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lexusIS72

Help! Alignment Issues And I Need Some Advice!

90 posts in this topic

I need some advice from ANYONE who has heard anything similar about what I am going through with my IS250. I have had problem after problem with this car and I am about to pull my hair out!! The car is an '07 with 27k miles on it. I am currently in need of my THIRD set of tires on the front and am on my second set on the back. Let me first mention that I do not drive this car hard.....never over 70mph and I baby it to the point of ridiculousness. Anyway, we took the car back to the dealership when it had less than 10,000 miles on it because although there was very little wear on the back tires, the front tires were cupped so extremely that the road noise was horrendous and it felt as if the vehicle was out of alignment. Anyway, the lexus dealership argued that the vehicle met specs, and it could not be an alignment issue. They suggested that we contact the tire manufacturer because the tires were probably defective. We argued back and to make a long story short, lexus put two new tires on the front and "fixed" the alignment problem (that they originally said did not exist). We've heard the whole "they are sport performance tires, so don't expect them to last much more than 15,000 miles" but I just took the vehicle by a shop yesterday and once again the front two tires are not worn excessively, but excessively cupped unevenly and need to be replaced. This repair shop checked the alignment and although it read to be within lexus's specs, we were told that it is so close to being out of spec that I will never be able to keep tires on the car because of the camber (not sure if I am explaining this just right). They also told us there is no way to repair this issue by just "aligning" the vehicle. Now I am in the process of contacting Lexus again, but I am afraid that what I'll hear is....the vehicle meets specs, end of story. I am just SICK thinking that my first "luxury" car will be one that will cost me a small fortune in tires and drives worse than our Chevy Pickup that has 200k miles on it!! Not to mention I've had MANY other trips to the shop with this thing.....squeaky dash that had to be removed, rotting trim around windshield, etc. If anyone can give me ANY advice on what to do at this point I would GREATLY appreciate it! Thanks in advance!

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Wish I could help, but I cannot. But--I just can't believe you have never driven it over 70! I have a hard time staying under 85 on the highway. LOL.

Good luck.

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Now I have had my fair share of issues with the car. But none of the ones you are speaking of. I have an 07 250 AWD. All stock rims with original factory Dunlop Tires. I too understood (after I bought the car) that the tires might only last 25K. But the surprise is this. I drive 80% highway and baby the thing like you. I have 48,000 Miles on the original tires and it looks like I will get to 60K. The only reason I had one replaced was a blow out on a pot hole (yesterday). I have had two alignments, but mostly due to pot holes again. So in short, unfortunately, I think there is something seriously wrong with your car. If you are in-warranty and the dealer is giving you blow back, go to a different dealer. The service department at my dealership had been very responsive to the variety of other issues that I have had with the car.

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Wish I could help, but I cannot. But--I just can't believe you have never driven it over 70! I have a hard time staying under 85 on the highway. LOL.

Good luck.

No seriously, my children call me the "grandma" driver.....I'm a female, a teacher, and my husband laughed when I wanted this car!! I just like the looks of it..... ;)

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Cupping and flat spotting can be the result of shock or other suspension problems that let the tires bounce on the highway.

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I need some advice from ANYONE who has heard anything similar about what I am going through with my IS250. I have had problem after problem with this car and I am about to pull my hair out!! The car is an '07 with 27k miles on it. I am currently in need of my THIRD set of tires on the front and am on my second set on the back. Let me first mention that I do not drive this car hard.....never over 70mph and I baby it to the point of ridiculousness. Anyway, we took the car back to the dealership when it had less than 10,000 miles on it because although there was very little wear on the back tires, the front tires were cupped so extremely that the road noise was horrendous and it felt as if the vehicle was out of alignment. Anyway, the lexus dealership argued that the vehicle met specs, and it could not be an alignment issue. They suggested that we contact the tire manufacturer because the tires were probably defective. We argued back and to make a long story short, lexus put two new tires on the front and "fixed" the alignment problem (that they originally said did not exist). We've heard the whole "they are sport performance tires, so don't expect them to last much more than 15,000 miles" but I just took the vehicle by a shop yesterday and once again the front two tires are not worn excessively, but excessively cupped unevenly and need to be replaced. This repair shop checked the alignment and although it read to be within lexus's specs, we were told that it is so close to being out of spec that I will never be able to keep tires on the car because of the camber (not sure if I am explaining this just right). They also told us there is no way to repair this issue by just "aligning" the vehicle. Now I am in the process of contacting Lexus again, but I am afraid that what I'll hear is....the vehicle meets specs, end of story. I am just SICK thinking that my first "luxury" car will be one that will cost me a small fortune in tires and drives worse than our Chevy Pickup that has 200k miles on it!! Not to mention I've had MANY other trips to the shop with this thing.....squeaky dash that had to be removed, rotting trim around windshield, etc. If anyone can give me ANY advice on what to do at this point I would GREATLY appreciate it! Thanks in advance!

