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Toyota Avalon 2004 and earlier



  • nomad56nomad56 Posts: 134
    berob-the muted muddy sound is indicative of the AMP cutting out. Since the SUB-woofer is self powered, that is what you are hearing when the amp cuts off. It will sound like mostly bass, NO high frequencies and vocals, if any, will be distant... is this close???? -nomad56-
  • berob

    Turn on your ignition, but don't start the engine. Then press the button that controls whether the air is recirculated or comes from outside. You should hear the kind of noises that caused you concern.
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 591
    To 1stavy:

    Congratulations on getting that much mileage out a car. Obviously you drive in a reasonable manner and perform all required items in the logbook when it says to perform them. Several others who post here will probably agree that this high mileage is possible, but very rare. The average driver cannot come close to the miles you mention without a failure of something, however small, under the hood.

    My only comment would be this: It's *your* money, buy what you and your family can use and enjoy. There is no loser in the cars that you named as a possible purchase. All have great records. Find one at the price you like and buy it.

    For me, I'm on my second Avalon. The first was perfect and new-car smooth at 92k when traded. Perhaps others here will offer more thoughts... Enjoy your purchase.
  • berobberob Posts: 35
    Sounds like you've nailed it exactly. What's the fix? Anything I can do myself?
  • nomad56nomad56 Posts: 134
    berob-the "do-it-yourself" solution is: 1)Check ALL connections (PLUGS) in the system. ONE on the back of the radio, FOUR on the AMP itself-which is located behind the glovebox. 2) Once you've gotten this far(your dash/glovebox is dismantled), you will be able to see the AMP. If ALL connectors were tight, I am "guessing", there is a short in the AMP. Try this-Turn the stereo on and tap/knock on the amp, to see if this instigates the problem. Otherwise replace the AMP...eBay is the most economical source, if your Toyo is out o' warranty. Repairs on these amps are generally $140. -nomad56-
  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591

    Interesting post. Got rid of a 90 Civic about 1.5 years ago with 236K, sold to a soldier here on base, ran perfectly, all my own miles, then bought an Avalon. Long trips made my back hurt or would have kept the car. Actually better build quality in that than my 02 Avalon, with many less samples defects. That being said, if you old Avalon with 250K still works great, and it does NOT hurt your back, and can support your family, I don't think anything in NEW cars have chanded that drasitcally to warrant another used car purchase. You have a used car that works well. Why mess???

    I thought about getting a used Lexus 400 instead of a NEW Avalon but I choose the later for the follwging reasons.

    1. I hate those old telescoping antennas, especially in the NOrtheast where you are from. They ALWAYS jam, with salt and roadgrime and were a poor design in my mind for day one. The newer antennas whether rubber roof mounted or window incorporated are just more durable.

    2. The used Lexus would be RWD, (in snow country), eats more gas, tires aizes are larger as well as cost to operate. True dual exhaust is definetly an expense when you are to replace it. No bench seat offered in the Lexus.

    3. Lexus is no more, no less Reliable than a Toyota. The fit and finish may be better, but statistically from CR, it goes Acura, Toyota, Lexus, Honda, Mazda, Subaru, etc.

    The Acura RL is a nice car but not as much interior room as I had hoped for, and Acura dealership are not abundant as Toyota dealerships are when in the rare instances I must use them.

    Again, not the gospel. Just my take on why I decided on the Avalon new. If I was in your shoes, I would put the cash into a CD or ST Bond Fund, use the old Avalon, replace the parts with superior ones when replacement time came or OEM parts depending on the cirumstance, and wait them out until your old car did not perform its \function.

  • 1stavy1stavy Posts: 18
    I'm glad that you saw my post. I have read many of your suggestions(excellent) and had hoped that you could render your opinion on my situation. Your observations are quite accurate and you built up to a good watershed point that I could keep plugging with the '95 Avy until it fails to be worth the trouble. I have been considering that also. Maybe the catastrophic repair that I dread could be around the corner won't come due to my diligent upkeep. I can probably drive it another year or so before the lure of the newer bells and whistles on an equally reliable car becomes too strong to resist. I probably should invest in a CD changer and relax. Thanks again.
  • You answered my question without me asking. I have a '95 Avalon with 130,000mi that I bought new. I wondered how many miles to expect, since I have taken good care of it with frequent fluid changes, etc. I guess from your experience, I should expect many more.

