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Toyota Avalon 2004 and earlier

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  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 1,176
    All of a sudden my CD changer is working intermittently and sends out ERROR 1 and ERROR 3 messages. For some reason it plays original CDS fairly well, although with some pauses, but when it comes to ripped CDs it will play probably one track or two then go silent. So does anybody know what these error codes mean?

    I played the same CDs on my computer and they play just fine but in the CD changer it is a nightmare. Has anyone ever experienced this problem, if so how did you fix it? I am also beginning to think the CD changer needs cleaning, if so, how do I do that?

    Any suggestions offered would be truly appreciated.
  • My XLS 2004 Avalon has been making moaning noise when I back up and go forward. Of course, I only hear it went I am backing out of garage and driveway starting up and also if I go forward when starting up.
    Are leaving for a vacation in a few days and am afraid because my friends tie broke off and buckled under as she was pulling into her driveway today. She too said she had heard a moaning noise for quite some time.
    Have been hearing this noise since the beginning of March or nearly 3 months.
    Had it check; couldnt find anything. They said it would probably go away; no big problem. It hasnt gone away and I fear something happening while we are driving at great speeds on the interstate.
    Anybody have any ideas???? ......Dee D.
  • PavarottiPavarotti Posts: 13
    The sunroof and driver door lock only make 'click' sounds when I flick the switch but will not operate. Anyone know how to repair?

    Thanks.
  • The 12 V power outlet in the storage compartment between the 2 front seats doesn't seem to be working in my 2000 Avy. Anyone knows where to look for a blown fuse which I can check ?

    ~A
  • I've had that same noise on my 02 ever since I bought it 3 years ago. It happens less frequently, but it's still there.

    I suspect it's the brake pads vibrating in the calipers, but that's only a guess.
  • 03avalon03avalon Posts: 9
    Has anyone investigated switching the front bucket seats on an '03 or similar Avalon in order to even the wear? I have about 94K miles on the car, love the car, and plan on keeping it forever.
  • utah2005utah2005 Posts: 2
    We've had problems every summer with the Avalon running hot it we have to pull any kind of an incline. Has anyone else experienced this?
  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 1,176
    I saw on TV that Toyota has recalled the '00 - 04 Avalon but I'm not sure what for. Now, I am feeling guilty about that since I traded my Avalon two weeks ago to a Buick dealer who might not tell the new owner about the recall.
  • mcclearyflmcclearyfl Posts: 149
    "According to the Japanese automaker, the full-size sedans' steering lock bars can crack, eventually leading to a break. If that failure occurs, the steering column interlock system can become difficult to unlock when parked, potentially disabling the vehicle. Worse, if the driver is in a right-hand turn with "sufficient lateral acceleration," under very specific conditions, the damaged lock bar can actually engage, locking the steering wheel and disabling steering control of the vehicle, a condition that increases the likelihood of an accident."

    Dealers for major manufacturers are supposed to have a system in place that ensures subsequent buyers will receive notification of the recall. Notices are being sent out in August.
  • npriestnpriest Posts: 13
    What causes the mileage of a 2000 XLS to go down from a highway mileage of 29 mpg, and city of 22 mpg down to about 24 highway, and 20 city?
    I have only about 73,000 miles on it. I never did tune it since it runs beautifully and has lots of power.
    I did all required maintenance except for a tuneup. Do I need to do that, or should I have the injectors cleaned?
    All you owners out there, did you have similar experiences?
    Any suggestion would be welcome.
  • mcclearyflmcclearyfl Posts: 149
    Has your maintenance schedule included regularly changing the automatic transmission fluid? We flush ours every 30K (a full flush, not just replacing the amount that drains). The Avalon seems rather hard on transmission fluid, and sticky, gummy fluid can't help gas mileage. We also changed our spark plugs at 75K. Other than occasionally adding Techron, we have not cleaned the injectors.
  • I have an '03 Avalon with 96k miles. I believe that I am somewhat of an 'over-maintainer', someone that generally maintains cars on the 'conservative' side. I use only synthetic oils everywhere (engine, trans, grease, etc) on my cars. I only replace the trans fluid every 30K; there is never a need to 'flush' anything except the brake fluid, occasionally. Just remove 'both' drain plugs, then refill. With synthetic fluids and regular changes, you should never see any gum anywhere. Spark plugs (platinum) should have gone between 100K-120K miles. Techron, while I believe it to be good stuff; I use it only once a year when I take off for a road-trip.
  • mcclearyflmcclearyfl Posts: 149
    There is in fact only one drain plug on the transmission, and draining the fluid will yield about 4 quarts, leaving 8 quarts in the torque converter. There is a very informative article on flushing the transmission in these Edmunds Avalon pages - "DIY flushing of an Avalon transmission". The procedure involves detaching the transmission fluid return line from the radiator. My mechanic uses a simpler technique - he drains the 4 quarts, replaces the plug and refills with 4 fresh quarts. He warms up the transmission again, and repeats the process twice. Basic arithmetic shows that you now have 70% of your fluid "fresh".

