Most of us store our winter tires in the garage or outside, and even if we take proper precautions when removing winter tires (storing them in bags, cleaning them, making sure they don’t have imperfections), the heat of the summer and the unpredictable nature of outside storage can still do some damage. When you’re taking your tires out of storage, make sure to check for these five things before putting your winter tires on your vehicle.
- Cracks or deterioration
If the summer has been particularly hot, or you live in a location where the air is very dry and your tires were improperly stored, you may find that there are cracks in your tires from lack of moisture. If you have stored your tires in a garage, there could also be damage from small animals, so make sure to check for holes along the entirety of your tire.
- Weather damage
Hot summer weather combined with small tight spaces can cause the rubber of your tires to warp, which could potentially throw off the suspension of your car. High heat can damage the belts of the tires, causing them to move positions and affect your drive. This could cause real damage to your vehicle, so line up your tires and inspect each one to make sure they are in the proper condition for use.
- Holes in storage bags
Holes in storage bags often mean that your storage space may have small animals like rats or mice, who love to chew on anything and everything. Not to worry! Rubber is pretty strong, and even if some tiny critter got into your tire bag, it’s not extremely likely that they would have caused real damage.
- Any warping of the shape
If you stored your tires horizontally for the summer season, it may have cause their shape to warp. If you can, store your tires vertically to avoid your tires changing shape. Winter tires can be very expensive, so it’s best to take all precautions necessary to make sure that your tires remain in perfect condition for winter driving.
- Dirt and grime
Dirt, grime, small stones, and debris can get into the treads of your tires and make them less effective. If you didn’t clean your tires before you stored them for the summer, grab some soap, water and a tire brush to clean each tire of dirt, grime and brake dust.
Changing your tires seasonally is an essential part of being a responsible vehicle owner. Many insurance companies may even give you a discount for driving with season appropriate tires instead of all-season tires. Check with your insurance provider to see what kind of discount they can offer you for putting on winter tires. If you’re not satisfied with your current policy, compare your rates with other leading insurance providers so that you can make sure you’re getting the best price possible.