Your Ultimate Guide To Storing Tires

Storing Tires in Bags

With the changing of seasons, you might be thinking about switching up your tires. You can either get them switched out by a professional or take care of it at home yourself. But what do you do with those old tires after they’re off the car?

Storing tires correctly is crucial for their lifespan and overall performance. Improper storage can alter tire characteristics and potentially shorten their lifespan. If, however, you’re mindful of storing them correctly, you’ll enjoy years of reliable use AND you will be saving some cash in the long run.

How Long Do Tires Last In Storage?

  • According to United Tires, if you’ve got tires in storage, and they’re not getting any use, they’ll typically last from 6 to 10 years. This amount of time will vary based on the conditions of your storage space and environment.
  • According to Woody Rodgers, a tire product information specialist at Tire Rack, if kept in a warehouse with proper climate control, tires can last up to ten years!
  • It’s worth noting that the same general lifespan rules for used tires also apply to those kept in storage. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and tire manufacturers both say that a tire is safe for use until it reaches 5-6 years old. After this point, it’s recommended that you keep an annual eye out for any problems up until its 10th year of life.
Tire age limit according to tire manufactrurers

How to Store Tires to Make Them Last Longer

If you’d like to store tires for the long-term, then planning ahead is crucial. Special preparations are needed, and a particular storage method helps keep them from wearing down or getting damaged over time.

Remove Tires from The Vehicle

First things first, if you’re about to store a vehicle for an extended period of time, it’s best to remove the tires from the car.

Put the vehicle on safe blocks or jacks to hold it in place as you take them off. From there, follow the recommended storage methods below depending on whether they’re still mounted on their rims (More on this later).

Car on Jack Stands

If you’re in a situation in which you cannot remove the tires from the car, check out our article: How To Prevent Flat Spots On Tires During Storage?

Clean The Tires Thoroughly

Make sure your tires are clean before storing them. Scrub away all dirt and grime with soapy water and a stiff brush thoroughly and make sure they dry entirely afterward.

Avoid using any chemical treatments!

Cleaning tires

Use Plastic Bags Or Tire Toes

Individual plastic bags for each tire can help maintain tire oils’ moisture content by keeping air out of the bag. Use heavy-duty garbage bags, push out as much air as possible, then seal them snugly with duct tape.

If you want tailor-made containers for different tire sizes or prefer an alternative method, tire totes are available too! But remember that these are not airtight; in this case, wrap them in plastic first before stashing them in the tote.

Storing Tires in Bags

Use A Climate-Controlled Storage

When deciding where to keep your stored tires, strive for a temperature-controlled environment. Avoid exposing them to heat sources like furnaces or equipment creating ozone like vacuum systems since ozone exposure may harm your rubber companions!

Keep those wheels cool, dry, and sheltered from sunlight/glowing heat sources—also stay clear of freezing cold temperatures since this could develop minuscule cracks that may cause a blowout.

Tire in freezing temperature

Different Methods For Storing Tires

Storing Tires on Rims

If you plan to store your tires while they’re still attached to the rims, here’s what you need to do:

Storing Tires On Rims
  • Make Sure Tires are Properly Inflated: Ensure that your tires have the appropriate amount of air in them before storage. This helps them maintain their shape.
  • Hang Them on Hooks for Support: The best way to hang tires on rims is by using extended “L” shaped hooks and supporting them by their rims. Make sure the hook is not touching other parts of the tire. When sliding the tire onto the hook, let it puncture a hole through the plastic bag. Cover these holes with duct tape afterward. These hooks should be strong enough to bear the tires’ weight without any issues.
  • Stack Horizontally with Cushioning Between Rims: If hanging isn’t an option, stack your bagged tires horizontally instead. Bear in mind that pressure and weight should be evenly distributed from rim to rim. To prevent scratches and damage between rims, use cushions made of felt or some other padding material.

Storing Tires Off Rims

If you’re planning to store your tires while they’re off their rims, here’s how:

Storing Tires Off Rims
  • Keep Tires Off the Ground: It’s essential to keep your tires away from the ground. Use a clean piece of wood to ensure that they remain in good condition and not come into contact with any rough surfaces.
  • Stack Them Vertically: Avoid using hooks or hanging these tires up as it may warp or distort them. Instead, stack them vertically on a specific rack designed to hold each tire upright and slightly spaced apart from each other. This helps prevent damage caused by abrasion or pressure points between tires where they touch each other.

