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BFGoodrich Advantage T/A Sport tire sipes

What Are Tire Sipes? Is More Better?

Tire sipes are the small slits in the tire tread that give your tires grip in wet and winter conditions. 

On snow and ice, tire sipes act as biting edges. In wet conditions, they act as a sponge to absorb standing water to reduce hydroplaning.

Siping was invented and patented in 1923 by John F. Sipe, a slaughterhouse worker who brilliantly cut slits in the soles of his shoes to stop slipping on wet floors. Siping was not incorporated into tires until the 1950s.

Sipes work on tires the same as they do on shoes. Generally, the more sipes a tire has, the better it is in snowy, wet, and icy conditions, In extreme weather locations, there are tire companies that will add sipes to tires – Check out how Performance Tire Siping is done at Les Schwab Tires with has locations in Alaska, Montana, and Idaho.

But more sipes can also lead to mushy handling on dry roads as the tread blocks squirm under the weight of your car. So what do tire manufacturers do?

The point of this post is to demonstrate that not all tires sipes are alike. Most tires look good and perform well when they’re new, but during the last 50% of tread wear it’s hit or miss, literally!

Check out these General Altimax RT43 tires – the sipes disappear faster than the tire is wearing and at 70% worn, these tires have so few biting edges for winter driving, I would recommend replacing them. 

But didn’t you pay 100% of the price of your tire?

By comparison, look at these BFGoodrich Advantage Sport tires. At 70% worn, the tire sipes are still there!

That’s because BFGoodrich has the technology to give their tires full-depth siping without the trade-off in handling, and that’s what I like about these tires the most. 

BFGoodrich Advantage Sport Sipes


When you need tires, don’t mess around with the chain stores. Check out my shop, Kenwood Tire & Auto Service in West Bridgewater MA to shop for tires and schedule service.

Family-owned and operated since 1963, I’m focused on creating a memorable customer experience. Shop local!

Thanks, Spencer.

 

 

tire rack internet tire installation

The Problem With Tire Rack

Tire Rack is an online tire store. They make it really easy for you to buy tires and their prices are lower than you’ll find locally.

But unless you have a local tire shop that’ll install “customer-supplied tires”, you’re pretty much on your own. That’s because most of Tire Rack’s touted “8,500 Independent Recommended Installers” are national chains and company-owned stores offering you a $13 mount and balance to get you in the door, ripe for the upsell. 

Showing Tire Rack recommended Installers near me
I did a search for Tire Rack recommended installers, my choices were Pep Boys, Monroe, and Firestone company-owned stores?

Think about it: A Firestone store installing Firestone tires that you bought on the internet, is not going to be a hassle-free service experience.

Yes, Tire Rack is a good place to start looking for tires but watch out for their chain-store recommended installers who’ll treat you like a $10 oil change customer.

My advice is to research your next tires online then call your local tire shop. Most of the time you’ll come out ahead buying locally.

I hope this helps you in the realm of online tire buying and internet tire installation – Stay safe and let me know if you have any questions or comments. 

Spencer Carruthers – Owner@ Kenwood Tire & Auto Service


Schedule service here


internet tire installation

Internet Tire Installation Made Easy

The Internet makes buying tires easy if you know what you’re looking for. 

With a little research, online tire stores like TireRack, TireBuyer, TireAmerica, and SimpleTire can help you can make a good tire choice, and save you money.

Tire Rack recommended internet tire installer near me
 TireRack’s recommended tire installers near me are mostly chain stores!

The problem with buying tires online is that you need to find someone to install them for you.

At Kenwood Tire and Auto Service, we welcome internet tire installations, no matter where you buy them.

But other tire stores will do their best to make you regret buying your tires online.

How do you think Tire Rack’s “recommended installers”, who are the chain stores and franchises like Pep Boys that you were probably trying to avoid in the first place, will treat you when you show up with your own tires?

The best way to find a professional tire installer near you is to call around, read reviews, and ask for a recommendation.

I also recommend checking out the TireBuyer installers in your area, because they partner with local independent internet tire installers like us.

