Vredestein sprint classic tires and colder temperatures?

With the conclusion of the 2018 Grand Circle Oil Leak(looked like a Grand adventure) and a few jackets being worn, I was wondering what the low temperatures were, how many Vredestein clad cars participated, and your opinions of the cold temp warnings for these tires. Any opinions from others appreciated. I just mounted new Dayton’s and Sprint Classics to my S2,and I live in Ohio.

Hi Don,

Quite a few of us had Vredestein tires but honestly it wasn’t cold enough to test the ‘cold issue’. In Ely on our way back to Boise it got down into the mid 20’s so I’m not sure that this was a valid test, needless to say we didn’t have any problems.

my opinion…is pay attention to the cold temp warning…There are quite a few other “summer” tires, now current on the modern hi speed muscle cars…similar warnings… That said…I have not heard…yet…about a summer tire coming apart at hi speed. Maybe there is some anecdotal or expert info on the modern super car forums? Of note, about tire failures due to internal damage, or old glue…is v that they do not fail much just parked or at slow speed, but it is at hi speed…the worst time…plenty of hunks of tread on the interstates, tho mostly trucks. Until proven an un-necessary warning…I’d heed it. Wouldn’t you wonder…next Spring, after leaving them on inflated and weighted, and have some trepidation at speed…just wondering if within your tire it was possibly about to fail catastrophically? I began to have that uneasy feeling just due to an old DOT manufacture date, so now, many $$, are new tires on two cars…that had perfectly good “looking” tread and sides. For those where temps will be below the summer tire warning, I feel there are other nice tire choices that do not have the "summer " destination. Or…block it up.and let the air out. Nick

I have lived in several places over the span of a few decades where winters are very cold - NW and NE Ontario the coldest of the bunch. Winter temps up there commonly get down to -30ºF and stay there for weeks, sometimes breaking -40ºF (which is the same as -40ºC) and even colder. When you leave your driveway in the morning the tires go “thump, thump, thump” and it feels like you’re driving down railway tracks until they get round again. The tires take a beating, yet over all those years and a bunch of cars and pickups I have never once experienced a tire failure due to cold. Fwiw.


This issue has been discussed before. The bottom line is that the published warnings have come from tire retailers and have been generic warnings for all summer tires. I have written twice to Vredestein and have never gotten a response. My search of the Vredestein web site did not find any similar warning of damage to the tires. There is a video on Vredestein’s web site which illustrates the longer stopping distances of its summer tires versus winter tires on snow, but no mention of damage to the tires. My E-Type had Vredestein Classics mounted three years ago. The car is presently in Ketchum, Idaho where temperatures are often in the teens (Fahrenheit) during the winter. I don’t drive the car in the snow, but I regularly take it out for a drive when the roads and bare and dry. I can’t see any evidence of damage or cracks. One caveat, the car is kept in a heated garage and is never parked outside in cold weather. It would be nice if Vredestein would make a representation of its own and put this issue to rest, but in the meantime, I feel confident that driving the car occasionally is better than letting it sit all winter.

GM bulletin #13-03-10-001A: “Information on Tire Cold Weather Cracking” – (Jan 30, 2014) advises “avoid driving, moving, or test-driving vehicles equipped with high-performance summer-only tires below 20º F as operating at these temperatures can cause damage to the tires.” The car models affected include the 2012-2014 Buick Regal GS, 2014 Cadillac CTS Vsport, 2012-2014 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and Z/28, 2014-2014 Chevrolet Camaro SS 1LE, and the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray and Stingray Z51, and SS sedan.
In GM’s quest to deliver the ultimate handling in these cars, they built performance tires with essentially a racing compound to deliver the goods. These tires are great for driving in temperate areas and are ideally suited for track use, but the practicality of the tires stops there.
Reaching out to a GM tire supplier, Pirelli, a spokesman explained that the performance tread compound becomes so stiff on such tires that it can lead to cracking when deformed in cold weather. In measuring the hardness of numerous brands of summer tires at 0º F, we have found the tread becomes almost inflexible and the tires lose their bounce when dropped. The cracking is characterized as cosmetic, but in our experience any cracking shouldn’t be taken lightly as it can evolve over time. If there is crack, you should replace the tire. (GM’s service bulletin also recommends discarding a tire with cracking.) This was in Consumer Reports
…and Michelin has warned Corvette owners with summer Michelin tires not to move the cars in the cold., so that settles it for me.

