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Toyota Avalon 2004 and earlier



  • jmbkljjmbklj Posts: 19
    I would guess you are located in Cincinnati??? In Oct I took possession of a 2001 XL, after orering it with my desired options.

    I am located in Ohio (not Cincinnati). I live in another major city in OH but ended up purchasing my 2001 XL from a dealer in Cincinnati. Price was $400 over invoice - which was MUCH better than any pricing I could get from my local OH dealers. The pricing lined up with Edmunds pricing info. Best of all, it was a straight forward deal....very efficient and allowed me to get exactly what I wanted on the car. They even delivered the car right to my driveway. Was a great car buying experience......dealt with the Internet Manager.
  • I own a 2000 Toyota Avalon which has had Vehicle Skid Control system problems since about 4000 miles. The dealer has replaced three computers under warranty and the problem is still there. The VSC Off warning light comes on often under different conditions and resets itself when the ignition is turned off and re-started. Sometimes the Check Engine Light comes on at the same time. Ther car is at the dealers today so they can replace all computers with units made by the same MFG. Has anyone had a similar problem ? If so, how did the problem get solved ?
  • Just a suggestion, but have your dealer check the gas tank filler cap to make sure it's sealing correctly. If the cap is not on tight, or if it isn't sealing for any other reason, you will get a "Check Engine" light and a "VSC" light.If the seal is intermittent, you will get the condition you have described.
  • csmlo,

    I am also trying to decide between the XL and XLS. Unlike you, my wife does not like the plastic wood on the XLS. Have seen some after market real wood dashes for the Avalon. Am a little hesitant to glue something on the plastic dash, but they look very good on the manufacturer's website and the price is reasonable. In fact, price is so reasonable (around $200) that you can buy two kits in case you ever have to replace a piece. I believe the manufacturers websites are over in the after market forum.
  • ck316ck316 Posts: 1
    I'm just beginning the process of leasing a 2001 XL or XLS. Any helpful hints would be appreciated. I like the idea of using an internet manager and reducing the feeling of haggling with the salesman in the dealership. My last car I leased using Edmunds info and believe I got a fair price determined by invoice costs (per Edmunds). Is that your experience: i.e. did you use invoice costs with some minimal mark up to determine sales price?
  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 2,454
    Glad to hear that you saved at least $68 installing the automatic climate control filter yourself. I know it could not be a very complicated job considering how quickly they installed it.
    Now I know better. The next time I will do it myself. A new filter does make a difference, no more fogging on misty or cloudy days.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    I had a customer with a similar experience. The VSC Off and Check engine light came on the first day they owned it. It seems something in the fuel line was pinched which caused an error in the vapor recovery sensor. The fix was to unpinch the line.
  • Can someone direct me to the section where owners were discussing ways to improve handling of the 2000 and 2001 Avalon? Thanks.
  • I purchased a 2000 Avalon XL in July of this year, and all has been fine as so far only 5200 Mi. One somewhat annoying problem I have experienced is that while driving along while listening to the CD player or radio the volume drops for no apparent reason i.e. no bumps or anything. I think while reading an earlier post someone else had experienced this problem but did not hear if there was a solution. Had Toyota service check it out on first maintenance and of course it was operating normally. Any help would be appreciated.
  • I've noticed the same thing with our Avalon XL radio. The volume will often increase without warning. It seems like the radio volume control is cheap and there is a possibility of movement in the device allowing for the sudden volume shifts.

    I cannot demonstrate on demand, but it does happen. It seems like a radio replacement will be required to fix it. Since I cannot demonstrate the problem to the dealership, they haven't been too helpful in correcting the problem.

    It may require an aftermarket radio replacement.

