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Toyota Avalon 2008-2010

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  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    Have you tried unhooking the battery for 5 minutes to clear the memory?

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • From what I have learned from my Toyota dealer, there is a release date (Feb. 22, 2012) for replacement headlight assemblies for the Avalon. That tells me there must have been a re-design due to premature failure of headlight bulbs whether they be high or low beams, both of which had dailed within a month of the other. So far communication with my dealer implies that my Avalon's headlight issues will be taken care of under warranty. time will tell if they hold up to it. :)
  • diekemadiekema Posts: 11
    That is what I have heard. however the warranty extension is only good to 75K. Mine first blew at 83k and again at 125K Then the low (HID) blew. I have found lower cost replacements, but I am a little frustrated with Toyota for not backing this up.
  • mlinggamlingga Posts: 58
    More confusion on this recurring subject. I just had both headlight assemblies replaced by Toyota at their expense in December. However, the specifics of my repair do not match what you are describing. I received a letter from Toyota, but with these differences from what you describe:
    1) The replacement was specifically due to premature burnout, or shattering/melting of the halogen HIGH beam bulb. It made no mention of any remedy for the well-known premature HID low beam burnout problem.
    2) The replacement was via a warranty extension, but it was only to 60,000, not 75,000 miles.
    3) the replacement was specific, I believe, to the '08 model, not '08 - '10.
    4) Obviously, since mine was done last month, there was no "Feb 22" release date.

    Having replaced a total of 4 HID bulbs to date in my '08, I'd love to hear that this problem is formally being addressed. No one at the dealer could tell me if the new headlight assemblies they installed would also in some way address the HID low beam problem, which to date Toyota has not acknowledged. My experience was that my dealer was CLUELESS about this whole situation: I had to walk them through the entire process.

    If you get any specifics, ideally in writing, from Toyota, or even just more information, please post it here! Thanks.
  • I have a 2008 LTD with 178,000 miles - car runs beautifully, I have not changed any of the fluids other than oil (Mobil 1). I have not touched the AC.
    My daughter has a 1999 Toyota Solara - the AC runs great - never touched to date. With regards to brake fluid - contaminatiion darkens it.
    Toyota builds a great product - isn't that part of the reason why we bought Avalons? Enhanced Maintenance - NO WAY!
  • mlinggamlingga Posts: 58
    @lotlizzard: after five factory recalls, and endless hassles with the '08 headlights (see my many posts above), and Toyota's lack of help (they still deny that there is a problem with the longevity of the HID headlights with the Avvys, despite admitting that the same lights are flawed in the Prius), and my dealer's incompetence, I'm sadly not one who can say "Toyota builds a great product." That WAS why I bought the Avvy in the first place. I know my experience may be unusually negative (though all other '08 owners have lived through at least 4 of the 5 recalls I've dealt with). Still in the end, buy another Toyota? Don't think so.
  • Only yesterday I submitted a claim under the recently announced 75,000 mile extension on the Daytime Running/High beam lights. At $76 for the replacement bulb in 2010, this isn't my biggest problem. I had recieved notification from Toyota of this extension only a few days prior to that.

    I recently spent $350 for replacement low beams (these had the sometimes on, sometimes off issue common in a large number of these complaints). I do as much of my own mtce as possible, but these bulbs were almost impossible to get to. I intend to submit my paperwork for the low beam replacements and see what happens. If I get any additional information I will post here.
  • i, too, have had to replace the lo-beams and found a lower cost sorce--HID world, or something like that. You must remove the battery and loosen the fuse panel on the driver's side. The passenger side isn't that difficult.
  • After 4 years and 4 months - 178,000 miles, I have replaced the high beams twice and now each side low beam once. Purchased identical philips bulbs on the net for around $ 50.00 each. Changed myself - not too difficult.
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 586
    For clarity.. is it just the '08 - '10 that has these headlight issues? Or additional years...? My '07 Limited has been fine but I may someday move up... What about the '11 models? Thanks for the comments... have enjoyed this forum for many years... :)
  • Just replaced the passenger side on my '08 for the first time. It took less than 10 minutes, no tools except for a flashlight and I paid $50 on Amazon for a German made Phillips bulb (quality of aftermarket Chinese bulbs varies so much that I would avoid any of them) I'll order another bulb but really don't see a problem waiting until the driver's side starts acting like the passenger side (bulb goes out while driving but comes back on after cooling down).
    Maybe I did something wrong but it seemed no more difficult than replacing a bulb on a mini-van

    Here is what I did (except I skipped disconnecting the battery);
    disconnect battery
    note the position "Lock ->" lettering on the outer cover for when you replace it
    rotate the outer saucer dish size plastic cover until loose and remove it
    rotate the connector until the spring tabs are loose and remove the connector
    release the spring clips on both sides
    note the position/orientation of the tabs on the bulb as you remove it
    Install the new bulb making sure it's seated
    push spring clips back into place on both sides
    reinstall connector making sure the friction tabs are engaged
    turned on the lights to make sure they worked
    reinstalled the outer cover
  • Points of clarification:

    What model is your Avalon? The issues of difficult replacement under discussion here are exclusive to the HID headlights found only on the Limited.

