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Toyota Avalon Engine Questions

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  • popsavalonpopsavalon Posts: 231
    There seems to be a lot of posts on various sites about total loss of engine oil from the variable valve timing oil supply line failures on Toyota Avalons. The usual result of this would be catastrophic engine failure.

    Does this problem include 2007 and later engines? What is Toyota doing to redesign, replace, etc. these oil lines to prevent the problem from happening?
  • popsavalonpopsavalon Posts: 231
    There are a lot of posts on the net about failure of the VVTi oil line on 2GR-FE (all late model Toyota V-6s) engines. A burst rubber hose leads to loss of engine oil immediately and possible catastrophic engine failure. Toyota dealers seem to be having problems getting replacement parts due to scope of problem. What is the magnitude of leaks/failures being experienced by fellow Avalon owners?
  • sbmansbman Posts: 12
    See my earlier post. 06 Touring with 35 k, about 1 quart on my garage floor and oil trail down driveway one morning without notice. Towed in and dealer fixed that day under warranty. I might be tempted to go ahead and replace line and not be stranded somewhere and/or damage engine. Oil will also be all over your engine compartment & rails and tough to get it all removed.
  • bdp92883bdp92883 Posts: 2
    I saw your post about the VVTi issue and wanted to comment. I experienced this problem last year in my 2007 Avalon XLS. It was a complete disaster getting this issue taken care of and unfortunately, I don't think the drama is over yet. The dealership tried to say that while the hose burst and all of the oil drained out of my engine within what seemed like seconds, that the engine damage the car sustained was my fault and that until I could produce service records backing up my claim that I properly maintained the car, they would not be responsible for any of the damage done short of replacing the hose. I ended up having to go through Toyota Corporate just to get someone to take me seriously. The dealership ended up tearing apart my engine and at one point were prepared to replace the entire short block. Engineers from Toyota were dispatched to the dealership and they ended up taking a different course of action. They made some repairs to the valves but I'm now experiencing a TON of lifter noise. The car sounds like an expensive piece of junk. The last time I had it in for service, I asked the manager about the noise. He said Avalons were notorious for having noisy lifters and that there was nothing he could do about it. I totally disagree. It wasn't until all of the oil drained out of my car at 70 mph that the engine started making noise. Needless to say, I'm taking it back to a different dealer and if I am forced to open another case with Toyota Corporate then that's what I will do. I will say that Toyota Corporate admitted that this is a known problem but has been unwilling to actually recall these hoses. Thank goodness my car was still under warranty but I feel bad for those that are not. I hope this information is somewhat helpful.
  • tfeltontfelton Posts: 80
    I'm curious, is there an 'improved' hose that they use after the original one breaks or do they just put a new hose on of the same quality? If there is an improved hose would it be worth having it replaced even if you had to pay the cost since the work would not be under warranty?

    I have an '08 Avalon with 25,000 miles on it and we're just about to go on two trips which should add about 7,000 miles.
  • popsavalonpopsavalon Posts: 231
    The best information I can get is that there is no improved hose ("real fix") available. Toyota seems to be unwilling to acknowledge a major problem at this point. I asked my dealer's service manager about the whole issue, he said "we have only seen a few minor leaks and replaced the hose, never seen a catastropic failure that drained all the engine oil in a matter of minutes". There are numerous posts on several Toyota sites that verify this is exactly what happened.

    I, too, am planning summer trips (07 Avalon with 26000 mi.) and I have MAJOR concern about this problem. If my engine loses all the oil at speed on an interstate somewhere, I don't think a new hose is going to repair the damage to the motor.
    I am going to take copies of internet posts back to my dealer and see how they respond. The engine in question (2GR-FE) is used in all Toyota V-6 applications for the past few years, so this issue will only grow in magnatude!
  • bdp92883bdp92883 Posts: 2
    I'm not sure about the new hose being "improved" or not. It's just terrible that Toyota isn't acknowledging the problem. I had my car at the dealer today and asked the service writer if he's experienced a lot of these hose failures. He said no, but I'm not sure as to the accuracy of this statement. I've seen more posts on the internet about it now then when it happened to me back in Oct 2008. The only thing I can guess is that the people that are calling and pitching a fit to corporate are the ones getting the work done under warranty. My case manager at the time told me that because it's considered part of the drivetrain, it's covered up to 5yrs or 60K miles. I'm not sure if they are still going by that policy or not. I would call Toyota and ask. In fact, they may be willing to fix it now instead of waiting until it breaks.

