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Toyota Avalon 2004 and earlier



  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    I agree with badgerfan.

    So in order for this to happen:

    * the radiator cap had to fail to release fluid when its preset pressure level was reached
    * the temperature guage had to fail to indicate an over temperature problem
    * the temperature warning light had to fail
    * then the pressure got so high that the freeze plugs blew out
    * and the heater core gave out flooding your vehicle with green liquid that couldn't be seen?

    ...ummmm. Not so sure that I'm with you on all of this.
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 591

    While all this was happening in a massive surge of steam and pressure... the radiator and heater hoses and clamps all held fast and did not leak or split. Perhaps it's a new type of clamp and synthetic fiber. Hmmmmm.......strange.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    The Toyota fluid in our 2000XLS is red, not green.
  • jsnowjsnow Posts: 3
    I don't know where the temperature sensor is located, but on many cars, if there is air in the system, it may never read hot. Once A car sits, all its built up heat tends to raise the fluid temperature in the coolant still in the engine. In fact, they could have mis-diagnosed you're problem. It may not have been a failed closed thermostat. Aren't they closed when cool? Maybe it was a stuck radiator cap vent. That might have unstuck when they took it off....Not all is always as it seems.
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 591
    The original cooling fluid in my '99 XL was green. At the first drain and refill interval, done by Toyota, it changed to red.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    Ours has always been red.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    From our experience, air in the fluid is often a blown headgasket. We had a 92 Mercury Sable wagon with the notoriously crappy Ford 3.8L V-6. It was replaced under warranty at 40K - the blow-by in the blown head gasket let coolant into the oil - which toasted the main bearings.

    The replacement engine only lasted abou 30K and it was dying when we got rid of the car.

    It had a blown head gasket too and "air"/engine gases got into the coolant fluid. The air bubble would circulate around driving the temperature guage crazy. Plus the fluid level in the overflow tank went up and down.

    I'd say that the probability of a car developing an engine overheating problem that would blow the freeze plugs without the radiator cap releasing it's pressure or the hoses/clamps is approximately zero. And all with no warning. Right.
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 591
    Your first-hand experience says a lot about what can go wrong with an engine. But this is Toyota we are discussing and failures like this one are very rare. Like, they don't happen. Not without something out of the ordinary making it possible.

    Guess: The cooling system was not properly maintained and/or wrong coolant. Trash plugs up the heater core in places and the engine block passages in places. Shut off the hot engine and you get super-hot spots. If the thermostat is also partially blocked by trash, keeping the radiator cap from really doing its job, POW!

    Other ideas are welcome.....
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    I agree this kind of stuff doesn't happen to Toyotas.

    I think the poster would have learned that their '$2000' repair was because there was trash blocking the engine coolant passages, heater core and thermostat. A dealer or mechanic would be curious as to how the 'trash' got in there.

    After all someone would have had to have stuffed it down the radiator cap to get it in there.

    Was this a St. Paddy's day post ...
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 591
    The "trash" is a reference to the scum, aluminum scale and other small particles than form and float around in a cooling system. Using the wrong type coolant, or just water, or never changing the coolant is a real problem for modern engines. This trash will eventually block the passages in the heater core and the engine block, and even in the radiator.

    It's just a guess... but for this event to happen, and for the radiator cap to be of no help, as you mentioned, something had to block the entire cooling system at multiple points and keep it blocked as the pressure built up.
  • 2002 avalon with only 12K miles had a loud metallic "clatter" on the first start of the day. Dealer duplicated the problem; said one valve lifter was worn. Repair was done under warranty, but I'm concerned about a problem like this at such a low mileage. Car has had oil changes every 6 months at the dealer. Any comments?
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    Hi hermanagerman,

    I think if you checked the Avalon V6 out you'd find that it is a DOHC engine - like Ferrari, Jaguar and Lotus.

    DOHC engines don't have 'valve lifters' like push rod engines from Ford or Chevy, since the cam directly actuates the intake and exhaust valves.

    You must be thinking of some other kind of manufacturer besides Toyota.
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 591
    The Avalon V-6 may have cam "followers" that act as a buffer between the cam lobe and the valve stem. It is not a "lifter" in the classic sense. If a "follower" fails to lubricate properly, it goes out in a hurry. Ask the shop guy if he meant "follower". If Toyota V-6's have them, they should last forever and the others should not cause any more problems.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    Hi Fin,

    The poster that made the valve lifter post was 'hermanagerman' not moi.

    Hermanagerman just became active on the 3/18.

    Are false or fake posts on a board like this also called spam? I am not savvy in all of the post terminology?

  • Here are the exact words written by the service advisor on the Invoice:
    "...found lifter bucket no good (the bucket is worn excessively where the valve hits the bucket)" Presumably he should have called this "follower" rather than lifter.
    In any case, it sounds too me like there is an oil circulation problem. Just replacing the part may not have been a sufficient fix. Comments?
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    We have a 2000 Avalon XLS which my better half drives to work in the Boston area. Interstate, local roads, potholes, etc.

    The Avvy has 52K and is ready for new shocks.

    What is best for a lady and her Avalon. Should we get OEM or Tokico's?