Storing Tires Outside

It’s always best to store tires in an indoor environment that’s cool, dry, and clean. If you’re left with no other option but to store them outside, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Tires that are stored outdoors for long periods of time, especially at the mercy of shifting temperatures, can show serious signs of wear and tear. This could lead to cracks on their surface.
  • When storing your tires outdoors (not recommended for more than short-term storage), raise them off the ground and use waterproof coverings that have ventilation holes to prevent moisture buildup.

Whenever possible, avoid storing your tires outdoors or in areas where temperatures fluctuate.

What Can Make Tires Last Less

UV Light

UV light can have a detrimental effect on the lifespan of your tires. When rubber tires get exposed to sunlight, they quickly start absorbing UV radiation. This impacts both natural and synthetic polymers that make up the rubber material.

To combat this problem, tire manufacturers use carbon black to shield against UV damage. The finish helps absorb the sun’s rays and converts it into heat, protecting the rubber below. However, this protection degrades over time, leaving tires vulnerable to UV radiation again and ultimately shortening their lifespan.


Heat can be a tough enemy of your tires when it’s combined with oxygen. The process that occurs is called thermo-oxidative degradation, and it results in accelerated rubber aging.

Research by the NHTSA has indicated that hotter climates have an adverse effect on tire lifespan. Regardless of whether they’re being used or stored away, tires tend to fail quicker in warm regions due to the temperature taking its toll on their material composition.

Ozone Exposure

Tire manufacturers have developed special compounds consisting of waxes and oils to combat ozone damage. These components are brought to the tire’s surface when it’s being used, providing protection. However, these compounds become less effective when tires are stored because there is no movement to facilitate their circulation.

To prevent ozone-related damage, store your tires away from sources that create electric discharges such as fluorescent lamps, electric motors, generators, and other similar equipment. Exposure to excess ozone can cause cracking when any amount of pressure is applied to the tire surface.


Humidity is another factor that can negatively impact your tires’ lifespan. It’s important to ensure that there are no sources of humidity or water bodies inside the storage room. If exposed to excessive moisture, tires tend to develop condensation, resulting in a reduced lifespan.

How to Prevent Flat Spots on Tires during Storage?

For a more in-depth information about how to prevent flat spots on tires during storage:
How To Prevent Flat Spots On Tires During Storage?


  1. What Causes Tires To Age Even When They’re Not In Use?

    Tires are subjected to aging even when not in use due to their exposure to oxygen. Over time, the rubber particles become harder and less flexible, leading to cracks forming both on the exterior and interior of the tire. This wear and tear can cause tread or steel cord separation, eventually leading to complete tire failure.

    Additionally, stored tires last for only a limited amount of time since they aren’t properly lubricated. When a tire is being used, heated oils within its composition circulate and provide essential lubrication that helps prevent premature drying. However, when it’s in storage, these oils tend to dry out along with any emollients present inside the tire material.

  2. Can I Stack Tires On Top Of Each Other?

    Yes, tires can be stacked on top of each other, but only if they are still attached to their rims. If the tires have been removed from their rims, it’s best to store them upright and not stack them at all.

  3. How to keep tires from dry rotting in storage?

    As per Goodyear, to keep tires from dry rotting in storage is to store them properly. Tires should be stored away from direct sunlight and any sources of heat or humidity. If the tires are on rims, you can hang them horizontally using special racks or a tire tree.

    However, if the tires are not mounted on rims, stack them vertically one on top of the other but not too high as it may cause an imbalance and lead to deformities.

  4. Should tires be stored vertically or horizontally?

    Correctly storing your tires depends on whether they’re mounted or unmounted. Here’s how to stack them correctly:

    Mounted Tires: For mounted tires that are still on rims, you can opt to hang them using tire hooks or stack them vertically.

    Unmounted Tires: In contrast, unmounted tires must be stored upright and leaning against each other horizontally. Do not hang unmounted tires on tire hooks as this will cause the tires to sag over time, leading to deformities.