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Lexus RX 400h Tire/Wheel Questions



  • Hope everyone LOOKS really well at their tires - on the inside rim. Mine looked fine outside & still had good tread left, on the inside they were down to the metal strapping & severly cupped. Only 17,000 miles old. I still think it's defective engineering. The test showed I didn't need alignment on the old tires, so what made them wear unevenly?? Cambre? Check them tires & be safe.
  • Regarding RX400h tire wear.

    From all the issues you have all spoke about in reference to tire wear it comes down to "Under Inflated Tires". If you go to the goodyear home page and search for "recommened tire preasure" you will find the goodyear engineers won't take a stand. They say follow the OEM tire preasure on the door jab lable. On my 2008 it says 30psi. I know from years of messing with tires on water trucks, 5th wheel trailers, Chevrolets, Fords and motorcycles that if the side wall of the tire says 44 psi then I know that the tire manufacture has built that tire to withstand 44 psi with the determined pounds that tire will hold. So I determine the load "Weight" that will be on that peticular vehicle "Tire Load" and Adjust psi. So, in the case of the lexus they say 30 psi, goodyear on the sidewall of the 235/55r18 99v says 44 psi with a load range of "1700 lbs" each, then here is the "MATH"
    1700lbs ea. x 4 = 6800 lbs total load these tires can handle, then the "Gross Vehicle Weight" (GVW) RX400h = 5520 lbs plus add the weight of 4 adults "800lbs" plus some bagage to get a total weight on all 4 tires to equal 6600 lbs then divide this by 4 = 1650 lbs per tire, Thus, I run my Lexus 400h tires at 40 psi and I have no tire issues. The stock tires have 16000 miles with normal tire wear with 60% tire tread left. Don't forget about the spare. My lexus monitors the tires which includes the spare. If you follow the above and you still have inside wear with standard rotation policies then you do have an alignment issue. Remember, an under inflated tire will wear on the outside/inside and an over inflated tire will wear in the middle. You must determine what works best for you and 30lbs of air preasure is not going to cut it.
    take care...
  • Under-inflation and alignment were likely the FIRST things that most buyers, and Lexus service hands, addressed to fix this problem. It sounds nice, and looks more sophisticated with all of the load weight math, etc., but the simple fact is, if the problem is simply under inflation caused by using the tire pressures indicated on the door jamb, then 95% of all cars on the road today would be experiencing this same that is what dealer service shops use....AND the "solution" would not only be much more well-known, it would be effective. Ditto for a simple alignment issue. Lexus isn't stupid, it's not trying to create a huge issue here, they just have refused to take action to minimize, with due respect, I'm not buying it at all. I suppose it's possible that if the vast majority of problems are being seen on Goodyears, they might be an accomplice with an inferior tire, but I much more likely suspect a design/weight distribution problem, and time will soon tell. Enough people have since switched to michelin, increased tire pressure, and had alignments. My bet is, the problem will persist with the next set also, and with that, there will be class action litigation. I've already spoken to a law firm who successfully prevailed against a tire company in a national claim. If that's how Lexus wants to go, fine....they're destroying a highly loyal customer base. Stay tuned, and owners, please keep posting your experience, especially with your tires and early wear, for this next next time around when you have to replace them. Thanks.
  • capriracercapriracer Somewhere in the USPosts: 856

    There are a couple of things wrong with your math. No, the math was done correctly, but it's the logic.

    1) The GVW is the maximum weight the vehicle was designed to weigh - and that includes passengers and baggage.

    2) Vehicles don't typically weigh the same front to rear - even fully loaded.

    3) The tire load - while a function of inflation pressure - is not necessarly referenced to what is printed on the sidewall.