OK...we just talked to lexus. They pulled the file on the previous problems with the car, compared the specs we got yesterday with the last specs they had on the alignment, and simply said, "Bring it in, we will check it out thoroughly, and we will replace the two front tires again." In my opinion, if they put up no fight whatsoever in replacing the tires, then they must believe that there is truly some issue with the vehicle. Not sure if this is good or bad, but I guess we'll see. Also, they said while the vehicle is there they need to replace another part that has been RECALLED!! Something about fuel pipes that are eroding due to ethanol in gasoline. So.....if you have an IS, you might want to check this out...........

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OK...we just talked to lexus. They pulled the file on the previous problems with the car, compared the specs we got yesterday with the last specs they had on the alignment, and simply said, "Bring it in, we will check it out thoroughly, and we will replace the two front tires again." In my opinion, if they put up no fight whatsoever in replacing the tires, then they must believe that there is truly some issue with the vehicle. Not sure if this is good or bad, but I guess we'll see. Also, they said while the vehicle is there they need to replace another part that has been RECALLED!! Something about fuel pipes that are eroding due to ethanol in gasoline. So.....if you have an IS, you might want to check this out...........

Here is more info that I just found on this recall...

http://pressroom.toyota.com/pr/tms/lexus/l...ety-recall.aspx

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I have a IS250 that had a front end alignment problem also. The lexus service people said that the front end is aligned for handling and performance. The front tires were wearing on the inside edges. They did the alignment under warranty but I had to buy two new front tires. This was done back in November and so far the tires still look good. The car has about 21k on it now.

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If Lexus or the Lexus dealer is willing, I would recommend having them put on different tires, preferrably non oem. Not sure what you have, as the car came with either Bridgestones or Dunlops.

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I need some advice from ANYONE who has heard anything similar about what I am going through with my IS250. I have had problem after problem with this car and I am about to pull my hair out!! The car is an '07 with 27k miles on it. I am currently in need of my THIRD set of tires on the front and am on my second set on the back. Let me first mention that I do not drive this car hard.....never over 70mph and I baby it to the point of ridiculousness. Anyway, we took the car back to the dealership when it had less than 10,000 miles on it because although there was very little wear on the back tires, the front tires were cupped so extremely that the road noise was horrendous and it felt as if the vehicle was out of alignment. Anyway, the lexus dealership argued that the vehicle met specs, and it could not be an alignment issue. They suggested that we contact the tire manufacturer because the tires were probably defective. We argued back and to make a long story short, lexus put two new tires on the front and "fixed" the alignment problem (that they originally said did not exist). We've heard the whole "they are sport performance tires, so don't expect them to last much more than 15,000 miles" but I just took the vehicle by a shop yesterday and once again the front two tires are not worn excessively, but excessively cupped unevenly and need to be replaced. This repair shop checked the alignment and although it read to be within lexus's specs, we were told that it is so close to being out of spec that I will never be able to keep tires on the car because of the camber (not sure if I am explaining this just right). They also told us there is no way to repair this issue by just "aligning" the vehicle. Now I am in the process of contacting Lexus again, but I am afraid that what I'll hear is....the vehicle meets specs, end of story. I am just SICK thinking that my first "luxury" car will be one that will cost me a small fortune in tires and drives worse than our Chevy Pickup that has 200k miles on it!! Not to mention I've had MANY other trips to the shop with this thing.....squeaky dash that had to be removed, rotting trim around windshield, etc. If anyone can give me ANY advice on what to do at this point I would GREATLY appreciate it! Thanks in advance!

Welcome to the LOC.

I'm sorry your having these issues, but I think I can help.

When you say cupped, or feathered? or ribbed? Do you or the person who told you they were cupped know what the differences are? Or are you using this word just as an adjective to describe what you see on the tires? Can you take a pic of the tires and post it so I can see? The reason I ask this is because each one of those are caused solely by on setting or another. And when you add in the tire pressure and how high or low can effect those, then by looking at the tire, l would be able to tell you exactly what the problem is. For example, if it's feathering the tread, that would point to a toe in issue, and should just be adjusted in the alignment settings. But if you check the specs, and it comes up within spec, then that would suggest that the bushings in the front suspension were beginning to fail. As when the car is at rest, theres not any load on the suspension,(would read within spec.) but as the car was accelerating and braking causing the suspension to over sag, and dip.(Now out of spec most of the time) If it was indeed cupped, then that's not an alignment issue and the dealer is correct in saying the car is within spec. Cupping comes from issues with any one of or combination of spring, shock, ball joint, wheel bearing, etc. So checking and rechecking the alignment for a cupping issue is pretty useless.

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My wife's 2006 IS250 came with Bridgestone Potenza's. They were cupped before 20K miles. The dealer rebalanced them every 5K miles, but they made noise. I left them on until 37K miles. There was some abnormal wear on the passenger side and more abnormal wear on the driver's side. I decided NOT to have an alignment job done since the abnormal wear was not bad and the steering was perfect.

My wife is a very easy driver, and 90% of her driving miles are on the freeway. This car has been meticulously maintained, and we don't have bad roads here that she drives on.

It's ridiculous that this vehicle has a problem with alignments or tire wear!! These vehicles are a luxury sport -4-door sedan, NOT a race car for the track. It's absurd that Lexus would put tires on street vehicle that only get 15K to 20K miles before there's a wear problem!! Now, if you are driving into curbs and over pot holes, then you might have a problem.

