How winter tire storage keeps your snow tires “road-ready” for next year.
Your snow tires take the worst of it – as far as seasons go. Snow, ice and slush offer up a number of challenges to your safety in hazardous and unpredictable road conditions. Your snow tires also have to handle ruts and potholes that may be hidden by snow. Proper storage is vital to the performance and lifespan of your snow tires. How you store them can save you money on replacement tires and give you peace of mind on the road.
There’s science behind winter tire storage
Snow tires are scientifically different by design. The architecture of their tire treads, gripping and traction capabilities differ by vehicle needs and geography. Many people think that applying a lubricant to the tire will keep it supple and less prone to freezing and cracking, when actually, it’s just the opposite.
Since snow tires are already treated with an anti-freeze solvent when they’re manufactured, adding any kind of lubricant will compromise the integrity of the tire, possibly reducing its traction, grip and handling capabilities. Before storing winter tires, clean you tires with an ordinary automotive soap, and be sure to remove all visible rocks, pebbles, screws and anything else caught in the tread.
Snow tire storage: where, when, and how.
Where? When it comes to storing your winter tires, you do have options, but keep in mind that the optimum choice is a temperate place in your home. Storing your winter tires too close to a cold area could cause tires to freeze and crack, and too warm may create a melting effect that cause tires to expand beyond their effective tread engineering.
It’s best to find a spot where they will be out of the way, yet easy to access, since you’ll want to rotate your tires even when they’re stored. This will prevent any undue pressure on them whether you’re stacking, hanging or racking them.
When? As to when… don’t rush it. We’ve all experienced a surprise April snowfall. A few extra weeks won’t damage the tires or your vehicle.
How? It is also a good idea to bag your tires individually and mark their last location on your vehicle, which will help keep them remain free of any dust or grime.
There is always the ultimate storage option, which is to locate a commercial storage facility and let them do all the work.