How to Prepare Tires for Long Term Storage
Storing tires for the long-term requires making some preparations and storing them in a certain way to preserve them without damage. This guide discusses the tips on how to store tires both on and off their rims.
Remove Tires from Parked Vehicles
If the tires are installed on a vehicle that will be stored without moving for a while, remove the tires from the vehicle. Put the vehicle up on jacks or blocks that safely hold it in place. Then, store the tires as recommended below using the suggested methods for tires on rims.
Before storing any tires, wash them with soapy water and a stiff brush to clean them completely and then dry them thoroughly. There is no need for using any tire treatment/dressing like ArmourAll®. In fact, it is better not to use any of these chemical treatments before putting tires in storage.
Put Cleaned Tires in Individual Plastic Bags
Covering tires (on or off rims) with plastic bags helps keep the oils in the tire material from evaporating. Use heavy-duty garbage bags and remove as much air as possible from the bag. Then, seal it well with duct tape.
Tire totes are also available that have a custom fit for many tire sizes. Totes usually are not airtight, so if you use totes, first, wrap your tires in plastic before putting them in the totes.
Store tires away from any heat source and any machinery that might create ozone when operating, such as furnaces, central vacuum systems, and sump pumps. Ozone exposure can damage tires.
Store tires in a cool, dry place, out of the sun, and heat. Make sure that the tires are never exposed to freezing temperatures also because those low temperatures can damage the tires, causing them to develop tiny cracks that may ultimately lead to a blowout.
Here are recommended differences when storing tires that are still on their rims and when storing tires off rims:
Storing Tires on Rims
- Properly Inflated: Make sure your tires are properly inflated before storage. This helps keep them in a nice round shape.
- Hang on Hooks: The best way to store tires on rims is to hang them on extended “L” shaped hooks so that they are supported by the hook. The hook holds up the tire by its rim and should not touch the other parts of the tire. Let the hook punch a hole through the plastic bag when the tire slides on it. Then, use duct tape to cover the holes. Make sure the hooks are securely fixed and are strong enough to support the weight of the tires. Hang the tires, so they do not touch each other or the ground.
- Stack Horizontally: The next best way to store these tires is to stack the bagged tires horizontally so that the pressure and weight are distributed from rim to rim. Use felt or some other cushioning material between the rims to prevent damage from scratches.
Storing Tires Off Rims
- Off the Ground: Use a clean piece of wood to make sure the tires do not come into contact with the ground.
- Stack Vertically: Do not hang tires that are not mounted on rims by hooks. This may warp and distort them. Instead, stack them vertically in a rack that holds them perfectly upright and slightly away from the next tire.
If it is not possible to put whitewall tires in bags, and you want to stack them horizontally, put them with each white side facing another tire’s white side. This prevents the black side from rubbing off onto the white side and causing a blemish to the whitewalls.
If you take these steps and store your tires in a self-storage unit with a climate-controlled environment; they can safely be stored for a very long time.