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Toyota Avalon 2004 and earlier



  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    The 2001 Avalon will be available in the following colors: diamond white, lunar mist, black, vintage red, desert sand, silver spruce and woodland pearl. Interior colors remain the same. The first retail date is Sept. 1, 2000.

    I know of no schedules changes for the car and if Toyota follows their normal pattern we wont see any changes at all until the 2003 model year. There may be option changes before then, but overall, it will be the same.

    Drgg4, I really love the car. I like just about everything on it but it wont tow my boat so it is out of the question for me to own one. If I weren't an outdoor nut, I would probably buy one, especially if I had kids.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    You may not want to tell us, but just how did you tear the roof line fastening a seat belt around your waist?
  • jwj2jwj2 Posts: 3
    we bought a new 2000 avalon xls last Sept. it has always been very quiet until recently. Now the seats snap, crackle, and pop when we turn corners.If you have experienced this problem pls reply.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    This may sound frivolous, and I don't mean to do so, but do you have children who were playing in your car while munching on their favorite cereal? It really is the first variable to eliminate, if you have kids.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    maybe you need the check the eating habits of the person who assembled your seat at the factory??????????? :)
  • sranger94sranger94 Posts: 18
    I picked this up from an Acura Dealer website, I currently own a 98 Avalon XLS, but am probably going to trade it in for an Acura RL as the Avalon spends way too much time at the dealer for repair after repair after repair. Anyway, hope this helps.

    On vehicles with leather seating surfaces, the leather-to-leather contact can cause what sounds like a rattle when you drive over rough roads. The noise usually happens when there's contact between the seat-back and the cushion.
    To confirm the cause, change the position of the seat-back: the noise will be worse when it's fully forward, and get more quiet when it's reclined. To eliminate the noise, apply a light film of liquid dishwashing soap (such as Ivory) to the contact surfaces with a clean finger or shop towel and wipe off the excess. Don't use a lot, and keep it away from the seating surface.
  • borelliborelli Posts: 2
    Has anyone out there purchased an aftermarket sunroof of their 2K AV? I have a 2K XL Woodland Pearl power seat option. I live in Connecticut.
    Price would be helpfull al well as any problems.
  • I've been thinking about purchase of a 2000 Avalon, but noticed in one report that it requires Premium Gas. Can any current owners supply me with the recommended octane rating (and recommendations of what grade of fuel they are currently using)?
  • jcarr7jcarr7 Posts: 2

    Just filled up my 2k yesterday with 90 octane ethanol gas. Have used this since I bought the car. Used it on a 98 for two years. Have used ethanol for the last 15 years with no bad results.

    Only 1.5k miles so I cannot give you a very accurate mpg figure. On other car I could not tell any difference between regular and premium. If there was any difference in performance I didn't notice it

    Maybe someone else is more discriminating than I.
  • cwattcwatt Posts: 1
    You're welcome. After almost 4 weeks and 2000 miles, I remain very happy with the car. Thanks for your efforts.

  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 2,452
    Dear duszynski:
    The car runs fine on 87 Octane but I have always used 89 Octane. According to the experts if the automobile is designed to run on regular gas (which is recommended in the owners manual) then you should not use a higher grade because it will not improve performance. They also claim that the detergent in regular gas is superior that of high octane gasoline.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Actually, the car is designed to run on premium. It is a high compression engine and does benefit from using higher octane fuels. You will not hurt it by using regular due to the knock sensors and other devices in the engine.
  • drgg4drgg4 Posts: 9
    Thanx for the info re Avalon introduction date, colors, etc. I have been looking into possible auto choices and ended up with Chrysler 300M, Acura 3.2 TL and Toyota Avalon. I am leaning to Avalon, having eliminated Chrysler on crash test results, quality control, depreciation, and future phase-out for rear wheel drive in 2004, Acura on "Accord-look alike" appearance, smaller size and distance to dealer. I haven't gotten into serious negotiations with Toyota, but will try for a wholesale cost minus holdback plus $400 to start. Does that sound impossible to you? Thanx again for your insights!
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    You can start anywhere you want but unless the market is MUCH softer where you live, you will be disappointed. Allow me to fill you in on what you are likely to run into. Most dealers will not discuss holdback because nobody in the sales department is paid on it. As salesmen and managers, invoice is cost (even though we know it is not) because of how we are paid.

    Next, you will run into the issue of the TDA fee. I have discussed this issue several times in this topic but basicly, we pay for Toyota's advertising on the invoice. This amount varies by region and Edmunds tells you it exists but this rarely prepares you for the amount. In the Central Atlantic region, it is slightly more than the holdback and we even the owner doesn't get this money back.

    Finally, you may find the supply/demand curve doesn't lend itself to very short deals anyway. At our store, the retail guys are routinely getting $1000 to $1400 over total invoice. Here in the Internet department, we take a little less but not much. We are selling every one we get within days of its arrival. It is really a sellers market.

