How To Store Tires: How To Keep Them For A Long Time

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Do you know the correct way to store tires?

There will be situations where tires are stored for long periods of time for various reasons, such as when changing from summer tires to studless tires. Failure to properly manage tires when storing them can lead to premature tire deterioration.

In this issue, we will explain the preparation for storing tires in advance, as well as where to store tires and the estimated useful life and deterioration of tires. In addition, we will also introduce other tire storage methods other than storing tires by yourself.

Preparing Tires For Storage

First, we will discuss the preparations for proper tire storage.
There are two main preparations to be made before storing tires.

  • Clean the tires.
  • Letting the air out of the tires.

This is a very simple task, but if you are not aware of the precautions, you risk accelerating the deterioration of your tires, so be very careful. Here are some specifics on what exactly you should pay attention to.

Clean The Tires

Before storing your tires, be sure to wash them in water to remove dirt. There is a lot of dirt on the road surface, including puddles, mud, and snow-melting chemicals (calcium chloride).

Chemical-containing dirt, if left for a long period of time, can cause deterioration and uneven coloring of tires. Not only tires but also wheels can rust due to dirt if stored with the wheels attached.

The wheels themselves are also prone to brake dust stains, and the longer they are left unattended, the harder it is to remove the stains. If you want your tires and wheels to last longer, it is important to wash them thoroughly before storage.

Although we have emphasized washing in water, detergent is generally not necessary except when removing special stains such as brake dust.

This is because there is a risk that detergent ingredients will remain on the tires and wheels, which in turn will accelerate deterioration. If you have used detergent to remove stubborn stains, rinse them off thoroughly with water and dry them thoroughly.

Finally, it is sometimes tempting to use “wax” to make tires last longer, but we do not recommend using it before storage. Wax is a great way to bring out the shine of the tire, but the chemical ingredients it contains can increase the chance of cracking.

It is best to refrain as much as possible from using wax before storage, as it is difficult to remove if it gets into the tire grooves and can even affect the performance of the tire.

Keep Tires Deflated

After cleaning the tires, they should be deflated. A good rule of thumb for letting air out is about half of the proper value.

Depending on the type of tire, 1 to 1.5 kpa is about right. Letting the air out will relieve the load on the tire.

When storing with wheels attached, it is often the case that they are stacked vertically. At this time, there is a risk of deformation of the ground contact area if they are stacked without airing them out.

In order to prevent deterioration and deformation of tires and wheels, it is advisable to deflate them in advance before storing them.

Indoor Or Outdoor Storage?

You may be wondering whether it is better to store tires indoors or outdoors when storing tires. Here we will explain where to store tires, as well as how to place tires when storing tires.

Indoor Is The Best Place To Store Tires

The best way to prevent tire deterioration is to store tires indoors, out of direct sunlight and rain.

Direct sunlight (ultraviolet rays) and rain (humidity) will cause deterioration of the rubber. To reduce tire deterioration, it is important to store tires indoors in a well-ventilated area out of direct sunlight.

However, many people may have difficulty storing tires indoors due to a lack of space. In such cases, use a shed, tire cover, tire rack, etc. to store tires. As long as they are protected from direct sunlight and rain, outdoor storage can reduce the progression of deterioration.

However, an enclosed environment with little airflow in and out of the tire is not a good environment for tires, as moisture tends to accumulate. It is important to change the air regularly to prevent moisture from accumulating.

Also, avoid storing tires near outdoor units of air conditioners or private power generators, which contain ozone in their exhaust gases. The ozone emitted will deteriorate the tires, so it is recommended to store them as far away as possible.

Be Careful How You Place Tires

When storing tires, be careful how you place them. The way you place them depends on whether the tires you are storing have wheels or not.

  • With wheels: side by side
  • Without wheels: stacked vertically

When storing tires with wheels attached to the tire itself, store them horizontally. When stacked vertically, the weight of the wheel may deform the tread surface that is touching the floor.

Stacking them horizontally, with the air out of them, is the best storage method for tires. However, it is important to secure a place to put the tires beforehand, as a large space must be reserved for storing them.

Then, if you do not have wheels attached, store them in “vertical stacking”. Storing in vertical stacking will reduce the deformation of the tires and damage to the sidewalls.

As with both vertical and horizontal storage methods, remember to rotate the position and order of tires on a regular basis. Storing tires deflated does not mean that the risk of tire deformation has been reduced to zero. It is not necessary to do this every day, so rotate tires regularly at six-month intervals.

Also, be careful when placing tires directly on the floor. The rubber from the tire may cause the floor to become deformed. When storing tires, it is best to place something between the tire and the floor, such as a leisure sheet or cardboard.

Convenient Goods For Tire Storage

Here are some useful goods for storing tires. You can also use the bags that tires came in when you purchased them.

Tire Racks

Tire racks are recommended as convenient goods for tire storage. Also called a tire storage unit, it has the appeal of storing tires in stable condition. Even if the storage space is small, tire racks can be used to store tires in a small space.

