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2005-2007 Toyota Avalon

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  • I've had my 2006 Ltd since 11/05 and have experienced consistent hesitancy or lag especially in stop & go traffic and merging onto freeways etc. It's been annoying me to no end. Discussed it with Toyota service during the 5000 mile service and told "normal characteristic" of the car. Drove another 06 Ltd on the lot and experienced the same. While "researching" this issue I found this forum about a month ago and have been reading several posts citing the same issue. It's had become apparent to me it was the drive-by-wire (DBW) technology and computer programming on this vehicle. An obvious design flaw or so I thought, until...

    Two weeks ago while driving in HEAVY stop & go traffic I just happened to notice I was NOT experiencing any hesitancy, the car had become "uncharacteristic ally" VERY responsive. After about 2 miles of bumper-to-bumper stop & go traffic and trying to figure why my car had suddenly become a responsive powerhouse it hit me...my foot placement on the accelerator was different. Normally I toe between the brake and acclerator pedals but this time, for some strange reason I was moving my entire foot. The entire length of my foot was on the gas when I accelerated. I'd give the pedal an slight nudge and the car accelerated very smoothly, evenly, and without any hesitation. Couple days later I was again in heavy stop & go, and noticed hesitancy with acceleration and I recalled my foot position from the time before. I changed my foot position to full foot on the pedal and what do you know...COMPLETE resolution and car was again very responsive.

    I know it sounds crazy, stupid, unbelievable, asinine, whatever...but since this discovery I can actually CAUSE my care to either hesitate in traffic or be very responsive to input on the accelerator simply by altering the position of my foot. I've since made a conscious effort to alter my driving habit (full foot on instead of toeing) and haven't had one episode of hesitancy, lag, or unresponsivness since. I've also noticed increased MPG during my 70/30 highway/city drive week. Have gone from 24 MPG to 29MPG this past week and a half.
  • rosendorosendo Posts: 1
    Great to find some so determined to find the noise problems that plague us. If you have any information you can share with me regarding the front passenger side seat noise and rattle on the rear shelf (behind the back seat) I would be greatly appreciative.
  • joe369joe369 Posts: 61
    I just got murdered by a riced out dodge neon in my '06 Avalon :-(!!!! It was quite embarassing to have a econobox beat this fine car....urgh Anyone know of any decent mods for the avalon?
  • sully63sully63 Posts: 3
    I was pretty jazzed about buying a new 06 Touring but after reading this nightmare of threads I'm rethinking this decision. I know that people don't typically come to these forums and write about successes but there has to be more than the couple I've read here.

    Do all the posters here hate this car????

    I was also considering the Maxima SL and the Lucerne CXL (perhaps the Azera but first model year scares me).
  • No, everyone here doesn't hate the car. IMHO just a few. I enjoy mine. The transmission doesn't hesitate and the DBW accelerator works smoothly because I know how to put my foot on the accelerator pedal correctly. I have no rattles, my MPG average 18-19 around town and 28-29 on the highway. The engine has a different sound than other engines but what engine doesn't. I know some people have problems, but I believe some problems are simply caused by driving habits. Get an Avalon, you' be glad you did.
  • lofgrenlofgren Posts: 14
    My Avalon XLS offers a remarkable combination of power, features, quiet interior, attractive appearance and fuel economy. I continue to marvel at the value. I was happy with a Lexus GS for several years, but see no need to pay considerably more than Avalon pricing for a very similar package of quality and certainly less mpg.
    I do not have the NAV or cooled seats that some appear to find irksome, so cannot comment on those, but there are no rattles or hesitation problems plaguing this owner.
  • My 97 Avalon check "engine light" is on and the trouble code tied back to "Random Misfire" or "Random Misfire in Cylinders 1, 3, & 5"?

