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Toyota Avalon



  • wklwkl Posts: 1
    I am considering purchasing a used 98 XL with 35.6 K miles. It has been on a lease program and I would be purchasing from an individual who has all of the service records etc. for the vehicle. I would appreciate any advice from owners who have made such a purchase.

    I am basically looking for a good business car that can get me 200K plus miles with proper servicing. I typically put 40K miles a year on a vehicle.

    Also, any thoughts on the bumper to bumper warranty expiring in 400 miles? Should/Can I go to a Toyota dealer and purchase or not?

  • pilot13pilot13 Posts: 283
    You are going way beyond the norm with this "sludge" obsession of yours.
    What, exactly, is your motive here--where is it that you hope to go with this thing?
    I'm among the many who are very skeptical of your objective because none of your so-called "reports" or "testimonials" make any sense--they're not factual at all, and sound more like something intended to simply stir up controvorsy.
    Really, are you telling the whole story, or just putting us all on?
    C'mon now, fess up!
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Is it just me, or do you get the feeling that Ms. Blake has some unspecified personal agenda re Toyota? Years ago my sister bought a new Pontiac Sunbird 4 cyl., drove the living **** out of it for 18 months through 2 Canadian winters without ever changing the oil, then when it seized solid she went on a witch hunt against GM for building a defective engine. Sure wish I knew all the facts surrounding Ms. Blake's tirades.
  • pilot13pilot13 Posts: 283
    As one Canuck to another, I really believe you've tagged it right on in your analogy.
    Man, I've seen some petty vindictiveness in my day but this blake character really takes the cake,eh?
  • bnormannbnormann Posts: 335
    To top it off, she has posted similar attacks in several discussions. In one of them, she was pegged as an "Erin Brockovich (sp?) wanna-be...

    Maintenance & Repair Message Board
  • robtroxelrobtroxel Posts: 103
    After reading the above posts on the grabbing cranny. This is called drive line snatch and mine had the same tendencies. (I learned how to anticipate this when slowing down and then taking off). This is not uncommon on many makes. The Avalon did reward me though with one of the smoothest gear changes in normal acceleration.
    The suspension with the McPherson struts on the Avalon will never qualify as a true handler, my front struts also creaked or pop- d. But was also fixed under warranty. The rear suspension was specially "boomy" over minor bumps. Again the nature of that type of suspension. The best handling fix for me was ash canning the stock wheels/tires (205/65/15) and going to a 17"wheel with 215/50/17 Good year RSAs Vrated. This swap with keep an accurate speedo and you will notice an incredible increase in looks and handling. Make no mistake this will never run with a BMW. Overall the Avalon was one of the very best cars I ever had.
    I replaced this car with another make because
    Toyota didn't offer the new XLS with a black leather interior, and the lack of the 5-speed auto and side curtain airbags.

    This was a quality car.
  • pilot13pilot13 Posts: 283
    Appreciate the input on this cblake person. At first, I must admit to being just a tad incensed about the anti-Toyota sentiments she seemed prone to rave on about.
    However, after doing some research on this self proclaimed advocate against all things Toyota, it's now patently clear that there is a strong motive in acting thus.
    In 1995, she litigated against Chrysler over alledged problems with her Plymouth Minivan brakes; in 1997 her mother's Chev Cavalier was the source of a major tiff between her and GM; later, she took on the local Police Force for failing to resolve a petty theft of some I.D. to her satisfaction---and on and on and on!
    Honestly, I believe what we've got here is a "Professional and Chronic Complainer" who's sole objective is to get something for nothing!
    In a nutshell--someone who should be given a wide berth.
  • To All: I just purchased a 2001 Avalon XL, Pearl White. VERY nice, and quiet car. I am amazed at how powerful and quiet this car is on the road, over any road surface.

    I traded a 1999 Volvo S70. I liked the Volvo, but it was noisy, and rides like a stagecoach, next to the Avalon. It tested very well for occupant safety, but in researching new cars, it looks as though the 2000+ Avalon does very well in offset and side crashes.

