Toyota Avalon Tires and Wheels

bwiabwia Member Posts: 2,913
edited July 2014 in Toyota
My AVY has the 16-inch Michelin tires on alloy wheels. Yesterday, I increased the tire pressure to 33 psi from the factory recommended 32. However, there is a noticeable improvement (smile!) in handling but ride quality has degraded to a rather harsh and noisy experience.

I read something in the owners manual about cold tire pressure which can be very different from normal tire pressure.

My question: -- since I inflated the tires to 33 psi after about 10 miles of driving, would that raise the tire temperature to such a level that the true tire pressure is really much higher than 33 psi reading? If it's higher, how much higher? And why such a severe degradation of riding comfort?


  • travelerjbtravelerjb Member Posts: 46
    I have always checked my tire pressure first thing in the morning when it has been sitting all night and in the shade out of the sun. That is COLD. I have also ALWAYS kept my tire pressures at 35psi. This is in regard to the last 6 vehicles over the last 25 years I've owned them. It has always delivered the best wear/handling characteristics regardless of whether it was a 14, 15 or 16" tire. If there is a "magic" number I'd say that 35 is it. I have had many a tire installer agree with me when I've asked them to mount and air it up to that pressure. Even the dealers admitted that 35 is a near perfect air pressure to add cold as it will rise when hot, but not to a dangerous level, and will not wallow like any lower pressures will. I have always noticed that the wear characteristics were perfect allowing for the tire to contact the ground perfectly without permaturely wearing the edges or center. I'm sticking with it..........
  • bwiabwia Member Posts: 2,913

    So how is the ride with such highly inflated tires? Did you compare the 35 psi to the manufacurer recommended 32? Are you in the snow belt, if so how is the driving characterics in moderate to heavy snow?
  • travelerjbtravelerjb Member Posts: 46
    frankly between the factory recommended 32psi and the pressure I've always preferred (the 35psi) I find so little difference in the ride, but a HUGE difference in the wear characteristics, especially at the outer edges of the tire. It's virtually perfect with 35 and excessive with 32psi. Just my experience for years.......and the handling is noticably better with the higher pressure in corners especially
  • mcclearyflmcclearyfl Member Posts: 149
    I also use 35 psi. Consumer groups regularly find that motorists' tires are under-inflated, partly because many drivers don't care, and partly because the cold tire pressure can only go down over several days or weeks, not up! I find, as in the previous posting, that my tire wear is very even, but I do suspect that overall tire wear may be a little worse because the tire has less "give". I have NEVER had a tire that comes even close to the advertised nominal mileage.
  • abfischabfisch Member Posts: 591

    Regarding remarks above. I flip snow tires on its own wheels and rotate tires at most oil changes, every 5K. Disagree somewhat with comments above. More important at 5K intervals, than to change air filter once a year, although this is done too. 5hp ain't going to make or break an Avalon. See what happens to the 3.3L and if the available increase in torque makes the car better prepared to climb hills without downshifting. That, in my opinion(not the gospel) is where it is needed, not at 4000RPM, which is attained once and awhile while passing. Rather, the question is how many of you take the AValon past 4000RPM more than once a day??? Then how important is the hp versus torque?? Not much I bet.

    Relatively, easy fix for the steering column. Mine did the same in cold weather. Dealership that cares can deal with it. Use of lubricant spray at bottomof column where it comes closeto the floor, at joint, is I believe where they addressed it. No more noise.

    "Feed the forum"

  • finfin Member Posts: 594
    While buying a new set of tires for my '03 XL, the dealer, a good friend, offered the following as something new to try. He said:

         "We are now filling tires with pure NITROGEN and not just compressed air (78% nitrogen). Your tires will last longer, hold air better, steel wheels won't rust and you can check the pressure every 90 days because the tires won't deflate slowly. Even the ride quality is better......etc. The cost is $7.50 per tire for a "lifetime" of free nitrogen refills if they ever leak or get a flat."

