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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought a 2013 Avalon in Sept. 26, 2013 in Cleveland Ohio. Drove it to Florida and shipped it to PR.
When I picked up the car at the port in San Juan, I thought that I was driving a different car, the ride was very rough and hard. The roads here are very bumpy and not so good. So, I would like to know if I can do something to the suspension to soften the ride since most roads here are not very good. I also have a 2002 Avalon and the ride is very good. Can I make the 2013 ride like the 2002?

TIA for your help.:wtf:
 

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I bought a 2013 Avalon in Sept. 26, 2013 in Cleveland Ohio. Drove it to Florida and shipped it to PR.
When I picked up the car at the port in San Juan, I thought that I was driving a different car, the ride was very rough and hard. The roads here are very bumpy and not so good. So, I would like to know if I can do something to the suspension to soften the ride since most roads here are not very good. I also have a 2002 Avalon and the ride is very good. Can I make the 2013 ride like the 2002?

TIA for your help.:wtf:
Check the tire pressures if you haven't done so. Try 31 psi and see if the ride improves. The 2013 will never have as soft a ride as the 2002, as Toyota made a conscious decision to give the 2013 Avalon a tighter, sportier suspension than the rather "floaty" earlier models, and thereby appeal to younger drivers than in the past.

Robert N.
 

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Toyotas Full Gararge
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You don't state which Avalon model you purchased, are you riding on 18" or 17" wheels/tires? Our Avalon is a hybrid and has the 17" wheels, and therefore can't comment on the 18" tire and ride.
As robnich stated several forum members with 18" wheels put the air pressure at 31 lbs and expressed ride improvement, numerous members have complained the Avalon no longer rides the road as floating on a cloud. Remember the 18" tire has a lower profile and road imperfection will be felt more due to the tire profile.
Also, what tire brand did the factory install on your Avalon? We have two '13 TAH, one with Bridgestone, the other with Michelin. I prefer the ride on the Michelin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks to both for your quick reply.
Tires are Bridgstone . I measured the rims at 19", tires are the low profile ones. Tire pressure at 35 psi.
I realize that this could be a big project but I would like to change the suspension to make the ride like my 2002 model. BTW, this is the Touring model, with the 3 mode settings, Eco, normal & sport. For younger folks this would probably be the ideal car but for an older guy like me I rather have the softer ride. The ride on US highways was excellent but not here. I'll appreciate any suggestion on a possible solution. Thanks again,

Chemo
 

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Thanks to both for your quick reply.
Tires are Bridgstone . I measured the rims at 19", tires are the low profile ones. Tire pressure at 35 psi.
I realize that this could be a big project but I would like to change the suspension to make the ride like my 2002 model. BTW, this is the Touring model, with the 3 mode settings, Eco, normal & sport. For younger folks this would probably be the ideal car but for an older guy like me I rather have the softer ride. The ride on US highways was excellent but not here. I'll appreciate any suggestion on a possible solution. Thanks again,
Chemo
Please start by dropping tire pressure to 31 psi. You will notice the difference. I can't advise you on suspension changes, I'm afraid. By the way, the Sport, Eco and Normal settings have no effect on the suspension, only on the steering and accelerator response, but probably you already knew that.

Robert N.
 

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Ride

ChemoF, I also have a 2013 touring Hybrid. The standard TAH touring has 17" wheels, either made by Michelin or Bridgestone. If you will search for threads on this forum, you will find that the 17" tires have a much softer ride than the 18", and the Michelins have a much better ride than the Bridgestones. I have the Michelins, and the ride is great. Perhaps lowering the tire pressure will help until you can switch to the Michelins.
Good luck.
 

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Did the dealer change rims and tires to 19" from the 18" factory rims/tires on a gas Touring? If not changed, check again on the tire itself if it states "18." If you are driving on 19" rims then I would think the ride would even be less forgiving than the 18" rims.
I'm no where knowledgeable on tires, maybe robnich can answer, if the tire pressure is dropped to 31 lbs on a 19" how will this work on the integrity of the tire/rim, especially on rough roads and potholes, etc..
 

