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Toyota Avalon 2004 and earlier



  • jimolsonjimolson Posts: 8
    I can attest that Dianne at Carson Toyota in suburban LA (310-522-2317) can cut you an unbelievable deal on a vehicle. I'm taking home to Indiana a new Avalon she sold me Saturday. It took less than an hour of face time at her dealership with zero hassle. I drove it off the lot in less than two hours. No last minute price creep as the purchase order was signed; no tag team wear-down sessions with her sales manager. Best dealer sales experience I ever had.

    If Cliffy is correct on LA's TDA being $300, I got this XL for less than $200 over's invoice price for a cash'n'carry/no trade-in deal. I don't know how she is able to sell at that price; other dealers I contacted were substantially higher. Dianne can process the paperwork to bypass CA sales tax if you can document that the vehicle is headed out-of-state and will be plated out-of-state.

    Carson Toyota is ten minutes south of LAX. They have about 20 new Avalons on the lot.
  • jimolsonjimolson Posts: 8
    Regarding the unusual wheels thread, my new XL has new Toyota-supplied mesh aluminum wheels that added about $600 to the invoice price. Carson has chromed alloy wheels installed on some vehicles. The wheels were acquired from an outside shop that plates stock Toyota aluminum wheels.

    The homebrewed chrome wheels were far too pricey for me. They looked great, but deep-pocketed kids are wearing out this re-treaded fad 'way too quickly. I keep expecting to see moons and Cragars make a comeback any day now.

    Oops, I'm showing my age...
  • uwilsgduwilsgd Posts: 4
    Sorry if this has already been discussed here but I did a search and turned up nothing on the subject. I have a 2000 Avalon XL. Is there a way to "turn-off" the auto-locking feature where all four doors are locking after the car is put in motion?

  • thepope1thepope1 Posts: 23
    Yes - this has been discussed previously.

    Yes - the Auto Door Lock can be 'turned off'. Next time you have your car to dealer for service, ask that they disconnect this feature. My dealer did it at no cost - no quibble.

    Am I being silly, or is this forum turning into a "where's the best place to buy a car" story?

    I already am a owner - my interest is about the Avalon itself: What people like about it; what are the dislikes and why; where can accessories (like mudguards) be obtained; any problem areas and how they were resolved. Hope others share my concern.
  • msumner1msumner1 Posts: 6
    Soon after I bought a 2000 LXS in Nov. '99 in the Los Angeles area I noticed another Avalon with chrome factory wheels. I asked my dealer if this was an option, and he told me that they sometimes had a local speed/tire & wheel shop chrome them. I went to the speed/tire & wheel shop, and placed an order. A few days later they called and told me to come get the wheels. They swapped out my stock wheels (16") for a newly chromed stock set. Total cost mounted & balanced: $500. I have seen Avalons on the showroom floor with a $1600 mark-up for the same wheels, dealer installed. They look great and are very easy to keep clean.
  • gbakegbake Posts: 1
    To: thepope1

    I had copied the following from a much earlier thread. Can't vouch for the procedure since the wife likes the lock feature(I hate it). But its her car.....

    Good Luck

    #315 of 327: tripper3 (joedbob) Sat 25 Mar '00 (06:41 PM)

    To disable the 2000 Avalon auto lock feature:

    With ignition switch on, open the closed driver's door.

    Turn ignition switch off, insert/remove key 5 times within 10 seconds (Don't turn it on and off, just remove/insert the key).

    Press the unlock side of the door lock switch 5 times within 10 seconds.

    About 10 seconds after completing the above the auto lock is disabled.

