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Winter Tire Storage 101: Top Tips From Your Local TIRECRAFT

Winter tires are an investment worth protecting. Today’s post shares 5 winter tire storage tips to help you get more for your money in 2020-2021. Read on or contact your local TIRECRAFT expert for a winter tire consultation.

When Do I Remove My Winter Tires?

As a general rule, we recommend switching out your winter tires when the temperature climbs back above 7°C. But don’t rush out and remove your winter tires the second your thermometer hits 7°C—after all, nobody knows what Mother Nature has up her sleeve from one day to the next. Instead, wait until temperatures stay at or above 7°C for one whole week, then place your winter tires in storage for the season.

Winter Tire Storage Tips

Once you’ve removed your winter tires, follow these storage tips to get more for your money:

  • Wash and dry your winter tires before storing. Your winter tires worked hard all season to keep you safe on the road—in fact, 81% of drivers told TRAC that winter tires saved them from dangerous driving situations in 2020—so they definitely deserve a little pampering! Plus, the better you treat your winter tires now, the longer they’ll keep you safe—and the more you’ll get out of your investment.

    Accordingly, before storing your winter tires, give them a thorough wash with automotive soap and water to remove any road grime, brake dust, or salt spray. Dry them thoroughly, and hold off on any tire conditioners or gloss.

  • Check the condition of your winter tires before putting them in storage. Now that you’ve cleaned away all the grit and grime, it’s a good time to look for any cracks or signs of deteriorating rubber. It’s also a good time to check the tire depth using the Quarter Method outlined in our Ultimate Winter Tire Guide. If you notice any signs of damage, or your tires are close to the wear indicator, it might be time for a replacement set.
  • Find optimal storage space. For best results, store your winter tires somewhere cool, dry, and dark. This could be a garage, heavy-duty shed, or even inside your house. Just be sure that the storage area is no hotter than room temperature, and keep your winter tires clear of any dedicated heat source (e.g. space heaters) or direct sunlight. Under no circumstances should you store your winter tires outside, even if you’ve invested in a heavy-duty protective covering. If possible, keep your winter tires stored in an area well clear of any solvents, fuels, lubricants, or similar liquids, as any accidental contact or spills could cause serious damage.

    If your tires are on rims, your best bet will be to hang them from hooks. Tire without rims should be stored on racks off the floor.

  • Consider storage bags. If possible, pick up a set of storage bags for your tires. You can find these at any local TIRECRAFT. Tire bags protect winter tires from naturally occurring ozone in the air, which can cause your tire rubber to dry out and crack over time.
  • Rotate stacked tires every four weeks. If you decide to stack your tires in a pile, make sure to rotate them every four weeks. This will keep gravity from taking its toll on those bottom tires bearing all the weight.

Get More Winter Tire Expertise At Your Local TIRECRAFT

Use the Find a TIRECRAFT tool to set up a 100% free consultation with a member of our winter tire team. With more than 220 locations across the country, qualified winter tire help is closer than you think!

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