Change tire pressure to 32/36 for handling improvemment

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.
Ben
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ben wrote: || 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. || || Ben
I changed my 99 Camry to 35 all around. Works for me.
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The 1993 ES300 had on its

Interesting. 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.
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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.
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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. Ben

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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 cross winds. 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 front. 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.
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Daniel M. Dreifus wrote:

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).
--

- Philip @ Maximum Torque RPM



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I like it a little firmer so I use 32/36.
Could be wrong, but I believe I understand how you're working your setup now. My understanding is that 32 psi is the recommended pressure all around. 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.
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cars
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.
Jason
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