    If you find a solution, I'd love to hear about it.
  • rgistrgist Posts: 8
    I went to my local toyota dealer yesterday in Spartanburg SC for my aunt, who is looking to buy a 4Runner, when I noticed the new Avalons. Now I was not a big fan of the Avalon before, but with body colored mudflaps the Avalons look very classy. One in particular was the Diamond White with Stone leather that I looked at. It had the mudflaps and sunroof visor. Everything about the car was nice except the sticker price, which was more than $36,000. The mudflaps were body painted and cost 149.00 according to the sticker, but I believe I'd have them thrown in on the deal if I brought one. I'd like to see pics of the black ones too. I think they'd come in handy with all this snow we are getting today.
  •, click on Toyota accesories, then "avalon". There is one picture of a black mudguard on white paint (although the text talks abour a 4runner). When I was looking for colored ones they emailed me some pictures, you might want to ask if they have other pics of black ones.
    But note the [email protected] $100 markup if installed. Hope you're bargaining that sticker price down.
  • I just bought a new 2001 XLS. I am picking it up from the dealer tomorrow. Here in the Boston area Avalons (XL and XLS) are GREAT deals. My car is fully loaded. The only option I didn't get was the allow wheel locks. I paid $30,800 which is about 450 over invoice. You have to look around since not every dealer will negotiate a low price.

    I made my bid over the internet and was quoted $800 over invoice. One call and I had negotiated $500 over invoice. I then went to the dealership and picked the car I wanted from over 30 models.

    I found this a better way to buy a car. negotiate the "profit" first then pick the car. That way there was no pressure to decide on a specific vehicle. I could pick anything I wanted not just what I was shown.
  • I noticed that on the XLS with leather (heated) seats that the driver seat has several added movement controls that the passenger side does not. In the Edmonds Avalon XLS specifications it said they had the same number of degrees of freedom for both drivers and passengers.

    My wife commented that the passenger side was uncomfortable. She wanted the seat to tilt up in the front. The driver side does this fine but the passenger just tilts up from the back.

    How many movement controls does the passenger side have? I have the following: seat forward, seat back. Seat back recline/upright, seat tilts at rear but not the front. Seat does not rise up/down nor is there lumbar control.

    My driver side has all these controls (with memory of course). Is this correct? Is there any way to raise/ lower passemger seat? Adjust tilt?I bought the car anyway but would love to know if this is the way it was shipped? It's a shame the Toyota folks didn't add the features. The Lexus ES300 and every other sedan in that class has them why not the Avalon?
  • be put in the XL without any additional parts or changes? Cliffy-do you have any idea? Or anyone else try yet?
  • I have just built a web page for my new 2001 Avalon XLS.

    There are plenty of pictures.

    I have new wheels and tires, plus a few other add-ons, I would appreciate peoples feedback.

    Please visit my 2001 Toyota Avalon page at

  • Kudos to you for your new web page.Some excellent pix of the new Avalon.
    I am curious as to the exact size of those tires and rims you had installed.As I look at the clearance to the strut,especially in the rear wheelwells,it appears there isn't much clearance for anything wider than 205mm on my 2k Avalon.
  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 2,454
    Your website is great and gives us a glimpse of the potential of the Internet. Toyota should be proud of such promotion and they should offer to pay for at least the cost of your digital camera (sic).

    Which Navigation system is displayed in interior pics 1 and 2? Is it the pricy $3,600 one or the slow $1,000 unit.

    The two GPS systems that I really like are the ones in the Acura MDX and the Volvo V70 or S80.

    I was wondering if you could simply order these through Volvo or Acura and have them professionally installed.
    Again, a great website.
  • Reponding to 2runner1's (#421)comment about radio volume changing without touching the dial - problem still exists in the 2001 models or at least my 2001 received in October. I have noticed it only when playing CDs though, but volume certainly does vary on its own accord.

    Also, I am rather amazed to see that the speedometer and tach lights reflect on the windshield at night. I am tall, but it is right in my line of sight, though only noticeable on dark streets. But on a dark street the reflection from the dash is noticeable and distracting. This seems to be a rather poor design flaw for an other wise very nice car.
  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 2,454
    Now that the really COLD weather is here I was wondering out aloud what would happen if the front seats heating controls get stuck. Would the seats maintain an ambient temperature or would they continue to get hotter. Is there an override switch anywhere if this should happen?
    Just being overly cautious.
  • tjlewtjlew Posts: 10
    I've noticed varying volumn using different CDs on my CD player but this was the the different CDs had different volumn levels... using the same CD, there was no change in volumn level... also there was suppose to be a fix for the reflection at night... seems that tall driver can see this but short drivers say 5'8" or so can adjust the drivers seat to the lowest setting and not see the reflections....have not notice any volumn changes using the FM radio... but have on the AM side due to the different radio systems....

