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Toyota Avalon 2004 and earlier



  • lotlizardlotlizard Posts: 6
    Thanks for the quick replies regarding my Dad's car. Toyota has agreed to pick up the part and we pay the labor, which seemed reasonable. It is especially good to know about the TSB in case they don't get it right this time around.
  • bigbluekybigblueky Posts: 11
    I have a 97 Avalon and had to replace the rack and pinion at 92,000 miles. The problem was a seal that went bad on the drivers side. Toyota doesn't just sell the seal so you have to buy a whole new rack. Other than the problem with the rack I absolutely love the car and plan on keeping it for many years to come. The car will turn 100K this week and I plan on toasting her with a cold one and a picture as she turns over with my camera. I hope to let everybody know that I hit 200K on this message board someday for the simple fact I plan on keeping the car that long.
    If anyone out there has a 200K Avalon let me know how many problems if any you've had with the car, I believe that as long as the maintance is kept up that it should be relatively problem free. Also, Toyota has a bulletin issued on all Camrys and Avalons that will cover the motor against oil sludge for 8 years unlimited mileage from the original date of service. I change my oil every 5000 miles and it looks as good as new except a little dirtier.
  • twobrownstwobrowns Posts: 52
    My 2002 Avalon has developed a rattle or clicking noise coming form the right rear area. I only hear it when it is cool which seams to indicate that it could be body panels rubbing or something like that. Small bumps will create the problem.Any thoughts what to look for.
  • All XLS's should have one, it is the XL's that don't come with it unless you pay extra to have the dealer put it on. It is located behind the glovebox, and the replacement filter comes with intsall. instructons as has been posted previously.
  • deluxcardeluxcar Posts: 47
    Hawiianavowner, missed your thoughtful posts from the past, where have you been?

    Gadaoman, the air conditioning filter is $40 (part # 87139-32010. If you are mechanically inclined you can save yourself the $68 dealer labor charge which unfortunately I had to pay.

    Does the AC filter make any difference? I didn't notice, but I suppose if you live in the hot climes like Hawaii and Florida it could be.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    There's a good review of the 2002 Avalon in today's Sunday Globe (5/5/02).


  • deluxcardeluxcar Posts: 47

    I live in the Boston area and about eighteen months ago I had asked Royal Ford, the Globe's autowriter, why didn't he write a review on the Avalon. He said consumers were more interested in performance cars like the Acura TL and BMW and not the Avalon. So it is refreshing alas to see a Globe review. We should all thank Bill Griffith for that.

    Satisfied Avalon owner in Boston
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    I think Royal is the one most interested in Acura TL and BMW.

    I sent a thank you note to Griffith shortly after reading the article this am.

  • rrzeparrzepa Posts: 11
    Stopped by the dealer today to change oil and as usual they pressure me for some extra work. Obviously I declined. One of the items I had to initial is that I decline trans fluid change. My Avalon is 1.5 years old (2001)with 18K. They claim that in our climate (midwest) trans fluid needs to be changed once a year. From Toyota manual, I recall that the number was at least 60K without time limit.

    Any truth to the dealership claims ?
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    Call Toyota National Customer Assistance Center 1-800-331-4331 and ask.
  • satchmonsatchmon Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 Avalon with the JBL CD changer. Ever since I got it, the volume will occasionally jump - either way. I took it back to the dealer, and they replaced the radio, but I didn't get home before it did it again. Has anyone had a similar experience with this car? I like the car, but this problem is really frustrating.
  • Is leaking oil from the front end. My dealer say's it will cost $700.00 or more to replace both the front and rear seals. I have 97K on it and have had nothing but trouble, too many to list. I am the original owner and have regular oil changes performed. Does anyone know if this might be a case of engine sludge. I read somewhere (maybe here) that Toyota will do the work for free, but am not sure if this includes 1995 model. I usually keep my cars for ten years, traded my 85 Cressida in for the Avalon but not sure if I want to put any more money into it for the next three years.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    The axle seal is totally unrelated to the engine and therefore, unrelated to engine sludge. Sorry, but with 97K miles, you will be paying for it. You can be consoled by the fact that this is not an uncommon thing for a 100K mile car to need. Its just part of maintaining a high mileage car.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    The other approach is to locate a good reputable independent mechanic that specializes in Toyotas. I would venture that they would ask in the $350 - $400 range for the same job.

    Regards and good luck
  • donstackdonstack Posts: 9
    Hello, Its been a while since I posted, I'm still rolling along in my 2000 XLS, and enjoying the ride! How about some more updated kudos for our Avalon!

    Here is AutoPacifics 2002 Vehicle satisfaction Scores (need ACROBAT to read)Avalon tied with DeVille - read on...

    Now how about a good word from AUTO.COM from 5/14/2002 - from Orlando Sentinel - "The modest Avalon still an engineering coup for Toyota"

    After a slow start this vehicle is finding much appeal. Not difficult to spot them on the road either. They are everywhere. Still see it as a wise buy. If the vehicle rates this high as years go by, the resale should hold up too.

    p.s. - I was the guy that first posted the Toyota PRONARD photos of the Japanese model that is shipped from US. w/ the GPS and upscale gauges sheck it out -

    Let me know your thought of the ratings.

