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Toyota Avalon (Prior to 2005) Transmission Questions



  • 1969cdv1969cdv Posts: 1
    I have a '95 with 165k, bought with 82k in 2001. I have not had any problems with the power steering, other than a little stickiness at startup when very cold. Check the fluid level monthly, have yet to add a drop in >80k miles.

    Same goes for the engine - no problems with gasket leaks or usage at all. I use Amsoil 0W-30 and Amsoil filters - change the filters at 12.5k miles or 6 months, and filter/ oil at 12 months, per Amsoil instructions. Oil lab analysis has shown this to be perfectly acceptable and in fact I could probably go up to 15k miles on the filter change. Other than top-off at filter change, the engine doesn't use a drop of oil. (Wish I could say the same for my Infiniti I30 engine - great performer but uses about a quart between filter changes - same oil and filters as in Avalon).

    I have also drained the trans pan once, and refilled with Amsoil ATF (as I recall was about 5 quarts), and had the filter changed/ pan cleaned/ refilled one other time - was around the same amount of lube, maybe a little more. So most of the trans lube should be synth at this point. Even at the initial drain (90k miles), the fluid looked to be in fine shape, no discoloration or burned smell. However, I have no idea if it was original fluid/ filter or not. Never have to add ATF either.

    Needed a cv boot when I bought the car (replaced whole axle at Toyota dealer, paid for by used car dealer) - but this looked to be due to a tear from road debris as opposed to a failure - other unit is original and in fine shape. Did the tie rod ends and ball joints 20k ago - but I blame this wear as much on the crappy roads around Detroit as any fault of Toyota. Just did the right side wheel hub/ bearing - ditto on the crappy roads. Neither of these repairs seem to be chronic issues with Avalon.

    BTW my friend used to be a field engineer for Toyota, he said 250k miles should be easy, if general maintenance is followed and the timing belt replaced every 100k miles.

    I put 16" 2004 Camry wheels and Kuhmo ASX tires (215-55/16) on last year - a nice combination although the tires are overkill for this car. Have 35k miles and still about 60% tread - not bad for a $75 (Sears) W-rated tire.

    I will drive this car until the wheels fall off~ has been a great runner for me overall. 27mpg with mostly highway miles (500+ miles per week) at 70-80mph.
  • avalon03avalon03 Posts: 1
    Does anyone know whether you need to keep the car running to check the transmission fluid on an '03 Avalon? This information is usually found on the dip stick, but mine doesn't specify whether you need to keep the car running or not.
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 586
    This information is also usually found in the owner's manual. But for some reason, Toyota omits this info in the '03 Avalon manual. I looked at mine. Not there. The answer is YES, the engine needs to running. If the engine is off, the fluid level will probably indicate well above full. Make sure the fluid is warm by driving the car for a few minutes before checking, gear selector in Park. :)
  • cowman1cowman1 Posts: 1
    I want to put in some transmission fluid, but I have no idea where to put it in. I think I found the stick thing where you check it, but I can't find where to add more fluid. The owner's manual is no help either. Help, please?
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 586
    cowman1 - Here is a little basic help on AT's.......

    The fluid goes in at the dip stick tube. Use a funnel. Measure in PINTS, not quarts, this is not motor oil.
    Existing fluid should be reddish or near clear. Black may be worn out or contaminated and needs a change. Smell it. If a strong burnt odor is present, change it all, not just add.
    Add slowly. Never overfill. Too much causes internal foaming. That's bad. Engine and transmission must be normal operating temp for accurate check.
    You might also check for leaks on the ground or on the sides of the housing. Toyota's are very tight and do not generally leak. Anything.
    Properly maintained, Toyota transmissions last 200k miles or more. Many posts in attest to that.
    Hope this '99 XL was perfect at 92k when traded for a loaded '03.
  • jimmy22jimmy22 Posts: 1
    Hi,I'm new to this forum and find the posts very interesting.
    I just bought a 2005 Avalon XLS a month ago.
    It's a real smooth ride ,and I enjoy driving it. The only complaint I have is the acceleration from a dead stop is not the greatest . Anyone notice a lack of power in low gear ? My old Camry seems to take off faster . The 280HP is at it's best at the higher speeds. The dealer is going to check it out anyway. Maybe I just have to get used to it.
  • I have a 2003 Avalon which is wonderful. In test driving the 2005, I experienced throttle and transmission hesitations. I wonder if anyone else has noticed this.
  • I purchases a new 04 avalon in jan 04. At 5800 miles the transmission was replace with a remanufacture one. At 9,000 miles it developed a leak.. At 18,900 it developed a second leak. Three hundred miles later it developed leak number 3. Has anyone has had a problem likes this?
  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591
    Have a 02 Avalon. Never had a problem with the tranny. Depending where you bought it from, determines what I would do. If from a dealership, I would envoke the lemon law in the state you purchased it in if applicable. i would not want to mess with that, and obviously, who ever is fixing it, is not very comptetent. If you work for a living, I would think after three attempts, enough is enough. Get another vehicle and dive on.

