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Toyota Avalon - Remotes, Remote Start, Door Locks and Security System Questions



  • scoti1scoti1 Posts: 676
    Some owners of certain model 1997 - 2002 Toyotas (including Avalon) experienced a condition called engine sludge. This usually is a problem that only occurs when you don't change your oil, but people reporting sludge in these models often also reported the problem at very low miles and claimed to have properly changed the oil and maintained the car. After several years of owners having to pay out of pocket for repairs (to the tune of $3000 or more) Toyota came out with their sludge policy that provides a free fix for 8 years unlimited miles. I think, even as a buyer of a used car, you are covered under this policy. You just need to properly maintain your engine and be able to provide proof. The best proof is probably letting the dealer do your oil changes. Also, I would also recommend doing oil changes at much less than the 5,000/7,500 miles recommended in the manual. Toyota later dropped this interval to 5,000 max. Watch for signs of sludge -- smoking tailpipe is one. It also may appear that your car is using large quantities of oil. Check engine light should come on when this happens.

    There is a lot of information on the net and on Edmunds about this problem. Several other makes are now also having trouble with sludge. (Chrysler, VW,).

    About the door lock. If you unlock your car but do not open a door right away, they will lock back again. Could this be what is happening to you?
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 588
    On the engine sludge problem, I will "second" the answer posted above in #766. My '99 XL never had the problem, thru trade-in at 92k miles, but some did. Take care of the car..lose no sleep... :)
  • deepandeepan Posts: 342
    what was your maintenance schedule. i.e how many months /miles before the oil change.

    IIRC the sludge is caused by several factors combined.
    poor maintenance/no oil changes for many months
    poor design of the PCV
    short trips where the engine doesnt warm up etc..

    the PCV was addressed in 01 sienna and upwards (they have the same engine). The part is $10 and chnaging it was easy on the van. the engine does poorly when not maintained well.
  • rzrsegrzrseg Posts: 3
    Nothing unusual. It only had about 24,000 miles on it and if I remember correctly I got the oil changed around the 4000 mile mark(s). However, it did tend to sit for periods of time and then had little drives for the most part. It kinda has the same schedule now unfortunately (live close to work but usually ride my motorcycle).

    I'm planning on doing a full tune up including PVC valve and probably the timing belt and such when I dig into it for the valve noise. I keep track of my mileage now, I'll see if anything changes when I get done...assuming I can put it all back together. :D
  • Thanks for info. on the sludging. I've never had a car that had a problem with it before and then again, I do get engine flushes periodically. I will definitely keep an eye on this one.

    And as for the door lock, yes, it did happen when I unlocked the car with the remote and popped the trunk. I did not open any doors, but I was packing the trunk. This is the first car that I have owned that auto locks the door when just sitting there. Just caught me off guard. Gave me a concern. I don't want to walk away from the car for a moment and have it lock my kids in it.

    Thanks again, and thanks to everyone else who wrote in. Appreciate it very much. :)
  • dcjmdcjm Posts: 9
    Might sound silly, but I am concerned about the Smart Key (2005 Avalon) and the fact that it gives off an RF signal. Is it possible that this is a health concern? They say it is like the RF a microwave oven puts out (according to Toyota). The manual states to check people with pace makers. Maybe being paranoid, but just not sure having it in your pocket all the time is okay. Anyone know more about this?
  • rkastenrkasten Posts: 1
    I own a 2000 Avalon and would like to know how to set the auto door locks so they do not lock when you put the car in gear. The car just recently started locking the doors after I had clean the interior. I accidently hit some sequence while cleaning causing the doors to lock when the car is put in gear. The manual said to contact your Toyota dealer for this but it can't be that difficult. Any help would be appreciated.
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 588
    From the 2003 Avalon owner's manual (yours is probably the same):