    Does anyone know how to fix the problem?
  • retired7retired7 Posts: 133
    Thanks everyone for the responses. Not sure Toyota's explaination equates to a user friendly transmission/engine combination in this vehicle!!
    I bought one the first 05 Ltds last Feb and find driving in S mode does reduce the erratic behavior. Placing my whole foot on the gas pedal sounds like a "wifes tale" but what the heck, I'll try it out! Can anyone explain techncially whay this makes a difference-I will also investigate. I have about 15K miles on my LTD and have found using 100% synthetic oil (Mobil 1) helps performance and mileage. Also am installing a K & N air filter to increase HP a bit. I find keeping the Michilens consistently pumped up to 32 psi (use good dial gage and check in the morning before driving) helps mileage.

    NWBLIZZARD
  • bluesman3bluesman3 Posts: 202
    Yea. When's the last time you changed spark plugs & wires?
  • motownusamotownusa Posts: 836
    Try posting at the Problem and Solution section ?
  • texasred1texasred1 Posts: 20
    "NO", all posters do not hate their cars. I have a suggestion that might help. Go to the top of the page and type in the search box....Power steering leak....and read what owners have written about problems they have experienced and how they still feel about their car. I think you will find that most Avalon owners, like myself, still LOVE their car even though they have had a problem that had to be fixed. I have a 2006 Avalon XLS with only 700 miles, that I ordered in Blizzard Pearl and I have recently noticed what appears to be a power steering oil leak, which I will soon take in to be repaired. But, I still LOVE my Avalon and would buy it all over again. I feel good everytime I get in it and have not experienced any hesitation, no rattles or any other problems, so far, and the good gas milage is great! Go test drive one on all kinds of road, under different conditions and that should help you to make up your mind. I hope that this info will help.
    TexasRed :D
  • As I understand it, placing only your toe on the pedal does not produce uniform and constant pressure which causes the car to question "are you pushing down or letting up, what do you want me to do" ? I wonder why some parents did not teach their children to press on the pedal with their foot instead of their toe. Maybe that started when their legs were too short to reach the pedals. Try the non-toe method and let us know if it works on your car. TIA
  • tmeframetmeframe Posts: 80
    Absolutely not. However, the very few of those here who do search for reasons to hate this car feel that they must be as vocal as they can be about their opinions. I've had my Avalon for 11 months, 2 days, and 14000 miles, and besides some issues at the start, the car has been fine.

    Steve
  • lntlnt Posts: 192
    I love my car. I don't have ANY rattles. It is super-quiet and on a road trip to Baton Rouge (463miles) I averaged 30 mpg going 70 and have gotten as much as 33mpg on previous trips. The seats are not as comfortable as my 2000 XLS but that is because of the heating/cooling ventilation. It doesn't shift as smoothly as the 2000, but I have gotten use to it - or it to me and I don't have any problems with hesitation. I read this forum every night and every time I get in my car, I just look for something to go wrong, but so far it has been great!
  • angeange Posts: 158
    We hve to read the avalon specifications re the gas petal There is no mechanical connection to the fuel injection control. If we have a jumpy foot, then the car will respond accordingly. The petal operates "by wire". I am not an expert in fuel petals but I feel certain a point or position at the gas petal is lineral to fuel addition. This is electronic and either works or not. Every movement of the petal responds to a given amount of fuel added. The computer then , in milli seconds adjusts the exact amount of air to get complete combustion as possible. ange1
  • deaniedeanie Posts: 172
    Hi:
    I too want to increased Avalon performance. I have an 05 XLS. The K&N air filters only increase HP when they are the entire "cold air intake system", which to the best of my knowledge is unavailable on the 05-06 Avalons. A cold air intake system looks like a two-foot long bent stovepipe with a conical head at the end.

    Any K&N aire filter sized to fit and replace the stock Avalon filter will neither produce better HP nor increased MPG. All it will do is last forever provided you clean it regularly with the proper solvents, and re-oil it appropriately - not as care free as simply dropping in a regular stock $10 paper air filter.

