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2005-2007 Toyota Avalon

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  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    Ok guys, seriously now. Production is still at the TMMK in Kentucky. I was just trying to lighten things up! Toyota has spoiled us with their great products throughout the years that we have come to expect nothing but perfection on their vehicles and when there is a defect or defects we cry FOUL! I went through the same thing with our 92 Camry. After owning a Celica and then the Toyota Vanwagon LE which gave us years of trouble free service we bought the made in Kentucky Camry. I thought "Hmm an American Toyota. I bet the car is not the same as the ones made in Japan." It was a first year model and I had always heard about first year models having "bugs that needed to be worked out" etc..etc. And so I the seed had been planted and I started looking for defects and I found them. The first was an annoying glove compartment door that would suddenly pop open when going over rough pavement or bumps. Engine mounts that sounded like I stepped on our house dog, and a gas cap holder, not the gas cover but the holder inside the door that broke off the first time I filled the tank with gas. I made a list and headed to my nearest Toyota dealer which by the way was not the one where I had purchased the car at and they fixed everything for me with a smile on their face. After these "defects" were fixed all we did was the normal maintenance and the car was trouble free until some guy decided to fall asleep at the wheel and rear ended my wife and caused a four car pile up in the middle of rush hour traffic one summer evening about four years ago. My point is if you go looking for defects you will probably find them in any car first year or not. No car is perfect although Toyota manufacturing is striving for that. Until that day gets here, vehicles will come with warranties, written and implied so that any defects will be corrected and the vehicle works as advertised. I always try my best to inform Edmund's readers and forum members about Toyota vehicles and also inject some levity once in while so that we can step back and look at ourselves in a different light and realize that maybe things aren't as bad as they seem. Everyone have a great Labor day weekend, enjoy your families and your time off and be safe.
    :D
    Mackabee
  • If the streets are too close together, it could show your car on the wrong street. In my nav on my 300M, I put an address that I pass just before arriving home as my home address. I just as soon not have my home address stored in the NAV for security reasons. So why not do the same--just plug in a nearby address that you pass on your way home (so that it would say that you have arrrived at your destination.) There's no need to buy the costly update just to get your home address recognized.
  • Thanks Greg. Yup, looked @ pages 368-369 and there it is just like you said. I'll show it to the dealer tomorrow as their previous response was they couldn't be adjusted!

    NWBLIZZARD
  • >> I just as soon not have my home address stored in the NAV for security reasons

    You know. I do the same thing.

    But then I realize that most of us have our home address in the car registration slip in our glove box. :surprise: :P

    JR
  • algeealgee Posts: 78
    Any idea how to safely remove the XM antenna (factory installed)?

    I'm going to either move it or change to a Terk and put it either above the rear window or mid trunk at the rear window.

    I'm told the XM reciever is in the trunk---anyone know for sure where it is?

    Thanks all for the great group and in advance for the help

    Oh, heres another question. Do you notice (if you were a previous Buick owner) that the ride is harsher on the Avalon? Guess I'm used to the softer suspension.

    I almost belive they mislabeled my car and its a touring model :-)
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    actually I am. Leased 2 trucks both Chevys for my company in 1999 through a leasing co. Glesby Marks here in Houston. Glesby had a supply deal with a dealer and did get some good 'prices' on both. I drive a lot of miles - so standard leases as outlined in my previous post would be even more ridiculous. Glesby owned the vehicle for the entirety of the lease - the payments being very high due to the lease duration (example: 36 months at $1100.00+ tax/mo. on a Suburban for $31K 'purchase price' and the interest rates (almost double bank rates). This was an 'operating lease' so there was nothing due Glesby at the end of the lease - but there was a rub. The company expenses the entire value of the vehicle with the lease payments so therefore, any remaining value at the end of the lease (noted on Glesby's transfer of title to my company) of the trucks became a taxable capital gain for the company. If your co. turns around and 'gives' you the car they can write off the gain but you have taxable income. Since your Avy will probably be worth $20k+ at that time and if you/your company are going to be straight with the IRS, you will have to address this and also work out a way (if you are in Texas) to pay the sales taxes twice. Did not do this again because bottom line the trucks did end up costing more - more than compensating for that initial 'great price'. 'Commercial' leases are indeed different - but there are no free lunchs! Would guess that you could not pay cash to this leasing co., actually buying for the car for the price they are 'selling ' it to you.
  • Just to remind everyone that photos of my 05 Limited chromed wheels are seen in posts 5275 and 5287. I paid $700 for these, vs dealer quote for $1000. While I would really rather have custom 18 inch wheels with fewer spokes, I didn't want to switch tires. I'm sure living in LA helps, plenty of tire-rim stores around, so getting swap-out wheels was no problem.

