How to store tires safely

Whether you are switching to all season tires or winter tires, it is important to store the off-season set of tires properly. With the right tire storage methods, you can preserve the integrity of your tires and prevent alterations in the tire rubber compound during the storage period. Proper tire storage helps extend your tire’s lifespan and helps to ensure your tires can perform optimally all year round.

Many tires stacked up in a local tire storage warehouse

Optimal tire storage

For tire storage, you can use local tire storage services, or you can store your tires in your garage or storeroom. When opting for home storage, there are various factors to consider.

Temperature

Extreme temperatures can lead to changes in tires’ rubber compounds. The storeroom temperature should be below 77ºF (+25 ºC), maximum. Ideally, it should be dark and cool - below 60ºF (+15 ºC). If the temperature is extreme, meaning above 77ºF (25 ºC) or below 32ºF (0 ºC), the properties of rubber may change and therefore affect the final service life of the tire. Cool storage does not have any adverse effect on rubber products.

Humidity

Extremely humid conditions should be avoided. Humidity in the storeroom air must not be so high that condensation occurs on the tires. Tires must not be stored in conditions where they are exposed to rain, splashes, etc.

If tires are left in humid conditions for long periods, the rubber compound may deteriorate more quickly. Moreover, extreme humidity can contribute to the corrosion of metal components of the tire.

Light

Tires must be protected from light, particularly from direct sunlight and intense artificial light with a high ultraviolet content. Strong UV radiation can cause the rubber to become brittle and less flexible. These changes in the rubber compound can lead to cracks, dry rots, and other forms of damage. Storing tires away from sunlight and UV radiation helps extend the tires’ lifespan.

Oxygen and ozone

Ozone has a very strong deteriorating effect on tires. The storeroom must not contain any ozone-producing equipment, such as fluorescent lamps or mercury vapor lamps, high-voltage electrical equipment, electric motors, or any other electrical equipment that may generate sparks or silent electric discharges.

Deformation

If possible, tires should be stored freely in their natural form, so that they are not under stress, pressure, or torsion. Strong deformities developed during long-term storage may break when pressurized.

Tire racks help distribute the tire’s weight evenly, minimizing the risk of deformation. With tire racks, you can also maximize the use of your storage space. If you store tires horizontally, it is a good idea to use tire dividers to create a space between them.

Solvent, oils, greases, heat

Tires must be particularly protected from any contact with solvents, oils or greases, however short-term. Tires must also be protected from powerful emitters of light and spatter from electric welding.

Tire handling

When handling tires in storage, don`t ever drop tires higher than 5 ft (~1,5 m). Tires could be damaged on drop from bead area, thereby causing a kinked bead. 

If you find a tire with kinked bead, we do not recommend mounting it to a rim.

It is good practice to clean dirty tires before storing them. If dirt is left on the tire’s surface it can promote corrosion, degrading the rubber compounds over time. Dirty tires are also more prone to mold and mildew growth. By cleaning tires before storing them, you enhance your tires' longevity. 

Person placing a tire on a near-full tire rack

Monitor tire condition after tire storage

Proper tire storage plays an important role in maintaining tires. Remember to conduct a tire inspection when you remove your tires from storage, and make sure that you install on your vehicle only tires that are in good condition. Here’s a checklist for a tire inspection:

  • Tire wear. Tire wear should be consistent all over the surface of your tires. If you see any uneven tire wear patterns, you should identify the cause of the pattern.
  • Tire pressure. Check that tire pressure is on a level recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer.
  • Tire tread depth. You can measure Nokian Tyres’ products tire tread easily using a driving safety indicator (DSI) located on the tires’ surface.
  • Visible damages. Look for any cracks, cuts, bulges, or other damages. A visible check is easier to do when your tires are clean.

Ensuring your tires are in optimal condition is essential for safer driving. When tires are worn out, or there are visible damages, it is time to replace your tires. Contact your local Nokian Tyres dealer for more information and tire recommendations.

Read more tips for tire maintenance and inspection

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