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Toyota Avalon 2004 and earlier



  • ajacat1ajacat1 Posts: 87
    in the postings..I see this has been addressed well. And here's another question: one person wrote that because of the oil "gel" problem, he wouldn't recommend buying any v-6 with the 8 year coverage certificate without all prior papers to prove regular oil changes. Our car is a "certified" car. I don't know what that implies about the 'gel' problem--what is people's experience with the certified program in this regard?

    thanks, and sorry for the un-researched question before this one--
  • ajacat1ajacat1 Posts: 87
    and then that's it :)

    Anyone got any advice on toyota dealers in the Pacific NW?

    thanks again
  • gerry100gerry100 Posts: 100
    Previous posts lamented long lead times on factory ordered Avalons.
    My no option (except white)XL finally shipped on 7/3. Build date reported as 6/25.
    Expected at dealer around 7/11. Around 17 weeks since order.

    I ordered because of my company's lease policy and because I didn't want to pay any options. If you want one, this is the hard way.
  • gerry100gerry100 Posts: 100
    Has anybody else noticed that the Avalon get's little or no promotion from Toyota or the dealers?.

    Sunday Dealer classifieds tout offers on every product except the Avalon which isn't even mentioned.(Albany,NY).

    I suspect that Toyota wants the KY plant making Camrys to assure the best seller title and that the Avalon erodes Lexus sales, hence the deemphasis.

    There could be some credence to the runours about discontinuation or repositioning of the Avalon.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    I haven't seen an Avalon ad in 18 months. Never saw an Echo ad ever. Don't remember a Celica ad if there was one, or a Highlander ad either. I don't remember any recent Matrix ads since it's intro in 02 ( 03 models were made for 18 months ). The Solara is invisible and never used with the word Camry.

    There have been ads for the Rav4, new Forerunner, Corolla from time to time, occasional Tundra ad, lots of Camry and 'Get the feeling' ads.

    The Avalon isn't alone. Toyota ads are very targeted at new entries and high volume cars.
  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591
    For those of you who are discussing the 5 speed, you should know this.
    The 5 speed you are discussing is already in the Lexus 300. It got terrible reviews, clunking into gears. More does not necessary mean better, and a closer ratio would not enhance top speed performance. Middle speed passing prowess is secondary to the good torque characteristics of this engine. Poor passing at supra legal speeds, is secondary to, you guessed it, a rather average amount of horsepower for the size and weight of the vehicle, albeit, sometimes, at the expense of gas mileage. The new Avalon '05 show have the 330 hp engine in it to satisfy those who have a need for supra legal passing.
  • mcclearyflmcclearyfl Posts: 149
    Abfisch is correct when he suggests that a silky smooth 4-speed is probably preferable to a clunky 5-speed automatic. I am not so sure he is quite so on target with his power and torque claims.

    Peak power occurs at a specific engine speed - it has nothing to do with road speed. Similarly for peak torque - usually at a different engine speed. By the use of variable valve timing (VVT) Toyota engineers have succeeded in spreading the optimum power and torque over a much larger range of engine speeds. Abfisch is correct when he suggests that the Avalon focus is on smooth power at middle to upper road speeds, and not at high road speeds. Nevertheless, regardless of the targeted maximum engine output, the ability to use that output most effectively is significantly affected by the number of gears and their ratios. This is why older classic cars have 3-speed manual transmissions (or even 2-speed automatics) and modern cars have 6-speed manuals and 5-speed automatics. It is also one of the reasons why "drivers" prefer manual stickshifts over automatics -- an greater ability to control power and torque characteristics. The modern trend towards continuous belt transmissions (CVT) is a recognition of the value of exactly matching engine speed to driving needs (albeit with little or no overriding capability for the driver).

    Having gotten on my soapbox it is only fair to observe that -- even with multiple gears -- improvements in response by the Avalon at high speeds would indeed be minimal. Contrast my Saab 9-3 turbo, which throws you back in your seat when you find the right gear at 85 mph.
  • toydrivertoydriver Posts: 227
    I experienced owning a '99 Lexus-Certified RX300 (similar drive train to the Avalon) which began using A LOT of oil after 45K miles (4 quarts in 5,000 miles). No one would mention the dreaded oil gel issue - but I believe that was the cause. Prior owner missed an oil change (or two). This didn't become obvious to me until I reviewed the oil change records myself. I assumed when I bought it that if Lexus certified it that would require that all prior maintenance had been performed - WRONG! Well, I traded the car after owning it 2 yrs and driving only 20,000 mi.
    I'm not sure if Toyota and Lexus have the same requirements for the Certification process, but I would assume that they are very similar. I continue to believe Toyota and Lexus have outstanding cars, but they're not perfect. Toyota/Lexus spend a lot of time informing the public of the importance of consistent and frequent oil changes - take them at their word.
    My advice is to insist that you can review and prove to yourself that all oil changes have been performed - or you are taking risk. There may be good reason why someone else traded in that used Avalon.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    I believe that I read awhile back on the ES board that the newest versions have upgraded software, and the hesitation during passing kickdowns is markedly mitigated. Also, the Camry V6 got this trans in Feb, and I have yet to see/hear any complaints. It would seem, in my opinion, that the bugs with this transmission logic seem to have been worked out.