    In 40 years of driving, THIS is truly a new one on me. So, to all those who read and post on these boards:

    1. Have anyone ever tried this?
    2. Does it make a difference?
    3. Is it worth the price?

    All comments and suggestions are welcome....
  • fndlyfmrflyrfndlyfmrflyr Member Posts: 668
    Nitrogen has been used for years in big rig tires, airplane tires, and others. The need for keeping the inside of the tire dry (no ice formation inside the tire) is a factor with airplanes and there is an internal oxidation reduction too.

    Nitrogen leaks out at about one third the rate of regular air so tires hold inflation longer. In theory this can mean better tread life and better mpg if one does not regularly check tire pressure.

    The advantages are more stable tire pressure, slower pressure loss, and less internal oxidation. From a safety point of view nitrogen is inert and does not burn.

    Chances are one will not notice any difference in normal driving if nitrogen is used instead of regular air. The amount of increased tire life will most like be very small, if any. Having to go to a specific place every now and then to add nitrogen costs time and money (fuel as well as wear and tear). Probably not cost effective, especially if you place a value on your time.

    To gain the full benefit of nitrogen the regular air must be removed and the nitrogen must be very dry.
  • coachclucoachclu Member Posts: 1
    Hey Folks,
    I've seen a lot of impressive diagnostics here. Maybe someone can help me. Bought a used 96 XLS about 19months back. Have driven it from 62k to 110k miles, almost all highway. Now on 3rd set of tires! I get it aligned, but within a couple months I notice a feel like tire "rubbing" down the road. Just aligned again friday and notice the car drifting to right very slightly when putting power to wheels, not when coasting downhill. Tire center rotated right tire (directional)again. Still drifting. Does anyone have any thoughts or experience with similar problem? Thx.
  • fndlyfmrflyrfndlyfmrflyr Member Posts: 668
    Need to know how your tires are wearing. My '96 wears the outer edges of the front tires unless tire pressure is kept at 35, rather than the lower pressure called for by Toyota.

    There are no adjustments for caster or camber as the car came from Toyota. These (mostly camber) determine pulling. The only adjustment is toe and that can effect tire wear, but not pulling. Too much or too little and tires wear faster, You can tell by rubbing your hand across the tire tread. If the tread feels sharp in one direction only an adjustment is needed.

    Suggestion: If you usually drive alone consider having alignment checked with you in the driver's seat.

    Comment. If one front tire is bigger than than the other (one has more tread wear) the car will tend to drift towards the side with the smaller tire during acceleration or heavy braking.
  • abfischabfisch Member Posts: 591
    Yes, I have some other questions for you. If you have changed the tires, and alignment, and none of these works, then it is one of two things, probably depending on mileage. Check the rotors first, as one may have a bad run out. Besdies drift, it usually causes the steering wheels to vibrate, even when the brake is not applied. Check the axle bearing next.

  • shuzuluzashuzuluza Member Posts: 1
    My 2000 Avalon has developed a noise that seems to be getting louder. It does not correlate to the AC or to the RPMs. It seems to be related to how fast the car is going, which made me think it may be the tires, but the noise does not seem to change with pavement type, and the tires (second set) are supposed to be especially quiet. The noise sounds like a motor/buzzing and seems to be lounder in the back seat. I took it to the dealer, they didn't hear it-but this was 6 months ago and it's gotten louder. The car used to be so quiet, so I don't think this is normal. any suggestions?
  • nightlingernightlinger Member Posts: 12
    I am experiencing the same problem with my 2000 Avalon. It's been great and I have 180,000 miles on it. But at around 100,000 miles, it started "humming." I have put on new tires and had it completely checked out, but still the humming. It doesn't affect the driving, it's just that it is a little aggravating. As you say, it does sound like pavement noise. Hope someone gives some possible causes of the noise.
  • abfischabfisch Member Posts: 591

    If you have replaced the tires, and it still hums, then you know it is not the tires. Not sure who "check it out" but I would bet it is something that goes round and round, and most likely the ball joint or similar.

  • badgerfanbadgerfan Member Posts: 1,565
    A ball joint is a suspension/steering element and does not go round and round. Maybe you meant CV joint?
  • abfischabfisch Member Posts: 591
    Thanks. I meant to say, to look at it in sequence, starting from the tires, then rotors, then CV joint, then bad ball joint, although this could be bad inside, not rotating around.

