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Toyota Avalon 2004 and earlier



  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 2,452
    I purchased my silver spruce 2000 XLS in the Boston area with package #7 and sun/moon roof, but without the VSC for $27K. It, however, was a demo model. Brand new the dealer wanted $30K. I haggled with two dealers, but they would not accept less than $30K for the above optioned car.
    Go to your destiny with your new AV. Enjoy.
  • castycasty Posts: 7
    to cheeta: the color of my XLs is called Lunar Mist (silver like) The car had 10,000 miles on it and was owned by a salesman at the dealership. He sold me the XLS thru the dealership for 27500 which was a couple of K's lower than other dealers. For my wife and me this car is our Rolls Royce. Good Luck.
  • How much do sheepskins cost, and where is the best place to buy them? Thanks.
  • koni1koni1 Posts: 3
    Mine cost about $250 for 2 really plush pelts that color matched very well. The wool is about 3/4 to and inch thick and very soft.
    You might try at an auto upholstery shop. Custom fitted sets would probally be in the $400- 500 range.
    These would be real nice in a warm area like you live. aloha
  • tjlewtjlew Posts: 10
    are not recommended on cars with side air bags, re owners manual. If you elect to use seat cover (front) make sure that the seat covers will work with the side air bags. This may be very expensive. If you do use the cover and the side air bags didn't operate properly, I don't think you can sue Toyota (warnings are posted in owner's manual) and any passenger that gets injured because of this can sue the driver/owner.
    my two cents for what's it worth.
  • I looked at a 2,000 avalon pkg 7 with moonroof. The list is 33,000 they want 30,000. Will go lower without trade.I own a merc grand marquis now and want to go better !!.I love the Avalon.My hubby said the ride is not as smooth as our g.m. I loved the way the avalon rode maybe the bump's in the road were not perfect but it's a diff kind of a car. Should I spring for this expensive car or buy another Grand Marquis ? help !!
  • Thanx everyone for the info. I believe it was cliffy1 who first raised the concern about the side airbag issue when talking about aftermarket leather seatcovers.
    BWIA, I have seen spoilers @ $79 on EBAY for the 2000 AVA's. These are primed, you would still need to find a good paintshop to match your color, and they would charge you for install. My guess is at least two more holes drilled in your trunk.
  • Depends on what you are looking for in your new car. The GM is a solid, time tried auto which will give you good service. It's comfortable, roomy, and performs adequately.
    IMHO, it has only three drawbacks: (1) The 4.6 litre engine doesn't deliver superior mileage; (2) The car is a big sedan, and takes up most of the available space in any parking spot- including a garage:(3) Depreciation on this model is a killer--about as bad as it gets.
    The Avalon is superior in just about all categories (Including interior room, believe it or not!). However, the most outstanding attribute for this model is its resale value--it's as good as any and better than most.
    Again, it depends on you and that car which best suits your preference. Enjoy whichever you decide to buy.
  • The response of 317 is correct. I also owned a Grand Marquis - a lot of car for the money. In no way, however, can it compare with the new Avalon XLS. (See response # 281). The Avalon is really a luxury car, as testified to by Consumer Report's latest issue. In luxury cars, under $50K, the Avalon XLS ranks THIRD !!! They advise luxury car buyers to not bypass the Avalon - and you shouldn't either.

    Check out the invoice prices at Edmunds or other good sources. Take those figures with you to the dealer and tell them you'll only pay invoice. Remember, the dealer is making 3% 'holdback' on the car, plus some other incentives. Be nice, but firm in the negotiations. I paid invoice.
    Good luck. Make your friends envious with that new Avalon.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    That sounds like a great deal. Congratulations on the purchase. I'm glad I was able to help in your decision.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    A funny thing happened today. A film crew came by and they are doing a story on the popularity of SUVs. They asked if one of the salesmen here would go on camera and answer a few questions. I was volunteered.

    The questions were very innocuous and I hope I seemed credible on camera. If anybody lives in Baltimore, check out the news on WBAL channel 11 between 5 and 6:30. I also think it may be on a few other stations around the country because this guy is a free lance TV reporter with ties to WKMG in Orlando, WKRC in Cincinnati, KPTV in Portland, KGTV in San Diego and KTNV in Reno. I don't know how many markets this report will be on but Ido know it will be on in Baltimore tonight.

    I don't live in Baltimore so if anybody sees it, let me know if I looked like a goober or not.
  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 2,452
    Congratulations Cliffy. Now that you are big star, are we ever going to hear from you again in this forum? For those us outside the Baltimore area we will have to make do with a still photo posted at this website.