  • The oil leak seems to be getting worse so I guess I'll just bite the bullet and pay to have it repaired. Good idea, footie, I think I will try and get a quote from another mechanic. I'll keep you posted on end cost.
  • otis123otis123 Posts: 438
    Any pictures/word out there on the 2003 Avalon facelift? Arrival month/date?
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Sorry, but no, I don't have any advanced information on the 2003. I have not seen a production schedule but it will probably be in the dealers by August.
  • flnativeflnative Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 XLS and have radio problems with the volume changing at random. They swapped it out, but still the same problem.
  • phillyguy3phillyguy3 Posts: 88
    My Mom is on her 2nd Avalon lease. She has a 2002 now and it's due back in Sept. She loves this car and she's asking me if the body style will change. Toyota's typically change every 4 years, so I assume that the 03 will remain same, especially since this is not a high volume seller. Almost 3 years old and she only has 10,000 miles on it! Maybe she'd be better off negotiating a re-lease or buy out with an extended warrantee. Car runs/looks perfect. What do you think?
  • otis123otis123 Posts: 438
    Toyotas (and most Japanese cars) have a 5 year cycle, with a 4th year facelift. First Avalon came out in 1995, facelift in 4th year = 1998. The current Avalon started in 2000, so 2003 is the facelift year. The total redesign year will be 2005. So, expect a facelift arriving in time for your mother's lease expiration in September (see "Cliffy 1" - Post 1430).
    But, a 2000? with 10,000 miles would be a shame to give back to the dealer. Where does she live? I'll buy it! (I live in Westchester County = northern suburb of NYC.)
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    I promised an update when I heard more and here it is. Our first 2003 was allocated today! I know very few details but I do know a navigation system is optional on the XLS and they will begin arriving in late June or early July. Since I don't have access to production schedules, this took me by surprise. I thought y'all would want to know.
  • martykmartyk Posts: 1
    how much above invoice is fair, what are holdback charges, how are advertising costs determined?
  • 02mdx02mdx Posts: 64
    Just passed the 5K mark on the wife's 2002 XL and the vehicle is running like a dream. No unusual exterior paint issues (chipping) like those mentioned before. I'm getting about 24 in the city and 29 on road trips (using premium). Comfortable on long road trips, plenty of room in the back seat for the two year old and the trunk holds all our stuff, including the stroller and golf clubs.

    The Avalon is a compromise of performance for space, comfort and fuel efficiency. The engine seems to run smoother now that I changed to synthetic, but it's probably my imagination. If your looking for a sportier version and don't mind the loss of interior room, check out the new Camry. If you're like us and need the interior room and reliability but can't justify the SUV prices, check out the Avalon.
  • toyoguardtoyoguard Posts: 1
    Our GM saw the 2003 Avalon last week at a meeting and said that it resembled the lexus ls430 a little. It's also going to have the lexus V6 engine in it. The 2003 V6 Camry's will have this engine as well. The XLS Avalon's will have more optional features this year as well. You will now have the Navigation System w/6-Disc Changer as an option and you should see a woodgrain steering wheel standard. I will keep posting as I get more information or pictures.
  • aikane47aikane47 Posts: 1
    I purchased a new 2000 Avalon XLS in April 2000, and it has fewer than 15,000 miles. The only service has been five oil/filter changes, performed by the dealer, and replacement of the strut tops at 3800 miles.

    Following the 15,000-mile service by the same dealer two weeks ago, the exhaust began to billow gray-white smoke when the engine is started from a cold start. (I live in Florida, so the engine is cole, not the weather.) The smoke disappears after a few minutes, but fumes are still noticeable. I returned the car to the dealer, who said the smoke was normal. After driving the car for more than 50 miles, however, I still have doubts -- especially since I never had a problem before the service. I will begin a cross-county vacation June 1, and right now I don't have much peace of mind about the health of the car.

    I've driven only Toyota cars since 1976 and had great confidence before now, but this latest episode has me worried. Does anyone know whether the smoke and fumes are normal after a typical 15,000 service? And if so, how soon should they go away?
  • rcegglrceggl Posts: 31
    My Toyota Service people tell me I should have my brake line "power flushed" at the next service due to moisture building up from condensation. Question, with a seal brake system, how does moisture get in it. Mileage: 38,000/2001 Avalon XLS. I think it is bull, but How do I prove it?
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    What does the "Lexus V6 engine" mean? Doesnt the Avalon already use the 210 hp 3.0L found in the ES300? So.. does that mean the Camry, Avalon, and ES 300 will all be using the 210 hp version next year? Or will the ES and Avalon use the 220 hp version from the RX 300 and Highlander? Just curious, and thanks for the info.

  • rrzeparrzepa Posts: 11
    My Toyota dealer wants to change trans oil
    once a year (2001 XL). As you said this is
    a sealed system and unless have master cylinder
    changed etc, I would not do it. I think my 94 Grand Am has the same fluid for the last 5 years.
  • jimxojimxo Posts: 423
    My folks have a 95 Avalon with 95k miles. We started having numerous problems after 50k miles.

    Front and rear seal was one them not to mention power steering pump, rack and pinion ($2k), power window motor, 2 antennas, side mirror, boot, broken strut and on and on. My folks are in there late 60's and never beat the car. We have owned Toyota's since 1980 and this is the first piece of junk we have had. Grand total out of pocket has been $7,000. I attribute this to first year production and made outside of Japan.

    I have a 2000 Nissan Maxima which has been perfect (62K miles). The next generation Maxima will be similar in size to the Avalon and will be built in U.S. for the first time. Here is a spy photo that will give you an idea of its size, the front and rear is covered up.

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