    I don't want to discourage you from doing this, but I do want you to be prepared for what you may encounter. There certainly are regional differences in supply and demand and you may get lucky but don't be shocked if you discover that the best price ends up being well over your opening salvo.
  • drgg4drgg4 Posts: 9
    Thanks again for your input. Your insights are quite valuable in the total research I am engaged in...keep up the good work!
  • drgg4drgg4 Posts: 9
    Thanks again for your input. Your insights are quite valuable in the total research I am engaged in...keep up the good work!
  • al1001al1001 Posts: 2
    I noticed Honda began advertising a clearance sale on TV beginning August 1.

    Will Toyota be having one upcoming soon as well? When? Might there be such a thing as a 2000 Avalon clearance? How much discount (if any) can be anticipated for a 2000 Avalon on "clearance"?

    (Was reported here that 2001 Avalons will have first retail beginning September 2001)
  • jmbkljjmbklj Posts: 19
    I would like an Avalon XL with cloth (and Moonroof) which is next to impossible to find in my market now. Am thinking about trying or order a 2001. Are 2001 prices available yet? Also wonder when they would be available on Edmunds? Overall, is there a certain price percentage increase expected? thanks, to whoever might know!
  • Now at 1000 miles and getting about 26 MPG on regular fuel for combination driving. No rattles, squeeks or crunch noises in the seats. There is a green glow in the window in dark areas at night. Just turn the dash lights down a bit and it goes away. If I had not read about it I would most likely not have noticed.

    The car has met my level of expectations and I am enjoying driving it. My one complaint is the lack of factory mud flaps. My car is black w/ stone leather interior (striking) but it has rained all week and the sides do get much dirtier than they would with the mud flaps...

    This is our third Toyota and my fifth rice burner. I keep these things for at least five years and 135K - 190K miles depending on how much I like the car. For under $26,500. this baby is a keeper.

    I wouldn't wait for the 2001 unless I was going to turn it in three years or less, or lease it.

    My 2 cents.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Every month, we get incentives on vehicle Toyota is not moving quickly enough. These vary by region but in the Central Atlantic Region, we have $750 dealer cash on 4Runners and 2000 Corollas, $300 on 2001 Corolla CE models, $500 customer money on Tacomas and Camrys. We have nothing on Tundras, Celicas, Siennas, Land Cruisers, RAV4 or... the Avalon. We really don't need special incentives to sell these vehicles.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    You already have incentives for the 2001 Corolla CE models? Didn't that car just come out "last week" figuratively speaking?

  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    They did but in this region, they ordered way too many CE models and not enough S or LE models. That is how incentives work. They put them on vehicles that we have too many of which is why we don't have them on the Avalon.
  • tjlewtjlew Posts: 10
    Been reading most of the topics (Avalon 1,2 and 3) and appreciate your input into this forum... my question is in reference to the 2001 models: What happen to the Constellation Blue color choice? We were looking for that color for an XLS here in Texas unsuccessfully... we settled on my second choice of Silver Spruce (which my wife says looks like a light blue)
  • mcgowan1mcgowan1 Posts: 16
    For the heads up on the recall concerning axle problems. It appears that only 541 vehicles were affected, and manufactured in March or April.
    Toyota must have a pretty effective product tracking system to pin down a problem that closely.
    Another reason for their success in the competitive world of automobile manufacturing.
    Well Done Toyota!
  • Thanks to jcarr7, bwia, & cliffy1 for their responses to my Premium Gas question. Gives me a warmer feeling that I won't be forced into paying the higher prices for premium gas if I don't want.
  • boordboord Posts: 27
    When your Avalon was produced in terms of the recall. Is it part of the VIN?
  • danibeadanibea Posts: 1
    we just spent 400. replacing bad wheel bearings in our 96 avalon. When the mechanic called the dealer for the part, the dealer indicated that he had 4 in stock. Our mechanic told us that this was highly unusual, that he expected to have to order it. He seemed to think that the dealer obviously has been replacing this part on other Avalons of this year. we think that this model may have had a wheel bearing problem in the rear. The mechanic told us not to be surprised if we have to do the same on the other rear wheel. Can any support this idea with similar experiences? We'd like to hear from you.
  • I am close to purchasing an avalon. I am satisfied with all the standard options found on the XL except would like to get the traction/vehicle stability control. Any chances that this will be an option in 2001 on the XL model? I don't understand why they make safety options only available on the XLS, I can understand moonroof, beefed up stereo, etc...but not safety items. Geezz I guess I need to step down off my soap box.
  • joedbobjoedbob Posts: 27
    The information on the 2000 Avalon recall is at:

    It's only for Avalons built between March and May 2000.
  • joedbobjoedbob Posts: 27
    When you get to the above site, you need to click "New Search" and put in the information requested, e.g. Toyota, Avalon, 2000.