    Best wishes
  • n4pyn4py Posts: 10
    To thepope1,
    You said you saw in consumer reports that the avalon was third in luxury cars under $50000.
    I am very curious what was first and second in this category and what big names did the avalon beat out.
  • Been checking out the Avalons for awhile. Been looking for a bigger "interim" car than my 96 Prism. Im going to purchase a car in the Spring but I could not pass this deal on a 96 Avalon. $12K for a pristine XLS..just one small ding on the passenger door. All the goodies in Pearl white with Tan leather, gold package, chrome wheels.The car has a lot of (74K) miles on it! Thought it would be a good entree into the Avalon...further more with all the miles it is still extremily tight, impressive! The dealer threw in a True Choice 3 year Bumper-Bumper warranty that covers seals and gaskets as well.

    I love the car for $7000 out of pocket.......I went to look at the new ones.....Bummer..I find the older ones much nicer looking. The new ones are "boxy" and seem higher. In any case I will start look for a 1999 in white with real low miles on it early next Spring. And enjoy this one until I find a "new" old body style Avalon.....
  • trudyjtrudyj Posts: 4
    Just bought it a couple weeks ago. Overall feeling is smooth, quite and powerful. Effortless steering, braking and accelarating. The stereo system is a crap. Sound is dull, bass is uncontrolled and distorted. Replacing the speakers and head unit may be the only solution but why Toyota bothers to put such a thing there. It is better not to put anything there and I can install one by myself and save me some bucks. Another thing is when engine shuts down, there is pi-po-pi-po... sounds under hood. Hope that is not a problem. Other than these things, the Avalon is a great car.
  • I'm researching the purchase of a 2-3 year old Avalon. Can't find detailed specs any where.

    Does anyone know whether the rear seat folds down in the previous Avalon? or how much cargo space there is in the trunk?

    Any recommendations on a two to three year old Avalon? thanks!!
  • The answer to your question regarding which two luxury sedans beat the Toyota Avalon XLS is the Audi A6 2.8 Quattro and the Cadillac Deville DHS. This was in the November 2000 issue of Consumer Reports.
    Cliffy, congratulations on your T.V debut! Could this be a beginning of a new career for you?
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Very funny. Thanks, but I'll stick to this for awhile.

    Also, I want to comment in general about Toyota audio systems. I am not an audiophile. Many people are not. To me, the base stereo in the XL sounds fine and the JBL in the XLS is awesome. I'm sure there are people who disagree but this is a very subjective matter and I am sure costs are taken into account when the systems are designed.
  • Edmunds says "premium fuel" is required for Toyota Avalon 2001 but dealer's say just regular unleaded fuel is okay, but that I may want to use premium fuel part of the time. Does anyone have any comments on fuel type? I didn't quite figure out just exactly how much I should pay over invoice, any suggestions?
  • I have a 1999 Avalon XL, 25K miles. At 15-25 MPH, with the foot off both the accelerator and brake (like when coasting to a stop), the car makes a low grinding noise from somewhere underneath the hood. Two dealers cannot find the source of the problem. One dealer changed the strut mounts but to no avail.

    Has anyone else experienced this problem and if so, is there a solution? Thank you very much in advance.

    With regards to the many postings about the Avalon transmission, count mine ('99) in as another one that's having the same hard shift and lunging problem. The dealers have told me the same story -- i.e. part of the way the car is, nothing to be done, etc.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Edmunds is not infallible. They are good but have posted incorrect information about the fuel requirements for the Avalon, Sienna and the Tundra. All of these vehicles require only 87 octane but will benefit from using premium. The owner's manual is very clear on this point and I don't know why Edmunds misses this.
  • Yesterday I test drove a 1999 Avalon XLS. It had a great ride and was spacious. I've also looked into a Town Car, but I think it would be difficult to maneuver in parking lots.

    Anyway, in the 99 Avalon I test drove, as well as another in the lot I saw, the wood trim interior was discolored and warped. The salesman said "well you know how hot it gets in Texas." Has anyone else had this problem?

    I've owned other cars with wood trim interiors in Texas and haven't had a problem with them.

  • I have noticed this in my 2000 XLS, but I have isolated the problem to the AC compressor as the grinding/moaning stops when the AC is off.

    Spoke with my service guy at the dealer and they will check it out at my next service.

    Sounds to me like a bearing or something in the any rate it will be taken care of.
  • castycasty Posts: 7
    I think audio on my 2000XLS is great so I agree with you. I have used 87 & 91 with no ill effect. On a 110 mi. trip I averaged 33.6 mpg but this was at 55-60 mph, too slow for modern America
  • Lorainemax2: Thanks for your input. The grinding noise in my 1999 Avalon occurs with or without the AC on, so my problem must have a different source than yours. Good luck in getting yours taken care of.

    TO RECAP -- if any Avalon owner has experienced grinding noise from underneath the hood at low speeds(like when coasting to a stop sign with the foot off both the accelerator and the brake), any insight you can provide would be appreciated. I've brought my car to 2 dealers and they can't seem to figure it out. They even replaced the strut mounts to no avail. Thanks for any suggestions.

