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2020 Ford Explorer Can Be Equipped With Self-Healing Tires

Tires / 9 Comments

It sounds like a gadget from a James Bond movie.

The all-new 2020 Ford Explorer is larger, more spacious, and more comfortable than its predecessor, making it a suitable SUV for long family road trips. Thanks to Ford's innovative noise reduction technology, it also has one of the quietest cabins in its class. But any road trip can be instantly derailed by a flat tire, which leaves millions of motorists in the US stranded by the side of the road.

To help eliminate this frustration, Ford has collaborated with Michelin to introduce new "Selfseal" tires, which Ford says are designed to avoid dangerous road-side stops to replace a tire, lost time, and loss of vehicle control. It sounds like a gadget from a James Bond movie.

Designed to withstand common nail and screw punctures, these environmentally friendly tires are lined with a natural rubber sealant to fill most tread punctures and "dramatically slow the rate at which air leaks. " Ford says the 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. These are based on Michelin internal testing, however, so real-life results may vary.

"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."

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The new Explorer is the first SUV to offer Michelin Selfseal tires, which come as standard on Explorer Platinum and Explorer Limited Hybrid four-wheel-drive models, and can be optionally equipped on Explorer Limited two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive models. Tire size for all models is 255/55R-20, and all Explorer models are also equipped with a spare tire.

If a nail or screw punctures a Selfseal tire and remains in place, the sealant surrounds the object to help seal the puncture and avoid air loss. If the object punctures the tire and comes back out, the sealant is designed to fill tread punctures up to a quarter-inch in diameter. "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."