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Toyota Avalon Climate Control Questions



  • dbowedbowe Posts: 6
    Am experiencing that my 1996 Avalon XL air conditioner will work great sometimes, but at other times doesn't work at all. I assume that there is a short in the wires or a fan not operating properly. Has anyone else experienced this? Please let me know in detail what the problem was and how you rectified it. I would rather do the work myself than allow the incompetent Toyota mechanics to have a shot at my vehicle!
  • dbowedbowe Posts: 6
    I should mention that by saying my ac doesn't work, I mean that it doesn't cool the air. It just blows as thought the compressor is not functioning (I can still turn on the heater.)

    Thanks in advance for any input!
  • motownusamotownusa Posts: 836
    Sounds like a blown compressor . My 92 Camry blew its compressor in 2001. Prior to that the A/C was working perfectly. I am surprised you don't trust Toyota mechanics since most of them are certified by Toyota. Replacing compressor is quite expensive. If I recall correctly mine cost around $500 including labor. Haven't had any problems since then till I sold the car in August of 2004. Anyway, good luck.
  • mikes.mikes. Posts: 336
    It sounds like a loss of Freon, check the Freon charge.

  • dbowedbowe Posts: 6
    I recharged the freon previously and so that wasn't the problem. I ended up having to get sodomized by a Toyota dealer who charged me $400 to change a valve underneath the dash board. Apparently, this valve was sticking. I do not know how he narrowed down the problem, but just wanted to mention my solution in case someone else experiences the same.
  • pcp2pcp2 Posts: 12
    I changed my cabin filter and it is not that hard. As I recall there are two bolts that hold the glove box door hinge in place. Remove these two bolts and the glove box door drops down and you can slide back the box liner. This will let you remove the filter. At first glance at the glove box door it looks like the door could be PULLED down to give access. This might be true but I was afraid to do this because I might break something. Be careful so you don't drop a bolt into the frame when removing. It will be hard to fish out the bolt. This almost happened to me.

    Hope this helps.
  • 2beach2beach Posts: 1
    I just bought a used 1998 avalon with about 68K miles. The next week the AC stopped working, controls became inoperable, outside temperature light went blank. AC returned to normal on later starts. Then it would quit again. I researched and found this was in a technical service bulletin from Toyota in Dec. 1999. 3 parts had to be replaced. It was a warranty repair under basic warranty up to 36K miles. That leaves me out. I'm trying to get seller to repair because I required them to guarantee AC. Let me know if anyone has paid to have this done. I want to know what to expect.
  • mikecraigmikecraig Posts: 12
    The AC filter is easy to replace yourself. I think it cost me $15; everything else is labor.

    I have pictures of the disassembly that I will send to anyone who wants them. The zip file is just over 1 MB. Contact me off-list at

    My Avalon is a 2000. I suspect they are all the same. Have a look at the pictures and make your own decision.
  • Hi! I have the same problem! What did you do and did it work???
  • dlamkendlamken Posts: 1
    Hi - If you still have any pictures of the cabin air filter replacement procedure, I'd appreciate you sending them to me. I have a 2000 Avalon XLS, and I doubt the filter has ever been replaced.

    Also, if you know of the location of the fuel filter, I'd appreciate any help in that area, too.

    Thanks - Dave Lamken
  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 1,907
    I have a 2000 Avalon XLS, but I believe the automatic climate control switch isn't working as the blower stays in the lowest setting even when the outside temperature is in the high 80's.

    In the manual mode I can switch it to high, low, or medium but in the auto mode it only runs on low. Even on the low setting the interior temperature appears to be cool though. Any ideas, or does that mean spending $80 for a dealership diagnostic?
  • genekrgenekr Posts: 1
    I have the same problem what I do is mis a small amount of liquid lysol with water and pour a small amount into outside air vents

  • mayomayo Posts: 1
    Without warning, the air conditiioning , blower fans, and o/s temp indicator quit. Have checked all fuses and cannot find relay or fuse related to A/C etc. The service center was no help: Said the fuse/relay was difficult to get to, but probably a servo had gone out. That repair would be very expensive. I felt they were covering up an inherent problem.
    Any suggestions for finding the fuse and home repair? Thanx
  • tobymactobymac Posts: 3
    My ac light occasionally will start to blink, and the ac will quit working. So far it has not done this continuously, but it will do this from time to time. What would be causing this?
  • toyotakentoyotaken Posts: 897
    I don't know for sure, but in my older Toyota's when this occured, it was water shorting out some of the A/C funcions and when it dried out, it cleared up. If it is working ok, I wouldn't worry too much about it, but might be worth having it checked out next time you have it in for service.

