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PSI, Road Force Balance, Alignment Questions

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PSI, Road Force Balance, Alignment Questions

Old 10-20-18, 11:55 AM
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Default PSI, Road Force Balance, Alignment Questions

Took my car for an oil change and asked them to check out my tires because the ride doesn't feel right in the left rear. Feels almost like a bald spot or going flat, just not smooth; all the time at both lower and higher speeds. Could be a simple as the tires need more air, PSI has dropped over time from 35 to 32/33. Important to note here that a couple of months ago, I backed into a low fence which my parking sensor did not alert me to (smhh). They took it for a test drive, did a visual inspection of the tires, rotated my tires (no charge). Said they couldn't feel anything wrong with the ride and the visual inspection of tires/rims was fine.

Here's what they recommended:
1) Alignment: said my tires weren't wearing evenly (2 tires are brand new with only 5K miles on them)
2) Road force balance on all four tires
3) New battery as the battery test wasn't good and it's the original battery (Car wouldn't start after sitting almost 2 weeks on vacation this summer and after a jump start it's been fine since.)

Lexus dealership is offering same price for alignment and road force balancing as the first place so I made an appt to take it there. Don't want to shell out any $ if it's doesn't truly need either. Do you think I should start with more air in my tires? Surprised that they didn't add air as I was expecting higher psi when I picked it up after the oil change but thinking I might go back there today and have them add air.

What is the PSI that you recommend? Tires are 19" Michelins and I have air suspension.
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Old 10-20-18, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Mbbarron View Post
Took my car for an oil change and asked them to check out my tires because the ride doesn't feel right in the left rear. Feels almost like a bald spot or going flat, just not smooth; all the time at both lower and higher speeds. Could be a simple as the tires need more air, PSI has dropped over time from 35 to 32/33. Important to note here that a couple of months ago, I backed into a low fence which my parking sensor did not alert me to (smhh). They took it for a test drive, did a visual inspection of the tires, rotated my tires (no charge). Said they couldn't feel anything wrong with the ride and the visual inspection of tires/rims was fine.

Here's what they recommended:
1) Alignment: said my tires weren't wearing evenly (2 tires are brand new with only 5K miles on them)
2) Road force balance on all four tires
3) New battery as the battery test wasn't good and it's the original battery (Car wouldn't start after sitting almost 2 weeks on vacation this summer and after a jump start it's been fine since.)

Lexus dealership is offering same price for alignment and road force balancing as the first place so I made an appt to take it there. Don't want to shell out any $ if it's doesn't truly need either. Do you think I should start with more air in my tires? Surprised that they didn't add air as I was expecting higher psi when I picked it up after the oil change but thinking I might go back there today and have them add air.

What is the PSI that you recommend? Tires are 19" Michelins and I have air suspension.
Hi Michelle, that is odd the tire checked out and hope it isn't anything wrong with the air strut in the corner. Do you hear any other noises, such as the air compressor constantly working to replace air that has leaked out of the strut? Was it a tire shop or the dealership that performed the inspection? Look forward to your follow-up on what the cause is.

As for the dead battery after two weeks, yes the original battery has probably served its time and due for a replacement. I noticed yours is also a 2013 and suggest you check your VIN number against the attached service bulletin. There is a known battery drain issue on 2013s and the car will not start after sitting for 50+ hours. I ran into this issue a few months back while the car sat for 4.5 days at the airport parking garage and my battery is only 1.5 years old. Luckily, I always carry a portable jumpstarter for emergencies, this or
this this
. I plan to have the ECU updated this Monday to cure the battery drain. Hope your ride concern gets resolved quickly and easily.

EDIT: I like my PSI at 32 cold on 19-inch tires during the Summer because I know it will heat up to around 34-37 when driven. For the Winter I air them up to 34-35 cold (in the garage) because it tends to drop throughout the season when driven outside.
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Last edited by FatherTo1; 10-20-18 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 10-20-18, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by FatherTo1 View Post
Hi Michelle, that is odd the tire checked out and hope it isn't anything wrong with the air strut in the corner. Do you hear any other noises, such as the air compressor constantly working to replace air that has leaked out of the strut? Was it a tire shop or the dealership that performed the inspection? Look forward to your follow-up on what the cause is.

As for the dead battery after two weeks, yes the original battery has probably served its time and due for a replacement. I noticed yours is also a 2013 and suggest you check your VIN number against the attached service bulletin. There is a known battery drain issue on 2013s and the car will not start after sitting for 50+ hours. I ran into this issue a few months back while the car sat for 4.5 days at the airport parking garage. I plan to have the ECU updated this Monday. Hope your ride concern gets resolved quickly and easily.

EDIT: I like my PSI at 32 cold on 19-inch tires during the Summer because I know it will heat up to around 34-37 when driven. For the Winter I air them up to 34-35 cold (in the garage) because it tends to drop throughout the season when driven outside.
Oh crap, I hope it isn't an air strut already! That would possibly make sense. I don't hear the air compressor working but I haven't been paying attention to that. It was a AAA repair shop where I got a half price oil change by upgrading my membership ($60 out the door). They also do road force balancing there but figured I would go to the dealer since they're offering the same price. I will definitely NOT have the dealer do any air struts (if that's what it turns out to be) as I'm sure I'd overpay there. I "think" AAA looked at my air suspension and said it looked fine.