Tire racks are also sold in different types, “stacked vertically or horizontally,” so you can choose the one that best suits your storage needs. In particular, tire racks with casters are recommended. Since they can be easily moved, they are convenient for cleaning and redecorating around the tire rack.

Tire Covers

Tire racks provide storage, but tire racks alone cannot protect tires from direct sunlight or rain. If tires are to be protected from direct sunlight, rain, and other deterioration factors, tire covers are essential.

A wide variety of functional tire covers are available, such as UV protection and waterproofing. Since they also prevent dust and dirt during storage, we recommend that you start with a set of tire covers.

When we hear the word “tire cover,” we tend to think of a type that stores four tires at once, but there are also types that store one tire at a time, depending on the product.

The tire cover you are looking for will depend on your storage location and preferences, so let’s check the features of each type as we consider them.

Chains And Iron Chains

Even if tire covers protect tires from direct sunlight and rain, there is still a risk of theft if they are stored outdoors, such as on a balcony or in a garage. Tires are not inexpensive, so it is a good idea to be prepared in advance to prevent them from being stolen.

Chains or steel chains are recommended to prevent tire theft. If you do not have a chain or iron chain, simply using a wire lock for bicycles will help prevent theft. If the length is not long enough, the same product can be spliced together.

Large Plastic Bags

In some cases, plastic bags can be used as a substitute for tire covers. By using the plastic bag that the tire came in at the time of purchase, you can easily prepare the best size without having to purchase a new one. After covering the tire with the plastic bag, it is important to tie the opening of the bag tightly.

However, even if the plastic bag provides some protection from wind and rain, it will be difficult to protect the tires from direct sunlight (ultraviolet rays). If you want to prevent deterioration of the tire, it is recommended that you only substitute plastic bags for a short period of time.

What Is The Useful Life Of Tires?

Even with careful tire storage, tires deteriorate simply by being left in storage. Even if a tire has never been used or has been driven on only a few times, care should be taken if it has been stored for a long period of time.

We understand the desire to reduce the frequency and cost of tire replacement, but it is important to know the useful life of tires for safe driving.

Although it varies depending on the storage and uses conditions of the tires, the estimated life of a typical summer tire is 4 to 5 years after manufacture. Even if never used, it is recommended that tires be replaced after 10 years.

However, even if not much time has passed since manufacture, tires are deteriorating if they have been driven a lot. If they are stored under ultraviolet rays or in a humid place, they may also be deteriorating.

Furthermore, tires are legally “unusable” when their grooves reach 1.6 mm. Checking for slip signs is also an essential way to determine life expectancy.

  • The deterioration that can be seen from the outside such as cracks and slip-signs
  • The deterioration can be checked from the elapsed condition, such as the number of miles traveled and year of manufacture.

After thoroughly checking both of these conditions, replace tires at the appropriate time.

Does The Life Of A Tire Differ Depend On Where It Was Purchased?

Even if tires are purchased new, their service life will vary depending on where the tires were purchased. If the tires are available at tire dealers, car accessory stores, and other stores, they are relatively new.

However, stores that specialize in mail-order sales over the Internet may store tires for longer periods of time.

One advantage of tires available by mail order is that they are sold at a lower price than those available at brick-and-mortar stores, but there is a disadvantage of not being able to check the storage conditions.

Even if the store specializes in tires, the longer the tires are stored, the shorter their lifespan will be. If you intend to use tires for a long period of time, you should be very careful when using mail-order sites.

What Is The Alternative To Storing Tires At Home?

Many people have reasons for wanting to store tires but are unable to do so, such as lack of space at home or lack of confidence in their ability to manage them. For such people, we recommend the following two methods.

  • Wear all-season tires
  • Use a tire storage service.

Both have the advantage of eliminating the hassle of tire storage and will help you save time.

Use All-Season Tires

If you have difficulty storing tires, consider all-season tires. The background of the need for tire storage is influenced by the changeover between summer and winter tires. In general, if the act of changing tires itself is eliminated, there is no need to store tires.

In areas with little snowfall or icy conditions, all-season tires are sufficient for driving. All-season tires with different characteristics are available from various manufacturers, so if you are interested in all-season tires, please consider them.

Use A Tire Storage Service

All-season tires can be used in areas with little snow and icy conditions, but in areas with a lot of snow and icy conditions, winter tires are essential for safe driving. If you need to change tires, including those who are not comfortable with all-season tires, we recommend using a tire storage service.

Tire storage services are pricey, but because they are managed by professionals who handle tires in a dedicated warehouse, they can be stored in better condition than if you handle them yourself.

Depending on the company you use, you may also find it attractive to ask them to replace or replace your tires with new ones.

Conclusion

It is important to store tires with proper advance preparation (cleaning and deflation) and protection from direct sunlight and rain. Once the storage work is done, it is not the end of the process; regular ventilation and repositioning are also essential.

There are many convenient products available for tire storage, so it is a good idea to use different products depending on the situation. If tire storage is difficult, it is also recommended to consider using tire storage services or all-season tires.

In order to continue safe driving, do not skimp on the management of your tire area.