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Toyota Avalon 2004 and earlier



  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Incentives are a regional thing. In the Central Atlantic Region, we have no incentives on the Avalon and I don't think we will see any for a couple of years yet. The upper end vehciles rarely have them. The only time we ever had anything on Avalons was when the 2000s came out and they put them on the '99s. Even then, it was only $500.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    OK, lets talk about sludge. I am a salesman so you can all take this for what it is worth. I have tried to research every complaint I read on this message board and have reported on various Toyota problems such as transmission problems in the '00 Senna, brake issues on the Tundra, strut problems on the '98 Avalons, stereo problems on the '01 Land Cruiser. I'm not one to deny real and widespread problems. The thing is, there is no widespread sludge problem. It just does not exist on cars that have been maintained as per the manual.

    Now, have I seen a large number of Camry with engine sludge? Yes I have. Every one of them was 3 years old and were purchased at auction. Not by coincidence, auction cars tend to be "off lease" vehciles. Toyota is currently experiencing a problem with off lease cars because the owners figure they don't own the cars and don't bother to maintain it. Toyota even re wrote the lease contract recently to insist upon the driver performing required maintenance.

    Toyota makes one of the longest lasting engines on the market. They will develop sludge in large dose if you fail to change the oil on a regular basis. If somebody has CONCRETE information to the contrary, please, post it. Show me the recalls, show me the specific complaints, show me the maintenance records and I'll change my tune. Since one cannot prove a negative, it is up to the accuser to prove the sludge accusation and that has not been done by Charlene.

    All this said, I don't deny that there may exist a small number of instances where a Toyota engine did develop sludge. I was in contact with a TH member about 9 months ago with this problem. He convinced me that his problem was real. This in no way indicates a wide spread problem. It means one guy in Leesburg VA had a problem.
  • pilot13pilot13 Posts: 283
    Nuff said. There are, without doubt, unhappy owners of all makes and models--Let 'em have their say, and then let's move on.
    I'm a totally satisfied Av owner who believes regular oil changes are the best (And cheapest) insurance for engine longevity.
  • There is another consideration in preventing sludge by following recommended oil changes:

    1. Drain oil from a hot engine.
    2. Allow to drain for 2 hours, not 2 minutes.

    Of course, you may have to do it yourself for # 2 to happen.

  • pilot13pilot13 Posts: 283
    Goodness gracious, great ball of fire! I'm tempted to really lose it on this topic if this rhetorical nonsense about "Sludge" resurfaces one more time!
    (1) Recommended oil change interval for the V6 engine is 3000 miles. That's fine if operating parameters are adhered to-- that is to say, engine temps at optimal levels (Highway speeds for more than 30 minutes) at most times, filter change at time of oil change, oil change when hot, etc. Any deviation from this criteria warrants a more frequent interval.
    (2) Moisture will always be present in crankcase whenever engine temps are not sufficiently high enough to boil off residual moisture (Short runs, insufficient warmups are the norm).Water boils off at 212 degrees F-- if engine temps are not sustained above that on a regular basis, you're gonna have problems! Sludges Law: Moisture =Sludge.
    (3) It should not be necessary to drain oil for 2 hours to ensure all moisture and other contaminants are removed from crankcase. It's safe to assume all is OK after oil stops dripping significantly.(Usually 5 minutes if oil is sufficiently warm).
    (4) Always change filter at any oil change.It's not worth waiting longer.And it's not a bad idea to cut the filter open to see if there are any metal particles there. (If you can read serial numbers on the pieces, don't run the engine any more!)
    (5) Whitish residue on inside of oil filler cap is an indication that condensation exists in the crankcase--Driving habits and/or improper maintenance are the problems, not the engine!
    (6) Toyota's V6 is one of the most reliable in existance--It's track record is indisputable.
    (7) All of the above advice applies to ANY manufacturer, not just Toyota.

    Good Gawd, Let's put this nonsense to rest once and for all! Enuff already!
  • Last Friday I made my first on-line automobile purchase via The experience far surpassed my expectations and was the best car buying experience I've encountered to date.

    We purchased a 2001 Toyota Avalon with vehicle stability control, #7 leather interior package, 16" wheels, all carpeted car/cargo mats & nets, factory installed security system including glass breakage sensor, home link system, JBS sound system AM/FM, 6 disk in-dash CD changer, diamond white pearl paint option, and gold package for $31,866.

