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Toyota Avalon Fuel and Fuel System Questions

gotchaagotchaa Member Posts: 2
edited December 2017 in Toyota
i have a 98 avalon xl and we have changed the oil an filter every 3000 miles. we have been using regular unleaded gas. it now has about 50,000 plus miles on it. a while back the check engine light came on, so we went to the dealership. there we were told that because we used regular gas we needed to replace the egr valve and solenid for about $350.00. I don't understand why I need this when we were told that regular unleaded gas was fine. Has any body else had this problem. If you use premium gas over 50000 miles you will spend $300 or more just for the higher grade gas and I don't think they will guarantee you don't have to replace the egr valve. Despite the engine light the car runs fine. no hesitation or misfiring or anything. has anybody else had this problem and how did they handle it. It seems to me that this should be a factory thing and the consumer should not be caught on this.
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    highlander7highlander7 Member Posts: 177
    We have a 03 Avalon and the book recommends premium for best performance. From what I have read on these posts, cars that require higher octane get better performance and increased fuel mileage by using this vs. regular. Would be interested to hear if anyone else has had to replace the egr valve and solenoid at 50,000, that is much too soon. Wonder if a warranty - emissions or other would cover this? I have put 130,000 plus on Hondas and Acuras and never had to replace these items.

    question: What brand of regular do you use? Some people feel that gas is gas, others say that some select major brands like Exxon, Mobil, Texaco are the best. I only use Exxon or Mobil and have never had a gas problem, probably have been lucky.
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    twobrownstwobrowns Member Posts: 52
    I have a 2002 avalon with 10000 miles on the car. I have tried both reg and prem. and could not detect any significant difference in mileage or performance. If there is a difference it must be minimal.
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    bjk2001bjk2001 Member Posts: 358
    We have a 97 Avalon XL with 92k miles on it. I changed oil and filter efvery 5,000 miles. Fisrt 30K was serviced at dealership after that just local mechanics with No Name Brand Oil filter and whatever oil they have in stock. No Problem with our engine, got a letter from Toyota regarding some engine sluggish problem. I check our oil No problem at all. I always use regular gas. Used premium gas a few times when it was $1.29 per gal. Throttle body did require some cleaning a couple times.
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    saw_williamssaw_williams Member Posts: 2
    To Any&All -

    I'd read, in a buyer's guide, that premium gas is recommended for new Avalon's. Does this hold true for a 1999? And if so, would it be detrimental to fill up using regular?

    Thanks,

    Stephen
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    8u6hfd8u6hfd Member Posts: 1,391
    Not really, since the engine has dual knock sensors (one for each bank). Upon presence of knock, the ECU to retard the ignition timing to prevent the knock, but may decrease performance and fuel economy.
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    slocum2slocum2 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2000 Avalon XLS with 57,000 miles. Due to a check engine light last August, replaced fuel injector #4. This week the light came on again, took it to the dealer and they stated injectors 1 and 3 had a bad code and suggested replacement. Interesting they gave me a price to change the 2 and also for 5 injectors. As an alternative he said that some fuel injector cleaner may help and to change brands of gas. I have used BP/Amoco exclusively. Opted for the injector cleaner and 3 miles from the dealer the engine light came back on. Car seems to run fine.
    Has anyone had this problem???
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    moonshadowmoonshadow Member Posts: 256
    I assume you have exceded your 3 year time limit,, on the warranty.

    All good gas has the cheapy fuel cleaners in them. Have had some success with a more expensive type (wynns- hot shot ), however it will take a lot more than 3 miles for any tank additive to do anything. Mimimun the whole tank. Since the injectors are failing in sucession it could mean crud in the gas, moreso the holding tanks at your favorite fill spot and not the gas brand. Remember these added injector cleaners are questionable and will take out some sludge/crud/varish deposits but not silt/rust particles resulting from a deteriating tank.

    Unless they did an injector cleaning, either at the fuel rail or by removing them, you were not that specific.

