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Toyota Avalon Basic Maintenance Questions



  • arif_csearif_cse Posts: 1
    hello guys,

    i got a new avalon 02 XL, there is dash board light which is on.
    the light is right down corner one.the symbol is is yellow.
    and symbol shows a car and arrows @the back .iwant to know waht that light means........

    PLZ help ......

    thanks in advance...........
  • rpfingstenrpfingsten Posts: 154
    Hello arif cse

    I'm not sure what that indicator light is on your car.. I have an 07 xls and I looked in the owners manual to see if I could find any warning lights that looked like what you described... the only thing I found was a symbol of a car with 2 squiggly lines, also at the back. According to my owners manual, this symbol is; 'slip indicator / traction control system off light. This may or may not be related to your icon... but hope it helps none the less.

  • markjsmarkjs Posts: 2
    I have a 1995 Avalon, and would like to change the spark plugs. The front three are cake but the rear three are under the intake manifold. I have two questions:
    -- Must I take off the intake manifold in order to be able to change the rear plugs, or can it somehow be done with the manifold in place?
    -- If I only manage to replace some of the rear three, will it cause any problems? (My gut is that it will cause some kind of imbalance if some plugs are old and some are new.)

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  • popsavalonpopsavalon Posts: 231
    I had a 1997 Camry that described the rear (3) spark plug change as "may be necessary to remove the intake manifold". However, I found that with various combinations of long and short extensions and a universal connector, it was actually pretty easy to get at all the plugs and change them. I came up with a workable combination for all rear plugs before I actually removed any of them.

    You are correct about the need to change all plugs at the same time.

    I seriously doubt that dealers remove the intake to change plugs on these engines.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    the dealers may be well aware that these days changing spark plugs is mostly a waste of time, money, and knuckle skin.
  • marstilmarstil Posts: 5
    Check out the site below. I has a good description and good pictures of the procedure.
  • markjsmarkjs Posts: 2
    Well, since posting this issue I jumped in and attempted to change the plugs without knowing whether I'd be able to do it or not; I was able to do it! And, I didn't have to remove the intake manifold!!

    It wasn't easy -- what should have taken a half hour took three hours! -- but I got it done. It's unbelievable that you can actually maneuver everything around so that you can replace the rear three plugs, but those clever people at Toyota have made it so that it's just barely possible. The trick is to have enough tools so that you can situate your wrench at just the right distance from the plugs (there is only one spot where it will work). So, you have to have at least a short and long extension for your socket wrench. Also, it's important that they all fit together tightly so that you can extract them if necessary (and, when you put a plug back in, it's necessary).
  • chiczchicz Posts: 2
    I have a 2000 Avalon w/70k miles. The Toyota dealer recommends an engine flush and a Valve Clearance Check be performed. They want almost $500 for the Valve Clearance Check and I am concerned about the engine flush. Does anyone have any suggestion about whether or not these would be required or have any experience with either?

    I also thought that the 2000 Avalon had VVtiming w/hydraulic lifters; if so, shouldn't they be self-adjusting?

  • I just had the same error means one or all of your 3 brake lights are bad. In my case it was the center one. I had to slide the rear center speaker (sub woofer) housing forward to get at the brake light. Since I've already changed the gasket on my sub woofer, it took like only a few minutes.
  • dpm4dpm4 Posts: 1
    I have a 2008 Avalon. Specifications in the manual call for 6.4 qts of oil with a filter change. Problem is that after after draining the oil and installing a new filter cartridge, when I have added back only 6 qts, the dipstick shows full or a little over. Should I go with the manual requirements and put back 6.4 regardless of what the dipstick indicates or should I believe the dipstick that the engine has a full load of oil. Thanks, dpm4
  • amauhryamauhry Posts: 55
    You could say they’re self-adjusting but this is related to timing. They, however, can’t self-adjust their physical position with respect to the camshaft thus affecting, say, their seating position when closed, etc.

    But first, why do you need these services? Perhaps loss in horsepower? Sound stemming from the valve area, suggesting unwanted friction?

    Why the need of flushing the engine?
    Engine flush (oil) suggests that at one point in time during or after the flush (depending how the flush is done) your engine is going to start somewhat dry. This is not the same as when first starting your car in the morning. Engine flush ain’t a good thing unless that engine block is sitting at the manufacturer’s plant.

