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Toyota Avalon 2004 and earlier



  • jsnowjsnow Posts: 3
    It is an XL with 15" alum. wheels.

    I actually went on a long trip this weekend and what I found was the car is just plane terrible at tracking straight. Any crown in the road sends it off to the left or the right. To go straight requires the wheel to be constantly cocked to compensate. I initially thought it was a pull, but now I think it just tracks bad. Changing from the left to right lane is almost impossible to do smoothly since the wheel needs to go from being cocked one way to the other.

    I'm not certain whether this is an Avalon thing or a poor alignment thing.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    This problem doesn't occur on our 2000 XLS with 16" Michelins. It's not an 'Avalon thing' in my experience.

    I drive our Avvy on trips from the Boston area to Delaware every 3 - 4 months - it's like on rails for 350 miles. It's so comfortable I usually only stop once or twice and get 29 - 30 mpg for 65 mph trips. Even in rain or slippery conditions, it always is easy to control and gives me a lot of confidence.

    You need to have your alignment and tires checked. I think that 15" are a bit small for a car this size.
  • HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I have a 2002 XLS with over 71,000 miles on it. My lease ends Oct. '05. I would like to lease a 2005 in October but don't want to take a hit for the mileage.

    Has anybody had an experience where the dealer waived the excess mileage if you leased a new Toyota?
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Why don't you try asking this in one of our leasing discussions on our Smart Shopper board while you are waiting for an answer here?
  • rzepa1rzepa1 Posts: 55
    I have 2001 XL with the same wheels which used to have the same problem. My XL came with General Tires. Once I swapped the tires at ~20K to Mitchelins, the problem went away.
  • rzepa1rzepa1 Posts: 55
    Does anyone know if/where I can get sun visors for Avalon which are little bit wider. My wife is 5'4'' and having sit at the heighest settings,
    she still gets blinded by the sun with the visor down.
  • betrayedbetrayed Posts: 3
    We bought our Avalon 2000 just 18 months ago.Suddenly ,at 78,000 miles,we have had a horrendous repair incident [over$$ 2000 ]and want to know if anyone else has had the same.

    the thermostat stuck in the closed position,the engine overheated causing the frost plugs to pop.At the same time,the heater core started leaking.It leaked outside,which we could see, BUT what we couldn't see was that the floor of the car ,underneath the rugs,was filling up with coolant.The engine was steaming under the hood.We sure knew this was a problem,but it was far worse than we ever could have thought.

    In order to replace the $17 frost plugs,the engine had to be tilted and many things moved around. {WHY ON EARTH IS THE CAR MADE THIS WAY?]
    But that's not the worst!!!
    In order to replace the heater core,,the whole dashboard was taken out ,also the airbags.
    Again ,we ask, WHY IS THE CAR MADE THAT WAY?
    Two thousand dollars is a lot after having the car only 18 months.
    The interesting thing is that we spoke to many Toyota repair men,and some newspaper car journalists,and ALL said this NEVER happens with a Toyota car of this age.We already knew that,as we have been buying the brand since 1973,always keeping them for many years and passing them on to our sons with complete confidence.right now we have a 95 Camry which has had no trouble of consequence ,and a 1992 forerunner which our son still drives in the Michigan winter,and which still looks good.We have always looked after our cars and we know what to expect of Toyota. UNTIL NOW

    One repair man told us that the Avalon is the one toyota that does not have a pan under the heater core to guide any coolant leak outside the car.Is that true? If so,,We think it is a bad design flaw. Our car rugs have been sodden.We keep putting whole rolls of thick paper towel which sops up green coolant.Now we think it's almost dry,but we are now faced with maybe having to replace the rugs [expensive,no doubt]
    One of our main problems is that we don't know if we can trust this car any more.Or Toyota. After 30 years we feel BETRAYED
    Has anyone else experienced this?
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    You should have gotten ample warning that the engine was beginning to overheat by the indications on the gauges and idiot lights, and you should have pulled over and shut the car off immediately. If you kept on driving, you are lucky you did not cook the engine completely.

    By the way, most thermostats these days are designed to usually fail open, but I suppose even then, every once in a while one could fail closed, and this is a much more serious failure mode.