  • tjlewtjlew Posts: 10
    There is a Manufacturer's placard on the inside of the driver's door that has a date. The gov't website says to wait until the manufacturer contacts the owners of the affected vehicles... I will talk to my dealer since I have to take the car in for a 5,000 mi checkup. Hope this helps.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    The VSC is only a safety item in the same way a 210 HP engine is a safety item. It really is a performance item and by increasing performance, you also increase safety in certain situations. It will not be available on the XL next year and again an option on the XLS.

    As a person who has actually engaged the VSC (on dry pavement), I can tell you that it is a real trick to push a car hard enough to use the stability control.
  • jmbkljjmbklj Posts: 19
    Been trying to find an XL that seemed hard to find (sunroof with cloth). Sent an email to a couple dealerships and received back one great response. A dealership 100 miles away (in a city where I previously lived) did a search & found exactly what I wanted, and the Internet Manager offered a great price upfront. The car is in the region but at another dealership and he will get it shipped to his dealer. Plus, they will deliver the car to my home (100 miles away).

    When I lived in that city previously, I did buy a Camry from them. From my past experiences, I know that dealership is much easier to work with than the dealerships (sales & service departments) in my current city. I have shopped my local Toyota dealers and they were not as helpful in trying to find what I wanted in options or in offering a price related to invoice.

    Question: If I buy from this responsive dealership 100 miles away, could I have problems if/when I need warranty work done at the local dealerships?
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    I wish this was an easy question to answer. In theory, it should not matter where you buy the car. In reality, it can. There are a number of things that can happen to a vehicle where there is some question as to whether it is covered by warranty. Generally, if you have purchased the car from the dealer doing the service, they are more likely to go to bat and get items like this covered.

    Now, if the service department is of questionable quality, they wont lift a finger to help even those who did purchase from them so it may not matter.

    I'll give you a real world example of how things like this happen. I had a customer buy a Sienna from me last year. They were very nice people and never gave me any problems during the purchase. Two months later, my service director called me and asked about them. It seems they had a suspension part "fall off" the van. It was pretty obvious that it was due to hitting something in the road but we couldn't prove that. I told the service guy about how good of customers they were and he slipped the claim through Toyota. Without this word from me, he could have made them pay due to abuse.

    If you purchase out of town, I strongly suggest using the local guys for oil changes and all the regular maintenance. Once you have a history with the service department, they will "forget" who you bought it from if there is ever a question of warranty claims.

    Also, don't rub it in their faces why you bought out of town. If they ask, just tell them you have a friend at the other store in the sales department who got you a deal you couldn't refuse. I know this should go without saying but you wouldn't believe some of the things I hear.
  • jmbkljjmbklj Posts: 19
    Thanks for the insight. This is a concern.

    I have owned 3 Camry's (88, 92 & 95) and have been fortunate in that we never needed warranty work. Maybe I missed the recalls if there were any. Maybe I'm not as fussy as some others are. But it still is a concern if/when I may need warranty work locally on my new Avalon.

    I contacted 4 local dealers (personally and via email) and none were helpful in finding the options I wanted (hard to find XL cloth with power seats and moonroof) or in offering a competitive price which was related to invoice.

    The out-of-town dealer is one of the largest Toyota dealers nationally. Maybe they know how to make the car buying experience easy?

    Now we just need to decide whether we sell the 92 or the 95 Camry when we buy the Avalon!
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    I stand by my suggestion of getting to know the service department of a local store. Before you even do this, you may want to find out more about them. Ask them what kind of awards they have. Specificly, ask how many times they have won the President's Award and if they won it last year. This award is given to stores with very high CSI scores in sales and service and they must meet certain goal in both departments. Also, check with the BBB, and ask people you know who service their cars there.

    I also suggest going into the service department and seeing how they interact with their customers. Pick the store that feels the most professional and has the highest CSI ratings. Create a relationship with them so if there ever is a warranty issue, you will have an advocate instead of an adversary.
  • ebormaneborman Posts: 1
    I am the original owner of a 97 Avalon with 67K miles. At 25K miles I heard a knocking noise coming from the front right wheel well. Sounds like something is loose and about to fall off the car. The noise has worsened with age.

    The dealer told me that a Tech Service Bulletin was issued in Sep 99 and Jan 00 that informed dealers about the noise problem. Dealers were instructed to replace the strut mounts for vehicles under 36K miles or 3 yrs, whichever came first. My Extended Care agreement won't cover the relacement cost, since the problem is not a result of a "mechanical failure," which is not defined in the agreement. Obviously, I can't dump my car for a reasonable price, since any prospective buyer would hear the noise. Has anyone out there experienced the same problem? To whom can I address my complaint? I don't want to pay $440 to replace original, defective strut mounts.

