Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Toyota Avalon 2004 and earlier

L8_ApexL8_Apex Posts: 187
Welcome to the continuation of the Toyota Avalon -
topic. Those of you joining us from that
topic are welcome to continue your discussion.

If you're new to this topic, you may want to
follow the above link for additional archived


Sedans Host


  • djamiesondjamieson Posts: 8
    I am thinking of buying the XL model with moon roof and the leather package with alloy wheels etc. Following which I'll install the wood grain trim kit myself for about $300. I figure cost to be $26,500. plus taxes.

    Does this sound right and am I missing anything major by not getting the XLS?

    Thanks for your opinions in advance.
  • tallpaul2tallpaul2 Posts: 1
    Re your comments on the impact of the internet, I think you have made a number of good points. I don't know how this thing will finally shake out but there is no question the net will have a big impact. I was fortunate enough to be able to take advantage of one of the more adventurous recent efforts in online auto sales this past March. Bought my 2000 XLS from Pearl White, Pkg 6 (leather, wheels & JBL), wheel locks, gold pkg & mats (sorry now I didn't get the VSC). Total price $29660 including all taxes and state registration. Took me a little over two months but I got exactly what I wanted delivered to my front door and couldn't be happier. Minimum dealer/sales force contact (just one telephone question concerning my registration papers) and no heart burn. I live in Florida so I would have had to deal with the rather interesting SE Region distributorship surcharges had I purchased directly from a dealer. As it happened, CO absorbed that fee in my case. They are no longer doing this and their prices are much closer to well negotiated local dealer prices now. I guess my point is that if they are still in business, I would definitely give them a go again. If the prices were equivalent, I would stay with the local dealer everything else being equal. Otherwise, I would have absolutely no qualms about utilizing the net. My guess is that if I were equipped with a hard-copy internet price the next time I was in the market, it would help cut through a whole lot of preliminary malarky in any local negotiations. LOVE MY AVALON.
  • footie:

    Our 2000 Avalon has got more squeaks and rattles than any other car we have owned (including American cars). When I called the service department today, the manager covered his you know what by saying he wouldn't be able to make the car "noise free". What a way to get out of any troublshooting. Toyota's quality has gone way down and to any of you out there I would think twice about purchasing one.


    As far as the locks, that feature of having to manually unlock all doors except the drivers is ridiculous. I hate the feature and am having a module installed that will unlock "all doors" when turning the engine off.
  • chuttiechuttie Posts: 6
    Recently purchased a 2000xls, love the car but have one glitch I'd like some info on. In regards to the climate control, my unit auto switches to recirc whenver there is a substantial difference between outside temp and inside temp. This happens on start up. Seems I read something on this before in an earlier post but don't think it was quite the same as this quirk Any input from others would be appreciated. Back to lurking.
  • mmcfmmcf Posts: 3
    Thanks to you all after reading a jillion posts I confirmed I wanted an Avalon - and purchased one last week. Pretty happy except for little issues. First, the Diamond White Pearl shows tire spray something awful. I'd like to find black front and rear mudguards like Toyota offers for the Camry. The dealer said the Camry mudguards couldn't be put on the Avalon. Does anyone know of an aftermarket source? Second, I have an XL without leather, and the steering wheel has three small holes in the back at the top when the wheel is centered. Was told these are normal casting marks, and sure enough, other non-leather Avalon and Camry steering wheels have the same three holes. But in the others, the holes are visible but not feel-able. They're filled in with some vinyl. Mine have a depth and distinct edges and you can feel them with every turn. Bugs me. I asked for a steering wheel replacement and was told no. Should I press it or is this "normal"?
    Thanks in advance, I'll be checking here often.
  • wxchenwxchen Posts: 1
    just bought my av2k last week. love the car and the ride. its a xls with package#7, MOONROOF,tire lock and glass breakage sensor. paid $400 above invoice. A Few problems as fellow: rattle and squeaky noices from the passenger side, the glass sensor dose not sense, car pulled to the left at highway speed(michelin tires on board). The dealer is trying to fix them. I will post the results, hopefully will be happy ones. Any body's feedbacks would be appreciated.
  • Just test drove an XL w/o sunroof--amazing legroom and headroom. Wow. My concern? There is no dark leather interior option. That seems like a glaring omission to me! I like to keep cars for 8-10 years, and I can only imagine what that pale ivory would look like after only a few months. Am I overly converned? Any feedback would be much appreciated.
  • playbak1playbak1 Posts: 3
    Switching to recirculation on startup is a feature:-)