    Turn everything off. Close doors. Sit in driver's seat. Selector in PARK.
    UNlock all doors with the switch. Turn ignition ON, do not start.
    Within 10 seconds push door lock to LOCK and HOLD for 5 seconds.
    The "open door warning light" will flash.
    1 flash is mode 1.
    You want mode 2. That's 2 flashes. No auto lock/unlock.
    There are 4 modes, in sequence. If you miss, it repeats.
    If you miss the procedure, start over. No problem.
    Hope this helps......
    Might want to order an owner's manual if yours is missing.....
  • rita04rita04 Posts: 1
    We just bought a 2004 Avalon. I received two black keys and tried to have more copies made at the h/w store. They said I had a transponder in my keys, gave me an instruction sheet to "program" my new key. I'm turjning ON/OFF the ignition switch and opening the door as instructed. It wouldn't accept the new one. Figuring the former lost the valet key, I cancelled all keys but one. It only "accepts" 3 keys. Now it will not accept either old or newest key. Is there an updated procedure for 2004? My sheet says 2000+ and Lexus. Or is my timing of the process too fast/slow? Is there a TSB for this? Help!
  • kmitchkmitch Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Avalon XLS and have never had a problem with the car until now. After placing my key in the ignition, I attempt to turn the key to the "ON" position to crank the car, but the key will not turn past the "ACC" setting. Is there some sort of security lock that has caused this. P.S. - The transmission is in the "Park" position.

    Any help would be appreciated.
  • ireland14ireland14 Posts: 1
    I have a 1996 Toyota Avalon have been experiencing my car alarm going off for no apparent reason. I took my car to the dealer and after several hours of checking they decided it was the remote battery. I replaced the remote battery but am still experiencing this problem. Anyone have any ideas on this topic.
  • bkean71bkean71 Posts: 2
    Get a copy of TSB EL009-00 from your dealer and follow it carefully. Make sure to unlock all doors as step 1a.
  • runner7runner7 Posts: 1
    I wish I could help. I have a 02 XLS and have started to have the same problem. Alarm is going off in parking lots and my garage. Nothing apparent is triggering it. Ended up removing the fuse for the horn/alarm so the alarm won't wake up the neighbors.
  • With my '06, it took probably 5 tries to change the setting to make the door lock at shift to/from park. One of my mistakes was having the ignition on ACC vs ON, or was it the other way around.
  • ">Wow! '02 Avalon with alarm problems...goes off many nights waking me out of deep sleep. Seems to be more frequent when nights cooling but not always. Actually took back to dealer and they couldn't figure it out. For four years now. I've adjusted the sensor switch under dash to try to make it harder to set luck. I'll keep looking through previous postings to see if someone else talked about this as early as fall '02...did you do that? Thanks for the fuse last week said to disconnect would disable the keyless/remote entry so I haven't taken the fuse step, yet. Annoying... :confuse: :confuse: <img src=" :confuse:
  • boiberboiber Posts: 1
    Did you ever get this problem fixed? I have the same problem and don't know what to do.
  • dave_bdave_b Posts: 8
    In an earlier post you mentioned, "Did you put those anti corrosion donuts on (green and red) and put lithium grease on the terminals??? I have 74K on my 02, make sure before winter that the terminals have grease or some kind of battery terminal sealer on it. The other thing I do in the spring, is take off the 6 cell covers, and with a small squirt bottle, fill up slowly and carefully with distilled H20 each cell."

    If I want to clean and perform this service on my 03, do I have any concerns with the alarm when I disconnect/connect terminals (negative off first??) - anything else??

  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591

    To my knowledge. No. I have an aftermarket alarm with a remote starter (Avital Brand). I believe the clock or radio I had to reset, cannot remember, but all the other electrical connections, and I have alot of them direct to the battery including, alarm, car starter, two sets of auxillary lights, etc. had no effect.

    This is pretty much what they do, and it is not brain surgery. I have an XL, not an XLS, but I gotta think you can disconnect the terminals without major complications. What happens when you have to change your battery. Same.

    This is easy stuff, and stuff you can feel good about doing yourself and save money at the same time. Use safety glass, gloves, have a rag to wipe up spills quickly, etc. Should be a piece of cake.

  • deepandeepan Posts: 342
    some of the higher end radios have a security code in them to prevent theft. if your radio has one and if you dont know it you might have to take it to a dealer. On the Sienna's the CE & LE have a standard radio while the XLE has one with a code. Most likely the XLs might be of the same kind. dont know for sure but i thought i'll throw that in.
  • I have a 2006 Avalon Limited with smart key (keyless ignition). I am having trouble having a remote starter installed because of the keyless system. The dealer said to embed one of key fobs into the engine compartment, but the after- market installer said this would allow anyone to approach the car and start it because the fob would be in range all the time. Does anyone have any experience with this or any information? Thanks
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