    Good luck to any other Avalon owner experiencing the same problem.
  • fitz22fitz22 Posts: 1
    My wife just purchased a 96 Avalon with 55K miles. The car runs great but I did notice a cloud of white smoke at cold start-up only, not when warm. Had the oil changed and noticed a large amount of sludge under the oil cap. We took the car in to a dealer and they have told us the engine is totaly sludged up and will require about $2,800 to fix. I understand the previous owner did have the oil changed regularly and have heard that the Avalons have had an oil sludge problem. Has anyone else experienced this? We need help before the attorneys get involved.
  • drgg4drgg4 Posts: 9
    Cliffy...You may have a hard time being objective, since you are an Avalon booster and salesperson, but I was wondering what you think of the Acura TL 3.2? I know that they are not in the same class, but both seem to have a lot of appeal. Thanks for your input. They are approximately the same price in the part of Ohio where I live.
  • mcgowan1mcgowan1 Posts: 16
    A cooling system which is leaking coolant into the engine combustion area, either a leaking head gasket or a cracked cylinder head or engine block. Usually, white coloured emission is an indication of a coolant leak somewhere, and it may be small enough in your case to seal itself after warmup.This could also explain the unusually large buildup of sludge--especially if it's a milky color.
    Best thing I can suggest is to get your cooling system checked for internal leakage, get an oil analysis to check for contaminants, and then last but not least, get another opinion and estimate before proceeding with any work.
    Good luck.
  • boordboord Posts: 27
    I now have 800 miles on my 2000 Avalon. I was on a piece of rather desolate highway when the "fuel low" warning light came on. So I moved my dash display gauge to see how many miles I had left on the "fuel range" display.

    When I finally pulled into the first available gas station the "fuel range" showed 3 miles remaining and the gas gauge was dead against the empty peg. But when I filled the tank - and I topped off the tank as much as I could - it only took 15.5 gallons.

    Am I correct in thinking that Toyota has built in a 3 gallon safety margin on both the gas gauge and the "fuel range" display?
  • n4hhen4hhe Posts: 3
    I've pumped just over 16 gallons in my '00 Avalon. This was shortly after the fuel low idiot light came on. Said I had another 30 miles or so in the idiot computer. About 410 miles on the tank.

    I learned to drive on a motorcycle, without a gas gauge. Used the trip odometer and the extra reserve position on the fuel tank petcock. So to this day I still drive by the trip odometer more than the fuel gauge.

    For the tank to be so empty at 400 miles, at 250 its still only "half". All automotive fuel gauges are skewed this way except for the 1975 Oldsmobile Cutlass (and surrounding years) where they had an 18 gallon gas tank and 18 ticks on the fuel gauge. And by golly somebody sure was anal in the design as the needle was linear and the ticks accurately represented a gallon.
  • happy26happy26 Posts: 2
    Just purchased a 2000 XLS. Does anyone know of a very good leather cleaner for the seats? My car is black with ivory leather and I forsee alot of needed cleaning. Also does anyone know where I can purchase mud flaps for my vehicle?
  • happy26happy26 Posts: 2
    Please notify me if anyone knows of a good leather cleaner.
  • vernlewvernlew Posts: 87
    Suggest you go to the Maintenance & Repair Forums where you will find many answers to your question.
    BTW, after reading this section, I am now using the Lexol Cleaner & Lexol Conditioner....both available at Pep Boys...but many other good products available.
  • I am considering upgrading my tires one size on my 2000 Avalon XLS. Does anyone know if there would be any problems upgrading the tires (205 width standard) to 215 width? I have heard there may be clearance problems with the rear wheels.

    Any help would be appreciated.
  • I have a 2000 XL that came with the 15" wheels with hubcaps. Recently I purchased a set of aftermarket 16" alloys with Bridgestone Turanza 215/55HR16 tires mounted on them. The wider tires fit perfectly, filling out the wheelwells for a more aggressive and balanced look. Naturally traction is also improved. Next time though I think I'll go with 215/60HR16's as the lower profile of the 55's has resulted in an unAvalon-like (sporty) ride.
  • I have a 97 Avalon with just over 30,000 miles.
    It's picking up a distinct high pitched "whine" in
    the stereo (AM/FM/Cass/CD). It's intermittent but
    when it's happening it's quite loud and it happens
    with the whole system, no matter what component I'm listening to. It happens to get worse when you turn on the lights too. The only way to make it stop is to shut the car off for a while and take your chances the next time you start it that it won't happen. But it could suddenly start as you're driving down the road. Local dealer has had the car many times now and has replaced the receiver/cass component a couple times and the CD component a couple times. They've also "traced" the wiring but have found nothing. I can sense they're about to give up on it and tell me tough luck. Anyone ever run into this problem?
  • Thanks for the reply Finlover. I feel more confident upgrading my tires now.
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