    Of coarse , you could have defective injectors, but i am not familiar with the history on toyotas injectors. Good luck
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    travelerjbtravelerjb Member Posts: 46
    I rather doubt there are too many decenting opinions on the fact that Chevron's "Techron" is the finest overall fuel system cleaner. BMW, Volvo, VW and several other manufacturers use it "rebadged" in their own parts departments at the dealers. ALL of the Chevron gas's offer some of this product IN the gas. The Premium has by far the highest amount of Techron supplies right with the gas at the pump. This info is via Chevron's own web site information on their product. I know I have always liked their gas and never experienced ANY fuel system issues since about 3 new cars and about 12 years ago. I tend to drive largely on the highway so maybe that helps also. I also keep it shall we say...blown out of junk. Amoco and Mobil are known to have good additives as well, but none as highly respected as Chevron's "Techron", which can easily be bought at auto parts supply stores in black plastic bottles.
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    slocum2slocum2 Member Posts: 2
    Took the vehicle to another dealer for a second opinion. They replaced the remaining 5 injectors under warranty even though the car has 57,000 miles. The new injectors have a different part number so I assume Toyota recognized the problem. Only paid $200 for the labor. Interesting the first dealer did not offer to replace under a warranty. The second opinion saved me $750 and I found a new friend.
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    bsteffbsteff Member Posts: 3
    I also have a 2000 XLS. My "check engine" light and the "traction control off" light both came on suddenly one day. I had been noticing some gradually worsening hesitation on acceleration for about 3-4 weeks. Took it to the dealer here in Mobile, AL and he told me that mass air sensor was dirty. Cleaned the sensor and the car has been fine. I didn't realize how much power I had lost until after the cleaning. I also used BP/Amoco gas. I have just switched to Chevron with Techron in it. I have 58,000 miles on my XLS. From the slocum2 comment, this seems to be when dirt builds up in the fuel system. I will purchase Techron detergent fuel additive and use for the next 2 or 3 tankfuls. PS my brother has a Lexus 300 and has only half the rear seat room the Avalon has....
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    abfischabfisch Member Posts: 591
    Travelerjb:

    For the same reasons you described above, I too pick the Avalon. I had wished Honda had made a large full size car, without going into the Acura brand, but that was not the case. The large comfortable Avalon seats and ease of getting into them were one of the reasons I bought this auto. My only criticism of the seats would probably be that there still isn't quite enought seat travel in reverse. Seating in a Lexus LS430, I can move the seat back so far that I cannot touch the steering wheel or pedals, and I too am rather large at age 45. German cars too have better seat travel, but that is another story. Nevertheless, for us ole folks, the car is a pleasure to sit in and get in and out of. An important feature for those of us who utilize it heavily.

    Has anyone in the forum changed the front gas filter at 30K themselves???? There is a quick connect on top. The manual states you have to take out the rear seat and disconnect the neg terminal after disconnecting the fuel pump. Can anyone comment on just relieving the pressure by just opening the fuel filler cap, waiting and then disconnecting without spilling too much, carefully and replacing the filter. It cannot be that hard. Many incompetent people do it??

    A.Fisch
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    nomad56nomad56 Member Posts: 134
    A.Fisch, the Avalon has a "pressurized" fuel system. Opening the gas cap will NOT relieve the pressure. Disconnecting the fuel line will dump a lot of fuel, much like opening the nozzle on a hose that has already been shut off, there is fuel under pressure in the lines. Disconnecting the PUMP does not relieve the pressure. It stops the build-up of more pressure when you do the following:
    1) Disconnect the pump-neg terminal behind seat
    2) Start and run the car until it stalls-any pressurized fuel in the system has been relieved. Now it is safer and cleaner!
    3) Remove key from ignition.
    Use caution when tightening these lines, not to twist them. Also, a thorough inspection of the fuel lines should be done to look for leaks. -nomad56-
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    abfischabfisch Member Posts: 591
    Nomad56:

    Is the line to the filter from the tank rubber. Can you clamp it, and then change the filter without breaking my back and removing the seat and fuel pump connection.

    Let me know.

