Michelin LTX M/S Good in the snow? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free!

Michelin LTX M/S Good in the snow?

I had Michelin LTX M/S tires put on our Explorer. I was wondering, how are they in the snow? The tread does not look as agressive as the tread on the Goodyear Wrangler RT/S that were on it originally. I still have the old tires, should I switch back for the winter?

Stephen Withrow
97 Limited
98 Lexus LS400

Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!

Stephen, I have the Goodyears, and am contemplating replacing them with the Michelin's. Did you notice any change in ride/cornering. I do mostly Highway driving in New York.

Dave 96XLT

We have had the Michelin LTX M/S on our Isuzu Trooper for the last 50,000 miles and they worked great in snow. They were even pretty good with 1/8th to 1/4 of an inch left of tread life.

Ryan Penner
1992 Explorer Sport

Dave, the Michelins ride a good bit better, and they are a LOT quieter.

Stephen Withrow
97 Limited
98 Lexus LS400

[This message has been edited by Stephen (edited 09-14-1999).]

Stephen: I replaced the Goodyears on my '96 XLT with the Michelins last year, after looking at many different alternatives, because the stocks were garbage. The Mitches run very smoothly and quietly on highway pavement. I too am in the Northeast and these tires are great in the winter...Would I do it again? You betcha! Can't wait for the OEM Firestones on my '99 to wear down. Word of caution...These tires are not too expensive, but they ain't cheap either...do a complete 4 wheel alignment soon after you buy them.


Stephen and Eagle Hawk: Which version or size of the Michelin LTX MS tires are you using, the LT (light truck) or P (passenger) version? I have a 91 XLT Explorer and want to replace my aging Firestones. There is some Ford advisory regarding not OK to use Michelin LTX on Ford Explorers, according to Michelin at 800-642-4354 ???? Mike

I have already bought the tires, but never driven them in snow. They are standard P235 tires.

Stephen Withrow
97 Limited
98 Lexus LS400

MikeP: Don't know anything about Michelin/Ford advisory but it doesn't sound legit. Be that as it may...ALWAYS use LT (Light truck) tires on your LT (Light truck). The side wall construction of P tires may not take the wear and tear our vehicles will put them through, based on the Explorers size, weight, suspension settings etc. Anyone else know about a Michelin/Ford advisory?

What do you guys think of Running 30x9.50 mickey thompson Baha Belted on an explorer I heard they are good in snow and I think they look good ........and I live in MN so I need something good for this damn snow

I was getting conflicting information from newsgroups, Ford, and other
Explorer owners, so I contacted Michelin this week(10/27/99). My question to them was:
for my 1997 XLT AWD V8 model Explorer with stock Firestones, are the Michelin
LTX M/S tires ok? Michelin called me back very quickly and indicated that the
Michelin LTX M/S tires are NOT recommended for the Ford Explorer for stability
reasons on-road and off-road. To clarify the statement, I asked him if this
was true for highway & pavement driving. His answer, yes. I forgot to ask if
this applied only to the late model Explorers, because Michelin may be NOT
recommending the LTX M/S tires for my year Explorer(1997) & those like it.
I've seen older model Explorers around here with the LTX M/S, but I have yet to
see any newer Explorers with them on (just an observation).
I asked Michelin what they DO recommend for my Explorer. His reply:
Michelin LTX A/T, all terrain tires. I asked, for highway also? Answer, YES.
I see that the LTX A/T are available in P235/75R15 108S XL. I may look at
these, instead of the LT235/75R15; the "P" will probably provide a nicer
highway ride.

