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Toyota Avalon - Remotes, Remote Start, Door Locks and Security System Questions

The car we bought did not come with the remote button. There were many of them for sale at ebay but I found one at a junk yard. The one's on ebay claim it is very simple to program them to your car. Can anyone help with the How to part? Obviously the one we got from the junk yard didn't work on our car.


  • al49al49 Posts: 2
    About a month ago we purchased a 1998 Avalon XLS and we are having a problem with the door locks. We haven't got a manual yet and we haven't had a chance to get back to the dealer. The battery in the remote is good but the transmitter will not work all the time. Sometimes you have to press the button about a dozen times to get it to work and even then it may not. Other times it works as first try. Also sometimes after you unlock the door with the remote it will automaticly lock the doors in about 30 seconds. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what is going on or experienced a similar problem? This is our first 'foregin' car. The remotes on our 1991 Olds never gave a problem in 12 years so this is very frustrating. Thanks. Al
  • nomad56nomad56 Posts: 134
    The 30 second "re-lock" is correct, if you don't open one of the doors, after "un-locking". This is a security feature. ie) You accidently hit un-lock when putting your keys in your pocket, or someone with the same frequency parked near you (not very likely but, possible) ...un-locked their car and drove away your Avy would be sitting un-locked!

    Did you only get the ONE key FOB?? Are ALL 3 (maybe 2) buttons acting this way???

    OPEN the non working key fob and clean the rubber diaphram (the backside of the rubber button), as well as the "contacts" on the transmitter's circuit board. Inspect for wear. You may have to get a new one... -nomad-
  • reddog13reddog13 Posts: 4
    Does this happen anywhere, or just at certain locations? I have a 2003 Avalon XLS with the remote door locks, and one or twice a week this happens to me in the parking lot at work. The first time it happened I was really upset, but after mentioning it to some co-workers, I found out they have the same problem with their remotes. We think it is some kind of electromagnetic interference, or something. We are within a mile of an international airport, the Coast Guard Station, and the Naval Station. This is the only place it happens, but only occasionally.
  • al49al49 Posts: 2
    Thanks for the replies. I just had the car back to the dealer and got the second remote that was part of the deal and it works as it should. The older remote works better than it did but not as good as the new one. Al
  • lntlnt Posts: 192
    Has anyone else had trouble with their car alarm going off at the slightest vibration? My car is about 2 feet from my door that goes from the garage into the utility room and if we accidentally slam the door- even just a little- my horn starts honking and lights flashing! What a sensitive alarm. I am afraid that when I am working or especially when I leave it at the airport the slightest vibration will make it go off and run my battery down! Can those things be set to be less sensitive?
  • YES! I think that is what happened to my car tonight. It was in my locked garage and for NO reason I could tell the alarm started going off at 3:45 AM! I checked the area out and found nothing. I figured it was a cat or something in the garage setting it off. I sent the dogs in to find it but nothing! About 15 minutes later the alarm went off again! This however is the first time in a year that the alarm has EVER triggered. Now that I see your post it is possible that the wind hitting the garage door has set it off. I am glad that I now have a better cause than ghosts or electric problems. BTW I have a 2001 XLS.
  • lurch73lurch73 Posts: 2
    I bought my wife a 1996 avalon XL. It had been wrecked, but we don't know how much damage was done to the car. My question is this: on the dash between the steering column and the mirror adjustment button is a small red light. It just came on and will not go off. I disconnected the battery to see if it would go out and it did, when I reconnected the battery the horn beeped and as soon as my wife turned the key the light came on. I disconnected the battery again and left it off for several hours and when I reconnected the horn sounded 4 times almost like an alarm. I have no manuals, nothing for this car and I am not familiar with Toyotas. Can someone tell me if this is factory installed or maybe it was something that was added after it was totaled? Please help we have 3 small kids and I don't need them to get stranded somewhere. Thanks for any help.
  • dbowedbowe Posts: 6
    I think that this is likely an aftermarket addon by the Toyota dealer who originally sold the vehicle OR simply and aftermarket job done by the previous owner. Seriously doubt that your car is in danger of being stranded. If you want to know more, check out one of the repair manuals at Autozone etc. You can always go there and crack one of the books open (regardless of plastic wrapper) and check on your questions.
  • lurch73lurch73 Posts: 2
    Thanks! I also talked to someone who suggested an alarm system. But I think I will go with your suggestion first. It may be in my best interest to invest in a repair manual because we really like the car. We are having some squealing with the steering when you first start the car, but not every time and the sunroof doesn't work, but from reading the other forums I see that is a common problem. Thanks again for the suggestion.
  • Hey guys. I have a 95 Toyota Avalon XLS with roughly 127k miles on it. A few weekends ago the visor fell off, detaching the wiring. I shrugged it off and put it back in. Well, last weekend the power locks just stopped working! I try the switch on the inside of the door and it's unresponsive. I can't pop the trunk from the inside either. I can't use the handy buttons on my key either. I have to manually put the key in the car and turn. What gives?
  • mikes.mikes. Posts: 336
    "I bought my wife a 1996 avalon XL. It had been wrecked, but we don't know how much damage was done to the car. My question is this: on the dash between the steering column and the mirror adjustment button is a small red light. It just came on and will not go off. I disconnected the battery to see if it would go out and it did, when I reconnected the battery the horn beeped and as soon as my wife turned the key the light came on. I disconnected the battery again and left it off for several hours and when I reconnected the horn sounded 4 times almost like an alarm"

