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Toyota Avalon Fuel and Fuel System Questions



  • fndlyfmrflyrfndlyfmrflyr Posts: 668
    In spite of what the fuel requirement is for the car you may find, depending on driving conditions, it may cost less per mile to use premium.

    My 96 Avalon now gets a steady diet of regular and runs fine. I have noticed better mpg on trips when premium is used, but not much difference around town. The owners manual says regular, but for better performance use premium. I have not done an actual test over time to see if there is a significant difference in mpg between regular and premium for our mostly local driving.

    I keep a fuel used log in my cars and recently did a test over time (more than 1500 miles of mixed driving) with my Acura. The car ran fine on regular, but got 8% better mpg on premium, more than the cost difference between regular and premium at the time of the test. In addition, using a stop watch revealed the car accelerated faster using premium (3 to 4 tenths of a second from 0-60), and felt more peppy at part throttle, but 'felt' the same when the pedal was floored.

    The 8% difference is close to the almost 10% difference (prem better) I have seen on our Avalon between using regular and premium when on trips.
  • nonfibnonfib Posts: 2
    I have owned a 1998 xls since it was new. The only time I have used premium and noticed a difference was on long highway trips. Even then, the milage difference was only 2-3 MPG. My advice is to just use quality regular unleaded for your everyday driving
  • That 10% improvement in mpg on the highway means as the cost of gasoline continues to rise it will cost you less per mile (on trips) to use premium than to use regular (as long as the price difference doesn't get to be more than the 20 cents per gallon it is now). The added range from using premium on longs drives sometimes can eliminate the need for a fuel stop too.
  • Bear with me, I have no idea of technical terms, but here goes! My 2003 Avalon had a stainless steel flap at the top of the neck to the gas tank that is no longer there. The first time I noticed it missing I was filling the tank, and gurgling noises came from the tank. Had to fill once more before taking car to dealer and it make no more noises.

    The dealer says that their research shows my car never would have had this flap (I forgot what they called it). Of course, I am not a happy camper to be told that, after buying the car new, with 3 miles on it, and driving it for 35,514 miles, that I am mistaken!

    Yes, there was a flap, it is now gone, and I would like to know; where is it?, is it a problem if it has fallen into the neck of the tank(where else would it be?), if my 2003 Avalon would never have had this flap, then why do I have a gas tank/neck that was not made for this model/year, could the flap or the spring or the fasteners break down over the years/miles and cause me future problems?

    Please give me ANY feedback. I have been known to keep a new car for 12-15 years and until I have 250,000 miles, so it is really important that this not even remotely be a potential future problem.

    Thanks! (Also, the paint came off of the radio buttons, but the dealer is replacing the stereo--why do you think this would happen?)
  • rosie2rosie2 Posts: 3
    Although Toyota and the dealer insist that my 2003 Avalon would not/could not have a fuel filler neck flap on it, My dealer has agreed to remove the neck, the tank, fuel filter, or whatever else is there in order to get to the screens that would block the parts from the flap from going through the fuel line, etc.

    What type of problems could this cause in the future, perhaps with ill-fitted gaskets or anything else. Is it better to leave the misc. parts in there or to dissemble all of this and risk future problems that could be caused by the dismantling of the fuel system?

  • First you wouldn't stop fretting about the flap falling off into the tank and maybe, eventually, causing future problems. Now, to make you happy, the dealer has agreed to do a major disassembly to do whatever it takes to get to where the flap (which according to your own report, he doesn't believe exists) might have fallen -- and you're fretting about possible future problems caused by them trying to solve your problem.

