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Toyota Avalon 2004 and earlier



  • 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.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    I like the Acura in general. It is not in hte same size class and I tend to prefer the "Toyota feel" but in general, the Acura is a well made car. It all comes down to what you want. If size and luxury ride are at the top of your list, get the Avalon. If a more sporty look and feel are your priorities, the Acura may be a good choice.

    See, I can be objective. Now just don't ask me something silly like my opinions on Buicks.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    It is funny to me how one subject comes up on several forums at once. This warning light issue is currently being discussed in two other Toyota topics. It seems Toyota gives you a lot of leeway when the light comes on. They have always done this. My '87 Celica has 4 gallons left and my 2000 Tundra has about the same left when the light comes on.
  • drgg4drgg4 Posts: 9
    Thanks for your opinion on Acura are safe on Buicks as that is not on my short (or long list) of possible choices!
  • snippersnipper Posts: 4
    Somewhere I read that a reviewer of the new Avalon considered it ".......the finest Buick you can buy". There's some truth to that and should be considered something of a compliment.

    Recently I had the opportunity of driving a 2001 I30 and came away feeling I had absolutely made the right choice -- FOR ME -- with my AValon '00 purchase. While obviously a fine car, I30 has a quite different personality - more towards the sporting pretensions of a TL. But if one is looking for svelte, pampering luxury with bags of room (a la Buick of yore), but now more in the Lexus mold, I truly believe AVA is unbeatable -- even though it may be a couple of grand more.
  • kurtb35kurtb35 Posts: 3
    Has anyone experoenced paint problems with the 2000 toyota avalon? While washing the car this morning, I noticed small strips of paint missing from my front bumper. The strips are 8 to 10 inches long, about 1/8" wide. They are on both sides of the bumper. I do not see any visible impact point that would cause it. Also, noticed a spot on one door where the paint is flaking off. Any ideas or anyone else with paint problems?
  • randl1randl1 Posts: 1
    The owner's manual states to change the oil every 4 months/5000 or 6 months/7500 miles depending on your driving conditions. I have chosen the 5000 mile schedule, however the local dealership says I should change the oil every 3 months or 3000 miles. What do you think?
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    The symptoms you describe sound much like parking lot damage than anything else. Do they match a railing of fence of any kind near where you park? Plastic bumpers are a pain when it comes to this. They don't show dents or impact points but the paint comes off very easily.
  • tjlewtjlew Posts: 10
    I've changed the oil every 5,000 miles. Easier to remember and I rotate the tires at the same time. My other cars are '87 Nissan Maxima with 173,000 mi and '96 Honda with 145,000 mi. No problems and no major engine work... hope this helps
  • drgg4drgg4 Posts: 9
    FWIW, I change the oil and filter on a new car at 500 miles and it looks like aluminum paint. Then again at 1500(w. filter) for a 1000 mile interval, then finally at 3000(w filter) for a 1500 mile interval, and then every 2000(w. filter) after that, since I drive mostly stop and go in the city with not many highway miles. I have never had any engine problem on any car,(Ford, Nissan, GM, Toyota, Chrysler products) even some with over 100,000 miles on them. I do not agree with the longer oil changes nor have I ever talked to any experienced mechanic who does either. I hope this is helpful to readers of this posting.
  • I need to replace my cloth seats to leather. Please advise if this is possible.


