If you have fresh winter tyres fitted to your vehicle just before, or just as, winter begins, it’s unlikely you’ll wear them out by the time fair weather returns. To maximise your investment, it’s sensible to store your winter tyres when you don’t need them anymore.
If you’re to optimise their lifespan, however, they must be stored properly.
Storing winter tyres
It’s important to avoid storing any tyres, winter or summer, outside. Leaving them out for two days while you sort out more appropriate storage won’t be the end of the world. Don’t expect, however, to just dump them at the side of your house and put them straight back on your vehicle next year.
They should be stored under cover to prevent the rubber from degrading. Make a note of the position that the tyres are in when you take them off the vehicle. That way, when you put them back on, you’re able to rotate them to ensure even wear. Also, wash then thoroughly dry them before storage.
Where to store them
Tyres should always be stored out of direct sunlight, in a cool and covered place. The tyre rubber is coated in oxidisation and weathering compound, the exhaustion of which can lead to cracking and structural damage. Heat and ozone are particularly bad triggers for this.
A garage, basement, or dry garden shed is perfect. You should store tyres only on ground which is clean and grease-free, and keep them away from any fuel or oil. There are a number of specially-made bags and sheets which can help prevent any damaging agents from contacting the rubber.
How to store them
Stacking tyres is acceptable as a short-term solution. Don’t let the stack grow higher than 4ft, however. It’s better to have two smaller stacks of tyres than one taller one. A pallet, ground-sheet, or box can be helpful for storing them off the ground.
For the ideal long-term tyre storage solution, consider investing in a specially designed rack. This will store the tyres vertically, holding them safely and securely off the ground, ready for their next use.