  • Thanks for taking the time to give me your throughts. Have a great Xmas USAID42
  • I was told by my mechanic today that I need to have my transmission replaced. I just had the fluid changed and the car was not running very well and after further review, he said the tranny was going and going fast. I find this hard to believe so soon in a car at this mileage. Anyone out there how has heard of any problems with this? I own a 01 Avalon base model with 93K miles on it. He told me he thought I would be in the range for a 4000.00 cost for a new tranny. Comments welcome.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I hadn't heard anything previously about the Avalon transaxles but the RX300 series is developing a reputation for premature transaxle failures. While the owners manual has no recommedation for scheduled maintenance, drain and refill the ATF, Lexus is now (seemingly( recommending such procedures eevry 15,000 miles.

    The 2004 and later RX models use a DBW, e-throttle, to delay the onset of engine torque during downshift to allow the internal clutches to more firmly and fully seat and therey prevent an inordiante level of wear on the clutch surfaces.

    Some of us have begun to believe Lexus has instituted a secret warranty to cover at least some of the costs in order to keep steady or return, GOOD customers, in the "fold".
  • My mechanic told me by changing the fluid, the little "parts" were moving around inside the tranmission and causing these issues. I have been looking at the posts for the past half an hour and it doesn't look like Toyota has had any recalls on their trannys for the Avalon. I have "never" heard a tranny fail from an avalon this early in the process? was this a lemon tranny and bad luck?
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 586
    I put 92k on a 1999 XL and the car drove like a new one when traded for an '03 XL. Toyota has issues, yes. You can read about them in this and other forums. Brake pads wear too soon, rotors are too thin, front struts are weak.. all kinds of stuff. But Avalon transmissions are built to run 200k+ if properly maintained. You must change the fluid at 30k max intervals. Mine gets a flush to get it all but that may be unnecessary, just my thing. My opinion... transmission failure in '04 and prior Avalons is very rare.
  • usaid98usaid98 Posts: 10
    Every car has the possibility of having a major element go bad. In my case it was the transmission. I purchase a 04 Toyota Avalon. At 5,800 miles it(Transmission went south). It was replace with a recondition/remanufacture transmission. At 9,000 it develop a leak. At 18,000 + it develop a second leak. At 19,300 it had the 3rd leak. They are now planning to put in a 3rd transmission. My answer was to sell the car. I still feel that the Avalon is a good car and I am buying a 06. Hope this helps answer your question.
  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591

    Bad luck is bad luck. I am sorry you have had this misfortune. You did not mention how often you changed the tranny fluid and filter. Did you have this done??? Is this car driven in stop and go driving alot?? If so, did you turn the O/D off??? 93K sounds premature indeeed. I cannot see how you would buy another one.

    If you do buy another car with an auto tranny, develop a habit of not only taking it out of O/D when needed, but "back off" on the accelerator a little at its normal shift points to decrease the load on the tranny. This will make the shifts seamless and make it run much longer.

    I have an 02 XL with 77K on it, and I regularly tow a utility trailer, yesterday loaded with X-mas tree mulch for our Spring planting. The catepillar front loader must have put in about 1200 lbs worth of mulch. I drove home slowly, and put the tranny in D2 in town, and out of O/D on the state highway. I change the filter and tranny fluid about every 40K. I use slotted rotors in the front brakes and the back for the extra load and performance.

    Let us know what happens.

  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591
    I need to make a correction on the message above. I went to the local NAPA auto store in town, to check on their own data as to the 00-04 Avalon A/T change, and the assistant said every 30K. The service manual for my 02 says very little. My wife's 03 Honda Civic manual says A/T after the first 60K, then every 30K thereafter.

    A change includes a filter/kit(gasket) with the fluid change.

    Hope this helps someone.

  • My 1997 Avalon (87K miles)hesitates under hard acceleration until you ease up on the pedal. It idles okay and this problem is intermittent mostly when the engine is cold and warming up. "Check Engine Light" is off and there are no computer error codes according to local mechanic. I have just changed plugs and gas filter but it didn't help. Can anyone make any suggestions as to the cause/solution?
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    Does the CEL illuminate when you first start the car (to indicate the bulb is OK)? ;)

    FWIW: There's a lot of interesting information on although it might be a bit dated, i think the fundamentals of fuel injection scheduled by an ECU aren't drastically different in your car.

    Look under Technical Articles.

    If an engine control module were mainly there to provide fine control of scheduling fuel/air, thus the fuel injectors to admit fuel consistent with air flow and engine speed (i think there are optimum values the ECU tries to hit measuring many sensors and adjusting injector on/off duty cycles to adjust fuel flow rate and timing), then I think it is also true these modules are programmed to play additional tricks when the vehicle is first starting and also when running with the engine at sub-optimal temperature.

    Being a complete novice at this stuff (i'm interested in reading more and learning more so again, take it for what it's worth), maybe the coolant temp sensor read by the ECU to tweak the schedule mainly formed by throttle, airflow, engine speed is at fault.

    You say when the engine warms up, you are fine. So I'm thinking, I'd perhaps look at the coolant sensor. If this part isn't too much, or if you can get one from a pull-it place and find it to remove and replace it, I'd give it a shot next.
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