Winter/Snow tires | Page 3 | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations
  • Register Today It's free!

Winter/Snow tires

joney

Elite Explorer
Joined
March 23, 2021
Messages
902
Reaction score
771
City, State
Eau Claire WI
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Explorer XLT4x4 SOHC
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.

Welcome! Impressive - both the conditions you drive through, and the info given! Going to go with my 75/15/235 Goodyear Wrangler radial M+S tires for now as they're relatively new, haven't driven this vehicle in the snow yet! No mountains for me. I like the tall skinny tires for traction, drove a few RWD cars in the snow over the years..
 






dufferdan

New Member
Joined
September 18, 2021
Messages
2
Reaction score
2
City, State
Calgary, AB
Year, Model & Trim Level
2017 Explorer Platinum
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).



When going down steep hills in snow/icy conditions, you want to move the shifter into Manual mode and select the gear that best matches the speed you wish to go. Our street at the mountain place is quite steep and when snow covered can be quite slick. I drop the vehicle down into 1st gear and let the engine do the braking. Same thing on snow covered highways, for instance Hwy 93 going down the hill into Radium BC. The hill is about 15 km downhill, very twisty and many quite steep sections... the risk of rolling int a ditch if you get sideways is very real. In snowy conditions, I will set the manual shift into 3rd and the engine will be revving in the high 4000's, but it allows you to keep your feet largely off the brakes and the engine sets the speed. I only have to touch the brakes a few times, and when accelerating, it is smoother with less slipping. The technique uses more gas, but the safety margin vs hitting brakes in ice/snow when driving in auto mode, even with ABS, is significant. The technique also saves the brakes for when they would be truly needed, like stopping to avoid cars/elk/deer/bighorn sheep in your way and not moving. You also reduce the risk of the car running away on speed when in auto mode and frequently hitting the brakes to control speed.

When driving through mountain passes and when conditions are sketchy, I will tend to use a similar technique in a higher gear. Keeps revs lower and when modulating speed, you avoid downshifts which can break traction.
 






Casper250c

Member
Joined
June 3, 2021
Messages
28
Reaction score
11
City, State
ORCHARD PARK
Year, Model & Trim Level
2015 Ford Explorer XLT
I sincerely appreciate all the information and tips from you guys.

I decided to give the Toyo Celsius tires a try for this winter they're a hybrid winter/all season tire and have pretty good reviews. The part that was appealing to me was that they're a year round tire so it saves me from heading to swap out twice a year.

So far in dry and rainy conditions they have been great and I'm looking forward to seeing how they do in the snow.
20211011_154103.jpg
 






Casper250c

Member
Joined
June 3, 2021
Messages
28
Reaction score
11
City, State
ORCHARD PARK
Year, Model & Trim Level
2015 Ford Explorer XLT
So I finally got to try the Toyo Celsius Cuv tires in slush and snow between 2 and 6 inches so far and I have to say they are surprisingly good! Driving in normal mode on my TMS the truck doesn't slip at all unless I want it to, traction when driving normal (winter normal) is great. Ice traction so far seems to be very good considering they're not a true winter/snow tire, if you take off easy you have zero issues.

Overall I am very happy with these tires and I have not even bothered to try any other mode on my TMS
 






Top