Who has tires to store? Many people do. Snow tires continue to be used in wintery climates which presents a storage requirement for vehicle owners. Weekend racers and Autocrossers also have the need to store their extra tires and wheels. These tire storage tips are important to make your tire investment last.
Here are my five tips to better tire storage.
1. Find A Cool And Dry Place
Where you store your tires is key. It must be dry, cool and secure. Make sure the tires won’t be exposed to direct sunlight. If you are storing track or competition tires make sure it’s a place where the temperature won’t drop below 20 degrees. Also, keep all tires away from furnaces and large electrical equipment as the Ozone developed by this type of equipment can damage tires.
2. Clean Is Key
Once you’ve determined where you’ll store your tires, it’s time to prep them for storage. It’s recommended to wash your tires with soap and water and a car wash solution is just fine. If the tires will stay mounted on wheels, make sure that the wheels are clean as well. If needed, use an approved wheel cleaner to get any road grime or brake dust off of your wheels that the soap won’t. Make sure to throughly dry the tires prior to storage.
3. Bag Them
Today’s tires contain oils and chemicals that are important to the durability and longevity of use and when exposed to the elements these chemicals evaporate. This leads to dry rotting and compound cracking. When storing your tires it’s a good idea to place each tire into a plastic bag. The more airtight, the better.
There a many ways to bag them. The easiest and cheapest would be some large trash bags. Just find a way to get the air out and seal them up with tape. Another idea is to invest in tire storage bags like these (click on picture to get full details):
Another option is the tire tote. Tire totes are a great way to store and transport your tires. They are made from durable materials and include handles. If you attend track days or Autocross events these will make life a little easier and keep your interior cleaner too.
4. How To Store
Tires are best stored upright rather than stacked. However, if you are unable to store them upright stacking them is not the end of the world as long as you keep them off the concrete/ground, keep them in bags and protect the wheels from hitting one another. Don’t stack more than four tires high either. The weight on the bottom tires can actually push the sidewalls in and make remounting more difficult.
Need a rack? There are many low cost, wall racks that will securely support your tires. Check out this one here: Tire Rack for Garage. This is one of the more expensive ones, but it’s worth the extra money. I had this one in my garage at home and moved it to the shop. It’s worth spending a little extra for it. Yes, there are ones that cost less, but the quality drops off and the last thing you want is a failure that results in heavy tires and/or wheels crashing down in your garage.
5. Still On The Vehicle?
If you are storing a vehicle for the winter it’s a good idea to move it once a month to move the tire position. The weight of the vehicle on the same portion of the tire for extended periods of time can damage the tire. Even just rolling the vehicle back 8-12 inches will help. This is true for motorcycles as well.
Follow these tire storage tips and when the spring season returns your tires will be ready to go and in great shape.