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Toyota Avalon Engine Questions



  • jrwyattjrwyatt Posts: 6
    Hi, we have the same problem, took it to Dealer and his top mechanic said no problem and that if something did happen it was under warranty. So I went home and called Toyota and made a formal claim. I suggest you do the same, they will give you a number. I am convinced they know that they have a problem but are not willling to admit it. I told them I had a Saturn with over 100,000 miles on it and a Ford f-150 with over 110,000 and had quieter motors than the Toyota Avalon.
  • binderzoobinderzoo Posts: 5
    Thanks, will do.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,613
    Why don't you try a synthetic oil next time and see what happens. And use a factory oil filter, too.

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  • binderzoobinderzoo Posts: 5
    Toyota changes the filter but maybe I will try the synthetic oil next time. Thanks
  • sbmansbman Posts: 12
    I researched the noise at startup and found it's the fuel injectors. They quiet down after about five minutes of driving. Go test drive a new one and it will make the same noise. Toyota says its not a problem that they will/can fix.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,613
    Oh yeah, injectors can make a kind of tappety-tap but they usually stay noisy. No real harm if they are noisy.

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  • rpfingstenrpfingsten Posts: 154
    I recently had my avy in for an oil change and when they brought my car back to me, I mentioned to the service manager that upon start up I often heard a rappid clicking sound from the engine. He told me the same thing, fuel injectors were what I was hearing and that the noise was normal upon start up.. and in fact after running a few minutes, they do get pretty quiet. FYI, I also remember hearing the exact same noise when I test drove an ES last year.

  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 6,416
    Mine does it too. Another thing to think about as stupid as this may sound is that if you start your car in the garage or if like at my house your driveway sits along side the house the sound bounces off and makes it sound louder than it really is. As soon as I back up past the edge of my home the car instantly sounds quieter. One thing that I have noticed is that as wonderful as the 2GR engine it is not as quiet by design as the Toyota 3.0/3/3 engines. One possible reason is that those engines use a timing belt rather than a chain. My '03 Avalon was quieter at idle than my '06. However, with the exception of the seats the '06 is better in every way.

    2017 Buick Enclave / 2017 Hyundai Elantra

  • mdealmdeal Posts: 2
    Have same problem w/ 2000 Avalon.Last year after lights came on my wife took it to local mechanic who replaced the battery.Worked fine until yesterday when
    the check engine & vsc lights came back on.Any suggestions?
  • mashoudmashoud Posts: 8
    See posting #256. The rear vacuum switch needs replacing. I have posted the exact diagnosis etc. and work done as on repair invoice.
  • jim3jim3 Posts: 19
    I had my 2000 Avalon in for service recently and the mechanic said with a car this old, and with 180,000 miles, he would not use gasohol in it. I have always used the cheapest gas around since the car was new and have never had a problem. The car has been very trouble free and I'd like to keep it that way, but these gas prices are killing me. What is the story about gasohol in an engine this old? He left before I had a chance to ask him. Incidentally most of my miles are highway miles as I live in the country.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,613
    Your owner's manual should tell you about Toyota's recommendations. In general, a mixture of no more than 10% ethanol should be okay. You could try it and see how the car behaves. You may end up with worse gas mileage and so end up saving nothing.

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  • amauhryamauhry Posts: 55
    The 2GR-FE engine in late model Avalons is designed to digest the 10% Ethanol in the mix and still be fuel efficient. If your engine is, try to keep the blend within the 10% bracket; otherwise, you will be altering the stoichiometric mixture of the fuel. Keep in mind that gasohol contains additional oxygen. This “extra” oxygen will fool the oxygen sensors into thinking that the combustion mixture is lean; in response, the ECU will keep your fuel injectors opened a bit longer to compensate for the “unbalanced” air-fuel ratio hence a rich mixture and a less fuel-efficient engine. All of the above would happen if your engine is not designed to handle the extra oxygen in E10 or if you go beyond the 10% allowance in any ECU-controlled engine.

    '08 Limited
  • rpfingstenrpfingsten Posts: 154
    Hi guys... got a question for you. I was driving down the interstate today with my cruise set on 70 mph. I just happened to glance over at the tach and noticed it was showing about 2100 rpm's at 70 mph. Just wondering if that anyone else has ever paid attention to that or if 2100 rpms at that speed was kind of high. Just curious.

  • That's what mine is at that speed which really isn't that fast. I used to have a Taurus that showed 3000 at 80mph
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 6,416
    2100 @ 70 is dead on.

