2020 Ford Explorer Features Sci-Fi-Like Self-Healing Tires From Michelin

Harnessing Wolverine's superpowers for tires? Sounds like a hit.

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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.

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Michelin Selfseal tires on the 2020 Ford Explorer

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.