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Tire sipping

Every time I buy new tires, the shop asks if I would like to have the tires sipped to "improve the live by reducing heat buildup." Most of what I have read seems to suggest NOT to have tires sipped for warranty reasons as well as unproven results. Any recommendations? Most miles my wife and I drive are highway miles.


  • edited January 2008

    Not needed....If the tire needs sipping it usually comes that way from the factory. If it's done at the tire place it may void your warrenty.
  • edited January 2008
    I've never heard the "improve tire life" rationale for siping. Usually the idea of siping is that it can increase snow traction on a non-snow tire, but usually at the cost of tire life. The tire shop probably just wants to have the siping machine making money year-round.
  • edited January 2008
    I agree. It's a common practice on mud tires to improve snow and ice traction. Not necessary for regular tires.
  • edited January 2008
    Siping, putting slits in the tread blocks, was done years ago to bias ply snow tires to improve traction on ice. It basically allows each block to squirm more, putting more edges on the ice. Today's tire technology allows tires to come out of the mold already siped. In addition to being unnecessary, siping on a modern radial tire can decrease the life of the tire and can cause premature tire failure do to heat buildup from the aforementioned "squirming" of the rubber.

    Do not do this.
  • edited January 2008
    This seems like something out of the 50's. Tires are designed better every decade and some guy in a tire shop wants to redesign the tread? If he can show you a bulletin from the tire manufacturer reccomending this practice, go ahead and do it. (I think you and I both know he's never gotten such a bulletin.) This is the weirdest sales gimmick/profit generator/money clip I've seen in a while. I'd really like to see you corner this guy as to whether the tire manufacturer reccomends this practice. By the way, what brand/model tire are we talking about here?
  • edited February 2008
    The tires are zexius xi 326 tires. Purchased at Les Schwab. But they have recommended sipping for other tires I have purchased before as well. Claim better traction on snow due to increases surface area contact, plus longer life due to heat dissipation from the "slits" created. I was very skeptical when told this, and I declined the service. In fact, I too thought there would actually be excessive heat buildup due to additional friction created by the slits.

    Thanks to Everyone for your input . . . you have solidified my initial skepticism. Tires are designed/engineered for optimum performance by the manufacturer. It troubles me that a seemingly good company recommends this practice.

    Thanks again.
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