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Once snow tires are changed to warm-weather tires in spring it's tempting to wash them before putting to storage so that they don't stain stuff they come into contact with. One concern is that studs might get rusty and thus their lifetime will become slightly shorter.

How realistic is this concern?

Do snow tire studs get rusty? Will tires require some specific drying procedure if they are washed before putting to storage?

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

The reality is that snow tires live in a world of wet snow and salt. That's about the worst possible combination for corrosion. Your best bet in that situation is to dilute the salt-water solution, usually from straight water rinsing. Any remaining risk of corrosion will have been greatly decreased by your rinse.

My inclination is to rinse off the tires that I'm not going to use for a while, just to reduce the muck in the garage.

Obviously, a stud's composition will affect its vulnerability to corrosion. Here's a reasonable starting reference on stud types. In general, though, any metal that's driving through a snowy winter is going to face serious wear.

Final remark, it's worth noting this comment in the reference:

Check with local law enforcement officials to confirm restrictions in your area.

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