    Given all that, there is nothing in your "math" that is helpful in determining the proper inflation pressure.
  • I think Lexus has a problem on their hands. My 2008 rx400h came with the Michelin energy tires that are worn out at 26,000 miles. I keep the tires rotated and the alignment checked every 5,000 miles. I usually run about 35 psi and monitor tire wear and adjust pressure as needed to prevent inner, outer, and middle wear. The tires have worn evenly yet are worn out. They have pulled at every imperfection in the roadway since about 18,000 miles. I should hope Lexus would run a better quality tire on a $50,000+ vehicle than what a buyer might find on a $30,000 or less vehicle. I can't believe there would be that much difference in tire mileage whether supplied by Lexus or any Michelin tire dealer. I visited with a Firestone dealer a few days ago who claims he has dealt with the complaints of several rx400h owners because it doesn't appear any tire brand runs beyond around 30,000 miles, if that. I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has run Firestones or Bridgestones on the rxrooh.
  • capriracercapriracer Somewhere in the USPosts: 856

    First, when you say the tires are worn out at 26K, did they wear evenly or was one side more worn than the others? If it is the latter, then there is an alignment issue that needs to be addressed. Some vehicles are spec'd out with lots of camber to help the handling, and that is not a setting that is conducive to even tire wear.

    Second, do all 4 tires exhibit the same condition? If not, then I would suspect that tire rotations were not taking place.

    Third, you have to be careful comparing tires supplied to vehicle manufacturers to what is supplied to the tire dealer. Vehicle manufacturers typically specify tires with low rolling resistance characteristics - and in order to get LRR, traction and/or treadwear are sacrificed - where tires delivered to tire dealers are either designed for good grip or good treadwear - and they typically do not have great RR properties. Tire properties can vary widely even within the same manufacturer.
  • jaybee2ujaybee2u Posts: 6
    Ok, so I've posted here before, I too had to replace my OEM Goodyear tires at 20-25k due to excessive inner wear. I've never had a tire issue before on any car, in fact, I typically can get every bit and beyond out of tires and brakes. On the 400h, I still have plenty of original brake left, so it's not that, and I haven't changed my driving habits.
    It's a question of the vehicle and how many revolutions the tires make over time---which seems to be a common experience. I replaced the OEM tires with dealer installed Michelins at 20--25,000 miles. 10k miles later, I have even wear but wear, and was told by the Lexus service dept. to never expect to get more than 20-25k out of ANY tire on this vehicle.

    I've never experienced this, am not a car enthusiast, so I don't know if it's normal to expect this type of performance on such a vehicle. I DO know that such a characteristic should be part of an INFORMED BUYING PROCESS, and it's grossly disappointing, especially since it's such a surprise to so many people. Whatever the culprit, in the end, I believe it is Lexus' HUGE failure to not jump in and provide a rational explanation, AND to have made some "gesture" toward acknowledging the issue. There are a number of things that come to mind that they could have done to mitigate and resolve the issue, and/or expectations.

    This is my first Lexus. I knew I was paying more, and in fairness I love the vehicle's quality, and my dealership experience---other than the tire issue---has been the best I've ever had. I'm at a point in life where I didn't mind paying a little more for what I considered to be premium service.
    But this tire experience has been abysmal, and not just to me...there are many folks who feel the same way. If I were to go looking for a new car today, I'd start at the same place...looking for what I want, and choosing the best overall quality, but now I will always carry this experience into my next decision, to Lexus' detriment. I can't say I'd never buy another Lexus , but they've certainly added a hurdle to that decision, of their own making. It seems recklessly foolish for them to stick their heads in the sand over one manageable issue, after all they've invested over YEARS trying to build an image, and a practice to encourage repeat business.

    So Lexus, if you're out there, I feel you blew it big time over this manageable issue. If someone were to ask me right now about buying a Lexus, i'd tell them to expect what you'd obviously expect from the car, but that the company was worse than any other carmaker i've experienced when it came to responding to this issue, and that leaves me with little to no confidence in them as a company---exactly the opposite of what they've invested to build.