    One bonus of having chromed rims is that they never get dirty. The brake dust doesn't adhere to the wheel. I have them on my 2000 Avalon XLS also.

    Max
  • I have successfully integrated a backup camera into my NAV system. It automatically replaces the navigation information whenever the transmission is in reverse. It provides an unobstructed wide angle field of view. Here's how I did it:

    I obtained a Viewtech video controller here - http://audioandvideointerfaces.com

    I obtained a reverse image camera here - http://autotoys.com

    To install, I used 22-18ga vampire splices to connect the controller and camera to the Avalon's wiring. I used grommets and silicone to seal the hole in the trunk needed to pass the camera wires.

    Remove the rear license plate to provide access to the rear of the bumper housing. Remove the plastic covering in the back of the trunk by pulling the bottom toward the front of the car to undo the push retainers that attach it. Then, pull upward on it to remove the remaining push retainers. Remove the driver's side trunk panel by removing the two round retainers and then the panel. The navigation controller is anchored with three 10mm bolts. The wiring cover on the back of the controller unhooks to provide access to the connectors.

    I used a 1" forstner bit to drill the hole for the camera. I put the camera about 1" below the overhang for the license plate area and centered between the license plate and the bumper. I drilled a 3/8" hole in the sloping area on the back of the trunk to pass the camera's power and video cables. Use a 3/8" grommet in the hole to protect the camera cables. After passing the camera cables through the grommet, fill the space between the cables and the grommet with silicone sealant (I used black, but clear or any color will work).

    I connected the Viewtech controller and reverse image camera to existing wires terminating at the 18 pin connector to the navigation ECU (rear-most connector). I used splices (vampires) to connect the camera +12V to the Viewtech +12V red wire; and the camera ground wire to the Viewtech gnd black wire. I spliced the Viewtech +12V red wire to the red wire in in position 9 of the 18 pin connector; the Viewtech gnd black wire to the gray wire in position 1; and the Viewtech backup gray wire to the black wire in position 14. I set the Viewtech controller on top of box-like floor mat covering the navigation controller.

    The camera works well. It can be positioned to view downward to include the road directly behind the car.

    Greg Brown
  • Perhaps I'm just being picky, but how many clips do you guys have for the driver floormat? I see two holes, but I only have one clip.
  • Update to my previous post.

    The red wire in position 9 of the 18 pin connector is always hot. I have moved the Viewtech 12V connection from pin 9 to the blue wire at pin 18. Pin 18 is hot only when accessory or ignition is on

    GB
  • fragmire, Mine came with two clips. They were in a plastic bag in the glove box, look there. If not ask your dealer for one more, he shouldn't charge you.
    Mac you sound like your much better. Stay well my friend.
  • Does anyone know whether the Avalon uses a timing belt or does it use a timing belt. The chain would more durable. A belt would have to be replaced at some point.

    If it uses the belt, when does Toyota reccommend changing it.
  • The pictures of chromed wheels you posted are great. They are identical to the ones I received on my Avalon. I don't think most folks could do better price wise. This seems to be the going rate. For $700.00 extra you received the wheels with the car, tires mounted and balanced. Why go after market?
    Tips for removing the factory XM antenna and hooking up the Terk micro unit would be appreciated. It appears double sided tape was used to secure the current antenna. Was there any problem removing the existing trunk mounted antenna? Did the paint stand up to the relocation? How is the XM radio reception?
  • I have been trying since January to find a 2005 XL without Moonroof (so I can get some additional Headroom) I just saw the first XL without moonroof at a dealer within a reasonable distance.

    At this point, I'm curious to compare 05 vs 06..

    According to Edmunds, the 06 is $300 more, The 06 has less rated Horsepower (not important to me) and offers optional traction and stability control.

    From a features standpoint, is that it?

    Are 06 XLs without moonroof more common than 05?
  • 5539655396 Posts: 529
    "Why go after market?"

