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Driver Do’s and Don’ts: Right Way to Store Summer Tires

With big treads and softer rubber, winter tires give your vehicle better traction on nasty roads. If you recently made the switch to winter rollers, here’s some advice from AAA’s Car Doctor John Paul on what to do with your summer set for the next few months.


Clean the tires with soap and water and scrub them with a tire brush if you have one. While it’s not as effective, a wet rag will also do the trick.


Never stash tires in a wet or damp location, which could cause corrosion. Keep them out of direct sunlight and away from electric motors, furnaces and generators, too. Heat from the sun and ozone from electric motors can damage the rubber compounds in tires.


Keep the tires in a dry location like a garage or shed. Climate-controlled rooms are even better. Store the tires upright, inflated at 50 percent of their normal pressure. If storing the tires outside, place each in its own plastic leaf or trash bag and poke a couple of holes in the bags for ventilation. This keeps heavy moisture out and important oils in.


Tires don’t last forever. Do not remount them before checking for cracks in the sidewall and excessive wear on the treads. Both are signs that it’s time for a replacement.

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