When it starts to get uncomfortable outside and the first frost is in sight, it is time to take off the summer wheels and put on the winter tires. Not everyone can or wants theirs summer tires store at the dealer or in the workshop. If you have enough space, you can easily store summer tires at home if the following tips are observed.
The best place for tire storage
The ideal place for tires should be dry, cool and dark. Because UV rays make the rubber coating on the tires brittle. Temperatures should not drop below freezing. If a heating system is nearby, it should be ensured that the ambient temperature does not exceed 20 ° C. Car tires without rims are best stored standing on the floor. Good to know: turn tires without rims once a month - this prevents imbalances. Complete wheels with rims can be stacked on top of each other. It is advisable to put a piece of cardboard between each tire. That saves the material. For especially high quality summer tires the purchase of a rim tree is recommended. An alternative is to store the tires on a special wall bracket. When making your selection, make sure that metal brackets do not have pointed ends or are positioned in such a way that the tire or rim flange is not damaged. Lubricants and solvents should not be near the tires.
Prepare the car tires for storage
If the space is prepared and the tires have already been removed, they are checked for damage and foreign bodies before they are stored. Small stones can be easily removed with a pointed screwdriver. If objects have penetrated deeper into the profile, the specialist should be asked for advice. Deep cracks in the base of the profile are critical. Cracks on the tire shoulder or sidewall and dents on the sidewall can also be dangerous. The recommended here is usually exchange.
Clean the tires and rims
The next step is done the cleaning. So that the rubber lining is not damaged over the winter months, no oils or solvents should be contained in the cleaning agent used. Water with soap or detergent have proven their worth in practice. If the Cleaning the tires on a car wash, the round jet nozzle should not be used. A minimum distance of 20 cm from the tire is recommended for the flat jet nozzle. Then a layer of hard wax can be applied. This makes it easier for dirt and brake debris to come off the first car wash in spring. Light alloy rims also need to be cleaned thoroughly. Brake dust and dirt can eat their way into the rim and attack the material over the winter months. After a few years, the rim is unusable. It is therefore worth going into one wheel cleaner to invest.
Check the tread depth of the tires
Legislators have stipulated that a tire should be at least 1,6 mm profile depth must have. If this value is not reached and the police check the vehicle, there is a threat a fine of at least 60 euros as well as a point in Flensburg. The guideline value for the tread depth of summer tires is 3 mm. This can lead to losses in water drainage. This increases the risk of aquaplaning. Before storage, the profile depth can be adjusted with a Profile depth meter from the auto accessories trade. If it is not at hand, a coin is suitable. Thats how it works:
- Hold a coin between the center of the tire and the tread blocks and the edge of the tire. Different positions are important because the running surface wears differently.
- If the edge of the coin disappears completely between the tread blocks, there is still sufficient tread depth for summer tires and the car tires can be stored without any problems.
- If the edge of the coin is visible, it is time to replace the tires. In this case, storing is no longer worthwhile.
Dispose of tires that are too old
Even if the tread depth is still okay, tires that are too old should no longer be used in winter. On the tire wall is the so-called DOT number. The abbreviation stands for “Department of Transport”. The first two figures provide information about the week of production, the last two about the calendar year. “3617” means that the tire was manufactured in calendar week 36 of 2017. The ADAC advises to replace tires at the latest after eight, at the latest ten years. It is even safer to drive if you change tires after six years.
Label tires before storage
Load and abrasion differ depending on the position at which a tire is mounted on the car. Before the Storage in winter quarters the position on the vehicle must be marked. This is particularly important with directional tires. After washing and drying, the lettering is done on the side surface. Abbreviations such as “VL” for “front left” and “HR” for “rear right” are recommended.
Increase the air pressure
At the petrol station, the Air pressure increased by 0,5 to 1 bar above the manufacturer's recommendation. Tires automatically lose air over the months of storage. Raising the air pressure before storage guarantees that the tire will still have enough air in the spring.
Always check tires carefully
The summer tires must always be checked carefully before they are stored. With the right care, the car tires are ready to go next spring. In case of doubt and for your own safety, a expert be asked for advice - because sometimes storage is no longer worthwhile.