Whether you just bought a new set for your car or have a few extra lying around, you need to know how to store tires in your garage properly. Improper storage can cause the tires to rot and become unusable, so follow these tips to keep them in good condition.
What You'll Learn Today
- How Should Tires Be Stored? 10 Garage Storage Tips
- How Long Can You Store Tires in the Garage?
How Should Tires Be Stored? 10 Garage Storage Tips
There are a few tips you should follow for storing your tires and other tools in the garage. These tips can be helpful not only for winterizing your gear but also for stashing equipment that you just don’t need at the moment.
The first thing you should know is that storing tires in the garage is not ideal. Sunlight and weather exposure – along with the higher temperature – can damage tires over a long period of time. The basement or another protected place is a good choice.
However, you might find that the garage is your only option. If that’s the case, don’t panic! There are plenty of ways to keep your tires safe in storage.
1. Check Each Tire First
Before storing any kind of tires, make sure you take the time to give them a thorough once-over. Note the position of each tire on your car before you remove it so you can properly rotate them the next time they are mounted.
Also, inspect each tire for damage or uneven wear patterns. Clean the tires and wheels with water and dry thoroughly to reduce corrosion. Make sure you take the time to remove any loose stones or debris in the treads, too.
2. Keep Them Cool, Dark, and Dry
For many homeowners, the garage is the ideal place to store tires because it is cool, dark, and dry. The goal here is to keep the tires out of direct sunlight as well as away from sources of heat, like hot pipes or generators. Choose the location in your garage that will allow you to do this.
If moisture is an issue in your garage, be sure that the tires are elevated and cover them with a waterproof cover that has holes to prevent the build-up of moisture.
Finally, be sure that the surface on which you plan on storing your tires isn’t covered with gasoline, oils, grease, or solvents. These can all detract the rubber and cause your tires to break down faster.
3. Should Tires Be Stored Flat or Upright?
When deciding whether your tires should be stored flat or upright, you’ll need to consider whether the tires have rims or not.
Tires with rims should be hung up or stacked. They should not be stored upright.
Tires that are not mounted on rims should not be stacked or hung. Instead, they should be stored standing up.
Following these guidelines will ensure that your tires are safe to use next season.
4. Try Not To Store on the Vehicle
Don’t store your tires on the vehicle – with weight from the vehicle pressing down on the tires – for extended periods of time. Believe it or not, long periods of inactivity can be more harmful to the tires (and cause more degradation) than driving around daily on them.
5. Consider Buying Tire Bags
Tire bags can help keep moisture and air away from your tires, allowing them to stay fresh for longer. These opaque, airtight plastic bags are marketed as such – but you can also repurpose lawn and garden bags for this purpose.
Make sure your bags are airtight to prevent your tires’ exposure to the air. You may want to use your vacuum cleaner to suck as much air out of the bag as possible before you tape it shut.
6. Avoid “Dressing” Products
Some auto shops will lead you to believe that your tires need some sort of gloss or dressing applied to them before they are placed in storage. That’s not the case.
Tires don’t need any kind of special treatment before you store them. The compounds that tires are made out of are meant to resist ozone cracking and related environmental stressors.
Applying these products not only fails to do you any good but can also reduce the longevity of your tires.
7. Limit Chemical Exposure
One of the challenges of storing tires in the garage is that they are more likely to be exposed to ozone. Any motors that use contact brushes should be avoided, such as compressors, switches, furnaces, and generators. You should also avoid fuels, solvents, and lubricants.
If you can’t keep these items out of your garage (or at the very least, away from your tires) you may want to consider an alternative storage location.
8. Protect the Whitewalls
If you have whitewalls or any other white components on your tires that you want to be protected, storing them in bags is the best way to keep the white clean. However, the next best alternative is to store them with the same colored areas touching each other rather than the other way around.
This will prevent oils from moving to the black to white areas and causing discoloration as you have them stacked.
9. Store Overhead
Storing tires overhead in the garage is a smart choice. It will let you get them up and off the ground, ideally onto a rack or lift, while also freeing up storage space down below.
If you buy specialized tire racks, you won’t have to worry about constantly picking up, rolling, and carrying heavy tires around – it’s much easier on your back!
Want to store your tires overhead but aren’t quite sure how to get them there? Follow these tips for loading your tires on the highest tire rack:
10. Keep Them Out of the Sun
We mentioned it earlier in this post, but it’s so important that it bears mentioning once again – make sure your tires are kept in the dark.
Consider covering your tires in the garage with a thick sun protectant tarp through which light cannot pass. Store the tires away from doors and windows and consider purchasing specialized tire covers, especially if you find yourself storing tires on a car for a long period of time.
How Long Can You Store Tires in the Garage?
As long as they are stored in the right conditions, tires can last for several years in storage. That said, most experts recommend replacing tires no more than six years after the production date regardless of the tread.
That’s because old tires can become compromised when the rubber starts to break down – something that happens regardless of how many miles you put on the tires.
After taking your tires down out of storage, make sure you test them for wear before you put them on your car. Use the penny test to make sure they’re road safe or better yet, have them professionally inspected.
Keeping tires in your garage is an option that many people overlook, but it can be a great way to store them and save space at the same time. We’ve put together our best tips for storing tires in the garage so you don’t miss out on any of these benefits.
Consider these tips for storing tires if you’re looking to solve some storage problems!