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"Best" tires for an Explorer Interceptor?

Discussion in 'Ford Explorer Police Interceptor Utility PIU' started by Eric Z, February 6, 2018.

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    1. Eric Z

      Eric Z Elite Explorer

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      Wondering what people are running for tires on their Interceptors? Mine came with Goodyear Eagle Ultras in 245 55 R18 and I notice many seem to have the Goodyear Eagle RSA in the same size. Live in Minnesota, so good winter traction, yet not too noisy on the highway would be nice and a little longer tread life.
       
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    3. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    4. KayGee

      KayGee Active Member

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      Goodyear RSA is the standard tire for PIU/PIS. They seem to run about $1K/4 on average. IMO, they are a decent overall tire, but a bit pricey for a tire with a 260 A A UTQG rating.

      Are you wanting winter only tires or all-seasons/M&S?

      How much do you want to spend? 245/55R18 tire prices range from sub-$100 up to $500+ per tire.
       
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    5. Eric Z

      Eric Z Elite Explorer

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      Thanks for the replies. I think I prefer a good all season, given the tires are so pricey. All wheel drive helps in winter and I am more city driving than out in boonies, and very little off-road. Not sure I will ever need the 140 MPH ratings either. Thinking that civilian use is different than Police use, so maybe what is standard for them is not what everybody else runs.
       
    6. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Keep in mind that Winter tires offer more than just snow traction. That is why they are no longer referred to as 'snow tires'. Because they are composed of a different more pliable rubber compound, they don't tend to stiffen and lose their grip in colder weather (under 44 F) and are therefore much safer on cold bare roads. The only real "All Season" tire these days is the All Weather tire. The rest are actually only '3 season' tires.

      Peter
       
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    7. kobresia

      kobresia Member

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      I just put a set of Firestone Firehawk PVS on my PIU; so far, I'm happy with their performance in snow.

      The Michigan State Police did actual research into if it would be feasible to use one type of tire year-round in their fleet: https://www.justnet.org/pdf/2015-Pursuit-Rated-Tire-Winter-Performance-Evaluation-Book.pdf

      That factored into my choice a little, my PIU also came with a nice set of Firestone Firehawk GT Z, which did reasonably well on snow for an "all-season", but very poorly on ice. I've typically gone with Goodyear on my 4Runner, so trying Firestone is a new thing for me.

      The Goodyear UltraGrip tires were comparable in performance.

      I'm surprised they reviewed the regular Firehawk GT Z and not the Goodyear Eagle RSA. I was rather impressed with just how well the nearly-bald Eagle RSAs performed in snow and ice on a different PIU I had. I'd certainly consider those in the future.
       
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    8. KayGee

      KayGee Active Member

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      I guess I didn't realize it, but are the eagle ultras you're running a winter tire? Were you running them year round instead of all-seasons or dedicated summer/winter sets.

      If they are a winter tire, treadwear and performance will typically suffer as temps get above their designed operating range.

      I can't say if they are the best all-around tire, but the Nokian WRG3 is a pretty highly rated 4-season tire or all-weather winter tire. They have a 245/55R18 with a 103 load index that runs about $175/tire. They also have an "SUV" version in 245/60R18 with a 105 load index and 255/55R18 with a 109 load index. These are on my short list to try out next.

      (245/60R18 is base tire size on retail explorer)
       
      Last edited: February 7, 2018
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    9. kobresia

      kobresia Member

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      To the best of my knowledge, all of the Goodyear Eagle line are considered "Performance" tires, with some being on the all-season end of the spectrum. Their winter line is the UltraGrip. There will be a little overlap between the lines, as with Firestone, where the tread is similar between a couple of models, but the rubber compound is softer in the winter tire.
       
