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Toyota Avalon 2004 and earlier

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  • rzepa2rzepa2 Posts: 24
    2001 XL:

    The only problem I noticed is the "reflection issue"
    on the drivers side window. Remmber reading here while ago that someone had the dealer change the angle of the dashboard etc.

    Personally, it does not bother me that much since
    I don't drive late at night + if I do, it is most of the times on illumiated streets.

    I am going to wait and see if Toyota comes up with TSB etc.

    Hey, Cliffy
    what do you guys do for people who complain about
    "relfecting" dashboard ?
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    I haven't had a customer complaint on the dash. I've seen it but none of my customers have complained that I know about so I don't know what we would tell them.
  • 2194621946 Posts: 5
    I RECENTLY PURCHASED A TOYOTA AVALON 2001 IN OCT OF 2000. THE AVALON DRIVES GREAT BUT I HAVE ONE COMPLAINT AND IT IS THE COMFORT OF THE DRIVERS SEAT. WHEN MY WIFE AND I BOUGHT THE AVALON WE HAD TEST DRIVEN THE XLS WHICH HAD LEATHER SEATS WHICH I HAD ONLY DRIVEN FOR ABOUT 10 MINUTES. SO WE DECIDED TO GET THE AVALON XL WITH CLOTH SEATS WHICH HAD TO COME FROM ANOTHER STATE. IN A COUPLE OF DAYS OUR NEW CAR ARRIVED AND WE SIGNED THE NECESSARY PAPERS AN WERE OFF. (WE DECIDED ON THE CLOTH SEATS BECAUSE LEATHER IS TO COLD IN THE WINTER AND TO HOT IN THE SUMMER) WELL I ONLY GET TO DRIVE THE AVALON ON THE WEEKENDS BECAUSE I USE A COMPANY CAR ALL WEEK FOR WORK. WHEN I DROVE IT THE FIRST WEEKEND WE HAD IT MY BACK STARTED TO HURT AND I COULD NOT GET COMFORTABLE (THIS WAS AFTER ABOUT A HALF AN HOUR AFTER DRIVING) SO I LET MY WIFE DRIVE AND I SAT IN THE PASSENGER SEAT WHICH I FOUND TO BE A LOT MORE COMFORTABLE THAN THE DRIVER SEAT. SO THE WE TOOK A TRIP AND THIS WOULD MEAN ME DRIVING FOR ABOUT 2HOURS, WELL TO SAY THE LEAST IF PUT MY POOR WIFE THROUGH HELL COMPLAINING ABOUT THIS BACK PAIN I WAS HAVING DRIVING THIS CAR!!! ON THE WAY BACK I DECIDED TO HAVE MY WIFE DRIVE FOR THE FIRST HOUR WHILE I SAT IN THE PASSENGER SEAT (THINKING MAYBE IT WAS JUST MY BACK THAT WAS ACTING UP ON THE WAY DOWN) WELL AS SOON AS I SAT BEHIND THE WHEEL OF THE CAR MY BACK STARTED TO HURT AGAIN!! SO I SAID TO MY WIFE I THINK THE ADJUSTABLE LUMBAR SUPPORT MIGHT BE CAUSING ME THIS PROBLEM AND SHE SAID WHY DON`I YOU TAKE IT BACK TO THE DEALER, SO TO MAKE A LONG STORY SHORT I DID AND THEY REMOVED THE LUMBAR SUPPORT FROM THE DRIVERS SEAT AND GUESS WHAT I STILL HAVE PROBLEMS WITH THE SEAT!! THIS WEEK I AM TAKING IT BACK TO THE DEALER SO I CAN LOOK INSIDE THE BACK OF BOTH SEATS TO SEE IF IN FACT THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO AND MAYBE COME UP WITH SOME SORT OF SOLUTION. I HAVE BEEN TO A BACK STORE AND BOUGHT A CUSHION TO SIT ON AND THIS MADE MY BACK FEEL GREAT BUT THEN MY LEGS STARTED TO FALL ASLEEP SO I RETURNED IT BACK TO THE STORE. IF ANY ONE HAS ANY SUGGESTIONS ON HOW I CAN MAKE THIS SEAT MORE COMFORTABLE PLEASE LET ME KNOW AS I AM HALF TEMPTED TO GET RID OF THIS CAR AND BUY SOMETHING MORE COMFORTABLE. MY PREVIOUS CAR WAS A 1993 TOYOTA CAMRY AND I JUST LOVED THAT CAR AND HAD NO PROBLEMS WITH THE SEATS AT ALL.
  • have found one (and only one) moderately comfortable position, but only for short trips. I have looked at a lot of other cars since my purchase to see where the problem might be in the Avalon. I think the problem, at least for me, is that the seat pivots at the frontm and does not allow a forward tilt to offset the angle of the back seat. I am 5'8". To get the seat into a position where I can see most of the speedo, and have the steering wheel in a comfortable position, I need to have the seat raised. I also like to sit upright, not with the seatback at a 30-45 degree angle. If I have the seat back straight, the lumbar support kills my back. I could offset this by tilting the whole seat forward (back and bottom). This would take pressure off the lumbar, and let my legs be straight out, without pressure underneath my knees. Many of the other cars I looked at fall into these categories (1) both seat bottom and seatback operate separately, with seat bottom pivoting towards center (2) seat bottom and back act together. Depending on the amount of fine adjustments allowed, both can work well. In designs where you can set seat back and bottom separately AND THEN move them as a single unit (tilt), I have no problems. Volvo seats are like this, Acura is close (although seats in 3.2 TL are a bit snug--sport seats--for my taste), Infiniti I30, although a bit hard, allow this fine adjustment. One other thing, Toyota Avalon does not allow infinite adjustment for tilt of the steering wheel, or have a telescoping adjustment. This would also help in finding a comfortable driving position. I took a trip to Disnet before Xmas, and rented a Mercury Grand Marquis. This car, although huge, was very comfortable because the seats had many adjustments, and although the sterring did not