Thanks for bringing up the service bulletin. Forgot that you had posted about that. Pretty sure it wouldn't be covered since I'm out of warranty but doesn't hurt to ask. Might be worth doing anyway. Does that have to be done at the dealer or could my indy shop handle that for less?
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Old 10-20-18, 12:41 PM
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I brought it to my indy first but unfortunately he couldn't perform this particular ECU update. I will be paying Lexus to handle it Monday.

When my battery died I was glad I had my portable jumpstarter, either this or this. Ironically, the jump starters have come in handy for many friends, coworkers, and strangers than it has for myself. AAA is nice but I've seen friends at work wait 1 hr 45 minutes and no one appeared yet. I gave them a jump and also told them to take my portable jumpstarter with them in case they had trouble on the way home. AAA eventually called them when they were already home for an hour. I figure for the cost of one-year of AAA roadside assistance, I'd rather take care of things myself. Call me impatient.

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Old 10-22-18, 07:27 PM
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Road force balance will solve it I'm sure. That and an alignment are the first places to start...

I run mine at 31 PSI.

Where in MD are you? If you're in Montgomery County I have an excellent independent Lexus mechanic I can refer you to.
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Old 10-22-18, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by SW17LS View Post
Road force balance will solve it I'm sure. That and an alignment are the first places to start...

I run mine at 31 PSI.

Where in MD are you? If you're in Montgomery County I have an excellent independent Lexus mechanic I can refer you to.
I'm in Balt co so Mont co is a little bit of a hike. Lexus dealer is offering $99 for road force balance and $99 for alignment. Prices seem fair. Although I'm not convinced that it definitely needs an alignment. Would rather get the road force balance, drive it and see if that fixes it before doing the alignment. Or should I not hassle to save $100? Also original owner had nitrogen put in the tires when he first got the car (per service history) These are not the original tires of course, but they are the recommended standard factory ones. Thoughts on Nitrogen? Interestingly, at one point before me, this car reached a max of 29 mpg (according to menu history of the remote touch interface).
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Old 10-22-18, 08:11 PM
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The $99 for the road force balance is a lot, but the $99 for the 4 wheel alignment is a great price, so they even out. I'd get the alignment too, chances are it needs an alignment.

Nitrogen is worthless. Air is 78% nitrogen already.

Where are you taking it, Towson or Owings Mills?
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Old 10-22-18, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Mbbarron View Post
I'm in Balt co so Mont co is a little bit of a hike. Lexus dealer is offering $99 for road force balance and $99 for alignment. Prices seem fair. Although I'm not convinced that it definitely needs an alignment. Would rather get the road force balance, drive it and see if that fixes it before doing the alignment. Or should I not hassle to save $100? Also original owner had nitrogen put in the tires when he first got the car (per service history) These are not the original tires of course, but they are the recommended standard factory ones. Thoughts on Nitrogen? Interestingly, at one point before me, this car reached a max of 29 mpg (according to menu history of the remote touch interface).
It is certainly possible for an LS 460 to average 29 MPG or more, but I would calculate it by hand rather than trust the onboard computer. I want to see 30 flash on my dash too but I also know my 2013 is overzealous and will regularly claim 0.8-1.5 MPG higher than what it really is. Sorry to put a damper on things. In this case, "trust but verify". Our 2007 Toyota Sienna's fuel economy readings were spot on so I don't know why our more advanced LS struggles with this metric.
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Old 10-23-18, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by SW17LS View Post
The $99 for the road force balance is a lot, but the $99 for the 4 wheel alignment is a great price, so they even out. I'd get the alignment too, chances are it needs an alignment.

Nitrogen is worthless. Air is 78% nitrogen already.

Where are you taking it, Towson or Owings Mills?
It's at Len Stoler in Owings Mills. They drove it and didn't feel anything wrong with it. WHY is it that only the owner knows when something doesn't feel right?! I told them to do the road force balance. I was quoted $30 per tire by AAA (minus a 10% discount) and $117 for the alignment at AAA (with the discount). So I figure I'm not spending any more at the dealer than elsewhere. Told them to do the road force balance, and drive it again and check back in with me before they do the alignment.
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Old 10-23-18, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Mbbarron View Post
It's at Len Stoler in Owings Mills. They drove it and didn't feel anything wrong with it. WHY is it that only the owner knows when something doesn't feel right?! I told them to do the road force balance. I was quoted $30 per tire by AAA (minus a 10% discount) and $117 for the alignment at AAA (with the discount). So I figure I'm not spending any more at the dealer than elsewhere. Told them to do the road force balance, and drive it again and check back in with me before they do the alignment.
Them not feeling anything wrong doesn't mean much. You drive the car every day and you know what it should feel like. The LS is such a smooth car you really have to get the balance dialed in. I've had wheels out of balance where nobody felt it but me, but sure enough a road force balance solved it.

I would do the alignment. If you've never done one at your mileage, I'd be shocked if it didn't need an alignment.
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Old 10-23-18, 03:13 PM
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They did the road force balance and said that two tires were out of balance. I told them to go ahead and do the alignment also (I thought it was done in May when I bought the car and they put on 2 new tires, but there isn't a service record of that with the selling dealership). They said the tech who was working on my car had already left for the day and they would prefer to do it tomorrow rather than start it later in the day so I'm keeping the loaner for an extra day and will pick up the car tomorrow. At least there's nothing wrong with the air suspension. That's what I was really concerned about. Certainly hope when I pick up the car tomorrow I will feel nothing but smooth roads!
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Old 10-23-18, 03:14 PM
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If two tires were out of balance I'm sure you will!
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