    Anybody out there with more than 300,000 miles on an early model Avalon???
  • I have a '97 Lexus 300 (many parts in common with the Avalon) which my wife drives. It has 150,000 and shows no sign of not being able to double that number.

    I recall at one point in the early nineties Toyota had an ad which featured owners and their trucks that exceeded 250,000 miles. If I recall correctly the highest mileage was 420,000. Given better rustproofing and the easier life of sedans 300,000 miles is doable.
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 591
    The Toyota dealer where mine is serviced claims to regularly service at least three Toyotas in the 200k plus range but none are Avalons. Not really a surprise given the number of Camrys out there. He also claims to see others with 200k plus, but not regularly. No mention of 300k on anything. Toyota is one of the best car nameplates sold in America. Hard to go wrong if you take care of the car.
  • My wifes 2000 XLS was purchased recently from a local Toyota dealer. It had the sound fading issue as well. It seemed as if a little elf was inside the head unit slowly adjusting the fader from back to front. It was subtle, but noticeable. We had the dealer replace the head unit and it stopped. I am not sure if the amp is a separate piece or if it is attached to the head unit.
  • My wife's 95 just is turning 200,000 miles! A few body problems, but that's all. Plan to keep it till June 05 when she and the car will retire!! PS Do you think that T will ever get radio/ temp controls on the wheel??!! They also need a POWER lumbar - both front seats.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    let's remember that this is a discussion dedicated to a single vehicle, the Avalon. I hope that anyone interested in a specific comparison of the Avalon to another vehicle (or multiple vehicles) will hop over to our Sedans Comparisons board and fire up a new discussion.

    It sure looks like there is an interesting conversation to be had ... let's just have it in the right place!

  • 1stavy1stavy Posts: 18
    Just my luck that my power steering pump developed a major leak and will be replaced today. My mechanic will charge me $450 for the pump,labor and an oil change. When I told him that he is the main reason I'm at 253k, he corrected me by explaining that my car cruises at 5th gear for 1.5 hours each way on my commute and never overheats then he joked that my checkbook is the reason I've reached 253k. I am newly committed to reaching at least 300k before moving up to 2000 LS or 2001-03 Avalon XLS.
  • 1stavy1stavy Posts: 18
    The cassette on my stock radio/cassette has stopped working and my replaced antenna can't pick up AM without static noise that increases commensurate with my depression of the gas pedal. Reminicent of my old 71 Buick Skylark from High School(now that was a smooth ride). I simply must have an installed CD player! Any suggestions for a good audio system with CD/cassette/radio? Can you have XM and CD and cassette at the same time? Is the OEM CD player for a 95 Avalon decent?
  • This morning I called the Toyota dealership and talked to the service manager. He told me that the ticket for the camera-caught red light violation had been paid on Friday. He thanked me for calling, but that was all he had to say. He was obviously in a hurry to hang up. I then called the police department and the woman I talked to verified that the ticket had been paid. So I guess that's the end of it.

    Maybe at some later date I'll talk to the service department employee who had warned me that I might be receiving the ticket. Maybe she'll tell me if any action has been taken regarding the employee who ran the red light.
  • nomad56nomad56 Posts: 134
    1stavy-Yes AM/FM/XM tuners with CD and Cassette are available. Sony (WX4500) has one around $350, but it is SILVER???? Pioneer (FHP4100) makes one too. Both are dbl din and should fill your radio/pocket space. OH, and they are ugly..seriously, check 'em out. You may just want a boom box and disco ball.

    I recommend trying to do without the cassette. ...even books on TAPE are on CD! That will open up your options. There are several AM/FM/XM/CD SINGLE DIN units to choose from...then you would have the pocket below the radio.

    If you HAVE to have the cassette, you can get the above combo with cassette instead of CD, but it will usually have CD changer controls.

    Of course, a factory unit will not have XM, but you can get AM/FM/CD or AM/FM/CD/cassette that will plug right in. Be sure to get the correct harness type, there will be one of two different plugs behind your stereo, which leads us to...

    ***An important issue to address is whether or not your car has an AMPLIFIED head unit, or an EXTERNAL amplifier. This will affect the ease of installation.