In my opinion the Potenza's are terrible street tires for the average daily driver, and it's a big mistake that Lexus decided that the car needs more "traction"!!! Personally, I think it's just another way for the Lexus dealers to bend you over while they smile, offer you a bottle of water, and warm up your credit card! I would not buy another set of Bridgestone Potenzas for her car. I did a little research and decided to go with Continental ExtremContracts and they have been great so far... way smoother and quieter than the Potenzas.

What do you think is the construction difference that made the conti's better than the Bridgestones?

Because the tires cannot be rotated front to back like a car with the same size tires on the front and back, this causes some issues with allowing the tires to "balance" the wear patterns.

In my opinion, balancing these tires is critical for extended tire mileage. Bad struts/shocks can also effect tire wear, but usually it's out of balance conditions - bent rims or out of round tires, that can induce the cupping effect on normal street tires. Keeping these tires properly inflated is also critical. Your Lexus dealer should have checked the struts and determined if there is a mechanical failure in the front suspension or steering system.

 You actually have this backwards. Balance and out of round issues cause vibrations. I've always thought of these as the problem, not the cause for other problems. These are easily measured by computer spin balancing, or road force balancing for roundness. But neither of these cause cupping. Bad struts/shocks are the cause for cupping.

After your Lexus dealer does their thing, I would have a highly reputable independent specialty shop check the alignment. Then have a quality tire shop do a balance job and have them check for bent wheels or out of concentric wheels. Then see what happens.

Actually, this is better advice in a round about way. Most dealers don't have a road force balancer. They aren't in the tire business, and these are expensive machines. But even the most expensive machine can only fix the correctly diagnosed problem. If it's cupping, that's a suspension component issue, and the dealer should be attending to this, but if its feathering then the tire pros should be able to dial that in as well as any dealer, provided they are good also. Keep in mind that the IS models don't even have any camber adjustments available stock. Although I think the AWD does for some reason.

I've had several tires over the years that turned out to be out of round. Once, the tire store Manager said "it's within specs"..... to that I said "I don't give a ripp'n flip about your "specs"... the tires are out of round and causing a vibration on the freeway.... I WANT NEW TIRES!!

For most consumers, it's not a big deal to them, so alot of tire shops get away with this. Frequently. I only do business with tire shops that do road force balancing. It's more work for them, as they have to mount the tire, spin it up and measure it, then in some cases, stop, dismount the tire and rotate it on the rim 180 degrees, then remount it, and balance it from there. But I'm much more involved than most I would venture to guess.

That's just my worthless opinion.

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You are correct this car is a real lemon, I have 07 is250 awd 31,000 miles third set of tires. They wear out on the inside, and the dealer tries to tell you it a performance car bull. This car is poorly designed, thats why there are so many complaints on this site, brakes, tires, transmission, rattles. My newest problem is that when its cold outside below freezing the engine sounds like its going to blow up, tappit noise it really bad. Thankfully its a lease and there is not much more to go, just got my recall notice, I would never buy a foriegn car again.

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You are correct this car is a real lemon, I have 07 is250 awd 31,000 miles third set of tires. They wear out on the inside, and the dealer tries to tell you it a performance car bull. This car is poorly designed, thats why there are so many complaints on this site, brakes, tires, transmission, rattles. My newest problem is that when its cold outside below freezing the engine sounds like its going to blow up, tappit noise it really bad. Thankfully its a lease and there is not much more to go, just got my recall notice, I would never buy a foriegn car again.

people that don't have problems don't usually post. i would hardly consider a handful...even a dozen complaints on a few sites an accurate representation of the tens of thousands of vehicles sold. sorry you've had issues with your 250. it sounds like you've made up your mind to go domestic...hopefully you find what you're looking for. enjoy!

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You are correct this car is a real lemon, I have 07 is250 awd 31,000 miles third set of tires. They wear out on the inside, and the dealer tries to tell you it a performance car bull. This car is poorly designed, thats why there are so many complaints on this site, brakes, tires, transmission, rattles. My newest problem is that when its cold outside below freezing the engine sounds like its going to blow up, tappit noise it really bad. Thankfully its a lease and there is not much more to go, just got my recall notice, I would never buy a foriegn car again.

That noise is the timing chain and is covered by a TSB that's been out for a long time now.

But you are right, in 50 years of owning new cars I never had a minute's trouble with a Ford or Chevy. :rolleyes:

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Hi Smoothie,

Tire differences...?

I assume by the tread life ratings, that the Contis are a slightly different compound and have a better wear factor. Also, there is a difference in the tread pattern. But, so far, there is a distinct difference.

This was just a genuine question.

"Actually, this is better advice in a round about way. Most dealers don't have a road force balancer. They aren't in the tire business, and these are expensive machines. But even the most expensive machine can only fix the correctly diagnosed problem. If it's cupping, that's a suspension component issue, and the dealer should be attending to this, but if its feathering then the tire pros should be able to dial that in as well as any dealer, provided they are good also. Keep in mind that the IS models don't even have any camber adjustments available stock. Although I think the AWD does for some reason. "

I am not a tire expert by any stretch, but I have had lots experience with tires (40+ years). I have had tires "road force balanced" and the balancer will not cure an out of round tire. In fact, it's usually been a tire tech or store manager, trying to convince me that somehow their fancy tire balancer is going to magically balance my tire. Road force balancing will NOT cure a problem with a tire or wheel that is defective or its dimensions are outside of the physical requirements for simply balancing the tire on the wheel. It certainly doesn't take an MIT graduate to look at the tire and the wheel while it's spinning on a typical balancer to see if the tire and wheel are out of round or abnormal movement that would cause a problem.