    To Joanieb1: My '99 Avalon wood trim discolored from inside the lacquer finish (I live in VA so there's no continuous extreme weather to blame). It looked like multiple hairline scratches from inside the finish. My dealer took one look at it and replaced about 8 pieces without any hassles.
  • I have it on my '95 XLS in exactly the same situation - low speed, no pedals pressed. I have absolutely no clue of what it is and I didn't go to mechanic yet (just got the car recently). Something tells me that my mechanic wouldn't know it either. I don't know where this sound is coming from, but I feel it with my foot on the floor.

    Another problem I experience is the hitting sounds when the car is in "D" but not moving (brake is pressed). Anybody knows what this could be?
  • You may want to try posting your problem at
    One suggestion for noises that were NOT fixed by changing the strut mounts-that the problem may be worn sway bar bushings.
    Check the site out, it has a lot of info for All toyota makes.
  • Would appreciate help on the following. Currently have a toyota lease on a 98 camry which will expire in approximately 30 days. Want to lease or purchase an avalon xls. What can I expect from the dealer when I turn in the lease when it comes to normal wear and tear? Also what is the minimum I should pay over invoice for the 2001 xls? Thanks
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    It depends on what leasing company was used. If you used TMCC, they are pretty lax on "excess wear and tear". The dealers are responsible for bringing anything to Toyota's attention. As a rule of thumb, if you have a scratch or ding that can be covered by a credit card, it is normal. Otherwise, it is excess.

    As to the amount over invoice, it is very regional. What is a good deal in CA may or may not be a good deal in other states. Check Edmunds TMV before talking to a dealership. If you live in VA (or close by), you may want to send me an e-mail at [email protected] for specific pricing.
  • I am thinking about purchasing a 1996 Avalon auto.
    6 cyl. and would like to now what the average MPG is that anyone gets on their car and how many gallons does the tank hold and how many total miles can you go on a FULL tank???


  • castycasty Posts: 7
  • Thanks for the info. Thats way better than I thought. Do you have an automatic and a 6 cyl.????

    Thanks so much.
  • boordboord Posts: 27
    I don't know how casty does it - I have a 2000 XLS with 4000 miles on it and I have never done better than 26.6 MPG (the 26.6 was a pure highway trip). I've used both premium and regular gas grades and don't see much difference. In Cal highway driving is 65-75 mph or you end up as road kill. I would say the average city/highway number is about 23-25 mpg. That means you get about 400 miles before the tank reads empty, the range indicator says zero, and the tank still has three gallons in it.
  • I have a 2000 Avalon with 1500 miles on it. It is a great car (especially when compared to the "competition"), but it has developed a very loud and annoying rattle that the dealer and I cannot pinpoint. It seems to come from the lower right dash or left front passenger door, and it is usually triggered when turning right and hitting a bump or pothole at 30-45 mph. There is a service bulletin that deals with a noise in the door, but the dealer says it applies only to closing the door. Has anybody out there experienced the same thing? If so, can you point me in the right direction? By the way, the dealer checked the suspension and says that was ok.
  • n4pyn4py Posts: 10
    I have a 2000 XLS Avalon I purchased last April.
    I now have 14000 miles on the car. I have had absolutely no problems with the car. I always
    run 87 octane gas. My mileage has run from 26 to 32 MPG. The mileage is really good if you drive 55 to 60. It drops off to 26 at about 75 MPH.
    The outside temperature affects how much the AC runs. This affects the mileage a lot. I believe with the AC off and driving steady at 55, you could get close to 40 MPG.

    My speedometer and odometer both read 4% low.
    If I run with the speed control set at exactly 60 MPH and time mile posts on the interstate, they
    time at a mile every 57.6 seconds, which converts to 62.5 MPH. I am very interested if other owners would do this same test and see if their speedometer shows the same error.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    I know this will sound stupid, but have you looked at the passenger side seatbelt? This is the most common cause of clunking sounds from the area you are describing. When passengers get out of the car, they often put a twist in the belt and the buckle is left with slack. When you go around a sharp corner or a bump, it hits the interior pillar.

    This makes the sound hard to duplicate to a technician since you are generally in the car with him with your seatbelt on.

    If you find this noise does not happen when you have people in the car, I bet this is it. Take a look and see if this helps.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    Your suggestion is not silly. Sometimes it is silly little things like that which drive us crazy, yet they disappear when another occupant is in the car, for the reason you stated.