  • I'm sure that it is possible to replace the seats as they can just be unbolted and replaced. I believe that the leather seats can be equipped with side impact airbags, but if you originally had the cloth seats, the wiring and appropriate sensors may not be installed in the current vehicle. Seat replacement is big $$. I recently had the drivers seat replaced in my 98 Avalon XLS due to seat heater malfunctioning and replacement parts were not able to be obtained. Dealer told me that if this was not covered by warranty, it would have cost about $3,000 just to replace the one seat. You may want to check local salvage yards for possible replacements at a lower cost. Good luck.
  • slmanslman Posts: 2
    I haven't seen the type of problems that you have, however, I have noticed 6 places on the hood where the paint has already chipped away. I have 8200 miles on my Avalon and do mostly city driving. I am a bit dissapointed in the paint integrity. I have a 98 expedition with 70000 miles of driving and have less paint chips on the hood. My brother in law has a 99 4Runner and I have seen the same type of small round chips on his hood also. Other problems that I have had/am having: Driver Door making loud popping sound when opening/closing (fixed this myself after finding loose screws on door mounts inside doorjam). Severe muffler rattle when engine is idle, especially when shifter is placed in park (trying to find time to take car to dealership to fix this). Dashboard surface around radio/CD slot gets pretty hot on long trips. Appears to be a heat management problem inside the dash. Last thing is that periodically, the volume of the radio/CD will drop slightly (but still very noticeable) without even touching anything. Besides these issues, I love this car. Lots of room, features, power and it looks great. If anyone else has had similar problems, I'd like to know what you found out about them.
  • keeney1keeney1 Posts: 1
    I presently have 105,000 miles on the car. At about 95,000 the brakes started to "shatter". Going down long hill and applying the brakes, I would get a lot of vibration. Went to some local brake folks and they said this is "typical of Toyota and Honda cars". "The discs heat up and become distorted, and then you get the vibration type feeling."

    Now this happens often enough to have us thinking whether we want to buy Avalon again. We are presently shopping to replace this one.

    Any comments?
  • I believe there are companies that make leather upholstery kits for the Avalon. A friend of mine recently bought a new Camry with cloth seats. The dealer arranged a leather upgrade, having a local upholstery shop install an aftermarket kit which included new door panel inserts. The dealer remarked that the aftermarket hides were higher quality than the factory-installed leather interior. The results look terrific, you'd never know the car came with cloth. Bharat, I'd recommend calling the dealer and area upholstery shops and see what they say. You may have to purchase the kit yourself (check the internet) and have it installed.
  • kurtb35kurtb35 Posts: 3
    Thanks for the response. I have looked and do not see anything that would cause this damage. (No poles, wires, etc.) The paint appears to be brittle? and is peeling off.
  • kurtb35kurtb35 Posts: 3
    Thanks for the response. I just noticed a paint chip on the hood.

    I also have the problem with the drivers door popping as you open/close it. The screw that holds the door works loose and has to be tightened periodically.

    I also have the radio problem. Nice to know I am not the only one with these minor problems on an otherwise awesome car.
  • mmcfmmcf Posts: 3
    For others who've been looking - I've just installed original Toyota Mudguards for my 2000 Avalon. They went on easily and fit well. I
    e-purchased them from Metro Toyota of Michigan at for $80.00 (yikes!) and $8.00 shipping.
  • mmcfmmcf Posts: 3
    Recently purchased a 2000 Avalon and a week later had the dealer service department look at several issues. All were declared "within normal tolerance". Now I'm waiting for a call from the regional Toyota rep. I've already posted my complaint about the three holes in the rear of the vinyl steering wheel. Second biggest irritant is window rattle. Both front windows rattle on even slightly bumpy roads. And if you have the window anywhere but closed when you shut the door, the window visibly shakes and really rattles. Actually, my brand new expensive Avalon has more creaks and rattles than the eight year old Camry it replaced! Do others notice rattling in the windows while driving? Is this truly within "normal tolerance?"

    Also - no clear coat on the right insert where the fog light would be. Wrinkled finish at the edge of the right rear wheel well. There's a gap (over 1/8th inch) where the front bumper meets the fender - again on the right. You can push the bumper in with your finger and the gap closes.
  • My XL came in with Dunlop tires and I have them all at 32 lbs. COLD.

    I have read other posts about higher pressure being better.

    Any opinions based on experience with this car?

  • guynksguynks Posts: 2
    Where you able to get the mudguards in different colors or only in black? Did you have to drill any holes to install them? I'm glad to see they are available now. I was in Atlanta last month and i saw 3 avalons that had mudguards and they looked sharp.
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