    Thanks for that correction. My bad.

  • nightlingernightlinger Member Posts: 12
    Abfisch you were right. After suffering through the whine/noise for about 50,000 miles, the Toyota dealer identified the problem as ball bearings and now the car runs great. 2000 XLS with 190,000 miles.
  • bwiabwia Member Posts: 2,913


    Is that a misprint, 190,000 miles? I dive my 2000 XLS every day and yesterday I reached 40,000 miles with a tire change at 37K miles. Otherwise, no problems (knock on wood).
  • nightlingernightlinger Member Posts: 12
    Yep, 190,000. I love the car. Only other "big" item, besides brakes, was shocks/struts at about

    100,000. It's worth the expense. Keeps the car feeling solid and new. Liked it so much boughht a 2003 XLS with 50,000 miles in December for $21K + tax.
  • bmwdougbmwdoug Member Posts: 248
    I have seen a 2005 Avalon with an after market mesh grill, and 18' inch wheels, WOW!! It was a head turner. I would also like to know if anyone has added bluetooth via after market. I think all of the above would make the 2005 Avalon a true LUXURY car with looks to match.
  • bigsambigsam Member Posts: 4
    Noticed this under various threads. People were complaining about over pressured tires on their new Av's so I decided tonight to check my new (2004 holdover) tire pressure after the dealer "serviced" the car for delivery. Found 48, 50, 46 & 48 psi. Guess the dealership doesn't do tires when they inspect a car for delivery.

    Thanks members for the heads-up on the tire pressures!
  • pcp2pcp2 Member Posts: 12
    Several miles (200+-) after installing new tires same size as original the check engine and VSC (vehicle skid control) light comes on. I can reset it by disconnecting the battery and re connecting it but after driving several miles the lights come on again. Does the computer need re programing?

    The Toyota Dealer reset it one time, assume they disconnected the battery, but I still have problem. Any ideas as how to fix?
  • canddmeyercanddmeyer Member Posts: 410
    My 4Runner is in for the same issue. Let the dealer worry about it. So many associated things may be the cause you'll never figure it out.
  • pcp2pcp2 Member Posts: 12
    The dealers fix was to disconnect the battery to reset lights. That did not work. Are you saying let the dealer do this again to the tune of $90+ and I will still have the problem??? I don't think so. That is my 2 cents worth but, thanks for your comment.
  • springcitspringcit Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 Avalon with 90,000 miles on it and have had to put 4 sets of tires on it. One set a year. Has anyone else had this problem? No matter what kind of tires even Michelins.Yes, I had a four wheel aliment done too. I bought the car with 23,000 miles on it and it already needed tires. Thanks, John
  • sandydee1sandydee1 Member Posts: 26
    I had to buy two new front tires for my 2003 Avalon after only 17,000 miles. I actually had the lifetime tire option but voided that when I did not have my tires rotated every 5,000 miles. Hopefully, the new tires will last longer than 17,000 miles.
  • grozagroza Member Posts: 89
    "I actually had the lifetime tire option but voided that when I did not have my tires rotated every 5,000 miles. Hopefully, the new tires will last longer than 17,000 miles. "

    Ummmm, Sandy, my guess is that you can expect 34,000 miles if you rotate 'em; 17,000 miles if not. What do you think, bud?

  • qualitynutqualitynut Member Posts: 36
    I'm up to 50k on original MXV4s with plenty of tread left. Rotate every 5k, high percentage of highway miles. Expect another 20k yet; new tires before winter.
  • nightlingernightlinger Member Posts: 12
    Have 202,000 miles on my 2000 Avalon. Runs great except I now have a rattle sound
    coming from right rear tire area. It's only when I run over a bump and never when I am
    on a level surface. Sounds like a bottle rolling or like a loose window pane, but I've
    check for that. Any ideas as to problem?
  • mikes.mikes. Member Posts: 337
    "Have 202,000 miles on my 2000 Avalon. Runs great except I now have a rattle sound
    coming from right rear tire area. It's only when I run over a bump and never when I am
    on a level surface. Sounds like a bottle rolling or like a loose window pane, but I've
    check for that. Any ideas as to problem? "

    Have you had the wheel bearing(s) checked? Are the struts original or been a long time since replaced?

