Storing a vehicle isn’t like storing any other inanimate object. Storing a vehicle takes detailed preparation and thought if you want to do it well. Nearly every aspect of a vehicle must be brought into consideration before leaving it in storage. One particular concern that many vehicle owners worry about during a car’s time in storage is the formation of tire flat spots. Tire flat spots can occur when a vehicle is stored for an extended time in any weather, but they often form more quickly during the harsh cold of winter. Here are some tips and bits of advice to prevent tire flat spots:
Putting a vehicle up on jacks or blocks is a quality option. First of all, you need to research what recommendations that exist for your particular make and model of vehicle, but putting a vehicle up on blocks tends to me a general tip to avoid flat spots. Do this helps to get the weight off of the tires while the vehicle is in storage. However, using jacks and blocks can be dangerous if not used properly–so please take caution when trying this option. Blocks and jacks can slip causing great damage to the vehicle and if you’re under/near the vehicle during the slip, it can cause serious injury or death. While I’ve digressed on a scary tale of warning, it is important to know that this very popular option does have potential risks.
If you’re putting a vehicle into storage for a long period of time, it might be worth it in the long run to get a really cheap second set of tires and put those on your vehicle for the duration of the storage time. You can store your good tires in a proper fashion and let the cheap ones take the brunt of the storage damage. This is a great option if you can get a great deal on a cheap second set and remember NOT to drive on this set once you’re ready to get your vehicle out of storage and back on the road.
If possible, drive your car every now and then–even if it is just a foot forward or backward. Just moving the weight to a different part of the tire even a little bit can help you greatly. Think about how good it feels to shift in your seat during a long movie. That’s how your tires feel when you move them a little. You don’t have to go far–just go far enough to adjust the area that is feeling the impact of the vehicle’s weight. Also, driving a car regularly is good for many aspects of your car–not just your tires.
Flat spots can work themselves out after being driven for a while as long as the flat spot damage isn’t permanent. It might take a while and the process might be uncomfortable (especially when driving classics that don’t as smoothly as modern cars), but less severe flat spots can be fixed. There are also many myths and other remedies that people swear by. I’m not recommending those, but if you know somebody who knows somebody who did something once and it worked, give it a shot! Personally, I like to take a tried and true (by many people) method for things in life. That’s why when looking into vehicle storage and best practices, I look for ones like the options listed above that are commonly used.