You can balance a square tire while its' spinning. So even if you put an oval tire on a balancer, I can spin balance that thing well back into spec. The spin balancer has no clue nor does it care what shape the tire is. You would have a ridiculuos amount of weights on the rim, but the spin balancer would read it's good.

In my experience, cupping is NOT just a suspension component issue. I've had multiple sets of front tires on my trucks start to cup after 7K or 10K miles. In that case, the cupping is caused by the tread lugs. The spacing between the lugs allows them to "squirm". That condition of tread wear apears to be fairly normal for larger lug truck type tires. And yes, the suspension system and wheel alignment were fine and the tires were religiously rotated and rebalanced every 7K miles. I am anal about vibrations.

We are talking about vehicle geometry here. I really don't want to get all technical and start importing diagrams and charts, but trucks that expereince tire cupping are being overloaded or thier suspension is designed for heavy loads and they aren't carrying any. So the suspension system isn't loaded enouph and causing the cupping. You can't have both worlds. Ford for years used the twin I-beam suspension that was notoriuos for cupping tires, and didn't have a very good turning radius, but it was a very strong suspension set up. The "squirming" on the tread blocks that your referring to is a result , not a cause. They squirm because the suspension is flexing in and out of spec or under and overload.

If the IS250 does not have a camber adjustment, then perhaps the design is bad. Does that mean that the Toyota engineers figured out that there wont' be a problem with wheel alignment, and that camber adjustments to their genuis suspension design won't be necessary? No camber adjust is fairly common on newer front wheel drive cars, but I find it interesting that the rear wheel drive IS250 does not.

I don't really understand this desicion much either to be honest. My only guess here is in the persuit of trying to be more and more maintenance free, they decided most people don't adjust thier camber anyway, so why make it adjustable? It's just one more thing to maintain then.

Please explain what you mean by "but if its feathering then the tire pros should be able to dial that in as well as any dealer, provided they are good also". How does a tire pro shop "dial in" a feathered tire?

Tire feathering is from a bad toe in/out setting. easily adjusted on the rack when they are doing the alignment.

There a millions and millions of tires put on vehicles that work perfectly normal that never see a "road force balancer".

 Because those larger sidewalls hide this issue much better. Lower the profile like we have, and you have to be alot more exact.[/quote]

What does rotating a tire on its wheel 180 degrees do?
[code] Road force balancing measures the roundness of the tire, by measuring the amount of pressure where the contact patch actually is. Most all rims are not perfectly round to begin with, and have some movement in them straight from the factory. So in essence and for the sake of keeping this relatively short, it measures the amount of movement in the rim, then tells the tech to rotate the heavier portion of the tire to the opposite side of where the rim is out of round the most to create a rounder, more even contact patch.[/quote]


"For most consumers, it's not a big deal to them, so alot of tire shops get away with this. Frequently. I only do business with tire shops that do road force balancing. It's more work for them, as they have to mount the tire, spin it up and measure it, then in some cases, stop, dismount the tire and rotate it on the rim 180 degrees, then remount it, and balance it from there. But I'm much more involved than most I would venture to guess. "


Most consumers.... What's "not a big deal to them"??


The laws of physics are fairly straight forward when it comes to balancing a tire. Although the dynamics are different when the tire is rotating down the road with a load, it's obvious that if a quality, non-defective tire is balanced properly on a typical spin balancer, then 99.99% of the time it's going to work fine on the road. However, I can balance a tire the shape of a football on a spin balancer, but obviously it's not going to be smooth on the road. Bent or out concentric wheels/rims and out of round tires can induce a vibration and cause tire tread to cup, regardless of how tight and perfect the suspension components are. That's MY experience.

I have a gut feeling that the multiple post regarding abnormal tire wear issues that have surfaced here, and with my own experience with my wife's IS250, that 1) The choice of factory tires by Lexus was stupid. 2) The suspension system on the car is way too loose or a *BLEEP* poor design.

Again, the IS250 as a top brand luxury 4-door sedan at $38,000 US dollars, should NOT have tires that wear out in 10,000 miles!!... camber adjustment or no camber adjustment!!

