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Toyota Avalon 2004 and earlier



  • tucazcattucazcat Posts: 1
    Hi, I read your reply to the Avalon 2000 problem. My sister just had a similar experiance. The dealer wanted almost $400. I was looking for a part price on the net for the Mass airflow sensor which the dealer said it was. Are we talking about the same thing and where is it located to make it easier?
  • par_papar_pa Posts: 13

    I think we are talking about the same part. Price was around 400$ here in Canada. The MAF sensor is located just past the air filter box. The part is held by two screws, and is really easy to remove. Be careful in cleaning the sensing wire, use soft brush, take your time. You may have to repeat the operation. I know that some people use alcohol the clean the wire, but I needed none.
    Good luck, :D
  • kpraveenkpraveen Posts: 22
    I have checked my car A/C, i refilled coolant and oil but still a/c is not functioning. Can any one please suggest me what could be the problem.
    Thank you.
  • whilstwhilst Posts: 19
    Hi. 'oo xls 78K miles.
    These lights come on and car runs poorly with what seems to be brakes being applied!???
    NO "check engine" light though?
    Any one else had/have this problem?
    TIA. Jeff.
  • It could be the fuse,compressor relay,the pressure switch or the compressor itself.If the fuse is good,try running two wires directly to the compressor.If it works the problem is the relay or the pressure switch.You will have to remove the wires that carry power to the compressor.If you are not mechanical savvy,just take the vehicle to the mechanic and be prepared to dig deep.Good luck.
  • deepandeepan Posts: 342
    is the compressor kicking in. there will be a light change in rev when it kicks in or you could visually see it if you open the hood. the outer wheel is belt driven (its connected to the alternator etc) but the inner wheel is the one that you need to watch.
  • alkricalkric Posts: 9
    Hi there,
    About a month ago I heard a strange rubbing sound from the front left wheel. You hear the sound if you close the windows and move very slowly. A few days ago I changed the rotors (not Toyota) and the pads (Toyota) on the front wheels. For a few days there was no rubbing sound. Now the rubbing sound came back and I believe it is louder. My mechanic inspected the wheel and the break and didn’t find any problem. Any thoughts?
  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591
    Yes. Check the caliper and see if it is sticking. Just because the pads and rotors were changed, doesn't mean the brakes are working correctly. If rust has seized the glide pins, your pads will be sticking in one position and retain themselves on the rotors. So, have him check that out again. Do you live in a snow fall area??? Then rust is the enemy of brakes.

    If that is not the problem, check the axle and CV joints.

  • alkricalkric Posts: 9
    Thanks abfisch,
    I'll talk to my mechanic. I live in Brooklyn, NY it is not that much of a snow here, but you never know.

    Thanks again

  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Go to the Toyota Avalon folder to find a new discussion about tires and wheels. After you click on that link, you'll want to click on "Track This Group" so you don't miss any other new Avalon discussions.

  • 49364936 Posts: 15
    I too, now have the VSC & VSC off lites on all the time since the car has been to a non toyota shop for a replacement of all plugs, they also used injector cleaner also had timing belt, water pump & thermostat etc at the same time 93,000 on a 2000 Avalon XLS. What was your final cure?
    Thanks for your time
  • gartmacdgartmacd Posts: 27
    Clean the MAF sensor, if that doesn't work, replace it. Reset the check engine and VSC lights.Your problem will disappear. MAF sensors are notoriously susceptible to polluted environments. It is not something exclusive to Toyota--all makes have the same problem. if you live in a major urban center anywhere, or in the prominently industrialized eastern part of the US, you will eventually suffer a MAF failure because of the poor air quality.
  • 49364936 Posts: 15
    Thanks for the reply, I cleaned the sensor wire with alcohol, it was coated with a brown residue, now its nice and bright, but no change. How do you reset the VSC & VSC off lights which are on when motor is running? If I replaced the unit do I have to get the light reset?
    Thanks for the reply
  • claytonpclaytonp Posts: 5
    I recently bought a 99 Avalon XLS with just over 119,000 and had drove it about 75-80 miles and the "TRAC OFF" light came on and will not go out. The owners manual says to take to dealer but it does not feel like anything is wrong. When I step on the gas there is no wheel spin. Would bad tires possibly be the cause of this? Can I simply get the code reset and be safe to see if it just goes away?
    Thanks in advance for any help.
  • alkricalkric Posts: 9
    Hi there,

    My Toyota Avalon 2001 has 95000 miles. Sometimes, when it stays idle for while, it gives me starting problems. I start the car and the pressure in the tachometer doesn’t go over 1. The car jumps a little and dies. To start the car, I have to start the ignition while pressing the accelerator. When I came to my mechanic, the car had no start up problems. He said that it could be anything, and all I can do is wait until my car dies. I can’t really do that because I travel a lot and would rather not be stranded in upstate New York on the road :cry:. I tried ignition clean up liquid but it didn’t help.