    I have done a lot of audio work on Avy's. Let me know if you have any Q's. -nomad-
  • petlpetl Posts: 610
    Happy to see that the ticket was paid. I would still like a copy of the receipt for my own records. A reputable Dealer should have no problem providing you with one (the ticket was in your name). A written or verbal apology would have been a nice. At minimum they should have offered you one or two free oil changes. It appears they want to sweep the incident under the rug. Makes me wonder how honest they are or what they are trying to hide.
  • danielj6danielj6 Posts: 285
    I'd go on the assumption that the dealer is not honest and is trying to hide something. I'd also take my business elsewhere. To set some kind of precedent, I'd write a detailed letter to Toyota Headquarters.
  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591

    Thanks for your nice words above. Your new $450 steering pump etc. bill, should not disuade you from keeping your fine car. Although nomad56 has given excellent info. on aftermarket radio replacements, I cannot tell you how much I enjoy the Delphi XM radio with installed last year in this Avalon. This is the unit that you can take out of the cradle in the car and put in the cradle in your home to enjoy it as well. The install was a little above my head so I used a well qualified, meticulous automotive electrician. This install is not for the weekend golfer!!! However, it is so enjoyable I cannot say enough about it and the install with something called a VSM(Vehicle Specific Mount), made especially for that particular vehicle and coupled with an FM modulator,so absolutely NO wiring shows make it very attractive. No commecials as of March 03. The antenna install is roof mounted, magnetic base, and we ran the wire on the right side of the back window rain gutter, under the rubber trunk seal (black siliconing along the way) and then through the trunk along the car up to the front, taking off interior panels very very carefully when warm. Never work with plastic when it is frozen or you will be snappin and a poppin stuff. Anyway, worth it in my opinion, more than a new radio. Especially in colder climates, the cassete and CD mechanism seize, even the best of them. This has no of the trouble of those mechanisms, and the selection is outstanding. You can put it in your next car as well. Not sure if the 05 (which I would NOT buy until the 06 model/Never BUY a NEW model no matter how improved!!!!Ressist at all temptation!!) is going to have a SAT (satellite ready radio) but since Lexus has it now, my bet is the new radios in the Avy's will be SAT ready (XM is what Toyota/Lexus uses not Sirius). One caveat is that it is polished metal trim and would look better in the trim of the original car but I am more into function than trim(I cannot take wood applique and then to pay for it-disgusting!!) Just my taste, not the gospel. Different strokes for different people. Same with the wing on the back of the trunk and gold lettering ain't my bag either. Many people like that though.

    I don't think your auto tranny in your Avalon has a 5 speed but I could be wrong. I am sure for the new 2005 models will with the new 3.3L engine as the Camry and Lexus 330 have now.

    Ask your mechanic to replace your power steering fluid reguarly, approx. every 3 years with your tranny fluid since it Toyota uses ATF in the power steering also, at least in my 02 model. Double check to make sure, but you will not be going through pumps, lines or tramsmissions. It is easy to do yourself too, just pump the stuff out of the reservoir, get out the air and replace with new high quality ATF (mine is Dexron III).

    We took a trip to Canada and I could not believe how many different cars had stone/bug detectors on the front hoods!!!! Do anyone know, since Radar detectors are illegal in Canada, if they have to be taken out of the car, or can they still be keeped in the car, just turned off.

    Love this form. Lots always learned. Let the form know how many miles you get out of that baby.

    "Feed the forum"

  • mcescher1mcescher1 Posts: 37
    I would like to improve the sound system on a 2003 Avalon XLS. I have access to high quality amps and speakers and, if necessary, front ends. All that I have been able to find out so far is that the four door speakers are six and a half inch round speakers. Can anyone tell me the dimensions of the tweeters and the woofer? Also, more importantly, does anyone know the impedance of the various speakers, so that I don't end up with a mismatch. Finally, has anyone removed the front end and replaced it with another unit, that is, are there any technical booby traps that one should be aware of? Thanks for your time and consideration.
  • 1stavy1stavy Posts: 18
    Thank you both for your advice. The fear of an attempt to steal the nice audio systems you mentioned scared me into buying stock for my old Avy. My next car will have a security system and one of the nice systems you both mentioned. I purchased a new Toyota factory CD/Cassette/AM/FM/ Shortwave radio for $175 from ebay. I belatedly pulled my old system and found that my connection is a 15 pin instead of the 10 and 6 pin set up of the new system. The seller assured me in a later email that I too have a 10 and 6 pin set up and I would have to find it as it's attached to my amp. I, the novice, need big help finding said amp. If I've been led astray can my system be retrofitted/re-harnessed to fit my new CD player's application? Your sage advice is welcome. Also seeking advice on recent trouble with door lock that won't release rendering passenger front door shut solid. One last lament, in following abfisch's advice to replace with superior parts, is there a suggestion for a good muffler? The quest for 300k continues, I'm now at 256k.
  • nomad56nomad56 Posts: 134
    1stavy-NO! Your car will NOT have the 2-plug "speaker level" plugs at the amp. The AVY does NOT follow the same wiring protocol as most other Toyo's. Even if it did, the "factory" amp, is behind the glove box and a little tough to get to/run wires to. It makes WAY more sense to get a NON-amplified stereo that fits your that will just plug in. NOTE: 15-pin is the older pre-amp interface. ie) A radio from 97-98(transition) and up will fit the opening, but will NOT plug into it. Let me know if any Q's. -nomad56-
  • 1stavy1stavy Posts: 18
    Thanks for educating me Nomad56. I'll see if my wife's '95 Previa will accomodate the new system and reaccess my audio options taking your earlier and later info into account for my Avy.
  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591

