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Toyota Avalon Basic Maintenance Questions



  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 6,658
    Can't tell you what is wrong with your car.... however I can tell you that if a condition arises that triggers the check engine light the VSC/TRAC system is disabled and turns those lights on as well. Since the laser cruise uses those systems it probably is disabled as well.

    As for the charge to diagnose, isn't this deducted from the bill if you choose to have it fixed?

    2017 Buick Enclave / 2017 Hyundai Elantra

  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Could be something as simple as a gas filler cap not fully tightened or someone removed the cap with filling the tank.
  • gohawaiiangohawaiian Honolulu, HawaiiPosts: 84
    Thank you tjc78 and also wwest for your help (Responses #278 & 279). My problem turned out to be a defective gas cap seal. They replaced the cap and everything seems OK now. I gave the service rep a copy of your response (#278) and asked why the dealer's technician didn't know what you knew: namely, that all these other systems (VSC, Trac, laser cruise) would be affected and display warning lights/error codes if the check engine warning was activated. Didn't really get an answer to that, altho he said that their service manuals don't mention that (!) - so they thanked me for showing them your reply and said they would share it with the service technician who worked on my car. Sounds like you helped not only me, but my dealership's service department too! So thanks again!
  • I have a 2002 Avalon and we've owned it for several years now. Last year we experienced the engine not idling like it should or at all, would stall at stop signe and traffic lights too. Anyways, I took it to a friend and he blasted some SeaFoam through the intake and since then the car has been running like new until recently. The check engine light and the VSC lights came on as well, just like last time. What could be causing this and how can I fix it without a really big expense?
  • ds2ds2 Posts: 1
    Had exact same problem about a month ago with idling issues on an '02 Camry 130k miles. I had to have car towed because I could not keep it running. No warning lights however. Turns out the idling valve needed to be cleaned out - My mechanic found issue quickly cost $100. Runs like new again with no problems since. They only real issue that I have had on the car for 6 years was this.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The idle air flow bypass port, bypassing the throttle plate, is fairly small and easily plugged up if the intake filter is not changed out often enough, or if someone (read: IDIOT..!!) switches in a "free-flow" K&N instead of staying with OEM or equivalent air intake filters.

    Newer DBW systems do not use/need the bypass port so the only real damage a K&N can do is contamination of the MAF/IAT sensors.
  • Sounds like an IAC (search in this forum and Google for it with Camry's as well) issue at least, there are posts in cyberspace with descriptions for DIY'ers.

    Once cleaned, you could try to reset the error lights, but if they come back you may have to check/clean and or replace your MAF and oxygen sensors.
  • 03avowner03avowner Posts: 1
    Hello, thanks for everybody's enlightening responses.

    I have a quick question:

    I have an '03 Avalon, 59,000K, upto date on maintence. Over the last few months, the airbag light blinks. It will only blink for a few days and not light up again for a 1-3 wks, followed by a repeat of this cycle.

    It is hard to arrange my schedule and sched a check up while the light is on during that short period of time.

    1. Can this issue be trouble shoot while the light is off?

    2. Given the obvious importance of an airbag, should I only go to a dealer?

    3. Any suggestions on Toyota recall websites?

    Thank you!
  • stan600stan600 Posts: 2
    can someone tell me were the cable ajustment is :mad:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,471
    remove the hole plug in the rear hub
    Turn the adjuster and expand the shoes until the disc locks.
    Return the adjuster 8 notches.
    Install the hole plug.


    1. Depress the parking brake pedal with 147 N (15 kgf, 33 lbs.) .
    2. Drive the vehicle at about 50 km/h (31 mph) on a safe, level and dry road.
    3. Drive the vehicle for about 400 meters (0.25 mile) in this condition.
    4. Repeat this procedure 2 or 3 times.


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  • stan600stan600 Posts: 2
    Thanks for the info , it was very helpfull .
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,471
    glad it was helpful, and welcome to this topic!

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  • Mr. Shiftright - which direction do I turn the adjuster - up or down?

    to all -
    I just had all my rotors turned and replaced the pads. It feels great now - nobody got hurt on my test drive! I fully endorse having the rotors turned, just be aware as they get thinner they will warp more easily.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,471
    Well you turn it until they lock, like it says. If it's not one way, it's the other---you should know pretty quick. ;)

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  • twinbtwinb Posts: 140
    On our '05 Sienna the fan belts have been squeaking for a month or two. I've sprayed the fan belt lubricant onto them & the pulleys several times but the noise keeps returning shortly afterward. They're the originals. Do I need to get them replaced, with 88K miles on it? Thanks for any advice.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,471
    edited October 2010
    Spray won't work. At 88K the belts are toast, so yeah, better do it. It's sound preventative maintenance and we'll give you a gold star for doing it! :P

    Also when the belts are replaced you might want to consider replacing, or at least carefully inspecting, the idler pulley bearings.

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  • twinbtwinb Posts: 140
    Thanks man, I appreciate the advice. Will do.
  • I have had a 97 avalon, have a 2001 avalon and a 2006. I have put KYB GR2 struts on the
    97 and 2001. The 97 ran to 275K and the struts were still great when it was totaled. At that time
    I had to put Toyota on the Front (at 100K miles) I had hit an armadillo and got a knock when I hit just the right bump. I had to change the strut bearing also to make the knock go away.
    I changed the 2001 at 130Kmi and put new strut bearings and KYB GR2s all the way around.
    a little stiffer ride but handles like its on railroad tracks.
  • I own a 2000 Avalon and indeed it shares the same fluid reservoir. The Haynes manual did not specify this, it mentions only the Lexus ES300. When I removed a small bolt above the differential drain plug it started running out with clean fluid and since I just replaced the ATF I knew it was a shared reservoir. I just had to put 4 oz back in.
  • orangeuporangeup Posts: 23
    edited October 2012
    The 3 spark plugs on the firewall side, cyl 1-3-5, are though to do, but not impossible with the right tools. Every plug had it own way. The electrical connectors are a pain in the ace to get lose and you don't want to break them or you're in deep poop. You will find that there is just enough room to remove all 3 coil pack studs. To do the middle one leave the outside coil pack studs off but put the new spark plugs in, so you don't drop any debris in cylinder head. Too loosen the coil pack bolts short 10 mm wrenches are a must. I found my battery ratchet wrench very helpful. You need a spark plug socket that grips the plug and various length extensions and a elbow joint to work around a corner. Hint: After you loosen the bolt that holds the little coil pack on, take the bolt out first a.s.a.p. so you don't drop it taking the coil pack stud out. (I'm still looking for one. $^%$#@#$) The middle you can do (must) coming in with a hand from each side underneath the plenum. The middle plug has more space to maneuver your socket wrench and ratchet then the outside ones. With fat underarms it was hard to get both hands under the plenum at the same time only working by touch while your hanging over the engine. A beer gut does provide a little cushion here. It took 4 hours of patient and careful work, this 1st time. To loosen the connector I found a needle nose pliers to work great coming in on back of the connector but be careful not to crack the plastic. Unfortunately that direction is not accessible on Cylinder 5 since it is facing away from you. I just never disconnected it and managed to get it out of the way connected to the coil pack stud so I could do the middle one. Anyway good luck, be careful, don't give up, and don't drop anything. This is doable but you will have lots of nicks on your arms and knuckles.
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