    I had a high-speed wind noise in my car (years ago) that drove me crazy in the summer. The operative word is "summer." It emanated from the drivers door. It lasted almost two weeks and I was about to drive into the dealer, when I realized (should I admit to this?) that the drivers window was 99% closed, leaving a tiny, invisible gap for wind noise. Summer meant that the A/C came on as soon as I started the car, and the window was lowered earlier to pay a toll on a road which I rarely drove. I almost blew my stack at the noise, when I "cured" the "difficult" problem in less than two seconds. Glad I found it before a technician did, or I might never be able to face the world again.
  • Thanks for your response about the rattle in my 2000 Avalon's right dash or right passenger door. It is not the seatbelt, it is definately coming from the door or dash, and it is much louder than a seatbelt noise would be. It is driving me crazy! Any other ideas? I've checked everything I can but no luck. I also took everything out of the car, but the rattle remains.... I
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    I have to admit that I am stumped. The solution I proposed was a direct rip off of another TH member's experience. A guy several months ago had been complaining of what sounded like the same noise. He described it as a clunk coming from the door or glove box. He had the guts to admit to us that it was the seatbelt buckle banging on the door pillar.
  • I was driving my mom's car tonight. As I was pulling in the driveway, I tried the trunk opener to the left of the steering wheel. I was just curious to see if it would open while the car was in drive and moving. To my surprise, it did. Should this really be happening, or is my car (or actually my mom's car) not working properly? Thanks. By the way, my whole family loves our Avalon. It's been our first Toyota, and probably the first of many.
  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 2,452
    I test drove my son's 2001 Mercedes-Benz S500 and frankly I was not impressed. The interior
    design is old-fashioned and has a Buick/Cadillac staid quality. For starters, it is not as quiet as the
    Avalon Version 2.0/01. The gas milage is horrible, not to mention the $2,400 gas guzzler tax. In
    the so-called sport mode the Benz seemed confused and behaved more like a big Lincoln. What
    did I like most about it? The seats are infinitely comfortable with a feature that ergonomically
    optimizes your sitting position, given your initial settings. The 12-speaker Bose stereo system was
    Given its price tag of $93,000 and smaller interior and trunk space, I cannot see how this car is
    300 percent better than the Avalon. But, then again, it's just money.
    I am happy with my Avalon 2K and I will keep it.
  • castycasty Posts: 7
    It's a auto-six. I just returned from a 100 miler and drove with cruise on almost all the time set to 55 and got 30.9. In California (boord) 55 is like parked so 25 is good there.
  • clu3clu3 Posts: 5
    on my y2k avalon I got around 19.5 in stop and go downtown drive and about 22.5 hi way and local combine drive, I do feel the difference by 91 grade gas compare to 87 gas, with 91 it runs smoother and acc. quicker, with 87 I can feel about 1 second or more of delay when you step hard on the pedal. One rear window fail to close after 2 month had it fixed at dealer other then that I am happy with the car.
  • Does anybody know how to disassemble the dashboard of the '95 Avalon? I need to install the stereo.

  • If it is like my '97 Avalon you can pull the plastic cover off of the dash surrounding the stereo.
    I can just pull it away from the dash a bit (1/4") and then get my finger tips under the edge. Then I can just pry (carefully) the whole thing away from the dash.
    The only thing holding it on (on mine) is the EMERGENCY flasher button assembly. The cover will pull out far enough for me to disconnect the flasher button and the whole thing comes away from the dash.
  • Does anyone know why my washer pump doesn't work?

    I have a 1997 Avalon and the washer pump stopped working a few weeks ago.
    I've looked and looked but cannot find the fuse (the covers to the three fuse boxes (in the car and under the hood) have descriptions like "AC" and "HL" (headlamp?) and "Radio"... but there isn't any labeled "washer" or "pump" etc.)

    In desperation I pulled all of the fuses to look for any blown fuses. They were all okay.

    There is a "float" in the washer-fluid tank that moves up and down on guides. I thought maybe this tells the pump not to run if there isn't any fluid. But the tank is full and the float moves freely.

    Any ideas?

  • It seems to be the same as in '97 however I wasn't able to pull it out. There's a large peace of plastic that stretches to the left up until the steering column and surrounds the ignition. Is that what I should pull out? How?

  • gcroftgcroft Posts: 15
    I purchased the color keyed mudflaps I read about here in previous posts. Can anyone clue me in to the rear installation and the retainer plugs that are currently in place? My guess is you pull them out and replace them with the supplied bolts but as they don't seem to come out easy, I thought I'd ask before I tear them up.

    Also for the record I drive fairly conservatively, commute 50 rt (mainly interstate), use 87 oct. and get 20-21 mpg on my 2000 ava. After 16k miles the only problem is I had to replace the radio.
  • tjlewtjlew Posts: 10
    Are you sure you get 20-21mpg? I drive a 60 mile commute (120/day) and get 28-30mpg while driving between 55-65 mph using 87 oct. fuel on the interstate. Maybe you should have your dealer look at it? I get about 20-21 mpg in the city driving stop/go and some freeway. My 2K ava xls has 8,000 miles since May.
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