    I know for a fact that this hose breakage caused a whole lot more than a small leak. When I pulled the car off of the freeway my car was covered in oil. The engine compartment looked like nothing I've ever seen before. There was oil halfway up the sides of the car all the way around. I have a white car - it's rather obvious that when that high pressure hose burst, the oil came out of that hose very fast. And by the looks of it, most of the oil had emptied out. This is why Toyota was forced to fix a whole lot more on my car than just a simple hose. And no matter what Toyota is saying, I have the work orders from the dealership to prove it.
  • tfeltontfelton Posts: 80
    I'm just guessing right now but I assume that for Toyota to acknowledge a major problem there has to be x% of failures of this part. Maybe that hasn't happened yet and a recall, or fix of all the hoses in use, would be costlier than what they are spending on repairing the individual problems as they happen. It's too bad there isn't some way to inspect the part.

    I guess all you can do is keep your fingers crossed. My other Toyota with a V6 has 214,000+ miles on it so I hope I can do the same again this time around.
  • ri_tomri_tom Posts: 1
    I have a 2006 avalon with 46,000 miles. Bought it used about 4 months ago. I drive 750 mi/week - almost all on interstate at 75-80 mph.
    Drove to mall yesterday on lunch hour. came back after 30 minutes and saw river of oil running from under car. moved it to another parking space and watched - you could see the oil dripping. drove slowly half mile to gas station and put in 3 qts. drove slowly to Toyota service - about 4 mi. Left a BIG puddle in the service lane after 5 minutes!
    Their diagnosis: Vehicle is leaking oil form Bank one VVTI oil line. There is a TSB -EG064-05. Replaced the VVTI oil feed line, timing chain cover and oil pipe sub-assembly.
    I asked the service writer if there would have been any warning if I was cruising down the road at 75. He said no - just a wrecked engine. If you don't have an extended warranty you better get one.
    Got the shuttle to the office, picked up at end of day and drove home. Just a minor inconvenience compared to the stories I see here. Just can't believe the lack of instrumentation on the car. My last was a 98 Aurora, died at 207k mi with head gasket leak. It had the engine monitoring for everything. Saved me twice from being stranded with alternator failures. I thought Toyota was know for their quality and service!
  • tfeltontfelton Posts: 80
    What did the TSB-EG064-05 say?
  • fscaranofscarano Posts: 44
    I have a 2000 Toyota Avalon. I can I tell if I have a sludge issue?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,883
    To really determine if you have sludge you'd have to pop off a valve cover. "Reading" the oil filler cap isn't good enough, as there are sometimes "natural" deposits on that. Once you see real sludge, you'll never forget it.

    Here's MORE INFO

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  • mbs171mbs171 Posts: 4
    Mine is an '05 touring I purchased used. I found a small "spot" on my garage floor- Took it in and was told VVTi hose- out of warranty- will run you 420 to fix. I Laughed and got online and found parts for 91 shipped to me. Did the work myself- took my time and really cleaned the area in question. Good as new- no leaks. As for an improved hose- the number in the tsb has been updated to a different part number- the only difference I see is that the hose clamps look more substantial.(mine was leaking at the upper clamp)
    If you are mechanically inclined - do it yourself and save$$-
    All parts were available and shipped to me in one week.
  • popsavalonpopsavalon Posts: 231
    The real fix appears to be a Toyota all steel one piece line that is available as a direct replacement for the metal/rubber line currently being used. It is my understanding that for defective hoses on vehicles still in warrenty, Toyota will allow the steel line to be installed at no charge as an upgrade, if the customer will buy the steel line (Approx. $28.00). I saw one site where someone was offering to replace the metal line in his garage for $50 labor.

    It seems to me that the leaks and ruptures with the rubber/metal line will continue unless the rubber line is replaced at regular intervals, and no one seems to know what that mileage number is. Toyota seems content to just replace the rubber line at this point, and minimize how much engine damage can been done if a rupture happens while driving.

    I don't know how many 2GR-FE (V-6) engines are out there since 2005 with rubber hoses, but it's a bunch. I would expect this problem to continue to escalate for Toyota, maybe even to recall status.
  • cmontanocmontano Posts: 3
    I'm going through the same thing right now. The dealer tried to charge me about the same money.I was wondering who you went through for the part any help would be greatly appreciated.
  • Do current production, 2009 Avalons, have the metal line? If so, what was the build date for the change from rubber to metal? Anybody know?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,883
    Only a problem in 2005 up to VIN # 4T1BK36B#5U037692

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  • tfeltontfelton Posts: 80
    If I was crawling under the car (as I do when I change the oil) where would I see this part?

    Can I also assume from the VIN that the problem was only for 2005 models?
  • popsavalonpopsavalon Posts: 231
    Mr. Shiftright, you are confusing the VIN Number information for the TSB on a specific 2005 leaking oil line fix, with the real problem.

    All Avalon 2GR-FE engines from 2005 at least to 2008 have been manufactured with the metal/rubber oil lines that are now failing. I am reasonably sure this applies to most other models (Camry, etc.) with V-6 engines.

