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Toyota Avalon 2004 and earlier



  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,225
    My '92, '94, and '97 Camry V6's were US Built. The '92 was the best vehicle I've ever owned, 220K plus miles with nothing more than maintenance. The '97 has left alot to be desired, but no repairs with 130K miles on the clock. I don't particularly like the looks of the new Camrys which leads to my next question...

    Has anyone seen pics of the '03 Avalon?
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    Otis123 and Sebring95'
    You are both right about the early 90's Camry's. Somehow I had gotten it in my head that the transition model year was 97 and it must have been 87. I went to the TMMK Georgetown site and they indicated they started manufacturing there in 1988.

    My wife loves her 00 XLS - its Cognac Brown a very rare color. She only puts about 6500 miles a year on it and will keep it for a long, long time.

    Otis continued good luck with your Subie. I am still gunshy about VW's given their treatment of an oil consumption problem and a lot of reports of really poor customer treatments. I do like the TDI diesels though. They are selling bio-diesel in Maine now and its MUCH cleaner than petro.

    Sebring I haven't seen any 03 Avalon pix yet. It will be interesting to see if they put a NAV in. I don't expect much in the sheet metal area, maybe sleeker headlight like the Camry and ES300. Maybe they will figure out how to reduce the rattle level, dash reflections and other oddities that have cropped up on this board. They might want to join the 21st century from a color palette point of view and move beyond black, white, lunar mist, lunar mist and lunar mist.
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    latack1 - I have a 2002 Lexus ES300 and love the Nav system, which is the same as the Camry's. Great features include a listing of restaurants, gas stations, shopping and other points of interest in your current vicinity. You go through the list, select a point by pushing a button, and the navigation system tells you how to get there! I love the way it warns you at 2 miles, then 1/2 mile of whether your turn/freeway exit will be to the left or right, eliminating the stress of last minute merging in traffic.

    A drawback is that complete navigation capability is only available in metropolitan areas, so you may want to check out the Navigation documentation to see if it is worth the cost to you.

    I used my Nav system on a trip to LA (I live in the boonies of Ridgecrest, California) and it was great. It eliminated my need for a map. It does not work as well for me in Ridgecrest, but then it is harder to get lost here, too.
  • gadaomangadaoman Posts: 2
    I just had routine 30,000-mile maintenance performed on my 2000 Avalon XLS by a local mechanic. Toyota specifies that the air conditioner filter (not air filter) should be changed, but my mechanic says my car doesn't have one. He says he called the service manager at a local Toyota dealer and was told that some Avalons have an air conditioner filter and some don't, depending on the VIN number. Is this true? In any case, can someone tell me just where the A/C filter is located and what it does?
  • blackdog4blackdog4 Posts: 67
    My 1997 Avalon had to have the steering gear rack replaced as it was leaking oil. The part alone was quoted at $800. All of my service, including oil changes had been with Toyota of Weymouth (Massachusetts). I also bought a 2001 Sequoia from them six months ago. I told the service manager how disappointed I was in this low milage problem and asked him if he would contact Toyota on my behalf. I picked up the car this evening and Toyota picked up half the price of the part ($400). I was pleased they responded to my situation even if I was not please with the part failure.
  • lotlizardlotlizard Posts: 6
    I'm worried my Dad is being taken for a ride. The dealer wants $800 for a part and 5 hours of labor (about $1200 total) to fix what he calls a short in a relay associated with the computer. This seems like a lot for a little electrical problem.

    Dad's problem is apparently the same as what someone else reported on another board:

    "I have a frustrating problem with the Climate Control System on my 98 Avalon XLS. The system fails occassionally and seems to self heal. When it fails, the Auto and A/C buttons do not light and there is no automatic climate control. The outside temperature indicator also goes out. The fans, however, seem to work. The frustrating part is that the system fixes itself, (most times), when the car is shut down and then restarted.Has anyone else had this problem?Fixes??"