    I too will switch to Mobil One when I hit 10k miles - it seems to help in any car. Hope I've helped.
    Regards,
    Deanie
  • deaniedeanie Posts: 172
    It's "SHUDDER", not "SHUTTER". Normally spelling errors don't get to me, but it's being repeated too often. Just a little anal I guess. Sorry if I hurt any feelings.

    Though I hae a slight tranny shudder at low speed gear changes, it's no worse than in other toyotas I've tested, and I've experienced no worsening of the problem, which at this point bodes well for the oft-complained-about Toyota V6 5spd tranny. Time will tell.

    I am hearing the fast rattling noise described elsewhere as being anywhere from the rear parcel shelf to the rear of the moonroof. I'll attempt to remedy via the method by AlanS (I think) and post my results.
    Regards,
    Deanie
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 589
    Good idea on keeping the tires at the right pressure, but save your money on air filters... Not likely you will notice any real difference by spending money on a fancy name or some type of less restrictive device. Might sound a little more powerful, but it really isn't. If significant horsepower were that easy to find, Toyota would have put it in there as a new car part.
  • d_bondid_bondi Posts: 3
    Can you post a picture of the car with the mudguards installed? Thanks !
  • d_bondid_bondi Posts: 3
    Andre,

    I would love to see a few pis of your installation, especially closeups of the locations and color match. I also have the Phantom Grey Metallic ('06 LTD). I just ordered the system for my wife's '01 Highlander and if the installation goes smoothly, I'll do it on the Avalon too.

    Thanks,
    Dave
  • tinatinatinatina Posts: 388
    Thanks for your comments on the Avalon. I was interested in the XL, but now I'm not purchasing it due to the tranny issue. It has become more and more of a concern here on this thread. The prices have really come down on the 2006s, I can get an XL for $24,400 plus ttl. I guess its due in part to the new Camry.

    I have to agree with you on the Honda Pilot and how good the tranny/engine work together. Honda has come a long way in this area since the 1980s. I owned several Hondas and Toyotas (all trucks from Toyota - really good vehicles). Hondas used to hesitate, shift poorly, etc. The 2004 Accord that I have has a very smooth tranny.

    Anyway, thanks for everyone's comments, but this vehicle is out as is the Azera since the resale would be quite poor.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    may give you about 3% to 5% improved HP, both only at times where the OEM filter can be considered to be restrictive, HIGH FLOW VOLUMES.

    So, for a 300HP factory engine rating you might gain about 15HP at the torque curve peak.

    Balance that with the HIGH possibility of contamination of the MAF/IAT sensors with oil wicked from the filter during those high flow volumes, and then dirt caked on the oil, and you'll begin to wonder if it was all worth the effort.

    I have always wondered about this cold air intake issue so I did some research. That issue dates back to the long ago days when the engine air intake was somehere inside the engine compartment, downstream of the A/C condensor and radiator combination PRE-HEATING the airflow before it got to the engine air intake.

    There have been several instrumented tests lately indicating that these cold air intake kits have NO BENEFIT WHATSOEVER provided the vehicle in question already has an equivalent intake system, as most modern day vehicles do.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "Every movement of the pedal responds to a given amount of fuel added...."

    NOT..!!

    Toyota's DBW system, when coupled to an automatic transmission, does not respond to gas pedal position as you describe. Toyota uses DBW to "protect the drive train". While the transmission is in the process of shifting the onset of engine torque is intentionally delayed to give the transmission clutches time to fully and firmly seat.

    In snow mode...

    The "gain" is reduced, more pedal travel is required to produce a given level of engine torque, to make it easier for the diver to "feather" the engine and not provoke wheelspin/slip.

    With traction...

    The system will sometimes totally ignore the gas pedal position.

    With VSC....

    You get the picture....
  • I have considerable noice inside the car when I am going slow in traffic, which sounds like valves rattling. It is very disturbing and I find that to eliminate it, I must turn the radio up louder that usual. I took it to the dealer and they said is was a new engine and it was normal. Not for me or any of the other 3 toytos I have owned. Also, they have cut corners with the one piece sun shade and elimination of side mouldings. Too bad.
  • lofgrenlofgren Posts: 14
    As Adam said to Eve, on their way out of the Garden of Eden, "We are entering a period of transition, My Dear!"