[code] Sometimes you surprise me Randy. I would think you should be more familiar with suspension geometry's as you have racing in your background. Every car manufacturer has the exact same desicions they have to make, and no matter what that desicion is, there are a bunch of haters complaining and sniveling over it. The facts are, a suspension system that places the tire in a more vertical postion, ie, gets great even tread wear, corners crappy and is unstable at higher speeds. That's a law of nature that science can't overcome. A tire that is more cambered, has alot more stability at high speed, and offers alot more traction in cornering, but at the expense of localized tread wear. Every car ever built faces these same issues. so when they decide tread wear is more important, then you would be complaining that the car doesn't corner very well, understeers all over the place, and won't track, or want to stay on the line you pick with the sterring wheel. You know how some cars feel like they "wander" going down the road all the time? And your forced to constantly correct the steering? they probably get great tire wear. Just look at all those 1980's-1990's cars that get great tire wear, but all performed very poorly. Now we are starting to see some real performance for a change. And when they decide performance is the higher priority, then they have to decide how much tire and suspension wear they are willing to sacfrice to achieve the level of performance they are looking for. 15-20k miles on performance tires is common across the board. Maybe you should be driving a Volvo?

That's just my worthless opinion.

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"You can balance a square tire while its' spinning. So even if you put an oval tire on a balancer, I can spin balance that thing well back into spec. The spin balancer has no clue nor does it care what shape the tire is. You would have a ridiculuos amount of weights on the rim, but the spin balancer would read it's good. "

Exactly... that's my point. Just because a tire tech zeros out his balancer, doesn't mean the tire is going down the road smooth.

"We are talking about vehicle geometry here."

No, I am talking about cupping. We'll have to agree to disagree here... The loads have nothing to do with why the tread cups on big lug tires. It's the lug squirm!!

 But what is causing the tire cupping then? So far from your description, it sounds like you are saying the tire itself causes the tire to cup?

"I don't really understand this desicion much either to be honest. My only guess here is in the persuit of trying to be more and more maintenance free, they decided most people don't adjust thier camber anyway, so why make it adjustable? It's just one more thing to maintain then."

YOU surprise ME.... So, Lexus, in it's great automotive wisdom decides to build a "racey" car with NO CAMBER adjustment?? Is that a design break through or just simply trying to lower costs??? Either way, it's arguably a bad decision.

This is just a point of opinion here. You may think it's a mistake, but appearntly BMW, MB, and Lexus and other car mfgr's are all on the same pages here, and all heading down this path. I'm not included in those meetings so I can only think that the team of engineers must have all come to an acceptable agreement as to why this is a good decision. Have you thought about sending one of them an email?

"Because those larger sidewalls hide this issue much better. Lower the profile like we have, and you have to be alot more exact."

So, my assumption is correct.... the low profile tires by their design have an intrinsic tendency to cup or wear abnormal compared to conventional style tire??

The tire, the rim or the car? And why don't you just put a set of 14's on your car and go with a higher profile tire and tell us all how that worked out for you?

"Road force balancing measures the roundness of the tire, by measuring the amount of pressure where the contact patch actually is. Most all rims are not perfectly round to begin with, and have some movement in them straight from the factory. So in essence and for the sake of keeping this relatively short, it measures the amount of movement in the rim, then tells the tech to rotate the heavier portion of the tire to the opposite side of where the rim is out of round the most to create a rounder, more even contact patch."

Again I'm surprised at you... I would never take an out of spec rim and and out of spec tire and band-aid balance it on road force balancer. If I knew the tire was out round or the rim was bad, I'd say "give me one that isn't defective".

Out of spec? So your saying that you had to change your tires at 10k miles because the rims were out of spec?

"Sometimes you surprise me Randy. I would think you should be more familiar with suspension geometry's as you have racing in your background."

I am very familiar with suspension geometry, but perhaps I should be more.

"Every car manufacturer has the exact same desicions they have to make, and no matter what that desicion is, there are a bunch of haters complaining and sniveling over it."

I don't see a bunch of haters here or anywhere. I read about people who spend hard earned money for a luxury vehicle and then have to buy 3 sets of tires in 30,000 miles!! What's wrong with THAT picture??

If there is any failure here, it's the average consumer thinking they know what they want, when in fact they don't. And then blame the mfgr for giving them what they think they wanted, and not liking it as much as they thought they would. Alot of people like the look of low profile tires, and so just assume that they have to spend some money on bigger rims, and new tires to fit, but what they don't understand is that the car mfgrs put high profile tires on their cars in the first place to keep this a low maintenance issue, but car buyers wanted lower profile tires and complained they wanted more performance and the better look. SO they began to offer multiple sizes for different performance levels. But that is a very expensive approach, and everyone wanted to go for the "top performance" packages anyway as they thought they were getting stuck with less car, or missing out on options, or the perception of they don't have the "top of the line option package". So, to keep the cost of these cars down, they just offer a couple packages and sizes. So, the uniformed buyer, wants to buy a car that looks like an IS, rides like a Bentley, performs like a Lambo, and gets Prius fuel economy.  all for your 38k budget. Yet even million dollar cars can't achieve that! Yeah, right. that's reasonable.

"The facts are, a suspension system that places the tire in a more vertical postion, ie, gets great even tread wear, corners crappy and is unstable at higher speeds. That's a law of nature that science can't overcome. A tire that is more cambered, has alot more stability at high speed, and offers alot more traction in cornering, but at the expense of localized tread wear. Every car ever built faces these same issues. so when they decide tread wear is more important, then you would be complaining that the car doesn't corner very well, understeers all over the place, and won't track, or want to stay on the line you pick with the sterring wheel. You know how some cars feel like they "wander" going down the road all the time? And your forced to constantly correct the steering? they probably get great tire wear. Just look at all those 1980's-1990's cars that get great tire wear, but all performed very poorly. Now we are starting to see some real performance for a change. And when they decide performance is the higher priority, then they have to decide how much tire and suspension wear they are willing to sacfrice to achieve the level of performance they are looking for. 15-20k miles on performance tires is common across the board."