    Here's the thing: the XL has cloth seats, which, by the way, I wanted. The Volvo had leather seats, and I found the leather to be hot in the summer, cold in the winter.

    Anyway, in my opinion, Volvo makes the best car seats in the industry. You can sit in them all day long, and not feel uncomfortable. I have put about 400 miles on the Avalon, and am finding the drivers seat to be uncomfortable, especially in the curve where the lumbar support is. The seat is power, and does have the power lumbar adjustment. It just seems like it's impossible to set the seatback angle, and the lumbar support, to a position where it doesn't bother my lower back.

    Questions for 2000+ Avalon owners:
    1. Is anyone else experiencing/having this problem?

    2. are the seats (cloth) in the XL the same as the seats in the XLS; only difference being the leather? Are they shaped the same? Or did I miss something in the test drive?

    3. Are there any GOOD seat supports or cushions that can be added, that would correct this problem?

    I thank you all in advance for any suggestions/help you can offer.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    I KNEW it!!! Good detective work there.
  • aguidaaguida Posts: 1
    I'm thinking of purchasing a 1995 Toyota Avalon XLS with low miles (40,000) The car is clean - moon roof, leather interior - all the bells and whistles - price is 12,500. My concern is buying a car that is 6 years old and no warranty (private owner) Some folks are saying - great car - you can't go wrong. Any advice?
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Read post #34 in this topic area. Toyota ranks 4th overall of all cars sold in the U.S. after 6 years according to a JD Power survey.
  • bnormannbnormann Posts: 335
    Better to ask your question in the Sedans Board. We try and deal with specific Maintenance & Repair issues in this board.

    Good Luck.

    Maintenance & Repair Message Board
  • toydrivertoydriver Posts: 227
    I drive a '95 Avalon XL with power cloth seats and lumbar support. I agree with your complaint about the seat being "uncomfortable". Once I drove from Phoenix to Mpls over a long weekend and felt like a pretzel for several days after. I sat in the '01 Avalon leather at the dealership, and thought that it had been improved, but still not great. I also agree with your comment about Volvo seats being very good - had a '86 model.

    It seems to me that Toyota should make a longer front seat cushion with more padding. The front seat back seems to be supportive enough. I also decided at the time ('95)to buy cloth because of winter cold, but I have since changed my mind after experiencing the new seat heaters.

    My wife has a '01 Lexus RX with very comfortable leather front seats, warms up in about 30seconds - so I know that Toyota could upgrade the Avalon seat if enough of us would complain.

