Now that winter is just about here, some car owners may consider the switch to winter tires. Alternatively, some people choose instead to sipe their tires. Never heard of tire siping? We’ll explain what it means and whether the process is safe for your tires.
Tire siping is the process of cutting small slits across the tire surface. Supposedly, this improves traction, especially when driving under wet and snowy roads. The slits also keep the rubber from overheating by letting air into the tread. The process can be done for all car makes and models, including classic cars with retrofitted tires.
Auto services that specialize in modifications may provide tire siping. The question, though, is twofold. Does siping really improve traction, and do the slits harm the rubber?
According to a research by the testing firm Mobility Research, siped tires increased traction by 33 percent. The result also showed that siping improves stopping distance.
Tire manufacturers, however, discourage car owners from siping their tires. Prominent tire companies, such as Bridgestone and Goodyear, warn against such alterations since it can invalidate the warranty. Others also believe that while siping may be beneficial in cold weather, it can actually decrease performance on dry roads.
Some claim that siping causes the treads to move more independently from one another, leading to premature wear. Proponents, however, claim the slits do not damage the tires since you’re only making superficial cuts to the rubber. This is provided, of course, that the cuts are done correctly.
Siping your tires is a personal choice. We believe, however, that optimal tire performance comes from regular auto repair checkups. Even if you have siped tires, we still recommend bringing the car to Bothell Way garage for alignment and balance checks.
Edited by Justin Vorhees
Serving Customers in Bothell, Kenmore, Woodinville, Brier, Kingsgate, Lake Forest Park and Juanita