    How about costs?

    Thanks in advice

  • nomad56nomad56 Posts: 134
    Footie-Avoid OEM. This was a weak link IMO. Aftermarket will be better. Tokico is probably the stiffest, since they only make HP series for the Avvy. You can look to KYB and Monroe, for something less harsh. Tire rating can also effect comfort. I have Tokico's with VR series tires. It is too harsh of a ride for some, but I love this level of feedback. -nomad56-
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    KYB is our choice. I have heard that they leak some?

    The ones for an Avalon are Gas shocks. What would there be to leak?
  • nomad56nomad56 Posts: 134
    The leak complaints i have heard are on the adjustables. GAS shocks/struts can leak. They are oil filled like any other shock/strut. The gas pressure helps control the "foaming" of this oil that can occur. -nomad56-
  • I recently bought a 1998 Avalon XL. The driver and passenger floor mats are worn, and I want to replace them. Where can I get factory stock floor mats for this year?
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    So, how does one 'know' that struts are actually bad and NEED to be replaced (as opposed to being upgraded).

    We have a 00 Avvy XLS with 53,000 on it and my wife is complaining about rougher ride and louder ker-thunks.

  • sanandtonsanandton Posts: 342
    My wifes 2000 Avalon has 70k on it and we are in the process of replacing them (shocks) now. As a matter of fact I felt like it needed it when we first purchased it with 46k miles on it a year ago. We couldn't put anyone in the back without the car bottoming out over speed humps or drive entrances. It was kind of embarrassing for such a nice car. Now whenever we traverse speed humps or large pavement dips, the Right front strut makes a loud "banging" noise. It has finally given me the impetus to go to the Tokico shocks recommended regularly on these boards. My cost will be about $380.00 plus re alignment. I will let you know how it goes.
    I think you could have replaced them when the car was brand new and felt an improvement in ride and handling, although a stiffer ride.
  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591

    I do not think you will be disappointed with the TokicoHP's. Leave the wheels and tires the same size. If you still would like more performance without affecting ride quality all that much, than Energy Suspension makes sway bars bushings for the front and rear, that make a remarkable difference as well in cornering. Their is a slight hint of more tranmission of vibration in the cabin but it is negligible. Lastly, the tires can be plus ONE sized but this is a recurring expense, and the least attractive. The TokicoHP's are the ticket.

  • greenbeltgreenbelt Posts: 55
    We had to change out the battery in our 2000XLS this past weekend. It went fine. We got the battery at the local Toyota store and it went right in. However, when we started the Avalon afterwards, BOTH the VSC and VSC OFF lights came on and stayed on.

    Any suggestions on what is wrong and how to fixit? Car has 53K (and we love it btw).
  • teezeddteezedd Posts: 8
    I have a 2000 Avalon XLS and I tried the procedure posted in #2969 but it doesn't work for me. I changed the battery and it defaulted back to the factory setting.
    I saw the dealer change the programming to make the door not lock on moving from P to D when I bought the car and I think he opened the drivers door during the procedure.
    Does anyone have the procedure that will work for my 2000 XLS ?
  • azfj60azfj60 Posts: 15
    First, Hi to all! I'm new to this board, but have read all (!) the posts, as I just purchased a new-to-me 2000 XLS. I love it so far!

    As to the locks, there is a TSB with the instructions that I have at home, can post tonight when I get back. They are different than the ones in post #2969 in that they only have an "On" and "Off" state, not the 4 different ones like in the 2003 manual. If you want to spend $10 and a few hours downloading pdf's, you can get all the TSB's, Repair Manual, etc. etc. at I found it to be worth it already.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Welcome and thanks for the info.

    Usually between the information that can be accessed from this page Maintenance Schedules, Recalls, and Technical Service Bulletins as well as the helpful contributions of a couple of mechanic members in our Technical Service Bulletins discussion, we can produce all the information here, all for the most reasonable price of your membership in our Forums! ;)

    But anything you can contribute is very welcome - thanks! And maybe there are things we can help you with as well.

    Have fun in our Forums!
  • teezeddteezedd Posts: 8
    The answer is now posted in Forums / Maintenance & Repair
    /Technical Service Bulletins/ post #410

    It's great to be able to get answers.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Here is a link so folks can get to it easily:

    0patience, "Technical Service Bulletins" #410, 1 May 2005 4:00 pm

    Glad we're able to help, teezedd!
  • azfj60azfj60 Posts: 15
    Thanks. Sorry I didn't post the directions earlier. I thought I better try this on mine first, and I couldn't get these to work, as per the TSB last weekend. Still can't turn it off, so I'd be interested to know if these steps work on your XLS.

    Love the Avalon! I'm getting between 25-29 MPG on my commute, mix of hwy, city. Can't beat that! Replaced the blown JBL subwoofer in the rear deck with a cheap ie 8" sub, and it seems to work good. Better than none at all. I think I paid less than $20, and spend an hour removing the back seat to put it in. Also changed the cabin AC air filter, and what a difference in smell that made! It was pretty gunked up. Again, filter for $16 on ebay, less than 45 min to install (while herding kids).

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