Yes, we know. It is still summer and you’re at least a couple months from swapping your summer car tires for their winter counter parts. So why are we talking about it now?
First, if you have a home with a garage, you’re lucky enough to have a place to store your winter and summer tires. But you’ll also know that it can be a bit of a hassle finding the space for something that seems to take up far more room than you would think, in a place where you seem to have less space every year.
If you live in a condo or apartment, and your storage unit isn’t big enough for tires, you know about begging your friends or family with garages for the favour of storing your tires, twice a year, every year.
Whether you have your own garage or not, a storage unit can solve the problem of finding a space to store your tires. Of course, you’re not going to rent a unit just for your tires, but if you already have a unit, or were already thinking of renting one for other purposes, then they really do solve the tire storage space problem. And you can keep all your friends too.
But, regardless of where you store your tires, most people don’t realize that it’s not as simple as tossing them in the garage or storage unit and walking away. We tend to think that, if we used the same set of tires all year long, then they’d be outside anyway, so how we store them doesn’t matter. But tires that are properly inflated and used regularly are more resilient to certain conditions than tires in storage.
One clue to the fact that tires need proper storage is the plastic wrapping that your tire shop puts your storage tires into when they swap them in the spring and fall. While the main reason for the plastic wrap is to keep you and your clothing cleaner as you handle the tires, the wrap also helps reduce the evaporation of oils in the tire to help it last longer.
And that’s just the first of the many reasons why there’s more to storing tires than you think.
Each tire should be wrapped in its own, air-tight plastic bag. You should try to remove as much air as possible from the bag before sealing it with tape. In addition to reducing the evaporation of the oils that help keep the tire pliable, the bag also protects the staining of any white walls or white lettering that is on the tire sidewalls.
You should wrap the tires in plastic even if you have a proper tire storage tote because the totes are not airtight.
Dirt and foreign oils that might be on the tires can cause premature wear if they aren’t removed before storage. Clean the tires using soap, water, a tire cleaner and a good brush. If you keep your tires on rims for storage, it’s a good idea to clean them too.
If you store your own tires, finding a cool, dry place for them in your basement is better than storing them in the garage. The temperatures in the garage can fluctuate widely during the winter, including freeze/thaw cycles, and that can decrease a tire’s lifespan. You shouldn’t store tires outside in the winter, even if they are well-covered.
When a tire is stored off the rim, they have nothing to help them keep their shape. Stacking, hanging or keeping them upright on a floor can cause them to lose their shape and make it more difficult to put them back on the rim. It’s best to store off-rim tires on a tire rack that distributes the weight of the tire across a wide area of the tire.
So you have a couple months to get ready for your tire storage – enjoy it while you can! In the meantime, if you’d like to learn more about storing your tires, other automotive equipment or your entire car during the winter, give a call or visit us here at Vault Self storage.