    The reason that I go aftermarket is for greater selection, allowing me to get exactly what I want, I probably won't see another like it, and it gives me a second set of wheels/tires for winter, so I can keep my first choice in mint condition. Swapping also gives me variety, and I can install a less expensive, more aggressive tire for winter. Yes, I have to buy another set of tires, but I also have a second set of pristine wheels/tires to sell, or put on my next car, when I trade or sell. It's also a bit more of a pain in the butt to change and store, but to me, it's worth it.
  • wynwyn Posts: 32
    The floormat clips furnished in Avalons in NC are poorly designed and will push the grommet out of the carpet during installation. I have two ragged holes with the grommets down underneath somewhere. The dealer has stopped installing them. He offered to replace the carpet but I elected to wait for Toyota to come up for a less serious solution---The seats must be removed to replace the carpet. It appears the upper lip on the grommets were also too narrow to prevent pushing through with minimum force. I discussed the problem with Toyota several times and sent them pictures but have heard nothing from them in a couple months. My Avalon is an 05 XLS and was delivered in April.
  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    Marv, just taking it one day at a time. I got a call from the oncology clinic today to tell me who my new Dr. will be as my Dr. retired earlier this month. My new doc is a woman and her name is Dr. Crook! I told the nurse; "I hope that's not a bad omen" and she replied: "Actually she has been handling it pretty good! Everyone ribs her about her last name" I get to meet her on the 28th of this month. Wish me luck!
    :)
    Mackabee
  • That's a good explanation. The way my deal works is, I'll drive the Avy as a company car for three years (or 60K miles). At that point, I order a new car and when the new car arrives, I can buy the Avy for the remaining balance or just give it back to the company to let it go to a wholesaler. It's generally a great deal to buy the car as long as you start with a car that has strong residual value and you've had the car for 36 months. The last car I had was an Acura 3.2 TL which I was able to buy for $12,300. I then traded it in on a new Honda Accord EX which I bought for invoice price +TTL. The dealer gave me $15,700 trade in for the Acura. I agree with you that the commercial leasing company would probably not sell you the car for cash at the same price. :)
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,083
    Thanks for the update. Had it on my list to email you to ask myself.
  • Tips for removing the factory XM antenna and hooking up the Terk micro unit would be appreciated. It appears double sided tape was used to secure the current antenna. Was there any problem removing the existing trunk mounted antenna? Did the paint stand up to the relocation? How is the XM radio reception?

    rosebud3 -

    I mounted a Terk antenna under the front windshield, never had the original antenna mounted on the trunk. So - I never had to remove the original. However, others have successfully removed, relocated the trunk mounted antenna, and have done so without damaging the paint. Don't know if there is any special process required - I don't think so.

    I believe the XM radio reception is slightly degraded by moving the antenna to an internal location. In everyday use in LA, reception is fine, but cuts out when blocked by trees. On the open road, reception is perfect. Difficult to compare what I have (internal) with what I never had (external). Someone else made some signal strength measurements and concluded there was some loss moving the antenna from outside to inside. Again, as a practical matter, reception is just fine with inside antenna. To me, it was more important to get the lump off my car.

    Max
  • algeealgee Posts: 78
    Review of Avalon Limited after 500 miles and 2 weeks. The car had 8 miles on it when received.

    I purchased an Avalon Limited Phantom Grey about 2 weeks ago and have put 500 miles on it. It included the NAV system, VSC, Laser Cruise as well as XM radio

    I traded in a 2002 Avalon XLS

    Prior to owning the 2002 I owned a 1998 Buick Lesabre limited and many Buicks prior to that.

    Let me say that prior to buying I read this forum for weeks and months ahead of time. I took a list of items with me to check prior to the purchase. The items included those that people have listed on this forum. They included:

    1. door rattles,
    2a. window rattles
    2b Passenger seat rattles
    3. distortion in rear window
    4. steering pull to the right
    5. brake fade
    6. seat comfort
    7. engine hesitation
    8. XM Radio installation and operation
    9. Fog light looseness
    10 Door locks
    11.Tire pressure
    12.Road noise
    13 Wind noise
    14.Overall ride
    15. Rear window shade operation
    16. Rain sensor operation
    17. Fit and finish
    18. Nav system
    19. Laser Cruise

    The 2002 Avalon compared very favorably to the Buicks and had very comfortable seats, with road noise about the same. No trouble with the 2002 Avalon in about 4 years. The Buicks had more problems. Now with that said, lets talk about the new 2006 Avalon.

    The car was road tested for about 1 1/2 hours on highway and side road conditions and included a bumpy road and a to the floor test at a highway entrance, before I accepted it. All of the items listed above as well as others of less importance were checked. I was the only passenger

    The car has plenty of room everywhere for my 5'10 size. The back seats are great. The trunk is a little smaller but not by much and is quite adequate.

    The new start/stop system worked flawlessly and I like it

    Item

    1, 2a and 2b. None of the doors,or windows or seats had any rattles when the windows were fully or partially opened. These were tested on each type of road.
    The passenger seat never had any rattles at any speed or road type .
    -------------------------------------------------- In fact nothing rattled anywhere in the car.

