2020 Ford Explorer wears self-sealing Michelin tires

They're not the same as run-flat tires, but they have the same goal in mind.

Andrew Krok Reviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
Andrew Krok
2 min read
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It's not going to keep you away from the tire shop, but it may let you get there under your own power or prevent you from having to change a tire on the shoulder of a busy road.


Run-flat tires have been a popular option on passenger cars for years now. But just when everybody got comfortable, Michelin threw a set of self-sealing tires into the mix on the new 2020 .

Ford announced Tuesday that the 2020 Explorer will be the first car to come with Michelin Selfseal tires. Standard on the Platinum and Limited Hybrid trims with four-wheel drive, the tires are also available on Limited 2WD and 4WD models for some extra scratch.

The clever bit hides inside the tire. The tires contain a natural rubber sealant, which can either surround an embedded object or patch a hole that an object leaves behind. In terms of punctures, Ford says the Selfseal tire can seal 90 percent of tread punctures up to 0.25 inches in diameter.

It's not a perfect seal, though -- it only reduces air pressure loss to less than 15 psi per week. In short, it's enough to get you off the highway and to a tire facility, but not enough to let you continue the remainder of your road trip. Furthermore, this only works with tread punctures -- if you get a nail in the sidewall, or the sidewall is slashed through, the tires can't do anything about that. Worse comes to worse, the 2020 Explorer still has a spare tire.

Michelin's Selfseal tech is radically different than the run-flat tires you might be familiar with. Some run-flat tires use reinforced sidewalls that can handle the vehicle's weight when tire pressure drops, whereas other run-flat tires may contain a physical ring made of rubber or another material that then supports the vehicle after the tire deflates. 

Both types of tire may have the same goal -- getting you off the road in a safe way -- but they take fundamentally different approaches to that goal.

2020 Ford Explorer is better in almost every way

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