    The recirculate setting is a function of temperature differential triggering an automated response. Recirculated air is the fastest way for the system to bring the temp to the desired setting. When you switch from manual or turn it on, it's a pretty sure bet that there is at least a 5 degree difference between the internal temp and your setting. The system is programmed to
    eliminate this difference as quickly as possible,
    which includes top fan speed and and recirculation.

    When you think about it, it is certainly much easier to cool the cooler air in the cabin than it is to keep pumping in very hot air from the outside. (In the case of the air conditioning)

    If this is a problem for you, the only way around it is to hit the recirc button to get outside air, or take the system off auto before you turn the car off so it won't come on when you start up. When you have an automatic setting, you lose some versatility for the privilege. But by
    turning off recirculate you compromise the
    efficiency of the system, something the designers
    probably did not anticipate.

    I can tell you that I had the same system in my
    Chrysler Concorde (probably the best working system in the car) and it did the same thing as the Avalon when it was in auto mode.

    So there you have it. The laws of physics strike again. I hope you find this info helpful. This explanation is a modified requote of the earlier posts you were alluding to. In that issue, the person asking the question wanted to know if this automated feature could be turned off (programmed differently) so the recirc wouldn't happen at all.

    I have to add that I find this very interesting that so many people object to recirculated air. There is always fresh air coming into the car through various areas in the car body. The car is not airtight. So what's wrong with recirculated air? It all passes through a filter and you can always hit a button to turn it off, although I can't imagine why anyone would want to keep pumping 106 degree dusty, ragweed infested Texas summer air into the car cabin. But that's just me. I know there are much cooler places in the world (we seem to get a lot of Canadians in this group and I sure envy them this month), but if you got a five degree differential, the system is designed to bring it down as quickly and economically as possible. I just shows the infinite variety of car owners preferences. That's why you have to take all of the comments in these forums with a grain of salt.

    Hope you enjoy your 2K Avalon as much as I have enjoyed mine.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Those holes are normal but I agree that it is annoying. As a salesman, I drive these cars all the time and have felt this on several Camrys and Avalons and if I owned one, I would probably try to fill it in with rubber cement.

    In case anybody wonders, while I don't own an Avalon, I do own a Tundra but that has a leather wrapped wheel.
  • ratledgeratledge Posts: 231
    Cliffy: my wife swears she saw a commercial for the 2001 Avalon somewhere on the dish today. Is that possible, or has she maybe been into the wacky weed while I wasn't home?

    I'm very much interested in buying a new 2001 when they become available, and I understand from the posts I've seen you put up recently that the only likely change this model year will be the possible addition of a GPS-based navigation system, a feature which I am not interested in...


  • uwilsgduwilsgd Posts: 4
    I have been working with a dealer in the Dayton-Cincinnati area to buy a 2000 XL with package #4, moonroof, floor mats and cargo net. To get the interior/exterior color I want the dealer needs to locate the car from around the region. The best price he can give is $26,450 plus tax and title. The invoice price is around $25,748. Am I getting a good deal considering I am not buying off the lot? Is the $150 Toyota rebate certficate for $49.95 worth the effort?

  • I have a 2000 XLS (Light green with Ivory Leather) and had the same exact concern that you did. I also have a 4 year old that further compounded my concern.

    However my car (now 6 months old) looks like new. I have treated the seats once with Meguiars Gold Class Leather Cleaner/Conditioner (since no one in Galveston, Texas sells Lexsol). I have had spills and other stains that have wiped right off (I keep the cleaner and a clean cloth in the trunk).

    The only thing that gets dirty fast seems to be the shift lever and I clean it along with the steering wheel every time I wash the car and it too looks new.

    I wouldn't worry. This is some of the best leather I have ever seen in a car (bar none including Lexus). We love the car, all of its features and look forward to owning it many years.

