Follow these tips to store your tires at home and save yourself some cash.
Whether you have a basement, garage, or storage locker, if you have the space to store your tires at home, it’s an easy way to avoid extra costs from your dealership, service centre, or mechanic.
Storing tires yourself is a fairly simple job that involves keeping them clean, covered, and out of harm’s way. Not unlike people, tires wear down over time, and perform their best at comfortable temperatures. We put together some Q&As that will help you understand how NOT to store your tires, and keep them functioning properly.
So, if you’ve ever wondered whether you can store tires outside, keep them in the trunk of your car, or leave them uncovered on your garage floor, these answers will help you choose the right storage spot to protect your investment and driving safely when you put those tires back on your car. Here’s how to store your tires so they last as long as possible.
Tire Storage Q&As
Q: Is it safe to store tires in your house?
A: It is absolutely safe to store tires at home, as long as you keep them away from heat sources and appliances that emit carbon monoxide, such as a furnace or central vacuum. Your tires should also not be kept near any kind of harsh substances, such as chemicals, fuels, solvents, lubricants, or other dangerous liquids. Choose a spot that is cool and dry with little to no changes in temperature and humidity – this means that an attic or a shed is not an appropriate place.
Q: Can tires be stored outside?
A: If you read the previous answer, you can guess that the answer is no. Tires are best kept in a climate-controlled environment. Tires not only suffer damage from swings in temperature and humidity, but also direct sunlight, which is harmful to the rubber.
Q: How do you inspect tires before storing them?
A: Check your tires’ valve stems for leaks, then, check tire pressure and adjust to the recommended PSI. Then check the treads of your tires. Often, they will have small stones and gravel from the road jammed into the grooves. Remove them using a screwdriver to stop the tread from getting stretched out while your tires are being stored.
Q: How much cleaning do tires need before storage?
A: Tires should definitely have dust, dirt, and grime from the road removed before storage, since all that gunk buildup contains harsh chemicals that will cause damage to your tires over time. Clean your tires using a tire brush, soap and water. If you’re keeping them mounted on rims, use a wheel brush to clean them with a special cleaner. Check your car’s ownership manual to see if your manufacturer has approved specific cleaning products for your wheels. Once your tires are clean, dry them off with a towel and let them air out before covering.
Q: How should tires be covered up for storage?
A: Tires don’t need anything fancy to store well, as long as they are sealed in airtight plastic bags, which protect them from changes in humidity. You can store your tires inside regular lawn and garden bags, as long as you remove as much air as possible from them before placing the tires inside (you can even do this with a vacuum cleaner!) Once the air is out of the bag, seal it up with tape, so that the tire doesn’t dry out.
Q: Should tires be stored flat or upright?
A: Manufacturers recommend that tires should be stored upright on their treads – as they would be positioned on a car – to reduce stress and prevent distortion. If your only option is to store them horizontally, then stack them flat so that the bottom tire doesn’t lose its shape – you should use a piece of clean wood instead of placing them directly on an uneven surface. Don’t stack too many tires on top of each other. If your tires are still mounted on rims, you also have the option of storing them on tire hooks that can handle the weight.
Q: How long can you keep tires in storage?
A: When tires are properly stored as recommended above, they can have a very long shelf life. Proper storage and care can do wonders for increasing a tire’s lifespan. If you’re planning to store them for more than a year, check your with your tires’ manufacturer if there is a “best before” date for their expected total lifespan.
If you store your own tires, you should change them yourself too.
By following the above steps, your tires will last longer and you’ll be better prepared for the change of season when it comes time to switch your tires in the spring and fall.
Storing tires yourself not only gets rid the cost of keeping them at your dealership or service centre, it also means you can switch providers, because no one’s holding them hostage to keep you coming back for service when it’s time to get your tires changed.
Of course, you could avoid that hassle as well by changing your tires yourself, which saves you even more money! Here’s our step-by-step illustrated guide on how to change a tire.