    3. There does appear to be a very small amount of distortion near the top of the window but I would probably would have not noticed it if I had not read about it on the forum.----------------------------------- Not considered a deal breaker fault

    4. There was no steering pull noticed at any time and I would have noticed it as the 2002 had it and it took several months for the tires to wear on it to stop it. A dealer alignment did not help on the 2002.

    5. I did not notice any brake fade when stopping hard several times. The brake pedal is located closer to the floor than that on the 2002 or the Buicks but does not appear to give any problem. The brakes seems to stop well.

    6.Seat comfort-- This was where I saw the biggest problem. The front seats are no where near as comfortable as the 2002 Avalon leather seats.
    Actually 1 1/2 hours testing was not enough to find out that the driver seat does not support your seat and back any where near as well as the 2002. I even called Toyota about that.

    I am about 220 pounds it feels like I am sitting on a board after a while. Now, yes, I'm a little heavy, but I bet there are a lot more people in this range. There is not enough cushion-period. I never had any problem with the 2002 even for long trips. This car will not be as nice to drive for long trips without additional cushioning. There is nothing wrong with the seat and I tried a multitude of positions and lumbar support positions. ------------------------Must have been a cost-cutter item.

    7. Engine hesitation- I did not notice any real hesitation. It is a little different than the 2002 or the Buicks but seems to be in the way you hit the gas pedal. When I accelerate slowly there is a difference but I can't say it is a real hesitation, it more like I have to push with less force on the pedal than I'm used to. Its really not a problem. When I used a hard accelerate, it responded quickly and sure does have more pull than the 2002. ------------------------------Again, no problem

    8. XM radio-- The car came with XM radio install by the "factory" or Southeast distributors". The antenna is about 1 1/2 sq, in., black and mounted on the passenger side of the trunk 1/2 way toward the bumper. The radio plays well and displays the station, artist, and song name on the information screen.
    I found the radio to be located in the trunk on the right side wall and there is enough excess wire to relocated the antenna to the center of the trunk near the rear window, which looks a lot better. I have not noticed any reduction in signal quality to date. I had Best Buy radio installers do the moving. Took about half hour and cost me $16. The info display will allow you to see up to 18 preset stations as bunles of 6 at each push of the mode button on the steering wheel.
    The antenna is magnetic with tape used in addition. did not use tape in the new location and have been threw the car wash with no trouble. Used the mag. mount for around 4 years on previous cars with no trouble. They are very strong magnets
    -- Excellent

    9. Fog Lights --- I found them to very slightly loose but not enough to tighten them anymore as it may cause stress and may break the lights. I believe they were meant to be that way.

    10. Door locks-------- I found no problems with either the doors opening/closing or any of the locks operation that was mentioned in this forum. I have experienced the horn honks when opening or locking the doors that some have reported. The car only beeps

    11. Tire Pressure--- The tires did come with 40 lbs pressure in them for some inexplicable reason. I reduced it to 32lbs when cold.

    12. Road noise-- This is another area that I'm not as pleased with. The road noise/tire noise from the Michelin tires is too much. Although it is about the same or a little more than the 2002 with the Michelin tires. There is no additional undercoating (Toyoguard) on this car.

    I would think they could do better. These tires are harder (higher tread wear than the 2002) and will probably last a little longer but that makes them noisier and they don't take the bumps as well. Bring back the Buick for this one. :-)

    13. Wind noise--- The wind noise is not objectionable and is similar to the 2002 but quieter than the Buicks at speeds up to 85.

    14. Overall ride --- The overall ride is somewhat harsher than the 2002 Avalon or the Buicks. It feels more like a mild sports car ride than the softer ride I'm used to.
    However, its not bad and I will get used to it. It seems more sure footed when going around corners (handling) than the 2002 but only somewhat.

    15.Rear window shade--- Works well and automatically goes down when you put the car into reverse (nice touch). I have not had any of the problems people listed on this site.
  • algeealgee Posts: 78
    16.Rain sensing wipers--have worked flawlessly on 2 occasions . They turned on and off at what I thought was the right time.

    17. NAV system -- I used a dash mounted Garmin unit before that had the entire U.S. in it. That was nice. Go from one coast to the other by address without having to change regions that you have to do in the Toyota unit.

    The joy stick is easy to get used to but the startup screen requirement every time you start the car is a pain. Also, not being able to change the map without stopping is also a pain. The voice system appears to work most of the time but the number of commands to learn and are not available on-screen is also almost insurmountable.
    The unit is not as sensitive to streets that are close together and sometimes thinks you are on a different street.