I understand what camber, caster, toe-in do relative to steering geometry. I am saying that the IS250 is designed and built to be an average daily driver by millions of average people. Designing "race" geometry into a "street" vehicle may be good for marketing hype, but it's not practical. If I have to buy tires every 10 or 15K miles in order to deal with Lexus' poor decision to design a suspension/steering geometry with that level "sacrifice", then YES, I may be looking at a different car manufacturer in the future.

 The IS is designed to combine performance and luxury. Which are on the opposite sides of the scale. Very hard to do. Look at the long evolution of the 3 sereis for BMW. The M3 is nothing like the 3 series, because they have found over the years you just can't make one car fit all. It's either a performance car with some luxury features, or a luxury car that has some performance. Unless money is no object, and your building/designing the car for yourself. But even then, you would find that you would have to make some decisions and sacrifices along the way, and still, someone else would point to it and complain you went to far on some things, and not far enouph on others. It's always been a point of argument even within the car mfgr's themselves. It's much easier to build narrow focused car like the Vette, or a Porsche. Small, 2 door, cars that are expected to perform. But that's all they do. Harsh ride, loud interiors, lots of tire wear, high maintenance, are all expected. Pure luxury cars are built heavier to smooth out the roads more, softer suspensions, bigger chassis, smoother transmissions and lots of buttons and video screens everywhere. the problems and challenges begin when we want to be able to race our Maybach like a Porsche. But each car mfgr has to have a philosphy of automotive design. Just because you don't agree with that ideaology, doesn't make it a flawed one.

Besides, whatever the IS250 or IS350 is, it ain't in NO WAY a race car.... if it were - it would have the ability to adjust the camber, which as you mentioned is a critical geometry design component for optimizing traction and steering performance!!

 I don't know that I would call a performance car a race car either. I can think of a bunch of "high performance" cars that can't lap very fast, and I know of a bunch of "low performance" cars that can lap faster than cars costing 3 and 4 times as much. Racing is a different goal. Remember, when modding or building a car, you have to have a goal. Once that goal is assertained, then you can design and build a car that can perform to that goal. It sounds to me like you just have a different set of goals and just bought the wrong car.(I bet you would be much happier with a GS.) I've done alot of work to my suspension just to prep for the wheels and lowering the car. And I don't have any cupping issues, or feathering or anything. In fact, my 350 rides as smooth as can be. My wife comments often how unbeleivably solid the steering wheel feels and how the car so quickly reacts to turning acceleration. I have about 9k miles on the set of 19 inch Goodyears I put on, and I drive my car to have fun. I understood that I will go thru more tires than the Volvo my wife drives, but I'm willing to pay that for the performance I want. It's the deal I made going in and knew it.

Again, that's just my worthless opinion. :P

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I would like to add that going domestic is not a "fix" either. I drive a 2003 domestic front wheel drive, and the front and rear camber are not adjustable. I had to change the oem tires since they were fairly cheap, because at 70mph the steering wheel would vibrate. It was pretty cool to watch, because as much as the steering wheel vibrated the vehicle tracked straight. The cheap tires were also "cupping". Had a really weird wear on them. I replaced them with some decent tires that didn't cup as much and handled better. Only way I could adjust camber was to elongate the hole in the front and/or add shims in the rear.

I wonder whats change over the years. Have suspension designs changed that much? A few years ago, I talked to a manufacturer tech rep for GM, and he mentioned that GM suspension had become "aggressive?". Not sure what he meant, but it seems some of todays cars seem more sensitive to tires and tires don't seem to last as long.

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In the early days of radial tires in the USA, most tires weren't as round as the previous generation of tires. Tire truing became a cottage industry where tires were put on a machine and made more round by actually removing some rubber as if on a lathe. One company went so far as to roll tires down a ramp to observe bouncing and sole the roundest tires at a premium price.

As tire reinforcement technology advanced, many of the radial runout problems were solved. In some cases it was the car mfg practices what were !Removed! up tire performance and/or appearance.

There's one hell of a lot more to tire construction than most people even think about. A tire is a complex composite structure and street tires area always a compromise design and not optimized for any given road condition. There are always going to be problems to solve and some tire companies might try to "get around" a problem rather than actually solve it.

You don't need a road force balance to check for radial runout. All it takes is a roller dial guage and you can check roundness right on the car. Also turning the tire on the car might show other problems that aren't even tire related.

Sez me in my expert worthwhile opinion as a retired chief fiber engineer for a major tire and rubber company.

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"You can balance a square tire while its' spinning. So even if you put an oval tire on a balancer, I can spin balance that thing well back into spec. The spin balancer has no clue nor does it care what shape the tire is. You would have a ridiculuos amount of weights on the rim, but the spin balancer would read it's good. "

Exactly... that's my point. Just because a tire tech zeros out his balancer, doesn't mean the tire is going down the road smooth.

