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Toyota Avalon Fuel and Fuel System Questions



  • yankeryanker 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
  • Can any of the Avalon owners tell me if it is absolutely necessary to run premium gas in the Avalon?
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 591
    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.
  • davef2davef2 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
  • tajahtajah Posts: 10

    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.
  • suzanne6suzanne6 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?
  • lazarouslazarous 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
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 591
    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. :)
  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591

    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.


  • finfin atlantaPosts: 591
    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, 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. :)
  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591

    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.

  • 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.
  • 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?
  • 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
  • will16will16 Posts: 21
    When the blue screen says you have 0 miles left for driving, how far has anyone gone?
  • will16
    I did 32 miles the one time I took it down that low.
  • 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?
  • 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
  • abfischabfisch 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.

  • 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.
  • I recently had the carbon canister on my '97 Avalon changed by the dealer for $665. The service engine light had come on. They replaced the canister, a vacuum valve and associated hoses they say need to be changed all at once. You may have your mechanic check out the vacuum valve and hoses to ensure they are not leaking fumes. I am surprised that what is basically an adsorption bed can fail like this. Seems the emission system should be more durable and waranteed longer.
  • kg4dkfkg4dkf Posts: 1
    My 1999 Avalon's owner's manual suggests premium fuel "if you expierence knocking or if you want better performance." That's pretty much the same as requiring it to me. Lucky for me, my company pays. I got the car 6 years old but only 25k miles (grandparrents drove it to the store for years). It was knocking bad! After two tanks of premium, the knock was gone. Now, with 51k miles and 7 years old, the car outperforms my friend's 2004 Avalon with 40k miles. I guess premium fuel helps.

    That being said, I use Amoco Ultimate fuel, which is also the cleanest burning fuel around. A friend who worked in a government fuel testing lab told me he would never buy anything else regardless of what the manual calls for. The pump handle even has a plastic window in most stations so you can see that the fuel is crystal clear. If you care about your car more than about the 20 cents per gallon (that's less than a 10% premium), use Amoco Ultimate (also sold at BP stations)...
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 591
    All Avalons run fine on regular, you just lose a little engine performance. The knock sensor will prevent pre-ignition in all but the most severe cases.

    Your car apparently was driven on cheap gas and the octane rating was probably the lowest available. Lower priced fuels have less of the additive that prevents carbon buildup. ALL fuel has the minimum additive standard set by the govt.

    ANY premium fuel from a name brand will help clean the engine as it contains more cleaning additives. Amoco is one of the best. Cheap fuel is no bargain, long term, as you suggest. But mid-grade from a name brand is fine. Enjoy your Avalon, great cars...
  • oilcan2oilcan2 Posts: 120
    Did some quick math,assume $.20 gal. more for premium a
    10k mile jaunt would only cost about $65 more and this is
    with no mileage increase.
    Here in south Tx all we can get is 91 octane.
  • Here is one to look out for. My check engine light came on, brought the car to the dealer--they told me my cap was loose--BS. They cleared the code, I drove off. When I went to put gas in the car, the pump shut off, like it was full. Went to 3 gas stations, same thing. Went back to the dealer today, they said my vapor canister was plugged with spiders webs--they cleaned it out, works fine.
  • bbland2bbland2 Posts: 1
    My gas tank takes forever to fill. It clicks off continually as if it is full and sometimes the gas will come out.
  • Hi,

    I have a 2000 Avalon XLS and off late i have experienced a drop in the mileage of the car with the onset of the winter season (last 1 week). I always use premium fuel and the used to get 24-25 (Indicated on trip computer display) easily in city driving conditions, however, I am getting barely getting 20-21 now even without switching on the heater. I continue to refill from the same gas station.

    Since this is my first experience in winter here, I'm not sure if any of you guys are experiencing similar issues to mine. Any inputs / advices would be of immense help

  • I have an Avalon 2000 XLS with 120K miles. Engine light on. Car will get dead after depressing gas pedal. Gas per mile around 14 Miles/gallon. OBDII scanner gave me Oxygen sensors ( all three bad). Replaced the Oxygen sensors and reset the computer. Spent around $500.00 in the sensors and the problem continue. Put the scanner again and now is giving me oxygen sensor bank 2 bad even when replaced with a new one. Car continue shutting off the engine when gas pedal depressed. Any advice please? Affraid to go to the dealer because the high priced cost associated with these problems.Thanks for all of your advise.
  • Anyone living in the Houston, Texas area who has a good experience with a mechanic that I can trust with my Avalon? I really want to avoid the 'dealers' since they are killers and suck your budget real easy.
    If you have a good experience please share with me a name or a source that I can get in touch with.
  • I have the same problem on my 2000 Avalon. Does anyone know what the problem is?

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