    A.Fisch
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    nomad56nomad56 Member Posts: 134
    On my 96, it is below the master cylinder and intake. Yeah, nice and easy to get to. FYI: These are often hard to get off. Get yourself a filter wrench, or ratchet extension w/ "crow's foot" wrench. I seem to recall 14mm????? Use caution, NOT to kink any of the metal lines it is connected to. Also, if you use OEM replacement, it comes with replacement gaskets. You may want to see if these come with any aftermarket replacements. I use OEM, 'cause my buddy gets 'em for me:) -nomad56-
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    abfischabfisch Member Posts: 591
    Nomad56:

    Thanks. I will look below the Master. I have been forewarned twice, to use utmost caution getting it off. I have already bought the crow's foot set of wrench's from Sears. I also have the OEM I bought over the net. It comes as an entire unit with a quick disconnect on the bottom.

    Think I am going to try my luck at doing the PU C.A.B. next week, then getting it realigned. Do I have to get it realigned if I replace the rear C.A.B. I think I know the answer.

    Thanks for the tech advice.

    abfisch
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    petraspetras Member Posts: 6
    i have a 98 avalon purchased used with about70K mi. fuel filter has never been changed and my local toyota dealer doesn't recommend it be changed unless needed due to possibility of damaging fuel line...to prolong life of fuel pump, i'd like to get filter changed, any thoughts out there? thanks
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    obafunqueobafunque Member Posts: 9
    I am also planning to change the fuel filter on my Avy 2000 with 72K. Since I bought the car from a dealer with no previuos maintenance information what is the best "do it yourself" kind of maintenance it will be recommended with that type of mileage? Any advise from the expert on this forum? Thanks in advance
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    abfischabfisch Member Posts: 591
    Petras:

    If that what the Toyota dealership told you, then it should probably send a little light off in your head. If that a nice answer or the correct answer. I am not sure of the 98 Avalon; Nomad56 has the last body style but filter need to be changed every so often and the gas in no exception. The problem is that you need to be meticulous in changing it (see repair manual) with disconnecting the negative terminal and relieving pressure in the lines. Then, you need to use a "Crow's wrench" and use caution not to strip or bend the fitting.

    Buy a Hanes manual for reference and either do it yourself, or take it to someone who wants to fix/repair cars instead of just selling them.

    abfisch
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    cob10cob10 Member Posts: 7
    I also have a 2000 XLS and my "check engine" light came on…. the engine had a gradually worsening hesitation on acceleration. Sounds like you are describing my problem.... The dealer said the problem was a dirty mass air sensor… Cost me $90. They also suggested my injectors be cleaned for another $90…I had both air sensor cleaned and the injector service done.. fuel additive and pressure flush the injectors with some cleaner… I just wonder it the injector cleaning was truly needed? In any case, the car runs fine now. I used my Costco discount for 15% off the service.
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    donotsolicitdonotsolicit Member Posts: 1
    Hi, first time caller, thanks for taking my call...ha ha... I am about to embark on a purchase of a 1998 Avy (as you Avy junkies so lovingly call it)XLS. I have looked the car over and I am quite certain this is the car for me and my family. However, in my most recent search to once again check the internet for a better deal, I came across some information on the website cars.com, and wondered if there is any truth to it. Does the Avalon XLS require Premium Unleaded Fuel? The current and only owner claims that she has never put Premium in it, and is not aware of it having needed Premium. With the cost of gas these days, and the fact that I drive 20-30 K per year for work, this would be cost prohibitive. Any Replies would be greatly appreciated, since some very hard earned cash is on the line.
    Thanks,
    donotsolicit
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    fndlyfmrflyrfndlyfmrflyr Member Posts: 668
    In spite of what the fuel requirement is for the car you may find, depending on driving conditions, it may cost less per mile to use premium.

    My 96 Avalon now gets a steady diet of regular and runs fine. I have noticed better mpg on trips when premium is used, but not much difference around town. The owners manual says regular, but for better performance use premium. I have not done an actual test over time to see if there is a significant difference in mpg between regular and premium for our mostly local driving.

    I keep a fuel used log in my cars and recently did a test over time (more than 1500 miles of mixed driving) with my Acura. The car ran fine on regular, but got 8% better mpg on premium, more than the cost difference between regular and premium at the time of the test. In addition, using a stop watch revealed the car accelerated faster using premium (3 to 4 tenths of a second from 0-60), and felt more peppy at part throttle, but 'felt' the same when the pedal was floored.