    In my 96XL this is an alarm indicator light. I can't tell you much more though, sorry.

  • currycurry Posts: 22
    Just picked up my new '05 Avalon last week. I am trying to change the auto door locking from its current default setting. Currently the doors lock as soon as I put the car in reverse or drive. I have tried to switch it so the doors will lock when the car gets to 12 mph. I have followed the procedure in the owner's manual, and it appears to change. However, the next time I start the car and engage the transmission, the doors lock prior to the car moving. Anyone able to help?

  • teezeddteezedd Posts: 8
    I have a 2000 Avalon XLS and I tried the procedure posted in #2969 but it doesn't work for me. I changed the battery and it defaulted back to the factory setting, now the doors lock every time you shift into gear.
    I saw the dealer change the programming to make the door not lock on moving from P to D when I bought the car and I think he opened the drivers door during the procedure.
    Does anyone have the procedure that will work for my 2000 XLS ?
  • famperfamper Posts: 1
    1997 Avalon, right-rear door, child door lock stuck in "lock" position. Can't open door from inside (opens fine from outside). Unlock mechanism rotates and feels like it unlocks, but nothing happens. Any ideas to fix this? Thanks. :confuse:
  • wrsuttonwrsutton Posts: 1
    My power door lock on the passenger side front, will not work . This door will not lock or unlock with the inside switch or the remote. Anyone have suggestions
  • nomad56nomad56 Posts: 134
    This is usually an "actuator", the powered mechanism that moves the lock. -nomad56-
  • Hello,

    I just purchased a used 2000 Avalon. My first Toyota. About a week ago, I unlocked the car and popped the trunk with the remote and when I was loading some stuff in the trunk I heard a swish noise. It had sounded like the doors locked and when I went to check, the doors actually locked on me. I had looked to see if I accidently hit the remote lock button but my keys and remote was laying on top of the car roof, no where near me. I may have had this happen once before, but shook it off as if I did something wrong. Anyone else run into their doors locking automatically?

    And since being a new Toyota Avalon owner, I saw a couple of message about the 3.0 engine sludging. What exactly is this? Is the engine oil sludging? Does the Avalon need constant engine oil flush that you get at any Quick service oil change shop? Just wondering.

    Thanks for any input.
  • rzrsegrzrseg Posts: 3
    The doors will re-lock on you, after a short period, if you don't actually open a door. This keeps you from leaving your doors unlocked if you hit the button accidentally. :)

    The engine sludging thing I don't understand too well myself (I think it has something to do with a bad valve cover design?)...only that it can happen (and did to me) but the dealership will (should) clean it up for free within 8 years of purchase.
  • sanandtonsanandton Posts: 342
    The automatic door lock/relock feature is a real pain. I believe it affects more Toyotas than the Avalon. It happens on my Wife's 2000 Avalon as well. I believe it only relocks if you don't open a door (apparently, the trunk doesn't count) within a short time like 20-30 seconds.
  • sanandtonsanandton Posts: 342
    was posting while rzrseg's reply was posted.
  • scoti1scoti1 Posts: 676
    Some owners of certain model 1997 - 2002 Toyotas (including Avalon) experienced a condition called engine sludge. This usually is a problem that only occurs when you don't change your oil, but people reporting sludge in these models often also reported the problem at very low miles and claimed to have properly changed the oil and maintained the car. After several years of owners having to pay out of pocket for repairs (to the tune of $3000 or more) Toyota came out with their sludge policy that provides a free fix for 8 years unlimited miles. I think, even as a buyer of a used car, you are covered under this policy. You just need to properly maintain your engine and be able to provide proof. The best proof is probably letting the dealer do your oil changes. Also, I would also recommend doing oil changes at much less than the 5,000/7,500 miles recommended in the manual. Toyota later dropped this interval to 5,000 max. Watch for signs of sludge -- smoking tailpipe is one. It also may appear that your car is using large quantities of oil. Check engine light should come on when this happens.