    Here are my opinions:

    1. The Delphi XM radio I was referring to, can be taken out of its cradle, stored or used on your home stereo or boom box. It can also be used in another car that is set up appropriately.

    2. Mufflers and assoc. tailpipes, believe it or NOT, are the only thing that I like to have a Toyota Dealer replace with factory parts, not aftermarket. Why...Becasue if you buy a replacement from them and they put it on, it is guaranteed for the life YOU own the car, replacement free, time and labor. Honda, had to do it on my Civic, as I went through three in 236K. I think their part, at least for the 00-04 model years, are tops in quality. I do NOT however, think their OEM rotors, pads, nor struts are premium in any way, especially considering the prices they charge. So...replace the exhaust pieces, with theirs and let them do it.

  • warakawaraka Posts: 10
    I have been doing an Avalon Vs Accord EX-V6 comparison and I must say the Accord wins handily. Both cars have approximately the same interior and exterior dimensions and my wife is in love with the Accord’s NAV.

    To me, the Accord's exterior styling is much more aesthetically pleasing than the Avalon, its handling is crisper, and it has a more powerful V6 engine and is at least $4,000 cheaper than the XLS.

    Both cars are well made, and based on past experience, should provide years of trouble-free driving. Would any of you Avalon owners be kind enough to persuade me to buy an Avalon? I am in my mid-fifties and drive approximately 8,500 miles per year.
  • Both are nice cars. To each his own on style. Neither are that good to me. The Avalon is quieter and has more rear seat leg room. Personally, I find the Avalon interior warmer. Both should be reliable. The V6 Accord is quicker and has a sporty feel compared to the Avalon. The Avalon has a more isolated ride (great for long freeway trips). The Honda (Alpine) nav system is very good and intuitive. The Avalon is an old design vehicle compared to the Accord. The next generation Avalon will probably be a step up from the current model with respect to performance.

    Have an Avalon and am very impressed with the quiet and comfort. I like the extra rear seat leg room. A/C has been outstanding and mpg better than expected. Performance has been fine. It is no race car, but it accelerates well from a stop and passing on two lane roads easy.

    Also have a Honda vehicle (MDX) with Honda's Alpine nav system. Drove several new cars a few weeks ago and the voice activated nav system in the Acura TL (similar to the Accord's) was the best. I found the voice activated nav in the Toyota Prius was not as intuititive, but still okay. Have not seen one in an Avalon.

    Ride, quiet isolation, and room - Avalon
    Nav, feel, and zoom - Accord

    The older I get the more important ride, quiet, and room become and the less important feel and zoom become. A good nav system is addicting and I now want one in each car.
  • mcescher1mcescher1 Posts: 37
    Is there a sludge problem on the 2003 Avalon XLS with the 3.0L 1MZ V-6 engine? Has anyone figured out why there is a sludge problem on some Toyotas? My extended warrantee (100,000 miles, 7 years, platinum) excludes coverage of problems with sludge.
  • tmp89169tmp89169 Posts: 9
    The avalon has the electronic controlled transmission with intelligence. Could someone give me some insight on the logic or smarts in the transmission or computer? How can I tell if that part is actually working or not? I can't tell if my 03 avy. has intelligence or not.
                                 Thank you tmp89169
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