When it comes to protecting your car from the harsh elements of Mother Nature, people tend to forget that their tires and rims are just as susceptible to damage. After all, tires are naturally durable and made to last months if not years, so a bit of sun, rain, or snow exposure can’t be too bad, rightSadly, that’s not the case, and things can get worse if you leave your car sitting in the garage for months at a time.
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To keep your car tires as dry and crack-free as possible during hibernation, you’ll need a set of tire covers – a simple piece of equipment that wraps around your tires and prevents damage from occurring. Today, we’ll go over everything you need to know about tire covers and some of the most frequently asked questions, but first: let’s see what our editors have chosen as their favorite tire covers.
5 Best Tire Covers for Storage
AmFor Weatherproof Tire Protectors
If you live in a particularly windy part of the globe, then the AmFor Weatherproof Tire Protectors are for your car. With these babies wrapped around the entire wheel of your car, you won’t need to worry about these babies being taken by the wind.
They’re made of a heavy-duty aluminum film that protect against all sorts of elements. AmFor tire covers are sold for tires as small as 19 inches and as large as 42 inches in diameter so there’s always an AmFor for any vehicle. Maintaining these covers is extremely easy; a quick spray with a hose and a wipe-down to remove moisture and these babies will last for many, many years. If your car or RV is in need of tire protectors, then remember AmFor.
Kohree Tire Covers
Kohree is another brand that excels at making tire protectors. These covers are made of waterproof aluminum and cotton lining which, together, prevent rust, corrosion, sun damage, and dirt from getting into your tires and rims and leaving a nasty mark.
These protectors use a hook/wrap design that ensure 100% coverage of your tires when properly attached. And it comes with a 3-year limited warranty to boot, so if at any point during the first 36 months these fail, Kohree will replace or refund your purchase with no questions asked (friendly customer service if we say so ourselves). The only issue that people have had is that these tire covers are rather thin compared to others on the market, so ripping while installing them is a real issue (not covered by the warranty).
Explore Land Vinyl Tire Protectors
If you’re constrained by a tight budget, then you’ll appreciate the Explore Land Vinyl Tire Protectors. Available in black, white, and silver, and from between 23 to 34-3/4 inches in diameter, there’s an inexpensive vinyl protector for anyone to use.
These badboys fit superbly on jeeps, SUVs, and even RVs, and they do an awesome job at protecting your tires and rims from heat, cold, and precipitation. The durable, water-resistant vinyl material ensures long-lasting protection and durability for many seasons. These vinyl protectors use an elastic cord that that wraps itself tightly around your tires so heavy winds, if storing your car outdoors, have no chance of blowing them away.
Michelin Black/Blue Seasonal Tire Bags
When it comes to tires and wheels, you typically want to see what the market leaders have to say on the matter. Michelin produces some of the most durable totes that wrap snugly around your tires, giving them a warm hug for the upcoming wintry months. These provide a universal fit over tires ranging between 22 and 31 inches in diameter, so for your sedans, hatchbacks, SUVs, and even motorcycles, these Michelin-made totes will offer protection against weather-induced cracking and chipping.
However, you’ll notice that these tire covers don’t wrap entirely around your car’s wheels, but instead, they focus only on protecting the tires. The downside of the seasonal bag design is that it won’t protect your rims, and there’s a very minute chance that dust, snow, and rain can seep into cracks between your tire and the tote. These covers are best used on spare tires rather than those propping your car off the ground. A durable handle is stitched onto to outside of the wrap to help transport tires.
Kurgo Seasonal Tire Tote
The final product on our list is another seasonal tire tote. The Kurgo tote works exactly the same as the Michelin – it’s used mainly to cover spare tires for long-term storage. These easy-to-wash totes can cover tires of between 22 and 31 inches in diameter, and they’re made to withstand water, snow, wind, dust, and the occasional fungus that’s looking for tasty rubber to munch on.
