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Toyota Avalon 2004 and earlier



  • abc246abc246 Posts: 305
    Thanks for your input. I was familiar with Toyotas timing belt design. I had a Toyota Supra that had one and changed it my self (what a job). However, I am not sure the reason you state (quietness) is the reason Toyota chose a belt. In one word – CHEAP! Belts engines are cheaper to design and build. Many very good cars are both quite and have a timing chain. Does anyone know the change interval for the Avalon timing belt?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    is 90K as stated previously. You can figure on letting it go a little longer that that without much trouble, and then you will need to change it maybe once in the whole life of the car.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • Last month I purchased a 2000 XL, Diamond White
    Pearl, with 65,000 miles. Most of the miles were
    accumulated on regular trips from Denver to Vegas
    and back. Just a few small chips on the front.
    Runs like a top, and the JBL system is great.

    I started reading these postings a few months prior to my purchase and I really appreciate all
    the tips, tricks, and evaluations I picked up.
    They all helped in my decision to purchase the
    Avalon. I got a dash kit from Joshua, paint from
    Romania, a Lanka kit, and will order mudguards

    I do have one condition I would like to post for
    comment. The clear coat on the plastic outside
    mirror housings is peeling off. They both look
    like 2 week-old sunburn. It would take many
    hours to peel off the little pieces by hand.
    Then what ??? Got one bid from a body shop of
    $130.00 each.

    Any suggestions...
  • Nomad, Im a little confused and would like to clarify your answer. I just purchased a 98 XLS. It has the standard single CD stereo that has the little storage compartment below it. I find the sound rather lousy. Considering that there is a single uninclosed subwoofer if thats whats you want to call it in the back window, the bass is not deep or tight and very muddy sounding. There is very little treble from the radio. I have not tried a CD yet. There also is very little presence in the sound. The stations i listen to in other cars fade out of range much sooner in this car. This tells me that this unit is junk for a car as nice as this. Most other reports are good on the JBL system. Are you saying that there more than one version of the JBL? You speak of an externally amplified one that must have more power. Where can i find a used JBL or a "take out" for a reasonable price? Do i need to pull out my existing unit to see how many pins are on the plug? Any help is appreaciated. I realize that these factory speakers are likely different than the ones that come with the JBL. Im not looking for a killer system but something that sounds better than this stock one. Thanks, Mike
  • zmonyzmony Posts: 3
    Hi All,

    I just bought my first Avalon - a black '03 XL w/stone leather interior and the luxury pkg. So far I really like it. I would like to upgrade the interior to wood (and possibly buy the wood-trimmed XLS steering wheel) and get a CD changer (came with a single CD player). Can anyone recommend an aftermarket, high-quality wood trim kit and a CD changer compatible with the JBL deck?

    Many Thanks,
  • nomad56nomad56 Posts: 134
    That head unit(or your external amp) may just be BAD! Even the internally amplified units were decent. I recommend pulling it out, then: Let me know what the "harness" looks like in the car...has it been spliced or modified in any way??? What is the pin configuration??? ...with this, I can probably determine what you have/need.

    There are several JBL configurations. I am running the 6 CD IN-dash unit to my NON JBL amp and speakers..sounds great..more than adequate for almost anyone.

    Once we determine what you need, eBay is a good source, or a local junkyard, etc. NOTE: If you look on eBay, you may see a PICTURE of your wire harness-refer me to the auction #-then I will be sure which harness you have..
  • nomad56nomad56 Posts: 134
    If that head unit has CD changer controls (NOT all do) ALPINE, and a few others, have direct plug and play units. Otherwise, there are adapters for several other brands. The Alpines play MP3 CD's!!! Kinda' nice! The interior wood trim kits(aftermarket!) are readily available...check eBay, where you may also see that steering wheel show up...they usually fetch bid $$$
  • Nomad, thanks for yur help. When i get a chance, i will pull my unit and let you know my harness configuration. Im makeing the assumption that my wiring is unmolested as i bought the car from a retired origional owner that appears to have only kept real good care of it. Mike
  • zmonyzmony Posts: 3
    Thanks for the information Nomad. The head unit is a single CD player so I assume it does have CD changer abilities. On your advice, I browsed EBAY for wood trim kits and found quite an array. After reading some prior posts on this board, I'm going to try to get a sample from Joshua Tree. Regarding the XLS wood-trimmed steering wheel, I couldn't find one on EBAY (active of completed auctions) so I called my local dealer and they are asking $1,000 (ouch!).
  • 02mdx02mdx Posts: 64
    zmony: I have an '02 XL with the an OEM Wood Dash kit (real wood) and IMO it looks better than what comes standard on the XLS (plood). My only gripe is that the kit is $300+ and does not have a plate to cover the stereo (piece), the rest of the center console is covered.

    I also recommend the Auto-Dimming mirror and the mud flaps.
  • zmonyzmony Posts: 3

    Thanks for the info. Where did you buy your OEM wood dash kit? Did you install it yourself? Where is a good place to get the mud flaps? The auto dimming mirror came with the car and I agree it is nice.

