How to Store Seasonal Tires and Wheels

If you’re using seasonal tires for summer and winter driving, tire storage can raise some questions about how to keep them out of your way, in good condition, and ready for your next seasonal changeover. Here are some tips to help your next seasonal changeover go smoothly.

When to Make the Change

When you live in the west, you’re bound to experience some extreme winter driving conditions. Owning a separate set of studded or studless winter tires mounted on a set of wheels is a great way to save yourself a lot of time and money. Plus, it’ll make your journeys into the snow and mountains a lot safer.

But, don’t be tempted to use your winter tires all year long. We share 4 Reasons Not to Drive Your Winter Tires Through Summer. The bottom line is that the softer rubber compound used in winter tires is great for traction in the snow and ice, but not for withstanding summer temperatures. You can put them on when average temperatures fall below 45 degrees. And, you can swap them out when average temperatures reach 45 degrees.

With or Without Wheels

A winter storm is on the way and it’s time to change from your regular tires to a set of four winter tires. When those tires are mounted on wheels (also known as rims), the changeover will go a lot faster. Plus, it’s often a lot easier on both sets of your tires. Adding your winter tires to their own set of wheels can often pay for itself in just a few seasons. Here’s why:

  • Taking tires on and off a set of wheels could potentially damage your tires over time.
  • Rocks, deicer, salt, and other debris found on winter roads can damage the finish of your quality, summer-driving wheels. Having a separate set of winter wheels keeps your other set looking like new.
  • There is a fee to remove and replace tires on wheels. When tires are already mounted on their own wheels, it’s treated like a tire rotation, which is a free service when you have tires from Les Schwab.

Cleaner is Better

Grime, tar, rocks, and other debris can really build up on your tires and wheels. Every time you have your tires changed out for the season, take them home and clean them off before storing. Scrub them with soap and water, then allow them to dry completely. Storing wet wheels can encourage rust and cause pits in the metal. Even a little moisture can cause problems.

  • Clean your tires and wheels before storing them.
  • Dry completely to avoid pitting and rust.
  • Storing Tires Upright or Sideways

When you visit us at the local Les Schwab tire shop near you, you’ll notice that we store most of our tires upright. This method takes up less room and can often be better for the tires over a long period. However, aside from buying or building your own tire racks or stands for your garage, most people just stack them sideways. Either works and, over a handful of months, neither will likely cause any damage to your tires.

  • Don’t stack tires more than four high to avoid injury if they fall.
  • If your tires are mounted to wheels, be sure your tires are properly inflated before stacking.

Keep Tires Covered

Once your tires are clean and ready to be stored, put them back into the yellow Les Schwab bags after changing them out. If you don’t have Les Schwab bags, large garbage bags will also work. Depending on where you store them, do what you can to keep dust, leaves, and other materials off the tires. Other tips include:

  • Keep tires out of the sun because ultraviolet light can degrade tire rubber.
  • Keep tires out of the elements and under a cover (roofline, awning, shed, garage) to minimize wear and to maintain the life of your tires.
  • Try to regulate the temperature where your tires are stored as much as possible.

The Right Tires for Any Weather

Your local Les Schwab is ready to help with your seasonal changeovers. Be sure to schedule your appointment to avoid the winter and springtime rush. Or just stop by. We’ll get you in and out, and help keep you safe whatever the driving conditions.

Need Help Storing Your Seasonal Tires and Wheels?

Les Schwab may be able to help. We offer seasonal tire storage at select stores.

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