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Did the dealer change rims and tires to 19" from the 18" factory rims/tires on a gas Touring? If not changed, check again on the tire itself if it states "18." If you are driving on 19" rims then I would think the ride would even be less forgiving than the 18" rims.
I'm no where knowledgeable on tires, maybe robnich can answer, if the tire pressure is dropped to 31 lbs on a 19" how will this work on the integrity of the tire/rim, especially on rough roads and potholes, etc..
I believe the 18" rims measure about 19" at the OD. Where the beads seat should be 18".
 

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Did the dealer change rims and tires to 19" from the 18" factory rims/tires on a gas Touring? If not changed, check again on the tire itself if it states "18." If you are driving on 19" rims then I would think the ride would even be less forgiving than the 18" rims.
I'm no where knowledgeable on tires, maybe robnich can answer, if the tire pressure is dropped to 31 lbs on a 19" how will this work on the integrity of the tire/rim, especially on rough roads and potholes, etc..
I think it is likely that ChemoF has 18" wheels. I have a V6 Limited with 18" wheels and have always kept the tire pressures at 31 psi with no detectable deterioration in handling and a clear improvement in ride comfort. Even if ChemoF does have 19" wheels I cannot believe that a mere 2 pound reduction from the recommended 33 psi could compromise the tire/rim integrity.

Robert N.
 

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I don't know if this applies to Toyota or not, but many mfrs (including BMW) put keepers or blocks in the suspension coils for auto shipment....maybe take a peek at your coil springs and see if they stuck anything in your coils that needs to be removed. Just a thought.
 

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I just recently switched back to the 18" wheels from 16" winter wheels. My gosh is there a huge difference in ride quality. The 18" are so much harsher and you feel every bump. However, even the 16" feels harder than my late pillowy 1997 Avalon...
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I just recently switched back to the 18" wheels from 16" winter wheels. My gosh is there a huge difference in ride quality. The 18" are so much harsher and you feel every bump. However, even the 16" feels harder than my late pillowy 1997 Avalon...
Thanks to all for replying.

I'd be willing to invest in a set of 16" rims and tires to match if I knew for sure that it would make the ride softer. But I was wondering if the springs are different on the 2013 model.
 

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Thanks to all for replying.

I'd be willing to invest in a set of 16" rims and tires to match if I knew for sure that it would make the ride softer. But I was wondering if the springs are different on the 2013 model.
I'm quite sure they are different. As mentioned above, Toyota gave the Avalon a tighter, sportier suspension to attract younger buyers.

I have not seen any after market kits to soften it up yet.

I have spent a fair bit of time in San Juan and Ponce and don't recall the roads being horrible. Maybe I have forgot since that was in the 90's. The drivers were a different story, especially those jitneys that pull away from the side with no thought to traffic. I did like not stopping for red lights though.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Great advice guys, thanks.

It just dawned on me that I could,(just for a test) put the 2002 Avalon wheels,( if they fit) on the 2013 and see if there is a noticeable difference. But first, I'll try a lower tire psi as suggested here.
 

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I wonder if the Lexus ES350, has a harsh stiff ride? The Avalon and ES350 are really the same car, with a $10k price difference. If someone wanted to go to the expense, the springs from the ES350 could probably be used in the Avalon, but it would cost!
(Hey, all it takes is money!)

I don't buy the lower tire pressure posts. I"ve tried all the way down to 27lbs, and it still has a harsh ride. I now keep it down around 31lbs. This is with the Bridgestones.
I also don't believe the posts about the Michelin giving a softer ride than the Bridgestones. Just internet hype. I.E., if you read it on the internet, it must be true.
I like Michelins, and I've had them on other cars, including my present MKZ, but Michelins are way overpriced, compared to other quality tires. Michelin, a French company manufactures tires in many countries, including France and the USA. Michelin invented the Radial Tire, back in 1948 and I had my first set of Michelin-X on my 1960 TR3A and later Michelin-XAS on my 1976 BMW Bavaria. Radial tires were first produced in the USA by BFGoodrich around 1971 and I put a set on my 1970 'Cuda340. They were great. Now, everyone knows how to make quality Radial Tires, and Michelin is no longer "the only way to go". In hindsight though, I will say one great thing about Michelins. I've never had a Michelin that had a cord break or thumpbut then again, I've had other cars that also did not have cords break.

