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Toyota Avalon 2005+ Transmission Questions



  • cgar,

    I notice that you joined this thread recently. Have you had a chance to review older comments on this issue? This kind of surge behavior in Avalons may be caused or accentuated by the position of the foot on the gas pedal. Numerous Avalon drivers who had "surge" or "hesitation" problems turned out to be "toe drivers" and they were able to improve their car's response by moving the heel forward and pressing at a higher point on the gas pedal. See in the Avalon 2005+ discussion,

    #11794 How do YOU step on the gas pedal? Initial Poll Results

    and many following posts.

    Incidentally, changing their foot position seems to have worked also for readers who drive other car brands with similar surge or hesitation problems.

  • ososlickososlick Posts: 12
    It was a very happy day when I purchased my new xls back in march, 2005. Tomorrow will be an even happier day as i am trading it in for a domestic brand. likewise, the constant quirky transmission problem made a nice car very unpleasurable to drive. what a shame that i have to take a financial beating because of toyota design defficiency. this will be toyota's loss ultimately as others like myself switch to another brand. good riddance avalon and toyota! :lemon:
  • bailboybailboy Posts: 20
    I would have to agree with everyone else with the transmissions problems in the Avalon. I bought my 2005 touring model used in 2006. I have had it a year and I get transmission, throttle hesitation. Sometimes the transmission hunts gears or gets stuck in between gears on the highway causing it to suddenly drop into gear. It's difficult to drive in snow, no traction control, throttle\transmission problems end up making the tires spin a lot. Not a safe car in my opinion. I am finally trading it in for a diesel jetta, hoping they have worked out their own reliability problems. The new DSG transmission was real nice.

    I am a big toyota fan until I bought the 05 Avalon I loved my 96 tacoma and wish i never sold it. My GF has a 2002 maxima and the 4sp transmission works perfect....why can't toyota's be just as smooth?

    I also test drove an 07 recently while getting my unwelded steering column replaced. The quirky transmission problems were also on the 07 model. The other thing I don't like is that it takes ALOT of foot on the break to get the car to stop....

    Bye bye avalon. I hope they correct their issues....perhaps maybe they will bring diesels to the US soon..
  • nimiminimimi Posts: 249
    You should change your agreeing "with everyone else" to agreeing with a small, vocal minority. The vast majority of newer Avalon owners are as I am, completely satisfied with a magnificent automobile!
  • bailboybailboy Posts: 20
    Sorry but it's bigger than the small vocal minority. There have been articles in newspapers online regarding Toyota's drop in quality and the issue with the transmissions. Even the service manager told me all the 3.5 liter 5sp transmissions give the same problems. Do a little more research and you will find all the complaints. The 2007 I test drove has the same issue as my obviously it is more than the minority.
  • nimiminimimi Posts: 249
    This issue was laid to rest some time back. You cannot assuage your feelings by making your negative experiences a vast generalization when, in actuality, the substantive complaints have been very few in number.
  • bailboybailboy Posts: 20
    I won't argue the issue with you. It's all over the internet, the service manager at my stealership has admitted the problems. It's not a generalization. Just be glad you are the minority and have not had issues...
  • nimiminimimi Posts: 249
    Thanks for clarifying things on this issue. You'd better tell Consumer Reports, Edumunds and the other auto reviewers, however, because their publications don't seem be in line with your views.
  • bailboybailboy Posts: 20
    Don't need to tell CR or Edmund's, all a person has to do is do a search online and there will be floods of information regarding the issue. I hope you don't base your vehicle purchase decisions on just Edmund's and CR, if so...well I won't go there...Also there has never been a long term study from any of these website's regarding the transmission issues, and none of them has ever taken an Avalon to evaluate the accuracy of the 1000's of complaints online. Just like I did not notice the issue until after driving it a while. Sorry for your lack of knowledge on this issue but try again..
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    all a person needs to do is go to the NHTSA site and search back several years on anecdotes posted by Lexus and Toyota vehicle owners...

