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Toyota Avalon 2004 and earlier

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Comments

  • My XLS has performed well since purchased in May '01. Currently sitting at 63k, it's still quiet at 80 mph, handles well and is very comfortable. I did have the low speed rattling problem in the left rear at 29k which turned out to be the upper shock tower mount/bushing. Both rears were replaced under warranty. Also have noticed wind noise in the top part of the driver's door, but don't hear it all the time.
    Special note: 28 mpg average over 500 highway miles per week; still running the original Michelin MXV's (going for another 10k) and have not touched the brakes - although we're about ready. Maintenance includes oil every 5k, tires rotated every 10k and mostly regular gas.

    Everyone that's seen it or ridden in it has been more than complimentary. No surprise to me that Toyota has outsold Chrysler this year!
  • MY 02 Avalon tends to be very sluggish up until about 2500 or 3000 RPM. At this point there is s definite surge of power. This tends to make it over rev resulting in not smooth shifting. Also, the mileage is not good - 16-18 town. Dealer states no code problems therefore nothing wrong. Also have the whine starting at 25 MPH that is very annoying. Many posts state it is the alternator. Dealer states it is normal. Waiting now for the Toy rep to get with the local dealer. This has been going on for six weeks now. Any advice would be appreciated.
    Thanks - previous car was a 96 Avalon XLS.
    Kenb
  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591
    Shaver2:

    I have an 02 also. Trying to extrapilate your concerns and compare them to my own experiences. Agree that the car, does tend to labor a bit, when taking off, but that is just do to the way them have it set up, and in addition the insulation of the car. Most of the power is mid-range, but I do not find it hard shifting. It is actually quite smooth if you let it get up to speed and do not push it, then back off on the gas a bit just before it up shifts. The alternator whine, I agree, it can be a little annoying, but nothing that some silicone spray will not take care of. Try that, carefully, while the car is idling, and it should fix the problem. You will have to reappy it now and then.

    Hope this helps.

    Arthur
  • smu1976smu1976 Posts: 110
    Checked my tire pressure, first time after obtaining the car a few weeks ago, from the factory (car built August 4, 2003) all the tires were between 29-31 lbs. 44lbs is the recommended pressure, not sure why its so low, but notice this on all my new cars. I believe it gives potential buyers a soft ride during test drives, but maybe its just the industry standard for some other unkown reason. Anyway, check your pressure upon delivery.

    Attn: Travelerjb, the car is purchased through my company, no negotiations on my part, they did purchase the XLS fully loaded, every option except stability control for $27,500, with a $36,000 sticker, so I think they reached the bottom line. They are buying in bulk though, so this wouldn't apply to a regular consumer. Other cars like the 300M, Explorer, Bonneville, do come with mats, but my new Kraco's for $25.00 at AutoZone work just fine.
  • nomad56nomad56 Posts: 134
    smu1976-where does the 44 PSI come from?? Avalons through 2003 have been recommending at most 32 PSI. If you are getting this from the tire sidewall, that is incorrect. Look in your glovebox. The 29-31 the car arrived with should be pretty accurate. ..just curious... -nomad-
  • I'm no good at this negotiating. I know what I want and will probably have to order it because my wife wants bench seats in her XLS. What would be a fair price to pay with the following options: GU(Premium package), SR (sun roof), MG(mud guards), M5(5 piece mat set), WL(wheel locks), D(Door edge guards), TS(custom stripe).
  • Thanks for the response. Will try as you noted about the alternator but where do I apply the silicone? I misstated about the shifting. Meant to say downshifting. Very sluggish going around a corner and then giving it some gas. Drops into low and jerks your neck. See no exp about the mileage. Running about four MPG less than the'96 I had.
    Kenb
  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591
    Shaver 2:

    Now I know what you are saying. Yes, you are right. When going slow, then depressing the gas pedal, the downshift can be kind of abrupt. This is a just a point where the power curve and the gear ratio are not optimal. Try this. When you are running the car, below 50MPH on a continual basis, like around town or around a tortuous mountain road, take it out of OVERDRIVE. This will give you only 3rd as your top gear, and unless you are going very slow, you won't have as much hunting, unless it goes down to the 2nd gear.