  • blackexv6blackexv6 Member Posts: 503
    My '94 Camry had the same problem and I replaced the rear struts. The rattle was still there. Go figure.
  • fun2drivefun2drive Member Posts: 2
    Anyone know how to remove the grill? I need to get to the condenser and I know I need to pull the grill.
  • nightlingernightlinger Member Posts: 12
    I replaced the struts at about 100,000, I think. Recently, had the CVG/bearings
    replaced. One mechanic said it might be some part that has worn down that is
    on the back wheels. Don't know what it part it is but he was trying to order them
    through Toyota. Must not be one stocked.
  • bakeroidbakeroid Member Posts: 39

    I have an '05 Limited, and it is not Bluetooth savvy. I have a Motorola V710 Bluetooth phone and added an aftermarket Motorola Bluetooth Hands Free Kit. About $300 with installation. Inobtrusive, and it works fine.

  • rlejr66rlejr66 Member Posts: 44
    Anyone out there have the o.e. part number for the wheel locks for the 2005 Avalon Limited? Forgot to get the option when I purchased the Avy. I am sure an internet dealer has them much cheaper than the local dealer is selling the for.
  • geezer6geezer6 Member Posts: 1
    Just got my new XL, my one complaint is the ride. It is rough and I feel every bump or dip. Will different tires help? Mine are Bridgestone Potenzas. Will a bigger tire or touring type tire help?
  • mikes.mikes. Member Posts: 337
    Very 1st thing to do is check the tire pressure. Several of us have found our cars came with 38psi & higher. This makes for a rough ride.

  • kkovakkkovak Member Posts: 16
    My 2003 Avalon is currently in for regular service, Oil/filter, etc. When inspecting the tires they tell me thay are at 3/32 tread when PA state minimum is 2/32. This car has only 17,500 miles on it. Anyone else have experience with these OEM tires wearing out so soon? About half the miles are highway and half around town. Recommended replacement tire?

    Other issue is front rotors. Recently have felt a slight vibration on light braking. Dealer tells me that the front rotors and pads need to be replaced, but they will do it on warranty. Anyone else with experience with rotors going so soon?
  • tasmanmotorstasmanmotors Member Posts: 8
    I have read about Toyota OEM tires (Michelins) wearing down fairly quickly, but the handling and road noise are excellent. My brother works for a company that does testing on vehicles and tires. He states that Michelin are the some of the best in the industry but they do tend to cost substantially more than other tires of its class, but they also take the time to thoroughly do R&D on them. And the funny thing is I recently read a review from someone in Harrisburg, PA complaining about the treadwear on the Michelin OEM tires for a Toyota Avalon. I would honestly recommend going to this website,, and put in the information for your make and model and then click on tire reviews for the car. This will give you a variety of tires and reviews from people who purchased them. Then make your best judgement and find a retail store that is selling that particular brand and spec. of tire. And just out of recommendation, do not buy Dunlaps or Goodyears, always had bad experiences with them and I have tried to give them more than a few chances. Sorry if anyone is of a fan of Dunlaps and Goodyears, just stating my personal experience and opinion on them.

    As for the rotors, I have not heard problems that early with a Toyota. I had purchased a Dodge product brand new and within the first 5000 miles there was vibration in the steering and brake pedal. I took back to the dealer and they said I need to replace the pads and the rotors needed to be turned and not replaced. No charge because it was under warranty. After that I didn't have any problems. It is very possible to have issues with brakes with only a few thousand miles. But definitely take them up on replacing under warranty. I don't think you really need to worry about it too much. Only if it seriously happens again that I may ask if there is a problem. And again, I honestly not heard about typical brake problems with Toyotas. However, in a competitive market of cars, trying to keep costs down and needing to make some sacrifices maybe the parts are not as high quality as they once were. Just an observation and side note. Good luck on your vehicle and hope you have a good experience and not a negative one.
  • capaccionecapaccione Member Posts: 11
    My OEM tires lasted till 22K. I replaced them but it seems the FWD on avalon is hard on tires. I replaced with Continentals which lasted to 60K ( was an 80K tire). I now have Coopers

