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Old 03-11-2009, 11:03 AM   #15
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My reference was specific Lexus (a "full time" AWD system) where the vehicle manufacturer tire spec will not allow a difference of more than 1/16 inch in tread depth between tires.
You might want to check to see if this Lexus utilizes a direct (pressure sensing) or indirect (ABS input related to tire diameter) low tire pressure warning system. Toyota has used both, and false tire pressure warnings have been reported with the latter system when the spare (with no wear) is put on the ground with the other tires.

A center differential (required with a full-time AWD system) allows relative differences in front and rear wheel speed. That's why it's there - even with the same size tires, the front and rear wheel speeds will vary in every turn since the front and rear tires don't follow the same path.

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Old 03-11-2009, 11:10 AM   #16
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You might want to check to see if this Lexus utilizes a direct (pressure sensing) or indirect (ABS input related to tire diameter) low tire pressure warning system.
No TPMS on my model year. It was related directly to the AWD system.
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Old 03-11-2009, 11:29 AM   #17
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No TPMS on my model year. It was related directly to the AWD system.
Doing a little Googling reveals that the earlier Toyota/Lexus AWD systems used a viscous coupling in the center differential; thus, their concern regarding continual "slippage" between the front and rear axles.

Current designs are replacing this viscous coupling with an electronically controlled multiplate clutch that doesn't share this fluid shear problem.

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Old 03-11-2009, 01:48 PM   #18
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rusty - that coupling 'splains everything in my case! Yep, a 99 model. No wonder they are so anal (1/16 inch) about the tire size difference.

I hadn't realized the trend toward multiplate clutch packs. Thanks for the info!
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Old 03-16-2009, 12:00 AM   #19
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Tire Rack explains this much better than I ever could:
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tirete...currentpage=35
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