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Winter/Snow tires

peterk9

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But it's a 4wd? Why would you need to put snow tires on? I've owned four wheel drives for 35 years and never had snow tires on them
Winter tires are different than regular tires as has been mentioned many times. It doesn't matter what kind of drive system you have if the tire compound gets hard and loses traction on cold non snow covered surfaces. 2WD, AWD, 4WD, it doesn't matter. That is why they are now referred to as winter tires instead of the old misleading 'snow' tire name. That's not to say regular tires may not work in snow, it's just that they are not as good or safe particularly on cold surfaces.

Peter
 



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christes

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So I've never used snow (winter) tires because every truck I've had in the past was true 4wd and I ran AT's on them. This is my first AWD/4WD and of course AT's aren't really going to work for it so I would like suggestions on which snow/winter tires you all recommend for me to take full advantage of the 4WD system and terrain management system in this truck.

Thank you in advance!
I replaced the crappie OEM Hankook's on my 2018 Explorer Limited after the first winter with Michelin Defender LTX's. The Michelins have excellent traction on snow, ice, and wet roads. They work well with terrain management settings. I would highly recommend them.
 






CDW6212R

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But it's a 4wd? Why would you need to put snow tires on? I've owned four wheel drives for 35 years and never had snow tires on them

4WD is not for snow or ice IMO, it's for off roading.

Winter tires are not for accelerating, they are for stopping and steering. It's way more dangerous to go down a hill or incline with any non Winter tires, the 4WD has nothing to do with stopping on slick roads.

You may be enjoying driving on deserted flat roads where you have all day to stop, and no objects to hit if you slide out of your lane. But most of the world has roads with hills, and cars everywhere. Here we have ditches too, and curves, not flat fields to slide off into when you lose control.
 






J_C

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4WD is not for snow or ice IMO, it's for off roading.

I can't even get up my (paved) driveway with a FWD car, a few times every winter, nor out of my neighborhood up a steep hill until it's been plowed and salted. Never had a problem doing these things with a 4WD/AWD.
 






Larryholmes

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I'm aware of the tire compound and the fact that AT's lose their grip in cold weather which is why I was asking about snow/winter tires for the Explorer. As for wheels as well, well that depends on the cost of wheels. I don't mind switching winter tires to my stock rims if needed.

I'm not being cheap just don't want to spend $1,000 on wheels, I could pay someone to switch them to the stock rims many times for that lol
Taking one set off and putting another set on and balancing each season for the lifetime of the tires will cost at least a grand. Go to the salvage yard pop for the stock steel wheels.
 






Marauderleader

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I have used blizzacks on other vehicles, my plan if the snow gets too bad.......

6B70D14D-840D-4F24-B4F5-921C45557173.jpeg
 






Pinout

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So I've never used snow (winter) tires because every truck I've had in the past was true 4wd and I ran AT's on them. This is my first AWD/4WD and of course AT's aren't really going to work for it so I would like suggestions on which snow/winter tires you all recommend for me to take full advantage of the 4WD system and terrain management system in this truck.

Thank you in advance!
AWD is actually a better design since it biases the front tires during acceleration. There's no more need for AWD than a 4WD to have dedicated winter tires, since the braking systems are the same between the two. My preference for our FWD cars is the Michelin X-ice.
So I've never used snow (winter) tires because every truck I've had in the past was true 4wd and I ran AT's on them. This is my first AWD/4WD and of course AT's aren't really going to work for it so I would like suggestions on which snow/winter tires you all recommend for me to take full advantage of the 4WD system and terrain management system in this truck.

Thank you in advance!

ice
 






Casper250c

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Wow, thank you all for the responses! I too never needed winter tires on my previous 4wds but I'm now driving way more due to work and my horses than I ever have in previous years and in an area that sees little if any plowing come snow. The large increase in the amount of driving I have to do now and the fact that now my horses are in an area that don't do much plowing are the reasons why I'm thinking winter tires would be a good investment
 






CDW6212R

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I can't even get up my (paved) driveway with a FWD car, a few times every winter, nor out of my neighborhood up a steep hill until it's been plowed and salted. Never had a problem doing these things with a 4WD/AWD.

I bet you would like some actual Winter tires for your driveway, in that snow and hills. My AWD Mercury with the Blizzak's would barely break the tires loose on a slick snow packed road. With any all season tires, or any non Winter tires, I could spin tires easily on packed snow.

The actual Winter tires have a ton more grip than non Winter tires. I went up a hill in about 2007 that was steep and a day old snow. I just walked right up it, turned 80% from the top(backed down right to a mailbox(NDCBU)), then turned right and went to the top, spinning the front tire(stock open front diff). Going down was the scary part, I knew that was the dangerous task. The people who live there park at the bottom of the hill, about ten vehicles. There were half a dozen people watching me go up, figuring it would be typical fun to watch another car spin and slide down. I walked that Mountaineer down that hill with no sliding, and while doing it, I knew it was a mistake to go up there, and I wouldn't risk it again.

