When you live in the west where seasons change, you are bound to face different road conditions that can affect your car’s ability to stay on the tarmac. To ensure road safety, it’s imperative that you own specific tire sets for each season.
Since winter is approaching, you’re probably going to switch to winter tires and store the others. However, storing tires during the cold season isn’t as easy as it sounds. The frigid temperatures can have debilitating effects on a tire’s structure, causing it to deteriorate faster. Storing them incorrectly might shorten their lifespan or render them useless.
Tires are expensive to replace and repair. If you want to make sure that they stay in great condition while not in use, then it is crucial that proper methods of storing tires for the winter must be done.
What Is the Difference Between Winter and All Season Tires?
All tires are generally purpose-built, so some handle specific road conditions better than others. This is why tires vary in certain aspects such as tread design, thickness, and sidewalls.
Before you decide on what tires to use for the coming cold months, it is essential to understand the difference between tires that are made for winter use vs the all-season type since a number of people seem to be confused between the two. This will help you determine which tire set to place in storage and which tire set to use for the cold, snow-covered roads.
There are 2 types of winter tires: studless and studded. They’re both designed for prolonged winter conditions with features such as:
- The tread compound remains flexible in temperatures below 45ºF (7.2ºC).
- Road traction is optimized with deeper grooves and sharp, irregular edges.
- Studless types are designed to grip slush, snow and ice-covered roads while studded versions have enhanced traction on Icy surfaces.
These tires are designed mostly to handle general road conditions. While they can handle surfaces that are lightly covered by snow, they are not recommended for winter driving. All-season tires have the following features:
- Has great traction on bare pavement.
- Despite the tread compound stiffening at temperatures below 45ºF (7.2ºC), the tires can withstand hot weather.
- They are designed for dry and wet road conditions.
Storage Tips for All-Season Tires or Summer Tires
Storing your tires for the winter season requires proper planning and preparation. Certain considerations must be taken from the storage location to the way they are cleaned to ensure they’re in great condition the next time you use them.
Here are effective storage tips for storing your tires for the winter:
1. Keep Your Tires on the Rims
If you’re contemplating whether you should take the tires off the rims for storage, it’s highly recommended that you don’t. Spending extra on additional rim sets for your winter or all-seasonal tires might seem a considerable expense, but it will benefit you in the long-term. Here are the reasons why:
- Taking tires on and off the rims can potentially damage the tire’s structure over time.
- Keeping tires mounted on the rims makes it easier for you to swap tires.
- During storage, the rims will help the tire retain its natural shape.
- While it is possible to take the tires off the rims by yourself, you might still risk damaging them without the use of the proper tools and equipment.
2. Clean Your Tires Before Storage
Dirt, grime and gunk build-up can be quite corrosive to your tires, so it’s best to clean them before storage. Though you can easily do the cleaning with a brush, soap, and water, you can also use these other materials for best results:
- Warm water
- Pressure washer
- Dish soap or mild degreaser
- Wheel cleaner
Furthermore, make sure to consider the following when cleaning your tires:
- Remove any rocks or stones stuck in between the treads.
- Make sure to dry your tires completely to avoid rust on the rims and moisture damage.
3. Check Your Tires for Signs of Wear and Tear
After cleaning, now might be a good opportunity to inspect your tires for signs of wear and tear. Check for any dangerous cracks, puncture holes, and tread life if it’s still enough. If the damage is too extensive, consider getting a replacement right away.
4. Make Sure Your Tires Are Fully-Inflated
Subzero temperatures can cause tires to deflate due to the drop in air pressure. This happiness when the cold causes the air to contract, resulting in a drop of one or two PSI every 10°F (-12.22°C).
So, if you’re planning to leave your tires on the rims during storage, make sure to keep them fully inflated according to the manufacturer’s recommended air pressure.
5. Place the Tires in Protective Bags
After your tires are thoroughly cleaned and dried, the next thing you should do is to cover them. This keeps dust, dirt, grime, water and other harmful materials off your tires and prevents degradation.
When covering your tires, here are things to remember:
- Place your tires in purpose-built tire bags or heavy-duty trash bags.
- Ensure that the bags are clean and free from moisture.
- Use a vacuum cleaner to remove as much air from the bag as possible before sealing it.
6. Pick the Right Storage Location
Picking the right storage area for your tires is crucial in protecting your tires from the frigid temperatures and prolonging their lifespan. Even when covered, it is not advisable that you store your tires outdoors since it’s still exposed to harmful environmental changes and the elements.
The best place for storing tires is an indoor area, preferably a climate-controlled basement, garage, workshop, or self-storage unit. Here are also other things to consider when choosing the right storage location:
- Pick an area that is cool and dry.
- Avoid areas with chemicals, such as lubricants, solvents and fuels.
- Keep tires away from devices that generate ozone such as generators, compressors, and furnaces because they are practically damaging to tires.
- Choose an area with minimal or no exposure to UV rays such as direct sunlight.
7. Position Your Tires Properly During Storage
Now that you’ve found the right storage area for your tires, the next thing you should work on is how to position them during storage. You have three options available:
If your tires are mounted on rims, you can lay them flat and stack them one on top of the other. Don’t stack them too high though, limit it to only 3 tires at a time.
Hanging tires on hooks or racks is a great way to store tires that are attached to rims. However, do not do this on unmounted ones since this will end up damaging the tire’s structure.
Standing Them Upright
Standing tires upright is the ideal storage position for ones without rims. This puts less stress on the tire’s structure.
Understanding the proper methods to store your summer or all-season tires for the winter is the key to keeping them safe from the frigid temperatures. By following these effective storage tips, you will be able to keep your tire sets in great shape until it’s time to use them again.
If you are looking for good quality tires for sale in the winter as well as other car maintenance services, call Round & Around Tire Inc. at (905) 393-8474 today!