  • toydrivertoydriver Posts: 227
    I bought one earlier this month that was manufactured in March '03. I haven't noticed any of the issues with hesitation or vibration that were posted earlier.
  • wachsmuthwachsmuth Posts: 19
    Hi, all - Have had my Avalon for 5 months now, and at the first oil change (3,000) miles I used Mobil One Synthetic - with great results !
        Now, at 7,000 miles, I'm going in for another change & have a question....I'm considering synthetic transmission oil. Has anyone out there ever used it? Any advantages to using it? How many quarts does it take?
        Just noticed today, a faint rattling noise when using the accelerator - not every time, just intermittently. Oh boy, and I thought my car was perfect.
        Thanks for any input -
  • travelerjbtravelerjb Posts: 46
    Your timing is good. I put just over 1200 miles on mine and had my oil dropped and had Mobil One fully synthetic put in. While I was at it I got the Synthetic ATF put in as well. They had me bring them 12 full quarts of the stuff (not cheap I might add) as they had to drain (more like suck with some new machine they have in their shop)all the old fluid thoroughly and put in the new stuff. So far so good. It lowers the operating temperture beyond that of the standard fluids and also lowers friction while eliminating the typical foaming and breakdown common in standard fluids. I suspect in the long run it will pay for itself. I like the fact I caught it new as well instead of waiting for wear to occur...........
  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591
    For anyone of you, whose steering wheel shimmies at 50MPH or above, and may or may not vibrate when the brake is depressed, I have found the answer. The car was taken to Toyota of Newburgh, New York several times. Tires rebalanced, new wheels placed on, realignment, etc. Still the wheel shimmy. Dealership documented that the brake rotors met specs. Well. not really.

    We took off the rotors this weekend, and put the rotors on a lathe ourselves. The left rotor was fine but the right one was moderate-severely warped. Sweeetttt!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This is after 4 trips to have them diagnosis and fix it. Sweettttt.

    The Toyota Corp. will be contacted in the next month. I will keep you posted when I place the steel wheels with the winter tires back on and recheck it for additional vibration problems.

  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591
    For those of you owners who enjoy music, this accessory might be the ticket. We added two months ago a Delphi XM stereo unit, with an FM modulator to the JBL stereo. Mounted the docking station with a vehicle specific mount, just to the right of the radio at a 45 degree angle. Magnetic antenna to the roof. Very very sweet, without commercials for people who drive or commute long distances or times.

  • When do the new 2004 Avalons come out? Can anyone tell me if they're happy with their Avalon? I am leaning towards a Avalon or a Highlander! Thanks! ;)
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    You seem to appear every summer considering a new Toyota vehicle. Do you really buy and trade this often? Wasnt your most recent interest the Camry?

    Going to back to Avalon v. Highlander- what are your priorities?

  • gerry100gerry100 Posts: 100
    Finally picked took delivery on my XL comapny ride-

    - solid, smmoth quiet- will be a great long distance runner.

    - Diamond white pearl ( or whatever they call it)is worth the extra.

    - Car comes with Continental "touringtrack" tires.
    Based on experience with my wifes Volvo and a colleagues Camry , I don't expect much life from these. I 'll rotate every 5k but don't expect much more than 30K, any suggestions on replacements?

    - for all you "oil gelling" afficaionados - there is a warning card inseerted in the warranty booklet.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    The Continentals on our Camry were trash after 30,000 miles. Well, they were trash to begin with, but you get the idea.

    Replaced them with OUTSTANDING Pirelli P400 Tourings.

    Best of luck with your new Avalon!
  • alpha,
           I didn't know that you take such priority in bookmarking what everyone does.... If it's any of your business, which it's not. I still have the 94 Camry, and I was waiting for all the bugs to be out of the new remodeled Camrys, but they've seem to be not as reliable as the other camry models. I swear by Toyota, I think Toyotas are reliable,I think they're great, so pardon me for wanting a reliable vehicle.
          Why do you come in here so much? Trade often or buy often ? LOL.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Sunshine, we have lots of regular folks hanging out here - including you, it would seem. :) Lots of us just enjoying talking cars whether we are in the market at the moment or not.

    Don't take offense -- we try to help and it's easier to help when we understand where the folks asking for help are coming from.

    : )
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