telescope, the pedals were movable. GREAT IDEA. I'll close by saying that I was disappointed with the Avalon for about a week after my purchase. Since then I have come to appreciate its many good points, especially quiet, smooth ride. BUT, if Toyota wants to increase sales of the Avalon, and appeal to a younger buyer they need to (1) make the brakes less spongy, inspire more confidence (2) offer tilt (infinite) and telescoping steering wheel (3) fix the seats (4) offer a bumper to bumper warranty that is better than camry, but less than Lexus--4 Year, 48K (5) alloy wheels on all trim levels (XL and XLS), with better tires for more precise handling (6) steering that is a little more precise, less boost. I think overall the Avalon is a good car, but not a great car. This design will be around till 2005, so plenty of room for improvement. If I were Toyota, I would improve what I have today, and hang the guy from GM behind a Pachinko parlor.
  • have found one (and only one) moderately comfortable position, but only for short trips. I have looked at a lot of other cars since my purchase to see where the problem might be in the Avalon. I think the problem, at least for me, is that the seat pivots at the front and does not allow a forward tilt to offset the angle of the back seat. I am 5'8". To get the seat into a position where I can see most of the speed, and have the steering wheel in a comfortable position, I need to have the seat raised. I also like to sit upright, not with the setback at a 30-45 degree angle, or more. If I have the seat back straight, the lumbar support kills my back. I could offset this by tilting the whole seat forward (back and bottom). This would take pressure off the lumbar area, and let my legs be straight out, without pressure underneath my knees. Many of the other cars I looked at fall into these categories (1) both seat bottom and setback operate separately, with seat bottom pivoting towards center (2) seat bottom and back act together. Depending on the amount of fine adjustments allowed, both can work well. In designs where you can set seat back and bottom separately AND THEN move them as a single unit (tilt), I have no problems. Volvo seats are like this, Acura is close (although seats in 3.2 AL are a bit snug--sport seats--for my taste), Infiniti I30, although a bit hard, allow this fine adjustment. One other thing, Toyota Avalon does not allow infinite adjustment for tilt of the steering wheel, or have a telescoping adjustment. This would also help in finding a comfortable driving position. I took a trip to Disney before Xmas, and rented a Mercury Grand Marquis. This car, although huge, was very comfortable because the seats had many adjustments, and although the steering did not telescope, the pedals were movable. GREAT IDEA. I'll close by saying that I was disappointed with the Avalon for about a week after my purchase. Since then I have come to appreciate its many good points, especially quiet, smooth ride. BUT, if Toyota wants to increase sales of the Avalon, and appeal to a younger buyer they need to (1) make the brakes less spongy, inspire more confidence (2) offer tilt (infinite) and telescoping steering wheel (3) fix the seats (4) offer a bumper to bumper warranty that is better than camry, but less than Lexus--maybe 4 Year, 48K (5) alloy wheels on all trim levels (XL and XLS), with better tires for more precise handling (6) steering that is a little more precise, less boost. I think overall the Avalon is a good car, but not a great car. This design will be around till 2005, so plenty of room for improvement. If I were Toyota, I would improve what I have today with these changes (and I'm sure others can suggest more changes), and hang the guy from GM that Toyota hired behind a Pachinko parlor somewhere in Tokyo.
  • My husband complains a lot about the driver's seat. I guess he's not alone...I plan to drive my '96 for a long time. I'd like it to go at least 150,000 miles. What do you all think about this?
  • jkyledjkyled Posts: 2
    I also purchased a 2001 Avalon XLS this past October with package #7. When I took my first trip that lasted more than a few hours my back became sore as well. I, however, had not adjusted the seat very much since I had purchased the car. So I played around with it and found a remedy. I am 6'1 and weigh about 190 bbs. Here is what I did. I took the seat down all the way to the floor and then tilted it back all the way. I then brought the back of the seat up more straight. I have my lumbar sticking out as far as it will go. I recently went to PA for the holidays which is a 9 1/2 hour trip and felt great. We had traded a full-sized van in on the Avalon. Those vans are supposed to be some of the most comfortable vehicles for long-distance traveling. It was comfortable, but after adjusting my seat in the Avalon I would have to say the Avalon was more comfortable than the van. I think the seat is pretty versatile. Play around with it and hopefully, you'll find the position that is best for you.

