If you need to store tyres for any reason - such as if you’ve bought new tyres for future use, or removed seasonal tyres - it’s important to store them correctly.
Correctly storing tyres will ensure they don’t suffer unnecessary damage or wear, so when you come to use them they’re in the same condition you stored them in.
If not properly stored, tyres can wear or become damaged due to various factors, so in order to properly look after them you should follow these steps:
Before storing your tyres, you need to ensure they’re clean, which you can do either by using a pressure washer or a tyre brush. Water is fine, but using detergent will allow you to get them as clean as possible - just remember to rinse thoroughly with water afterwards.
You should then ensure the tyres are completely dry. Using a towel will help soak up a lot of the initial moisture, but some parts of the tyre will be trickier to reach. Allow them to air-dry for a day or two (away from direct sunlight) and only store them when you’re confident they’re completely dry.
If you were to store wet tyres, the moisture could get into the structure of the tyre, which can cause damage. This is especially important in winter, as cold temperatures will cause water to freeze and expand, which can cause cracks.
You shouldn’t use any kind of coating or oil before storing your tyres. Doing so could break down the rubber while in storage, so make sure they’re completely dry and free from unnecessary products or chemicals.
Even when not fitted to your vehicle, tyres can still experience damage and wear, which is why you should store them carefully.
Where possible, store your tyres inside, where they won’t be subjected to sunlight, dramatic rises and falls in temperature, humidity, or harmful chemicals such as ozone. Overexposure to chemicals and sunlight can lead to the rubber of your tyres breaking down, which will permanently damage them.
Using a cover to protect your tyres is recommended, but isn’t as effective as an airtight bag, which will prevent exposure to any contaminants.
Seasonal tyres are designed to deal with extreme temperatures: summer tyres perform better when it’s warm, and winter tyres perform better when it’s cold.
This means they don’t cope well in conditions they’re not designed for. You should try to store seasonal tyres in an environment that won’t expose them to conditions they’re not designed to handle, as this can affect the rubber compound.
Stacking, hanging, or standing your tyres are all viable options, however it’s recommended that you stand your tyres when in storage, as this provides the least amount of stress.
If you hang your tyres, this should be done via the rims. Hanging unmounted tyres can lead to them losing their shape, which is difficult to correct.
Stacking tyres is fine, but do so with caution, as there can be a risk of them toppling if stacked too high. Tyres are heavy, and a collapsing tower will cause damage to you and anything else it may fall on.
If your tyres have white rubber and you’re stacking them, make sure the white rubber only touches other white rubber. This will help prevent the rubber from discolouring.
If stored correctly and away from contaminants, tyres in storage can last as long as 10 years. While rubber is durable and can take a beating from the road, it’s still prone to wear and degradation, even when your tyres aren’t being used.
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