    My analysis: You will never not have something to worry about. Set the car on fire and buy a pair of roller skates.
  • I'm astounded the dealer is going to all this trouble to satisfy you. All he has to do is show you another 2003 Avalon. You will find that it, like mine, does NOT have a neck flap. While not totally embracing the sarcasm of Txgeezer, I certainly have similar feelings about your concern.
  • alan_salan_s Posts: 356
    We have a 2002 Avalon and a 2002 Sienna. I checked both and neither have a flap in the gas filler-neck, although I would have sworn that they both had one. Did you have an earlier model Toyota that could have had the flap? I seem to remember my '98 Camry having a flap, or perhaps I too, am flip-flopping over flaps or just too full of gas.
  • deepandeepan Posts: 342
    if youre referring to the flap at the filler neck (it retracts when you insert the gas line) yes its there. Its there on all the cars ive seen. if its break it probably just goes to the bootm of the tank and shouldnt cause issues at all.
  • rosie2rosie2 Posts: 3
    deepan, thanks for your kind reply. I'm sure my Toyota had the flap, and after your reply, I can believe mine was not the only Avalon to have the flap.
  • yankeryanker Posts: 156
    Our Avalon has a light on which the dealer says is a sensor in the gas tank and they want $166 to repair My 96 had a similar situation and b twice Toyota paid for it under an 80000 warranty. is there such a warranty on 2000 Avalon covering sensors. My neighbor has a Ford same year same problem Ford fixed it no charge
  • Can any of the Avalon owners tell me if it is absolutely necessary to run premium gas in the Avalon?
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 586
    To make a long story short...this question has been answered many, many times by the Avalon boards.. NO Avalon ever made requires premium fuel.
    With that in mind, you might want to use upgrade fuel above 87 octane (91 maybe) if you plan to pull a trailer, load the car to the max, climb in the mountains or just want a little more power from the car in normal driving. It makes a difference in most cases regardless of the model year.
    You will not hurt the car or void the warranty by using regular. My '99 used mostly regular... it did fine. My '03 XL runs better on 89 octane and gets better mileage so I use 89 most of the time. Hope this helps. Others may join in but I think you will get the same basic answer.
    Enjoy your Avalon....great cars.
  • davef2davef2 Posts: 2
    i use regular and always have, and never had any problems, just picked up my 05 avalon ,which has a bigger motor and was told to use regular
  • tajahtajah Posts: 10

    I talked to my dealer about this also when I noticed premium fuel noted on the specs on the car. The 05 is 280 Horsepower w/ 91 Octane. The loss of Hp going to regular or mid-grade is 5 (per the dealer). They also suggested to use every 4th tank of Premium & the rest could be Regular & I'd be fine. I used Premium 93 Octane on the first fill up & will use 89 Octane on the next three.

    I hope this helps.
  • suzanne6suzanne6 Posts: 1
    I recently purchased a 2002 Avalon XLS, 29K miles, from a Toyota dealer with a certified used car certificate. The FUEL RANGE GUAGE on the information area of the dash read 260 miles and the fuel guage itself was at the 3/4 mark when I filled with gas for the first time. I topped the tank and the fuel gauage went just beyond the full mark and the FUEL RANGE GUAGE read 210 miles. What gives??? Shouldn't my fuel range be greater than 210? Shouldn't the number be about 370, the total after multiplying 18.5 gallon capacity times about 20 mpg?

    How can my fuel range be 260 miles with 3/4 tank and then drop to 210 miles with a full tank?
  • lazarouslazarous Posts: 28
    Is anyone using regular unleaded to drive his/her Avalon? I would like to know if the car runs fine with regular unleaded? Thanks much
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 586
    All Avalons can use 87 octane regular or anything higher. The knock sensor will retard the spark to prevent problems. You lose a little horsepower. Many people, myself included, say gas mileage improves if 89 octane is used and the increase in mileage pays the difference in price per gallon. Some disagree.

    The new 2005 will drop more power on 87 octane as it has more power built into the engine. And it gains more if you upgrade. Going to 91 or more does nothing for the '04 and older but has benefits for the '05. Your warranty is good, regardless.

    But, why put cheap gas in a nice car...? Go 89 (or more) and enjoy it. :)
  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591

    Next year to replace my timing belt, water pump, and 2 other belts. What is your take on replacing the timing belt tensioner as well. It is an $78 part, and not sure if it goes that often. Can you tell me if you know or if anyone knows if this is usually replaced with the timing belt service.


  • finfin atlantaPosts: 586
    Timing belt tensioner: Here's an opinion based on the situation, research and a little mathematics, not a manual for car care.

    This project is not easy or cheap, even DIY. How much does another $78 really mean these days?

    If you change the timing belt at 60k or 90k miles and leave the tensioner in place, you are asking the tensioner to go 120k or even 180k miles before replacing it at the next belt change. Hmmmmmm ??

    To cover themselves, Toyota dealers mention this part replacement when they perform this type service, but will generally do what the customer says, unless they see a failed tensioner. I have never had a belt replaced, but if you order racing timing belts (DIY) most of them come with a new tensioner too.

    All things, possible roadside failures, time, etc.... spend the $78. The thing might last 150k miles. But why not enjoy driving with a lowered risk of problems. :)
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