    The 8% difference is close to the almost 10% difference (prem better) I have seen on our Avalon between using regular and premium when on trips.
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    nonfibnonfib Member Posts: 2
    I have owned a 1998 xls since it was new. The only time I have used premium and noticed a difference was on long highway trips. Even then, the milage difference was only 2-3 MPG. My advice is to just use quality regular unleaded for your everyday driving
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    fndlyfmrflyrfndlyfmrflyr Member Posts: 668
    That 10% improvement in mpg on the highway means as the cost of gasoline continues to rise it will cost you less per mile (on trips) to use premium than to use regular (as long as the price difference doesn't get to be more than the 20 cents per gallon it is now). The added range from using premium on longs drives sometimes can eliminate the need for a fuel stop too.
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    rosie2rosie2 Member Posts: 3
    Bear with me, I have no idea of technical terms, but here goes! My 2003 Avalon had a stainless steel flap at the top of the neck to the gas tank that is no longer there. The first time I noticed it missing I was filling the tank, and gurgling noises came from the tank. Had to fill once more before taking car to dealer and it make no more noises.

    The dealer says that their research shows my car never would have had this flap (I forgot what they called it). Of course, I am not a happy camper to be told that, after buying the car new, with 3 miles on it, and driving it for 35,514 miles, that I am mistaken!

    Yes, there was a flap, it is now gone, and I would like to know; where is it?, is it a problem if it has fallen into the neck of the tank(where else would it be?), if my 2003 Avalon would never have had this flap, then why do I have a gas tank/neck that was not made for this model/year, could the flap or the spring or the fasteners break down over the years/miles and cause me future problems?

    Please give me ANY feedback. I have been known to keep a new car for 12-15 years and until I have 250,000 miles, so it is really important that this not even remotely be a potential future problem.

    Thanks! (Also, the paint came off of the radio buttons, but the dealer is replacing the stereo--why do you think this would happen?)
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    rosie2rosie2 Member Posts: 3
    Although Toyota and the dealer insist that my 2003 Avalon would not/could not have a fuel filler neck flap on it, My dealer has agreed to remove the neck, the tank, fuel filter, or whatever else is there in order to get to the screens that would block the parts from the flap from going through the fuel line, etc.

    What type of problems could this cause in the future, perhaps with ill-fitted gaskets or anything else. Is it better to leave the misc. parts in there or to dissemble all of this and risk future problems that could be caused by the dismantling of the fuel system?

    Thanks!
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    txgeezertxgeezer Member Posts: 12
    First you wouldn't stop fretting about the flap falling off into the tank and maybe, eventually, causing future problems. Now, to make you happy, the dealer has agreed to do a major disassembly to do whatever it takes to get to where the flap (which according to your own report, he doesn't believe exists) might have fallen -- and you're fretting about possible future problems caused by them trying to solve your problem.

    My analysis: You will never not have something to worry about. Set the car on fire and buy a pair of roller skates.
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    mcclearyflmcclearyfl Member Posts: 149
    I'm astounded the dealer is going to all this trouble to satisfy you. All he has to do is show you another 2003 Avalon. You will find that it, like mine, does NOT have a neck flap. While not totally embracing the sarcasm of Txgeezer, I certainly have similar feelings about your concern.
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    alan_salan_s Member Posts: 362
    We have a 2002 Avalon and a 2002 Sienna. I checked both and neither have a flap in the gas filler-neck, although I would have sworn that they both had one. Did you have an earlier model Toyota that could have had the flap? I seem to remember my '98 Camry having a flap, or perhaps I too, am flip-flopping over flaps or just too full of gas.
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    deepandeepan Member Posts: 342
    if youre referring to the flap at the filler neck (it retracts when you insert the gas line) yes its there. Its there on all the cars ive seen. if its break it probably just goes to the bootm of the tank and shouldnt cause issues at all.
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    rosie2rosie2 Member Posts: 3
    deepan, thanks for your kind reply. I'm sure my Toyota had the flap, and after your reply, I can believe mine was not the only Avalon to have the flap.
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    yankeryanker Member Posts: 156
    Our Avalon has a light on which the dealer says is a sensor in the gas tank and they want $166 to repair My 96 had a similar situation and b twice Toyota paid for it under an 80000 warranty. is there such a warranty on 2000 Avalon covering sensors. My neighbor has a Ford same year same problem Ford fixed it no charge
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    liaisonliaison Member Posts: 49
    Can any of the Avalon owners tell me if it is absolutely necessary to run premium gas in the Avalon?
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    finfin Member Posts: 594
    To make a long story short...this question has been answered many, many times by the Avalon boards.. NO Avalon ever made requires premium fuel.
    With that in mind, you might want to use upgrade fuel above 87 octane (91 maybe) if you plan to pull a trailer, load the car to the max, climb in the mountains or just want a little more power from the car in normal driving. It makes a difference in most cases regardless of the model year.
    You will not hurt the car or void the warranty by using regular. My '99 used mostly regular... it did fine. My '03 XL runs better on 89 octane and gets better mileage so I use 89 most of the time. Hope this helps. Others may join in but I think you will get the same basic answer.
    Enjoy your Avalon....great cars.
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    davef2davef2 Member Posts: 2
    i use regular and always have, and never had any problems, just picked up my 05 avalon ,which has a bigger motor and was told to use regular
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    tajahtajah Member Posts: 10
    Liaison,