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    10. Eric Z

      Eric Z Elite Explorer

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      Thanks for the education on tires. I had not realized how much they have changed in recent years. So with that, I need to correct my first statement as I have Goodyear Eagle Ultra Grip tires on my 2015 Interceptor and they came on the vehicle when I got it last fall. So I guess that means I have a winter version of an all weather performance tire. I am also guessing this means these softer tires will wear much faster when Summer finally comes to Minnesota. I haven't measured tread depth yet, but visual check says maybe 1/2 way down. They do seem to work fine on cold icy roads and in the snow we have had this year. But given that tires look to be a sizable investment, wanted to start considering options early. Now if I could only convince my wife I need another set of steelies!!! One set winter and other set for rest of the year :) Maybe she would fall for a dressy set of alloy wheels, so the Interceptor looks less "Police". ?? Again thanks for the help and love the links to all the additional info.
       
    11. KayGee

      KayGee Active Member

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      From what people have reported, the Nokians seem to last 50K or more in all year use. For the price, they seem to be the "best" option for a 4 season tire. I want to try them out next to see if I can get away from 2 sets of wheels/tires for as many vehicles as I can.

      One of the criteria for the study was w-speed rating. RSA are v-speed rated, so they didn't meet the criteria.

      But, the Firestone PVS was v-speed rated, so why did it make the cut? Well, it "appeared to have a very aggressive tread pattern." (Basically, it looked cool and the RSA didn't.)
       
      Last edited: February 8, 2018
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    12. Eric Z

      Eric Z Elite Explorer

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      Michigan sounds like same weather as Minnesota, so..... Took the Interceptor across a lake yesterday (8 inches of snow cover 2+ feet of ice) and the Ultra Grips did just fine. Have not had the PIU thru a summer, but guessing the Ultra Grips will be fine, just wear pretty fast, meaning that in the fall I will need new tires. Sounds like I need to look at The Nokians and maybe get a little more info on the Eagle RSA's. Thanks for the help.
       
    13. Eric Z

      Eric Z Elite Explorer

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      Anybody have any experience with the Firestone Firehawk GT Pursuit tires on a PIU?? The Facebook Interceptor group seems to like those, but from what I can see they cost twice what the Nokians or GSAs will.
       
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    14. kobresia

      kobresia Member

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      I have a set of the Firestone Firehawk GT-Z Pursuits, that's what came on my PIU and they were nearly new. They're rather nice tires. Worth twice as much as Eagle RSAs? I wouldn't say so. I also wouldn't pay retail list prices for the Firehawk PVS tires I bought a couple of months ago. I'm allowed to buy four tires each year at State of Colorado tire contract prices, which are very competitive for certain tire types & sizes. Common police fleet tires are some of the most aggressively priced. If it wasn't for that, I'd probably just buy Goodyear or Michelin since they are normal performance tires with normal retail prices.
       
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    15. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Unless you are actually in law enforcement, I think the tires that are being used on the retail Explorers will do just as good a job on the PIU. No 'special' tire required. Time for tires

      Peter
       
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    16. Eric Z

      Eric Z Elite Explorer

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      Thanks Peter :) I had not read the thread on the "normal" Explorer side of site, very interesting discussions there and lots of tire choices. I think all season is my path as dedicated snows, are beyond my needs. The Eagle Ultra Grips have been good this winter, but wear and noise level seem high. Leaning towards the Nokians now, but by fall???? Do you know if I will have issue getting lesser tires put on my PIU? My experience has been that tire shops will refuse to put on lower speed rated tires on than what manufacture recommends?
       
    17. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Good morning Eric. I've never run into a situation about putting on a 'lesser' tire. In fact I've thought about it when getting new tires. If a PIU has a higher speed rated tire than the retail one, it would because of the use it is subjected to. If a PIU is no longer used as a Police vehicle, then I don't know why there should be an issue.

      Peter
       
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    18. KayGee

      KayGee Active Member

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      it isn't so much how the vehicle is used, it's more the liability for a shop that knowingly installs tires that aren't rated for the vehicle. Reputable tire shops will usually not install improper tire sizes, load ranges, or speed ratings. You can get around this by just bringing rims and not telling them exactly what vehicle it is going on. Some shops may not have knowledgeable folks and may not care. YMMV.
       
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    19. DubsR13

      DubsR13 New Member

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      For personal use I will be in the General GMaxAS-05. Frankly unless you need the "pursuit rated" RS-A or Firehawk for departmental use, this tire will run circles around them in every metric.
       

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