Ever heard of flat-spotting? Maybe you’ve heard but you’re not sure if you should be worried about it. Perhaps you’re already worried but aren’t sure what to do about it. Well check this out to see what everybody should know about their tires!
Flat-spotting is the phenomenon when the weight of a car presses down on the tires and actually changes the circumference from circular to … less circular. Out-of-round tires cause vibration, which you might have noticed the last time your car was parked on a cold night. Under the right conditions, an immobile tire that sits through the winter months under the weight of even a small car can warp the tires and create a “flat” spot on one side. It becomes a bigger problem in different temperature extremes: hot and cold. With winter right around the corner you should know how to safely store your vehicle; and more specifically your tires.
First of all, Brian Grimm, Body Shop Director for the Preston Automotive Group says, “Tires should be stored as clean as possible.” You might not be able to see it but the dirt and brake dust on the surface can mess with the compound at a molecular level. That may be hard to believe, but it is actually true and has been proven. So, a soapy scrub down will get the rubber nice and clean.
Another precaution to take is to fill the tires to their correct pressures before storage. It is recommended that whether you leave the tires on the vehicle or take them off, you should check the pressure periodically throughout the winter as pressure will drop with the temperature.
The experts also believe you should keep tires out of direct sunlight to avoid damage. If you store them in your garage and it has windows, consider covering them. UV rays will cause seen and unseen damage to your tires, so it is recommended to keep them out of the sun.
If you want to be extra-careful, you could even remove the wheels and tires and store them in a temperature-controlled room. So, if you choose this route, you could do one of two things with the now wheel-less car. You could put a set of junk wheels and tires back on if you have them and set the vehicle back down. You could also put it up on jack stands for safekeeping if you have the space for that too. If none of these suggestions sound good to you, then you could always just move your vehicle occasionally. Roll the vehicle back and forth every couple weeks so it’s not sitting on the same patch all the time.
This is one of those things that can skip people’s minds but it is a very real problem if you leave a vehicle sit stagnant for the winter or summer months. Take these precautions this winter and you’ll be all ready to go once the snow melts. Our Body Shops in Preston, Cambridge, and Snow Hill will be coming out with more tips such as these in the coming months. As always, check back to our blog for more information about all things automobiles!