Just like changing your oil or checking the brake fluid, you can’t neglect the maintenance on your vehicle’s tires – especially if your car is sitting for an extended period of time. Neglected tires can spell trouble for your air pressure or developing flats when you do drive again, so here’s how you can maintain your tires after they’ve been sitting for a long time.
What Happens When You Let Your Tires Sit Too Long?
Most people don’t realize the importance of maintaining your tires while your vehicle isn’t in use, but there are plenty of problems that can occur if you neglect them.
If you’ve ever wondered why your tires don’t seem to drive right after you’ve left your vehicle sitting idle a little bit longer than the average wait time, flat-spotting may be the cause. Unused tires sit pressed against the flat ground, which creates rigid areas that damage your tire’s functionality. As the outside temperature heats and cools the compounds in your tire throughout the day, the air pressure changes daily as well. Overtime, your tires will begin to develop flat spots, even if you cannot see them. Remember, there is a lot of weight on your tires from your entire vehicle.
While this won’t create a completely flat tire, flat-spotting may cause awkward vibrations while you drive or make it hard for you to actually steer your car. Flat spots can occur in as little as thirty days, so this can become a major problem if you haven’t used your car in months.
In areas where the rubber on your tires is a little thin and they’ve been sitting too long, it’s possible for tire bubbles to develop – which can be a huge safety hazard if you attempt to drive with one.
Not only is it difficult to see tire bubbles but if you do take them on the road, there’s an increased risk that your tire will blow out.
While most manufacturers recommend that you replace your tires within six years, letting your vehicle sit for too long is one way to ensure early tire deterioration. Even if you’re not actively driving on the road, your tires are still bearing the full weight of your stationary vehicle. The sun also breaks down the compounds in the tire and will cause dry rotting and cracking over time.
Months in that stationary position can lead to heavily deflated, completely flat, warped, or even just rotten tires that aren’t safe for you (or anyone else) on the road. Some vehicle owners may assume that inflating their tires after they’ve been sitting will fix the problem, but depending on the extent of the damage, inflation may not even be able to save your deteriorated tires.
How to Maintain Your Tires While Your Vehicle is Left Unused
You may have to let your vehicle sit stationary for a while, but that doesn’t mean you need to neglect your tires – proper upkeep can prevent the problems listed above. Here’s what safety measures you can take to help prevent deterioration, flat-spotting, and tire bubbles from forming.
Regularly Check Your Air Pressure
You may not be driving your vehicle, but tires naturally lose their air over time. Regularly check your tire pressure to make sure it still matches manufacturer recommendations, and add air if they’ve lost too much.
Roll Your Vehicle
To combat flat spots, you don’t need to take your car on the road, but you can roll it back and forth in your driveway to prevent flat spots from forming.
Use a Jack Stand to Take the Weight Off
Bearing the brunt of your vehicle’s weight can lead to faster deterioration, so consider using a jack stand or a similar device to take some of the weight off.
Regularly Inspect Tires for Signs of Deterioration or Bubbles
Even if you’re not planning to drive your car yet, inspect your tires regularly for signs of tire bubbles or deterioration, like discoloration, cracking, flaking, or bulging.
Use Tire Covers to Prevent Too Much Exposure
Spending too much time exposed to the elements is another way to quicken tire deterioration. If you have to store your vehicle outside or in a garage with large windows, you may want to consider investing in tire covers to prevent weather-related or UV damage.
No part of your car is meant to go weeks or months without upkeep, and that includes your tires. Not only could neglecting your tires mean replacing them too soon, but it can also be a safety hazard if tire bubbles or flat spots have formed during inactivity.
Even with regular tire care and maintenance while your vehicle sits, you may want to still book an automotive appointment to ensure your tires and treads are safe to drive on and don’t require professional repairs. That’s where JACK Mobile Tire comes in. We are the leading experts in the mobile tire repair and replacement industry. Call us at 833-571-JACK or schedule your appointment online to have us come inspect your tires and keep you safe on the road ahead.