    ’08 Limited
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 591
    After you change the oil and add the 6 quarts back... start and run the engine for a few minutes. Then turn it off and let it sit for a while. Then carefully check the level on the dipstick again. Is it still full? Or is it a little low? If low, add the 0.4 quarts. Let the forum know what happens as many here (but not me) do their own oil changes. :)
  • smudgy2smudgy2 Posts: 5
    I do the oil changes myself on our 2005 Avalon.Initially, I used the 6.4 quart fill amount but soon realized that by omitting the .4 quart (13 Ounces) would only reduce the optimum by 6.5%, a rather insignificant amount. So now I use six quarts. Incidentally, on the dipstick, the difference between full and low is 1.6 quarts. A low mark indicates you need 51 ounces (25% of max). Good luck. Hope you enjoy your Avalon as much as we have.
  • chiczchicz Posts: 2
    Thanks for the response. I nixed the engine flush as I also drive a Saab and those have a history of bad experiences with engine flushes. However, the valve clearance check is something that Toyota recommends at the 60K service. However, there are not any symptoms such as you described that would suggest that the valves are out of spec. I also found that the valves on this engine in 2000 were not hydraulic, so they are not self-adjusting.

    Based on that , would you pay the $500 for a valve check? I am tending to let things go the way that they are.

    2000 XLS
  • kathym3kathym3 Posts: 1
    Hi, I have a 2003 Toyota Avalon XLS with about 73K miles on it. I've had it 2 years and haven't done anything to it, but get oil changes new tires and new brakes. It was my grandmother's and she took good care of it and I got it when she passed away. I'm thinking I should probably have it "tuned up" or something, but, of course, am worried about getting ripped off. Can anyone suggest what I should get checked out the next time I take it into the shop for an oil change?
  • Look for the car manual and follow the instructions for the changes required at the mileage that they state for the type of driving that you do. My 1995 Avalon required a timing belt change every 60,000 miles. It also recommended a change of spark plugs at 100,000 miles. You should also check when the coolant, air filter, fuel filter and PC valve should be changed. There also may be a cabin filter to be changed. Do not do anything that is not recommended in your manual. I have 160,000 miles and the car runs and looks like new. Also recommend washing the car and waxing it on occasion.
  • lonnie4lonnie4 Posts: 11
    Hi everyone! I own a 2003 Avalon XL (maybe XLS, can't remember) well anyway, when I turn my windshield wipers off, they stop right in the middle of windshield. Plus I notice when I turn on my heated seats, I am starting to get an awful smell. Another thing, I notice rust around where my tires are. Should I go get this professionally removed and repainted? I remember having a 1984 Toyota truck and the engine ran for ever but body was falling off.

    I have over 100,000 miles on it. (sadly still owe another year). Will be wiser next time when buying a car. Will definately have a down payment!

    Any help appreciated. Thank you.
  • I bought 2009 within the past month. The manual gives no service schedule for brake and transmission fluid. Any guidance on that? Thanks for all input.
  • I am very pleased with the new 2009, but have two minor concerns / questions.

    1. The wiper on drivers side has some streaking at the point of attachment to the arm, which happens to be my sightline. This is a brand new dealer installed wiper blade. My first set of blades had a problem and were replaced. Has anyone else had this problem or others with the wiper blades?

    2. The cooled seat does get cold, but not as fast as my neighbor's car (not a Toyota). Any other complaints on slow seat cooling?
  • nimiminimimi Posts: 249
    The seats are not "cooled." They are heated and ventilated.
  • moimeme1moimeme1 Posts: 1
    I have a Toyota avalon 98 and the air bag light is blinking. Is there something I can do to reset it?
  • gilseidmangilseidman Posts: 22
    I have the 2008 Avalon Limited and there is no schedule for brake or transmission fluid. There is also no dipstick for the transmission. I would follow the instructions in the manual and leave those things alone. You could check the brake reservoir visually and add fluid if low for any reason but it is not likely. It may become lower as the brake pads are used up and should be checked when you do a brake job. I have never drained and replaced brake fluid in my 1995 Avalon and I have 160,000 miles on it.
  • bigroz8000bigroz8000 Posts: 10
    Hello. I am going to be replacing the struts on my 2002 Toyota Avalalon XL. I am trying to decide between the Monroe Sensa Trac strut and the KYB GR2 strut. The car has a lot of shimmy at high speeds. I prefer a more comfortable, smooth ride. I am older and not looking to make this in to a sports car. Just want to restore the ride to the way it was when I bought it. Any help with this decision is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,514
    Before you start, what do you mean by "shimmy"? If you mean you can feel the steering wheel moving back and forth, that's not struts, that's wheel balance most likely, or a bent rim, or out of round tire.