    then there are several forums here that have been shut down over the years because of disagreements between people with the issue and people without, and others claiming some were out to bring down the house of Toyota. :surprise:

    it's not just the Avalon or Camry, and it's not news.
  • gwsgws Posts: 67
    A couple of months ago, I replaced my 2005 XLS with a 2007 - same model, same equipment. I have had no transmission problems with either. My 2005 replaced a Lexus GS 400, also a fine car, but the current model Avalon is nearly as good, for a lot less money and better fuel efficiency - excellent value.
  • nimiminimimi Posts: 249
    I guess you and I will go blithely on our ways driving the only two decently-made Avalons produced in the last three years.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 6,667
    I know or have driven plenty of Toyotas if the problem is so widespread (other than internet forums where as a generality people go to find answers or complain) how can one explain this:
    My '06 Avalon NONE
    Mom's '05 Highlander (3.3) NONE
    Friend's '06 (3.3) Higlander NONE
    Friend's '07 (3.5) Camry NONE
    Also at work they bought 3 '07 4cyl Camrys for the salesman, not a complaint. When talking about the car I asked each of them if they were experiencing any hesitations. They all have at least 7500 miles now. I would think that if it was such a "widespread" problem one of these vehicles would have it.

    2017 Buick Enclave / 2017 Hyundai Elantra

  • finfin atlantaPosts: 591
    With 7k on the odo my '07 Limited continues to be perfect. Only trip back to the dealer so far was for an oil change at 5k miles. Hits 30 mpg+ on the interstate to FL. So, there seems to be at least three bolted together fairly well........ :shades:
  • bailboybailboy Posts: 20
    It's funny every time someone posts something negative it's because we are trying to put down a particular brand. When it's been in the papers, all over the internet and when the service managers even admit to the complaints....this means it is common. I have run into a lot of other avalon owners at gas stations who have the same issues with the transmission. So...not to beat a dead horse, but your opinion is your opinion...but when I search the internet....the results are what tells the truth about the problem. I know there are tons of other people with the same issues that I have. So while you don't, good for you you got the ripe apple...

    My service dept told me to keep checking back periodically for software updates for the transmission\computer issue. Now why would they say that?
  • nimiminimimi Posts: 249
    I'm glad, Miss Pollyanna, that you believe that searching the internet reveals "the truth." Myspace and Youtube must love you!
  • bailboybailboy Posts: 20
    Dealers must love you...considering you don't read what's actually out there...anyway I am off to trade this POS in. Enjoy your flagship sedan..
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Are we forgetting that Toyota issued a TSB in the spring of 2003 describing 3 of the EXACT circumstances wherein the 1-2 second engine transaxle delay/hesitation was/is likely to occur?

    Isn't it pretty obvious that if you never encounter any of those EXACT circumstances you are likely to feel you have a "perfect" Toyota?
  • niteoneniteone Posts: 41

    06/07 Avalon owners are all to familiar with the jerky/sloppy shifting and acceleration of these vehicles. There have been countless complaints about this on different forums on the WEB.

    Yesterday I purchased a one day subscription to -> looking for resolution to another issue. At that site I found all TSBs - trouble service bulletins.

    TSB EG029-07 was released on 6/6/07 and deals specifically with the shifting/accel issues on 06/07 Avalons.

    If your vin precedes VIN number 4T1BK36B#7U243331 this TSB should help. The 10th digit in all vins is the year, so this should definitely help all '06 Avalon owners. The # sign in the 9th digit represent a check digit which will vary from car to car.

    I would have attached the entire document, but this site does not allow it. Here's a brief part of the text at the front of the TSB:

    To enhance shifting performance and smoothness during acceleration, the Engine
    Control Module/ECM (SAE term: Powertrain Control Module/PCM) calibration has
    been revised. Please use the following procedure to address customer concerns.

    You may see the enire PDF in the Avalon forum at:

    or at least until the forum moderators over there remove it.

    A txt version of it follows - not as easy a read as the pdf at the tundrasolutions forums, but data nonetheless:

    ************************************************** ************************

    Technical Service

    June 6, 2007




    ’06 – ’07 Avalon

    To enhance shifting performance and smoothness during acceleration, the Engine
    Control Module/ECM (SAE term: Powertrain Control Module/PCM) calibration has
    been revised. Please use the following procedure to address customer concerns.


    Before proceeding, verify the ECM (PCM) calibration has NOT been updated by
    checking for the Authorized Modifications Label (shown in step 1 of the
    Repair Procedure).

    Applicable .
    2006 – 2007 model year Avalon vehicles produced BEFORE the Production Change

    Effective VIN shown below.