    In reference to the post with 44PSI, I do not think you are correct, and this may be very dangerous. 44PSI on the side wall of the tire is the MAX PSI which the tire manufacturer recommends. You Avalon probably takes either 31/32 depending on the 15/16 wheel. It is too light a vehicle for that much pressure and will bounce over curves and be very uncomfortable besides dangerous. Please check your manual or car for the correct pressure.

    A.Fisch
  • smu1976smu1976 Posts: 110
    I thought you should go with whats on the tire, so thanks for the information. The manual does say 29- 31 for everyday use, but 40 psi if your driving over 100 mph for any length of time.
    Time to let out ten pounds.
  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591
    The whine as you call it, probably is generated from either the alternator or belts. The alternator you can do little about, but while the car is running, gently and accurately and lightly, spray silicone on the inside of the belt that contacts the spools. It should get a little quieter.

    On downshifting, if you car is downshifting alot, unless you are sport driving, you are in too high of a gear range. Use you OD off button when needed for prolonged slow driving as well as braking.

    A.Fisch
  • kicker9kicker9 Posts: 56
    Hate to disagree with you fisch, but, if you spray the inside of the belt with silicone, you'll make it slip instead of grip on the pulley wheels. Instead, you can buy belt dressing in a spray can at any auto parts store, hope that helps.
  • mongiemongie Posts: 1
    Recently I've been getting a rumbling sound from the rear when I hit bumpy roadways. I had the muffler and exhaust checked for loose clamps and fittings and had the dealer check the entire rear. He only found loose "trunk Stays" and re installed them along with some insulation. The rumbling still persists. Any clues?
  • nomad56nomad56 Posts: 134
    Can you describe the "rumbling"? If you drive across a big seam in the road, does it sound like someone is in the trunk and knocks one time on the inside of the trunk?? If so, I will put my $$ on sway bar bushings. The way I finally determined this was to remove the sway bar and drive around. Lo-and-behold, NO noise! If you determine this IS the source of the knocking, I recommend polyurethane bushings as replacements. Energy makes 'em as do a few others. -nomad-
  • 05790579 Posts: 2
    Has anyone heard of a new body style change for the 2005 Toyota Avalon? If so, are there pictures out yet etc...
  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591
    Kicker9:

    Thanks for the correction. You are right, I am wrong. I meant to write belt dressing. I rush a little less next time. Thanks for the correction. That is what this forum should be all about.

    AFisch
  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591
    Nomad56:

    Can you give several POC (points of contact) and either websites/telephone for these PU bushings.

    Thanks.

    A.Fisch
  • nomad56nomad56 Posts: 134
    GoTo: energysuspension.com for part numbers. They vary by year. A web search for energy suspension and/or polyurethane should yield some retailers. Autozone or PepBoys might be able to order 'em for you. If you want to order online, try: www.suspension.com or www.lightningmotorsports.com/energy_suspension1.html or www.alamomotorsports.com I did EVERYTHING in poly, including a few custom pieces. It really tightens up ANY play in the suspension. This is a performance and handling improvement and may be too rigid for some. However, I highly recommend the poly sway bar change...they are more durable, eliminated the mysterious "knock" I had and reduce body roll. -nomad56-
  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591
    Nomad56:

    I got the numbers for the Rear Control Arm Bushings, Rear Sway and Front Sway bar frame bushings. Whom did you buy yours from??? This is all they had for the car. Did you put them on yourself??? I realize I will have to get it aligned again with the rear control arms. If you had someone do it, what was the labor cost???

    There is a 18mm or a 19mm Front Sway bar. Do the XL come with the 18 and the XLS come with 19mm or is this by year model of the car????