    As for the green glow on your windshield, try turning the intensity down. That takes care of it for me. I hope these remedies will work for you as they have for me.
  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 1,266
    Thanks jkyled for sharing and bringing sanity back to this forum. Since the holiday season began last November it appears that the number of complaints have increased considerably. What we have here is the herd mentality.

    I have driven my 2000 Avalon XLS for over 12,000 miles and I have not encountered any of these so called problems. Maybe these cry babies should return to the dealership for a thorough demonstration before trashing the Avalon.
  • If concerns or complaints are well reasoned, and well written, they are valid for inclusion in the forum. This is neither "herd mentality" or being "cry babies". This is how products are improved over time. I'll say again (as you can see from my previous posts) the Avalon is a good car, but not a great car. It delivers on its promise, you get what you pay for, although I think its a little overpriced, but then price is related to demand. It's too bad, because with minor changes and improvements, it could be a GREAT car. Maybe then it wouldn't be compared to a Buick.

    But, maybe you're right...silence the "cry babies", and let's just keep it a good car.
  • I am getting ready to purchase a 2001 XLS and would like to find out if anyone knows whether it is worthwhile to add the VSC (Vehicle Stability Control) option. Is it a valuable safety feature that is worth spending an extra $680 on? Any input would be greatly appreciated.
  • jimcarrjimcarr Posts: 37
    Have a 2k XLS without the VSC option. Don't miss the traction control as all one has to do is to let up on the throttle to stop the wheels from spinning.I got plenty of practice doing this in OK after Christmas coming up from Dallas to home.

