When winter temperatures drop to the 40 degree Fahrenheit range, it's time to switch to winter tires. Winter tires are designed to tolerate cold, winter conditions, as they have deeper treads and are made from rubbers that stay soft even in cold temperatures. Winter tires are able to stick to the road by conforming to minute differences and imperfections brought on by the snow; however, once the weather warms up, it's time to retire the winter tires for the year and to put them in storage. To protect your winter tires, prepare them for storage with these 3 tips.
Always Wash and Dry Before Storing
Much like with everything else, your winter tires will last a lot longer if they are properly cared for. This includes washing and drying the tires before storing them, so that any dirt, dust or chemicals accumulated on the surfaces of the tire will not cause the rubber to deteriorate while in storage. Wash winter tires with automotive soap and water to remove any brake dust or road grime that may have accumulated in the tread.
Use Tire Bags
It's best to keep winter tires in climate-controlled storage units, so that they are not subjected to environmental and elemental factors that may end up deteriorating the rubber. There are special tire bags that you can store your winter tires in (although an opaque, plastic bag will also do). Make sure the bags are airtight. Keeping your winter tires in tire bags will help lengthen their shelf life by preventing oils in the rubber from evaporating.
The tire bags can also protect the tires from fluctuating temperatures and humidity as well. Extreme fluctuations can cause the rubber to dry up and crack.
Check Expiry Dates
Before storing your winter tires, check the expiry dates. Although most manufacturer's do not specify a specific expiry date, most professionals agree that tires tend to expire approximately six years from the date of manufacture. The chemicals in the rubber will oxidize with time, and this will cause the condition of the tires to degrade. It is not safe to use expired tires. If your tires are close to the expiry date, don't hesitate to throw them out.
Investing in winter tires is a necessity, and not an option. Winter tires are able to significantly improve your control over your car during the winter, and will greatly reduce your chances of getting into an accident. When the temperature starts to drop, take out the winter tires from storage immediately. Don't wait.
To learn more, contact a self storage unit like Arthur's Self Storage.