The Tire Rack website has the warnings for the Vreds. exposed to the cold.
Not a tire I would use in the cold.

In March, after reading the cold temperature warning I contacted Vredestein and received a reply from the Northeast Sales Manager stating “Yes, the classic tires are a summer tire so i would advise not driving in the snow. However, if there is no snow on the road and you want to take it out on a February day they should be fine.” I responded “I’m confused by your response to my question. You indicated that on a February day, when it could be -5 degrees F in Michigan, I can safely drive on the Vredestein Sprint Classic tires on dry roads with no damage and yet the warnings from your vendors state – if the temperature is below 20 degrees F do not flex the tire in any manner, do not roll, drive, use them to support the weight of the vehicle or even adjust the air pressure. If the tires are not designed to safely support the vehicle at 20 degrees F how can it be safe to drive on them at -5 degrees F, a temperature 25 degrees lower.” I have been waiting over 7 months for a reply. I will be ordering new tires in the Spring, and as a resident of a cold northern state, the Vredesteins are off my list of options.

The central question here is whether the Vredestein Classics have the type of soft, gummy compound which is susceptible to cracking as set forth in Nick’s post. I have seen nothing from Vredestein to indicate that it does. People seem to be trashing Vredesteins on this issue, but the warnings from the retailers relate to all summer tires. If there was truly a problem, I would think the manufacturer would post its own warnings, but everyone will obviously make their own decisions.

@TLF - thanks for sharing your response. As far as I know, this is the first time I’ve heard of anyone from a tyre company responding to a direct question on the issue. The absence of response to your follow-up question is far more typical. I guess that the vendors just want to cover themselves from liability, however small the risk is. In California, almost every product seems to be a risk for cancer if you believe the warnings issued by the vendors…

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If I’m not mistaken Vredestein’s web site states it’s a summer tire. See the snip from their website. The red arrow points to their summer tire logo.

Yes, they are summer tires, but that does not answer the question of whether the tires will be damaged if driven in colder temperatures. If anyone has seen a warning from Vredestein which restates what certain vendors are saying, it would be interesting to see it.

I think that Vredestein has to call them “summer tires”, unless it certifies these as meeting the “Mud & Snow” traction requirements. The M&S logo would then be seen on the sidewall, I assume. It possibly (probably?) has nothing to do with temperature. Unless Vredestein themselves actually declare that cold temps are a problem, I’m going to assume that this scare is a big red herring. Do we really think that they would use a rubber compound that was unsuitable in cold weather? in northern Europe?? when nobody else seems to??

The Vredestein company would do well to clear this up. Meanwhile, I’ll plan to continue to drive my Vreds during Boise’s (fairly) cold winters.

Bob Frisby S2 FHC
Boise, Idaho

Thanks to all who have replied so far. I made my choice of tires over cokers , universal, and others with the consideration of many on this forum. I don’t plan to drive in freezing temps, will lift some of the static weight of the tires over winter ( in garage) and accept the risk if I just can’t resist a sunny February day. It is nice to hear other viewpoints.

A quick internet search turned up a statement on the summer tire issue from Lee Willard, Michelins lead engineer for Corvette “In general, summer tires should never be driven on or moved in temperatures below 20 degrees F because they may crack. For those residing in cold climates Corvette owners should have a plan for vehicle storage during cold winter months. If your garage drops below 20 degrees F regularly consider removing tires and storing inside. If you live in colder climates and want to drive your vehicle in temperatures below 40 degrees F we strongly recommend investing in a set of winter or all season tires.”
It’s unfortunate that this issue is being debated. It shouldn’t be an issue of viewpoints but an issue of easily obtainable FACTS.

I was just on the phone with Vredestein in Atlanta. The person I talked to says summer tires do have his problem and it relates to the Glass Transition Temperature, which is around 40F. Below that transition temperature tire damage can occur. He said Vredestein does have the tires listed as summer tires but wasn’t sure if it was because of the compound or tread design. He said he would pass this inquiry over to his colleagues in The NL and get back to me with their response as soon as he gets it from them.

I don’t even have a dog in this fight. I’ve got Dunlops on the FHC, but I am curious as to the correct answer.

So, sit tight and wait for the next chapter. :smile:

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Thanks, very appreciated!

This makes me appreciate living in NZ :slight_smile: same tyre all year round.

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Based on previous attempts by others to get a definitive statement from Vredestein we could be in for a long wait…:grin:


I’ve never experienced any problem with the Vreds but can’t say I have spent a lot of time in < 20°F.