    And to my fellow 400h'ers, expect this to be a fatal flaw of the vehicle, and to pay for it several times more over the vehicle's life. My only recommendation is, whatever tire you get, I'd buy them independently and take advantage of better prices AND free rotations. One thing in my control is, i'll never give Lexus another dollar on this issue that they refused to acknowledge. I think it would make quite a statement to Lexus if we could all adopt this same practice. It would also surely save you money. It may not fix the flaw, we'll still have to keep replacing these tires, but just imagine if every Lexus 400h owner went in To their Lexus dealer right now and said, "put it in my service record right now...don't EVER rotate the tires or ask me to buy them here. I've already taken care of that myself---as a matter of principle.". If we did that in numbers, I think we'd get their attention.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    edited April 2011
    "..question of how many revolutions the tires make over time.."


    Question of how many STRESSFUL revolutions the tires make over time.

    RX400h and I'm guessing not F/awd...

    The front tires absorb ALL of the stress for regenerative braking. Unless you transition to frictional braking mode during the braking to a stop or slowing the rear tires contribute NOTHING to the effort.

    Without F/awd the front tires are used SOLELY for engine/electrics acceleration torque levels. Are you fully aware of the level, EXTRAORDINARY level, of torque those electric motors produce starting out from a stop or at lower speeds...?

    If your RX400h has a "Snow Mode" or such you might want to make it common practice to switch to that mode each and every time you fire the ignition.

    And lastly:

    You purchased a hybrid vehicle designed for and better known for low 0-60 times rather than decent FE, live with it.
  • jaybee2ujaybee2u Posts: 6
    Thanks for the reply, I think. I'm not sure why people have to respond with sarcasm or nastiness. This is a discussion board for Lexus owners with tire and wheel problems. That's all I commented on. If you're thrilled with the performance of your vehicle, I'm not even sure why you're on this problems board. Unless you are a Lexus bigwig or dealer. Then I might understand your frustration of someone complaining, or not understanding things like torque. But even then, it's not an effective way to make a point.

    You ask if I am referring to a 400h, my answer is YES, that is what this particular forum is covering. I have AWD. I'm not really sure what f/awd is, unless you're asking if it's either of those, in which case, YES it is. And, admittedly I don't know anything about "snow mode" especially in an awd vehicle. If you're asking if the 400h has one, then you probably aren't an owner. Even with your knowledge of torque on a hybrid.

    I admitted before I'm not a car enthusiast, but I understand the basics. I don't understand how I'm supposed to "transition to friction mode"...a driver simply applies the brakes. And while the front tires may absorb all of THAT friction, it's never the only thing doing the braking, now is it? I also understand that the front tires may absorb all of the stress of the starting out torque. Perhaps you are well-informed as to a reason why those tires DO wear out faster because of this. But it still doesn't explain why the tires on most vehicles wear out unevenly, does it. All tires wear out---properly maintained ones wear out evenly. My tires are regularly inspected and maintained by Lexus, so I'm going to assume on their behalf, that their work is proper.

    To be complete, I'd admit that I would have accepted an official Lexus answer at any time of this ilk, meaning, if they said "be forewarned that 400h tires wear out faster than normal due to hybrid motor stress" then fair enough...if you know that, just tell me when I'm buying the car. If Lexus only found that out now, then just tell me now. If Lexus believes not only this, but adds that "and be forewarned that due to things like TORQUE they also wear unevenly, and the inner tires may wear to the steel belt before you notice any outer wear", then just tell me....even if you don't want to admit this is an engineering defect or oversight...which to us consumers, it would appear to be.

    Informed Disclosure could have been an EASY SOLUTION for Lexus. It would have cost them nothing. They haven't done that yet.

    Empathy for a buyer who now faces this issue, after the fact, would have also been an EASY SOLUTION for Lexus. It too would have cost them nothing. They haven't shown that yet.

    Making any kind of a "we'll meet you halfway toward a solution" might have cost Lexus some $$$, but it would more than be offset by the goodwill and maintenance of it's reputation as a top automobile company. In my humble opinion, they've been penny wise and pound foolish.