    However, it may have a steep leaning curve but if you like this sort of thing , crack open the book and practice with it.

    Other items-- The little doors over the radio and NAV system controls are perfectly aligned and I have had no trouble with them.

    The cars fit and finish is excellent inside and out. Seams do line up at the dash and door as well as elsewhere. Tail pipes are aligned.

    In conclusion, I like the car overall and would probably buy it again but the seats would be the biggest reason not to
    The car is the result of a great improvement in design and I have received several compliments.

    Al
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 588
    From a potential buyer of a 2006 Avalon, ThankS for the honest opinions of what you like (or don't like) about the car. :)
  • rhackrhack Posts: 24
    See my post #'s 6231 and 6593
  • Has anyone beside Bakeroid had a Motorola Bluetooth Kit installed in your 2005/2006 Avalon? If so, where was the chrome keypad placed ? Do the sound come thru your stereo speakers? If the radio is playing and a phone call come thru, does it mute the radio, so your conversation can be heard? Who did the installation and for how much?

    I'm choosing between an Acura MDX and the Avalon, but the Avalon does not come with Bluetooth and the MDX does.

    Thanks in advance, for those who are able to answer. Thanks.

    Tee
  • XM radio antenna relocation seems practical. No one has said the paint becomes scratched or chipped when the antenna is moved. I've considered locating the antenna outside, on the trunk, in front of the ' 3rd' brake light or above the rear window if the rubber seal surrounding the glass is not compromised and prone to future leaks. Any comments or ideas are appreciated.
    Now for the good news...tonight I will ride in my '06 Avalon Ltd. for the first time. With my foot in a cast until 9/6/05 my wife has been breaking in the car for me. Working from home recently I have walked outside each morning on crutches and waved good-bye to the car...I mean, 'wife' as she leaves for work. It's difficult not to pout.
    So far, my impression of the car remains favorable. Fit and finish is very good and there are no obvious problems. I have actually read the owners manual. It is interesting what is said about keeping the 'smart key' away from electronic devices such as cell phone. The suggestion was to maintain some distance between the 'smart key' and a cell phone for example. Lucky me, I won't toss my 'smart key' and cell phone into a purse. I may consider placing the 'smart key' in one pants pocket and my cell phone on my 'far' hip.
  • I'd like to think I did my research also. I brought my car over the internet. I had dealerships calling me with prices and I turned them down. I went to other dealerships and liked Molle better all around. They gave me the best price by far! I and you know, your friend may be an exception, but women are known to get a worst deal then men. I still think I did ok. I even got a lower interest rate because I was preapproved through my credit union and Molle beat their rate. I know everyone is not going to get the same deal as someone in the business. I have no regrets, but it just makes me ill that people have to play games according to who you are. Of course, the internet sales manager kept saying 'We are giving this car away'. I said "If you are giving this car away, I wouldn't have to make payments". I didn't buy the door side moldings from Molle because they said they didn't have them and if they get them, they would cost me $399. At first it wasn't a big deal. Only a desired look. Nothing to do with performance. My first priority was a better, more powerful car than what I was currently driving ('96 LHS). I've had the car since June 29th and EVERY day I like it more than the previous day. I haven't had ANY of the problems stated in this post. That in itself makes what I paid for it worth it! If at this point, I feel like I have been taken, I now realize the deal was made and I have what I have. I got this car for appx $2,000-$3,000 less than the other dealers were quoting me. I still had them knock off another $500 and fax me the quote so when I arrived at the dealership to sign the papers, they wouldn't change the price. I am satisfied. :D I was stating the fact that as a rule, females do not get the respect and deals that males get. Buyers deal with negotiations about every 2-4 years, whereas dealers and people like yourself deal with this more often and know more of the ends and outs of the games dealers play. My initial statement to you was 'I was disappointed that they quoted me double the price for the side moldings than they did you because of your knowledge of the sales business'. All the way to the end of my ownership of this car, I know I will be happy. A couple of hundred dollars difference on accessories here or there will not change the way I feel about this car! :P No hard feelings, just stating the facts and happily driving my Avy ;)
  • 307web307web Posts: 1,033
    Is there a difference in comfort?
  • From what I have read, as well as some personal experience, the Limited seats have less cushioning since they have to accomodate the cooling fans. Personally, I don't find it to be an issue (5' 8", 130 lbs., in case anyone is wondering). I do have to say that my 2001 Avalon XLS with leather seats was more comfortable, regardless of the position I sit in.
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