Life lessons on tyre storage19 November 2018

Heat, light and humidity can all have a negative impact on tyre service life, so it’s vital to store tyres in the best environment. Nokian Tyres’ Martin Drazik offers some top tips

The service life of tyres can be extended by storing them in a cool, dry and dark place. According to experts, the correct storage temperature is the most important factor. You can also extend service life by protecting them against moisture, chemicals, and UV radiation.

For summer tyres, storage temperature is the most important factor.

In the past, some people used to store tyres near their central heating boilers. That is too hot, as heat will have an adverse effect on the rubber compounds. The tyre will begin to dry out, harden and will develop cracks. It may even combust.

The ideal location is a cool space, below 15ºC, where the tyres stay dry. Dark spaces protected from sunlight are preferable, as UV radiation will reduce the product’s durability.

An increasingly common approach is to store them in a ‘tyre hotel’, as this frees up storage space for other use. In a tyre hotel, the tyres are inspected, washed and fitted by professionals.

A quality tyre, if correctly maintained, will last up to six years. Check the date of manufacture on the sidewall of the tyre: the first two digits indicate the week of manufacture, the latter two are the year.

Be aware, too, that powerful pressure washers can damage tyres. Storage recommendations for winter and summer tyres are similar: before putting them into storage, carefully wash and rinse them. Remove the largest rocks from the grooves and check the tread and sidewalls for cracks or abnormal bulging.

When washing, keep the point of the pressure washer’s water jet away from the tyre, as it may disconnect the rubber from the web below it.

Ensure the tyres are completely dry before storing them. They should not come into contact with oils, solvents, or other chemicals at the storage location. If necessary, you can purchase tyre bags for protection.

The tyres should not be under heavy load and tension; in other words, do not pile other equipment on top of the tyre stack. If storing tyres on top of each other, I would recommend increasing the pressure slightly before storage as the bottom tyre will be under quite a heavy load.

In summary:

  • Check the age of the tyres and purchase new ones at the latest every six to ten years
  • Check the tread condition and remove any larger stones from the grooves
  • Wash the tyres and allow them to dry completely before storage
  • Store your tyres in a cool, dry place
  • Protect them against sunlight and chemicals
  • For added peace of mind, leave the work to the professionals at the tyre hotel.

Martin Drazik

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