  • 02mdx02mdx Posts: 64
    The Toyota dealer installed the Wood Dash at the time of purchase. I was fortunate to get the kit and installation for invoice, I think it was $306. Installation should not be a big deal either as wood pieces are placed on top of the existing plastic panels. I pretty sure the adhesive is already on the dash pieces.

    As for the Mud guards, I purchased Color-Keyed Mud Guards directly from the internet:

    A set of four costs $79 plus S&H, prompt shipping, good e-mail feedback. Takes less than an hour to install (I had to remove the real wheels to install) w/ some drilling (just pilot holes). Ascetically, they make the Avalon look more sporty, lower to the ground. Functionality, keeps the road grime off the panels... plus I'm sure it will save the paint in the long run.

    Hope this helps...

  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    This may sound silly, but if Toyota only builds Avalons with plood (plastic wood) why is there a "factory" wood dash kit. I think the dealer might have been speaking with forked-tongue.

    I see factory wood kits for sale many places on the web. Try Google.

    Good luck!
  • Hi all. Am new to the group and so far love my 2001 XLS. I've been plagued by a noise that appears to be coming from the dash at the windshield, lower left corner. Dealer has looked at it 12 times and has: 1) foam padded under dash, 2) padded exterior plastic cowling at bottom exterior of windshield. Noise does not occur after the car has been parked in the sun. Now that it's winter here in the south the noise is driving me nuts. It does not occur only when hitting bumps, slight undulations or shifts trigger it as well. Turning on the heater to try and warm the windshield/dash does not have an effect. Any thoughts/advice? Earplugs are out! :-)
  • sebmichael2002:

    I also had a persistent noise just as you described. The fix? proper installation of the air conditioning filter.
    Hope that helps.
  • I had a similar problem except it was around the rear window. Would hear a clicking sound which would occur when even going over seams etc. and only hear it when it was cold. Had the problem fixed this week and it turned out to be a headliner clip near the rear window. Apparently when it was cold the sheet metal would contract enough so that the clip would tap against the roof. That is what they told me anyway it is fixed.
  • Last week I ordered a 2003 Avalon XLS Lunar Mist w/bucket seats - it is being built this week at the factory in Georgetown KY - I am from Ohio. It has the following options:
    Z1 - SR - GV - VD - DK
    This is my first Toyota - I am 7l yrs. old & have had heart & spinal surgery. The Avalons on the car lot seem to feel very comfortable - easier to get in & out of than my 2-dr.coupe Olds 88 (l4 yrs. old & 275,000 miles)

    I got a bottom-line price of $29,989 w/options - think this is a good deal?

    What would be a good extended warranty - what kind of rust protection, recommended??? \

    Ist the V5 factory installed intrrusion protection VIP RS 3200 already built in? The brochure seems to list it as an option for $309.

    Any input would be greatly appreciated !!!
  • First of all, a good deal in one area may not be a good deal in another, so that's not an easy question to answer.

    As for extended warranties, that depends on what your driving habits are. You can configure them pretty easily for your driving habits. Some are very high milage with short term while others are just the opposite. Additional info about how you drive would be helpful to give you advice about warranties.

    Rust protection, for the most part, is NOT recomended on Toyota's. They take many preventative steps to help ensure that they don't rust. From special primers and paints on lower body panels and the front areas to dipping some framing and body panel areas in wax, they are pretty well protected. Most aftermarket (not all) rust-proofing systems will either plug drain holes or are not very effective in real-world situations. There are some out there that are VERY effective, but they tend to be expensive and the marginally better protection you get vs. the systems they design into the vehicle may not be worth the cost. You will have to decide yourself if you feel they are worth it, however.

    The XLS model has a transponder key with engine immobilizer as standard equipment. If someone tries to start the engine without one of the transponder keys, it will not allow the engine to start. The only thing that you MAY want to add would be the glass breakage sensor so that if any of your windows were broken, it would set off the alarm. the V5 is for the XL model primarily which does not have the transponder key or a factory alarm standard.

    Hope this helps and feel free to ask any other questions you have.

  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    The only catch is that many people confuse rust proofing with undercoating and other protections. It is up to the consumer to decide if the other products are worth the extra money, but Toyotaken is right that rust proofing is a waste of money and in some cases detrimental to the car. It shocks me that some dealers still offer this. Again, undercoating and paint protection do have demonstrated value (although some may dispute just how much value, it doesn't hurt the car) but rust proofing is a waste.
  • Honestly, the best preventative for rust is regular and frequent washing including washing the underside of your vehicle. There are only two systems currently that I know of that have been shown to be effective. Both put the vehicle up on a lift and they spray a aerosolized material throughout the underside of the vehicle, including inside the framing members and then remove all of the inside door panels to access that area then move on from there. It's a process that takes up to 3 days and costs somewhere to the tune of $1,500. They also do annual re-applications to wear-prone areas such as the underbody for $200 or somewhere like that. It isn't inexpensive, but for something that is that exacting and time intensive that has been independently tested, I wouldn't expect it to be.

    That being said, as cliffy and I have said before, for the most part, all of the ones that are offered by dealers are worthless at best and harmful at worst, so stay away from them.

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