    Overall, I am VERY satisfied with the Avalon - 109K trouble free miles, and planning for another 100K, if my back holds together! The engine still sounds new and you can rarely feel the automatic transmission shifting. This car is a definite "keeper". But, I would be interested in a seat upgrade or after market seat improvement.
  • I have a 97 avalon xls with 40,000 miles. I did have to replace the tires at 28,000 miles but the tread wear rating was below 200 so that isn't much of a surprise. What is a surprise is that the original brakes still look good. Everything else works just like it's supposed to. I also drive a 91 Mazda 929s (115,000 miles) with better acceleration and handling than the avalon but the avalon does ride smoother on the road. The avalon is a Japanese Buick.
  • this is one pisst off mujer!i cant agree better with pilot13...i own a toyota wuth 325k miles on original drive train and still going strong!!!
  • I was wondering if anyone is experiencing wind noise. Mine occurs when I get over 40MPH and it sounds like the door seals are leaking. Friends say it sounds like road noise being transmitted through the body. I would like to hear from others that may have the same or experienced this problem and what is the fix. Thanks Chic
  • I too am having difficulty getting comfortable in the Avalon seats. After driving my father's loaded 2000 XLS, I am strongly considering the purchase of a very similar car. A local dealer is expected to buy at auction several 2000 XLS Avalon program (a nice word for off-lease) next week with less than 10K miles which I should be able to purchase for @24,000 loaded up nicely. Unfortunately, nice as they look the leather seats are uncomfortable to me. Because I am only 5'7" the back of the seat seems to expect a larger person and the headrest doesn't line up with my neck very well. It gives me no support at all. I tried sitting in the cloth seat version and they seemed more comfortable, at least sitting in the dealers lot. Perhaps the story would be different had I taken the car for a test drive. After reading these forums for several months, it has become a familiar theme that the seats are one aspect of the Avalon that is problematic. They seem to either be uncomfortable or make some sort of unwanted noise. I wish I could get a loaded XLS but with cloth instead of leather but they are rather rare. At any rate, I think that the Avalon has an excellent drive train and repair history but they really need to get some stylist to go over their product lines inside (interiors -seats etc.) and out. Also, for goodness sake Toyota get the person who picks out some of those hideous exterior colors some Prozak or something. No one would cloak their entire product line in earth tones unless they are seriously depressed. I understand that white is the number one color selected and I would guess not because it in itself so appealing but because it is less butt ugly than the others.
  • I purchased a 1997 toyota Avalon brand-new,my wife
    uses the car for commuting. We had 39,000 miles
    on the car in one year. By the time it had 22,000
    miles on it we had the door seals replaced for excessive wind noise. We traded the car for a 1998
    Toyota Avalon because we loved everything else about the car and the 98 had side-impact bags and
    depowered(safer)front air-bags.At 37,500 miles
    the dreaded wind noise returns but the dealer
    won't fix it and the regional service manager
    won't stand behind it and offer any assistance.
    Now at 73,000 miles it bugs me enough to call Toyota @ 800-331-4331 and get Toyota involved
  • I have a 2001 XL, and was wondering if the front airbags are depowered. I don't see it in the brochure. Thanks.
  • lon7lon7 Posts: 7
    I have a 2000 Toyota Avalon XLS and have rattles in the drivers side front door and in the dash in front of the driver. Also, my VSC just went on the blink. Will have to take it in to the dealer for repair.
  • ben172ben172 Posts: 1
    I hava a 97 Avalon that has 48k miles on it. At about 25k miles I noticed noise in the front struts. The dealer first said the strut caps had been redesigned and needed to be replaced; this was done but there was still noise. They then replaced the struts. Then had to return for readjustments to lessen the noise. Then noticed excessive front tire wear and the dealer made an adjustment for me to purchase new tires. Apparently they had not realigned the front end or misaligned it after strut replacement, thus resulting in the tire wear problem. Bottom line is that I still think the suspension has a problem, noise, possibly front and rear. Don't think Toyota has really leveled with purchasers regarding strut problems on this model year of Avalon. Would like for others that have had similar problems to respond. What are the possible solutions?
  • boordboord Posts: 27
    I have a 2000 xls with 7500 miles on it. I've always changed the oil and filter on my cars. But the horizontal filter on the front of the engine makes it a mess to accomplish.

    Is there a trick or a special tool available for pulling the filter without getting oil all over the place?

    Anybody have any thoughts on running synthetic oil in the Avalon? Which weight?

    Thanks for any tips or thoughts.
  • You will notice that the end of the filter is made
    so a tool will fit it, like an oversize socket.
    Buy your new Toyota filter, take it by the local
    auto parts dealer and match it up with the "socket"
    that fits the oil filter. You can then loosen the
    filter with either a wrench or ratchet, whichever
    you prefer. Having changed oil several times, I've
    yet to figure out a way to keep the old oil off of
    the exhaust system as it drains from the filter.
    Using rags and/or paper towels, you just sop up as
    much of the oil as possible and go from there.

    You can run synthetic oil but until the warranty
    on the car has expired, you may be required to
    change as often as if you were running "normal" oil
    (to keep from voiding the warranty).
  • I posted this exact question a few months ago on another forum and never got any response. Like ferg52641, i just use a lot of paper towels to clean up and throw it into the oil eater disposal box.
    It is perhaps my first "annoyance flaw" that I have found for the ava. My corolla had enough clearance to let the filter and drips drop straight into the disposal box.
    I am currently using 5w-30w Castrol syn blend, but plan to change to Mobilone 5w-30w pure syn after the next oil change. I have 6000+ miles and the next change will be my third one.
  • dubsdubs Posts: 1
    I have 96 Toyota Avalon with 86k. I've replaced the struts once and am just replacing the rack and pinion for the second time. It's on CO with 15 ahead of me. Anyone else have this kind of problem. I'm a gentle driver too!
  • boordboord Posts: 27
    Thanks for the help on Part 1.

