Q: Stiff ride

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Hello,

I have a 2013 Toyota Avalon XLE touring that has about 26K miles on. The ride is stiff especially over bumps. Is there anything at all that can be done to soften the ride without sacrificing handling and performance?

Thank you,

My car has 26000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

First thing to check would be the condition of the tires. Make sure air pressures are correct for the vehicle. The recommend tire pressure for the vehicle should be found on the sticker typically located in the driver’s door opening. As a rule of thumb, don’t exceed 35 psi with a passenger car unless you are carrying a full load - maximum passengers and cargo. Do not follow what is molded into the tires are a rule of tire pressure settings. What is molded into the tire is the Maximum Recommend Pressure settings for that tire. Also, have the suspension inspected for things like worn shocks/struts, strut mounts, bushings, etc. If everything checks out from tires to suspension, then it may just be down to the tires. The XLE Touring is equipped with low profile 18 inch tires. This means less sidewall so you have sharper handling but less sidewall to absorb impacts from bumps. If the tires are the original ones the vehicle came with, you may want to look into other brands of tires that while maintaining the original size, may give you a slightly softer ride. Even with low mileage, the ride and handling quality of tires changes over time from the constant heating and cooling of the rubber. With some tires, it can be more of a dramatic change than others. A site like tirerack.com can be helpful in looking up tires for your vehicle with plenty of input/comments about each brand and model tire.

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