    BTW...we have had no squeaks, no rattles, no problems and the car now has 7000 miles.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    I don't know if it was wacky weed or not but that was not a 2001 commercial she saw. I have the schedules for release dates and advertising dates. The '01 Avalon will be available for retail sale on September 1 and the advertising starts Oct. 1.
  • thepope1thepope1 Posts: 23
    ANSWER TO STRANGER 94 (#681 of Toyota Avalon - Two)
    Your story parallels my own. In my case the Regional Toyota Service Manager reported 'no problems' after a test drive at 4,000 miles. When the dealer Service Manager and I rode with him he had to admit there was a serious 'thump' on changing all gears. He ordered the pan dropped. The inspection showed metal filings in the transmission oil. The entire trans was replaced (dealer had our car for 30 days). The problem persisted. Regional Technician then took a stab at it. (13,000 miles) His test drive showed 'no problems'. Again, the SM and I rode with him and again the problem presented itself. Now, is that weird or what?

    This time they exchanged the computer with the one from the technician's new XLS. The problems did reduce, but never went totally away. At about 30,000 miles, I started up and when I placed the auto gear shift in Reverse, you would have thought the whole trans was falling out. Happened several times thereafter.
    You say they have extended your warranty to 7
    years and 100,000 miles. Great. But what the h--- good is that if they keep telling you there is 'no problem'? Also, factory customer service telling you the only alternative is arbitration.
    Boy, that's familiar. In my case they called it 'binding arbitration'. I finally determined that was an outright lie - you do not have to accept the arbitrator's decision. But, as I stated in my original message, you will be up against a real brick wall. Remember, Toyota is paying for the cost of arbitration. Plus, your state may have consumer laws that are more effective then this hard route. If you do choose arbitration, have a good independent transmission mechanic check out the car. If his findings are in your favor HAVE HIM CALLED AS AN EXPERT WITNESS. You may have to pay him, but it's your only good bet to beat their system.

    While I am waiting for delivery of our 2000 XLS, the dealer has provided us with a 'loaner'. It's a '95 XLS with 107,000 miles. On about every shift it feels like the trans is tearing the car apart. So, this Toyota fault is not new. If ANY factory rep tells you rough shifting is normal, tell them they are full of beans.

    One other thing: The technician who told you the transmission roughness was a result of "a heavy car and momentum had to go somewhere" is so full of it that it's almost funny. Good luck!
  • n4hhen4hhe Posts: 3
    The auto-recirculation thing has nothing to do with the "auto" temperature mode. I left my system off auto for the first 4 months or so. Left it on "outside air" all the time too.

    Finally decided to quit messing with it and watch what it does. It (erroneously) jumps to "recirculate" when its hot outside. Problem is that its hotter inside. After it has run for a while it will go back to my setting.

    I think in the winter it might have been going the opposite way.

    Have never had an automatic HVAC system like this in a car before. Would be so much nicer if in addition to the temperature you have it set for, it would display the temperature it thinks it is. Else provide an indicator that its heating or cooling.

    As to the TV commercials, yes it appears Toyota is finally running Avalon ads.

    As to spell checking, this system still doesn't know how to spell Avalon.
  • playbak1playbak1 Posts: 3
    I'm sorry if I confused you. The auto isn't for auto recirculate, it for auto temperature. What you have is the automobile equivalent of centralized air. You set the temp and the system will heat or cool based on what the difference is. Most people don't care just so long as the car reaches a comfy temp. The car will try to hit whatever temperature you have set on your display. I found in my Concorde that it would heat the air in 'vent' mode, even if auto was off. I would have to dial the temp all the way down for outside air to come in unheated (i.e. during the fall or spring).

    You are correct that the internal temperature is usually higher inside the car initially in the summer. However, the theory is that the A/C can do nothing about the outside temp, but the internal air will keep getting cooler with each pass through the system until it hits the target temp you have set. First pass 100, next pass 98, next pass 94, etc. Meanwhile the outside temp is still 100. If you keep pumping that air into the system, it has to work much harder at cooling it. Again, keeping in mind that speed is an issue here. Most people want their car to heat or cool as quickly as possible. When you hit your target, the system opens up the mixture vent to blend internal and external air because the system can now handle it without breathing to hard.