    The oil line in question is easily viewed from the top of the engine compartment, on the passenger side by the shock mount tower. It is a shiny metal line about 3/8" in dia. that comes out of the top of the valve cover and turns 90 degrees straight down. After about 6", and just before it is covered by a plastic timing cover, there will be a rubber hose/hose clamp showing. This is the rubber portion of the two pc. line.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,883
    Oh so you are saying the line in the TSB is not the same VVT-1 line we are talking about? Let me look for other TSBs---seems if these were failing a lot we'd see something about it...so let me go dig some more.

    EDIT: Okay, didn't see any other TSBs for this issue on later model years in the All Data file or in NHTSA, or anything about Toyota authorizing a metal line change.

    Where did you see this info? I'd be interested.

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  • popsavalonpopsavalon Posts: 231
    Don't want to make this issue more confusing than it already is. There is only one VVTi oil line on the 2GR-FE engine. The TSB you are talking about (EG064-05) is for the VVTi oil line "small /slow oil drip" on 2005 Avalons. It defines the leak as "where the rubber hose connects to the metal pipe". This is the only TSB I can find that addresses a VVTi oil line leak.

    Please note that this TSB does not change the two pc. metal/rubber line design, it only replaces a defective part. As I mentioned in my previous post, Toyota has continued with the metal/rubber line at least thru 2008. The major problem seems to be that there are now rubber hose ruptures occuring while driving down the road that allow loss of almost all engine oil very quickly.

    There are multiple posts about the oil line problems on this site and several other websites related to Toyota vehicles. Any search engine will take you to at least 3-4 sites if you just type in VVTi oil line leak/Toyota. There is no recent TSB from Toyota on the issue.

    There is a direct replacement all metal VVTi line (15772-31030) in the Toyota parts system. This information was posted on one of the Toyota owner sites because some owners are replacing the metal/rubber line at their cost BEFORE problems occur.
  • tfeltontfelton Posts: 80
    I looked at the part on my car (08 Avalon) and it's a very innocent looking part and it is the metal/rubber version. Armed with the all-metal replacement VVTi part number I will go to my Toyota service department on Monday and ask them about it. I've dealt with this particular dealer and service department for 11 years now and I feel confident I'll get a straight answer.
  • cmontanocmontano Posts: 3
    Thanks for the info. So I go back over to the dealership yesterday to pick up the car and they told me that the car is 1,800 miles over the 5yr/50,000 mile warranty and I would have to foot the bill and then the guy says if I had more history of taking the car into their dealership instead of somewhere else that they would have probably fix the car for free.I made the argument that they were just in that area last year when the timing cover was leaking oil, so I took the next logical step and called corporate next i will send my wife after them lol. I have owned Toyota's for 20 years and never have had the problems I have this one, it's a lemon off the line but yet I love it. Is that even possible? Sorry for the rant.
    Thanks, Carlos
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,883
    I did a search and the people dealing with their own cars are as confused as we are---LOL! Many of them refer to that TSB--it also seems like this happens on Camrys, or did to two people.

    Seems like it's a chafing issue, not anything wrong with the line per se, so maybe depending on how the line is routed at assembly, you might have a problem.

    Also some tech guy is saying the line is too small to cause a lose of oil pressure. I don't know, I haven't seen what it looks like.

    Maybe the best thing for all Avalon owners to do is check this line for chaffing.

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  • popsavalonpopsavalon Posts: 231
    Thanks for the info and input. The "tech guy" who is saying the line is too small to cause a loss in oil pressure must know something about the VVTi system that I have missed. The line is a pressure line off the oil pump and is about 3/8" in dia. This is about the same size as an oil pan drain plug hole, which will drain all the oil out of an engine in a minute or less. The folks that post about these "on the road" failures typically say that by the time you smell oil or see oil smoke, there will be little or no oil showing on the dipstick.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,883
    The "tech" seemed to think the line was too small to cause an immediate loss of oil pressure.

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  • smudgy2smudgy2 Posts: 5
    Thanks for showing where this part is located. It looks so benign. Could anyone take a photo of the "old" part and/or the "new" part?

    I thought i had an Avalon XL. Now I think I have a TB (time bomb) that could blow at any time. We cant' drive around constantly looking at the instrument cluster for a low oil pressure warning ( the annoying buzzer should be hooked up to that instrument).

    Few owners of the 2GR FE engine are aware of this possible problem. Toyota needs to step up to the plate, issue a recall for this design defect, and restore confidence.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,883
    Why don't you take a look at that line and let us know if you see a potential chaffing/rubbing problem? I'd be interested.

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  • popsavalonpopsavalon Posts: 231
    To see a good picture of the VVTi oil lines, old and new, go to the following site:

    rav4world.com/forum and look for post #134 from RPM. He has posted a series of pictures about oil line replacement and picture #5 shows both lines side by side.

    I believe that the all metal oil line was incorporated into RAV4 engine production at some point, reasons unknown?????
  • smudgy2smudgy2 Posts: 5
    The part looked fine. No chafing (though a snug fit) and not the slighest trace of an oil leak. Wish this gave me more confidence.
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