    Which leaves me with you my friend, and your condescending conclusion to tell me to "live with it". I've calmly replied to your other thoughts without insult. I've even thought, if you own the Lexus company, are a frustrated Lexus dealer who has listened to what are numerous customer complaints, or are the design engineer who invented hybrids and regenerative braking, then perhaps my prior discussion of this tire subject was personally insulting to you. That was not my intention. What's yours? You don't seem to be a 400h owner, or at least not one with a problem with your vehicle. Why not consider yourself lucky? If you wanted to impress us with your superior knowledge of all matters torque-related, ok, you've made your point. If you're just someone who trolls message boards looking for the right opportunity in which to insult people, ok, ya got me, are you willing to move on?

    Why not identify, if not your name, at least your purpose or contribution to this message board?

    You've won your poker hand, even if it was a bluff, that you're an informed expert. I'd leave it at that. Because in the matters of understanding people, customer loyalty, or even a simple battle of wits, against me, my friend, you will surely lose.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,770
    Let's back of the personal edge that's starting to sharpen here. No need to turn this into a personal beef.

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  • I have had a 400h since bought new ind 2007. 67K miles, having changed from Michelins at about 40,000 (which I felt was fine for mileage). No issues with the Michelins, but lots of frustration with goodyear. I have a shimmy (left right, not up down) at 30 mph) and a distinct pull to left on braking....have had alignements, brake adjustments all to no avail. I since that the car does not "track" nearly as well as it idid with the Michelins...

    I have had numerous return trips to the independent tire dealer, but he can't see the out of round off the car, nor find any issues!

    Anyone else experience similar?

    Oh and I understand torque, bought the car cuz I loved the 0-60 times, but now love the ride...
  • Regarding the last tire comment, I will update my experience, having switched from the original goodyears which had to be replaced at 20,000 miles, which I considered very inferior performance, to michelins. At 40,000 now, the michelins have held up quite well over the last 20k, and in fact still have considerable tread wear left on them--they are wearing at least a bit more like every other tire experience I've ever had. So, maybe it was more that the OE Goodyears were the culprit rather than the vehicle. Still, I believe Lexus could have done a little more right by all of us who were stuck with those lousy original tires. I definitely plan to replace these with another set of Michelins when they are worn out, but this time, I'll do it myself going to an independent dealer rather than the Lexus dealership. Haven't had any other shimmies or I might venture you're having the same lousy luck many of us did with Goodyear. They'll either wear out quickly enough, or maybe you can petition to your tire dealer to just swap them out now for michelins again, at an adjusted price. It might be worth asking, anyway. Good luck!
  • I have the same problem of getting only about 20,000 on tires on my 2006 400h. After reading your post, I contacted my Lexus serviceman. He said the problem is that the 400h is rated to go up to 160 mph, which requires tha it be provided with a tire with a "V" speed rated tire; that tires have speed ratings from A to Z, with A being the hardest tires, and Z for high speed cars like Vipers and Corvettes. The "V" speed rated tires give the softest ride and meet requirements based on the 400h's 160 mph speedometer. In some states, it is not legal to to change to a lower speed rating tire, but in my state (NC) it is okay. If I changed to an H rated tire, for example, the tire would get more miles and would not wear down excessively simply because the car is a 400h, but it would give a harder ride. He said the cars came with a label (i think he said it was on the windshield?) that said the car had high performance tires limited to 20,000 to 25,000 miles. He said the Michelin MXV4 remained quietest throughout life of the tire. In a way, what he said makes sense because the MXV4 and any other tire I looked at that was rated for this car had NO mileage guarantee from the tire manufacturer AT ALL for ANY car, not just the 400h. Does this sound right to you?
  • I think that is correct. I am at just under 25,000 on my 400h and the fronts will need to be replaced very soon.

    I had a Mazda RX-7 with V rated tires and had the same problem - the rubber is softer for better road grip and a higher speed rating, and consequently wears faster.

    I have come to realize the 400h tries to be all things to all people: performance, quiet ride and gas savings - which is why we bought the car. I think the cost for that is in tires.

    I am glad I found this forum, now I can tell my wife that it is not just my driving that has worn down the tires. I have been getting a lot of heat on that one! (even though she is partially correct). I can now tell her what I learned here.
  • Which are the BEST winter snow tires for this vehicle? Has anyone had problems with Goodyear Eagle LS which is the recommended winter snow tire?


