PDA

View Full Version : Tires for Ford Explorer



Curt Harms
01-25-2006, 9:43 PM
Hi All

I had the Ford Explorer inspected today by a Ford dealer. Got a phone call-all 4 Michelin tires failed. The sidewalls all have cracking. The service manager said they've had to replace quite a few Michelin tires due to this problem. The dealer has 3 tires available and is pushing a tire from Republic supposedly made by Kelly Springfield, the Trail Mark radial. They say they've sold quite a few of these and had no problems. I've been searching and can find no reviews or evaluations or any data re speed rating, load rating traction rating etc.

I began searching for alternatives and came across a couple from Wal Mart. One I was looking at is the GoodYear Integrity. Speed 112 mph, traction A Temperature B Uniroyal Liberator has similar specs. Anyone have any input? Both are about $20 cheaper for 4 tires so the price isn't an issue. The lack of info on the Trail Mark is an issue to me. Anyone have any input?

Thanks

Curt

Matt Meiser
01-25-2006, 9:52 PM
When looking for tires for my Ranger, I did a search on the Liberators. They are apparently a tire specially made for Wal-Mart and I found several references to them not being well balanced. I ended up with a store brand tire from one of the local chains (Belle Tire) that is supposed to be made by Kelly Springfield and they seem good.

Another point is that with Wal-Mart, you aren't going to get very good service. They'll probably get them installed OK, but I doubt that the clerk has any clue what they are talking about helping you select a tire. A tire store will probably be much better.

JayStPeter
01-25-2006, 10:18 PM
Check out the ratings at tirerack.com. They're quite good. For light truck/SUV tires Bridgestone has a lot of winners. I believe there is a Kelly or two that does well also. You may want to look to someone besides your dealer to get a better selection/deal.

Jay

Jim O'Dell
01-25-2006, 10:46 PM
Curt, how much depth is there in the tread? That is the only thing that is looked at in Texas for the inspection. I'm in Lincoln/Mercury and we have a Dodge dealership on the same location/same owner. A while back, Dodge was set up with NTB for tire replacement. They came out and walked the lot, came back in and told the Dodge service advisor that 3 vehicles on the lot wouldn't pass their next inspection because of cracks in the side wall. We heard about it and just so happened our DPS inspector came in to do a check on our paperwork and we asked him about it. His eyes lit up, steam started flowing from his ears, and he started asking all of us who said it and who he said it to. The way he left our place, I just said, Someone's you-know-what just got nailed. He was not happy and went directly to NTB and read them the riot act because cracks in the side wall was not a failure of the tire for a state inspection (in Texas). This may not be true in your state, but I think I would make a call and ask a local DPS officer. Could be someone is trying to make an extra buck!
Now, that being said, if your tires are actually dry rotting, they may not be long for this world, and could pose you a problem. The safe thing to do would be to replace them if it is dry rot. But you may not have to replace them for the state inspection. Jim.

edit for ps: Look around and get your best price on tires if you do replace them. Take that to your Ford dealer and see what they will do. Ford has a national campaign on tires and have been matching prices. The dealership even gets to turn in to Ford and get the difference back to a certain extent, so they don't lose if it is below cost.

Wes Bischel
01-25-2006, 11:52 PM
Curt,
I feel your pain. LOML's car had a similar issue at last inspection. At first I thought scam, because it only has 30K on the odometer - then reality set in - oh, yeah the car is a '96.:eek: :o We have Goodyears from Walmart on both cars. They have their special line of Goodyear tires, but on my car they installed the "regular" Integrity badged tires because Goodyear had run out of "their" tires. It's been two years on my car and 6 months on LOML's. So far so good. Funny thing is, an acquaintance in know about tires told me to go to Walmart - never crossed my mind before then.

FWIW,
Wes

Andy Hoyt
01-26-2006, 2:15 AM
I feel your pain - but I'm posting for a related gloat-worthy reason.

Bought ny 1998 Ford Exploder new. At 52,000 miles my original Firestone tires got recalled (with plenty of life left in them) and got replaced with a set of Goodyears.

I hit 100,000 miles last week and they're holding up just fine.

When they go bald I think I'll just replace 'em with a new vehicle.

Jeff Sudmeier
01-26-2006, 9:41 AM
I have always been partial to BF Goodrich All Terains, they look great and wear like iron :) If you don't do any off roading though, they are over kill.

Joe Pelonio
01-26-2006, 9:45 AM
We just put new Goodyear's (Wrangler SRA) on the wife's Liberty, found they were $50 each less at Sam's Club than at the Goodyear store. On the son's Dakota we got tires at Les Schwab and have been happy with them.

