Lexus: Tires General Information and Specs

Learn more about general tire information and specs for the Lexus. We'll take a closer look at components that keep the Lexus on the road along with maintenance information and common questions.

By Kate Halse - November 24, 2014
Contributors: javyLSU

This article applies to the Lexus IS, ES, GS, LS, and RX (2005-2013).

Having the right tires for the Lexus can improve handling and precision, not to mention safety. Along with the tires themselves, there are various components and attachments to help keep the tires attached to the vehicle. These components work together for a luxuriously, smooth ride, even in poor weather conditions.


Figure 1. Summer, All Season, and Winter Tires.

There are three basic types of tires on the market: summer tires, designed for highway driving, along with all-season tires for year-round use, and snow tires. Most Lexus cars come standard with all-season tires. The Lexus OEM tires are suitable for year-round use in most parts of the country. Some performance models can handle larger wheels, which suit tires with a wider tread and lower aspect ratio. This combination leads to increased handling and cornering capability.

You can find specific tire information on your car's driver side's door or in the owner's manual. Most placards tell you sizes for the front and rear sizes along with the recommended pressure for standard tire sizes. In some cases the placards also have ranges to let you know what is (and isn't) likely to fit on your car.


Figure 2. Steel (left) and Aluminum (right).

Wheels are a great way to personalize your car. There is a wide selection available, from OEM to custom wheels. There are two main types to consider: steel and aluminum alloy wheels. Steel wheels rely on rolled steel, which makes them heavier than aluminum alloy wheels. Additionally, steel wheels are more durable, easily resisting cracks and bends. On the other hand, aluminum alloy wheels are lighter in weight and are stronger than steel when measured pound by pound. Advantages of this lighter weight construction include faster acceleration and stopping. Steel wheels are often more affordable, but have a limited option of size and styles. Alloy wheels offer unique styles and match a wide range of budgets.

Tire Bolt Patterns

Figure 3. 4 Lug vs 5 Lug bolt pattern.

Tire bolt patterns are important for replacing or customizing wheels. Most Lexus vehicles has a bolt pattern of 5x114.3. When broken down, this pattern means that there are five holes for placing bolts into the wheels and mounting them. The 114.3 designates the diameter of the wheel's bolt circle. However, measuring a wheel's exact diameter can be tough, especially on a five bolt pattern wheel.

Scheduled Maintenance (and the Tread Wear Indicator)

Figure 5. Tire tread wear indicator.

Lexus dealerships check your tires when you bring the car in for regular service. However, you can assess your tire's health quite easily in between checkups. According to LexusDrivers, the legal minimum width in most parts of the U.S. is 1/16th of an inch. All tires are sold with a tread wear indicator, which is a raised bar of material 1/16th of in inch across the tire's tread. When the tire wears down to the indicator, it is no longer legal on the road and requires prompt replacement.

Common Questions

One tire keeps losing air. Should I replace it?

Not necessarily. The most common cause of a single tire that keeps losing air is a slow leak, and that is due to debris that gets stuck in the tire. In this case, the culprit is often a nail. For best results, take the car to a shop as it often needs to be removed from the rim to be fixed properly. While you're there, the mechanic can also recalibrate your Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) once the tire is fixed.

Do I need to replace all four tires if only one is bad?

Replacing tires is costly, especially if you have to replace them all at once. Unfortunately, this is often recommended even if just one tire is bad. This is mainly because it's best for the car and tires if all four tires wear evenly. Putting on a new tire with three worn ones creates a difference in tire size, which could negatively impact the vehicle's performance and safety. Lexus recommends rotating the tires every 5,000 miles to promote even wear.

Can I extended the life of my tires by swapping them from one side to another?

In some casesyou can extended the life of the car's tires by moving them from one side to another. For example, if the outer edges on both sides are worn, you may be able to swap the tires so that the inner edge is now on the outside. However, this only works on vehicles with directional tires. Asymmetrical tires have a clear inside and outside, meaning that you cannot substitute one side for the other by swapping tires.

Common Issues

My TPMS system (or similar warning) is on

You may need to recalibrate the TPMS system. A mechanic often takes care of this for you. If you recently replaced or rotated your tires and are seeing a TPMS light or similar warning, such as "Check AWD system," the tires may not be the right size.

The tops of my tires rub when turning the car

Tires rubbing on the wheel wells of your car are generally a bit too big for the vehicle. Depending on the size discrepancy, this may be more of a nuisance than an actual hazard. Tires that are too big for the car may alter the vehicle's handling and performance.

My car pulls to the left and/or right

A car that "pulls" to one or more sides often requires an alignment. For best results, bring the car in to a professional to have the alignment checked. In many cases, mechanics often balance the tires at the same time to help extend the life of the tires.

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