Avoid ‘Flat Spotting’

When leaving a car for any length of time longer than a couple of weeks  it is important to look after the tyres, especially for long term car storage.

Tyres can develop ‘flat spots‘ at the tread contact patch when standing, bearing the weight of the car for long periods. Hub bearings can ’brinell’ under similar long term static loading, the bearing balls slightly indenting the race which will eventually ruin the bearing.

To eliminate these problems there are three options:

  • Increase air pressure in the tyres by 50% (to minimise the ‘flatting effect’). Roll the car slightly at regular intervals (biweekly is recommended) to vary the contact points for tyres and bearings.
  • Place the car on axle stands relieving the bearings and tyres of their load to eliminate the problem entirely. This, however, can be bad for the suspension components as they are in an unnatural state when left ‘hanging’ in mid air. It is also time consuming and can be dangerous when jacking a vehicle.
  • Tyre shoes are a relatively new product, which each wheel is driven onto. These are made from solid rubber shaped in a curve where the tyre meets it to ‘hold’ the tyre in shape without flat spotting. These do the job well, however are relatively expensive. See our Car Storage Products page for more information.

At Windrush Car Storage we have chosen to adopt the first method. Keeping the vehicle mobile and in a natural state allows us to easily exercise the vehicle in a fully maintained condition.

Protect from UV light and Nourish

Other tyre issues to be aware of when storing your pride and joy for any long period (a month or more) is the perishing of the sidewalls. This is where the rubber can become dry and brittle. The vehicle can then be dangerous to drive as the fabric of the tyre has become weakened. To help prevent this from occurring there are a couple of things which can be done.

  • Try and keep the tyres out of direct sunlight. UV rays from the sun attacks the rubber, very much like our skin. A good car cover should not only cover the car but cover the majority of the side of the wheel and tyre.
  • Apply a rubber ‘feed’ to the sidewalls. This not only improves the look of your tyres but protects the rubber, very much like applying moisturiser to your hands. Be careful not to get this on the tyre tread though as this would not be good for the road handling ability of the vehicle.