2 Tips For Storing Automotive Tires

Because an automotive tire is built to withstand the worst that a road can throw at it, many people assume that there is little to be worried about when it comes to storing tires that are not in use. Unfortunately, this attitude can easily lead to perfectly good tires becoming ruined. The good news is that understanding the basic principles of safe storage is fairly simple. This article will offer two useful tips for ensuring that your tires stay safe while in storage.

Always clean a tire before placing it in storage.

If the tire that you are storing has yet to be installed on a vehicle, you can safely disregard this tip. But for those who are in the habit of swapping out their tires depending on the season--with high performance rubber for the summertime, and high traction for the winter--cleanliness is a huge factor. Even if a set of tires only spent a single day mounted on your car, they will need to be thoroughly cleaned before placing them in storage.

The problem here are substances such as engine oil, brake dust, and other types of grime that tires pick up from the road. Such substances can have a highly caustic effect on the rubber of which a tire is composed. When allowed to remain in place, they will cause the tire to begin degrading in a relatively short time. Thus, it is vital to give your tires a thorough cleaning using a stiff brush and a pail of warm soapy water.

Keep the tire inside of an opaque plastic bag.

Dirt, debris, and oil aren't the only things capable of breaking down tire rubber prematurely. Moisture and light can be equally destructive. For that reason, it is best to store your tires inside of a lightproof and airtight plastic bag. While you can find such bags marketed at your local auto parts store, you can get similar results at a much lower cost by using black lawn bags instead.

Before placing the tire inside the bag, check to see that there isn't any moisture in there. Then, with the tire safely inside, squeeze as much air as you can out of the bag, and seal its open side with heavy tape. Now your tire will be well protected from undesirable atmospheric effects. Yet the bag will perform yet another helpful task: it will minimize the amount of volatile compounds that evaporate out of the tire's rubber. This will help to keep the tire strong and supple as time goes by. 

For more information and tips, talk with a tire shop in your area, such as Action Al's Tire Company.