Anyone who has ever had a road trip or family vacation delayed or ruined by a flat tire will appreciate Ford’s latest improvement on the popular Ford Explorer. Some models of the 2020 Ford Explorer will come equipped with Michelin Selfseal tires.
There are very few things more maddening than flat tires, especially on new vehicles. We live in an area where there are a lot of homes being rehabbed. Within a month of buying my vehicle a year ago, I picked up a nail from one of the many construction sites. Luckily, a local tire store could patch it without having to replace the tire.
How Selfsealing Tires Work
The new Michelin Selfseal tires are lined with a rubber sealant designed to fill most punctures from nails or screws. No more panicking that you have to get to the tire store immediately, or purchasing two new tires at a time so that the tread wears evenly. Even if the sealant isn’t able to stop the leak entirely, it should be able to at least slow the leak so that it doesn’t become a crisis.
The Michelin Selfseal tires claim to handle 90 percent of punctures, which is great. Gone are the cans of gooey self- sealant, that are often pretty messy.
As a woman, I especially like the idea of a self-sealing tire because of the dangers of having a flat tire in some less-than- friendly neighborhoods. My aunt recently ruined a wheel because one of her tires went flat in a dangerous area. She drove on the flat until she reached a well-lighted and safer area. The wheel was expensive but she was able to safely call a tow truck and have it repaired. Most of those nightmare scenarios could be eliminated with the advancements in self-sealing technology.
Trying to Avoid Delays or Being Stranded
It can also be dangerous to be stranded, with a flat, in a remote area. This is the time of year when many families are traveling for spring break and a flat could put your whole family at risk. Colorado just endured a brutal blizzard with hundreds of people suffering spin-outs and flats on highways that are quite a distance from the nearest towns. Self-sealing tires could make the difference between life and death in similar extreme weather conditions. That is especially true in some of the more remote locations where often cell phones don’t work because there are no cell towers.
“Nothing derails a family vacation like a flat tire,” said Joseph Billman, Ford wheel and tire engineer. “Explorer is the ultimate road trip family hauler – and it’s the perfect fit for these new Michelin Selfseal tires.”
Not only will the Selfseal tires keep you from losing valuable time on the road, but they also will help you avoid the dangers of having to change a tire on the side of the road. Explorers are equipped with spare tires, but finding a safe place on a heavily traveled highway is often difficult, especially if your tire is going flat. The Michelin Selfseal tire should help you get on your way, and if the tire is still leaking, it should provide you enough time to get to a repair shop.
Selfseal tires are standard on all-new Explorer Platinum and Explorer Limited Hybrid four-wheel-drive models, and optional on Explorer Limited two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive models. The 2020 Ford Explorer is the first SUV in the world to offer Michelin Selfseal tires.
Expect to See More of the New Tires
According to Michelin’s internal testing, Michelin Selfseal tires seal 90 percent of tread punctures up to a quarter-inch in diameter, slowing the loss of air pressure to less than 15 pounds per square inch per week. They can’t promise that will happen in every situation, but the Selfseal tires should buy you some time for getting your vehicle repaired. If a tread puncture or low pressure is detected, the tire should be inspected and repaired by a qualified tire professional.
“The all-new Explorer is designed to help our customers feel unstoppable and worry-free,” said Craig Patterson, Explorer marketing manager. “The availability of these new Michelin Selfseal tires is another great example of that.”