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Buying a Used Avalon



  • bert25bert25 Posts: 2
    I just stumbled across these forums on Edmunds - my first post!
    My wife and I own an '02 Avalon XL, about 87,000 now and mechanically it's been great. I had given my daughter my hand-me-down '98 BMW 318i, and it died last week.
    Found a '97 Avalon XLS with 150K that had been in the same family since purchase (grandparent to grandaughter). Typical Avalon quiet interior with great engine power, but driving it on the test drive it sounded like a bucket of bolts. they were asking $4,850 and I picked it up for $4,250. By the way, I prefer private party purchases. I think you can read the owners as to honesty, and pricing is almost always much better than dealer. Taking it in for a suspension overhaul next week. I figure if we drop even a grand on it, it is still a great value, as long as it cleans up the ride!
    Little to no rust, which is great. The left fender had some dents (not bad creases, just pushed in) and the owners had the Haynes Manual, so today I took off the fender and pushed the dents out! I was quite pleased with how it all came out - not perfect, but for free it looks much better than it did. I did find out that the Haynes manual wasn't exactly on point though - there was more involved up front than they showed. Still, started at 9 and all buttoned up again by 2 PM.
    Question for the group - the ABS light is on, and the previous owner said that he had it worked on twice without success, but never had the wheel sensors looked at. Is that a likley culprit? Any idea on cost to replace those? The Haynes manual showed how you can pull the ABS code by using a jumper wire on the terminals and looking at the flashes of the ABS light. might try that.
    Anyway, I'm really happy with this purchase - I think it will be a great car for a college student and I'm hoping to get at least another 100K out of it.
  • Hello, I'm a poor college kid who's in the market for a first car. WIth insurance rates where they are my budget is <2k. So the neighbors are selling a '95 Avalon with lots of body damage on the doors, 180k, needs new tires, struts, brakes, radio. However, my father has evaluated the engine and transmission to be in good working order, and places the 180k as being of a more 'gentle' sort, since he is familiar with the seller. It will cost 1-1.5k to get the car 'running well' but it is running immediately now. We expect the selling price to be around $500. I live in NYC. Any advice would be well appreciated
  • xrulingxruling Posts: 4
    I would not recommend buying a Toyota Avalon, new or used. I have a 2008 Avalon Limited. Bought it new. After just over two years, the FM radio degraded to the point that it is mostly unusable because of heavy static. Toyota representatives tell me that this is normal for this car and that there is no solution. If Toyota cannot provide or repair ancient technology like an FM radio system, imagine how screwed-up the rest of the technology in the car may be.
  • nimiminimimi Posts: 249
    I have had a much different experience. I've owned an '06 LTD and an '08 LTD and BOTH of them were/are outstanding automobiles. No problems whatsoever in almost 5 years of ownership. As for your FM, you need to see another dealer or talk to the Toyota area rep. about your issue.
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 588
    Take the advice given in Post #26 above. My '07 Limited is going strong at 60k, the radio is fine. Sounds more like a dealer issue... what about the 3/36 btb warranty?
  • popsavalonpopsavalon Posts: 231
    It seems to me, after reading posts on this site for a couple of years, that Toyota is plagued by a lot of BAD dealers who care absolutely nothing about customer service after the sale. I sincerely hope that this "culture of indifference" for customer service is not promoted by Toyota. I have never seen this at my dealership.

    If you have problems like your FM radio that are under warranty, or extended warranty, they should be fixed, period! If the warranties have expired, it's just that stuff happens, and you probably have to pay to repair or replace the radio. The "normal for this car" response is pure and simple B.S.
  • Hello,

    I'm looking at purchasing a 2001 toyota avalon. It only has 42,000 miles on it, and the seller wants $12,500. I took it for a test drive today and really liked the handling and acceleration. However, I turned on the defroster and noticed that it didn't seem to push a lot of air. I live in Fairbanks, Alaska. It gets very cold here (-20F to -40F for extended periods throughout the winter). Can anyone attest to the power of the heater in this car? Any other thoughts on the purchase?

  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Sounds as if you haven't driven ANY new car for awhile, especially one of asian origin.

    Toyota and Lexus use NipponDenso, or Denso US, for HVAC system design and sub-assembly production, HORRIBLY FLAWED DESIGN.

    The heater itself will be more than adequate in your wintertime climate.

    Go to the dealer and have them set the two c-best options that allow you to manually turn off the A/C for an indefinite period, throughout the winter period.

    When you encounter windshield fogging/misting turn up the temperature setpoint to MAXIMUM and only then switch to defrost/defog/demist mode.

    Also close monitor the system and do NOT allow it to autmatically switch into cooling mode during the wintertime, HEATING period.

    There is also a c-best option for that function but I don't know what year it came about.

    Google for:

    wwest nippondenso windshield -dfg

    For more info.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    He didn't mention whether or not it was an XL or XLS, so we aren't sure if it has the Auto Temp (and all its faults). My 03 had manual controls and while the heat wasn't fantastic it was more than adequate for a typical NJ winter. My 06 Avalon was much better.

    To the OP. I think 12,500 is bit high for an 01 Avalon, regardless of miles. I just looked it up and it comes out to around 9200 dealer retail. That was for a top trim XLS in outstanding condition.

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

  • Thanks for the information. I'll check if it is Auto Temp or manual controls. I'm not sure if it is an XL or XLS. I agree that 12,500 is a little high. I'm also very apprehensive about purchasing a toyota V6 from that year due to the oil sludging problems that I've read about. Is the sludging problem exaggerated or something that I should be legitimately concerned about?
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    I am no expert on the sludging problem, however, my best advice would be to ask for service records to make sure the oil was changed regularly. Those engines were fine AFAIK if properly maintained.

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

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