2020 Ford Explorer Features Sci-Fi-Like Self-Healing Tires From Michelin
Harnessing Wolverine's superpowers for tires? Sounds like a hit.
In the Marvel Universe, the character of Wolverine benefits from the uncanny ability to self-heal rapidly from almost any wound, making the comic book character all but immortal. While that case is completely fictional, the idea of self-healing applies to the real-world 2020 Ford Explorer's new tires from Michelin, which are designed to heal themselves so the driver doesn't need to repair a flat on the side of the road.
Called Selfseal, these proprietary Michelin tires are lined with an environmentally-friendly rubber sealant that fills most punctures caused by nails and screws. According to Ford, the tires seal 90 percent of tread punctures up to a quarter-inch in diameter. The benefits here are obvious; not having to change a tire along the side of the road is way safer than having to do that. Also, since they heal nearly immediately, there's less risk of a blowout causing loss of control.
“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.”
This isn't the only solution to a tire going flat on the 2020 Ford Explorer. All Explorer models will come with a spare tire for the times where the self-sealing tires don't work. A sidewall puncture, for example, would likely necessitate the need for putting on the spare.
This approach is interesting because it means you can ditch the tire inflator kit with the chemical in it to repair a flat. That alone makes it worth it, but keeping the spare tire also is appreciated as the tire can't heal all punctures and being stranded without cell service is a real possibility with a flat.
The Selfseal tires are standard on Explorer Platinum and Explorer Limited Hybrid four-wheel drive models, and it is optional on Explorer Limited two-wheel and four-wheel drive models.