    I talked to my dealer about this also when I noticed premium fuel noted on the specs on the car. The 05 is 280 Horsepower w/ 91 Octane. The loss of Hp going to regular or mid-grade is 5 (per the dealer). They also suggested to use every 4th tank of Premium & the rest could be Regular & I'd be fine. I used Premium 93 Octane on the first fill up & will use 89 Octane on the next three.

    I hope this helps.
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    suzanne6suzanne6 Member Posts: 1
    I recently purchased a 2002 Avalon XLS, 29K miles, from a Toyota dealer with a certified used car certificate. The FUEL RANGE GUAGE on the information area of the dash read 260 miles and the fuel guage itself was at the 3/4 mark when I filled with gas for the first time. I topped the tank and the fuel gauage went just beyond the full mark and the FUEL RANGE GUAGE read 210 miles. What gives??? Shouldn't my fuel range be greater than 210? Shouldn't the number be about 370, the total after multiplying 18.5 gallon capacity times about 20 mpg?

    How can my fuel range be 260 miles with 3/4 tank and then drop to 210 miles with a full tank?
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    lazarouslazarous Member Posts: 28
    Is anyone using regular unleaded to drive his/her Avalon? I would like to know if the car runs fine with regular unleaded? Thanks much
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    finfin Member Posts: 594
    All Avalons can use 87 octane regular or anything higher. The knock sensor will retard the spark to prevent problems. You lose a little horsepower. Many people, myself included, say gas mileage improves if 89 octane is used and the increase in mileage pays the difference in price per gallon. Some disagree.

    The new 2005 will drop more power on 87 octane as it has more power built into the engine. And it gains more if you upgrade. Going to 91 or more does nothing for the '04 and older but has benefits for the '05. Your warranty is good, regardless.

    But, why put cheap gas in a nice car...? Go 89 (or more) and enjoy it. :)
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    abfischabfisch Member Posts: 591
    Fin:

    Next year to replace my timing belt, water pump, and 2 other belts. What is your take on replacing the timing belt tensioner as well. It is an $78 part, and not sure if it goes that often. Can you tell me if you know or if anyone knows if this is usually replaced with the timing belt service.

    Thanks.

    abfisch
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    finfin Member Posts: 594
    Timing belt tensioner: Here's an opinion based on the situation, research and a little mathematics, not a manual for car care.

    This project is not easy or cheap, even DIY. How much does another $78 really mean these days?

    If you change the timing belt at 60k or 90k miles and leave the tensioner in place, you are asking the tensioner to go 120k or even 180k miles before replacing it at the next belt change. Hmmmmmm ??

    To cover themselves, Toyota dealers mention this part replacement when they perform this type service, but will generally do what the customer says, unless they see a failed tensioner. I have never had a belt replaced, but if you order racing timing belts (DIY) most of them come with a new tensioner too.