    If any of you Avalon folks can offer any perspective on this problem and the cost of repair, it is much appreciated. Pleasse post replies soon. Thank You.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Your dad's problem sounds like it may be more than an electrical short. The "self-healing" part is what gets me. It sounds more like a compressor problem. I've had similar things with older cars and your description sounds like what I went through.
  • thung999thung999 Posts: 3
    My 98 Avalon XLS Climate Control Unit failed 1 month after factory warranty expire. The parts and labor to replace was around $1100. I later found out there is a TSB about this control unit. I called up Toyota regional office and complained about this issue. Eventually Toyota paid for the parts and I paid for the labor. Hope it can help you.
  • laterldflaterldf Posts: 37
    Anyone have a line on what new features/options the 2003 models will have and when it'll debut?
    Will it have a navigation option (like its twin sister does in Japan)? thanks laterldf
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    It's my understanding that the Avalon's twin sister, I believe its called the Pronard, is built in Georgetown, KY and exported to Japan (complete with driver on the right steering).

    If that's correct, then the NAV is not on the U.S. Avalons by Toyota's choice.

  • lotlizardlotlizard Posts: 6
    Thanks for the quick replies regarding my Dad's car. Toyota has agreed to pick up the part and we pay the labor, which seemed reasonable. It is especially good to know about the TSB in case they don't get it right this time around.
  • bigbluekybigblueky Posts: 11
    I have a 97 Avalon and had to replace the rack and pinion at 92,000 miles. The problem was a seal that went bad on the drivers side. Toyota doesn't just sell the seal so you have to buy a whole new rack. Other than the problem with the rack I absolutely love the car and plan on keeping it for many years to come. The car will turn 100K this week and I plan on toasting her with a cold one and a picture as she turns over with my camera. I hope to let everybody know that I hit 200K on this message board someday for the simple fact I plan on keeping the car that long.
    If anyone out there has a 200K Avalon let me know how many problems if any you've had with the car, I believe that as long as the maintance is kept up that it should be relatively problem free. Also, Toyota has a bulletin issued on all Camrys and Avalons that will cover the motor against oil sludge for 8 years unlimited mileage from the original date of service. I change my oil every 5000 miles and it looks as good as new except a little dirtier.
  • twobrownstwobrowns Posts: 52
    My 2002 Avalon has developed a rattle or clicking noise coming form the right rear area. I only hear it when it is cool which seams to indicate that it could be body panels rubbing or something like that. Small bumps will create the problem.Any thoughts what to look for.
  • All XLS's should have one, it is the XL's that don't come with it unless you pay extra to have the dealer put it on. It is located behind the glovebox, and the replacement filter comes with intsall. instructons as has been posted previously.
  • deluxcardeluxcar Posts: 47
    Hawiianavowner, missed your thoughtful posts from the past, where have you been?

    Gadaoman, the air conditioning filter is $40 (part # 87139-32010. If you are mechanically inclined you can save yourself the $68 dealer labor charge which unfortunately I had to pay.

    Does the AC filter make any difference? I didn't notice, but I suppose if you live in the hot climes like Hawaii and Florida it could be.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    There's a good review of the 2002 Avalon in today's Sunday Globe (5/5/02).


  • deluxcardeluxcar Posts: 47

    I live in the Boston area and about eighteen months ago I had asked Royal Ford, the Globe's autowriter, why didn't he write a review on the Avalon. He said consumers were more interested in performance cars like the Acura TL and BMW and not the Avalon. So it is refreshing alas to see a Globe review. We should all thank Bill Griffith for that.

    Satisfied Avalon owner in Boston
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    I think Royal is the one most interested in Acura TL and BMW.

    I sent a thank you note to Griffith shortly after reading the article this am.

  • rrzeparrzepa Posts: 11
    Stopped by the dealer today to change oil and as usual they pressure me for some extra work. Obviously I declined. One of the items I had to initial is that I decline trans fluid change. My Avalon is 1.5 years old (2001)with 18K. They claim that in our climate (midwest) trans fluid needs to be changed once a year. From Toyota manual, I recall that the number was at least 60K without time limit.

    Any truth to the dealership claims ?
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    Call Toyota National Customer Assistance Center 1-800-331-4331 and ask.
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