Once again, we would like to reiterate that seasonal totes do not protect the rim but rather focus all of their attention on rubber tires, the more susceptible part to weather conditions. If you’d like to keep your rims as safe as possible during storage, then you can get the Kurgo Wheel Felts that fit inside of the tire tote (sold separately). The Kurgo uses a hook and loop system to fit snugly around your tires to ensure proper care when stored for the season.
The biggest challenge anyone will have when shopping for tire covers is deciding on which set to get. All five of these tire cover models work magnificently, but which among them is the perfect fit for your car’s rims and/or tiresHere’s a quick guide that will help you determine which, if any, will work best for your vehicle.
First of all, you need to make sure that the protective covers can actually fit around your car’s wheels. Measuring your wheels is an easy process, and finding the right sized cover isn’t going to be much of a challenge, especially if your wheels are within the 21 to 32-inch range. However, generally speaking, a larger-than-needed tire cover is not going to do you any good since any slack in the band/hook will allow pollutants to wear your tires down during storage.
The materials used to create the tire cover will almost assuredly determine how durable they are against the elements. Most tire covers are made to withstand normal weather conditions like rain and wind, but others are made of a specific fabric that is meant to prevent UV damage. All of the models mentioned above block harmful sunrays from cracking your tires when parked in front of your garage so you won’t have to worry if you decide to pick any of these covers.
Hooking up a set of tire covers is as easy as wrapping it around the tire and snapping the hook in place. Others require simply pulling on a cord to tighten the elastic band to block air and water from seeping in. Choosing between the two systems is a matter of personal preference, though we feel inclined to let you know that we prefer the cord-and-elastic-band system due to its ease to install and remove. Plus, there’s less of a risk of tearing when stretching the flexible fabric over your tires.
Wrap-around vs. Seasonal Tote
Seasonal tire covers, totes, or bags generally refer to those without rim felts. These are great if you need to keep spare tires off the ground and protected from nature’s harsh elements, but attaching them onto your mounted tires, even with the felts in place, may leave your rims exposed. Wrap-around covers are widely considered the more user-friendly type since they’re easier to use, remove, and wash without getting moisture on the inner lining of the tire cover.
Speaking of washing, maintaining the tire covers is just as crucial as maintaining your tires. Even though tire covers are durable, this doesn’t mean they won’t wear down over time. These covers don’t last a lifetime (despite some of them being covered by a “lifetime” warranty) and may become just as susceptible to natural pollutants as the tires themselves. In our humble opinion, the best tire covers are those that can be washed – such as all of the models mentioned on our list – and air-dried.
1. Are the handles strong enough to carry the tire?
The handles on seasonal tire covers may seem weak, but their stitching, at least in the case of the Michelin and Kurgo covers described on our list, are powerful enough to carry tires with tearing. It may not seem like it at first, but don’t take our word for it: numerous reviewers have left positive comments on their durability.
2. Will these covers fit my vehicle’s tires?
Many people have asked regarding how well these tire covers will fit their wheels. This is understandable since the diameter of the tire isn’t the only thing worth knowing. If, for instance, you use P215/65 R15 tires, your tires are 15 inches in diameter and 215 millimeters (roughly 8-1/2 inches) wide. In this case, the ideal tire cover size would be at least 32 inches, and even that’s pushing it to its minimum limit. It’s better to go slightly larger but not several sizes too large otherwise the covers will not hook up correctly.
3. I only need one tire cover. Where can I get it?
Unfortunately, tire covers are sold in sets of four. For individual tire covers, you’ll either need to contact the manufacturer (which most likely will not lead to positive results) or buy a set and keep three in storage.
Covering your tires is important in ensuring their longevity while in storage. The last thing you want is to leave your car indoors for several months and have them crack when snow and ice has thawed. The harmful effects of nature’s elements can become amplified when leaving your car outdoors without the proper protective equipment. Check out our list of the best tire covers, or take a look at our guide on how to find the best tire cover for your vehicle.