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Toyota Avalon (Prior to 2005) Transmission Questions



  • Hello all !

    I have a 1998 Avalon XLS with 110,000 miles. The problem I am having is with the transmission. It works fine,, shifts fine except when I am starting out from a stop. When I hit the gas, it jumps forward and takes off. Other cars I have owned, it seems like there is a gradual shift into gear without it jerking forward but on this car it feels as if it hits the gear hard and the car jumps forward. I bought the car used last year with 97,000 miles on it so i dont know that much of the car history. I checked the tranny fluid and its clear pink without any unusual odor.

    Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.

  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    If you happen to mean "california stops", not quite coming to a full stop, then for a car with that many miles that might be your problem. Otherwise you're probably driving with a transaxle that will soon need a rebuild.
  • I have a 2000 XLS with 306,000 miles. All I've done is service it every 90,000
    miles when I changed the timing belt. I have had to replace the struts and once
    the ball bearings, but that's it. The motor and transmission run great and I am
    told by the oil change folks the oil is as clear as a new car. In fact, I am wondering
    what failure is most likely to leave me "high and dry" while on the road?

  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    More modern, say beginning in '98, FWD & F/AWD vehicles DO NOT downshift into 1st gear during lift throttle coastdown periods until/unless the vehicle comes to a full and complete stop. If you happen to try to accelerate just prior to this downshift you will always get a jerky acceleration.

    You can somewhat avoid this "feature" via manually downshifting into first as you roll to(ward) a stop, and before gas pedal depression.

    Later models use DBW to prevent a rise in engine RPM until the downshift is complete, softening the GO...

    You might also want a technician to check for slack in the (cable) coupling from the gas pedal to the throttle butterfly valve.
  • AAA reports that most breakdowns on the road are due to fairly simple things like bad belts, hoses, blow-outs.

    If you've never had radiator renewed or new water pump, you're pushing your luck there. If you've never had a catalytic converter, then it's well beyond its life span.

    Also I'd put your car on the lift and have things tightened up and checked for structural issues, like cracks in suspension mounts. Also a good time to check for leaks, including oil, water and exhaust.
  • I have a 1995 Toyota Avalon with a leaking transmission. My car is in really good condition, but does have 203k miles on it. She runs well, and has been really well taken care of, but that pesky tranny leak is getting to be an issue. I keep adding fluid and adding a sealer to it to keep it from leaking but it still loses about 2 quarts every 6 weeks or so. I read on another site that resealing the entire transmission would stop the leaking, but I don't know how to do that and I would prefer to do it myself, rather than take it to a mechanic.

    Does anyone know how to:

    how to reseal the entire transmission toyota avalon 1995??


    Have any other suggestions on how to stop the transmission from leaking????

    Any suggestions are MUCH needed and welcome!!!!! I LOVE my car and don't want to get rid of her! I know that she can be fixed! She's a GREAT car, she just needs a little TLC! PLEASE HELP!!!!!
  • It really depends on where it's leaking as to what you can and can't do yourself.

    I don't think adding sealer is a good idea, but at this point the damage has been done. Sealers swell the seals up and they usually don't work anyway, especially on the types of seals that work on rotating shafts.
  • I have a 2000 Avalon that has been very reliable with all scheduled maintenance (every 3 months), other than a replaced catalytic converter and brakes last year. But for two days now, I have had to park it on a level spot in my yard rather than my barely-sloped driveway, as it won't lock into park and begins to roll back when I lift my foot from the brake. I'm wondering if anyone can offer an educated diagnosis before I take it in for a possibly expensive check-up. Thanks in advance for any help.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    You should be using, primarily, the parking, or E-brake when parking on an incline. Using only "park" can result in the vehicle sliding, spontaneously sliding (middle of the night) on a slippery/icy inclined surface.
  • When a vehicle transmission is placed in "park", the transmission is either mechanically or electrically locked up. Some part of this mechanism is either broken or not working on your 2000 Avalon, and it probably can only be correctly fixed by "expensive check up and repair", since transmission repairs usually fix that description.

    The solution of using the parking brake should be considered a temporary fix at best, until the real problem is corrected.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    edited January 2011
    Why do you consider the use of the parking brake only a temporary fix..?

    Using the shift lever park position only locks the driveline, therefore only locking the drive wheel with the most traction. Put one drive wheel on a slippery surface, ice, and the open diff'l will undoubtedly do it's thing, allowing the tractionless tire to roll, FREELY roll, backwards to the direction of motion, DOWN the incline.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,023
    Not that I am disagreeing with your statements, but how many people you know actually use a parking brake with an automatic transmission unless they are parked on fairly steep incline?

    If the OP's car used to stay put in park and now it doesn't something needs repair.

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Personally If I couldn't somehow fix it myself I wouldn't spend the money to have it fixed, just use the e-brake.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,023
    That would be my choice as well, especially on an older car.

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • A recipe for disaster. If another person drives the vehicle (or the owner forgets) and uses the non-working transmission "park", the vehicle is basically left in neutral to roll wherever.

    As tjc78 says, most folks do not use the e-brake to park.

    I would consider a vehicle with a non-working transmission park position to be a safety hazard with possible liability.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    You've never heard of PLACARDING the dashboard..?
  • My Avalon dashboard doesn't have a PLACARD holder.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Gorilla Glue....
  • jothevirgojothevirgo Posts: 1
    my daughter bought a 1995 avalon xls in sac cali. they test drove it for a little while and found no problem. the time they spent driving it from sac did not have any problem until they get to daly city cali which is about in between 130 to 150 miles away, started jerking and stopped running. engine runs well but i smell like burning oil or fluid by the tranny. it will drive after 5 mins of rest (i turn the engine off and start it again after 5 mins then drive but starts to jerk especially uphill). did these things happen to anyone here? by the way the car has 223000 miles in it. is it a transmission issue or what? checked the fluid and theres like near cold level in dip stick.
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