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Toyota Avalon Basic Maintenance Questions



  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 1,907
    Chilin12 --Try this website for a very comprehensive maintenance Schedule.
  • chilin12chilin12 Posts: 9
    Thanks bwia but the miles in my Avy is greater than 60K as mentioned in the site you recommended. Anyone else could give a more concrete suggestion? I have no record of previous maintenance on this car but looks it was kept well maintained ( it was a lease car)
    NOTE: I am living in Texas ( Houston Area)
  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 1,907

    This is courtesy of Boch Toyota (Norwood Mass) and I had to retype these (ouch!). According to Boch, for optimum performance, oil changes every 5,000 miles will help improve your investment

    90,000 miles or every 24 months

    Preferred Care

    Factory recommendations

    • Replace engine oil and filter

    • Rotate Tires

    • Replace ATM/differential fluid

    • Replace transfer case/differential fluid

    • Replace spark plugs (non platinum)

    • Replace coolant

    • Repack rear wheel bearings

    Inspect the following:

    • Exhaust pipes/mountings

    • Brake linings, disks, lines and hoses

    • Steering linkage

    • Rack and pinion for leaks

    • Ball joints/boots

    • Air filter

    • Drive belts

    • Fuel tank cap gasket

    • Fuel lines, hoses, connections

    • Body/chassis bolts and nuts

    Preferred Care Plus – Recommended by dealer

    • 19-point inspection

    • Service battery

    • Replace fuel filter

    • Fuel injector service

    • Adjust idle/fast idle

    • Replace air conditioning filter

    • Replace PCV valve

    • Clean throttle plate

    • Lube steering stops

    • Lube locks, latches and hinges

    • Inspect rotors, wires

    • BG tune kits

    120,000 miles or every 72 months Service

    Same as above plus these

    • Replace timing belt

    I hope this helps
  • chilin12chilin12 Posts: 9
    BWIA: Thanks, your information is very helpful. I noticed that no timing belt replacement is mentioned at the 90K interval???? Is because is chain instead of rubber belt? Just curiosity.
  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 1,907
    chilin12 --- according to the Boch maintenace schedule the timing belt should be replaced at 60,000 mile intervals. Since you've already passed the first milestone I assumed that you or the prior owner had already changed the timing belt/chain.

    I hope this helps.

    BTW, I encountered my first repair. The center mounted brake light on my '00 Avalon failed. This has never happened in any of my prior automobiles.
  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591

    I need a little diagnosis help please. The weather has been very rainy here in Northern NY State, and every AM I get in, the belts or the spindles, make noise, that make it sound like a piece of junk. I tried spraying belt dressing on it, but had limited success. Do the spindles or round relays need some WD-40 or do I need to get in there and adjust the belts??? After the car runs awhile, the belt noise is practically non-existent.


  • nomad56nomad56 Posts: 134
    ab-Not enough info yet... But, I will try to get us closer: 1st-Belt dressing IMO should not be sold! You can just turn up the stereo to cover the noise, and it lasts longer. However, if that offers temporary relief, it is probably belt squeak and NOT bearing squeak. By "relays" I am assuming you mean tensioners. These can/do go bad. Do not put WD40 on 'em. That seems to have more of a cleaning effect than long-lasting lubrucation. Is it only happening when it is wet out??? This leads me to believe it is belt slippage(I'll put a dollar on it) Wet pulleys + loose belt = squeek. You must do 2 things:

    1)Check the belt. Is it visibly worn and how old is it?? Belts can be worn and not really look worn out.

    2)Check the belt tension, which leads to two items to check:
    a-A worn belt(see #1). They stretch.
    b-A BAD tensioner. I've seen it happen, but it's not common. I do the tensioners with timing belt/waterpump service.

    I hope this gets ya' closer...Sorry for delays to the questions that were directed at me, but it looks like others in the forum got my back(Thanks!) I am travelling alot right now and spare time/computer time is minimal! -nomad56-
  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591

    Thanks man. The belt dressing did take away all noise, so I gotta think it is belts that need to be addressed, with 52K on the odo, probably just an adjustment.

    Tell me about the tensioners and replacement with the timing belt/waterpump service at 100K since I am ignorant on this matter, and would like to do any proactive maintenance, ONCE, if possible. I hate to have them touch any machine I own, and I am not prepared to do those repairs myself. Maintenance yes, repairs sometimes when simple.

    Thanks again.