    Before contracting w/Greenlight, on Dec. 3, I e-mailed 13 Toyota dealers in the upstate NY and West. MASS. area to see if they could meet my request. Some of the dealers never responded, others wanted me to come to their dealerships to "discuss" this purchase. But, surprisingly those that might fulfill my request couldn't or wouldn't meet the Greenlight price. So, I decided to take a shot with Greenlight, figuring I had nothing to lose.

    I am so glad I did. I immediately received a confirmation e-mail from Greenlight specifically stating the make/model of the vehicle w/options that I requested, along with their confirmed selling price. Most of the contact I had with Greenlight was via e-mail and telephone.

    To make a long story short, Greenlight found the exact vehicle for me in Fordham, NY (about 150 mi. away); secured the best financing rate possible (comparable or less than credit union rates, etc.); and arranged with the dealer to trade in my 1998 Honda Civic (which the dealer ultimately gave me $10,800 as a trade in). The Greenlight consultant, Rhonda, kept me updated regarding the status of my vehicle (which was in transit from the factory to the dealer), fixed a few glitches along the way and notified us immediately regarding when we could take delivery.

    Greenlight also offered us an opportunity to have the vehicle delivered to our home or office, which we may have accepted had it not been for our trade in. All paperwork, bank drafts, etc. were handled very efficiently. Greenlight did everything they could to see that we were 100% satisfied.

    In fact, when we picked up our Avalon, the gold emblem package was not installed on it. So the dealer arranged for the Toyota Accessories truck to travel to our home next week to do the installation. The only problem we encountered was the interior color was not what we originally requested w/Greenlight and we had the opportunity to decline the deal or accept a monetary compensation for our troubles, which we readily accepted. and the Fordham Toyota dealer were outstanding to deal with and I would definitely consider buying another vehicle from in the future.

    We are very satisfied with our overall experience and with our first Toyota purchase...

    PS: Does anyone know about the gold emblem package..and what's entailed with its installation?
  • parnolaparnola Posts: 140
    Can anyone tell me if the heated outside mirrors on the Avalon XLS are also auto-dimming? I have a 2001 Lexus RX and they are auto-dimming. We're considering an Avalon and I'm wondering if it's the same. Thanks, -Pat
  • Just purchased a 95 Avalon XLS, and am pretty happy overall with the car, but do have a few questions that I hope someone can help me with.

    1) Since the car is out of warranty, will I have to pay for the weather seal/wind noise fix kit? (there is a TSB for this problem). If so, how much might this cost?

    2) The gas pedal seems to be SO sensitive, can this be adjusted to be firmer? Hard to relax my foot, otherwise I'm going too fast!

    3) I am looking for a more sporty driving feel, will going to 16in wheels (and 215/60 tires) improve handling/ride/noise? If so, is there any down side to going to 16in wheels, like affecting odometer or speedometer readings? Also, what would be the best tire, Michelin, Yokohama, or ?

    4) I have the light bronze factory tinted glass. Will this affect the color or appearance of my windows if I tint with the usual after market darker gray? I'm thinking of the LLumar brand.

    Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions!
  • I have a 95 Avalon XLS with now 83K miles I purchased certified last year.

    1) Yeah, TSBs are just there for the dealerships so they will acknowledge the problem. The Toyota dealership is not obligated to pay for any TSB work. Check your local Toyota dealer and see what they have to say. But most likely, you will have to pay out of your pocket. I haven't had time to look up for the repair myself.

    2) Unfortunately, the tension/spring rate of the accelerator is the same for all the 1MZ-FE V6 powered vehicles like the Camry, Solara, Avalon, Sienna, RX300 and ES300. You might wanna remove the slack out of your gas pedal by adjusting the trottle cable nuts.

    3) If you wanna upgrade to 16" wheels, it would be best to plus size your tires. Go to and find plus sizing there. An equivalent tire size from 205/65R15 is:

    205/60R16 (OEM size 16" on Solara/Avalon/Camry)

    Yokohamas make a great tire..but if you are looking for quietness and quality...Michelin is the way to go.

    4) Is your tinted glass on all the windows? I have this bronze tint as well. It is a film. If you have this film on your glass, it would be best to strip them off and have the other film put on. I will be doing this soon on my Avalon. I most likely will get SolarGard 35 front and 20 in all the rears.