    Living in Nebraska, I don't really have any need for the extra help in going around curves. We don't have many. Actually, I did not feel that it would be worth the money to me as I am a senior citizen and tend to be a somewhat conservative driver.

    The salesman had both kinds on the lot, but pointed out that he had never been able to take advantage of the other features as one has to be in over his head to really need. it.

    Hope that this helps.
  • Like many who visit these forums I do so in search of the best car to purchase. I also do so to hear about EVERYONE'S experiences with their Avalon both GOOD and BAD. Bwia you have every right to be happy with your Avalon, good for you. However, other Avalon owners or potential owners have just as much right to express their views as do you. To mention a specific dislike is not "trashing" the Avalon but even if it were that is what these forums are here for, to express experiences and opinions. What credability would these forums have if every post spoke glowingly of every aspect of the Avalon? There is no reason to be insulting just because you may not agree with someone else's opinion or because you have been lucky enough to have a problem free car. Posts such as yours and others like it, particularly some in the past directed at those who claim to have a V6 sludge problem, only serve to intimidate against potential honest discourse. If they can expect to be orally assaulted for their ideas, who will dare continue writing to these forums. The only thing that should be politically correct is the truth.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    This is a fairly useless option on dry pavement. When Toyota did the training on the cars, I was the only salesman in the country to drive it hard enough in a slalom course to engage it. The instructor didn't even believe I had done it until I told him it beeped at me.

    One wet pavement, it is much more useful. It does a great job of preventing "understeer" and will give you more control in a panic situation.
  • gotshagotsha Posts: 8
    After having my 2001 Avalon XLS for several months now, I really have to say I'm not impressed by it at all. I find a lot of little things annoying about the car like the mpg readout resetting every time you turn the car off and not being able to find the door lock switches or window switches in the dark and not being able to hear the remote lock/unlock "chirp". I guess I took all these things for granted on the 5 different cars I've owned in the past ten years that all had these missing features. While the car rides nice and quiet and handles fairly well, I think my '99 Concorde has a much more comfortable driving position, only it had more wind noise. I am waiting to see what kind of gas mileage my XLS will show driving down to Florida in a couple of weeks. My Concode gave me anywhere from 26-32 on a trip like that. The way the computer is set up on the XLS, you have to figure everything out with a calculator because it resets itself every time you shut the engine off.
  • Drivers seat uncomfortable- I have had a chance to check on this issue more carefully and have begun believing that the problem is caused by the use of the adjustable lumbar support. Now that I have totally released (i.e. in the least support) the lumbar support, the seat feels as comfortable as the passenger seat. This is probably proof that just because you can (make the lumbar more supportive) doesn't mean you should . . .

    On the VSC, we have it too, even though we live in Southern California area and it almost never rains. I don't really expect it to engage on regular basis. However, like the ABS and the airbags, I expect that it will work when we need it (i.e. when it is raining and we might have lost control of the vehicle). I have noticed that it engages and seems to work fine when I force it . . .

    Re: the crybaby comments, we love our Avalon, and just wanted to share the resolution of some common issues. It seems that the only crybaby's here may be the ones who complained about my previous messages.....
  • Thanks to all of those who responded to my VSC question. Since I live in Florida and won't be driving in icy conditons, I think I'll take a pass on the VSC. Haven't had a problem with skidding on wet roads since I bought my 95 XLS, and expect that I won't have such a problem with the 2001 model(knock on wood). Thanks again.
  • I have had my 2001 XLS since November. I was initially skeptical about the VSC option but got it anyway since it was on the car I wanted. Now that I have felt it in action I am completely satisfied with the option and feel it is well worth the extra money for someone living in snow and ice conditions.

    Here in the Northeast, icing and snow dustings are a regular part of winter. There is a lot of melt during the day and it refreezes every evening. This makes driving particularly challenging during the morning and evening commutes as ice recoats the roads.

