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Ford Explorer Tires and Wheels

zevorukozevoruko Member Posts: 9
I have recently bought a 2001 Ford Explorer Sport.

The previous owner (in my family) actually bought it with the Firestone tires and they shredded to pieces one day at low speed (no damage to anyone or anything thank God).

Ford immediately replaced the tires for some P235/75R15 Michelin that were always kept at around 30 psi.

Nonetheless, now that i got this car, and after reading the manual and the dozens of websites regarding tire pressure and danger issues on the Ford Explorer i dont know what the correct tire pressure should be.

The door indicates 26 psi but that is supposed to be the "dangerous" underpressure level of most accidents right?

Someone told me they should be inflated at 35 psi but that seems way high to me.

Can anyone tell me what is the real safe and official tire pressure I should use this this Michelins?

Thanks a lot!!!


  • biomanbioman Member Posts: 172
    During the Firestone issue Ford sent out a replacement decal, to be placed over the old tire inflation decal located on the driver’s side door opening that suggested tire pressure of 30 PSI. The 26 PSI was not dangerous, but if one did not check tire pressure regularly it was a very low starting point. Over time if one did not check tire pressure one might have created a serious condition. The low tire pressure plus the poor design quality of the Firestone tires created a dangerous situation which let to the failure of older tires. This plus the high center of gravity of SUV's led to disaster.

    Hope this helps
  • zevorukozevoruko Member Posts: 9
    Thanks a lot bioman, I dont live in the USA even though my Explorer was built there so I never got the new door sticker with the correct pressure indications and its amazing that Ford doesnt publish that in their website.

    Great info, thanks a lot for your help
  • skyking1940skyking1940 Member Posts: 1
    I am purchasing a 1996 Ford Bronco professionally lifted with 37" tires. Would it be feasible to reduce the tires to 33" or even 31" ? The present are on factory 15 " wheels. What are the advantages of this reduction in ride, and gas mileage ?
  • dtownmildtownmil Member Posts: 23
    This depends upon the gear ratio in the axles and tranny. If this Bronc has the stock gearing, then you will get Waaaaay better mileage and accelleration with the 31'' tires. -
  • henn1234henn1234 Member Posts: 1
    My driver side front tire began feathering at 13,000 miles. Dealer has worked on alignment, adding camber cams and aligning it several different ways, even out of specs. Soon the passenger side started doing the same. After out of spec adjustment the driver side began wearing unevenly on the outside of the tire, (same as inside). It has been aligned approx every 3000 miles and they can't seem to fix it. The vehicle has 45000 miles on it now. Tie Rods have been replaced also. Two sets of tires ruined and need new ones now.

    I hope someone has an idea what is going on. I am tired of being mad everytime I go somewhere because of the thumping created by the feathering of the tires.

  • scottg3scottg3 Member Posts: 1
    I am having an issue where the steel chromed wheels on my Explorer Limited are rusting from the inside out...the chrome is chipping off and thus throwing my wheels out of balance. The dealer and Ford Corporate were not helpful in solving my problem. The best answer I got was to buy 4 new wheels..a $1,600 expense...does anyone else exeperience this? Any suggestions?
  • lone10wolflone10wolf Member Posts: 2

    I also have a 2004 Sport Trac and have been experiencing the same problem with my tires that you describe as "feathering." I have been referring to the problem as "cupping" where the inside edge of the front tires are worn unevenly and little "ramps" are formed on the tread. It drives me crazy to hear and feel all of the thumping. I have spent about $1000 with balancing and alignment. I even bought two new tires for the front and in a matter of 10,000 miles, the cupping was evident again. Nobody seems to understand what is going on. And the dealer is mostly dummying up for fear that I am going to go after Ford for a remedy. Goodyear has told me that the only next step they would recommend is to replace the shocks, although they don't appear to be bad with only 43,000 miles on the truck. Like you, I am sick and tired of this problem. Did you ever figure out what the problem is and how to solve it?