Lastly, what ever happened to Radial Tires that looked like they were running low on air? Way back, Radials always looked underinflated (they were not) because they had a very flexable sidewall, but now, all Radials come with non flexable sidewalls, that tend to make the car ride just as harsh as if the tire was a Bias or Bias-Belted tire.
 

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I can speak from my experience of the 2013 TAH Limited that I don't experience the same harsh feeling others are stating. That could be a matter of expectations since my previous vehicle was a Mazda. Oh and also, I have the Bridgestones (not Michelins) tires.

Perhaps the previous generous Avalons were more like a sofa on wheels but for me personally, it feels no harsher than my previous vehicle.

FWIW, I'm in my early 30's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm quite sure they are different. As mentioned above, Toyota gave the Avalon a tighter, sportier suspension to attract younger buyers.

On the bright side, the handling is awesome. Switching lanes at 60 is kind of fun.

I have not seen any after market kits to soften it up yet.

I have spent a fair bit of time in San Juan and Ponce and don't recall the roads being horrible. Maybe I have forgot since that was in the 90's. The drivers were a different story, especially those jitneys that pull away from the side with no thought to traffic. I did like not stopping for red lights though.:)

I should be more specific. The black top roads are good but the concrete surfaces are rough, especially the east to west freeway( Rt. 22) along the north cost corridor. I do that drive 2 to 3 times a week. I's, for the most part, concrete. Some areas have been smoothed out but not all, especially the bridges. Another problem comes when they attempt to fix pot holes. It seems that they just turn the hole up side down.:lol:
I also agree with you, PR drivers make driving interesting. I've had many cars through the years but never one as tight as this, wow. I think that Toyota over did it.
 

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I've had many cars through the years but never one as tight as this, wow. I think that Toyota over did it.
I agree they made it a bit too firm. My 2012 Camry XLE and my 2014 Avalon have a very similar ride. The 2012 Camry, with 17's, rides a bit stiffer than the 2007 Camry, with 16's, we had. The Avalon has less road and wind noise but going over bumps is about the same firmness as the Camry.

What is interesting is that I seldom see complaints about the Camry ride while there is a ton about Avalon. I would tend to agree with intrinsic that to a large degree it is about expectations. The Avalon is supposed to be more of a luxury car than Camry so one would expect a smoother ride.

Most of the roads I drive on are not too bad and I do like the handling of the Avalon. I like sports cars. I would have preferred it to be a bit softer but not as soft as the older ones.

Just how much tires make a difference seems to be pretty subjective too. Some say there is a big difference while other don't notice much. I have the 17" with Michelin and I have not driven one with 18's. I did lower my PSI from 40 to 32 and it did soften it up enough that I will leave it there. It was not a "drastic" difference though.

I wish you best of luck with a resolution for this issue. I can imagine how disappointing it must be.
 

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I wonder if the Lexus ES350, has a harsh stiff ride?
The ES350 has a softer, quieter ride. And a less hard drivers seat too. Go over to Clublexus.com to the 2013 on up ES350 forum. Not hardly any complaints about the ride and seats as compared to the Avalon. Also, some owners rented an Avalon, then went to a Lexus dealer to test drive the ES350 and found out the ES350 rode more comfortably and with less road noise.

Bottom line is that if you want a comfortable ride and seats you need to either get a 2012 or earlier Avalon or a new ES350.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
As I stated at the beginning, During my drive from Cleveland to Florida, my wife and I were very happy with the ride and we really liked the car. State side roads are world class, very smooth and safe, the roads here are more like third world class, (hope I don't offend anyone). I always keep a positive attitude so I'm hopeful that I can find a solution to my frustration. BTW, I'v also noticed that when the road is less than perfect, the road noise is too loud. Enough of my rant.
Thanks to all for your support.:disappoin
 
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