"We are talking about vehicle geometry here."

No, I am talking about cupping. We'll have to agree to disagree here... The loads have nothing to do with why the tread cups on big lug tires. It's the lug squirm!!

"I don't really understand this desicion much either to be honest. My only guess here is in the persuit of trying to be more and more maintenance free, they decided most people don't adjust thier camber anyway, so why make it adjustable? It's just one more thing to maintain then."

YOU surprise ME.... So, Lexus, in it's great automotive wisdom decides to build a "racey" car with NO CAMBER adjustment?? Is that a design break through or just simply trying to lower costs??? Either way, it's arguably a bad decision.

"Because those larger sidewalls hide this issue much better. Lower the profile like we have, and you have to be alot more exact."

So, my assumption is correct.... the low profile tires by their design have an intrinsic tendency to cup or wear abnormal compared to conventional style tire??

"Road force balancing measures the roundness of the tire, by measuring the amount of pressure where the contact patch actually is. Most all rims are not perfectly round to begin with, and have some movement in them straight from the factory. So in essence and for the sake of keeping this relatively short, it measures the amount of movement in the rim, then tells the tech to rotate the heavier portion of the tire to the opposite side of where the rim is out of round the most to create a rounder, more even contact patch."

Again I'm surprised at you... I would never take an out of spec rim and and out of spec tire and band-aid balance it on road force balancer. If I knew the tire was out round or the rim was bad, I'd say "give me one that isn't defective".

"Sometimes you surprise me Randy. I would think you should be more familiar with suspension geometry's as you have racing in your background."

I am fairly familiar with suspension geometry, but perhaps I should be more. Although I've been out it for awhile, I have friends that build very sophisticated custom computer designed suspension systems in their shop, that in reality are WAY more sophisicated in functionality than anything found on any street Lexus.

"Every car manufacturer has the exact same desicions they have to make, and no matter what that desicion is, there are a bunch of haters complaining and sniveling over it."

I don't see a bunch of haters here or anywhere. I read about people who spend hard earned money for a luxury vehicle and then have to buy 3 sets of tires in 30,000 miles!! What's wrong with THAT picture??

"The facts are, a suspension system that places the tire in a more vertical postion, ie, gets great even tread wear, corners crappy and is unstable at higher speeds. That's a law of nature that science can't overcome. A tire that is more cambered, has alot more stability at high speed, and offers alot more traction in cornering, but at the expense of localized tread wear. Every car ever built faces these same issues. so when they decide tread wear is more important, then you would be complaining that the car doesn't corner very well, understeers all over the place, and won't track, or want to stay on the line you pick with the sterring wheel. You know how some cars feel like they "wander" going down the road all the time? And your forced to constantly correct the steering? they probably get great tire wear. Just look at all those 1980's-1990's cars that get great tire wear, but all performed very poorly. Now we are starting to see some real performance for a change. And when they decide performance is the higher priority, then they have to decide how much tire and suspension wear they are willing to sacfrice to achieve the level of performance they are looking for. 15-20k miles on performance tires is common across the board."

I understand what camber, caster, toe-in do relative to steering geometry. I am saying that the IS250 is designed and built to be an average daily driver by millions of average people. Designing "race" geometry into a "street" vehicle may be good for marketing hype, but it's not practical. If I have to buy tires every 10 or 15K miles in order to deal with Lexus' poor decision to design a suspension/steering geometry with that level "sacrifice", then YES, I may be looking at a different car manufacturer in the future.

Besides, whatever the IS250 or IS350 is, it ain't in NO WAY a race car.... if it were - it would have the ability to adjust the camber, which as you mentioned is a critical geometry design component for optimizing traction and steering performance!!

I'd be willing to bet you that if we took any IS250/350 off the show room floor, and test drove it on your track of choice, in a semi-race style, the brakes wouldn't last 10 minutes!!!! And brakes are a very basic component in ANY race vehicle.

By the way, I still think Bonnie's IS250 is the most cat's-!Removed! daily driver for the money there is!!

Again, that's just my worthless opinion. :P

I'd be willing to bet you that if we took any IS250/350 off the show room floor, and test drove it on your track of choice, in a semi-race style, the brakes wouldn't last 10 minutes!!!! And brakes are a very basic component in ANY race vehicle.

I'll take that bet, because I've done it in an IS350 at Moroso Speedway, I drove the wheels off that car for alot longer than 10 minutes, not to mention that car was driven like that all day by 40 different people. And I can prove it as I did a full write up and review here on the LOC with pics and video. Stock, out of the box, 2008 IS350's and ISF's. That was what changed my opinion about this car and why I sold my turbo IS300 and bought one of these!

Moroso Speedway track day for the ISF

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Sorry to go off topic for a sec. Smooth have you been to Moroso lately? They have ruined the track for spectators, they've put a tall barier wall all around the track, you can't even see the roof of the cars. The back part of the track is now off limits, that was one of the best places to see the race and you can't drive in anymore, you have to park outside of the gate and walk in.

They have ruined it for the spectator totally. It use to be a nice grassroots track, but no more.......:chairshot:

Again sorry about the topic shift.