    I don't own an Avalon, by the way, but I have experienced thermostat failures in both modes in my nearly 40 years of driving. If it fails closed, you need to take immediate action by pulling off and shutting down your engine.
  • betrayedbetrayed Posts: 3
    Badgerfan,we did this.We discovered the problem after being parked for an hour.There was no prior indication

    But what about the questions we asked?
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    I cannot answer the questions you asked. It is very strange that you had no indication of trouble before you shut your car down and it sat for an hour. You obviously had a huge buildup of pressure which blew out your frost plugs and heater core, etc. This pressure would normally be relieved by the radiator cap unless you had a very rapid boilover and generation of steam in your system was so fast the radiator cap could not relieve it fast enough.

    Did you have a faulty radiator cap as well?

    All in all, a very strange situation, in my opinion.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    I agree with badgerfan.

    So in order for this to happen:

    * the radiator cap had to fail to release fluid when its preset pressure level was reached
    * the temperature guage had to fail to indicate an over temperature problem
    * the temperature warning light had to fail
    * then the pressure got so high that the freeze plugs blew out
    * and the heater core gave out flooding your vehicle with green liquid that couldn't be seen?

    ...ummmm. Not so sure that I'm with you on all of this.
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 588

    While all this was happening in a massive surge of steam and pressure... the radiator and heater hoses and clamps all held fast and did not leak or split. Perhaps it's a new type of clamp and synthetic fiber. Hmmmmm.......strange.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    The Toyota fluid in our 2000XLS is red, not green.
  • jsnowjsnow Posts: 3
    I don't know where the temperature sensor is located, but on many cars, if there is air in the system, it may never read hot. Once A car sits, all its built up heat tends to raise the fluid temperature in the coolant still in the engine. In fact, they could have mis-diagnosed you're problem. It may not have been a failed closed thermostat. Aren't they closed when cool? Maybe it was a stuck radiator cap vent. That might have unstuck when they took it off....Not all is always as it seems.
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 588
    The original cooling fluid in my '99 XL was green. At the first drain and refill interval, done by Toyota, it changed to red.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    Ours has always been red.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    From our experience, air in the fluid is often a blown headgasket. We had a 92 Mercury Sable wagon with the notoriously crappy Ford 3.8L V-6. It was replaced under warranty at 40K - the blow-by in the blown head gasket let coolant into the oil - which toasted the main bearings.

    The replacement engine only lasted abou 30K and it was dying when we got rid of the car.

    It had a blown head gasket too and "air"/engine gases got into the coolant fluid. The air bubble would circulate around driving the temperature guage crazy. Plus the fluid level in the overflow tank went up and down.

    I'd say that the probability of a car developing an engine overheating problem that would blow the freeze plugs without the radiator cap releasing it's pressure or the hoses/clamps is approximately zero. And all with no warning. Right.
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 588
    Your first-hand experience says a lot about what can go wrong with an engine. But this is Toyota we are discussing and failures like this one are very rare. Like, they don't happen. Not without something out of the ordinary making it possible.

    Guess: The cooling system was not properly maintained and/or wrong coolant. Trash plugs up the heater core in places and the engine block passages in places. Shut off the hot engine and you get super-hot spots. If the thermostat is also partially blocked by trash, keeping the radiator cap from really doing its job, POW!

    Other ideas are welcome.....
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    I agree this kind of stuff doesn't happen to Toyotas.

    I think the poster would have learned that their '$2000' repair was because there was trash blocking the engine coolant passages, heater core and thermostat. A dealer or mechanic would be curious as to how the 'trash' got in there.

    After all someone would have had to have stuffed it down the radiator cap to get it in there.

    Was this a St. Paddy's day post ...
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 588
    The "trash" is a reference to the scum, aluminum scale and other small particles than form and float around in a cooling system. Using the wrong type coolant, or just water, or never changing the coolant is a real problem for modern engines. This trash will eventually block the passages in the heater core and the engine block, and even in the radiator.

    It's just a guess... but for this event to happen, and for the radiator cap to be of no help, as you mentioned, something had to block the entire cooling system at multiple points and keep it blocked as the pressure built up.
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