Updated: Aug 6, 2019
One of the more over-looked aspects in car storage can be the management of tyre condition . If tyre pressures are not properly maintained, 'flat spots' and 'squaring' of the tyre can take place, compromising the life and integrity of the tyre, and ultimately costing more money. Tyres will naturally lose pressure over time, but this is accelerated greatly if the tyre is not in use for long periods (tyres will naturally inflate during driving as the heat produced will increase the pressure).
What pressures should I inflate my tyres to in long term storage?
Our rule of thumb is 5PSI above normal operating pressure.
Ensure the tyre is maintained at this pressure - we recommend checking and adjusting pressures where needed on a monthly basis. How do you find out what the correct operating pressure is? Theres usually a manufacturer label inside the drivers door, glovebox or inside the bonnet that specifies this information.
Another good habit is to rotate the position of the tyre when you conduct your monthly pressure checks. Mark the position with chalk to ensure consistency in the tyres position.
Should I consider storing my car on jack stands?
If you don't plan to drive it for quite some time, then this may be a wise option.
Just ensure you are placing the jack stands in the correct position under the car. If unsure, refer to your owners manual, or consult a professional mechanic. Misplacing jack stands can bend the vehicle floor, especially if in place for long periods of time.
High Performance Tyre Storage
Have yourself a set of premium track day tyres? Or perhaps a few sets of racing slicks or wets? Then you would know first hand that these things don't come cheap, and to compromise the life and performance of the tyre by not storing them correctly is an unfavourable outlook. To avoid this scenario, first, remove the tyres from the car (and replace with another set of rims & tyres, or simply leave on jack stands), and remove approximately 50% of the pressure from them, as this will reduce the strain on the tyre and minimise premature cracking.
It is best practice to store these sorts of tyres in a cool, dark and dry place. We're talking 23 degrees or less in maximum darkness with absolutely zero UV penetration. This is an optimum environment to ensure you are maximising the longevity of the tyres. If in a domestic environment, a basement or rumpus room environment would suffice. Stack the tyres on top of each other, with some form of barrier between the bottom tyre and the ground. Optional: Use elastic tyre bags for added protection
And In Summary...
Inflate tyres to 5PSI above normal operating pressure
Check tyre pressures every month and inflate where necessary
Rotate tyre position every month in conjunction with pressure checks
Consider putting the car on jack stands if its not going to be driven for an extended period
Store high performance tyres in a cool, dark and dry area when not in use, and reduce tyre pressures by approximately 50%