    P.S. I live in Vancouver , B.C. where we are expecting a cold winter spell.
  • capriracercapriracer Somewhere in the USPosts: 856
    Goodyear Eagle LS's are all season tires, not winter tires.
  • Thank you for the prompt reply. I'm hoping someone can recommend snow tires specifically as I already have the all-seasons.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    edited November 2011
    I'm just to the south of you and my F/awd '01 RX300 remains shod with nice comfortably riding, QUIET riding, summer use only tires througout the year.

    Summer tires have more roadbed contact surface area so the majority of time those often better traction than ANY wintertime specialty tire. For those occassions of need I always have a set of tire chains on board, 2 sets during the winter, rears go on first, fronts only in the extreme,..... NEVER happened.

    Wheel spacers all around so rear suspension clearance doesn't interfer with chains.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    You asked for a rational explanation and that's what I gave you. In order to keep your hybrid battery charged to the level that would result in "steller" 0-60 times regenerative braking MUST be used whenever possible. Since regen braking is only available for the front wheels, absent F/awd, your brake pads there might last for 100,000 miles, to the detriment of tire ife however.


    Just disappointed, VERY, that Lexus chose to outfit the RXh for "boy-racer" type mentalities instead of going for FE.

    And I'm still waiting for a Venza/h with that new 4 banger up graded to DFI and the Venza's "new" electromechanical clutch system for implementing F/awd. The clutch could be engaged anytime the brakes are applied, absent VSC activation, thereby more evenly distributing the front vs rear tire wear.
  • Oh dear. I've just ordered a set of 4 Dunlop Grandtrek S6 to be installed this week. (Wonder if these would serve as well as the Goodyear Eagle RS-A during the summer?)

    I was concerned about driving to Whistler during the winter months with just summer tires.

    Thank you for your timely response!
  • babs12babs12 Posts: 1
    I put bridgestone alera s on my car when the micelins gave out . I have 54, 000 miles on them and am still going. That being said. I have been unhappy with increased road noise since I changed. Also, on cold mornings there is a thump as if the tires are square! until they warm up.
    weird I know...feminine perspective.
  • finally discovered this forum. totally agree that lexus is failing our loyalty. I will buy one more set of tires then dump this problem. Too bad for future owner. My fault, I should have done my homework. Not normally a person to sue to solve my problems howerer, I will happily join a class action if initiated.
  • I bought my 2008 RX400h "pre-owned certified" in 2011 with 25K and new Michelin MKV4 S8 all season tires. At the time I did have the thought: "it needed new tires at 25K miles!?", but unfortunately didn't research the issue. Now I just picked up my SUV from the dealer after 45K service and was told that the tires were down to 5/32" or "yellow". So I reviewed my service records, and it looks like the first 5K miles took off 2/32", and each subsequent 5K miles "uses" up 1/32'. The tires are inflated by the dealer to 34 psi and were rotated at each 5K miles or a bit less. The wear seems to be fairly uniform and consistent on 3 of the tires: each tire has one groove at 6/32" (either inside or out, no pattern assuming the dealer rotated each time as specified) and the rest at 5/32". One tire is at 6/32" with only one groove at 5/32". I did notice recently (before this last tire rotation) a "wind sound" in the cabin, which has me checking the windows, doors and sunroof for tiny openings. Would a decrease in the tire thread generate that sound?

    I am now heading to the snow country (Colorado mountains) for the winter, and I am getting a bit nervous about the tire wear. The last thing I need is slippery tires in snow and wet conditions, but I hate to throw out tires that still have 5/32". Am I overly cautious?

    Bottom line: Had I known that a 50K-mi-rated tire will last me 25K miles, I would have bought a different SUV, I think.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,770
    roman7 said:

    I can confirm : original tires from the factory run around 30K in average!
    The tires from the stores are better for some reason and last longer!

    Yep, OEM tires seem like they're on there so they can tell you that the car comes WITH the "tire feature" :p

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