    2017 Buick Enclave / 2017 Hyundai Elantra

  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    big ole torquey (and relatively fuel inefficient) V8s will generally pull something less than 2000 rpm at 70 - maybe 1700 or 1800. They can do this because of all that torque available at those lower engine speeds. The Toyota 2GR OTH is a free revving smaller V6 that is actually happier (from an operational efficiency point of view) at engine speeds significantly more than that - what is remarkable about the engine is that the CVVTi valve timing and ignition control systems that are built into the engine can effectively broaden that torque curve to rival that of a V8 in terms of lower engine speed torque availabilities so that the Avalon can be the same 'pleasant' highway car as those V8s and still be able to return FE in the 30s. The 2GR is easily the best part of the Avalon and a remarkable achievement for Toyota.
  • amauhryamauhry Posts: 55
    These are my observations (confirmed) while driving on flat surface and no passenger/cargo loads

    60 mph = 1600 rpm
    65 mph = 1900 rpm
    70 mph = 2100 rpm
    75 mph = 2200 rpm

    '08 Limited
  • I am reassembling a 97 avalon v6 engine and am using a Haynes repair manual. When installing the cams it says on the Right-Rear head to align the 2 dots of each rear cam gear so that they point together. For the Front-Left head they say to align 1 dot of each rear cam gear together. The 1 dot is 180 degrees apart from the 2 dots.

    When I do as they say the rear-right head appears to have the pointer on its timing belt cam gear aligned 180 cam degrees out. When everything else says TDC, this cam gear is 180 Cam degrees out. The intake valves are in a position to begin opening.

    If I set the rear cam gears so that only 1 dot is pointing at each other, then the timing belt gear for this head and all the valve are in the TDC position.

    Is my logic correct and the manual wrong? If not why?


    Terry in Colorado
  • Terry,
    Did you get your car back together? If so what was your outcome with the gears. I am doing the same thing an 02 Camry and have the exact same issue with the right bank timing gears. I am going to try and finish it today and have put it together with both heads using the one dot mark. Regardless of what the Toyota experts have told me, It has to be right or the front timing gear would have to go in 180 degrees off. I don't think there is a lot of DIY's out there changing head gaskets etc that are having to remove the cams. If you were changing the belt only you wouldn't be able to even see the gears so you wouldn't know if they are right or not and would only use your camshaft belt gear marks to do the job. I will post a follow up to this hopefully tonight if I get it done and will let you know. My email is: if you want to send me a direct response.
  • Terry
    I told you I would post back as soon as I got the car together and running. Since you already know the issue with the manuals vs. the actual job, here is what I did on my 02 Camry V6. I set both sets of cam gears to match up to the 1 dot marks which made my timing gears all line up with the corresponding marks, put it all together and fired it up. It was right. I see yours is a 97 and mine is an 02 so in that 5 year span I am betting there is more that just 2 vehicles out there with the same issue. Hope this post helps others. The way I see it is bring the engine to TDC, use a compression gauge on the #1 cylinder to insure you are on the compression stroke. Intall your camshafts by matching up either the set of marks as long as they are the same ie; either 1 to 1 or 2 to 2 tighthen your caps and forget it at that point. When you are ready to install your timing gears if the cams are not in the correct position to install they gears with there coresponding marks then rotate it 180 degress so the marks are right on both heads then install your belt period. In the future I will always look at the gears before I pull the cams just to be sure. But I can honestly say the book is not right in this particular case.
  • I have a 2000 Avalon XLS, 6 cyl. Just recently it started squeaking very loudly after starting up, The squeaking gets louder and louder until for about 25-30 seconds, after which the rpms or the general stability of the engine makes the squeaking go away. The squeaking usually happened while in reverse and does not go away until I push the rpms above 2k consistently.

    What can I do to fix this. I leave the house at 5:45am and my wife can hear the squeaking very prominently in our bedroom. I can only imagine what my next door neighbors are thinking...
  • By the feel of it, it sounds like the fan belt is either loose or worn out and is slipping.

    Also possible that the bearings on the alternator are shot.

    Check both of these items.

    Just one little trick...before starting the car, drop a few drops of plain dishwashing detergent on the belt and the drive pulley and see if it makes a difference. If it does, your fan belt is worn out and pretty shiney looking on the sides.
    Just my penny's worth. Good luck!!
  • luckykrcluckykrc Posts: 1
    I have a 2006 Avalon Touring Sedan with 27k miles. Last weekend, the red oil light came on. I opened the hood, and oil had sprayed all around the engine compartment. Most of the remaining oil drained while I was waiting for a tow truck. The Toyota dealer indicated that this was a recurring problem with the VVT (variable valve timing) line, and they already had 3 other Avalons in the service department with the same problem--and repair parts were backordered. Through an internet search, I discovered that a Technical Service Bulletin has been published on this for the 05 and 06 Avalons. Fortunately I am covered by warranty and a service loaner is being provided. Has anyone else on this forum experienced this problem?
  • I had the check engine light come on recently, and thanks to this and other forums was able to diagonse and fix the problem.  I wanted to share it with others in the event you have the same problem.

