How to Store Winter Tires

Written by ehow cars editor
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It's that time again. Every year, the good ole winter season ends with one thing in mind: winter tires. How to store winter tires and where they should go are common questions each year for those living with seasonal snow. Follow the steps below to find out what to do.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Winter tires (4)
  • Alternate set of tires (4)
  • Tire covers or storage bags (4)

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  1. 1

    Purchase tire covers from a local tire dealer. Go to the same place where the tires were purchased or at least from a store that sales the same brand of tires.

  2. 2

    Pack each tire separately in tire covers. Storage bags will work just as well, provided that they are sealed.

  3. 3

    Store the winter tires in a cool, dry place. Basements and garages are good storage places, as well as temperature regulated, water proof sheds. If none of these options are available, contact a reputable tire dealer that offers tire storage.

  4. 4

    Stack the tires flat on their sides, not more than four tires high. Tires stacked more than four high are unstable and can tip over.

  5. 5

    Check the tire pressure for each set of tires when it's time to remount the tires. Consult the manufacturer's instructions for the appropriate tire pressure.

Tips and warnings

  • Electric motors and welders emit harmful ozone that degrades the quality of rubber tires. Do not store winter tires near these items. Even oxygen contains ozone that degrades tire rubber, so ensure that the tire covers or storage bags are airtight.
  • Install a complete set of four winter tires, instead of mounting only two tires. A complete set of winter tires gives the vehicle more control in unpredictable, icy conditions.
  • Mount the winter tires and the alternate tires on separate, permanent metal rims to make seasonal transitions easier. In total, each set will include four tires permanently mounted on tire rims. At the end of the season, simply swap all four winter tires to the reserved set of stored tires. Separate sets of tires will reduce wear and tear throughout the seasons, which will enable each set to perform optimally.
  • If the option to store winter tires is available, only do so with reputable tire companies. Some organizations are "fly by night," susceptible to bankruptcy. If the company closes, it'll be a difficult and tedious ordeal to get those tires back.

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