're ready to put them in your car. Doing this throws off the life of your tires and could cost you more money down the road than storing them properly would.
Read on for tips and tricks on properly storing your winter tires until the next season rolls around.
Clean your winter tires before storing them
Whether your winter tires have been used for one season or a few, cleaning them before storing them away for the winter is essential. Salt and grime tend to build up on winter tires during the winter months, so it's best to minimize the damage by using an appropriate cleaning solution before packing them away.
Use a mild soap solution and a scrub brush to clean the rubber in the treads and sidewalls. Avoid using harsh chemicals on these tires, as this can damage their protective coating.
Cleaning them will ensure you don't end up ruining your winter tires, but it also helps maintain their performance in the winter months ahead. Plus, when they appear spick-and-span next winter, you'll be thankful you spent a few extra minutes giving them a good clean.
Clean the storage space before storing the tires
Did you know that you should clean up the storage space before you store your winter tires? Make sure to sweep and wipe off shelves, bins, and racks. That's right, ensuring that the area is free from dust and dirt prevents potential damage to your tires and helps protect them from pests and critters potentially nesting in winter tire storage.
Store tires in a cool, dark, and dry area
We all want winter tires that perform the best, but why should those essential winter items be kept in a cool, dark, and dry area? The answer is simple – winter tires last longer and maintain their performance when protected from light, heat, air, and moisture. In addition to shielding winter tires from potential hazards, the cool temperature of your winter tire storage facility helps prevent sudden expansions and contractions that could influence the truck tires‘ consistency.
Store your tires in a vertical position
Winter tires are an essential winter accessory, but they also require special care while storing them. It's crucial to store winter tires in a vertical position to prevent them from becoming misshapen. The prolonged contact with the weight can cause them to deflate. It keeps the rubber evenly distributed and provides the best protection for winter tires – ensuring optimal performance when the time comes to use them again. Storing winter tires vertically is also more convenient since it takes up less space than if you lay them on their sides or stack them.
Keep your tires away from chemicals, and other harmful liquids
Whether winter tires or regular all-season tires, it's crucial to store them in a place far away from anything hazardous. Chemicals, such as oil, gasoline, and other various types of liquids, can severely damage the exterior of tires if they're stored too close. They can leach into the rubber and break down its natural protective layer, leaving winter tires at risk of punctures, tears, and cracks. These chemicals can also damage the wheels where the winter tires are mounted. Keep them away from potential harm, so it's best to store winter tires in a clean, dry area.
Place your tires in storage bags
The best way to protect your tires is to store them in tire bags when they're not in use. It helps keep dust and dirt off the winter tires while they aren't being driven. These storage bags also prevent UV rays from wearing down the rubber as it sits during the summer months, extending the life of your winter tires.
Rotate the tires regularly
Winter tires should not be neglected even when in storage because regular tire rotation can ensure that your tires don't lose their grip. That's right: winter tires, like most other tires, will wear unevenly without regular rotation during storage, resulting in flat spots and decreased performance.
Maintain the tires' air pressure
Winter tires are essential for winter driving, but maintaining them even when in storage is just as important. When winter tires are not being used, it's recommended to store them at the pressure given by the manufacturer. Tires stored at a lower or higher pressure than what's planned can result in warps and bulges – both issues that can impair winter tire performance. As winter tire maintenance goes, air pressure is a must. They should be checked monthly to ensure that winter tires remain properly inflated and ready for use.
Ensure that the storage area won't exceed normal room temperature
Winter tires are essential for winter climates; however, storing them at the wrong temperature can cause serious damage., It's necessary to make sure that the storage area doesn't exceed normal room temperature for your winter tires to stay healthy. Any variation from a comfortable indoor environment (think bedroom-like temperatures) makes the tires hard and brittle, making them unsafe for winter driving.
How long can you store your winter tires without damaging them?
If stored properly, winter tires could last up to 10 years in storage. However, improperly stored tires can suffer from cracking, loss of tread, and severe chemical degradation. The key is keeping them in a cool, dry location away from bright light and chemical pollutants. Make sure to regularly inspect your winter tires for signs of wear or damage every time you take them out or put them away after a season.
Now that you have learned how to store your winter tires properly, you can be assured they'll be in good condition when the next snowfall hits. Make sure to invest in reputable tire brands like Toyo tires. These tires are engineered to survive extended winter storage. With proper care and preparation, you can get years of use out of your winter tires – and save yourself a lot of money in the long run.