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Toyota Avalon Basic Maintenance Questions



  • gslevegsleve Posts: 183
    at the bottom of the filter this would facilitate drainage and become less messy after the filter drains
  • dylan383dylan383 Posts: 20
    Toyota both in their booklet that came with my avalon and the dealership both recommend oil changes every 5,000 miles. I'm used to doing it every 3,000 miles. Any problem with going every 5,000? Any reason for the change in recommendation?
  • but anyone who insists on using conventional dino oil, I would surely not go past 3000 miles before a filter AND oil change. I can't tell you how against regular oil I've become, but that's my soap box. I'm stricktly a MobilOne Synthetic kind of guy and have been over the lives of the last 7 new cars I've owned. The seals remain dry and intact for the typical 250,000+ mile life of the vehicle before I sell them. To ME it's worth it, to those that prefer cheap oil I guess they just won't ever learn........
  • pmoskalpmoskal Posts: 25
    travelr, I guess if synthetic is your soap box. After doing research and through experience, synthetic is for those who do not change their oil frequently and for those who want to give $$ to the oil companies.
  • travelerjbtravelerjb Posts: 46
    I'm NOT into extended oil change intervals, and typically do them somewhere between 3-5000 miles (or whenever my business trip happens to end) and as for the giving of money to the oil companies, not at all. I'm into the "next to NO wear" camp and it's THAT simple. If you don't get it, well then you just never will, without seeing various engines torn apart at various intervals having been run with various oils vs. synthetics. (which I have). Some people are like that horse being led to the water to drink. They just NEVER get it.........(P.S. It's not a soapbox, and if you prefer I'm done preaching to a hearing impaired audience). I'll just lurk and watch the plethora of problems that will arise over the coming months with ya'll.
  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 1,160
    On my Y2K Avalon XLS I just had my 30,000 miles major service at a total cost of $382 less a 10% service discount. What did I get for almost $400?

    Replaced air conditioning cabin filter

    Drain and refill cooling system

    Drain and replace transmission fluid

    Rotate all four tires

    Oil and filter change

    Air filter replacement.

    Everything else was inspect or check. For that they charged me 3.5 hours of labor time. But I must say after the service the car sounds and feels great, just as if it was brand new. I am looking forward to many more trouble-free miles and hope the next major scheduled maintenance is not as expensive.
  • matthew525matthew525 Posts: 52
    Have you asked what the hourly rate is? Probably in the $55-65 range. So it looks like you got about $110 in parts (filters, and lubes). May have been able to save a few dollars purchasing the part separate (e.g. off the web) and having them install them or maybe doing the A/C cabin and air filter yourself. Might want to call another local Toyota dealer and get a comparison cost. Assume you got the 10% discount because of your previous service record so sticking with them may garner another 5-10% in the future.
  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 1,160
    Yes, I agree the service was expensive. The cost breakdown is as follows:
    Disposal fee.... $ 10.50

    Tax....................$ 6.09

    So I guess 3.5 hours labor time works out to be $72.32 an hour
  • dfurnierdfurnier Posts: 26
    Is there an advantage in purchasing genuine Toyota engine oil and filters?

    Also, the dealer wants to change the oil at 3000 mile intervals. After lots of research, I'm basically convinced every 5000 miles is more than sufficient (the shorter interval recomended by Toyota).

    Expert opinions?
  • matthew525matthew525 Posts: 52
    I would be interested in knowing if Toyota manufactured their own oil - - wouldn't think so; filters maybe. Whether oil & filters are better or not could be a national debate. I use Mobile 1 and NAPA Gold filters for years and have not had any problems at all in any of my vehicles. Conclusive - nope. Dealers want more frequent changes because more visit = more dollars in their pockets. Simply follow the manual to keep your warranty in place.
  • Using the right viscosity grade is important to avoiding the oil sludge problem. Most dealers and installers will try to push 10W-30 on you because it is cheaper. Don't let them. They will try to tell you 10W-30 is better because it's thicker and gives you more protection. Don't believe them. 5W-30 meeting API SL and ILSAC GF-3 is superior to 10W-30 because the spec's require a higher quality of base oil resulting in better viscosity and deposit control. Tell your dealer/installer you want 5W-30 because that is what the OEM recommends. If they do not carry 5W-30 go someplace else.
  • My 2000 Avalon owners manual recommends changing the differential fluid and transmission fluid every 30K. I checked the Hayes repair manual and it showed there should be drain and fill plugs for the differential. I searched under the car and found neither (no problem finding the ATF drain plug). The dealer told me the transmission and differential share the same fluid between both systems. Any DIY'ers out there have any experience with changing differential fluid?
  • hank14hank14 Posts: 133
    David Turner-

    I was wondering the same thing about changing the differential oil on my 98 Avalon. The only thing I have seen is a plug with a small piece of bent tubing on the front side of the block, about 1/3 the way over from the end on the right. I assumed this was the differential oil drain, but did not see a fill hole, so I left it alone. I am going to the dealer for a brake job this weekend and will ask them. I am planning on switching over to all synthetic fluids- Amsoil tranny and diff fluid, as well as motor oil and filter.
  • I'm interested to know how many Avalon owners are experiencing pressure tactics to bring their vehicle in for unnecessary service. I have received a letter, a phone call and a follow-up call from a manager stressing the need for service at 3500 miles. Even for conditions of severe use Toyota does not require such frequent service.