  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591
    I know this may sound not what you want to hear and I am just giving you my opinion. My Avalon is an 02 with 83K. I am starting to have problems with the half shafts(transaxles) and the HVAC. Luckily, last November I bought a third car for the family, used, but fairly new with 15K on it. While I get the Avalon taken car of, I use it. It works out so much better if you havethe space to have three cars. I used to get all wrapped around the axle cause I needed my car back right away, now I don't even think twice. I give the repair place 1 month to get the parts and repair it. It they cannot do it, then they lose future business. All fair, and no worries. Not sure of your financial situration but similar situation.

    i was lucky enough to pick up a 04 BMW 325ci that came over from Germany and a soldier wanted to sell it cause he was having a bigger family. The least electronic gizmos on it possible. Only a upgraded stereo and the sports package suspension. That is it. No problems to date. Use the Avalon during the winter now and for towing and long trips.

    Hope some or all of this helps.

  • alkricalkric Posts: 9
    Hey, what were the first symptoms of the problems?

  • founda98founda98 Posts: 11
    Recently, when filling gas tank, the nozzel's automatic shutoff is activated every few seconds. Makes it VERY difficult to fill the tank. Tried several different gas stations - got same results. Is there anything I can do to fix this or do I have to have dealer service dept look at it? Thanks in advance for any input!
  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591
    Try not putting the nossle so far in the filler neck. That might help.

  • jesch1jesch1 Posts: 9
    I too am interested in the transaxle problem. My 02 is in the shop now to cope with a noise audible on even slight acceleration and from previous efforts by the mechanic, the answer is not found! I have had no responses to another post on this subject and go off warranty in a few days. I hesitate to mention a transmision problem, but with little knowledge of mechanics and an unwillingness by Toyota to attribute this to the motor, the axle post intigues me. Naturally, I want this resolved now under warranty!! It has been two to three years! I have an 05 XLS too!
  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591
    If you had an axle or CV joint problem, common to front drive vehicles, you would start to get a clicking sound for the outer CV joint, or a vibration if it is the inner CV joint. How many miles do you have. Usually occurs from 80-100K. Transmission is still smooth on mine but I change the filter and fluid about every 30-40K.

  • 5539655396 Posts: 529
    Hi AB. I haven't been here in awhile. I did one of my favorite things today and went to the BMW/Susan B Komen cancer drive and drove the Bimmers again, and it makes me want to put better struts etc. in our 03 Avalon. Two questions.

    1. Does Tokico have a website with info on their struts. I see KYB's are cheaper - IF I'm looking at the correct ones. You thought the Tokico's were firmer, didn't you? I would consider KYB's if cheaper, but not if only a bit firmer than stock. I want BMW stiff. ;-)

    2. Have you tried silicone plumbing grease available at Home Depot (not the regular stuff)? It has a heavy consistency and is waterproof. I'm going to try it for squeaky door rods too.
  • jesch1jesch1 Posts: 9
    Miles are under 57000. Service says no to CV joint problem. It is in garage now. We'll see tomorrow. Since it is only noticeable at lower speed accelerations, perhaps because with road or wind noises overcoming my noise.
    I thought it might be caused by dirty fuel filter, but service advises that is in the gas tank! Still I think it could be the trouble if noise is only with feed at seemingly lower gas.

    Perhaps this posting belongs on other than start up now!

    Appreciate your interest and response. Thanks. I use 89+ Octane with gasahol as the state subsidizes through lower taxes, but I have tried several tanks of premium with no affect on this problem, even three tanks in succession on highway trip at 70+ MPH.
  • Thought others might like to know that this problem is associated with the Check Engine Light. My wife bought me a code reader and cleared the codes and the TRAC OFF light works fine now with the switch. What I was wondering about though was if anyone knew anything about code P1142. It also gave me a generic code of P0402. I think the later is for an EGR valve or component. I've done a lot of work one cars but never any major engine work. Is the EGR system hard to work on?
  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591

    You will not get BMW stiffness, if that is what you want to call it. I own a fairly new BMW too, 04 325ci 5 speed Sports Package, and believe it or not, it is not very stiff an more, more refined, and ofcourse handles like a BMW with the sports suspension.

    My Avalon is notably softer, although much less so than how it came. TokicoHP's or KYB GR2's either one are good. Both have websites. I bought Tokico but really there is not a major difference between them. The BIG difference is getting one of them( a twin tube, low pressure, gas strut) versus the conventional strut. Further, depending on the mileage, I would recommend changes the rubber bushings at 5-6 years into the car, and changing them to PU type bushings. Energy suspension makes the specific parts for the Avalon, both the sway bar bushings and the control arm bushings. Believe it or not, the cornering capacity of the car is much improved with minimal harshness tranmitted through the cabin. The only time I can detect harshness remotely transmitted is when I go over railroad tracks, otherwise the front stays flat around 45mph corners. OEM tires to boot. Same size. That is all I would do. It is enough and expensive, so consider keeping the car awhile. The bushings are much less expensive but together, you have a car that probably rides more sporty but not a sports sedan like the 5 series BMW.