  • nonfibnonfib Posts: 2
    I had the same problem for a long time until I replaced the serpentine belt. try that
  • If the noise went away when you sprayed dressing on the uppermost belt, and returns when you turn on the a/c, it is the DRIVE belt that needs adjusting/tensioning/replacing which you can do yourself (see post #'s 451 & 2). The other belt is more difficult to reach, if not making noise I'd wait for the tming chain/waterpump service since they'll be removing it anyway.
  • txgeezertxgeezer Posts: 12
    bwia -- Funny, the center brake light was one of the first repairs on my used (pre-owned) '99 (bought Sep. '03).
  • biggvilbiggvil Posts: 1
    Just bought a 1998 Avalon XLS with 90k miles from a very reliable source (my father) who has owned the car since it was new. He has not had the timing belt changed but has done all the other services regularly. Is there anything special that I know about this car at this mileage? Also, I have a specific question about the shocks/struts and when they should be changed? I prefer a little bit sportier ride but maybe the shocks are just worn.
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 591
    You have a good car and you will find a lot of information on these boards if you scroll back thru the last year's topics and posts. Read them all. Comments on the shocks/struts are frequent as this is a much discussed item with Avalon.

         The manual probably says replace the timing belt at 90k. Good idea. Keep up all regular service per the manual at a good dealer or independent shop. I use a Toyota dealer but many here go independent or even DIY for routine things.

         The main thing you should know about your Avalon is that the car is capable of 200k comfortable miles, or more, if you take care of it. My '99 XL was near perfect at 92k when I purchased a new '03. The '03 has had the battery replaced, but that's it, in 2 years and 40k miles. Enjoy the quality ride.....
  • elrlawelrlaw Posts: 20
    When driving my '02 Avalon XL (40,000 miles) under about 35 MPH and after the car has been driven about 5 miles, I get a high pitched squeaking sound coming from underneath the car. It sounds like two unlubricated pieces of metal quickly spinning on each other. When I speed up above 40 MPH the sound stops. It also stops when I apply the brakes. I seem to get an inordinate amount of brake dust on my wheel covers too. Does anyone have any theories about possible sources of the squeak and possible remedies? Thanks, Eric
  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591

    Have an 02 Avalon also. Squeak sounds from the description above like a belt issue. I had the same and ask Toyota to readjust the belts. The brake dust in another issue. The stock brakes are not very good in my opinion, and depending on your driving, the car dives alot, further stressing the front brakes. At 40K, I would at least look at the front brakes and our have someone competent look at them. They usually need replacing at about that interval. Second if you do alot of around town or city driving, you might want to take the car out of the long overdrive gear, and just ride around with the car in "OVERDRIVE OFF". This is third gear and will give the car better braking capacity albeit at a slight decrease in gas mileage. This will help with the dust as well as you will need less brake to stop. Thirdly, at 100K or sooner, change the struts to a premium brand, such as KYB or Tokico, if you can tolerate a little more rigidity in the ride quality while increase the cornering capacity, stopping capacity, and decreasing front end dive while will also translate into less brake dust.

    Hope that helps a little.

    "Feed the forum"

  • deepandeepan Posts: 342
    How easy/hard is it to change the plugs, particularly the rear 3. Any easy instructions.
  • I looked at my 96 and I can see as well as reach where the plug wires attach to the rear plugs. Have to do the change by feel unless the intake manifold is removed.

    Looking in the 1996 Toyota Avalon Repair Manual the instructions are very simple "remove spark plugs." Of course the pictures show the engine with the intake removed.

    If you DIY keep in mind the torque is very low:
    18 N-m (13 ft-lb).
    Recommended plug: ND: PK20TR11
                      NGK: BKR6KPB11

    Gap for new plus is 1.1 mm (0.043 in)

    Use a 16 mm plug wrench
  • rzepa1rzepa1 Posts: 55
    I have 2001XL with 44K miles on it. Do I have
    cabin air filter and if so how often and how hard is to replace ? The dealership charges ~$90 which seem little high for a filter.
  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591

    Relatively easy to do. Yes, you have one. They are a little different on the XLS vs the XL, at least the part numbers are different. If you never changed it before and the dealserhip never changed it, then you might not have one in there now, as my 02 came with the outer plastic frame but no cabin filter. Can you imagine that.

    No biggie. Get the correct part, then when the plastic is warm, the bottom of the fasica underneath the glove box comes off, then the 5 or so screws holding the glove box on, after emptying it, and a couple I believe of clips.