  • While driving home the other night with 4 people in the car (96 AVA), I had a big problem with fogging of the side windows. I tried defrost setting which did not clear it up adequately. Anyone else have this problem?
  • Are you certain that you selected outside air as oppossed to recirculated air. Also, did you make sure that the a/c was switched on if it does not come on automatically when the defrost mode is selected
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    That is the correct answer. Many people leave the vents on recirculate because the fan blows harder. This is a mistake in cool weather. You are recirculating moist air and the longer it is on, the worse it gets.
  • I am new to this forum and this quetion may have been discussed in earlier posts, but I wanted to ask what people thought of the Toyota Avalon vs. the Lexus ES300 in terms of ride, quietness, room, how comfortable the seats are, acceleration, price, etc. I am looking into purchasing one of the two. Any thoughts of those who have test driven both of them extensively would be appreciated.
  • Howdy...we just picked up a 1999 XL and I noticed the ECT button on the dash (the two options are power and normal). Anyone know what's ECT? Thanks.
  • I have a 2001 XL with pk4 and alarm. Each time I put into drive the door auto locks and about moving 10 feet later another "click" sound comes from "?" which you can feel it from the brake pedal or the gas pedal. After that it drives fine. But this happen every time I start the car up! Any ideas?

  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Electronically Controlled Transmission. In the "pwr" mode, the transmission shifts more aggressively. In the "normal" mode, you get better mileage.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    What you are feeling is probably the ABS system. After each start, the system runs a self diagnosis which has a click and whirr sound. You will also feel this a few seconds after engaging the ABS system.
  • Thanks cliffy1 for the info! I also ordered the wood trim on my 2001 XL. It looks good, but unlike the XLE model they show in the brochures they did not add the wood trim on radio panel itself. Is this the way it suppost be or did they forgot to put it on?

    In the owner's manual it also shows a coin holder in the center console, but my dealer told me none of the avalon has one. It this ture?

    Thanks in advance for replying!
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    There is a difference between the optional wood in the XL and the standard fake stuff in the XLS. In the XLS, it covers more of the dash and console but is fake. The optional stuff in the XL is real and looks very good but does not cover as much area.

    As for the coin holder, that is an odd one. Last year, all the Avalons came with it. This year, there is still a slot for it but they don't come with the actual piece that holds the coins. You have to buy it in the parts department. I don't know what they cost but I imagine less than $10.
  • Thanks for the info. Hmmm...Andretti like shifting or Mr. Cleaver like driving? What to do, what to do?
  • recommend Atlantic toyota in Lynn, MA.
    Very honest and great to deal with compared to the others.

  • Glad to hear that the 2001 XLs are offering a real wood dash as an option. My wife doesn't want the fake wood on the XLS, but we also didn't like all the black plastic on the XL console. I was considering buying an XL and then getting an aftermarket wood dash kit. Now I can get a factory wood dash.
  • I just purchased a 2001 Avalon XLS and it didn't come with a coin holder. Dealer said it was discontinued because of problems with the manufacturer. Parts said they couldn't order it either. My solution was I went to a local auto parts store and bought a coin holder for $1.29. I drilled two small holes in the bottom of it to accommodate where the original one would clip onto. Works perfectly fine.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    The coin holders come in the Tunrda and Sequoia and they are interchangable. I think it was dropped to cut costs which seems stupid to me. Just go order one for the Sequoia at your parts department.
  • rzep2rzep2 Posts: 2
    Just purchased 2001 XL for 25K + tax. It came with
    the power doors-windows/keyless entry package +
    mats and net. I figured I paid around 1K over invoice but so beat it. I had a car for ~4hours
    before buying and simply fell in love. I test drove few other ones (see comments below) and Avalon was simply the best for the money. Few question:

    - dealer is trying to sell me additional coverage
    to extend bumper to bumper to 6 years. They want
    ~ $800. Is it worth it ? I plan on holding on
    to the car for at least that long.

