As a car owner, have you ever considered stacking tires? Definitely, not!
Most times, people don’t see the reason for doing this because “what’s the point?“
However, in the contrary, opinion, stacking tires is important and you are about to find out why and how.
Preparing Your Tire for storage
If you have a car, one of the most important things to do is to store tires when not in use. You have to do this, especially if they are winter tires.
Now, your choice of storage is also consequential. Most people store tires indoors rather than outdoors.
They keep them in garages so that temperature can be maintained.
To store tires, you need to prepare them first because only then will the process be seamless.
Here are a few things to do:
Clean & dry tires thoroughly
Before you commence with tire storage, the first thing you need to learn is tire cleaning. You need to remove dirt, debris, brake dust, and asphalt from your tires before storing them.
Below is a step-by-step guide on how to do that:
Mix Dish Soap with Lukewarm Water
To clean a tire, you need soap and water. However, you need to be careful with your choice of soap because not all of them are appropriate for tires.
Dish soap is often recommended. You can make soapy water in a bucket to use.
Scrub with a Tire brush
The next part is cleaning the tires thoroughly by scrubbing them with a brush. This procedure will get rid of grime and other sticky substances on the tires.
Apply Good Cleaning Products
The last part is applying cleaning products. While you do this, you should avoid using products with abrasives because they are never good on rubber.
Likewise, you should desist from using tire dressings or gloss at the point of storage because they may damage your tires.
Keep The Tires Out of Direct Sunlight
The first thing that comes to mind when you are done washing your winter or summer tires is to dry them in direct sunlight.
However, you should never make that mistake because the sun has UV rays that could destroy the rubber compounds of your tires.
In retrospect, you should limit sun exposure. You could do any of the following:
- keep in tire storage bags
- store tires indoors but not close to doors or windows
- keep the tires covered outdoors with a thick tarp to limit sun exposure.
- protect with tire covers.
Store tires in a cool, dry environment
When you successfully get the moisture out of your tires, the next step is the actual tire storage.
You should store your tires in a cool and dry place.
The reason is that you want to be able to maintain the temperature and humidity so that the rubber compounds of your tire are uncompromised.
Moreover, you cannot store tires in a warm place nor in freezing temperatures because these extremities may affect quality.
You can get a climate-controlled tire storage unit or consider using a basement to achieve the best temperature good for the rubber compounds in your tires.
Store in an Airtight Plastic Bag
And while you are protecting your tire from sunlight, you should also do it from oxygen.
It is one of the many components that damage tire compounds.
In that case, you should store your tire in an airtight plastic bag or equivalent such as garbage bags and vacuum-sealable plastics.
Know Your Tire Sizes
To successfully have tires mounted or stored, you need to know the actual size.
You can get the information on your tire size from the owner’s manual.
The tire size is dependent on factors such as vehicle type, aspect ratio, width, construction, rim diameter, load index, and speed rating.
Passenger car, SUV, and light pickup truck tires fall into two categories based on metric sizing/vehicle type – the P-Metric and the Euro-Metric.
On the other hand, heavy-duty and standard truck tires belong to the LT-Metric and Euro-Metric Commercial categories.
The Temporary Spare is a special type, often found in trailers.
It is described as the distance between one sidewall facing the east and the one facing the west.
Generally, wide-base tires are always beyond 225 millimeters.
The aspect ratio describes the height of a tire’s profile and it is delivered in percentages (%).
Standard aspect ratio tires are often above 70%, while low aspect ratio tires are around 60%.
The rim diameter describes the rim to which the tires can be mounted. It is delivered in inches.
Another factor used to determine tire size is construction. It is basically the tire’s internal structure and stability.
Based on construction, there are two types – Radial and Diagonal or Bias Ply.
Most tires are radial. On the other hand, Bias-ply tires were the earliest choices for light trucks and automobiles.
The load index is also the minimum weight your car can support when inflated. However, you may not find the load index on the tire.
Most tire owners’ manuals bear this information and the inflation pressure required.
Finally, the speed rating is dependent on the load on your tire. It is often recognized by a letter and a value of mph.
With these main factors, you can determine the size of your tire easily.
What’s the best way to stack tires?
Now that you know how to clean tires and the various sizes, it is time to know the best way to stack tires.
If you don’t do that properly, your tires may experience deformities and ultimately become damaged.
Ideally, there are three ways to go about that:
However, you shouldn’t hang unmounted tires on hooks if you want to stack vertically because they are likely to sag.
Every month, you have to rotate the tire’s position.
Vertical stacking involves storing tires standing upright. It is mostly keeping the tires on the rims so that they can be hung on tire hooks.
Keeping your tires stacked horizontally is also a great idea. The major benefit is that it saves space.
Cross-stacking is also a thing for tire storage. It mostly involves laying a row of angled tires across space – the row lies on top of and parallel with a first angled tire and subsequent tires.
Judging from the three stacking options described above, vertical stacking is the most efficient way of storing tires.
Can you stack tires on top of each other?
Yes, you can.
According to many tire manufacturers, storing unmounted tires upright is ideal. However, you could also choose to stack tires on top of each other.
If you must do the latter, ensure that there is a protective bag or cardboard between them so that the rims won’t be scratching the tires.
How should winter tires be stored flat or upright?
Winter tires are meant to be stored in a cool and dry environment. However, you have to do a little work when it comes to their stacking.
First, you should make sure they are far away from electric motors, furnaces, switches, and pumps since they are capable of undergoing ozone cracking due to heat.
Secondly, you should stack them vertically to reduce stress and distortion.
Is it ok to stack tires with rims?
Yes, it is. But there are conditions.
If you must store your tires with rims, you should consider changing them or stacking them vertically on tire hooks.
At no point should you lay these tires with rims upright. Likewise, you should keep them off the ground by placing them on tire racks or pallets.
And as your tires maintain this position, ensure to rotate them regularly so they don’t get deformed.
How to Store Mounted Tires?
If you have tires mounted on rims, the best way to store them is via tire hooks.
You need to consider this method because it throws weight off your tire. And depending on how long you want to keep it that way, this storage reduces the tire’s risk of resting on a flex point.
You don’t necessarily have to be a tire professional before storing tires.
You need to do it to preserve the life of your tires.
Above is a list of ways on how tires are stored; take note of each of them and you might just be helping the aging process of your tires extensively.
Lastly, as you take good care of your tires, you should do the same for your vehicle.
The ultimate usability of your vehicle depends on its general maintenance.