    Most Toyota dealers do not flush the A/T. This is not because it is not desirable, but is more related to the changing nature of Toyota A/T's. From 2005 onwards Avalon transmissions are filled with synthetic fluid, and Toyota requires its dealers to have a synthetic-only flushing machine. The majority of dealers don't want to invest in this equipment, and therefore promote the mantra that synthetic fluid never needs to be changed.

    I am curious as to how you changed from regular fluid to synthetic. Toyota recommends a full flush, a refill, and another flush and refill. You cannot mix synthetic with regular.

    I see that you "change" your synthetic fluid every 30K miles. I do the same thing with the synthetic engine oil in my turbocharged Saab (every 5K). Some oil companies give the impression you rarely need to change synthetic engine oil - don't believe that for a moment!

    You are right about the plugs having a 100K life. I changed mine early because I had removed much of the induction system to repair an Idle Control Valve, and I was able - with difficulty - to access the rear bank of plugs.
  • 'Flushing' is good theory, rarely needed in practice, as you say. Sounds like your mechanic has it right. I took my 98 Avalon over 265K miles without any problems with my 'drain' procedure. If you want to pay for the flush, unnecessary by your admission, then I am certain that the dealer will take your money.
    I remove both the vertical plug (located at the bottom of the pan), and the horizontal plug (located at the bottom, rear of the unit), for my fluid changes.
    With regard to the substitution of synthetic for regular fluid. The two are easily compatible, just as in the engine oils commonly used today.
    With regard to what Toyota says... what do you expect them to say!?
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 588
    If the "3 times fluid change" works for your car and mechanic....ok...

    But, using a full refill of 12 quarts of new transmission fluid to get a 70% concentration of new fluid makes no sense. If you have 70% new fluid you would expect 70% of the standard life, by average, to the next change. Where's the gain?

    You buy 12 quarts of fluid, 100% of the total refill, for 70% of the protection. Why do that?

    And put another way, the mechanic expects the 30% remaining in the converter to last 60k miles when it was designed for 30k. Wow.
    Again, if it works..... ok.... but long term, this should shorten the life of the transmission, especially if you pull a trailer or drive long stretches in the mountains or desert.
  • I got the recall notice today on my 2000 Avalon for the steering column upper bracket defect. There have been six failures, three of which allegedly resulted in accidents, none involved injury. Five years of production 2000-2004 and only six instances of failure!

    I don't think I am going to spend half a day in the dealers waiting room to have something this minor replaced. What other damage will the dealer do attempting the repair?
  • Anybody have a recommendation on exact spark plug for replacement on an 03? Need specific brand and model plug. Thks
  • I have crossed 115000 miles on my 2000 Avy and have recently had the ABS, VSC and VSC off lights turn on when I start my car . However, the lights go off when I turn off the car and turn it on again. This has happened about 4 times in the past 10 days.

    Any clues whether this is a sign for some major trouble in the future ? I did have all the 4 rotors and pads replaced 1000 miles ago. Haven't really checked out if any codes are returned. I've read on the forum that this is somehow related to the steering position sensor and also know that there is currently a recall for some steering part related issue for this generation Avalons. I'm yet to receive a recall notice appointment for my car though.

    Did anyone else on this forum have seen similar issues ?

