Piston Slap: Ozone in Your Own Storage Zone?

Sajeev Mehta
by Sajeev Mehta
piston slap ozone in your own storage zone

TTAC Commentator Arthur Dailey writes:


Here is a timely question, as up here in snow country we are now packing away our “summer” tires. What is the best way, scientifically, to store tires? I traditionally have:

  • Stored them on their rims
  • Removed the plastic tire bag (learned this the hard way when a set of rims “rotted” one summer
  • Wiped down/washed the rims to take off any salt
  • Let out about 4 to 5 psi from each tire
  • Stored them in our attached, unheated garage
  • Placed rubber mats under them so that they are not in contact with the cement
  • Placed old sheets over them so that they are not in direct sunlight

Previously I stored them stacked on their sides. All 4 wheels/rims from each vehicle in one column, on top of each other, using a tire storage “pole” bought from Canadian Tire. Last winter I stored them vertically (meaning I just rolled them in beside each other), but on the rubber mats and under the sheets.

So what is the best way? And how often should they be rotated/moved?

Sajeev answers:

I’m surprised the plastic tire bags for winter tire storage were a bad idea. Then again, I’m in Houston so WTF do I know?

I think you’re doing a good job, any damage incurred during storage won’t affect the tire faster than normal wear and tear. I’ve stacked tires on their sidewalls for years in a dark warehouse and they perform fine after installation; the only concern is the rubber’s finite lifespan. While I am far from a tire storage expert, the phrase “use it or lose it” applies for longer term (i.e. years) storage. You have little to worry about.

My only concern is ozone damage, as they likely killed a set of donuts on my (infrequently driven) Ranger. And while tires protect themselves from ozone by design, you can do things to help ’em out like storing away from ozone generating furnaces. Keep on doing what you’re doing, just make sure the tires aren’t marinating in an ozone bath.

What say you, Best and Brightest?

[Image: Shutterstock user lightpoet]

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3 of 39 comments
  • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Dec 03, 2017

    When I lived in the snow zone and drove a RWD car with V8 power, I'd buy recap snow tires every September when they had a sale, and took them off the rims and threw them away in early April when they had about 6,000 miles on them. The salt and chemicals did a number on them, and for 20% of the cost of new snows, it was worth it. My regular tires were stored in a semi-heated basement on their sides, covered with plastic. When I put them back on, I rotated them.

  • Arthur Dailey Arthur Dailey on Dec 04, 2017

    Thanks to Sajeev and the B&B, much information here. Two concerns/discussion points. 1. I was told to reduce the pressure, particularly when storing them on their sides. Can't even remember the exact reason now. A number of comments here state that it is preferable to actually increase the pressure. Which is correct? 2. Stored one set in the plastic 'tire' bags one year. Condensation from heat/cold cycles resulted in the steelies rusting like nobodies business. Have sanded, scraped, used Naval Jelly and rust paint but they still looked unsightly. However when storing on plastic with a sheet over them, I have never (knock wood) had a set rust. Finally, would I ever like to have a rolling tire storage cart like the one in the picture.

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