    To enable it you do the same thing, only hit the lock side of the switch.
  • dardson1dardson1 Posts: 696
    the old Avalon was neither beautiful nor ugly. It was typical Toyota...simple, clean, and definately NOT an in-you-face design. I'm sorry, in advance, to all you who love your Avalon, but Toyota's latest version is homely. I hate that toothy/goofy/smiley-face grill, the wheel wells (and tires) look too small for the car, and the only gee-gaw the rear is missing is a 1950's continental kit. Don't get me wrong....I've got a 2000 Solara (not beautiful but pretty inside and OK outside) and a 2001 Sienna (actually think it's kinda cute for a mini-van)and I'm a Toyota lover....I really wonder if Toyota's game plan is to separate Lexus/Toyota (which are basically the same cars) by making Toyota's plain (to a fault) to bump us up to a Lexus if we want a pretty version of a bullet-proof Toyota. I also wonder if they don't short-change you on options at Toyota (things you typically expect on cars in this price range) to further separate the Lexus and Toyota. I can hardly believe my $29k+ Solara with every option but traction control does not have a light in the glove box or lighted window and overhead switches.
  • I took in the Avalon (2000 XLS, Silver Spruce) for a dash rattle about 6 months ago. They could not find the rattle, as a matter of fact it was gone when I picked up the car.

    Well it came back but would intermittently go away. Ironically it seemed that when the temp outside was warmer (with Sun directly on the windshield) the rattle would disappear. But on cold, overcast days it rattles.

    What could this be? In my mind I think it is something with the windshield that when it gets hot, seals better or gets gummy or something that stops the rattle (center base of windshield).

    Any thoughts here? Am I losing it?

    Brian M
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Is it possible that the rattle is not coming from the dash? I had a customer with a similar complaint and I traced it to a very simple fix. When his passenger got out of the car, the buckle was hanging close to the door pillar and made a rattle noise when he hit a bump or went around a curve. The "fix" was to make sure the retractor took up all the slack. This may not be your problem, but it is something to look for.
  • hicairahicaira Posts: 276
    Probably not the windshield. Glass contracts and expands very little with temp variations.

    The dash, however, may be the culprit. Mostly plastic with lots of thermal expansion and pliability when heated. When cold, it can be hard and is more likely to rattle when rubbed against wiring harnesses, retaining clips, abutting peices, and the like.

    Stuff like this is hard to isolate and can drive you nuts. Take it to the dealer on a cold day and insist they drive it with you so they cant say "Unable to replicate problem" as they are wont to do.

    Either that or just trun up the radio and learn to live with it.

  • glinda49glinda49 Posts: 15
    My son recently purchased a 95 Avalon. He loves his car but noticed that the defrosters seem to take forever to defog any window in the car, if at all. Anybody have this problem? He also says the defroster/heater smells very bad when he turns it on. Any suggestions? We would appreciate any help. Thanks.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    I'll place money that the defroster is working fine if you don't use recirculated air. Make sure the vent selector is set to fresh and the defroster will work much better.
  • mapper1mapper1 Posts: 11
    I took delivery of my new 2001 Avalon AL 2 weeks ago, on April 7th. While it is working out well, one thing I notice is that the engine sort of races when first starting out in the morning, much like cars of the 70's. It idles around 1400 rpm. according to the tach. It doesn't slow to normal until you get around a half mile down the road. Before taking it into the dealer and hearing the "That's normal" line, I'd like to hear from the rest of you. Is this a normal thing? Does it eventually go away? Should I wait until I get a couple thousand miles on it before taking it in?
  • tankfranktankfrank Posts: 13
    Thanks for your response on the Avalon XLS 2001 TDA. That is about what I thought it was. A nearby dealer, Beaverton Toyota, has fifteen Avalon's in stock and two of these are exactly what my wife wants. All of them have additional dealer markup stickers of $1650 beside the MSRP sticker. None of the other local dealers have the exact car we want.

    I go to LA several times a year on business. I will keep Dianne at Carson Toyota in mind and maybe arrange to drive one back from one of my trips just before I retire.