    - my previous cars when new, called for 500 miles
    first oil change. From what I read, Avalon calls for the first one at 5K/7.5K miles. Amazing. Has technology improved that much ?

    - also my other cars (when new) were recommended o
    be driven under 55mph during the first 500 miles.
    Don't see this in Avlon manual.

    Now this is what I test drove before buying avalon.
    I wished someone would post something similar when
    I was looking for a car. But again, maybe I would not listen. take it for what it is worth:

    - acura 3.2 TL 1997 (or was it 1998?). I simply don't like the new 1999+ TLs. Started looking more
    and more like accords. Not sure what Honda is thinking. I like the way 1997(8) looked and it would be my 2nd choice. Then again $22K for 1998
    car with 40K miles did not seem right. OK I could
    have gotten it maybe for $20K but I don't think
    it was worth it. Also, the car is little too small. RL was out of question as I was not going to pay that much for a used car. Not in this lifetime. Also, seems as V6 on this car is not
    adequate. Can't remember where I read this.

    - 2001 Buick Lesaber. Based on some reviews +
    the fact that my last car was a GM (I got 150K on it) I decided to test drive it. Now, I am in low
    30s so once I entered the dealership I suprised
    some people. The car drove OK, engine somewhat
    loud, the dealer did not want to give me the car
    for a day. In essence I liked the comfort but the
    car does not seem to have a descent, sturdy
    outside appeal to me when new. I think I would
    hate this car 2 years from now.
    I started talking price. I would take this car
    only (custom base with SD1 package) for 20-21K + tax but dealer did not seem exited about my offer.
    But than again I was not serious either as I
    would take that car only if I would get a VERY good deal. Also, seems as this car has
    some issues with wind noise + few other minor ones. Funny thing is that the wind noise shows
    up at 65+ mph speed only and some dealers will not
    fix it as they cannot re-produce it because by
    law they can't drive more than 65mph. See LaSaber board on this info. I could not get on hwy to verify it myself.

    - buick regal, well I did not test drove it,
    but came back the next day (Sunday) just to
    look at it. I am not sure what GM is thinking.
    Both LaSeber and Regal have the same engines
    and go for around the same price )on the average). It somewhat confusing but if GM sees a market so beat it.

    - 2001 Bonneville, dealer gave me base model (SE?)
    for a half a day. Brand new, under 20 miles. When
    in reverse transmission made hauling noise. Dealer
    gave me another one. Noise no more. In summary,
    if you want Grand Am (wife has one) on stereoids
    (spelling ?), Bonneveille is your car. Since the car seemed OK and if I would get a VERY good deal, I would take the car. Sticker was little over 26K.
    I told them 23.5 out the door. Seems as they felt insulted. Beat it.

    - 1999 avalon. Different dealer than I bought the
    2001 from. Dealer guy was a dick. Seemed as we asked for a huge favor when asking to test drive
    that car. Basically, he made me go around the block and back to the place. The car had 40K miles
    on it and he wanted 22K. Even for 18K I would not
    take it from that guy/delearship.

    - 1998 S70 volvo. Eventough seems as this car
    is not very reliable I decided to test drive
    - GLT Turbo. Seats and brakes are better than
    avalon but it seems small. Also, all those buttons
    everywhere .... winter driving button,economy
    driving button etc .. asking 24.5 for a car (in color which I did not like) with 33K miles. No way. I could get it down for around $20-21K but did not feel as the value was there. Also, checked out their service lot and mechanics seemed to be busy.

