I have had Camries and ES300's for 8 years now. The 1993 ES300 had on its
tire pressure sticker 26/32 psi front/rear. Even though later vehicles
called for equal pressures all around, it still works better to that
specification. I like it a little firmer so I use 32/36. This makes the cars
handle much better, and it worked on the new 2004 Camry as well. At 75 mph
the wheel isn't as sensitive to cross winds and carves a cleaner turn. Its
work on 4 different cars so far 4 and 6 cylinder models. Try it, its free.
Tell me how it worked for you.
|| I have had Camries and ES300's for 8 years now. The 1993 ES300 had
|| on its tire pressure sticker 26/32 psi front/rear. Even though later
|| vehicles called for equal pressures all around, it still works
|| better to that specification. I like it a little firmer so I use
|| 32/36. This makes the cars handle much better, and it worked on the
|| new 2004 Camry as well. At 75 mph the wheel isn't as sensitive to
|| cross winds and carves a cleaner turn. Its work on 4 different cars
|| so far 4 and 6 cylinder models. Try it, its free. Tell me how it
|| worked for you.
I changed my 99 Camry to 35 all around. Works for me.
My year, tire size and load rating are different, but principles
should be similar.
70 series aspect ratio, 14" wheel
Curb weight 3190 lbs., Weight distribution %F/R 59.8/ 40.2,
Tire max. load 1312 lbs. at 35 psi.
Factory recommendation is 26 lbs. (psi.) all around for "reduced loads
with one to four passengers", 29 lbs. (psi.) all around for "all
rated loads including one to four passengers with luggage."
Have experimented with various combinations and settled on 31 psi
front and 26 psi rear - almost the reverse of your setup.
Have always suspected that Toyota has recommended their factory tire
setting to emphasize "understeer" in handling as more predictable in
emergency situations with less skilled drivers.
To my thought, raising the front pressure (in my case 5 psi over the
rear) improves handling by carrying the additional weight over the
front wheels more effectively, while maintaining some degree of ride
comfort by leaving the rear tires at the minimum recommended setting.
I went to 44 all around on Michelins from 30-26. No more mush handing
and alot better coastdown and mileage - 10% - 15% Those factory
settings are way low in my opinion, mushy handling, soft ride, low mpg.
But in winter im sure i will lower them.
I find that handling gets much worse when you put more air in the fronts
than the back, also puts too much wear on the front tires. The sticky front
axle becomes a pivot point to the weaker sticking rear-end. Also at high
speed there is roaming and high susceptibility to side winds, very tiring.
Using high front tire pressures works on front engine/rear wheel drive cars
much better (delays plowing). Also caused by high or equal tire pressures in
front tires are poorer tracking and terrible low speed steering on my
vehicles which was why I did it in the first place. Currently my vehicles
are 1996 ES300, 1999 Solara SE, 2004 Camry LE. All have 205/65 x 15 tires.
The improvement is in all my cars. The 2004 is a 5 speed, 3000 curb weight,
Goodyear Integrity tires. The Lexus has the variable ratio steering.
Thanks for the input.
Maybe the fifteen inch wheels make a difference.
I don't dispute your experience, but mine has been different.
The back end of the car is lighter. If I ran high pressures back
there, the tire tread would not fully contact the pavement. Perhaps
you typically have more passengers, luggage or additional weight in
the trunk. I usually have only one passenger and an empty trunk.
With lower pressure in front, the ride quality improves, but drag
increases. The car slows more rapidly approaching stops, but also
accelerates with less vigor. The main factor for me, was noticing
increased "mushiness" in handling with lower front pressures. My
understanding is that front wheel drive cars tend to wear the outside
of the front tread which effect would be increased by lower pressure.
With higher pressure steering is easier at low speeds, but have
noticed no wandering at higher speed, car seems stable at speed and in
While most drivers find it easier to deal with understeer at the
limits of adhesion, for me it is very disconcerting to have the front
wheels lose traction and rub off sideways during a turn, so I
appreciate the improved grip up front.
Most every general tire pressure analysis I've seen seeks to balance
the inflation pressure against the load being carried to normalize the
contact patch - chalk mark across the tread - that sort of thing.
Clearly what you're doing seems to be working well for you, just
doesn't make any sense to me.
Let me amend that. Some racers have found that increasing the
dimension of the rear anti sway bar improved handling for them, and
increasing rear tire pressure could effect a similar result, but it
still sounds backward to me with the greater weight to be carried up
With a 3,000 lb. car, and half of 40 per cent on each rear tire,
that's only 600 lbs. on each. So if you check the max. load printed on
the tire sidewall, at your pressure you're probably set to carry well
over twice the 600 lbs. To my thought, that's overinflated.
Really doesn't matter. You're happy with the handling and ride in your
cars, as am I.
Agreed. My experience is similar to Dan's on my 2003 Corolla and my
last FWD car ('90 Prizm). Filling all tires to max inflation
pressure resulted in a HARD ride and rear brakes that would lock and
skid sooner. I also found/find it easier to break the front tires
loose when running the Corolla's tire pressures at the maximum. One
unexpected discovery was a *reduction* in MPG by running just the
front tires at maximum side wall pressure. Moving the front
pressures down to 35 psi and the rears to 30-32 returns the best
ride/sterring drift/MPG overall (OEM Goodyears).
I like it a little firmer so I use 32/36.
Could be wrong, but I believe I understand how you're working your
My understanding is that 32 psi is the recommended pressure all
This is what the Toyota dealer and tire dealer told me - they set all
the Camrys to 32.
So your front pressure is as recommended - the best all around
compromise for handling, comfort and tire wear.
So your front tires (pressures) are where they're supposed to be.
By adding more air in the rear, you're stiffening the handling
somewhat, which agrees with you.
Car tyres that are inflated at their max (which shouldn't be over 35 psi
imo) give better directionability due to reduced wall flex. In a way this
goes aginst what a radial is supposed to do ie flex in the wall allowing the
'footprint' to stay on the road. With old-tech conventional cross-plys,
over-inflation helped them by the same effect.
I would not go over 32 with radials as this gives an acceptable ride and
allows the tyre to work as it was designed.
Under-inflated tyres cause an increase in effective castor. This is due to
the footprint literally lagging behind the steering axis caused by too much
wall distortion. Too much castor makes for heavy steering.
Tyres running at 40 psi + are not as safe as correct pressure due to road
shocks passing to the tyre case (thence to the rim, then to the strut)
rather than being absorbed by compressing the air in the tyre. At high
pressures the air is already too far compressed to absorb shocks.
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