    Avalon 4T1BK36B#7U243331


    89661–07471* ECM (PCM)( ) –89661–07451
    2007 89661–07470
    – N/A 00451–00001–LBL Authorized
    Modifications Label

    * The ECM (PCM) should NOT be replaced as part of the Repair Procedure.

    Authorized Modification Labels may be ordered in packages of 25 from the Materials
    Distribution Center (MDC) through Dealer Daily Dealer Support Materials System or by
    calling the MDC at 1–800–622–2033.


    EG7023 Recalibrate ECM (PCM) 0.9 89661–##### 26 99

    Applicable Warranty*:
    This repair is covered under the Toyota Federal Emission Warranty. This warranty is
    in effect for 96 months or 80,000 miles, whichever occurs first, from the vehicle’s
    in-service date.
    * Warranty application is limited to correction of a problem based upon a customer’s

    specific complaint.
    Toyota Supports ASE Certification
    Page 1 of 4



    Tools &

    TIS Techstream*
    NOTE: Software version 2.00.008 or
    later is required.
    GR8 Battery Diagnostic Station* SPX/OTC 00002–MCGR8 1

    * Essential SSTs.

    Additional Techstream units may be ordered by calling Approved Dealer
    Equipment (ADE) at 1–800–368–6787.
    The Toyota Diagnostic Tester and CAN Interface Module may also be used to
    perform the service procedures listed in this bulletin.
    The GR8 Battery Diagnostic Station (P/N 00002–MCGR8) supersedes the
    Automatic Trickle Charger (P/N 00002–YA122–01) and Fast Battery Chargers
    (Associated P/N ASE6003 and Christie P/N CAPPDQ). P/N 00002–YA122–01,
    ASE6003, and CAPPDQ are now obsolete.

    2006 30705000
    30705100 3070710030707100 BK36BBK36B
    2007 30707000


    Vehicles which have been flash reprogrammed using the procedures in this TSB
    will contain upgraded 2007 model year OBD II logic. Refer to the 2007 model year
    Avalon Repair Manual on the Technical Information System (TIS) when checking
    Powertrain Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) on 2006 model year vehicles that
    have been reprogrammed.

    Page 2 of 4



    Repair 1. Check for the Authorized Modifications Label affixed to the vehicle in the


    shown in Figure 1. Confirm if the ECM (PCM) calibration has been updated. If the
    calibration ID listed is NOT the latest ECM (PCM) calibration — go to step 2.

    ECM (PCM)




    Dealer Code
    TSB Number

    Figure 1. Location of Authorized Modifications Label on 2007 Avalon

    2. Flash Reprogram the ECM (PCM).

    The GR8 Battery Diagnostic Station MUST be used in Power Supply Mode to
    maintain battery voltage at 13.5 volts while flash reprogramming the vehicle.
    For details on how to use the GR8 Battery Diagnostic Station, refer to the GR8
    Instruction Manual located on TIS, Diagnostics – Battery.
    Follow the procedures outlined in TSB No. SS002–07, “Techstream ECU Flash
    Reprogramming Procedure,” and flash the ECM (PCM) with the NEW calibration
    file update.

    Start the engine and warm it up to normal operating temperature before test–driving.
    Test–drive the vehicle to confirm proper vehicle operation (and proper laser cruise
    control operation, if so equipped).
    Page 3 of 4



    Repair 5. Install the Authorized Modifications Label.

    A. Using a permanent marker, enter the following information on the label:

    ECM part number: [Refer to the Parts Information section for the CURRENT
    Calibration ID(s): [Refer to the Calibration Identification Chart for the NEW
    Dealer Code
    Repair Date
    Change Authority (this TSB number): EG029–07
    Affix the Authorized Modifications Label to the vehicle at the location shown in
    Figure 1. The Authorized Modifications Label is available through the MDC,
    P/N 00451–00001–LBL.
    Page 4 of 4

    Thanks t
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    If you can get it converted to a jpeg, you can post it on your CarSpace page.
  • niteoneniteone Posts: 41
    I would love to, the PDF is at that location I addressed in my post but you have to sign up for the forum and I'm at work right now with limited internet time.
  • niteoneniteone Posts: 41
    2005 owners... don't feel left out!