    ~A
  • My 02 has similar trouble with VSC & Off but also the engine icon. I was told I needed a new Computer for engine @ $1600.00 installed.
    I went elsewhere & spent $550. They say I don't need a new computer according to their computer.
    Then I learn from a friend that his mechanic says there is a computer running these cars, so what do we do? Shut it off! Wow! Simple. Turn it off. How? Disconnect a battery terminal. I use the red positive, for about 30 seconds and reconnect. You get to reset radio, clock & other memories, but it beats the price they want for a new computer! repeats pop up, but I can raise the hood a use a wrench once in a while.
    Oh, both garages say no troubles with what lights denote as trouble!!
    Toyota says likely will help gas mileage somewhat.
    Now, if this computer can be reprogrammed with a fix, why can't Toyota techs do the same for these car computers? Media reveals Toyota car computer problems. Looks like it! good Luck!
  • Left rear door won't open. Child protection latch was on, so that it could only be opened from the outside. The outside handle suddenly stopped working, so now I can't open the door at all. Impossible to completely remove the inside door panel, but can get the top of it back far enough to reach inside the door; however, I can't seem to find a way to manually unlatch the door.

    Any ideas? 1998 Avalon.

    Thanks.

    Bryan
  • Update : Just crossed 118000 miles and also got the steering column bracket replaced under warranty recall. The ABS light comes off quite regularly now, however, i have to just kill the ignition and turn it on again to make it disappear.

    Any clue guys what could be wrong ?

    ~A
  • Read on some other forum that a dirty wheel sensor could be causing this.

    any idea on howdy ya locate and clean the wheel sensor for a 2000 Avalon ?

    is this a DIY or do I have to take it to a shop ?

    ~A
  • Hi All,

    I have been facing a strange issue with my 2000 Avy since the past days which is close to 119 K miles now.

    I have felt noticeable vibrations in steering wheel as soon I cross 65-70 mph. What's strange is that this behaviour does not repeat
    every time I reach such speeds but only intermittently.

    My first doubt was that the wheels were out of balance so I reached out to Costco Tire Dept and they confirmed that all the wheels were
    perfectly balanced.

    One point worth mentioning that One of my front wheels was stuck in snow which braced North East after the Christmas weekend. I did
    drive about 10-12 miles with one of the wheels covered with ice when this issue first surfaced. However, the ice is completely gone now
    but the intermittent virbrations remain.

    Could I have caused some damage to the front suspension components by driving with one of the wheels snow covered on that day which has caused this issue?

    Has anyone else experienced this before ?

    ~A
  • Hi,
    I had the exact same problem about an year ago. I was recommended to change the ECU(~2K) of the vehicle to resolve the issue.

    That is a rip off... Usually toyota ECU's are really strong.

    After spending couple of hundreds over the mechanics to trouble shoot ...

    I just studied the ABS flow and changed the ABS relay (Blue RELAY under the hood) and kaboooossh... its gone... I have put on about 20K after I changed the relay but never saw those lights coming on. My 00 Avalon has 99K on it and still runs strong.. And in the last year's snow I could feel the abs working as intended..

    Relay is about 43$ at the dealer.. but I bought for 10$ over ebay.

    Try that before you think of something else..

    Good Luck.
    -H
  • Hello Harry,

    Hope this works in my situation too. Would you be able to post a link to the ebay item so that I can also order and see if it works ?

    ~A
  • Hi,
    this is what I searched for on EBay. " 88263-24020"
    That would be the product number.

    Actual part is :
    Toyota Denso Blue Relay 88263-24020 12V OEM. The same relay is used for Lexus.

    good luck
  • Thanks...I searched ebay and currently only used parts were listed retailing between $ 14 to 20.

    Did you buy yourself one of these used ones ?

    ~A
  • mikecraigmikecraig Posts: 12
    My 2000 XLS is now eleven years old with 99,000 miles. It will open my garage door from 100 yards. I have never seen any degradation in its ability to open the garage door.
  • mcclearyflmcclearyfl Posts: 149
    I have a separate commercial garage door opener in addition to the built-in one that came with the Avalon. Each has the exact same range - about 40 yards in my slightly-obstructed approach to the garage - plenty of time for the door to open completely by the time I arrive. My 2003 Avalon XLS has 112,000 miles.
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