That was West Casey Drive in 37862 if you want to look for that on the Google earth that shows pictures of street level. It's a steep hill, not that long but if you slide, there's a deep ditch at the bottom. The Blizzak tires were the trick to get up, and down that hill. The AWD did nothing to save my ### coming down, the Torsen rear diff, that was more help than the one front tire pulling. If I had used all season or low level Winter tires, I might have gotten up that hill, but I would have wrecked coming down it.

People forget how differentials work, a 4WD with two open diffs, is just a one front and one rear drive vehicle. Having an open front means you have three wheels pulling at most(with an LS rear).

 






MM07

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I replaced the crappie OEM Hankook's on my 2018 Explorer Limited after the first winter with Michelin Defender LTX's. The Michelins have excellent traction on snow, ice, and wet roads. They work well with terrain management settings. I would highly recommend them.
Same. 100% happy.
 






J_C

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I bet you would like some actual Winter tires for your driveway, in that snow and hills.

I bet that I'd prefer to just keep doing what I'm doing which is not buy, store, and swap winter wheels twice a year. :)

I have no interest in doing that, have never gotten stuck, and the only accident I ever had was one where the sudden ice storm, caught me by surprise and replacing a single tire ~25 years ago, is a lot less expensive than a lifetime of burden continually buying and swapping on snow tires. It just doesn't get THAT cold here, but the colder it gets in someone else's region, the more they make sense.
 






Marauderleader

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People forget how differentials work, a 4WD with two open diffs, is just a one front and one rear drive vehicle. Having an open front means you have three wheels pulling at most(with an LS rear).
Unless it’s a Raptor, which locks all the wheels, making it an actual 4wd.
 






LtKlaus

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I'm picking up a 2019 Explorer Sport next week, and one of the first things I'll do is get new tires. I live in Northern Ontario Canada and we get -30C weather with many FT of snow throughout the winter. I've never used dedicated snow tires on any of my AWD vehicles. When I was younger and broke, I made due with the all-season OEM tires that came on the vehicle. Now that I can afford better tires, I've switched to using the new all-weather tires. Tires that have the 3-peak winter rating and are year round tires. They aren't quite as good as a dedicated winter tire, but way better than a regular all-season.

The last two sets of tires I've had, that were very good driving through snow (sometimes 12+inches) with an icy base, were
  • Goodyear Assurance Weatherready
  • Nokian Tyres WRG4 SUV

For the Explorer, I've been considering the Falken Wildpeak A/T Trail. It's all-weather and a mild all-terrain tire. I hunt and fish in the summer and go down some rocky roads. No big rocks, but lots of sharp rocks, so I'm looking at getting something a little more durable. We also have a lot of potholes in the spring, and crappy roads year round, so something that can better handle the abuse of our roads would be nice. My main worry is going to be road noise for normal daily driving and highway driving.
 






peterk9

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^^ Welcome to the Forum. :wave:
Again, snow is only part of the equation when talking about winter tires. They are also built to be safer and provide a better grip on cold bare surfaces. That's the part most people don't take into consideration. I've never used the newer All-Weather tires since I lease my vehicles and use winter tires. I've read some good articles on them though. I believe there would be a slight performance compromise compared to regular so-called all-season and winter tires.

Peter
 






funwithbono

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^^ Welcome to the Forum. :wave:
Again, snow is only part of the equation when talking about winter tires. They are also built to be safer and provide a better grip on cold bare surfaces. That's the part most people don't take into consideration. I've never used the newer All-Weather tires since I lease my vehicles and use winter tires. I've read some good articles on them though. I believe there would be a slight performance compromise compared to regular so-called all-season and winter tires.

Peter
I’ve got 165,000 miles on my ‘16 sport (original owner). I scrapped the shi* Hankoooooks 😂 which were junk at 15,000 miles to the Premier LTX for 50,000 solid Miles but northern Michigan winters don’t appreciate this tire. I then ran the COOPER SRX’s for 50,000 miles which were an smooth improvement, then I spooned on a set of my current favorite; the COOPER AT3 4S. There incredible, sticky in the wet (still), phenomenal in heavy snow and ice and with 5,000 mile rotation, I still have 5/32 left after 50,000 miles. They’re snow rated too. One minor beef; they get Whiney with age. I have replaced all 4 wheel bearings (Motorcraft front, Timkens rear) thinking this was the culprit. Nope, it’s the Cooper’s! For this reason; and this reason only, I’m strongly considering the defender LTX next…which I’ve run in other vehicles for decades! Please don’t ask me about wheel bearing installation(s) as I’m still trying to find my rotator cup(s) and my hearing aids as both were damaged in the pathetic removal of these…
Who designs hubs that are seized steel on cast aluminum anyway…there should be a law 😂
Enjoy Labor Day all!
 