    Commercial building HVAC does the same thing. It is a constant war between letting fresh air mix into a sealed building versus saving energy by recirculating the already conditioned internal air. If building managers had their way, there would be no fresh air (they usually aren't building tenants) because the systems would be operating at maximum efficiency and saving them money. We would all die of the fumes, but that's the price we pay;-)

    My dad used to be in the A/C business. It takes tremendous amount of energy to bring a temperature down 20 to 30 degrees. That's why it is unwise to shut off vents to rooms in your home. You just create big heat sinks that make your A/C work harder. There is no insulation in your internal walls. Your insulation in your outer walls is rated on how much heat passes through them over a period of time. The point of this is to slow down the heat down enough that an A/C unit can handle it efficiently. Once an internal room heats up, the heat passes through the walls like they weren't there (0 insulation). Your A/C ends up working much harder and using up more power.

    So back to the point. I don't know how Toyota programmed their system, but if it's like Chrysler, if you have the temp set, even if Auto is off, it will still act as if it is in Auto. I'll do some experimenting with mine to see if the Avalon system does the same thing. At any rate, that's my 2 cents worth.
  • boordboord Posts: 27
    Today I bought an Avalon XLS. I went to the site and printed out their price for the car along with all the options I wanted. The CarOrder price was better than autobytel, carsdirect, driveoff, etc.,

    I then went to a local Toyota dealership and gave
    them a copy of the print-out and said that all I
    had to do was push a button to get the price shown
    on the printout. The dealership had 17 Avalons in
    stock to pick from. They immediately matched the
    CO price and I took delivery with no hassle or no
    push or whining. In fact the salesman and the
    sales manager both stated that when a customer
    walks in with an internet price they know that they
    either must meet the price or let the business go
    - it's a simple business decision. The finance guy was prewarned by the salesman that we wouldn't be interested in warranty extensions or any other add ons. He also was as nice as could be.

    I received a price I am well satisfied I couldn't
    significantly improve upon. The dealership and the salesman (Santa Maria, CA Toyota, Mr. Fermin
    Vasquez) must have been happy with the price or
    they wouldn't have sold it.

    So we have a happy customer. A happy salesman. A
    happy dealership. A price matching CarOrder's. Choice of 17 models on the site. Immediate delivery -it's in my garage now. Polite, informed sales people and finance manager. Tell me again why anyone would consider going through the delays, changing account reps, and nonpersonalized service so often talked about in discussions about internet buying services.

    Now I have to read the owner's manual which appears to be just slightly longer than "War and Peace".
  • finloverfinlover Posts: 7
    I bought an Avalon XL in "Lunar Mist" two months ago and noticed the same casting marks. They were driving me crazy so I very carefully shaved them down with an exacto knife which worked like a charm. Its funny, if you look at these raised circular marks they only protrude slightly but they feel huge! Hope this helps.
  • finloverfinlover Posts: 7
    Oops, I forgot to mention this was in response to the last part of mmcf's #5 post "Mudgaurds for 2000 Avalon".
  • 4murphy4murphy Posts: 20
    I purchased a 1999 Avalon XL about 15 months ago and I have been extremely disappointed with the quality and fit of the vehicle. I have had five door weatherstrips replaced because the color wears off every three months. The car has presently 10,528 miles on it. The dealer says that it is my fault that the color wears off because of the way that I get into the car. I am 55 years old and have owned many new cars and never had the problem before. I have also had two windshield wiper motors replaced, the dash fixed for rattles and the drivers side window fixed.
    After the last weatherstrip was replaced, the dealer told me that no one else was having the problem, I went to several different dealerships to look at older model Avalon's. All had wear on the door weatherstrip. I informed the dealer and asked for arbitration.
    I had my arbitration meeting last week; I don't expect to win it, but it certainly made me feel better that I decided to do it.
    I am having a professional sign made for my car which will detail the problems that I have had with my car. I know that is probably tacky to some, but since I paid cash for the vehicle I guess I can do with it as I want, as long as I don't libel anyone with my comments.
    And since I live near the Toyota Technical Center, I plan to drive to their building often and let them look at a my nice sign.
    I have been to the dealership 17 times for various fixes for this vehicle. I think that after driving it with the sign for a few months I need to sell it and find a decent car.
    Anyone recommend a decent car besides a Toyota?
Sign In or Register to comment.