    If you have any questions, feel free to email me!
    Good luck!
    TeamSC³ - Founding Member
  • psymacpsymac Posts: 4
    Thanks very much Ryan for your responses.

    Any downside in performance/ride/handling to going to 16" wheels? Also, any perference to 205/60 vs 215/55 size tires?

    I'll check out the TSB wind noise fix with Toyota and get back to you.

    Not sure about the tint, if if is on all windows, will check into that. Hopefully it can be removed and not interfere with the new gray tinting. You prefer Solargard over Llumar?

    Thanks again!
  • Not necessarily. I wanna see someone's car with 3 or 4 year old Llumar tint. Formula One and Llumar are the same company. I've had SolarGard on my Corolla for 4 years and it held up pretty well. Here in SoCal, SolarGard seems to be most popular.

    I've driven an 2000 Camry XLE V6 with 16" wheels and a 2000 LE V6 with 15" wheels. The XLE with the 16" seemed to be as comfortable and handled a little better. The XLE had Michelin Engergy MXV4's which is a premium touring tire. The LE V6 I drove had either Dunlops or Generals. They sucked. =)

    I'm a biased Michelin once these terrible, squeal happy Goodyear Eagles on my chrome OEM 15" rims go, Michelins will eventually be on my Avalon.

    Good Luck!
  • cblakecblake Posts: 5
    The pulling has been a common problem in some Toyota models, particularly the Sienna. You might check the archived messages on that topic on the Sienna boards. The pulling problem is the one problem that I have had without any permanent "fix." New tires and alignments have not resolved the situation.

    Please post your update here. My Sienna wanders. It is very difficult to keep it on a straight line course. I'm hearing all kinds of power steering noises now, too. I haven't been driving the van very much because I am waiting for an examination of the engine for sludge, among other things. The Toyota rep. is "dragging" his/her feet in making the appointment date (or my dealership is delaying) despite my request by the middle of December. But, that's will give me more time to gather information. ;-)

    Charlene Blake
  • pilot13pilot13 Posts: 283
    A.K.A. cblake2 --who sued Chrysler Corp in 1995 over a supposedly faulty ABS system on her Minivan, who tried vainly to get GM to cover all those repairs to her mother's Chevvy Cavalier, and who took on the Springfield Virginia Police Dept when they didn't solve the mystery of who stole her hubby's I.D. fast enough--oh, and a litany of other cause celebres where she felt the whole world was wrong and she was right?
    Any chance you are one and the same person? If so, who's next after you're through trashing Toyota?
  • LOL. Just wait til she buys another make. I wouldn't doubt if she bought a luxury car...she would sue the maker for price gouging on a luxury car. I wouldn't be surprised if she sued McDonalds for getting burnt drinking "HOT" coffee.

    Over in the complaint station, some guy lost his arbitration hearing about his sludge. Am I right Charlene? I guess that really helps your research now.

    This is all comedy to me now haha. CBLAKE...its a new year...sell your cars and give up. You aren't gonna win. Everyone knows too much about you now so they avoid you and give you the run around. Surrender because you have been heard too many times and been ignored over and over and over and over again.
  • pilot13pilot13 Posts: 283
    C. Blake actually owns the Complaint Station--there must be 50 or 60 of her "causes" there. If nothing else, they make for entertaining reading.
    She also has about 15 web sites and contributes to at least 25 more--try Yahoo, and prompt "Charlene Blake" to see what I'm talking about.
    Unfortunately, she is undeterred by criticism of any sort--a true believer that all automakers are doing the Devil's work to no one else but her.
    The best defense in this case is a good offense--every time she crops up with one of her manic postings, someone should immediately follow up with a factual (Emphasis on factual, not personal!) exposure of the real situation.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    She lives in Springfield Virginia! AAACCCCKKKK!!!! I sell Toyotas here. Thanks for the warning.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,225
    No intelligence required.
  • pilot13pilot13 Posts: 283
    Sorry to be the bearer of such news Cliffy. Good news is that your integrity (and the products you sell) really stand tall in the face of any criticism!

    Sebring, in a few short words, you've said a ton!
    Thanks a whole bunch.

    Gotta run--I think I'm starting to sludge up!
  • QUICK!!! File a restraining order against her to keep her from coming near a 100 mile radius of your dealership! LOL
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    What move was that with the line, "Be afraid. Be very afraid." I may actually go through our system to see if she's been here.
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