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Toyota Avalon 2005+ Transmission Questions



  • tedescm1tedescm1 Posts: 309
    Does the 2006 model still have the transmission problems which are associtate with the computer?
  • alan_salan_s Posts: 356
    Toyota will tell you that there are no problems with the transmission and that they are not making any changes. The 2006 is mechanically identical to the 2005. Some people seem to have the tranny issues while others do not.
    It is not a continual problem. It is intermittent so even if you are unlucky enough to have one that develops the problem, it will only bother you some of the time and not all of the time.
    It took Toyota nearly 3 years to correct the computer related transmission problems with the ES330 and the Camry, so I guess they will eventually come out with a fix for the Avalon, although who knows how long that will be.
  • I have noticed the same thumping noise from the rear when accelerating from a stop with my '05 XLS. I'm pretty sure its not related to the spare tire, jack, or other contents of the trunk.

    I don't think it is caused by the fuel moving in the tank. The fuel tank should have baffles that prevent the fuel from moving around too much. I also haven't heard thumping noises from the fuel tanks on any of my other Toyotas. Fuel tanks are not new technology. I suppose if the entire fuel tank itself were loose (and shifting) it could cause a thump.

    I was wondering if the thump could be related to the Strut Tower issue. Can anyone explain what the symtoms are of a faulty Strut Tower? I have a rapid ticking sound from the rear deck area and the thump on acceleration.

    I should take the car to my dealer and have these noises checked, but it would just be a waste of my time. The service department at Lia Toyata of Wilbraham, MA has made little attempt to address other problems in the past. However, I was pleasantly surprised that they managed to add the full 6.5 quartz when doing an oil change for just $35.

    Can anyone recommend a good Toyota service department in central Massachusetts?
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    in my Odyssey, i can hear faint thumping of gasoline in the tank sometimes after a fill when coming to a stop, specially in the garage. generally i don't hear it when pulling out, or hear it at all.

    that said, my Odyssey did have some metal burrs on the strut tower front-right. when going over tiny road imperfections, it would exhibit a light tapping or tick tick tick sound. i rode with a tech and he immediately identified the problem. i believe they deburred the tower, applied a lubricant and re-assembled. i haven't had a problem since.

    i know the vehicles aren't the same, but you may be on to something. you might be able to rule one possibility out: if it were gas in the tank, if you perhaps had someone push you in a level parking lot say, with the engine off and in neutral, then apply the brakes to come to a quick stop; you probably would hear a slosh back and forth perhaps twice or three times... that would probably be a quite different sound than a strut in need of servicing.

    does the ticking rate vary with vehicle speed? does the ticking change with the road surface being driven on?

    hope it helps.
  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591
    Good comments. Exactly how I feel. While I have had my share of issues with my O2, it runs superb now. The new one does not interest me at all. In fact, if I am unlikey enough to crash it, it will be replaced by a Toyota small truck or the like. Bought a 1 year old 325ci for a little back up.

  • tedescm1tedescm1 Posts: 309
    Thank you for the information.

    Is the problem really corrected on the 04 ES-330 ?
  • alan_salan_s Posts: 356
    Hard to say if it is really fixed. I drove a brand new '06 Sienna today which has the same 3.3 liter engine as the ES330 and I thought the transmission behavior was worse than the Avalon! I think Toyota has taken a retrogressive step as far as transmissions are concerned. They used to be perfect.
    I guess you'll have to drive one and see for yourself. Drive it for about 30 minutes though, both on the highway and in slow moving traffic. You will get a feel for the shift patterns.
    On the positive side, the dealer reset my Avalon's transmission computer and it feels much better.
  • lakedoglakedog Posts: 15
    The transmission shifting is never exact, it just cant make up it's mind when to shift, especially at low speeds. Every since I bought my '05 Ltd. I have been reading that many of you are experiencing the same thing. Does anybody know if Toyota is going to come out with a "fix" for this? It's got to be a computer problem, which should be easy to fix. :confuse:
  • scoti1scoti1 Posts: 676
    Toyota has issued a TSB for an ECM reflash to address the hesitation problem. It hasn't been a fix for everyone, but you may want to give it a shot if it hasn't been done to your car yet. The closed (read-only)"Engine Hesitation" and the still active "Toyota-Lexus transaxle shift delay" Edmunds forums have a lot of info that you may be interested in. This problem seemed to first arise in the Lexus ES-300, so the "Transmission problems with Lexus ES-300" Edmunds forum may also be helpful.
  • hylynerhylyner Posts: 216
    Here's some more info I posted in another forum:

