Whether you have a second set of tyres for the colder seasons or you just want to make sure you're always prepared, you'll need to store extra tyres correctly for maximum longevity. Tyres are generally robust, but prolonged exposure to adverse summer weather or high Australian heat can cause them to break down and crack. If you're unsure how you should be storing your tyres this summer, these 4 simple steps should help you on your way.
Step 1: Get Them Clean
Tyres are made to get dirty, but they're not made to stay that way for an extended period of time. Unless your second set of tyres has been newly purchased, they'll need to be cleaned before you can store them. You can clean them with ease by using a high-pressure hose to blast away grime and then using a soft tyre brush to scrub any remaining dirt. Once they're clean, you'll need to thoroughly dry them to avoid rust and mold during storage. Towel them first; then leave them to air off to ensure they're completely dry.
Step 2: Bag Them Up
Now they're clean, you'll want to keep them that way. The best way to do this is to put each tyre into its own bag. You don't need to buy special tyre bags for this -- any large bag will do. Vacuum bags used for storing clothes and other household items are an ideal choice, as they allow you to keep the tyres in an airtight environment. This is particularly important for summer storage because it serves a second purpose alongside keeping your tyres clean; it also stops them from drying out. Dry tyres can crack and become unusable, so keeping their oils locked in inside a bag is a good idea.
Step 3: Store Them Inside
It may seem logical to store your tyres outside; they are part of an outside vehicle, after all. However, during the summer, the harsh rays from the sun can damage tyres if they're left out too long, especially if you used clear bags to store them in. Try to find an indoor space to store your tyres this summer, whether that's in the garage or the attic. Alongside bagging, this will further help to prevent cracking, as well as UV damage to the tyre's surface.
Step 4: Stack Them Efficiently
The last step is to avoid throwing your tyres in storage haphazardly. Proper placement in your storage unit will ensure tyres keep their shape until you need them next. Try to avoid stacking tyres on top of each other where possible. The weight of one tyre on another can cause the bottom one to become misshapen. Instead, try putting them on their sides if you need to conserve space. Ideally, a tyre rack is the best way to store your wheels. If you can't get a rack, try to put a barrier between your tyres and the floor. A plank of wood or a foam block, for example, is more flexible, reducing the risk of your tyre becoming deformed. As a bonus, keeping tyres raised will keep them further away from any rubber-chewing pests that try to gnaw through the bags. You can also lower your chances of misshapen tyres by turning and rotating them every so often so each side get equal pressure.
If your tyres do become damaged or you're having problems with your wheels, contacting a car servicing professional to take care of the situation before it gets worse.