    The VSC in the Avalon works wonderfully in these conditions. I can feel the system taking over anytime I round a corner and hit some patch ice. It also works well when one wheel spins on ice and the other three don't. The VSC response is smooth, not at all like when ABS kicks in. I don't find the feedback very obvious. All you see is the VSC light flickering. You feel nothing through the wheel or pedal.

    If you live in an area with ice and snow conditions like New England then I recommend the option enthusiastically. The only down side I can see is that you tend to drive a little less carefully that if you experienced slipping and small spinouts. With VSC you don't even realize that it is slippery until the person in front of you fish tails.

    Just wanted to let folks know who are considering whether it is wotrth it or not.
  • I have seen a few posts on this lately. Didn't understand what it was about until I noticed it myself one night. I found two things that help.

    1) turning down the dask illumination works. You can watch it "disappear" as you lower the dial.

    2) raising or lowering the seat helps too. I changes the angle at which the refelction comes back.

    Either or both of these should minimize the problem. This is not unique to Avalon. I drive rental cars on a regular basis and I have noticed that many different makes and models (US and Foreign) have the same problem only worse.
  • just 200 miles...
    the good: nice quality (lunar mist), quietness & ride (scary--cant judge your speed by engine noise or road feel), basic ad stereo & speakers, lighted ignition key lock area; headroom; running daytime lights; pocket storage areas; extra visor pop out; the high shoulder appearance; room inside for passengers; dash setup I/ warning light section is fine;

    the less than good: driver seat positioning to see the gauges for my 6' height and the bus like steering wheel position (have to lean back then move too tight to wheel; needs telescoping steering or better); seeding of the cloth and carpets (stone); key less entry can open trunk I/I adequate notice (button must be pressed 2 cc according to manual, but I was informed by another restaurant customer I/ an Avalon that they had to close my trunk lid as it was popped open and that it had happened to them also (i would rather have trunk pop fully open to load items from full arms easier, like my 00 taurus that also has more grocery bag clips); cup holders in center middle not great for moving shift lever; power seat pack #2 does not incl memory; air filter should be standard (can it be added?); engine under hood light missing--makes it difficult to check oil, etc. in garage or at night away from lights!; slippery steering wheel w/ that little molding hole; odometer lcd screen can not be seen well w/ polarized sunglasses; shift indication on "stick" hard to see, but will adapt to dash indication, which could be a little stronger; need more lighted switches to prevent groping for buttons; wish pocket storage areas were bigger to fit cd's...should have 20 cd storage system built in; 1000 mile breakin less than 55mph; doors can by tough to close probably due to light weight and air tightness?

    does anyone know if a 10 cd sony player can be added to this system?

    toyota of simi valley fleet manager was given to us by carsmart.com for inv-$100 price and in/out of dealer in less than 2 hours...he even had fine sratch removed immediately.

    the ride and quiet of the Avalon makes it worthwhile so far to pay $4k more than our fully loaded taurus (which is a bit more fun to drive and has the 6cd player, touch entry buttons, leather) and the hope for long term reliability.
  • toydrivertoydriver Posts: 227
    I agree with beantown2 that VSC is a valuable option for anyone driving on snow / ice or other slippery conditions. In the upper midwest, we experience "black-ice" on the roads, usually in morning commutes - where vehicle exhaust condenses and freezes on the road surface. It is so thin a coating that you can't see it (until it's too late). VSC saved me rounding a curve at highway speed, while traveling through Des Moines recently. The road looked clear, but the VSC kicked in to slow me to a safe speed.

    VSC is all the rage for sport utility vehicles - with their higher center of gravity and tendency to tip. A recent tv-news piece showed the value of VSC on the Mercedes SUV in preventing roll-overs. It will probably become standard technology on SUVs in the future.

