Hooniverse Asks: What’s a “different” automotive product you’ve been wanting to try?

I’ve been loyal to the Michelin/BFGoodrich family of tires for some time now. Years ago, I tested out the then-new Michelin Pilot AS3 and I was impressed with its performance. Later, I sampled the then-new BFGoodrich KO2 tire down in Baja and was blown away. Pretty much every vehicle I’ve owned as of late has worn a Michelin or BFG product at each corner. And today that’s set to change as The Jag is getting a new set of tires from a company with which my experience level is zero.

Vredestein has been cranking out tires for more than 100 years. The Dutch company is well known throughout Europe, but not quite as familiar here in the States. Friends I know who’ve put the product on their own vehicles have nothing but positive things to say. And now I’m going to see if I can report more of the same.

The Jag is getting a set of Vredestein’s Sprint Classic tires. I think the look of the tire fits the car perfectly. Also, the Classic line offers the right mix of sizes for older cars. Paired with the gold BBS wheels I recently picked up, this set of 215/70VR15 tires should look excellent under the fenders of Coventry’s “finest”. I should note, of course, that Vredestein sent these over free of charge. Michelin and BFG have been kind enough to do the same over the years as well, which we’ve noted when applicable.

Have you been wanting to try products from a different brand in the automotive space? To venture out away from with what you’re familiar? If so, tell us about it below.

12 Comments

  1. I can’t say that I’ve got any particular desire to try a different automotive product but I do have some experience with Vredestein tires. Way back when I was in College I worked at a small repair shop that the owner really wanted to be a tire store. We were in the old Toyota Dealership and what was the show room was filled with tire racks where the vast majority of our meager stock was kept. We stocked Falls Mastercraft and Vredestein. A big reason for the Vredestein was the fact that we were pretty much the only shop in town that would touch British vehicles as long as they were not a Jag. The one man show in the back (original?) shop of the dealership was the Jag and Corvair shop in town. We were also one of the few shops that would touch some of the other euro brands.

    So I mounted a few over the years but unfortunately as far as I would usually drive them is about 3 blocks. Because we were right near the corner I’d have to take a right out of the drive followed by two more to get around to what had been the sales lot but was now our parking lot. I don’t remember them being particularly hard to balance or having a lot of comebacks and of course the boss was tell the customers they were the best tire you could buy.

  2. I looked at Vredestein for my Dutch car, naturally, but found that even their Classic series seems to be aimed mostly at people who want much wider tires than were typical back in the day and, of course, who have vehicles that can accommodate such tires. Their narrowest 13″ tire is 185. I went with the Pirelli Cinturato CA67 in order to get something in 145R13 and I’m quite happy with it.

  3. Here is a product I would love to have YOU try for me:

    https://www.evanscoolant.com/vehicle-types/classic-cars/

    It’s a waterless coolant for cars.

    “ Benefits: Eliminates corrosion, electrolysis and reduces pump cavitation, lowers system pressure, prevents overheating”

    It doesn’t boil apparently until 375 degrees F (190 C) so technically you are not overheating your car even when you’re overheating and … my brain hurts. I understand that the stuff is not boiling but does that fact mean your car is not over heating (another brain freeze here).

    I might be interested though not because of the overheating protection but because I worry about corrosion in my Alfa’s aluminum block with the steel sleeves.

    Maybe they would spot you enough to fill up the XKV8 (did you ever decide on the name?) in return for an article on the replacement process and the outcome.

    1. Even air-cooled engines can overheat. It’s the condition where parts have heated up so far that they exceed their manufacturing tolerances for size and rigidity. Like when your teenage sons get larger and less tolerant of each other.

      You may be right about it being better for the Alfa if it can do a better job reducing electrolysis / corrosion.

      What freezes my brain is what happens when this product “lowers system pressure”. The system was designed to operate optimally at a certain point on the Pressure-Volume-Temperature matrix. I would worry that chronic under-heating would be a slow death (parts rattling because not up to temp.) What pressure are the radiator cap and thermostat expecting?

      And pump cavitation? Well if your w(h)ate(ve)r pump is cavitating excessively it’s the engineer’s fault; bad pump design. Introducing a fluid with different characteristics than what the pump was designed for may not be the best idea, but maybe they worked that out?

    2. That all sounds terrifying… Probably would be good in the Montero since that can run on 3 cylinders and sand in the tank.

    3. i think the idea is that when water boils into steam its ability to absorb heat is dramatically reduced. bubbles on a surface engaged in heat transfer will absorb less heat per unit area than liquid water. if this stuff doesn’t boil until 375F, it can absorb heat much more effectively up to that point. so you can have a leak and not lose as much heating capacity as you do with a water-based system.

  4. The guy at my local tyre shop has been brilliant with his recommendations for tyres on my cars. The Subaru had what others have called ’boutique’ wheels – sizes were difficult to find, and the quality of many was questionable.
    The Touareg is a bit exotic for Australia, so again tyres weren’t very easy to find, but I’m happy to go with whatever he recommends, he hasn’t led me wrong yet.

    The motorbike is different: Pirelli Angel GT’s all the time. I just don’t want to change anything about the way it handles/grips.

  5. I have been a Michelin tire (plus maps!!) fan for ages for cars and bikes but have gone to Yokohama twice for Geolanders (RAV4 and GX460). And quite frankly, always a little disappointed in how quickly they wear down. But, the cost per mile and 3-peak symbol make them more reasonable than any Michelin/BFG offering.

    1. This is good news for me. I bought five Geolandars for my Econoline, and while I love the ride, tires on it usually dry rot before I can wear them out. Such is the life of a camping/hauling/spare vehicle.

  6. Tire-wise, I have been a fan of UniRoyal RainExpert, later redesigned to RainSport tires. Noticeably better grip in our eternally wet weather, and sticky during sunny season.

    When it comes to “other” stuff, I think of Gyeon WetCoat. They advertise it as ceramic spray, which is, kind of, against their own good because it sounds so heartbreakingly stupid. Yes, it contains some silica, but a spray cannot compete with a proper ceramic coating.

    What it does instead, and is very good at, is adding a hydrophobic layer onto the paint that lasts a few weeks in our harsh climate. A newly cleaned car has a deep coloured shine I have not seen any other “easy” solution like sprays achieve. Is it worth the price? That’s debatable, but I enjoy the effect on my car’s paint very much, in sunny and rainy weather.

  7. Are these octane boosters really working? Up here, the 98ROZ sources are drying out, 95ROZ is the only stuff that’s available everywhere. I guess I’m forced to try it once.

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