    I have the slight vibration but mine is a 2001. I think its time for new rotors and pads
  • nightlingernightlinger Member Posts: 12
    The problem was determined to be bushings or whatever the part the struts fit into.
    I had already put struts on at about 100,000. Now have 209,000. As matter of infor-
    mation, I also had to put ball joints not long ago after I heard a loud noise in the rear
    of the car.
  • tritium_mantritium_man Member Posts: 3
    Can any one suggest tires for an Avalon 2000, tire size P205/65R15 92H. Currently have tiger paw//uniroyal tires. Looking for long tread life, ride quiet and comfort. all season. 32 the proper tire pressure?

    Thank you
  • finfin Member Posts: 594
    My experience is strictly Michelin MXV's. They work well for me on an '03 XL, give all that I want in a tire. Not cheap. Some who post here have good luck with Bridgestone, maybe some other names will appear also. My driving is all southern, mostly rural and interstate with no snow. H or V rated is fine, but the V is not necessary, H rated should last longer. Set at 32 or 33, a slight difference. Take your pick. 34 psi makes for a harder ride, not recommended. Mine are nitrogen filled. Hope this helps......
  • alan_salan_s Member Posts: 362
    I replaced the horrible Continentals that came as OEM's on my 2002 Avalon with Bridgestone Turanza LS-H. The LS-H is an incredibly good tire. It is VERY quiet and smooth and handles well. I had the inflation at around 31psi for best comfort. I was so impressed with them, I put Turanza LS-T's on my wife's Sienna and they are excellent too.
    I have Bridgestone Turanza LS-V on my new 2005 Avalon but disappointingly the LS-V is NOT as good a tire as the LS-H. It is quiet but harder riding and has been difficult to balance. The LS-H is much softer riding and less expensive. You don't need the V-rated tire on your Avalon. Don't get any other Bridgestone other than the Turanza LS series if you are looking for a smooth and quiet ride. The new Turanza EL400 is a very noisy tire, even though Bridgestone promotes it otherwise, and so are other Bridgestone models. Read the reviews on - - - - m=065HR5TLS&vehicleSearch=false&fromCompare1=yes&place=4
    Bridgestone offer a 30 day ride guarantee. I am confident you won't be disappointed. Tip: Bridgestone corporate stores sometimes have a "hidden" offer - 4 tires for the price of 3, but you have to know about it and ask for it. I'm not sure which regions are still running the promotion but it is worth a try...
    Alternatively the new Goodyear Assurance Comfortred has good reviews by Camry owners for being quiet and smooth, but I have not had first hand experience.
    A final note on Michelins: They are engineered to be light and conserve energy. Most vehicles will use less gas running the MXV4 Energy series, but they are expensive and tend to be noisy - depending on model. The newest MXV4 model is the MXV4 S8 which is standard on some of the new Avalon grades.
  • abfischabfisch Member Posts: 591

    I can make some recommendations, but these are not the gospel. Others may give a different and important real world assessment. I have 4 sets of 4 rims for my Avalon 02. Long story. Consumer Reports last year had an excellent article comparing tires on the same cars, both a Honda and BMW. They further broke it down in two catergories, and then a decision matrix spaning dry traction, wet traction, cornering, dry braking, wet braking, noise and snow traction I believe.

    Let me preface the rest, by telling you that we are in Northern NY state and run winter tires, so snow traction is not important in an AS tire. I do remember there were three outstanding tires, but I picked the Falken Ziex ZE512(??). Not sure of the number now. There also was a Bridgestone Turanza LH, and I believe a Michelin. Better get the article though, cause my memory is getting bad. All were good and come in OUR size. The Falken were much more inexpensive, and run quite sporty in handling although they have a distinctive whine secondary to the tread design I believe. The wet weather traction is particularly a standout. The car never hydroplanes at even high speeds. They are made in Japan.