    Make sure you replace the shock top mounts too. Just get the Toyota replacement part for that. Bring it to people that are capable of doing it, and do it everyday.

    Blue Marine grease is cheap enought, hydrophilic and works well. The sway bar bushing are the one that have to get re-lubricated every year or so, as the sway bars twists inside the bushings.

    Good luck.

  • 5539655396 Posts: 529
    I tried to find specs on Tokico's, but can only find links to parts suppliers. Does anyone know where I can fund the Tokico manufacturers web site? Or someplace that has specs?
    I want to know how much stiffer than stock their struts are.

    Looks like I can get a set of KYB GR2's for a bit over 200 bucks. Cheap enough, but I spoke to a performance parts guy who told me - as earlier posted - that KYB makes OEM struts for Honda, Toyota and others, to MFR specs. He said that a Honda Civic had struts designed to Honda specs that had a 30k life. He also said KYB GR2's were 15% stiffer than stock. Not much. Another supplier said Tokico's would be stiffer than KYB, but of course they are about $400.
  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591
    Ummm. No and Yes. The site is You should have been able to look that up rather easily.

    Depending on if they are stuts or shocks, makes a moderate difference in the price. In the AValon, it is struts on all four wheels. Third, just because Toyota or Honda contract with KYB or Tokico or Bilstein, doesn't necessary mean that you are getting the same part, as far as quality. For instance, some of the Bilstein shocks coming as OEM equipment are not the monotube high pressure shocks for aftermarket.

    Fourthly, stiffness is rather a vague term. There are basically two ways a strut/shock goes, one is compression and the rebound. If you note some of the graphics, the compression stroke should be about the same, but the rebound will be different. None of the OEM shocks that I know of anyway, come as a twin tube low pressure gas design. Usually they are oil with gas hydraulic. Stay away from, unless you are racing your Avalon, the high pressure gas shocks. They ride terrible IMO. The twin tube low pressure gas shock gives you the best of both worlds, a compromise, but a good compromise. The ONLY caveat to this is that KONI, have come out with a strut/shock twin valve design, instead of a single valve design. Tested on a BMW(not an Avalon) 330ci coupe with the sports suspension, they compared the OEM sports shock, to the KONI FSD(frequency selective dampening?)and the Koni sport. You can go to the TIRERACK website and see what their conclussions are.

    You cannot really compare stiffness as a global sense, as I have had the experience of having TokicoHP's on a 90 Honda Civic and then on a 02 Avalon. All stock springs and tires sizes although the tires themselves were upgraded. Both provided a remarkable increase in handling characteristics but I remember the ride of the Civic and the vibration to be transmitted into the cabin. Not so with the Avalon as it has so much sound deadening material and rubber bushhings underneath that with the standard tires 15 or 16", I don't think harshness or stiffnesss most would feel or find. You will notice a decrease in floating at freeway speeds and a marked decrease in front end nose dive during braking, unloading the front brakes a bit. It still feels like a big luxury car but that is much more taut.

    I hope that helps. Either brand KYB or Tokico will bring remarkable differences. If you are in the NY area, you are welcome to come and drive my Avalon to see. If you need a percentage, I guess 15-20% more taut would be accurate for this model. Don't be fooled by the performance parts guy though, OEM Honda shocks, unless on a specific model are not twin tube low pressure gas.

  • 5539655396 Posts: 529
    Good information. Thanks for the URL.

    "The site is You should have been able to look that up rather easily."

    The problem was that I did a search on Tokico struts, and that didn't show the URL. Shortened to just Tokico, it did.

    Notice that I did say OEM's were 'designed to manufacturer specs'. If designed too well, there wouldn't be that profit on replacements, and it may add a buck or two to the production cost.

    You are correct on the details. I just used a general term. We used to run 90/10 shocks on drag cars for low resistance on launch for weight transfer off the line. These would be totally unacceptable on the street.
  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591
    Agreed. Most, not all, are not interested in "The Launch" although "The Launch" is pretty neat, for fun. I am talking about a well balanced compliant but stable suspension that retains most of its geometry at legal or just above legal speed limits. the struts mentioned and/or PU bushing replacements (Sway bars and control arm) will achieve that objective nicely in older Avalons.

  • 5539655396 Posts: 529
    "Make sure you replace the shock top mounts too. Just get the Toyota replacement part for that. Bring it to people that are capable of doing it, and do it everyday."

    I was thinking this would be an inexpensive item. NOT. I can buy all 4 KYB-GR2's for $209 (List $485) plus $28 shipping. BUT, the strut mounts, (SM5179 for RF) are $70 each front and $52 each rear. Are these the parts you are talking about? That's another $244 + shp, plus $400 for someone to install them plus a wheel alignment, plus Energy bushings if I go that route, and I would like to. Damn, it's getting to be real money. Are these the strut mounts you mentioned? Can't just replace the rubber parts?
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