bogieb

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I put Continental Winter Contact SI with XL walls tires on my 2014 Explorer - I swapped them out in spring for regular tires as you are planning. I was happy with them. I live in NH and we see our fair share of cold, snow and ice in our hilly, windy-road state. I made sure I got the XL winter tires since I had the tow package and used it to transfer wood pellets to my house (go thru 5-6 tons per year). I also had a commute of 100 miles RT. The Continentals performed well. My MPG did go down from 21 to about 18, even when not using 4wd, but I was okay with that.

I kept the Continentals when I traded in the 2014 for a 2018. Unfortunately the 2018 came with 20's instead of 18's so I'll probably get rims for them. Also, the 2018 came with Geolander G055 XL winter tires so those will stay on until they are done. I don't drive much now (WFH) so may take a couple of years unless they totally sux in the winter (I have only had this truck for about 45 days, so don't know). I will say that I am getting good MPG with the Geolanders at 20-21 mpg.
 






LtKlaus

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^^ Welcome to the Forum. :wave:
Again, snow is only part of the equation when talking about winter tires. They are also built to be safer and provide a better grip on cold bare surfaces. That's the part most people don't take into consideration. I've never used the newer All-Weather tires since I lease my vehicles and use winter tires. I've read some good articles on them though. I believe there would be a slight performance compromise compared to regular so-called all-season and winter tires.

Peter
Thanks. I agree 100% that winter tires are going to be the best for all round winter conditions, and having separate sets of tires are the ideal. From my experience, I've been happy with the all-weather tires. They do slot in between the all-weather and winter and have some disadvantage to both. I just picked up my Explorer 2 days ago, so I still have a few months to decide on all-weather or winter tires before the snow starts to fall. The OE Hankook tires only have 34k km on them so I may just go with winter tires and keep using the Hankooks in the summers till they are done.
 






karlos2

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I had a good experience with Blizzak's. They performed well in the deep snow and on ice.
 






dufferdan

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So I've never used snow (winter) tires because every truck I've had in the past was true 4wd and I ran AT's on them. This is my first AWD/4WD and of course AT's aren't really going to work for it so I would like suggestions on which snow/winter tires you all recommend for me to take full advantage of the 4WD system and terrain management system in this truck.

Thank you in advance!

A few other considerations. Firstly, invest in snow tires. I have the Blizzaks and they are great. But there are loads of awesome winter tires out there.

Second, you havent specified model/trim level. If higher trim level (sport/premium/XLT) you may have tire pressure sensors. They are mounted inside the tires at the air valve. It is really easy for them to get wrecked when removing/installing tires. Most shops charge to replace if damaged. Even if it is their fault. One reason for a second set of rims.

Third. If you have the larger rims on your all seasons, for winters, you can go with a smaller rim diameter, use a higher aspect tire, same rolling diameter. Smaller rims are cheaper, as are that type of tire, especially if you have the larger performance rims. The latter require a stiffer sidewall tire as aspect ratio is smaller. When you downsize, you can also get a slightly narrower wheel/tire. The smaller contact patch puts more pressure per square inch on the road, increasing traction of the tire. TireRack website can show what you need. I got a set of winter spoked rims and tires for 1600 USD shipped. I will be on my 5th winter, likely the last on those tires. TR will also mount the tires and TPMS sensors and ship assembled. Mine shipped with a spacer that goes inside the axle to match the offsets. Try not to lose these.I also require a second set of bolts for the winter wheels. A bit of a pain, but managable.


As example, my factory 20" rims take a 255/50 R20 tire. I dropped down to an 18" rim for my winters (-2 sizing) and have 245/60R18 winter tires.

I live in Western Canada, we can get down to -40*C or worse in winter, and I drive through the Rockies almost every weekend. They can get a lot of snow. The passes I drive through can be some of the worst driving on the continent. It is mandatory to have winter tires from October 1 to April 30. Having driven through those same passes with all-weather and all - season tires in winter conditions, (short term rental cars) vs my winter tire setup, the difference is night and day. The physics of proper winter tire/wheel setup vs all season is compelling and real. You still need to moderate your driving for the conditions, but the safety factor is more than significant.
 



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peterk9

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Welcome to the Forum Dan. :wave:
On my 2017 Platinum I used the 18" steel Interceptor wheels with the 235/60R18 that I had on my 2014 MKT. No spacers required.
A 235/65R18 tire in your case would have been an exact match with 0% diameter difference. The 245/60R18 has a difference of -2%.

Peter
 






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