Frankie Hunt
01-26-2006, 10:29 AM
I 2nd the B F Goodrich All Terrians. I dont think they are overkill for a street tire. They have excellent traction on wet pavement. They have excellent traction in the snow. They have excellent traction on wet grass. They are not too noisy and have a decent ride. They wear good too. They have a 3 ply sidewall for additional strength and handling. (Ever have to do an emergency swerve? This will help) They have a rimsaver feature (the edge of your rim is covered) to save your rim if you have a misshap with a curb.

Why have a 4 wheel drive vehicle and put car tires on it? What if you need to go out in a snow storm? What if you are in some kind of emergency and need to pull off into the median on a high way? What if .......

They wont ride quite as well as a car tire (close enough), or as well as some of the other "so called" off road tires. They are a tad bit noisier (but not bad) To me it is well worth the tradeoff. At one time I had 3 sets, Explorer, Jeep Cherokee, F150. I am now down to two sets because of vehicle trading, Jeep Cherokee, F250. This is the only tire I use for my 4x4s. And I don't go offroading. If I did I would step up to the B F Goodrich Mud Terrians.

I get them at Sears. They offer free lifetime balance and rotation. Their prices are competitive too.

If these are too aggressive at least go with the Goodyear all terrains.

Your tire is a very, VERY vital piece of equipment that helps you keep control of your vehicle. Dont scrimp on this piece!

Frankie

Scott Coffelt
01-26-2006, 11:03 AM
Sure seems like Ford is having issues with all tires on their explorers, first it was firestone or goodyear, now michelin. You wonder what is up with that. I have michelins and love them on my Avelanche. I also really like Bridgestones, though they are a tad louder ride. I think Kelly tires are pretty good, but limited dealers in my area. I buy my tires at Sam's club. If you want michelins again, I'd have them get you a forth, it shouldn't take too long to track down.

Lee Schierer
01-26-2006, 1:47 PM
I put Kelly Safari SUV tires on my Explorer 4 years ago and have been extremely pleased with them. They are wearing well, have good wet and dry traction and get me through the snow as well. They are quiet on the road. Best of all they noticeable improved the ride over the goodyear tires that were on it when I bought it used. These SUV tires took out a lot of the side sway and rocking.

If I needed new tires today I would buy another set without even looking at other brands.

Norman Hitt
01-26-2006, 11:27 PM
Don't EVEN get me started on Tires from Sam's Club, OR Walmart for that matter. The tires they get ARE NOT the same as the tires of the same brand that are sold at other merchants, and from my personal experience, there are not enough foul words to describe their quality, warranty policies or service accurately. Michelens, (bought at any Tire Store other than Sam's or Walmart) have been excellent on my Daughters Explorer, AND my wife's Lincoln, and other cars and trucks of ours in the past. I have also run Kelly's off and on over the years on various cars and Pickup Trucks, and never had a problem with any of them. I got excellent tread life from them also.

Good Luck with whatever Brand you choose.

Curt Harms
01-27-2006, 4:26 AM
Curt, how much depth is there in the tread? That is the only thing that is looked at in Texas for the inspection. I'm in Lincoln/Mercury and we have a Dodge dealership on the same location/same owner. A while back, Dodge was set up with NTB for tire replacement. They came out and walked the lot, came back in and told the Dodge service advisor that 3 vehicles on the lot wouldn't pass their next inspection because of cracks in the side wall. We heard about it and just so happened our DPS inspector came in to do a check on our paperwork and we asked him about it. His eyes lit up, steam started flowing from his ears, and he started asking all of us who said it and who he said it to. The way he left our place, I just said, Someone's you-know-what just got nailed. He was not happy and went directly to NTB and read them the riot act because cracks in the side wall was not a failure of the tire for a state inspection (in Texas). This may not be true in your state, but I think I would make a call and ask a local DPS officer. Could be someone is trying to make an extra buck!
Now, that being said, if your tires are actually dry rotting, they may not be long for this world, and could pose you a problem. The safe thing to do would be to replace them if it is dry rot. But you may not have to replace them for the state inspection. Jim.

edit for ps: Look around and get your best price on tires if you do replace them. Take that to your Ford dealer and see what they will do. Ford has a national campaign on tires and have been matching prices. The dealership even gets to turn in to Ford and get the difference back to a certain extent, so they don't lose if it is below cost.

Hi Jim

It does look like dry rot. The vehicle is a 2002 but hasn't been driven much for the last year. Ford does have the best price-about $140 less than "real" tire stores for 4 tires. Re the Explorer tire problem history. I was poking around a Ford Truck site and apparently for a while Ford was recommending 26 psi tire pressure for a better ride. That was about 9 psi below tire manufacturer recommendations. If true, no wonder there were failures!

Curt

Eddie Watkins
01-27-2006, 10:57 AM
All I can tell you is I have been running Michelin tires for the last 20 years with no problems. When I changed to Michelin I was working with on older fellow and was griping about all the sorry tires I had bought and he told me if I wanted to get rid of tire problems to get Michelin. It has worked out well for me. I just replaced a set that came on my GMC Envoy that had run 71,000 miles. The tires were guaranteed for 65,000 miles and still had 4/32 tread on them. I bought the new tires at Sam's CLub (Wal-Mart related). They replace valve stems, balance the tires, and provide road hazard guarantees for $9 per tire and guarantee it in and out in 59 minutes or you don't pay the $9. Last tires I bought, it took 1:04 and I didn't have to pay the $9 per tire.