    How much more turn in response for the fuzzy steering do you get??? How much do the ride deteriorate???? I already have TokicoHP struts on with stock wheels and tires. Do not want the ride quality to decrease too much and become harsh as it is nice the way it is.

    Thanks for the experience and advice.

    A.Fisch
  • nomad56nomad56 Posts: 134
    ab-I bought from a vendor I won't recommend.... they simply took too long and I felt I was getting the run-around. For simplicity, I bought both, the 18mm and 19mm. I was told by my Toyo dealer, 'the only way to know, is to measure 'em (caliper).'

    I did both sway bars. I really wanted to reduce body roll. I am in the process of having a custom oversize rear sway bar made. I may attempt the front also, but things are tight up there. (I'll let ya' know.)

    I also did the front and rear control arms, including a few custom pieces.. the custom pieces come from a LEXUS aftermarket supplier. Toyo does NOT offer replacement bushings??? ...so you have to buy a new control arm!!!! Keep in mind a good friend of mine is a Toyo/Lexus service guy...he told me about an entreprenour who thought this was crazy, and started to mfg a poly replacement for these parts and ordered 'em for me. Which leads us to the install...I did it at my buddy's shop. This means I had the right tools. The bushings can go in with a press, but an air hammer is better.

    Then, I had it aligned. I drove a half hour out of my way to go to the "best guy in town" that' means $99 in the Burbank/Glendale area. It was well worth it.

    Steering? No major changes. It is a little more precise, but still lacks feedback. This will be my next project. If I can improve the stering, I will seriously consider other improvements....like, supercharging. Maybe next summer???? The ride did not deteriorate, it changed. My buddy has an Avy and swears we have different cars. The Tokico's made a great improvement and made the car a little firmer. The poly bushings emphasized these changes further. Probably too harsh for most Avy owners. As a reference point, the best I can tell you is, "It's almost as harsh as my buddy's Acura TL-type S in a straight line. It handles better than it ever did, but my next new car will probably be a Type S."

    Bottom line: I want a sports sedan. It is less expensive and more fun to "hobby" my Avy closer to this goal. Who knows, after the sway bars and a supercharger, it may be the perfect sleeper?????????? -nomad-
  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591
    Nomad56:

    Thank you for you time and expertise in your reply above. This forum is heaven, and circumducts all the dealership bull and misinformation.

    I found two good vendors. I will get under the vehicle after two or three weeks, as soon as my knee feels better from the surgery I had last week. I will measure the sway bar x 3 at points just lateral to the bushings and report this in this forum.

    Fortunately, I too am lucky to have the necessary tools and mechanics, although not probably as good as yours. I am an US Army officer who is fortunate to have an Auto Hobby Shop on base with Mechanics that roam and help us. Each lift bay has its own set of full tools and pneumatic equipment.

    The NEW bushings come with an "G" modifier after the part # to signify graphite impregnation. This should be welcome for lubrication purposes.

    I have no aspirations of doing more than this as the car is vastly improved, and is the right balance of comfort and handling for the dedicated long driving I do between Army posts in upstate New York.

    I Acura is a very nice car and reliable. But, in my opinion, not nearly as comfortable with a bench seat as the Toyota. The cabin is smaller, the ride harsher, nor is it a 5 series. It just doesn't serve my purpose although in Califormia, is might be more fun for you.

    Supercharging, and doing more suspension mods are always an interesting test, to see how far the manufacturer has cut costs. Toyota would have done a much better service by not making the steering "light and fuzzzy", putting competent shocks in the vehicles, as well as a little better brakes. The Powerslot Rotors with EBC shoes, and the Tokico Shocks HP make this vehicle much more competent as a highway machine, with the owner's need to gooble up pavement, and get through a long journey in a safe, and fluid manner.

    Thanks again, for giving me and the forum your experiences and knowledge. This is really an excellent vehicle for owners to share their experiences.

    A.Fisch
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