Spring is here, so you’ll need to figure out how to store winter tires. It’s not always easy to find a place to put them that’s out of the way and safe while you enjoy the sunshine. Here are some tips for how to store winter tires until you need them again next fall.
Break Out the Cleaner
It might not seem like it matters if your tires are clean — after all, they roll through sand, salt and grime all the time. Even though they can withstand the elements, you should clean your tires to remove any dirt, especially salt, that may have built up over the winter. Once they’re completely dry, it’s time to wrap them up.
Bag ‘Em Up
Airtight storage is the best way to keep your tires in good condition. An easy solution is to use a plastic bag and remove as much of the air as possible, then tape it closed. This helps keep the tires clean and prevents the oils in the rubber from evaporating, which helps prolong the tire’s life.
Stack ‘Em High
The best way to store tires is upright, but if they’re on rims, store them on their sides. Either way, the challenge is figuring out how to store your winter tires in a crowded garage.
One solution is to put them on shelves designed for tires, which keeps them out of the way. Other storage systems let you mount your tires to the wall or ceiling, depending on your garage’s design.
Play Tire Tetris
If your garage is already packed to the brim, then you’ll need to get creative. No rule says all your tires must be in one spot. If space is tight, spread them out within your garage, so you can use smaller spaces.
Consider moving things around to create room on low shelves. Relocate lighter, more frequently used items up within easy reach, and store tires on the bottom shelf where they’re out of the way.
Safety should be your first consideration, so be sure your tires won’t be knocked over wherever they’re stored. This is especially important if you have larger tires that can topple easily when they’re upright. Make sure the tires are out of the way and carefully secured.
Never store tires outside. The extremes in temperature are bad for the rubber and can cause it to break down prematurely. The same is true for direct sunlight. A cool, dry location is the best place to store tires. Also, avoid chemical exposure. Store your tires away from fuels, solvents, lubricants and other chemicals that could potentially harm them.
Pick a Spot
It might require a little rearranging the first time you try to find a spot to store your tires. The good news is that it’s something you only need to figure out once. Create a storage spot that works, and stick with it as you change your tires between seasons.
Check out all the tire products available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on tire storage, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.
Photo courtesy of Flickr.
Nicole Wakelin covers the automotive industry as a freelance journalist for a variety of outlets. Her work includes news pieces, podcasts, radio, written reviews, and video reviews. She can be found in The Boston Globe, CarGurus, BestRide, US News and World Report, and AAA along with lifestyle blogs like Be Car Chic, The Other PTA, and She Buys Cars. She is active on social media with a large following on both Twitter and Instagram and currently serves as Vice President of the New England Motor Press Association.