    Some drivers may regret the need to accommodate changes dictated by drive-by-wire systems in the Avalon and other new vehicles, but the direction is clear, as set out (among many other places)at http://mira.atalink.co.uk/articles/104 .

    "There is considerable interest in increasing functionality and safety by developing drive-by-wire systems where electronic controls are used to supplement the driver controls or even provide full authority over the vehicle functions. In a full-authority drive-by-wire system, the driver controls are simply inputs to a computerised system rather than directly commanding the vehicle functions."

    Military and commercial pilots are well-experienced in these changes; we 2D operators are headed in the same direction.
  • gypsy13gypsy13 Posts: 28
    Boy, Texasred1, I'm glad to hear you say that. I know that a value of this board is the pool resources for times when things go wrong, as they sometimes will, but a casual reader could get it idea this isn't a good car. It is!

    I have 9,200 miles on my 06 limited, and love it more every time I get in it. Sure, I did have to have the dealer find and fix a rattle in the overhead just about the RR seat, but they did it quickly and without complaint. Other than that, I couldn't be happier with the car, it's mileage, or how I feel while driving it.

    Oh, I did adjust the headlights slightly higher. I didn't feel safe on a dark two-lane road when going to low beam...in fact, they were so low that I didn't feel safe over about 50 mph. Now I'm happy, and I'll be most Avalon owners are too.
  • nimiminimimi Posts: 249
    With a full-size spare on the Avalon, the Owner's Manual says to include it in the rotation on one side of the car while tires are rotated back-to-front. HOWEVER, the Avalon repair manual says to rotate front to back and then then put the (formerly) rear tires on opposite sides -- and also include the spare tire in the rotation. That way seems to be the best way to do it, however, Toyota says follow the Owner's Manual.

    Does anyone have any experience or ideas on which way is better?
  • Don't hesitate. GO FOR IT!!

    I bought a 06 Limited in January and now have 2200 miles on it. The car is phenomenal, amazing, beyond all expectations! It is so smooth I wonder if the wheels are touching the ground. It is so powerful it still scares me sometimes.

    Is it perfect? No. I'm annoyed that the NAV controller has a mind of it's own. The NAV voice control usually misunderstands me and is more for entertainment than functionality. I wish it had Bluetooth, an iPod interface, and MP3/CD playback built in. I wish the rear seats would fold to expand the trunk when I really need it.

    BUT, every time I drive my wife's Hyundai Sonata or my old Suburban (which I love) I'm reminded of what an incredible vehicle the Avalon is. We have some very loud voices in this forum that seem to suffer from a world so small that the highlight of their day is moaning about their Avalon. One or two, I'm convinced are ringers that don't even own one.

    Every car has a glitch or two or a design flaw and the Avalon is no exception. However, I have never owned or driven any vehicle that even comes close to the refinement and performance of this car. The more I drive it the better I like it.
  • Is the Avalon scheduled to have bluethooth like the RL any time soon?
  • sully63sully63 Posts: 3
    Thanks Tstrick, Gypsy, TexasRed and others who took time to reply to my post. As I said,forums like these tend to gather the issues and not the accolades.

    I'm debating between the Maxima SL and the Avalon Touring. I think I'm at a $2K differential price-wise with the Maxima having a few more whiz-bang features(based on a pricing from a no-haggle dealership that carries both)

    To those lamenting the exclusion of Bluetooth on the Avalon, if you read into the various manufacturers offering you may not find your particular phone is supported. For example I have a Treo 650 and if I buy the Maxima, their website tells me it is not supported so how it works and to what extend I can use the various features is unknown. But it is part of a package and I will get it anyway. Seems strange that Bluetooth is marketed as a "standard" but apparently isn't so.
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