How to Store Spare Tires

How to Store Spare Tires: (Efficient Solutions to Extend Tire Life)

Howdy, rubber wrangler! Can you believe I’ve been thinking about the art of storing spare tires? It may seem a bit odd, but trust me, it’s a topic worth exploring. Just like we take special care of those juicy chuck roasts to get the perfect smoky flavor, I’ve learned the importance of properly storing our spare tires to keep them in tip-top shape. You might wonder why this even matters, but let me tell you, nothing is more disappointing than a flat tire on a road-trip, only to discover your spare is in no better shape.

That’s why I’m here, ready to share my insights on this peculiar subject, just like a good neighbor. I’ve been down this road before – sorting through the miscellany in my garage to find the best way to store these round rubber sidekicks. And guess what? I’ve figured it out! I’m thrilled to show you the best way to store your spare tires to ensure they’re ready to roll when you need them most. So pull up a chair, my friend, because you and I are about to embark on a journey of tire storage mastery.

Preparing Tires for Storage

Before you start storing that spare tire, it’s crucial to prepare it correctly. This requires a simple cleaning process that you can do with items around your house. Start by using a mild detergent, warm water, and a stiff brush to clean your tires thoroughly. Be sure to remove all dirt, oil, and brake dust that may have accumulated on the tire surface. After cleaning, let them dry completely to avoid trapping moisture, which can lead to tire degradation.

Best Practices for Cleaning and Drying Spare Tires

Cleaning and drying your tires isn’t rocket science. In my experience, using a soft brush with some mild dish soap works great. Remember, it’s important to rinse off all soap residue thoroughly and then dry the tires completely. You can use a towel or just let them air dry.

Importance of Keeping Spare Tires Away from Sun

Now, let’s talk about sunlight. Sunlight exposure is a major enemy of your tires. You might not think it, but direct sunlight can actually cause your tires to age faster and even deteriorate. The UV rays break down the rubber compounds, causing your tires to lose their flexibility and strength. So, when you’re considering where to store your tires, make sure it’s a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight.

Storing Spare Tires Vertically or Horizontally

Moving on, let’s discuss the orientation of your tires during storage. Should you store them vertically or horizontally? Both options have their pros and cons.

Pros and Cons of Storing Tires Vertically

Storing tires vertically means positioning them upright, just as they would be on your car. This is a common practice and it’s beneficial as it saves space. However, the downside is that it can cause the tires to develop flat spots over time due to the concentrated weight on a small area.

Pros and Cons of Storing Tires Horizontally

On the flip side, storing tires horizontally means laying them flat. This method distributes the tire’s weight evenly, preventing the development of flat spots. The downside here, of course, is that it takes up more space.

Recommendations for Storage Orientation

So, what’s the best way to store your tires? From my experience, if you have mounted tires (tires with rims), storing them horizontally on a rack is a great option. This prevents flat spots and makes for easy storage. If your tires are unmounted (without rims), then storing them vertically is often the best option to save space.

Proper Spare Tire Storage Conditions

Now that we’ve covered the basics of cleaning and storage orientation, let’s delve into the optimal storage conditions.

Storage Temperature and Its Impact on Spare Tires

The storage temperature can significantly impact your spare tires’ lifespan. Extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, can affect the rubber, causing it to degrade faster. Hence, a cool and dry environment is the ideal condition for storing your tires.

Why a Cool and Dry Environment is Best for Tire Storage

A cool and dry environment slows down the aging process of your tires, prolonging their lifespan. Humidity and heat speed up the evaporation of the essential oils in the rubber compounds of your tires, leading to dry rot. So, the best place for your tires is a dry, cool area like a basement or a climate-controlled workshop.

Tire Storage Equipment

You might be wondering, “But, what should I store my tires in or on?” Well, there are specific storage equipment designed to protect your tires and make the storage process easier.

Airtight Tire Storage Bags

Airtight tire storage bags are an excellent investment for storing spare tires. They protect your tires from the harmful elements in the environment and reduce the evaporation of oils from the rubber compounds. You can consider using lawn or garbage bags for this, making sure to remove as much air as possible before sealing them.

Use of Tire Racks for Storage

Tire racks are another great option. They provide a designated space for your tires and allow easy access when you need them. If you’re storing mounted tires, racks that allow you to hang the tires through the rims are your best bet. It reduces weight on the tire and prevents the tire from resting on the ground, which can lead to flat spots.

Stacking Spare Tires Safely

If you’re tight on space, stacking your tires might be the only option. However, doing it safely is crucial.

Guidelines for Stacking Tires

Stacking tires may seem straightforward, but there are guidelines you should follow. Firstly, stack your tires horizontally and never more than four high. Stacking tires too high can be a safety hazard and cause the bottom tires to deform. Moreover, if your tires are mounted, be sure to stack them tread face down to protect the rims.

Long Term Spare Tire Storage

What if you need to store your tires for a long period? Is there a different process?

How Long Do Tires Last in Storage?

Generally, tires can last six to ten years in storage if they are well-protected and in the right conditions. However, the lifespan can be shortened if they are exposed to extreme temperatures, direct sunlight, or humidity.

Storing Tires from Vehicles Not in Use

If your vehicle is not in use for a long period, it’s best to remove the tires and store them properly. This avoids unnecessary pressure on the tires and prevents the development of flat spots.

Post-Storage Tire Inspection and Reinstallation

After storage, it’s crucial to inspect your tires thoroughly before remounting them.

Why you should Inspect the Tires Before Remounting

Inspecting your tires before remounting helps you to identify any potential issues such as dry rot or flat spots. You should check for any physical damage, and if the tread is too worn down, it’s time to replace the tire.

How to Safely Reinstall Stored Tires

When it’s time to reinstall your tires, ensure they are properly inflated. Driving on underinflated tires can be dangerous, so check the tire pressure before you hit the road.

FAQs on Storing Spare Tires

To wrap up, let’s address some of the frequently asked questions about tire storage.

How to Store New Tyres?

New tires should be stored the same way as used ones. Clean them, ensure they are dry, and store them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

Is it Okay to Store Tires in Stacks?

Yes, it’s okay to stack tires, but remember to do it the right way. Stack them horizontally and not more than four high.

Is it Better to Store Tires Flat or Upright?

It depends on whether the tires are mounted or unmounted. Mounted tires are better stored flat, while unmounted tires can be stored upright to save space.

How to Store Racing Tyres?

Racing tires, like all other tires, should be stored in a cool, dry place. If they have a specific direction, make sure they’re stored in that direction.

Should Unmounted Tyres be Stored Vertically or Horizontally?

Unmounted tires should be stored vertically if space allows. This prevents flat spots and makes for easier storage.

Wrapping Up

I hope this article has given you a comprehensive understanding of proper spare tire storage. Remember, good tire storage practices can prolong the life of your tires and save you money in the long run. So take care of your tires, and they’ll take care of you on the road! Safe driving!