Boston area

KBC - I think that Michelin and/or Ford advisory not to use Michelin LTX M/S tires either in P or LT is "haywire"! I finally purchased the P as in P235/75R-15 for my 91XLT. By the way, at www.discountiredirect.com one can look up the tires which match your 97 XLT Ford Explorer (Michelin LTX M/S are listed as OK for my 91). Had the Michelin LTX M/S for about 2 weeks and they work OK - but have not really given them much of a test (just highway use, some wet weather here in the Seattle area). MikeP

I just put a set of the LTX MS on my 97 XLT last weekend. The dealer, who sells Fords across the street, didn't say anything about the tires being an improper application. A couple of comments: 1. What makes the tire inappropriate? The posting says "stabilty reasons." What are they? Am I going to tip over on the freeway? Don't think so. Also, the pattern seems similar to the factory Goodyears which is OK?. 2. Is the Michelin guy really saying that they want you to buy another tire that they think will be better for a wider range of uses. More expensive perhaps? 3. What is it about the Explorer that makes it undesirable? Why is the same tire presumably OK for other SUVs and light trucks but the Ford is a no-no? Hmmm. Without some convincing evidence, I'm having a hard time believing that the tires are a bad choice. Lastly, since Ford sells 400K+ Explorers a year times many years, wouldn't you think that Michelin would have made this stability problem well known long ago?

This tire thing is starting to bug me. I just finished looking at the Michelin website and using their on-line tire selector. Here's what I found: no matter what combo I tried, Michelin does not make a suitable tire for my 97 4x4 XLT but we know that isn't true because they recommended the LTX AT to kbc60. Strange thing is that Michelin makes tires for the Ranger and Expedition but not the Explorer? Something isn't right with these people. I'm going to go back to their website and ask if the LTX MS is OK or not.

Jeff. When I talked to Michelin via phone, they said that Ford told them that their LTX M/S tire was not OK for the Ford Explorer. And Michelin said Ford provided them with no reason why it was not OK. Actually, I was wondering if "someone" was confusing the LT (light truck) prefix with the LTX tire model designation and perhaps Ford's communication to Michelin might have been that the LT Michelin tires were not OK but the P tires were OK. I have been to tire shops who sell Michelins and did confuse LTX with LT!!!!! Yes, I know folks install LT tires on Ford Explorers. In fact were I got my "P" Michelin LTX M/S they tried to get me to buy "LT" Michelins in a different model.

This is starting to make some sense. Reading between the lines Ford disapproves of Michelin but probably approves of Firestone and Goodyear. Could it be because they are both OEM on Explorers? Do you think there is a sweetheart deal here? I'm starting to think that this is another one of those examples where the dealer is just pushing its own interest/products. The manual says to use Motorcraft oil and filters because they have the "Ford" blessing. I'll do just that because everything else is crap because the manual suggests so. Right.

Ford's first response to my question on 11/2/99:

"To determine if the Michelin LTX M/S P235/75R15 tires would be an
acceptable substitute for your Stock Firestones, it is recommended that
you contact the tire manufactures directly because they are in the best
position to address your inquiry. "

Ford's Second response to my question on 11/2/99:

"After further research, the Owner's Manual states that you must make
sure that all replacement tires are of the same size, type,
load-carrying capacity and tread design (e.g., "All Terrain", etc.), as
originally offered by Ford. Do not replace your tires with "high
performance" tires or larger size tires."

Well, if this is true, then the Michelin LTX P235/75R15 M/S should be fine, because the stock Firestones are P235/75R15 M/S. Could it be that Michelin received the same advisory from Ford (out of the Manual), looked at the Fstone Wilderness AT tires, thought the AT meant all terrain (which we know it DOES NOT, these tires are marked M & S), which would lead Michelin to advise using their A/T all terrain version of the LTX? As noted by MikeP above, the LT in LTX creates confusion, since LTX is available in "P" or "LT". Ford may look at the LT in LTX and say, not approved since they may believe it to be light truck, not passenger rated.
I think Ford is just looking for a way to void your warranty on anything tires may affect.

To answer the question of price, I found the A/T version of the LTX is less money than the M & S.

Saw in these posts the controversy over the Michelin LTXs and I e-mailed Michelin Customer Service immediately. A quick reply from them said that LTXs were absolutely fine on my '96 XTL. I had no trouble finding the correct size and at a great price too. Am looking forward to replacing my OEM Firestones at the first opportunity.