    The key phrase seems to be "Tires For Life Agreement". To qualify for the program such ridiculously short service intervals are required. The program was of no interest to me so I was able to terminate the irritating call.

    Who else is suffering these misleading calls?
  • rzepa1rzepa1 Posts: 55
    I have noticed that too. My theory is that since Toyota is a reliable car, the dealer's service department is trying to make additional money on excessive service as opposed to other dealerships which make big $$$ on fixing cars.

    Seems as everytime I go for a oil change I am asked about 15K,30K and so on services. One time they even made me signed that I declined on the receipt. The other time lady sid "oh, you must have fogotten ...". You should see the look on her face when I said, no I have not forgotteb but I have declined.

    Bottom line is that those types of services are DEALER recommended and not TOYOTA. They improve their bottom line. I recall that the dealership mailed me flyer on one of those (15K or 30K) services which was basically oil change and
    " check hinges... check tire pressure ... etc"
    for a discount price of $249.

    If you are a sucker or want piece of mind you should do it, otherwise tell them no.

    Since my Avalon is under warranty I have oil changes done thru them. Once the warranty is over, I plan to stay away from them and do it all myself (within a reason).
  • Agree - just this week I took the wife's Avy for a minor adjustment. The service writer wanted me to complete the 10K service at a cost of 120 buck-a-roos. I asked he what they were going to do: check stuff, check the air filter, change the oil and filter, rotate tires, top off fluids. When I told him no, he looked surprised. I then showed him the Toyota service manual showing maintenance intervals at 7500 and 15000 (I change my own oil, Mobile 1) at 5k intervals). Think you've hit on something - - the dealers are trying to get more maintenance time due to the reliability of the vehicle.
  • 20992099 Posts: 59
    This talk about fuel filters got me thinking about replacing mine, 2002 XLS W/22K+ miles. Looking in the manual, I found where it said there is no recommended service interval for the fuel filter, let your dealer decide. What mileage interval do you recommend? Also on tranny fluid change, use local garage for oil changes at 5K intervals (Mobil 1) and he said Toyota recommended tranny fluid changes at 15K. Fluid looks fine to me and I couldn't find anything in the book on this either!! Finally, do you change the A/C filter every 10K as recommended? Thanks for your help in this forum.

  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591

    Everyone has a differenct story about changing intervals. Your type of driving has alot to do with it also.

    The fuel filter, the one in the engine bay, doesn't need to be changed at 22K. That is too premature. I believe I saw a dealership say 30 or 40K which means longer.

    The tranny doesn't need to be changed at 22K either, unless you are doing 100% city driving, mountain driving, pulling a trailer, etc. 30K intervals are more than enough, however I am going to replace mine at 60K the first time, then 30K thereafter.

    5K Oil change intervals are in my opinion perfect from the literature on wear and tear. Unless you live in a very cold climate, the difference of synthetic versus regular motor oil is negligible. How many people do you know keep a car past 200K miles??? How many autocars have you had in your lifetime past 200K??? I have had one, using reg. oil at 5K intervals, except during the dead of the winter. I sold it to a soldier at 236K, a Honda, and it did not even burn up a full quart every 5K intervals. So if it makes you feel better use it, otherwise, put the money in the bank and save for a new car one day.

    I change my A/C every year, not based on mileage. It is located in back of the glove box, which has 5 or 6 screws and just slides straight out.

    I hope this helps. Perhaps Nomad56 can give his opinion, but his Avalon is an older model, not sure if they have an A/C filter.

  • 20992099 Posts: 59
    Thanks for the info. I appreciate it and will go with the intervals you recommended. I did notice a slight (1-1.5 mpg) difference with the Mobil 1 oil, but it may have just been that I did more longer distance driving between oil changes the last time. The jury is still out on that one. Will change the A/C filter as I bought my 02 XLS with 11K last winter and don't know if the filter has ever been changed. (I know I haven't changed it!!) Car has been great so far.

  • hank14hank14 Posts: 133
    I posted this a while back, but no response. I drained and filled the transmission pan last night, and was wanting to change the diff fluid on our 98 Avalon, 89,000 miles. I found the drain plug for the differential, on the back lower side of it, but no fill plug. The manual says it uses ATF fluid. Do they share the same fluid, or is there a separate fill plug? Anyone with a manual that can fill me in on this?
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