    I've read through the manual and I can't find the specification for the size of the hex wrench required to remove the oil drain plug on a 2000 XLS. Anybody know the size or if it is a special tool sold by Toyota?

    Thanks again.
  • I just bought my car on Martin luther King Day. It has rained every day since I bought it. While getting out of the car I noticed my rug looked wet under the mat. The floor was saturated wet. the dealer asked if it was moisture. I had to explain my intellegence. They said they will use the "water doctor" that comes around weekly and he will find the problem. To me it appears to be coming out of the foot rest. the rug is not wet under the brake or the gas pedal only from the foot rest down. anyone else have a problem with water? This is my first new car in 10 years and I paid 29,852.00 cash. I feel sick to my stomach!
  • boagboag Posts: 14
    Post no. 57 - yes I've replaced my steering rack and yes I've heard the same things about a number of people having them fail.

    I've also had a rattle in the front and there is a small struct, almost like an idler arm (as I am told) that was worn. Replaced it and the noise went away, but my mechanic said that the bushing on the top of the strut was also worn and needed replacing. He used to be the dealerships service manager and said when he called for the parts they were backordered. A waiting of 25 was ahead of me, seems they fail often.

    Some parts will fail due to wear and we need to expect this. However, there are some parts that seem to fail on a regular basis. I don't really believe that the company will ever provide relief for these parts, but I will need to purchase a car in the future and these issues are a factor to consider in making a decision. The problem being who is still producing a good car, with good dealer support.
  • I purchased a 2000 xls from a local dealer (5k miles and was driven by service mgr, an acquaintance of mine). I had driven '97 &'98 xl/xls and noticed a wind noise similar to the one you mention. The known culprit at Toyo dealers is the air seal around the driver-side rear door. No one seems to know why. That sort of thing makes me crazy. I was assured the problem had been fixed on the 2000 model and so far, so good. I have noticed in a strong cross wind that the front door away from the cross wind was pulled open enough to hear road noise (likely due to the vacuum created on that side of the car by the wind pressure. The door(s) could likely use stronger reinforcement but seem to close tightly and are fairly quite. db
  • I am a long time toyota owner. The best of the lot was my '94 camry xle. One of the pleasures of driving that car was the power switch on the tranmission/transaxle. I only drove the car in the "power" mode. More frequent downshifts and upshifts and every one as smooth as silk. Last year I purchased a 2000 ava xls. There is a lot to like about the car, but the transmission is not on my list of likable features. They have taken my "power" button away (though a notch-out appears on my shift panel) where it should have been. I have always driven my toyotas as more of a sports car, not too fast but with the feel of having plenty of power on demand. The larger and heavier avalon is geared much more like a luxury car and is stodgy at lower speeds unless I really "punch it." Down shifting through a corner is like waiting for grass to grow before it will find the lower gear and go. It almost feels as if by the time it downshifts to the lower gear it is already time to upshift and it is meeting itself coming and going.

    Does anyone know if toyota makes an alternate transmission for this vehicle or a microchip which would cause it to shift more fluidly. The mpg sticker on the car was impressive when I bought it, but I'm afraid Toyota exacted their mileage performance at the expense of on-demand smooth power by installing a transmission that gets you into the higher gears much sooner than necessary with a 210 hp engine, as good as it is, that is simply inadequate to handle the gear ratio. Don't get me wrong, I can get the performance out of the car if I put a brick on the accellerator. Who wants to go through life like that?

    I had strongly considered trading it for a 300ES, which I believe still has a choice of power settings, but hate to give up the big cabin of the xls. Any suggestions? db
This discussion has been closed.