Swapping your winter tires out for all-season tires in preparation for warmer weather is a beautiful thing – but improper storage could turn out ugly. Correctly stored, your tires will remain in optimal condition for use next season. Prevent early tire replacement and keep your rubber roadworthy. Save money and extend tire lifespan by learning how to store winter tires when not using them with these tips from the auto service pros at RJ’s Tire Pros & Auto Experts.

Clean Snow Tires Thoroughly Before Storage

Cleaning your tires before storage prevents deterioration. Remove dirt and corrosive auto grime with a tire brush, detergent, and water. Let tires dry thoroughly. Do not coat them in a high-gloss product. Tire manufacturers engineer rubber using specific formulations that resist environmental stressors. When possible, note tire placement to ensure proper tire rotation next winter.

Bag Winter Tires

Place each thoroughly dry tire in a large, airtight plastic bag to reduce the evaporation of oils from the rubber. Many auto repair shops and online retailers offer tire storage bags. You can also use large, heavy-duty contractor bags. After placing each tire inside, remove air from bags using a vacuum cleaner, then tape them shut, creating an airtight seal. Even if you use tire storage caddies or totes, you should still place tires in an airtight bag first. Never store tires in the open air.

Choose the Right Tire Storage Location

Store winter tires away from direct sunlight to prevent degradation from UV rays. A cool, dry, ventilated room, such as a basement or climate-controlled workshop, offers the best tire storage location. Due to fluctuating temperature and humidity levels, we do not recommend storage in garages, sheds, and attics. Tires stored outdoors may dry and crack. If you must store tires outside, lift them off the ground to prevent moisture accumulation. Never store tires next to heat sources, fuels, chemicals, solvents, lubricants, ozone-producing generators, furnaces, compressors, and sump pumps, as these items speed tire deterioration.

Stack, Store, or Hang

You can stack winter tires on top of one another, stand them up, or hang them on hooks. Standing offers the best option for tires taken off the rims as it reduces pressure on tires. We recommend stacking tires mounted on standard or custom rims. You may also hang them. However, never hang unmounted tires – they will distort. Rotate tires monthly to prevent warping.

Keep Your Tires in Peak Condition

Learn how to store winter tires when not using them and keep them performing their best. Extend tire lifespan with regular tire maintenance and alignment from RJ’s Tire Pros & Auto Experts. Contact us at 509-453-8170 to schedule tire installation and service in Yakima, Selah, Naches, Union Gap, West Valley, and East Valley today.


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