Back to alignment.

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Those cars were being driven flat out all day long brother. And it wasn't just the ISF's, the IS350's were going out all day. I drove one atleast 6 or 7 times. And Danica needs to win a race before she gets to say anything. Until then she can just sit behind the steering wheel lookin good on the stick.

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Sorry to go off topic for a sec. Smooth have you been to Moroso lately? They have ruined the track for spectators, they've put a tall barier wall all around the track, you can't even see the roof of the cars. The back part of the track is now off limits, that was one of the best places to see the race and you can't drive in anymore, you have to park outside of the gate and walk in.

They have ruined it for the spectator totally. It use to be a nice grassroots track, but no more.......:chairshot:

Again sorry about the topic shift.

Back to alignment.

It's very unfortunate for Moroso. They were even taken off my race schedule this year. Last year we ran there twice. This year, they aren't even in the programs. I heard that about 8 years ago, Moroso contracted with an asphalt company to repave the track. They were told that it was a competition asphalt compound like what was used at Daytona, and they paid like X million dollars for it. (I was told 8 million, but I think figures like this tend to get inflated with the "Hey look what I know" expander clause.) But whatever. Anyway, they definately have a problem. the track is crumbling away, and the park doesn't have any money to have it repaved. They are getting alot of complaints from race officials and sponsors are pulling races there as no one wants to drive on the track there. The only things they have now are 1/4 mile, and some open time attack events. MAybe some local stuff, but that's about it now. Kami Speed here in Orlando just opened up a road course race track. I haven't been to it yet, I think it opened last week. I was going to check out that track in a couple weeks when I get a chance.

Alright, back on topic.

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Those cars were being driven flat out all day long brother. And it wasn't just the ISF's, the IS350's were going out all day. I drove one atleast 6 or 7 times. And Danica needs to win a race before she gets to say anything. Until then she can just sit behind the steering wheel lookin good on the stick.

:lol::cheers:

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You are correct this car is a real lemon, I have 07 is250 awd 31,000 miles third set of tires. They wear out on the inside, and the dealer tries to tell you it a performance car bull. This car is poorly designed, thats why there are so many complaints on this site, brakes, tires, transmission, rattles. My newest problem is that when its cold outside below freezing the engine sounds like its going to blow up, tappit noise it really bad. Thankfully its a lease and there is not much more to go, just got my recall notice, I would never buy a foriegn car again.

people that don't have problems don't usually post. i would hardly consider a handful...even a dozen complaints on a few sites an accurate representation of the tens of thousands of vehicles sold. sorry you've had issues with your 250. it sounds like you've made up your mind to go domestic...hopefully you find what you're looking for. enjoy!

I've read similar assumptions. Your logic is flawed. So, the other 1,000s of posts regarding "problems" are a statistical anomaly?

What about the other "people that don't post"???.... so, they don't have any problems with their Lexus?? -- just because they don't post anything?? Judging from and reading hundreds of posts, one can easily assume that "where there's smoke, there's fire". The people posting here about their problems could actually be the "tip of the iceburg".

Whether our not there is one complaint or a thousand complaints about the same issue, it doesn't change the fact that the issue is REAL.

Out of 10s of thousands of vehicles sold, how many complaints would YOU say would be "an accurate representation"??

It's interesting that the new 2009 IS250 has a "revised suspension and steering geometry"???

well, you definitely have it all figured out. i guess the only issue is how you missed the '1,000s of posts regarding "problems" ' when researching the vehicle before you bought it. if it is indeed a hideous, full blown design flaw affecting the majority of owners prior to the 2009 model, that should have been easy to source out prior to your purchase. again, sorry you're not happy with the car. perhaps you DO have a lemon of sorts...the car is made by humans and that'll happen. buy your Ford or Chevy and enjoy life a bit more.

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Sorry to go off topic for a sec. Smooth have you been to Moroso lately? They have ruined the track for spectators, they've put a tall barier wall all around the track, you can't even see the roof of the cars. The back part of the track is now off limits, that was one of the best places to see the race and you can't drive in anymore, you have to park outside of the gate and walk in.

They have ruined it for the spectator totally. It use to be a nice grassroots track, but no more.......:chairshot:

Again sorry about the topic shift.

Back to alignment.

It's very unfortunate for Moroso. They were even taken off my race schedule this year. Last year we ran there twice. This year, they aren't even in the programs. I heard that about 8 years ago, Moroso contracted with an asphalt company to repave the track. They were told that it was a competition asphalt compound like what was used at Daytona, and they paid like X million dollars for it. (I was told 8 million, but I think figures like this tend to get inflated with the "Hey look what I know" expander clause.) But whatever. Anyway, they definately have a problem. the track is crumbling away, and the park doesn't have any money to have it repaved. They are getting alot of complaints from race officials and sponsors are pulling races there as no one wants to drive on the track there. The only things they have now are 1/4 mile, and some open time attack events. MAybe some local stuff, but that's about it now. Kami Speed here in Orlando just opened up a road course race track. I haven't been to it yet, I think it opened last week. I was going to check out that track in a couple weeks when I get a chance.

Alright, back on topic.

Sad, very sad. :cries:

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