At Kenwood Tire & Auto Service we’ll professionally install your tires no matter where you buy them. 

Our customer-supplied tire installation includes replacing the tire, high-speed balancing including road-force optimizer, hand-torquing the wheel nuts, and resetting the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) 

For most vehicles, we charge $30-40 per tire for internet tire installation. 


Stay safe and let me know if you have any questions or comments about customer-supplied and internet tire installation. 

Spencer.

Severe Tire Cracking Michelin LTX

Find Out About Tire Cracking

Most drivers wear their tires out before tire cracking becomes a problem.

But if your tires sit for months at a time without being used, they’ll start to crack prematurely. That’s because tire rubber uses a chemical called antiozonant, to stop tires from cracking due to ozone, UV, and road-grime.

Antiozonant is also what makes tires turn brown, known as “tire bloom“, is only effective while the tires are being used, going through their normal heating and cooling cycles.

That’s why most of the bad tire cracking I see, is on trailer, motorhome, classic, collector, and performance car tires.

Tires need to be driven!  Even if you have nowhere to go, getting your tires hot occasionally will make them last longer.

Tire cracking is part of a tire’s life.

After 2-3 years you’ll start to see light sidewall, shoulder, and tread cracking. These cosmetic ozone and weather cracks are usually normal wear and tear caused by a combination of miles driven and age.

But sometimes manufacturing errors can also cause abnormal tire cracking – If your tires are less than 3-years old and showing significant cracks, contact the tire manufacturer’s customer service department directly.

showing severity of tire cracking

Most tire manufacturers recommend replacing your tires every 6 years, whether they’re worn out or not.

At Kenwood Tire we use Michelin’s Ozone or Weather Cracking Visual Tool to make a determination. 

If your tires have signs of cracking or dry-rot, send me a picture for an opinion.

Steps you can take to protect your tires.

  • Cleaning – Use a special tire and wheel cleaner every time you wash your car. I use Meguiars at the shop because it’s safe to use on all wheels.
  • Protection – It’s ok to use a tire protectant. Make sure it’s not silicone or petroleum-based because they speed-up tire cracking and dry-rot.

I use Wizard’s because it’s a water-based and doesn’t leave a residue.and won’t sling protectant all over your car!


If you’re concerned about tire cracking, email me a picture and I’ll give you my opinion free.

Check out some of these pictures of tire cracking people have sent me and compare them to yours.

I’m Spencer, the owner of Kenwood Tire & Auto Service and it’s my goal is to provide you with a good, honest, and hassle-free experience. 

Severe tire dry rot

Dry-Rot | Tire Cracking Explained

If you have small cracks on the sidewalls or between the treads of your tires, it may be dry-rot and time to replace them.

Just like us, tires weather and age, their rubber becomes less flexible, breaking down creating cracks in the sidewall, tread, or around the rim.

Dry-rot, also known as weather cracking, and ozone cracking is usually caused by age, ozone, and other road-grime.

Dry-rot is usually not covered by a manufacturer’s warranty because just like tire-blooming, dry-rot is more common on vehicles that don’t get driven much. Most manufacturers warranties expire after 6 years.

Tires driven daily usually wear out before cracking becomes an issue. That’s because antiozonant, a rubber additive that resists tire-cracking, tire-browning, and tire-blooming, is only released as the tire is being used.

There is no way to fix dry-rotted and cracked tires, but you can slow down the process by using a tire cleaner and protectant.

I use Dark Fury to clean wheels at the shop. It’s awesome at dissolving brake dust without hurting the wheel finish.

And to keep your wheels looking good after cleaning, you can use a non-solvent protectant like Wizards Tire and Vinyl Shine.


Check out examples of dry-rot in tires –  If you’re concerned about your tires, e-mail me some pictures and I’ll give you my opinion. 

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If you live in Bridgewater, West Bridgewater, East Bridgewater, or Easton, Massachusetts, stop by my store. Or shop for tires and schedule service online 24/7 at my tire shop, www.kenwoodtire.com.