Jim O'Dell
01-27-2006, 11:47 AM
Hi Jim

It does look like dry rot. The vehicle is a 2002 but hasn't been driven much for the last year. Ford does have the best price-about $140 less than "real" tire stores for 4 tires. Re the Explorer tire problem history. I was poking around a Ford Truck site and apparently for a while Ford was recommending 26 psi tire pressure for a better ride. That was about 9 psi below tire manufacturer recommendations. If true, no wonder there were failures!Curt

Yeah, we all thought that was a little weird, too. That much under pressure should cause the tire to wear prematurely on the outside edges, and if anything, make the tire run hotter, thus creating the problem the Firestones were exhibiting. With all the flack over Firestone tires on the Explorer, we only saw 1 tire that we felt had a problem. That recomendation came out after the tire problem surfaced.
And tires that are only 4 years old shouldn't be dry rotted IMHO. It might be worth a call to the local distributor of that brand tire to see if they would look at it. May not get you anywhere, and may not be worth a long drive if they aren't local to you, but if close, I'd give them a call.

Sure seems like Ford is having issues with all tires on their explorers, first it was firestone or goodyear, now michelin. You wonder what is up with that. I have michelins and love them on my Avelanche. I also really like Bridgestones, though they are a tad louder ride. I think Kelly tires are pretty good, but limited dealers in my area. I buy my tires at Sam's club. If you want michelins again, I'd have them get you a forth, it shouldn't take too long to track down.

Scott, I'm not aware of any problems with Michelins on any of the Ford/Lincoln/Mercury products. The Explorer/Mountaineer went through a MAJOR chassis revamp for the '03 model year, going to 4 wheel independant suspension. Have had no issues at the dealership I work at. Continental tires, on the the otherhand, I consider worse than the Firestones ever were. There has been a recall on them on certain Navigators, and therefore Expeditions. Unfortunatly, they had to be replaced with other Continental tires. The difference is that Continental was forced to do this recall and so only used their tires (I can understand that) where the Firestone recall was initiated by Ford because Firestone evidently refused or chose not to do the recall themselves. So Ford used what ever tires were suitable and available from several manufacturers. If you have some information on Michelin failures, please send to me, I'd be very interested to have that in my aresnal at work. Jim.

Jerry Olexa
01-27-2006, 3:22 PM
Check w your local Ford dealer. A few years back, they had a recall on their tires. I have a 2000 Ford Explorer and I ended up w 4 new tires free. Ford may stand behind it in spite of their recent problems, layoffs, etc

Jim O'Dell
01-27-2006, 4:10 PM
Check w your local Ford dealer. A few years back, they had a recall on their tires. I have a 2000 Ford Explorer and I ended up w 4 new tires free. Ford may stand behind it in spite of their recent problems, layoffs, etc

Jerry, won't help on the '02 model, it was post recall and didn't have Firestone tires on it, IIRC. Since the recall, Ford has not used Firestone tires at all, on any of their cars. We're not even supposed to sell them at the dealership level.:( Jim.

Rob Russell
01-29-2006, 12:58 PM
LOML's ride is a '98 Mountaineer. It had "those" Firestones that were covered by the recall. We ended up with Michelin Cross-Terrain SUV tires on it. The ride is fine, it does perfectly well in snow. Gas mileage on her SUV (AWD/V8) has always been terrible, so I can't comment about whether the tires had any significant impact there.

I'd have no problems putting another set of the Michelins on, although at the rate she drives (~5K miles/year), it's gonna be awhile before she needs tires.

Rob

Joe Chritz
01-29-2006, 8:44 PM
I have an aquaintance who does crash testing for a living. I have had performance driving training many times and have had training on tire failures regarding accident causation.

I will add this .02 FWIW.

Do not under inflate any tire. Read the sidewall and use that pressure. Check it everytime you fill up with gas. You can not look at a radial tire and tell if it is low. By the time you can see it low it is really low.

All tires have DOT ratings on them for treadwear, traction and temp. All tires have a speed rating some are at the minimum which is way higher than you should be driving anyway.

The only thing that keeps your 4000 pound 55 MPH beast on the road is four patches of rubber measured in square inches. Buy the best tires you can and keep them up well. Any tire produced by a major manufacturer should be adequate for daily service.

Passenger car tires (pickup trucks, etc) are not designed for mileage of over 50 or 60K. That was part of the problem with the Firestone deal. The tread of a tire is only a small part, the bead, sidewalls and all plys have to stay intact as well.

Stay safe on the roads

Joe