    Just my 2 cents worth.
  • 2194621946 Posts: 5
    I have a 2001 Toyota Avalon XL Lunar Mist in color and I am experiencing a problem with the paint chipping off. At first I thought a couple of freak accidents with stones flying up and chipping the paint off. But now I am convinced that there has to be something wrong as I now have a total of 6 paint chips on the front of the car and only have 3000 miles on the vehicle.

    I have had numerous cars in my life and never have had a problem like this! If anyone else has had this problem please let me know and if there is anything that can be done about it other than touching it up with touch up paint. The way I look at it, if this continues by the time I have 50000 miles on the car I should have about 100 paint chips.

    Any comments will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
  • When I purchased my white 2001 XL, I was urged by the dealer to take the Toyoguard package which includes, among other things (e.g. the VIN number etched into all window glass), paint sealant. I didn't really care about this as option is $500+. The sales rep almost insisted, saying that I would be VERY happy that I did, and that it was a worthwhile option. Now I think I understand. I have 1200 miles on my car, and no paint chips so far. Wonder if the sealant has anything to do with this.

    By the way, does the 2001 XL/XLS have de-powered front air bags? I can't find this information anywhere.
  • 21946, I don't know whether you have a bad paint job or not, but I have a 2000 XL in metallic spruce. I put on a 3M clear "bra" on the front of the hood, and do not have any chips there. I have a chip on the rear bumper, and two on the front bumper(no clear bra there, although they are available-www.xpel.com) after 7000 miles. I believe them to be normal wear and tear. As for whether the toyoguard package protects against stone chips, there have been previous posts on these sealant add-ons in other forums, and-it's your money...
    toy av xl2001, I did not get the leather option so later on I added a leather steering wheel cover-it feels and looks really great and grips well-www.wheelskins.com- I even bought one for my father-in-law's Suzuki. I also posted previously if the air filter can be added-no response.
    Lastly, i can store cd's in the center armrest- I have the front bench seats, but I see now that 2001 Toy's have an in-dash 6 cd player, I wonder if it can be swapped out for the single cd player?
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    This will do nothing to prevent paint chips. It will protect from acid rain damage, damage from bird droppings and tree sap, but it does not harden the paint.
  • Own a 2001 Avalon XLE with 10,000 miles. Each time I touch the brakes to slow I hear a single "tick" sound coming from behind the radio toward the right side of the dash. Each time I began to accelerate I hear the same single "tick" come from the same area. My best guess is that this sound is related to the seat belt pretensioner (sp?) control mechanism which is located behind the stereo. Does anyone have this same problem?
  • I have had my 2000 Avalon XLS for one year and have 16,000 miles on it. Took it in for its first warranty issue yesterday. A low moaning sound coming from the air compressor and a rattle in what sounded like the center dash area.

    The Tech found a rock lodged between the condenser and some part of the frame (?).

    Sounded hokey to me but lo and behold there is no more moaning and no more rattle.

    Now I am back to enjoying one of the quietest, smoothest cars I have ever owned.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    I have that same noise on my Tundra truck which has ABS. I have yet to get an opinion as to what it is but it is consistent and the ABS system works perfectly.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    That sounds very plausible. I sold new vehicles that had leaves, sticks and even rats nests positioned to create rattles and noises. If the problem is gone, I wouldn't worry about it.
  • My one month old 2001 Avalon XLS is very nice car, extremely smooth and comfortable, good power and fuel economy. It's nice, but admittedly under whelming (I was considering other premium luxury sedans but settled for an Avalon).

    My only real grief is the dash reflection problem. I drive at night on unlighted roads, I've tried reducing the illumination level, but that damn green reflection still hovers out there over the road like some ghostly apparition attempting to flee before me. Grr.

    It's just a frustrating problem on an otherwise near perfect (if unremarkable) vehicle. Anyone know if Toyota is addressing this problem? I saw other posts hoping for a "TB"? Does that mean something like a "Toyota Service Bulletin" or similar? Meaning they're fixing it?
  • What's going on with these boards? I almost gave up on ever seeing anything on it again!
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