Boxes on tires

This is going to sound like a strange question. Some people who live in my apartment complex cover their tires with boxes when the car is not in use. They never cover all four tires at once – it is always both tires on one side or the other. I’ve seen them driving away with the boxes in the back seat. Once or twice a day, they move the boxes to the other side of the car. This has been happening for weeks. The car is a four-door Saturn and is not particularly fancy. Neither the tires nor the hubcaps seem to be special. Is there some logical reason for this? Does it protect the tires or help keep them inflated? I live in Central Washington. It hasn’t been below 45 degrees or so in quite some time (it’s been in the 60s or so) and it doesn’t rain much.

If anyone has any ideas of why someone might keep two tires at a time covered with boxes, please let me know. This is driving me nuts. Here is a picture of the boxes:

Actually not so strange. Owners of seldom used vehicles, trailers, RV’s, campers etc., use wheel protecters to shield tires from direct sun light, which has a deteriorating affect (ultra violet) on the tires. There are some commercial protecters available.

That could definitely explain why they move the boxes. It must have to do with what side of the car the sun shines on at that time of day. Seems like it’d be easier to cover all four of them, but whatever works, I guess.


They must be trying to protect the tires from the sun. They move the boxes as the sun moves across the sky.

You could ask the people who are doing this why they do it. It might be a good conversation starter.

I doubt this is doing any good at all, but they must think it’s worth the effort. Some people get the strangest ideas.

Those “wheel covers” are just begging for big smilely faces with big magic markers. Hint!

Some people reportedly decided to move the deck chairs around on the Titanic as it was sinking. In a similar fashion, this “box routine” is unlikely to accomplish anything of substance, but the car owner apparently likes to feel like he is doing something. As mcparadise said, some people get the strangest ideas.

I like the way you think.

I can’t ask the owners because I’ve only gotten a glimpse of them as they drove away once, but I wouldn’t recognize them and it’s a big enough complex that I don’t know where they live. I suppose they must think it’s protection from the sun. That’s the best explanation for why they move them and now that I think about it, they are on the west side of the car facing west in the afternoons when the sun is setting.

Thanks for your help.

Sorry, but this is one of the dumbest things I’ve seen. The rest of the car- paint, weatherstripping, interior, etc. will fade out from the sun but at least the tires will still look good. Really silly.

I don’t disagree that it’s stupid. That’s why I wanted to know why they’re doing it. I didn’t know if there was some reason this might actually protect tires.

Does the car have some fancy expensive aftermarket rims on it? The person has a weird, pointless obsession with the tires for some reason.

No. Normal rims. Normal hubcaps. Normal tires. It’s just an odd obsession.

Cardboard boxes are, in fact, the economy UV protector.
I own the commercial spring-loaded fabric covers for my 79 pickup. A set of all four so as to not need to out-guess the sun.

This truck has actually had a UV beaten tire with only 400 miles on it blow out while parked !
Upon inspection you could clearly see the south facing ( sun exposed )tires had extremely more cracks and dryness than the north facing tires causing me to realize the danger of driving on tires that look like that, so I purchased the tire covers the RV/boat owners use for long term storage and my three year old 100 mile tires still look safe and useable.

A guy in my neighborhood did the same with his RV, which was parked on a special concrete pad close to the fence. He had plywood boards that covered the tires. But he was also protecting them from dogs, who seem to prefer tires even over fire hydrants to do their business!