Thursday, January 15, 2009

Tire Siping, does it really help?

I had the deep joy of getting to buy new tires for my Jeep in December, yes, I'm being sarcastic. There was no joy involved in the purchase, but I did learn something.

I had heard of having tires siped but had never taken the time to learn why it should be done or if there was really any advantage to siping. When I bought the new tires for the Jeep at Les Schwab, the salesperson asked if I'd like my tires siped so I did a little research and determined that siping is worth the minimal extra cost involved.

Here's what I learned:

  • You will experience improved braking
  • Better traction
  • Smoother ride
Siping is done by placing a new or used tire on a machine that rotates the tire while making small 90 degree cuts in the tread. These cuts are virtually invisible to the eye, but you should experience improved driving conditions. I sure did!

From what I read, siping will not have an adverse effect on the life of the tire, in fact, some sources indicated siping could extend the life of the tire.

The tread of the tire retains it's strength due to the spiral cutting process used when siping. This process leaves uncut areas keeping your tread strong.

Heat generated while driving is a common cause of wear on tires, siping reduces the heat and its effect on the tire by allowing it to cool. The siped tire runs cooler due to the heat dipersing effect of the sipes. The heat on the tire is isolated into smaller groups and air passing between these areas cause a natural cooling effect. (quoted from Les Schwab Tires)

With the wicked winter diving conditions of the roads in my area of the northwest this winter, I have noticed a huge advantage to having the siped tires, along with the fact that my tires are new traction tires. I'm very pleased with the results of siping and look forward to seeing any improvements in my driving experience this spring and summer.

So that's my info on siping. You decide and I welcome your comments on the subject.

The Lady
extends the window allowed for maximum braking power by giving the existing tread a helping hand.


  1. In dry conditions does it offer any benefit?

  2. How is gas mileage affected when tires are siped?