Tire Siping

Messages
115
Location
Tallahassee, FL
I was just browsing Tire Discounts website and reading through their info page when I came across this page about tire siping. The article can explain it better. http://www.discounttire.com/dtcs/tireSiping.dos?rcz=32304&mk=FORD&rc=FLTINT&yr=1995&vid=003370 Anyone have any experience with this? Good or bad? It "sounds" like it can work though the idea of cutting into perfectly good tread sounds funky. They even say that this procedure will improve the tire's ride quality and longevity but I wonder if that includes hard driving on dry hot pavement?
 
Messages
572
Location
Ontario, Canada
I'll vouch for tire siping. I did it to my own tires with a utility knife a few years ago to a set of mud tires I was using as snow tires.(Couldn't find anybody locally that could sipe "small" tires). The mud tires where great it fresh snow, but crap on anything approaching icy or hard pack. Siping made a world of difference for grip in those conditions. It also seemed to improove wet traction from a standing start. I originally picked up the tip from an old 70's era 4x4 mag. Alex.
 
Messages
4,378
Location
Camas, WA
I've 'had' to do it to a couple of tires, for increased traction in rain and in winter conditions. I had some Toyo 'Les Schwab tires on an older Taurus that eventually delivered over 60k miles, but the traction decreased with mileage. They started wandering more in the rain filled grooves around here, so I had them siped and they worked fine for another 20k miles until I replaced them. The stock tires on the truck are some Michelin all season highway tires, that even per the Michelin site seem to have a primary attribute of being quiet. They're a marginal highway tire in the rain, do ok in snow, but are worthless on frost, much less on ice. I hand siped them with a utility knife chosen for blade length, and the siping made them acceptable in the rain. I think that I'd need to do some grooving for better ice traction, but I never ended up buying a hot knife to do such a thing. My studless snow tires, some Michelin Alpins, are pretty much just a heavily siped softer compound, and they work fine in the rain and in all winter conditions except deeper slushy snow and soft ice. The winter tires I'm considering next are some Nokians, which are also heavy siped special compound tires, but they're also studdable and have more voiding for deeper snow. Siping works but don't expect miracles. Mileage doesn't seem to suffer but I would expect it do so on some sort of performance vehicle.
 
Messages
336
Location
White House, TN USA
Tire siping works very well to get wet road grip from mud tires (which are mostly <i>not</i> siped from the mold). Other tires are already siped in the molding process, so aftermarket siping does little for you.
 
Messages
1,508
Location
Colorado
I expect it would work well in snow, but I can't imagine it would increase lifespan, and as for dry traction the first rule in that area is large, stable tread blocks - the opposite of what siping does. By bet is that it is a tradeoff, and they're overpromising, knowing that if your tires wear quicker you'll probably never know it, and the placebo effect will likely trick people into perceiving a better ride, better dry traction, etc. As for snow&ice, I'm sure it can help, but if that's a concern then real snow tires are better, because in addition to siping they have tread compounds designed for cold weather, not to mention differences in construction and void area. Discount Tire is very good at SELLING stuff, keep that in mind. - Glenn
 
Messages
13,245
Location
ROCHESTER, NY
GMGuy, Can you explain a little further on how exactly you did this procedure! I'd like to try this my self. My father, a retired self employed mechanic during the '70s, had a customer that claimed to cut fine slices with a typical razor blade into his snow tires. This gentleman swore that it gave him better traction on snow and ice. And this is when most cars were rear wheel drive and spun their tires and got stuck in everything.
 
Messages
4,485
Location
Massachusetts
Many off road enthusiasts sipe their mud tires for better traction. I just bought some new Mickey Thompson Baja Claws for my YJ and was thinking about getting them siped. The "sipe" story in a nutshell : A long time ago there was a meat cutter/butcher whose last name was Sipe. He kept slipping on the wet/bloody floor of the butcher shop and needed to find a way to make it safer. He cut slices into his boots and found better traction. Upon sharing what he did with his boots with others, they applied "Sipping" to tires, etc and found incredible results. There you have it. Siping.
 
Messages
572
Location
Ontario, Canada
Char Baby, get a utility knife, new blade, place tire between your knees to hold it steady, such that you can easily swipe the knife across the thread and avoid your legs. =-) repeat every 1/4" to 1/2" or whatever suits the thread block. I never went more than a 1/4" deep. You can always repeat next year if necessary. Glenn, I doubt anybody is disputing that snow tires are better suited to snow, but when you have a set of mud tires for winter duty, that home-brew siping makes the tire livable. FWIW I choose winter tires more wisely now based on the early years of trying the alternatives. Alex.
 
