When car owners are forced to prep their cars for long-term storage, there’s a good chance they may miss the other important parts outside of the engine and car battery. Tires, for example, are often overlooked, especially since these are relatively less problematic than anything else under the hood.
But all things considered, you still need to pay a lot of attention to your tires when locking up your car for an extended period of time. In fact, there’s a common tire problem that arises when storing cars: flat spots.
What are flat spots?
Flat-spotting occurs when a car is left unmoved for a long period, and the area of the tire that’s in contact with the ground loses its round shape—this can drastically affect your car’s ride and handling. While these may not seem as dreadful as a discharged battery, flat spots may still be dangerous in the most severe cases.
How can I avoid flat spots?
Fortunately, these flat spots are easily avoidable. If you won’t be leaving your car completely unattended for the duration of its storage, all you need to do is overinflate your tires by just a few psi above your car’s recommended tire pressure—just check on it regularly to make sure you maintain the initial psi you set. However, if you’re completely leaving your car untouched for weeks or months on end, we suggest you jack it up on all four corners so you can be sure. Yes, it’s that simple.
What if my tires have flat spots already?
If it’s only been a few weeks since you last moved your car, the flat spots are just temporary. Drive it around for a few good kilometers and that’ll heat up the rubber and eventually bring the tires back to their original shape. But if your car has been sitting still for a several months already, your tires have semi-permanent flat spots already. In this case, replacement will be the only solution.
Since you’re already here, check out our tips on proper car storage here.