    There is a lot of information on the net and on Edmunds about this problem. Several other makes are now also having trouble with sludge. (Chrysler, VW,).

    About the door lock. If you unlock your car but do not open a door right away, they will lock back again. Could this be what is happening to you?
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 591
    On the engine sludge problem, I will "second" the answer posted above in #766. My '99 XL never had the problem, thru trade-in at 92k miles, but some did. Take care of the car..lose no sleep... :)
  • deepandeepan Posts: 342
    what was your maintenance schedule. i.e how many months /miles before the oil change.

    IIRC the sludge is caused by several factors combined.
    poor maintenance/no oil changes for many months
    poor design of the PCV
    short trips where the engine doesnt warm up etc..

    the PCV was addressed in 01 sienna and upwards (they have the same engine). The part is $10 and chnaging it was easy on the van. the engine does poorly when not maintained well.
  • rzrsegrzrseg Posts: 3
    Nothing unusual. It only had about 24,000 miles on it and if I remember correctly I got the oil changed around the 4000 mile mark(s). However, it did tend to sit for periods of time and then had little drives for the most part. It kinda has the same schedule now unfortunately (live close to work but usually ride my motorcycle).

    I'm planning on doing a full tune up including PVC valve and probably the timing belt and such when I dig into it for the valve noise. I keep track of my mileage now, I'll see if anything changes when I get done...assuming I can put it all back together. :D
  • Thanks for info. on the sludging. I've never had a car that had a problem with it before and then again, I do get engine flushes periodically. I will definitely keep an eye on this one.

    And as for the door lock, yes, it did happen when I unlocked the car with the remote and popped the trunk. I did not open any doors, but I was packing the trunk. This is the first car that I have owned that auto locks the door when just sitting there. Just caught me off guard. Gave me a concern. I don't want to walk away from the car for a moment and have it lock my kids in it.

    Thanks again, and thanks to everyone else who wrote in. Appreciate it very much. :)
  • dcjmdcjm Posts: 14
    Might sound silly, but I am concerned about the Smart Key (2005 Avalon) and the fact that it gives off an RF signal. Is it possible that this is a health concern? They say it is like the RF a microwave oven puts out (according to Toyota). The manual states to check people with pace makers. Maybe being paranoid, but just not sure having it in your pocket all the time is okay. Anyone know more about this?
  • rkastenrkasten Posts: 1
    I own a 2000 Avalon and would like to know how to set the auto door locks so they do not lock when you put the car in gear. The car just recently started locking the doors after I had clean the interior. I accidently hit some sequence while cleaning causing the doors to lock when the car is put in gear. The manual said to contact your Toyota dealer for this but it can't be that difficult. Any help would be appreciated.
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 591
    From the 2003 Avalon owner's manual (yours is probably the same):

    Turn everything off. Close doors. Sit in driver's seat. Selector in PARK.
    UNlock all doors with the switch. Turn ignition ON, do not start.
    Within 10 seconds push door lock to LOCK and HOLD for 5 seconds.
    The "open door warning light" will flash.
    1 flash is mode 1.
    You want mode 2. That's 2 flashes. No auto lock/unlock.
    There are 4 modes, in sequence. If you miss, it repeats.
    If you miss the procedure, start over. No problem.
    Hope this helps......
    Might want to order an owner's manual if yours is missing.....
  • rita04rita04 Posts: 1
    We just bought a 2004 Avalon. I received two black keys and tried to have more copies made at the h/w store. They said I had a transponder in my keys, gave me an instruction sheet to "program" my new key. I'm turjning ON/OFF the ignition switch and opening the door as instructed. It wouldn't accept the new one. Figuring the former lost the valet key, I cancelled all keys but one. It only "accepts" 3 keys. Now it will not accept either old or newest key. Is there an updated procedure for 2004? My sheet says 2000+ and Lexus. Or is my timing of the process too fast/slow? Is there a TSB for this? Help!
  • kmitchkmitch Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Avalon XLS and have never had a problem with the car until now. After placing my key in the ignition, I attempt to turn the key to the "ON" position to crank the car, but the key will not turn past the "ACC" setting. Is there some sort of security lock that has caused this. P.S. - The transmission is in the "Park" position.

    Any help would be appreciated.
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