Messages
79
Location
nampa, idaho
We do extensive amounts of siping/ grooving/ etc on the sprint car tires we run. siping does several things. it brings heat into the tires quicker than without, yet it allows heat out faster so as to avoid blistering. if its real abrasive you cant sipe too much as it will tear the rubber off when it gets good and sticky. when the rubber gets old and starts gettin harder i'll really lay the siping to them to get some life back into them and create square edges , which is what tires need on dirt/clay to improve forward bite. siping can improve life on road tires as well for same reasons, releasing heat will improve life and a car tires wear goes way up on longer trips as the rubber gets hotter and softer.thats the theory anyway.. 44H
 
Messages
572
Location
Ontario, Canada
Look at the Michelin ICE tire, siping galore. To a lesser degree, cooper discover a/t has a decent amount of siping. Just depends. Thats why you need to assess what you want out of a tire, and then go look at the tire to see if it meets your needs. Alex.
 

Fastride95

Thread starter
Messages
115
Location
Tallahassee, FL
After reading the information on this thread I'm considering having it done to a set of BF Goodrich G-Force Sport summer tires. Tires are 205/55R15. BF Goodrich G-Force Anyway, has anyone had this professionally done? I'm curious about cost. If it's nearly as much or even half the cost of the tire than I'd rather skip it. Looking at the tread pattern I'm not even sure how they could do it.
 
Messages
79
Location
nampa, idaho
No worries, there's plenty to be done with those from what I see. you can horizontal cut the center 2 strips every inch or so. theres no edges or grooves of any kind in the center so I see those wearing somewhat faster ., they can do quite a bit there though, it shouldnt cost all that much for those tires either. if it is , buy a groovin iron for 39 bux from speedway and do your own,.. 44H
 
Messages
572
Location
Ontario, Canada
To better paint a picture of aftermarket siping, heres some stuff from around the web. A tire siping machine; http://www.can4x4.com/articles/siping/pages/siping04.html A mud tire with the center blocks siped; click on see full size image. Don't want to direct link to another forum image. Another "siped" mud tire, looks more likes its been grooved to me, but it may be the use & wear this tire gets subjected to. Also click the link 'Siping' for an old ad; http://www.broncoii4x4.com/tires/tires.php Alex.
 
Messages
432
Location
central Georgia
Although I can't comment on siping, I would say, after dealing with my local Discount Tire, I won't ever let them touch my car again. They failed to set the correct psi, the lug nuts ranged from finger tight to overtightened, and the damaged my locking lugnut key. This isn't nuclear physics, either. If I were to get my tires siped, I'd probably have it done by a competent race shop.
 
Messages
3,933
Location
Somewhere in the US
To answer Pablo's question: First, let's talk about the warranty from the tire manufacturer. Pretty much every tire manufacturer has a clause in its warranty that says if the tire is altered the warranty is void. This makes sense as the manufacturer shouldn't be responsible for stuff that someone else did. However, most tire mnaufacturers have taken the approach that if no harm is done, then they will accept a warranty return. This means that if a tire is siped, the mileage warranty would not be honored (clearly the siping would have an effect on wear), but an off-color white sidewall would be handled (No way would siping change the color). Second is the actual performance. I think the claims are greatly exaggerated. I can buy the wet traction and the snow traction, but most tire engineers would agree that the wear will suffer. Some have also pointed to increased chunking. Almost all of them agree that durability would be compromised. However, there isn't much hard data that says siping causes major problems (unlike low inflation pressure!) - in the big scheme of things. (except for wear!) And since it costs very little for the shop to actually perform the procedure, there's good profit to be made, which is why tire retailers push it. Hope this helps.
 
Messages
4,485
Location
Massachusetts
CapriRacer Member # 1059 posted December 07, 2005 06:21 PM "Second is the actual performance. I think the claims are greatly exaggerated. I can buy the wet traction and the snow traction, but most tire engineers would agree that the wear will suffer. Some have also pointed to increased chunking. Almost all of them agree that durability would be compromised." No offense man, but I can't accept your snow performance exaggeration from siped tires when you live in NC. Tire siping works. Will it have increased chunking? YUP. Your snow traction will be greatly increased though. Not for nothing, guys, but most street tires come with a great deal of siping built into the tire. I'm not sure why you would want to sipe, already siped tires? If you're going to have that much snow, but some snow tires! I am a Jeep guy and have seen BFG Muds, Super Swampers, etc. sipped. The tire performs pissah and makes wheeling in the white stuff easier.
 
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