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Summers Off, Winters On: Storing Your Summer Tires

The snow arrived, as of writing this there is a healthy amount of snow on the ground as a definitive sign that winter is arriving. For those of us who have been keeping an eye on the calendar, and remembering which country we live in, the change in weather is no surprise, and our winter tires are on and ready to go. Some have been caught out and are rushing to get their vehicles ready for the winter roads. Despite the rush, it’s important to put your summer tires away properly now, so in the spring you can get on the road without issue.

Close up of the winter tires

Correctly Storing Summer Tires

We’re not going to tell you how to take your tires off your car, that is beyond the scope of this blog, so hopefully you have that figured out already. So, assuming you’ve got the tires off successfully it’s time to prepare them for storage.

First things first: clean off your tires using a good tire brush, some light detergent, and warm water. A season worth of grime and dirt can build up and affect performance down the line. Dry them completely before going any further with them. If they’re still on the rims, as they most likely will be, clean those up as well. If you’re DIYing this, it’s not a bad idea to mark the tires on the inside of the rims so you remember which positions they came off of for next year’s tire rotation.

Now cover them up with a good air-tight plastic bag. Make sure there is no moisture in whatever bag you choose to use, the goal here is a dry environment that will prevent evaporation of the oils from the rubber of the tire. Remove as much air as possible from the bag, use your vacuum to help create as air-less an environment as you can. Seal the bag as tightly as possible to prevent the air coming back in.

Now is the time to decide on a good location for storage. There’s a few key things to keep in mind: you need someplace dry, that’s out of the sun, and isn’t in the open air. So under the overhang at the back of the house isn’t the spot for your tires. Most will use the garage, and so long as you’re not leaving them in a chemical spill, that will be fine. Climate controlled spaces would be best, even if it’s just a moderately warm place like a basement or an attic would work as well.

Of course the final question: stack, stand, or hang? It sort of depends on the tires themselves and if they are on the rims or not. Chances are, yours will be. In that case, the best course of action would be to stack them on top of each other. Make sure they are centered on each other to avoid putting more pressure on one side or the other. If you have a proper tire rack, hanging them is also a great option for tire storage.

That’s All It Takes

It’s a straightforward and simple process. If you’re having trouble finding a suitable spot to store the tires, looking for something elsewhere may be what you need. Something like a good heated storage unit would be just what you’re looking for.