    Here's some really interesting info. Like it or not,it's worth reading.
    My Internet research reveals there are at least Four (count 'em---4!!)Aftermarket Suppliers of "Transmission Performance Programmers", also called "Power Control Modules", sometimes called "Automotive Performance Computers" which are able to modify shift performance, shift points, shift firmness, and a host of other parameters for 4,5,and 6 speed automatic transmissions on every make or model of vehicle on the planet.
    That tells me (1)There's no mystery or black magic to this issue, (2)The so called "unknown fix" isn't unknown--likely Toyota included, (3)A lucrative market exists for people to change the way their trannys work--not just Toyota/Lexus, (4)Cost is modest--prices range from $125 to $400 depending how sophistcated one wants to go.
    All the confusing technobabble aside, in layman's terms, I no longer believe it's the mysterious and elusive quest we've all been obsessing about.
    That said, here's what I think this issue boils down to.
    All manufacturer's DBW throttle/transmission systems have unusual or unfamiliar characteristics. I believe those Service Tech's comments about it being a "normal" characteristic are probably correct. I believe it's likely a consistent phenomenon across the board--typical to a greater or lesser degree to all manufacturers. Auto manufacturing consistency today is higher than it's ever been, so anomalies like some suggest this may be aren't too prevailent any more.
    So I believe that complaints we are seeing have more to do with a few owners having adverse sensitivity to the issue, and most owners not noticing it nor being bothered by it.
    More research results. A small sampling to be sure, but revealing nonetheless.
    Since coming into this issue last October, I've driven 12 Toyota/Lexus products with 5 speed BBW in addition to our own two cars. Lexus 330 and RX series, Highlander, Avalons, and Camry. None has exhibited any of the delay, lurching, seeking, or prolonged hesitation. All have been seamless, smooth and quiet. I have yet to experience any of this phenomenon, and I have yet to speak directly to anyone who has.
  • scoti1scoti1 Posts: 676
    - lakedog -

    P.S. I would recommend letting Toyota give it a shot first (like I said, they have a TSB) before looking into aftermarket fixes.
  • Just purchased an '06 Avalon Limited and love the car and its features, but have had a problem that is going to have to be fixed. When driving the vehicle up any incline and the vehicle is running in overdrive or in a higher gear and the RPMs drop to around 1400-1600 rpms I get a pretty incredible shudder vibration thruout the car. I can easily accelerate out of the vibration, but under a load and at low rpms at several different speeds (happens mostly at around 40mph) I experience this problem. I have no hesitation when accelerating and don't feel the transmission or engine has any other issues, but this is really frustrating for a brand new car. The dealership has indicated they will be happy to look into the problem, but I can't get it to them for about a week. Any ideas what might be happening?
  • scoti1scoti1 Posts: 676
    You may want to check out this post and subsequent comments:

    smooth01, "Transmission problems with Lexus ES-300 ?" #1020, 15 Jan 2006 8:41 am

    Not sure if it is the same shudder that you are feeling. The Shudder-guard flush kit mentioned in the post was done by a Toyota dealer, so apparently "Toyota-approved", but it sounds like it is an aftermarket fix.
  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591

    Vibration/Shuttering at low speed. I would put high suspect on the wheels or tires being out of balance or out of round. It is possible. Have them check that first. That should be easy enough to do. Start with the tires first and work inwards. In other words, wheels, rotors, etc. Usually at lower speeds it is the tires or wheels. At higher speeds it is the rotors or axle(CV joints).

  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Is the level of additional fuel economy predicted by Sierra Research in Ca. if automotive companies were to adopt three recommended aspects of automatic transmission control. ASL, agressive shift logic (be quick to upshift), early torque converter lockup (not just in O/D, and shifting into neutral during coastdown once the engine RPM declines to idle and the brakes are applied.


    No going back to yesterday, sorry.
  • alan_salan_s Posts: 356
    Anyone know the TSB number for the ECM reflash?
  • Try TC002-03
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 586
    All these ideas may improve gas mileage, but: shifting into neutral during coastdown once the engine RPM declines to idle and the brakes are applied..... dangerous, to say the least.

    Any time a vehicle is on the road and essentially coasting in neutral with automatic and no connection to the engine, there are dozens of potential problems. Can you imagine an automatic doing this in bad weather? A disconnect to neutral? Surely not..... (Manuals are different but this is apparently a suggestion for an automatic.)
  • hylynerhylyner Posts: 216
    In light of questions put to me in other forums about my internet findings into solutions for the hesitation issue, I felt some clarification is needed--as follows:

    I am NOT suggesting anyone immediately run down to the neighborhood automotive store to buy a performance enhancer, and yes, I am aware the device would probably void one's warranty. That's decidedly a no brainer.
    My ONLY reason for raising the point was to show how solutions are already out there. This is, after all, a "problems and solutions" forum.
    And yes, different makes/models of cars require different performance enhancing devices. That's why, when one buys one of these devices, it is necessary to specify which make/model one owns, so the appropriate device is purchased. They are make/model specific--look it up on the net.
    They come in all styles and shapes, with a variety of operating characteristics and user features. The simplest ones are straight replacement CPU chips, non adjustable nor programmable. Some factory chips are non removeable, so in these cases the performance enhancing device installs in line with the transmission CPU harness. For some units, what's changed stays that way until the new chip is replaced or the unit running in parallel is removed. High end units are dashboard mount, infinitely programmable, and are capable of providing a variety of different performance characteristics, even while in motion.
    No matter how one slices and dices this issue, it's not the deep, dark, unsolvable mystery that it's thought to be.
    That's all I'm trying to say.
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