    Take you time. Get a copy of the page from the service manual to get a better picture.

    Good luck.

  • kuolkuol Posts: 7
    Hi,anyone has ever replace the bulbs(license plate light) and fuses (60A, type C, according to the owner manual) with the non-Toyota brand ones?
    Is it OK if I just find the correct spec? Thanks for reply! :)
  • john609john609 Posts: 10
    Replaced several bulbs (over 8 years) with non-Toyota bulbs - no problems. Just match the light bulb with the part number. Auto part store can give you the generic equivalent.

    Never had to change a fuse.

    FYI - when you are replacing the tag light bulb - be careful pulling out the clips holding the trunk liner in place. The clips break easy.
  • Anyone have any online service links for the Avalon. I had been pretty handy in the past with self auto maintenance, but with the demands on my time have been inclined to take my autos to the shop for the last 10 years or so. My wife's 2000 Avalon is in need of 60k service and the dealer is quoting about $400 for it. She is out of town and will not be needing it for a few weeks. It only includes plugs, oil change and filter, air filter, and cabin filter, and possibly the tranny fluid change. The air filter is a piece of cake. I don't think the cabin filter will be that difficult, but the plugs on the other hand could be a problem. I couldn't even see the plugs tonight when I looked. Of course it was dark out. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
  • Can anybody tell me the correct part number for the Toyota OEM oil filter for my 1996 Avalon? It should begin with "90915."

  • nomad56nomad56 Posts: 134
    The actual filter is/was 08922-02011. 90915 series are compact replacements and TRD parts. Those are: (TRD)00602-90915-004 & 90915-20003, 90915-YZZB5. This filter series goes in a lot of Toyo's.
  • nsx603nsx603 Posts: 5
    I have a 1997 Avalon XL with 112000 miles on it, and I am concerned about the work that needs to be done on it. The local mechanic said that he advises a timing belt and water pump change, but the owners manual says to only perform this if you drive under severe conditions, which I do not. This car is mostly used on the freeway for a round trip of 20 miles a day. Is it advised to perform these repairs? Also recently a check engine light has come on and the code states that the oxygen sensors are going bad. A pair of new ones costs 300+ dollars, what is up with the Toyota quality.
  • kuolkuol Posts: 7
    Anyone can share his(her) experiences to change Air filter and Cabin filter on 96 Avalon XL?

    Please describe it clearly. I tried but it is not as easy as Honda Accord. The owner's manual doesn't have a page about it. I have searched this forum but just some general descriptions. Hope someone can help. Thanks!
  • Cabin air filter? My 96 doesn't have one.


    Engine air filter cover has four thumb clips. If the filter cover doesn't come up enough, after releasing the clips, to slide the filter out you will need to remove the small hose/wire guide from the side of the cover next to the engine (one 10 mm bolt/screw just above the rear inside thumb clip). Removing this bolt allows the cover to come up enough, without removing the air hose or anything else, to replace the filter.
  • berobberob Posts: 35
    I am unclear as to the recommended interval for changing the automatic transmission fluid in my 2000 Avalon. I checked the Scheduled Maintenance Guide that came with my car, and the only mention I see of it are under "Additional Maintenance Items for Special Operating Conditions". It says to inspect the fluid at 15,000 miles and change it at 30,000 miles and it then repeats this cycle. Again, inspecting and changing the tranny fluid is only listed as maintenance whe the car is operated under the Special Operating Instructions. I see absolutely no mention of it under the regular maintenance schedule. Can someone please explain/clarify this? Thank you.
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 591
    Here's my opinion:

    After 36k miles (or 3 years) of regular driving, the fluid is worn out. The high operating temperatures have reduced the fluid's ability to do the job. Change it. I overmaintain mine by having it flushed and refilled, not just refilled. (With no flush, about 70% of the fluid remains in the transmission.) Always done at a Toyota dealer as I am not a DIY person.


    A Toyota transmission should last 200k miles if properly maintained. Several who post here have had them last longer. When you consider the cost of a transmission failure, the flush-n-fill is fairly cheap.


    Synthetic fluid is different but I don't use it so I don't know anything about it. Most who use it seem to like it. You might ask around..or someone here may post a comment on synthetics again. We had a long discussion last year on this in one of these topics.


    Hope this helps..Avalons are great cars. Enjoy.
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