Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Toyota Avalon Steering Questions



  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591
    Can any of you skilled out there provide some tips on Power Steering Maintenance. How often, ease of doing it yourself, fluid type, etc.


  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    I pull as much as I can out of the reservoir with a large plastic syringe and refill it with factory specified fluid at each oil change.
  • Some power steering pumps actually have filters in them, so check up on that.
  • Dealer replaced rack and pinion on my 1997 Avalon at 51,000 miles. I've now got 111,000 and dealer says I need another replacement. Two times in this amount of mileage seems very excessive. I've just written a letter to the regional distributor to see if they can provide some type adjustment. I'll refer to the previous message showing someone got 50% discount at only 52,000m.

    If discount offered, advise I go with dealer or find an independent?
  • Twice? Even once is unusual. One must wonder what is causing the failures. That said I am in a similar situation with a 2003 car (not an Avalon). The steering rack was replaced at 5000 miles and again at 10,000 miles. Miles will reach 15,000 in a couple of months. It will be interesting to see if the rack needs replacing a third time.
  • john609john609 Posts: 10
    Saw the posting on the Avalon Power Steering Rack and had to comment. I too have a 1997 now w/ 112K (1 owner) all highway miles. My 1st rack went out at 63K (4 yrs & 4 months) in Jan 2001.

    My mechanic (non-dealer w/ 25 yrs experience on Toyotas) called around and found out this is one of the few American made parts on the Avalons assembled in the US. The part was changed on the 2000 model year cars and newer.

    The seals are leaking from the inside of the rack into the "rubber boot" in the middle of the rack. When you turn the wheel, the saturated boot (full of fluid) squirts out of the side. In his words, it should never happen.

    At 63K (and owning 3 Toyotas) TMC reimbursed me for the full repair under "goodwill". Colleagues at work w/ Avy's 95 and 96 model yrs checked after my problem and had the same leak.

    Dealers in the Houston area were offering lifetime warranted rebuilt replacements at approx $1000 fully installed. It took 4 trips back to the dealer to get it right, so be patient. No problems since.

    Sorry to reply so late, but I did not log on for awhile.
  • mcescher1mcescher1 Posts: 37
    1) When this new (15000 mile) car starts up in extremely cold weather, below freezing, there is a distinct whistle or hiss for a half minute or so, which then stops. 2) When it starts in normal weather, when the wheel is turned, there is a hiss for a few seconds until the car warms up. 3) When it is fully warm, when the wheel is turned all the way to either side, it sounds like it is scraping against something a bit. Does anyone have any idea what causes all this? The steering fluid level is full. Thanks.
  • csv1csv1 Posts: 3
    My 2001 Avalon also has a slightly noisy steering column/wheel, most apparent in cold weather, and only when I am parking rather than driving. I liken the noise to a moan more than a squeal. The maintenance departments at two different dealers both have said they can find nothing wrong.
  • I posted on oil leaks thinking I had an unusual problem. A reply from Nomad 56 and after reading all these postings I see it's a common problem. I have added a sealer to the fluid and so far it seems to be working. I haven't seen any fluid on the ground so far and I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I'll post in a few days with the results. Probably to good to be true.
  • I added AT-205 RE-Seal and it worked for a few days but started to leak again.Found a after market rack with a lifetime warranty ($400) plus $200 labor and alignment. About how many miles will sludge problem start,if it's going to?
  • lookseelooksee Posts: 8
    Had my 97 Avalon serviced in Feb which included a power steering flush along with other things I probably didn't need but oh well ($$$). Dealer did a bad alignment. I schedule a return visit, plus need the rotors turned. Hit a pot hole on Tue and bend the rim. Fix rim. On Fri dealer says the rack is leaking (fluid in bellows boot), I have never seen a drip on garage floor. He doesn't know how he missed it in Feb.

    Quote is $1,200 to replace, plus all new tires. My feeling is he thinks he has a fish.

    With no noticeable steering problem, could he be pulling my leg? Also I priced a replacement part on the web at around $300.

    I think I should run from this dealer. Any help since I am a novice.
  • danielj6danielj6 Posts: 285
    Your Avalon is way out of warranty. Why are you still taking it to dealer service? You should perhaps get a private, reliable and trusted shop to do the work. Good shops abound, ask around. But, you should really run from the dealer or otherwise stay and help them pay their overhead.
  • petras2petras2 Posts: 104
    hi and thanks in advance...on a recent brief inspection of my 98 avalon, the mx said the steering shaft joint was bad and service manager stated that required replacement of the entire rack at a cost of around $1200... can just the shaft joint be replaced? currently i have no steering leaks or noticeable problems with the steering...also after replacing the front strut mounts with a modified version, the rattling noise has returned after less than 14k mi.. dealer refuses to give me a break on a reinstall since it's beyond the one year warranty...has anyone had repeat problems with the strut mounts?
  • deepandeepan Posts: 342
    i recently bought a 96 avalon and according to the service history the Rank & pinion was changed.

    also the temp guage is a tiny bit above the halfway mark. Coolant and themostat were changed and a reputable garage in town assures me that it should be fine. Could the gauge be faulty or could there be something else.
  • mikes.mikes. Posts: 335
    My '96 XL has ran the gauge slightly above the halfway point since the day I bought it. I wouldn't worry about it.

  • My daughter's 1996 hail damaged Avalon with only 45,000 miles developed a power steering leak. She could hardly make turns and when she did, there were loud noises. I took it to the dealer and they put in a new rack and pinion including wheel alignment for $800 plus tax. Now the steering is working correctly. While I was there, the dealer recommended replacing the timing belt ($285), replacing the drive belts ($206), something about the front seals and 60,000 mile maintenance ($707), and something about the valve cover gaskets escaping oil ($ 505). With only 45,000 miles, is it really necessary to do all those things?
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 586
    Here's an opinion:

    Timing Belt - An 9 year old timing belt is a liability. Replace it.

    Drive Belts - If they are original, they are probably wearing out. Replace them.

    Cover Gaskets - If they leak, they need to be replaced (maybe just tighten the bolts a little and see if that helps first.) If they don't leak, leave them alone.

    Seals, I am not familiar with, need someone else to answer that one.

    The 60k maintenance will change a lot of fluids, etc., and you may need it. How often do you change all fluids in the past? Read the owners manual about this, then decide. The price sounds high at $700. Check around for a better deal.

    Hope this helps, others may offer comments as well......
  • If you are going to keep the car for several more years change the fluids, belts, and hoses.


    My 96 has 70K miles. Still has the OE front brakes with lots of lining left. All of the hoses and belts look and feel okay. Can't see the timing belt. Have not changed plugs yet.


    Car runs fine, but will change everything, including the front brakes, before the car goes to college in the fall.


    Fluid changes around here are about $110 for transmission (flush), $90 for radiator flush, and $70 for brake fluid flush. Brakes run from $200 to $450. By the time I renew everything the cost will be close to $2000 (tires and shocks too). That's a lot to spend on a ten year old car that isn't worth much more than the renew costs, but is still a lot less than a new car.
  • jdonzjdonz Posts: 1
    My 1996 toyota avalon also just got a power steering leak at the pump. However I have 163K miles on mine. I took care of avalon and it has run forever however now on trade in they are only offering me $1800 for it. I have a hard time paying the $600 for the power steering repair just to get possibly $2000 on trade in the enxt few months. Take care of your avalon and it will run forever.
  • miket99miket99 Posts: 6

    "a defect in the steering wheel column that could result in a loss of control of the vehicle, the company and U.S. safety regulators said on Monday. "
This discussion has been closed.