The arrival of summer brings to mind many things, from sun, sand, grilling out with friends, and just the general good vibes that come from the end of a long winter. However, there’s one thing you might not immediately think of, and that’s the proper way to store your winter tires.

There are lots of good reasons to make sure you have the proper tires for different seasons, especially in the Kansas City area with its drastically different weather from January to July. Winter tires improve your car’s ability to handle snow and ice by employing different tread patterns, as well as materials which remain soft at lower temperatures. It makes for much safer driving over all-season tires, even in conditions which are just wet or cold, much less snow, slush and ice.

Part of what comes with changing tires for different weather is storing the unused tires until you need them again. This can be a bit of a hassle in some car owners’ minds, though you should keep in mind that it’s hard to put a price on safety. With a few easy tips, you can be better prepared to store your offseason tires without too much additional effort.

How to Store Your Seasonal Tires

Follow the tips below to learn how to store your tires, no matter the season.

  1. Clean your tires. First thing’s first: Get those tires squeaky-clean before you store them. Tires are in constant contact with the road and accumulate lots of dirt, brake dust and more mess that can build up and impact the effectiveness of tires. These elements can cause undue wear on your tires and leads to premature aging. This reduces the lifespan of your tires which means you have to spend more on new tires sooner than you need to. You can get your winter tires clean with soap, water and a tire brush. Dry your tires off with a sturdy towel and let them fully air dry. There’s no need to apply any tire dressing at this point.

  2. Seal up your seasonal tires. Once your tires are totally dry, put them in an airtight plastic bag and seal the bag tightly. Make sure your tires are fully dry before placing them in the bag. Otherwise, excess moisture can create an overly-humid environment inside the bags that may damage your tires. Sealing the tires securely helps prevent the loss of the lubricating oils that they contain. By sealing tightly, the oils and lubrication can not evaporate.

  3. Don’t stack the tires. Store your tires upright. This puts less pressure on them than stacking. The exception is if your tires are still mounted on rims, then you can stack them up. Just not too high, so don’t you wind up trapped under a toppled spire of tires.

  4. Where to store your seasonal tires. Storing your seasonal tires can be tricky. You need to store your tires indoors and out of the sun, which through prolonged exposure can cause damage to the tires’ materials. Ideally you’d also keep them out of a garage, which is subject to temperature fluctuations that can be difficult on the life of the tires. A basement or climate-cooled shed (or workspace) is ideal. If you really want to prolong the life of your tires, store your tires away from anything that generates ozone, like a furnace or sump pump. This can cause additional damage to tires, as ozone has compounds that degrade rubber and other materials that make up your tires.

  5. Avoid storing tires long-term on vehicles. Sometimes it’s easier to leave tires on a vehicle if you’re not going to use it for a while. Unfortunately, prolonged pressure placed on the same spot on a tire from a vehicle’s weight can cause uneven wear and damage to a tire, which shortens their lifespan. Either take the tires off the vehicles or get the vehicle out for a short drive every few weeks, at a minimum. This will even out the wear and help lubricate the tires to extend their life.

With these tips in mind, you should be able to get the best life and performance out of your tires, no matter the condition of the roads. If you are looking for new tires -- winter, all-season or summer -- or help storing your tires, we’re always happy to chat or provide a recommendation. Search for the best tires for your vehicle.

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