    if you mean the car wanders around the road, new struts might help that but this is often an alignment or front end bushing issue.

    Bad struts will give you a "wallowing" feeling (pitching, moving side to side, bouncing up and down) when braking, going around turns, or over bumps. In other words, bad struts show up when the suspension is under some stress.

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  • bigroz8000bigroz8000 Posts: 10
    Thanks for the response. It is much appreciated. I don't feel the steering wheel moving back and forth. It is more like the car wanders around the road. I notice it the most at high speeds on highways that are not smooth or have a lot of pitch to them. Also, the car does not handle the bumps very well. The problem started at around 50,000 miles on the car and never really got better with new tires, alignments, and balancing. It now has 93000 miles. Have had it looked at by Toyota, Tires Plus, and an independent mechanic but nothing was found wrong with any aspect of the suspension. I am not really sure what to do. Don't want to play hit or miss with fixing it but the car seems to be all over the road and I am worried that I am damaging something by driving it. Let me know what you think and thanks again for the help.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,514
    Okay given the description of symptoms and the mileage on the car, new struts would not be a bad decision in any case. But I think an alignment should be done as well. Normally you don't have to do an alignment when replacing struts but in your case it might be good to at least check it. If you can get Bilstein shocks for your car, they are really great---but probably more $$$ than the other two you mention.

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  • bigroz8000bigroz8000 Posts: 10
    Thanks again for the help. I just checked but unfortunately they do not make Blistein struts for an 02 Avalon. Just a few more questions for you. Is there much of a difference in ride comfort between the Monroe and the KYB. Also, would you recommend that I replace my strut mounts as well. Any ideas on what a reasonable price would be for this. I will definitely get the alignment. Thanks for all the great information. This is the first time I have used this forum. I will definitely use again. Thanks for making it a great first experience. Your help is very much appreciated.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,514
    I'm not real keen on KYB or Monroe. Why don't you research Boge and see if they make a shock for your car.

    As for strut mounts, they can be inspected when the strut is off. In the rear, I'd look for rusted mount bolts or cracked rubber. If the rubber mount and studs look clean and healthy,you are good.

    In the front, there's the addition of not only rubber and studs to look at, but a BEARING in the mount that lets the wheels turn on the strut. Here, too, I'd only replace these based on some visible defects---or in the case of the front strut, if you get "memory steering", which means you turn the wheel and everything's fine but when you expect the wheel to come back to the straight position after the turn, it may hesitate to do so and feel stiff. That's usually a bad steering mount bearing.

    Boge or Bilstein is 2X the shock of the other too, and worth the price.

    If you have no choices, I'd go with the KYB GR2s.

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  • bigroz8000bigroz8000 Posts: 10
    Thanks for the great advice. I am going to look in to the Boge struts. Have a great weekend.
  • gohawaiiangohawaiian Honolulu, HawaiiPosts: 84
    Has anyone experienced several malfunction/warning lights coming on at the same time, without any prior event that might have caused this (such as a panic stop, etc.)? I started my 2005 Avalon one morning last week, after it sat unused overnight, and found that the "check engine", "VSC" and traction control warning lights all illuminated. The same warning lights continue to come on since then and I have since discovered that the adaptive cruise control is also not working ("E3" code displays when attempting to engage cruise control). Car is being serviced today, by dealer - technician seems clueless at this point about what would cause this and wants to charge me for the electronics diagnosis which they claim is not covered under the Toyota extended warranty (7 years, 100K miles) I have. Anyone else have this happen to their car?
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