Product Reviews

Welcome to Consumer Reports.

We’re so glad to have you as a member. You now have access to benefits that can help you choose right, be safe and stay informed.

Does tire slipping really increase traction?

Our tests determines if it improves traction

Last updated: March 2014

Find Ratings

The practice of siping, or cutting extra slits into tire treads, is supposed to improve a tire’s snow and ice-biting ability. Tire dealerships typically charge around $15 or more to sipe tires.

To see whether siping makes any difference, we tested two performance all-season models, an H-rated Michelin Energy MXV4 Plus and a V-rated Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S, with and without siping.

The siped version of both models showed modest but measurable improvements in snow-traction and ice-braking performance. But braking distances on wet and dry pavement were a few feet longer. Besides costing $60 or so for a set of four, having your tires siped potentially voids any tread-wear warranty. We don’t think the modest gains are worth the extra costs.


E-mail Newsletters

FREE e-mail Newsletters!
Choose from cars, safety, health, and more!
Already signed-up?
Manage your newsletters here too.

Cars News

Cars

Cars Build & Buy Car Buying Service
Save thousands off MSRP with upfront dealer pricing information and a transparent car buying experience.

See your savings

Mobile

Mobile Get Ratings on the go and compare
while you shop

Learn more