    All things considered...money, possible roadside failures, time, etc.... spend the $78. The thing might last 150k miles. But why not enjoy driving with a lowered risk of problems. :)
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    abfischabfisch Member Posts: 591
    Fin:

    Thanks. That is what I was going to do, but wanted a second unbiased opinion. For that amount of money, I am just going to get it all done. This is not going to be done by me. I just don't have the knowledge to do this without taking a week to figure it out via the service manual and I have other fish to fry. I will get the parts and sit on them until I hit 90K.

    I did take a chance and had an Infinity Basslink put in to replace the subwoofer in the deck. The place did such an amateurish job, crapo job, I had to take the dash apart myself, fix the cable to the temp. controls re-run wires, etc. What a mess but finally got it back straight and uniform. Very painful. I would NOT do it again. The only thing that I can say this amplified subwoofer does better is when your source is a CD or tape, but radio just makes things more boomy and not tight like I like my bass to be when listening to "C" jazz. Not worth the aggrevation. Sound have at least done it myself. Oh well. No harm done now.

    PU bushing groan after 10K miles. Need lubrication every once and awhile. Some may not want to bother relubing them. Just a CON I wanted to mention about PU bushing on the sway bars. They do provide my more neutral control in cornering even at low speeds (35-40mph).

    Thanks man.

    abfisch
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    johndjrjohndjr Member Posts: 80
    lazarous,
    I have an 05 limited, have just over 4k on it. It runs just fine on regular.
    I tried one tank of hi-test. It gave me the next to lowest mpg I've had on the car.
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    fbarberfbarber Member Posts: 1
    I recently purchased a 2003 AVALON XLS and the average fuel economy indicator only resets on fill-ups. The manual says that I can reset at any time. The dealer ( Bev Smith in Ft. Pierce, Fl) says that there is a misprint in the 2003 manual. Are they correct or just trying to blow me off?
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    hamcarmanhamcarman Member Posts: 6
    I have never been able to reset my 2003 indicator except at fill ups and as far as I have been able to research the dealer is telling you the truth
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    will16will16 Member Posts: 21
    When the blue screen says you have 0 miles left for driving, how far has anyone gone?
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    johndjrjohndjr Member Posts: 80
    will16
    I did 32 miles the one time I took it down that low.
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    texasfx35texasfx35 Member Posts: 65
    I have a '97 Avalon XLS with 78,000 miles on it. I took the car to the dealer after a service engine light came on. His diagnosis is the carbon canister that traps gas tank fumes is leaking carbon into a two-way vacuum-actuated valve and associated tubing. The fix is $665. Does the diagnosis and cost sound reasonable. I guess I am amazed that a part with no moving pieces can fail in that length of time. Any comments or related experience out there?

    The same dealer is also telling me the rear head gasket is leaking. The replaced the front head gasket a couple of years ago. Again, seems like head gaskets should last a lot longer than 78,000 miles unless the car is hot-rodded a lot, which it isn't. Any comments?
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    chuckstchuckst Member Posts: 2
    Have an intermitent gasoline odor entering the passenger compartment of my 1996 Toyota Avalon. It is noticable in the engine campartment and seems to enter the interior through the vents. Have had the car checked and no gas leaks have been found and the charcoal canister has been replaced. Still have the problem. Any suggestions? Thanks. Chuck
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    abfischabfisch Member Posts: 591
    Have an independent qualified mechanic who cares check the lines and the tank itself. If the car has been subjected to bad weather, at 10 years old, I would suspect your nose is correct and they have just not found it yet. It is serious, and bring it to a mechanic that can give you a level and time to diagnosis it correctly.

    abfisch
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    chuckstchuckst Member Posts: 2
    I've had that done by both my mechanic and the dealer. No leaks found. My mechanic even tried disinfecting the air conditioner coils to see if it was a mold type problem.
    That didn't solve it either. Yesterday the engine light came on and I took it to the dealer who told me that it was the code for the charcoal canister. I spoke to my mechanic who told me that mine was the first charcoal canister he ever changed (he had done it in hopes that it would solve the problem) and he would be amazed if the one he put in was bad. He had ordered it from the dealer. It is still under warranty and he has ordered another one. Any opinion as to whether we're on the right track? I think I'm noticing a pattern of smelling the gas odor when the tank is less than half full. My mechanic thinks this may in fact point to the canister.
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