    I do believe the 16" wheels are 32PSI while the 15" wheels are 31PSI per the Toyota manual.

  • mcclearyflmcclearyfl Member Posts: 149
    I have about 6000 miles on Goodyear Assurance Comfortred tires on my Saab 9-3, and am extremely pleased with their performance, especially the quieter ride -- the 9-3 is not a well-insulated car, and road noise was bad on the original tires. I have also had quite favorable experience in a bad Northern Kentucky winter. Now we are in Chicago I have outfitted our Avalon, like Abfisch, with proper winter tires (my choice was Bridgestone Blizzaks), but I have chosen to leave my Saab shod with the Comfortred tires, a compliment to their solid all-season performance. I can only assume that the Avalon would do well on Comfortred.
  • abfischabfisch Member Posts: 591
    Couldn't agree more. Winter driving requires winter tires on all wheels. Bought steel, not alloy, when originally purchased the Avalon and mounted 4 winter tires on them. AS tires would not do up here nor where you are but might in more moderate states with little snow.

    I am not a fan of Goodyear or Michelin, as I find comparable tires much less experience or the aforementioned overpriced. However, that being said, they sound like a good tire, especially for those who like it whisper quiet.

    How much were they and what size?? That would be welcome info for all of us.

  • mcclearyflmcclearyfl Member Posts: 149
    .........and Tire Rack's own user surveys substantiate the Consumers Reports opinions, putting the TripleTred slightly ahead of the Comfortred in most categories, except noise and comfort - the two main characteristics I was looking for.

    I forgot to mention another unique (?) feature of both these tires. They come with a permanent gloss on the sidewall, so they always look clean and relatively attractive (are tires supposed to be attractive?). I'm always favorably impressed when I compare their appearance with most other tires.

    Abfisch, you may have already told us, but what is your "summer" tire?
  • helplease1helplease1 Member Posts: 1
    Has anyone run the Yokohama 205/60/16. I have been getting conflicting reports on various brands and am wondering what owners have to say about what they are riding on. It's time to put some new rubber on the road and I'd like a quiet ride that makes the car perform as it should. Thanks for your help.
  • npriestnpriest Member Posts: 13
    My Michelins MXV4 on my 2000 Avalon XLS lasted 41,000 miles without any problems. So when the front end started shimmying, I decided to replace them with Yokohama tires from NTB.
    The new tires started shimmying immediately. After 4 rotations and rebalancing of the tires, and after talking with NTB management, the problems still exists.
    The manager of the store where I bought the tires said that the problem is inherent in the Avalon. He says the Michelin tires were excellent at masking the problem. He says nothing is wrong with my new tires, which he said were perfectly balanced. It sounds like a bunch of crap to me. I am asking if any Avalon owners have had similar experiences Could there be a problem with the suspension, like struts, sway bars, etc ?? I am at a loss and would appreciate a suggestion. Thanks.

  • alan_salan_s Member Posts: 362
    There is no inherent shimmy problem with the Avalon. Are you sure the shimmy is from the front wheels? Is it a shimmy (slower side to side movement in the steering) or a higher frequency vibration?
    If the shimmy existed on the Michelin MXV4's and is still there with the new Yokohamas then the tires are not the problem. Are the tire pressures at Toyota factory spec? (31-32psi). Too high or too low pressure can cause a vibration. Were the lug nuts tightened to factory spec torque of 76 ft lbs? If they were overtightened they can cause a wheel vibration, and eventually warp your brake rotors.
    Did you have your rims checked out to make sure they are running true? Try replacing the front right wheel with the spare wheel. Road test. If the shimmy is still there, replace original front right wheel and switch the spare to the front left. Road test. If the shimmy has gone, then it was the wheel you just took off. You could have your wheels balanced using a Hunter GSP 9700 Roadforce which will check your wheels too, but it doesn't sound like wheel balance is the issue.
    Otherwise time to visit your unfriendly Toyota dealer to check out the suspension for wear or damage.
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