    Problem:  check engine and VSC warning lights came on right after I had the car alignment checked and tires balanced at about 88,000 miles.

    I had the check enginer code read by Pep Boys (for free) and it was code P0171, "system too lean bank 1".  That was the only code.  I had read on a forum that the code means the Mass Air Flow sensor (mounted just after the air cleaner) needed cleaning.  I disconnected the electrical connector cable for the sensor, removed the sensor, and sprayed CRC QD electronic parts cleaner (Pep Boys, $5.99) onto the little wires inside the Mass Air Flow sensor without touching the sensor (the sensor wires are very small and sensitive and should not be touched).  I then let the sensor dry (about 10 minutes) and reinstalled the MAF sensor and reconnected it.  I also removed the 15 amp EFI fuse in the fuse box (under the hood, next to the air cleaner) to reset the check engine light.  After a week and several driving trips the check engine light remains off and the car runs as good as new. 

    I had read on other forums that the reason the VSC warning lights came on is that when the tires were removed some error code was generated that said rear tires were spinning relative to the front--but these codes were in the background and the warning lights did not come on until the check engine light came on.   When I fixed the check engine light as described above the VSC warning lights went out and stayed off. Some of the other forums showed pictures of the location of the MAF sensor, what it looks like dirty and after cleaning, and other detailed steps if you need more information. 

    I hope this helps someone since I was able to do this myself for $6 instead of having the dealer replace the sensor for about $350-400.
  • mcclearyflmcclearyfl Posts: 149
    I had exactly the same problem, but after I drove home and parked the vehicle overnight, everything was OK.

    At 88,000 miles I am surprised that you haven't yet run into a problem with the Idle Air Control. Unlike the conveniently positioned MAF, the IAC is on the underside of the intake plumbing and involves quite a bit of work to extract it and clean it. If you ever need to do this job, I have a step-by-step on this site.
  • bobgwtwbobgwtw Posts: 187
    I Have an error code on my 06 avalon - 137,000 miles - that says the left bank catalytic converter is bad. Yet, after I drive the car for a day or so, usually quite a few miles, the check engine light goes out & I can drive a week or so with the light off; then it comes on again. No real pattern to the time or miles between events.

    I've had it coded 3 times & the code is always the same. Seems to me that this problem would not be occurring intermittently if the convertor was truly bad. Would like to avoid the $1100. expense of a new convertor if possible, as I'm ready to sell or trade the car this summer.

    Any ideas?
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 591
    More than likely the code is one of the O2 sensors reading a malfunction. Before replacing the converter try replacing all the O2 sensors. They do fail in time and yours are well past the point of possible failure at 137k miles.

    Before doing anything, however, try this: Load the car, fill with premium gas, get some friends, find some hills and drive the car at highway speed for at least an hour. Make the engine work. It is possible to burn off certain converter residue in this manner. This residue inside the converter can cause a failure code in the O2 sensors. If this works, good. If not, try the sensor replacement. If that fails, it is probably the converter..

    This all assumes the car is otherwise properly tuned and maintained. Hope this helps. :)
  • bobgwtwbobgwtw Posts: 187
    Thanks for the suggestions. The car lives on the road 8-900 miles a week & probably 80% of that at 65-75 MPH; so the converter residue makes a lot of sense, especially since there is no code for the O2 sensors. I'll follow your suggestions & let you know the results.
  • aveprobsaveprobs Posts: 1
    I have a 2005 avalon or should i say had!! With no indication what so ever my engine threw a rod driving down the interstate (april 21st 2009). All my engine oil poured out of my vech. within one day. Never had i saw a drop of oil! I assume it was the vvti line. my vech has 65k and is NOT under warrenty. Toyota refuses to help after numberous corp. complaints. 8k for a used eng. or 14k new! THis is absolutely ridiculous.. There are thousands of us out there! right now there are 4 avalons in beck toyota service. serveral of which for the same problem. unfortunately I had no indication this would happen. I think its crazy that service bullitin was published and no recall was done!! Toyota service did multiple inspections on my vech and never upgraded my vvti line like the bullitin mentions.. I've been driving a rental for 3 weeks @$165 a week!! plus my 475 car pmt! Any suggestions?? google vvti line on toy avalon and there are thousands of complaints.

    Please help me someone!! toyota never again!
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