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Treating and improving the lifetime of original-equipment rubber tires?

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  • Treating and improving the lifetime of original-equipment rubber tires?

    I've noticed that tires, even only a year "out of the box" tend to firm up, and some of my Carrera tires are definitely "done". Is there anything "safe" to put on them that improves their lifespan?

    I'm not looking to replace them with silicon or urethane, so please don't comment that Paul Gauge or QuickSlicks are better. I know they are already. I'm talking about preserving my investments for cars that don't get raced as often.

    I'm also not looking to make them super sticky, so WD-40, dishwashing liquid, or other tackifiers are also off the list.

    Just looking to keep the tires in their natural state for as long as possible - including the front tires.

  • #2
    Moisture is the enemy. Take the tires off their wheels and put them in a sealed container with some clay-based cat litter. They will stay nice a fresh in there if you replace the cat litter every 6 months or so. That is realy the only non-chemical way to maintain them.


    • RexCadral
      RexCadral commented
      Editing a comment
      That is super useful to know!

  • #3
    Just curious why you would mind if the front tires get hard? Hard front tires makes trimming and sizing them for minimal contact a lot easier.


    • #4
      it is best to run with hard front tires, slot cars do not need front tires with any grip. If the tires are rubber they might eventually crack and fall apart. Contact with air will cause rubber to degrade, sealing up the tires in an air tight container would help to preserve them as would storing them in a freezer. I expect that most people would like to keep the tires on their cars and not have a freezer full of tires in sealed containers. In that case there are products made to treat the rubber rollers in printers and the like, those should be helpful.
      See this article on tires: