Not sure I made the right decision- 2014 Limited | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Not sure I made the right decision- 2014 Limited

Steve Brucher

New Member
Joined
January 3, 2018
Messages
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City, State
Mio, MI
Year, Model & Trim Level
2014 Limited
I got fed up with my Audi Q7 S-line and all the electrical and tire issues I was having with 60K on it. I went looking for similar cars from Ford and Dodge. My local dealer had this absolutely pristine 2014 Explorer Limited with 55K and made me a fair deal on my trade. I have owned several dozen Fords and always buy the top one or two trim packages -I also have an F150 limited and an F350 King Ranch. I am a master mechanic and own a motorcycle dealership so I diagnose mechanical issues daily. I posted that in hopes of skipping the obvious answers with these issues.
The dealership installed brand new Nankang SP-9 tires. This car handles worse than any vehicle I have ever owned. It has this odd loose feeling over uneven road surfaces like a freshly plowed back county road but I also notice it over normal roads. It seems as if the suspension unloads even slightly it upsets the chassis and gives the impression that you will lose control. Very similar to that feeling right when you hit a patch of ice and get numb steering. It almost never feels connected to the road. The second biggie is the torque steer. On a moderate size incline, driving normally, the vehicle will downshift as the load changes and pull HARD to the left. If you don't have a firm grip on the wheel it will pull you into the left lane. It is definitely torque steer but it is more than any other FWD biased AWD car I have ever owned- Like my Pacifica and my wifes Escape that were flawless in the same conditions (I have been driving this same road twice a day for 21 years). Before I spend $1K to buy new Bridgstone Alenza's to replace tire with 300 miles on them does anyone have experience with any of these issues? Maybe someone put the same tires on and started noticing these symptoms? Other ideas? I am ready to just kill someone at Ford if this is normal for this vehicle. It is downright unsettling to drive. It pisses me off that I just traded in a $70K vehicle that couldn't keep tires on it for something that I actually liked better only to have more issues that are possibly tire related. Thanks in advance.
 



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I don't have any of these issues in my 2017.
 






My 2014 Sport is nothing like that. I run Pirrelli Scorpion Verde All Seasons and they haven't caused me any issues. I have next to no torque steer and my steering is nothing like you are explaining.
 






Never heard of that tire brand. Sounds like just about everything you described is tire related.
 






I think I'd be back at the dealer getting it looked at, and if it is a tire issue, having them replace the junk tires.
 






Welcome to the Forum Steve.:wave:
In doing a 'Search', your post seems to be the only one that mentions the SP-9. Another post mentions this; "The vehicle has cheap Chinese Nankang SP-5 tires ($125/ea on Amazon)." Here is another post that mentions the brand; Time for tires
I'm on my 3rd FWD biased AWD and have not had the issues you mentioned.

Peter
 






I had a similar experience with my 2015 Limited AWD. Torque steer and loose steering and handling. Reducing tire pressure to about 35psi all around kinda helped, but I grew tired of how it felt and upgraded to a 2017 Sport. Better handling versus the Limited.
 






That's what I'm afraid of. Spending money to purchase new tires in the hope that I fix something that is inherent in the design. The Nankang SP9 tires (these are the newer version than the SP5) get great reviews but who knows. Some vehicles work better than others with tires. I can't tell you how disappointed I am with this vehicle. It drives me crazy. I just ordered a set of Alenza Plus' so hopefully that will help.
 






Welcome to the Forum Steve.:wave:
In doing a 'Search', your post seems to be the only one that mentions the SP-9. Another post mentions this; "The vehicle has cheap Chinese Nankang SP-5 tires ($125/ea on Amazon)." Here is another post that mentions the brand; Time for tires
I'm on my 3rd FWD biased AWD and have not had the issues you mentioned.

Peter

Thanks Peter,
I went to the Ford dealer and tried another Explorer and it had the same torque steer issue I was complaining about. At speeds above 45 and going up a hill when the transmission downshifts as you add power to maintain a consistent speed there is a definite hard pull to the left as the power is increased to the front wheels. In my case that motion upsets the chassis and makes the car feel a 1975 Cadillac. In the car I tested it just had the hard pull but not necessarily the unsettling feeling so I'm thinking a higher quality set of tires will help. The SP9 gets great reviews while the SP5 is just average but I still suspect they are just cheap tires and are most of the problem. I had an 04 Pacifica that was dead straight with the stock Michelins and my local tire store talked me into some Mastercraft tires and they ruined the vehicle- kind of exactly what I am describing on the Explorer. I took it back a week later, put the Michelins back on it and Viola'- problem solved.
 






I will put $5 on vehicle history (possible prior accident damage) and/or alignment/suspension/driveline issue.
 






one word... :snicker:NANKANG. I've never accelerated hard on a FWD but on all AWD, the front end likes to run away like a rabid dog when flooring it. Maybe try Snow or Sand mode etc, it will bias power to the rear tires especially when driving hard. I would also keep the pressures around 36psi, gives better handling with less sidewall flex.
 






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