    What bulb are you referring to? The issue has never been difficulty replacing the High Beams (which also, unfortunately, as wwest has pointed out on this forum, function as the DRL's. That entails running them at substandard voltage, which in turn heads to excessive heat buildup and bulb shattering). Those are easy to replace.

    The problem is replacing the HID low beams. While some have succeeded without doing this, the shop manual specifies dropping the front bumper to replace these bulbs. The "official" cost to replace a HID bulb is in the neighborhood of $400.

    And, if you haven't been following this thread, if you have a Limited, and can show that your high beams have needed replacement, Toyota has agreed to replace the entire headlight assembly under an extended warranty. That's something on the order of a $2500 repair normally. See the posts up higher for the details.
  • I have the Touring and it, too, has lo-beam HID bulbs. They can be replaced without removing the bumper in the same manner as the Hi-beams. Be careful to get the bulbs properly seated or the self-leveling mechanism will not work correctly.

    In my opinion, Toyota has DROPPED THE BALL on the lo-beam issue by limiting the replacement to 75,000 miles. It is clearly a designed failure and should apply to all affected vehicles. I drive A LOT of miles and have replaced the lo-beams 3 times--the first time at 81K, so I have no recourse--despite my letter to Toyota CS!
  • I have a 2008 Touring with the HID low beams. As I said, replacement of the passenger bulb was a 7 minute no tool job. The only "trick" is to note the orientation of the bulb and the outer cover.

    It's a real piece of cake compared to a 2002 Dodge mini-van or most othe mini-vans I've had the misfortune to have to replace.
  • sury1sury1 Posts: 4
    Today noted that driver side low beam light gone again. Cop stopped me to notify this problem today. Fortunately he did not ticket me. This is second time on driver side. Passenger side replaced thrice already.

    Why did the toyota people acknowledge this issue which is very abvious design issue. Is there anything we can do escalate the issue with toyota.

    thanks
  • mlinggamlingga Posts: 58
    Doubt there's much leverage out there. One thing I should do that I haven't is to post a safety complaint with NHTSA. If they get enough, they may investigate if it's perceived as a true risk and if there are enough complaints received. www.safercar.gov
  • kbetts1kbetts1 Posts: 36
    That's not how the world works. Toyota is in a business to sell cars. They replace the parts that fail for 3 years/36k. If you want more than that they sell an extended warranty. A world where the car maker takes care of every issue your car has would mean they all would go out of business within a year.

    Toyota can't control they way you drive so everyone will have a different experience with their cars. If enough people have a problem that's a safety issue Toyota will do something. A bulb burning out isn't a safety issue or the LEO would have kept you from driving it.

    HID bulbs need to stay on or stay off. They operate on a completely different method than an incandescent bulb. Switching between high and low beam isn't good for them. If you have a Limited, turn off the auto high/low switch mode to extend it's life.

    Toyota sold you a pretty good car. It's not perfect and neither are you. The problem could be the car or it could be they way you are using it. Sometimes you just have to figure out for yourself where the problem is and find a way to live with it.
  • mlinggamlingga Posts: 58
    No one is complaining about Toyota not covering routine maintenance items. I am not whining about wiper blades or brake pads. Your response is a model of inaccuracy, and I'd suggest you do some homework before commenting. Viz:

    1. A bulb burning out IS a safety issue. That's why the police can pull you over and ticket you if that happens. And you seriously think that losing BOTH low beams within a few days of each other and trying to drive on just the feeble high beams is safe?

    2. There is no "auto high/low switch" on a Limited. There is an Auto switch, which turns the low beams on based on prevailing darkness, and it is the preferred setting, since with the advent of DRL's, drivers are constantly driving without turning on their headlights, thinking the feeble DRL glow is their actual headlights. The high beams are activated only manually using the wiper stalk.

    It is true that sticking strictly to manual use of the low beams would enhance bulb life--but that's laughable to have to consider, given that other manufacturers offer cars that can use Auto switching on headlights, and, HID or Halogen, keep them functional for 50, 75, or 100K miles. If you find a 1-2 year lifespan acceptable for an $800 set (Toyota's list price) of HID bulbs, you set your standards way too low.

    3. Justifying mediocrity is not my style. If you suggest that leaving the headlights on Auto, and expecting them to survive for more than one to two years is unreasonable, then you probably are driving a '93 Chevy Geo Metro and are thinking "this ain't bad at all, I just have to live with it."

    4. Five recalls in three years, three sets of HID bulbs, two sets of halogen high beams, a non functional rear sunscreen that dealer was unable to remedy (fuse has been pulled, so yes, I "live with it"), sure, that may meet your definition of "pretty good car." But I know I can do better next time :)
  • popsavalonpopsavalon Posts: 231
    You give me reason to believe that you are in the PR business, and have Toyota for a client. The spin on a real issue is pretty good!
  • spallen2spallen2 Posts: 1
    Dealer says the whole assembly is bad. Both sides. Over 1000.00 each. How can the whole assembly be bad. My lights go off intermittently I've had both go off at the same time -- driving in the dark. Dangerous. I can't find any suitable alternative than the Toyota parts. They say it's not the bulbs. Anyone know what to do? I would appreciate help here.
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