Ownership How to store tires over the winter properly
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How does that feel, Challenger bros? Our friend Jason Fenske at Engineering Explained breaks down why the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk can top out at 180 mph, which is absolutely insane for a Jeep, while the Demon can only reach a measly max velocity of 168 mph.Basically, it comes down to the tires. The Trackhawk has high speed rated performance rubber, while the Demon sacrifices top speed for the quickest possible quarter mile time.
If you live anywhere where it gets cold, and in particular where the roads are salted, you might store your or classic vehicle over the winter. There are lots of things you can do to help make that go easier — sitting isn't great for machines to begin with — but let's focus first of all on the tires.
A few things kill tires. One is UV light, and another is sitting stationary in one spot. Chemicals, ozone, and cold temperatures also hurt tires. We'll cover why, and what to do about each aspect. The good news is, it's not terribly hard or expensive to do this correctly, if you have the space.
Seven Ways to Help Your Car Survive Winter
Here's how you can keep your car working well through the arctic chill.Check your tires. Make sure you have enough tread to dig into snow on the road instead of sliding across the top of it. Winter tires have tread and compound optimized for these conditions and are a worthwhile investment. Also, check your tire pressures. Colder air is denser than warm air and takes up less space inside your tire, reducing the pressure. A few weeks ago my Subaru WRX threw me a tire pressure warning, so I checked them immediately. My right front tire was down to 26 pounds per square inch from the recommended 33.
Sunlight is the enemy
UV is a component of sunlight, and over time it can degrade the rubber compounds in the tires. This can lead to the sort of cracking and hardening that could lead to a blowout. It's commonly known as "dry rot" in tires. The good news is that it's easy to protect tires from it.
A thin plastic barrier is all you need. Slipping a contractor-sized garbage bag onto the tire and securing it with some tape works in a pinch. For tires stored off the vehicle, there are more substantial bags and totes you can buy. A garage with no windows to let in light is also sufficient to prevent UV damage.
Prevent flat spots
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If you're truly interested in maximizing your vehicle's efficiency and gas mileage, don't worry about your fuel tank. Worry about your tires.But if you’re truly interested in maximizing your vehicle’s fuel efficiency, the key is not in your wallet. It’s in your tires.
Flat spots are at best an inconvenience that will rectify itself after driving around. But long-term storage could ruin your tires with permanent flat spots. Some of this depends on your tires; expensive, high-performance tires with softer compounds are more susceptible. Driving a car regularly keeps the tire nice and round, but that's not always possible.
The best solution is to remove the tires and wheels completely from the vehicle, and store them on their side in a warm, dry place. A finished basement or a temperature-controlled storage unit is ideal. If that's not possible, setting the car on jack stands to remove some pressure on the tires can help. You can also move the car around, or park on tire saver mats that help spread the load around and maintain tire shape.
Avoid chemicals and ozone
Chemical fumes and electronics that produce ozone can also degrade your tires. Stacking them up next to your chemical storage area, or gas cans, in the garage probably isn't the best idea. Use common sense and make sure fumes and ozone can't get to your tires by either moving the tires, or moving the fume-producing problems.
Cold is not your friend
You might think of cold temperatures as a sort of preservative, and while that's true with food, it's not at all with rubber. Winter tires and snow/ice-rated all-seasons are designed to remain flexible and happy at very low temperatures, but your high-performance tires really aren't. You shouldn't drive on extreme summer tires when it gets cold out for that reason alone, and you also shouldn't store your tires in places where it drops below freezing regularly. That cold can make some tire compounds brittle and contribute to dry rot and cracking. Take the tires inside, in a warmish place that's dry, and as noted above keep the sunlight off them.
When Inspecting Tires, Check the Expiration Date .
New old tires
Top 10 Tips For Storing Your Tires
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Tire Storage Company | Winter Tires | Toronto | Canada
A video about the importance of winter tires. The safety reasons many company's are storing those all season tires and installing proper winter tires on their entire fleet. For more information:...
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