  • glinda49glinda49 Posts: 15
    Regarding the 95 Avalon defroster problem, it was very cold here last night and on the way home from work my son turned on the defrosters and lo and behold he did what you suggested and they worked a lot better and there was no odor. Thank you so much for your help.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Glad I could help. I actually lost a sale over that one time. A customer was looking to trade in their older Camry for a new one. She asked me if they had "fixed" the defroster by now. "My windows always fog up. Look at it right now." Her kids were in the car with it running and all the windows completely fogged up. I told her, "No, but I can show you how to fix that."

    I went to her car and pushed the selector it fresh and within 10 seconds, the windows were clear. She was so excited, she fell in love with her old car again. She drove off thanking me and I just stood there with mixed feelings. I really needed to sell a car that day but I'm glad she was happy.
  • moxyrmmoxyrm Posts: 1
    I am looking for an Avalon XLS without a sunroof because of my height. Every dealer I talk to seems to think that the only Avalon I can buy to fit that bill is an XL.

    Is this true?
  • j_walkerj_walker Posts: 99
    I believe most, if not all, XLSs found on the dealers' lot does come equipped with the sunroof option. Just have the dealer factory order you one without the sunroof.
  • chewymanchewyman Posts: 20
    Cliffy - do you know when struts should be replaced?
    I have a 97 Avalon with 73k and with all the pot holes it is hard to say whether the struts are bad or not. Nothing could take these bumps very well. OEM Struts were replaced under warranty at 19k due to bumping sounds. If I do need to replace are there any sporty struts out there that I could use that would tighten my handling and ride? I've heard of Bilstein making sport struts. What would you recommend? Thanks.
  • hicairahicaira Posts: 276
    Cliffy: It is unfortunate that there is no way to tactfully suggest people actually read their owners manual. Imagine driving a car for years with a nagging complaint that would have been solved with 30 seconds of reading.

  • ventolarventolar Posts: 2
    I have a wind noise from the driver's door or window. the dealer has replaced the door gasket once, but this has not solved the problem. has anyone had a similar problem? was the dealer able to fix it? what was the problem?
  • rzepa2rzepa2 Posts: 24
    I have 2001 Avalon. I could bet that in the owners manual it states somewhere that struts/shocks are under lifetime warranty.
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    When is Toyota going update the front and rear ends of this car? Is it 2002 or 2003?
  • mapper1mapper1 Posts: 11
    I took delivery of my 2001 Avalon XL on April 7th. To keep costs down, I ordered one from the Southeast Distribution Center in Jacksonville, FL. (no leather seats for ME!) It took around 5 days. I got a silver XL with cloth bench seats and only 3 options: Package 3 (alloy wheels and remote keyless entry), auto-dimming mirror with electronic compass, and the floor & cargo carpeted mats. I went with AAA's buying service which was 1 1/2% above invoice, but I found that was a joke and really just a starting off point for negotiation. While it's difficult to calculate what I actually paid for the car since a trade-in was involved, I figure I got it for a discount of $2404. That makes it very close to Dealer Invoice, which is around $25,865. Invoice is higher where I live because supposedly the Southeast Marketing Association fee is around $800. and you can't really get around it. The dealers pass it on. And, I also had to pay a "processing fee" of $399.50. Some people like to dicker with the dealers. I do not. I felt the playing field was not at all level. I'd rather go with one-price, no-haggle pricing, even if it is slightly more. And used car trade-in pricing should be no-haggle too, tied to the Kelly Bluebook trade-in value. I will say the Toyota sales staff are much more civilized than their peers of 10 years ago were.
  • Well as my car search rolls on, it seems "this week's" car to think about is a 95 Toyota Avalon XL. Its black with than leather and 133K miles. Seems to drive well, but I noticed a LOT of wind noise for this "quiet" car. I read in camry posts that some people have this wind noise problem and I figured that the avalons could have it too. What can fix this problem if anything. Other than that it seems like an ok car. The leater doesn't seem to be in great shape, not cracked, but like wrinkled. Gonna go get a carfax report on it tomorrow and if that checks out, get the dealership to check it out. THe asking price seems really decent - $7500, and he said he would be willing to take 7K for it. Seems not too bad at all, will see if it checks out ok. Any advice about the wind noise, or porblems for this car that I need to watch out for would be appreciated.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Moxyrm - Your dilemma is not new. Most regions only get the XLS with the moonroof and leather. It is possible but difficult to order one without it. I have one in stock but that was an order from three months ago that a customer backed out of. you may be able to find something comparable near you.