    In summary I am pretty happy with XL avalon. But
    than again, it is day #2.
  • I just bought 2001 Avalon. Like it alot, however
    immediately noticed an annoying rattle from
    passenger side front dash. Any suggestions before I
    call dealer?
  • I want to purchase a 2000 or 2001 Avalon XLS but when I read of the problems in the transmission,fogging of interior,rattle in dash I am not sure. HELP !! Send good and bad remarks to help me make my mind up. Chrysler 300m looks good. Not happy with my 96 deville. Like Avalon dash design and interior room. [email protected]
  • hoang4hoang4 Posts: 10
    Hello everyone! I'm 23 yrs old and just bought my first Avalon last night! I was choosing between a LExus ES300 and a Nissan Maxima. the Avalon won hands down. My 2001 Avalon XL is Lunar Mist with stone leather, moonroof, keyless entry, compass, autodimming mirror, and some other stuff was bought for an amazing price of $27,500 including tax and destination. The dealer even threw in 3 years of oil changes and loaner cars free! I am wondering what the age group is for owners of Avalons.
  • I read somewhere that the avg. age of an avalon owner is 57. Welcome aboard sonnie.
  • hoang4hoang4 Posts: 10
    can someone clear something up for me? is the
    Avalon based off the lexus LS400? or vice versa?
    both cars have similar front fascia and body size
    aand styling.
  • 2000 Avalon has a shield over the instrument panel that is too short. The result is that on a dark road with no traffic the instruments reflect onto the windshield and ghost the instruments in your line of sight especially if you are in the 6' tall range. The only solution is to turn down the intensity of the interior lights or make a longer shield to insert above your instrument panel to block the light so it does not reflect on the windshield.
  • Hi, I got the mesa beige XL with keyless entry and alloy wheels and power seat bench package.
    I paid a little over 26,000 including tax and everything. I noticed I have the General brand tires which I recall reading about here that they werent very good. Also I believe one of the doors doesnt shut perfectly with as much ease as the other doors. I am going back tomorrow for my sticker, should I mention the tires?, do you think they can adjust the door?
    Anyone else have thoughts on those tires?
    Was surprised there was no pocket on the back of the front seats and the floor hump in the rear seating seems cardboardy, not smooth under the carpet.

  • The Avalon is based of the Camry chassis using the 1MZ-FE V6 FWD. The Avalon's chassis is stretched out version of the Camry. The 2000 and up Avalons have VVT-i with the V6 and the Camry does not. Styling cues are very similar to Lexus. The Avalon is exclusively made in Georgetown, KY at TMM along with the Camry and Sienna. The LS is a RWD model utilizing a V8. The Avalon is modeled after the LS but they are both totally different cars.
  • I am a 20 year old..turning 21 in a couple days driving a 1995 Avalon XLS w/81K Miles in Southern California. =)

    I am also a founding member of a Camry Club here in So.Cal called TeamSC³ =)
  • hoang4,

    Auto Pacific has numbers on the median age of various cars. I believe the median age for the Avalon was somewhere in the 50's. Somehow the Avalon got the reputation as a retirees car, maybe because it competes in the full size segment against traditional American cars. I told our 23 year old son that I planned to buy one in the spring and he immediately said I was too young for an Avalon (I'm 49). Of course, I'll ignore him and buy one anyway. I think of the Avalon as a bigger, more luxurious Camry and a great product.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Before the new body style came out, the Avalon buyer was getting pretty long in the tooth. Now, I see two primary demographics. The first is the 45 to 55 year old upper management type. This guy can afford just about anything he wants but doesn't want to have a luxury nameplate car in the employee parking lot. He wants as much luxury as possible without going to a Bimmer or Lexus.

    The other big group is the 30 something crowd. The motivation here seems to be as much luxury as they can afford. This is a young professional and tends to be married with at least one child. This buyer doesn't want a minivan.

    We still have the retirees, the real estate agents, the occasional "youngster", and a few others but those two groups account for the majority of my personal Avalon sales.
  • What are your views on this lurking topic of the 1MZ-FE engine sludge? I think this is caused by people's irresponsibility to do preventive maintainance and these people who have experienced this problem do not want to admit their fault. So they will blame their stupidity on Toyota. What do you think?
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    That is an unusual question to ask in this topic. I have commented on this issue at great length in the Camry topic about 6 or 7 months ago and I really don't want to revisit it. If you find that thread, you'll see why.
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