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Toyota Avalon Tires and Wheels

bwiabwia Boston Posts: 2,314
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?


  • 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 Boston Posts: 2,314

    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?
  • 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
  • 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 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 atlantaPosts: 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....
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.

  • 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?
  • 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 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 Posts: 1,565
    A ball joint is a suspension/steering element and does not go round and round. Maybe you meant CV joint?
  • abfischabfisch 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.

  • 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 Boston Posts: 2,314


    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).
  • 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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. 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 Posts: 503
    My '94 Camry had the same problem and I replaced the rear struts. The rattle was still there. Go figure.
This discussion has been closed.