  • johndjrjohndjr Posts: 80

    Don't know if this will help you or not.
    i had exactly this problem with my 99 Volvo. It cooled or heated good, the temp control worked fine, but the fan moter would not operate as it had when new. I could manually adjust the fan motor ok.
    The dealers started off going into the computer. The first two times it was 175.00 each and they told me that if this didn't fix it we would have to do soandso. After the second time, they started talking big money on the computer. I traded for a '05 Avalon Limited.
    That cured my problem.
  • norskinorski Posts: 1
    Could you send me a picture showing replacement of the AC filter on the avalon.
    It is a hard to swallow cost for what should be a simple proceedure.
  • Dave,

    I don't check the Avalon message borad very often and just saw your request for pictures of the cabin air filter replacement. I'll be happy to send them if you still want them. BUT - You didn't include your e-mail address. Mine is mpcraig(at)excite(dot)com.

    Mike Craig
  • mttroutmttrout Posts: 2
    I have a 97 Avalon XLS and the climate control only allows temperature adjustment periodically other than hot or cold. The temperature only changes when the dial is all the way cold or all the way hot. Occassionally, the temperature can be adjusted in between, but most of the time it doesn't work. Any ideas on what might be causing this?
  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591

    Go under the dash, take off the bottom fascia, and see if the cable, should be black or blue covering is moving smoothly or has pulled away from its anchor.

  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591

    I just did mine because some stereo shop did not put the dash back on correctly so I had to take down almost 3/4 of my dashboard.

    1. Is it a 2000-2004 model??
    2. Take down the fascia underneath the glovebox.
    3. Open the glovebox. There are several phillips screws that need to be removed around the glovebox.
    4. Gently pry with your finger if you can, or a thin implement covered with electrical tape the glovebox away from the dash. Note: The connection to the passenger side airbag is attached in back. Do not disconnect the connection but rather unhook it from the back of the glovebox.
    5. Look center and you will see the filter and the frame around it. Just remove it, replace it with a new one, slide it back and put the glovebox back and the fascia in reverse order.

  • mttroutmttrout Posts: 2

    Thanks for the reply. Which side of the dash? Passenger or drivers side? What is this blue or black cable connected to? If you can provide some additional details it would be much appreciated.
  • just did my 2002 avalon today. As posted earlier; access by opening passenger side door (a small tool box or other object to set on the passenger side floor board will help support the glove box when unmounted). open glove box and remove 3 phillips screws holding glove box at top (there are retainer clips underneath at top so don't worry it won't just fall down). Remove remaining phillips screw and cap screw at bottom (cap screw requires 10mm socket or nut driver). Pull firmly down and out to free up glove box (the feeling that there is still something holding it is because of the retaining clips mentioned above). Set glove box down on something so as not to put excessive tension on wires in back of glovebox. Towards the top behind where the glove box was you'll find a white filter housing with the word "up" printed on it. Simply pull forward to remove housing. remove old filter from housing and replace with new filter. reverse process to re-assemble (the retaining clips do an excellent job of holding the glove box in place while replacing screws, so there is no need to support glove box or get anyone's help with re-assembly).
    I got a replacement cabin filter at a local auto parts store ($20.00), actually the little dinky thing was more expensive than the air filter for the car. Beats the cost of having the dealer do it though. total time about 30 minutes (that includes a beer and smoke break in between dis-assembly and re-assembly).
  • My 2003 Avalon has just started making a strange "ssssssssssshhh" noise when I make a reasonably sharp turn to the right or brake somewhat hard. Sounds like water sizzling on a hot griddle and sounds like it is coming from behind the glove box.

    Anyone else ever hear this? Could it be a blocked cowl drain? Anyone know how to access the cowl drains?

  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    you've described with some precision a clogged A/C evaporator pan drain.
    you can test the theory of a clogged A/C drain. leave the AC on and get out of the car (while in park) ;)

    look under the front of the vehicle (from the side of the car), and you SHOULD see condensate dripping at a good pace to the pavement. if you don't see any, or it is extremely slow, you have a clogged drain.

    have someone blow compressed air up the A/C drain to unblock it. Chances are, you are parking under trees or collecting debris under the wipers that gets into the outside air vent and clogs the drain.

    it's also possible the drain tube is crimped.

    it's possible that the compressed air trick will only temporarily dislodge the debris, and perhaps it needs to be fixed at the point in collects in the pan.

    take care of this now, or you'll find water in your footwells soon enough.
  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591
    Great reply. Great advance.

  • Hi,

    I just bought a 2001 Avalon with 81,000 miles on it from the original owner. I've come across two problems.

    1. When the car starts a large puff of white smoke comes from the exhaust.

    2. When the fan is on with the AC off moist warm air comes from the vents.

    I'd like to cure this before something molds and I have a bad smell to go along with the current problem.

    Any clues??? :) + :confuse:
  • Thanks for the advice. Took the car by the dealer and they blew out the A/c drain. No more strange sound. No charge by the dealer either :-)

  • Some Toyota Avalons and other Toyota vehicles with the same engine have had a problem with engine sludge, which is a buildup of carbon compounds inside the engine preventing or restricting oil flow.

    Toyota had to repair many of these engines, some with less mileage than yours.
    Use the search button and type in "engine sludge"
  • deepandeepan Posts: 342
    mosit air with ac off has nothing to do with engine sludge. sludge typically happens when ownetrs dont change their oil and leave it for extended periods of time.
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