    Chewyman - I have no idea. I would look in your maintenance book.

    s852 - The Avalon will get a "face lift" in 2003. This will be minor restyling of the front facia and the tail light area. No sheet metal will change until 2005.

    Charlestonguy - The '95 Avalon was notorious for that wind noise. It comes from the outside mirror. There is a fix for it but it is not perfect. Your dealer should be able to help you with this and it should be covered under a TSB so it will not cost you anything.
  • Ok, pulled up the carfax on it and the only point it noticed was that this was once a leased vehicle. No big deal. I am going to take it to the local dealership to get it checked out, and if that works, and this one doesn't sell before I have a chance to buy it, then I should be good to go. Two quick questions. One, I forgot to mention that most of the wood interor seems to be going bad in this car. Looks sorta like gold glitter paint has been spilt on much of this wood. Have any of you had this problem with your's? How much would it cost to replace the wood? I figure its probably gonna be cheaper to get non-toyota wood trim, anyone have prices on either though? Also, Cliffy, what exactly is TSB and why would I get it fixed for free? I always thought nothing was free in the car business =)
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    Our family bought a 2000 XLS last year, all the bells and whistles, at $800 over invoice. Seemed a great deal. Toyota's top of the line car. It now has 5900 miles on it. I don't drive it except in emergencies.

    It had many of the issues mentioned here, including clicks, rattles, squeaks, door wind noises and trunk lid problems. The front struts were replaced under warranty at 2000 miles due to odd squeaking sounds. Two trips to fix that one.

    The power seat memory buttons failed this winter, the 8th defect requiring dealer attention. We are waiting on parts now.

    Originally intended to be my primary work vehicle, it became my wife's vehicle. The Avalon was driving me and my local dealership in Boston nuts. The Toyota Zone folks were responsive but ineffective. Something they fixed, some they didn't, some new they brought along. Letters to U.S. Toyota management never got answered.

    The number of defects this vehicle has had makes the reported number of average defects in jdpower awards statistically unlikely. So there must be some real "tweaking" of those numbers for the Avalon to show it on par with the Carry.

    This was our third Toyota, and the first made in America.' After living with it for a year, it will be our last one. A good used Lexus, made in Japan, is a much, much better purchase or even a used Class Mercedes. The Avalon isn't a quality product. To me the fit and finish is mediocre, the materials used to make it faux, light weight and cheap-feeling.

    This is one ugly dog that we can't grow to love.
  • trudyjtrudyj Posts: 4
    I have my 2001 XL for around 6 months and found sometimes the trunk would open mysteriously I can't pinpoint the time when it happened - since when I noticed, it was already opened, usually in parking lot). I first thought I accidentally hit the trunk open button on the remote or the button near steering wheel. But as I carefully avoided to touch these buttons, the thing still happened! It would happen once every two months or less. Has anyone else experienced such problem? Is that really a problem or just I am so careless to hit these open buttons (even if I believe I am extremely careful)?
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    A TSB is a "Technical Service Bulletin" and it is similar to a recall. The difference is, only those who complain about a particular problem have it take care of. If you take the car to your dealership, ask them if the "did the campaign on the wind noise." Ask it in those words and they will understand what you are talking about. They will key the VIN into their system and let you know. If it has not been done, they do have a repair at no charge to you.

    Again, my understanding is that this repair is not perfect, but it will reduce the wind noise on the 95 Avalons.
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