    Best regards,

  • trailsandroadstrailsandroads Member Posts: 4
    Hopefully someone here knows what tire gets the best mileage and wear. I have a 2004 Explorer that takes 235/70R/16 tires. My mom has a 2003 explorer when she needed tires after 43,000 miles on the factory Michellin Cross Terrians. Now her explorer has GoodYears Wrangler Silent Aurmors on it. They handle good but they give you bad gas mileage even one year later and 13,000 miles of driving after buying them. They won't be on my 2004. Any suggestions would help.
  • m1ke10009m1ke10009 Member Posts: 1
    had wheel alignment done after putting in new kby shocks and new front wheel bearings and seals.after doing alignment shop says the camber is out of range -1.1 and -.05.they said no camber adjustment is available even though there is a camber adjuster in the steering knuckle.said it can only be adjusted by putting on new i getting snowed?also i put on new tires and had no noise or steering issues on front suspension.only did work as general has 108,100 miles on it all highway.never use 4 wheel drive or drive is driven like old lady never faster then 63 mph.they say this car has no camber that true also old tires had 60000 miles with very littlewear.thnks for help.
  • ddonnellddonnell Member Posts: 1
    This is late but in case it helps someoneI, I too, developed strange wear patterns in front tires on 99 explorer sport. I'd driven several years with no issues but suddenly it was bumpety bump with a regular whacky gouging at regular intervals along the perimeters of both front tires. It was, indeed, the shocks!
  • harmstrong11harmstrong11 Member Posts: 1
    I have the same problem as well...bought it new from Ford, and after first 500 miles I complained about cupping and inside wear. I also complained about vibration in steering wheel on the highway. They did all kinds of things to my truck, replaced the drive shaft, new front tires (once), balanced the tires dozens of times, did more alignments ect...NOTHING has ever stopped the vibration and the inside wear and cupping. I tried to get them on Lemon Law...but the Lemon Law people said they did not have enough to do anything even after I had been in the dealership over 20 times with documented complaints and service records. I have gone through 5 sets of tires and have 130K on the truck. That means I get about 27K miles per set of tires...and I buy good tires...BFG's...This is a HUGE problem and FORD needs to fix it!!! There are all kinds of complaints online about this and I don't know why there has not been a fix for this! It seems to me that the camber is off..ever notice how your tires sit leaning in at the tops? This is to much negative camber. I even bought the "camber kit" so you could adjust this and I'm adjusted all the way out and the tires still sit with negative camber...something is insanely wrong with the front end of this truck. I am thinking of having new upper control arms custom made so I can get about another 1/2 inch to play with my camber and see if that might fix the problem.
    What do I seems no one else has an answer out there...I have talk to many many mechanic about this and NO ONE has the right answer...TIME FOR FORD TO TELL US WHAT TO DO!!!!!
  • lone10wolflone10wolf Member Posts: 2
    This is lone10wolf. I am sorry to say the my answer to the tire feathering problem was to trade my Sport Trac in on a new 2008 F-150 during a time in late 2008 when I could practically steal it from the dealer. I am not looking back. The Sport Trac was a bad seed. There was no solution to the problem and I wasn't getting any acknowledgment from Ford that a problem even existed. My F-150 has been wonderful to drive and I would never go back to another Sport Trac. Sorry to say ................
  • taz654taz654 Member Posts: 1
    To make a long story short my fiance swapped rims and tires from her 2006 Explorer with her friend who had a 2002 Explorer and now her tire sensor system is not working cause the 2002 rims dont have the sensors. I see there are oem sensors and bands availible and I also see there are sensors attached to the inside of the valve stems that dont need bands. So my question is what ones are better? I dont know how long we will be keeping this vehicle so I just want to get the lights out on the dash the cheapest way possible. Thanks for any help given.
  • mmmyanasmmmyanas Member Posts: 1
    Specifics: 2003 Ford Explorer XLT with 142000 miles. Had tire rotation at 137000 miles in January. Drove about 60 miles at about 75 mph before I noticed the steering wheel was vibrating some. Then noticed a noise from front end. Got off highway and pulled into service station. Checked tire pressure. Backed car up about 3 feet and front right wheel broke off. Only 1 lug left and it snapped about 1" above brake drum face. Other lug bolts sheered off about .5 inch below the brake drum face. Thankful that no one was hurt.

    Possible causes:
    1. Lugs not tightened properly after rotation.
    2. Attempt to steal tires interrupted.
    3. Metal fatigue.

    I'm not sure if anyone has ever encountered this with their car, but still attempting to determine if other Ford Explorer owners have ever had this problem.
  • rakerjenrakerjen Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 Ford Explorer XLT and it has 136,000 Miles on it. Two weeks ago my car started shaking when I was on the highway, and then out of no where my whole tire/ wheel just fell off. Thankfully no one was hurt. I took it to he mechanic and he said the studs had sheered off. He put hardened studs on and said that should not happen again. And just to be sure it wasn't going to happen again he put the hardened studs and new hubs on all of the wheels. Well today i was on my way to work and my car started to shake again and I went right to the mechanic and he looked at the studs and sure enough another one had sheered off. He is tearing everything apart today to find out why it is doing that. He said there is absolutely no reason for this to be happening. I am scared to even drive the car anymore.
  • wrb36usawrb36usa Member Posts: 1
    I also have a 2004 Sport Trac. I had the same problem but resolved it by changing the Wheel Hub Assemblys.
    You can check yours by jacking the front wheel off the ground then grab the top of the wheel and the bottom of the wheel and see if it has any play by shaking the wheel up and down.
    If you have play then you will need to replace the wheel hub assemblys.
    Cost varies between $700 to $1500 depending on who you get to do the work.
    Hope this helps.
  • sandy91sandy91 Member Posts: 1
    Today my rear passenger wheel fell off my 2006 explorer. This is the 3rd time this has happened! The 2nd time was right after I had new ball joints put on and the shop assumed responsibility for it. The other 2 times there was no apparent reason? What sort of mechanical problems could be causing this?
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