    You get one too! But you also get exhaust manifolds and o2 sensor, all under warranty.
  • bailboybailboy Posts: 20
    Of course I decided I had enough of the transmission issues and traded the Avalon figures they come out with a fix......I wonder if it actually works.
  • dickbayerdickbayer Posts: 1
    My 07 Avalon had a shift lag problem in lower gears. After a lot of complaining on my part a Toyota representative found a fix in the June 6, 2007 Technical Service Bulletin. They reprogrammed the computer and now my Avalon shifts properly.
    Refer to "ECM Calibration: Enhancement to shifting performance and smoothness. OP CODE DESCRIPTION TIME OFT T1 T2 - EG7023 Recalibrate ECM (PCM)"
    The dealer will not fix this problem unless the customer title
  • yotaowneryotaowner Posts: 14
    I'm a 06 Avalon Ltd owner. Last Ocotber I posted my near death experience with this car as I merged onto a major highway in NJ. RPM surge, hesiation, transmission surge...all of which forced me off the road to avoid collision. After this incident I called Toyo in CA and opened complaint file, brought the car in for testing and filed a report with NHSTA (acronym order ??). Toyo tech told me that the car was operating normally and nothing was wrong (sound familiar ??).

    Recently became aware of the TSB and called Toyo in CA to find out why I was not contacted about the "fix" . After rambling on that this was not a recall, they urged me to bring back to dealer for another "look". I dropped it off at the dealer informing him of the TSB and my discussion with Toyo central. Service tells me there is no guarantee that the TSB will work. When I questioned this he said "other work" may need to be done. Phone call 1 at 1 day post drop off: "TSB didn't work, need to replace electronic valve body in transmission" "This involves dropping the pan, replacing the valve and running diagnostic". "We need car for another day". Phone call 2 2 days post drop off: "Replacement of the electronic valve didn't work, may need to replace transmission". Phone call 3 to Toyo central: "We need to open new complaint file" I refuse, stating that it is the same problem as before which was never fixed. Phone call 4 from dealer: "Transmission needs to be replaced...sorry"

    Here it is in a nutshell: If it smells like, tastes like and feels like crap...then it's crap. So to all of you who have placed wooden blocks under the accelrator or hypothesized about the impact of Newtonian physics on the transmission performance...good luck. I now have my $34,000 car with 21k miles undergoing a transmision transplant, performed by 19 year-old DeVry Tech graduates. I'll be sure to ask for the can of spare nuts and bolts when I pick it up. I only ask that the car run for another 11 miles, that's how far it is to the nearest BMW dealer.

    Good luck.
  • ski1003ski1003 Posts: 41
    Well after 21/2 years I finally have my 2005 Avalon shifting ok. I mentioned to my dealer about the TSB that was mentioned here. They installed the changes (on the 2005 it also needed new exhaust manifold). The car has is finally not down shifting and other funny shifting quirks. They will not address this issue unless you complain about it.
  • niteoneniteone Posts: 41
    well, I just had this done and according to my wife, it works like a charm....she stated it shifts much smoother with no hesitation at all.....

    glad I did I can't wait to get back home and give it a go myself.

    btw, mine is a 2006 xls.
  • Glad to hear this fix has worked for your wife.

    Anyone else who has had it done, please continue reporting on your results.

    A similar TSB hasn't been issued by Toyota Canada so far. Has anyone tried to have this fix done in Canada based on the USA TSB?
  • 44394439 Posts: 21
    I took my 05 Limited in for the Transmission Fix per the TSB. The only issue I really had w/my car is the rolling stop acceleration issue. It would not happen all the time but it was happening none the less. My dealer told me the first process for the TSB is to reflash the ECM to see if this takes care of the problem. I asked what about the Oxygen sensors, exhaust manifolds, etc.......he stated that comes later if the reflashing doesn't work. I got my car back the same day and now it's totally messed up. It shifts very hard from 2nd to 3rd and 3rd to 4th. The RPMs will jump 1,000 before there is a hard shift. When attempting to pass cars the car refused to downshift instantly. The RPMs went to about 5,000 and then there was a hard downshift. None of these problems occurred before I had my reflash. I took the car back and they said I needed to drive it for a 100 miles before they would take my word that it was shifting erractic. I took it back to them and long story short, they will open a case tomorrow and will contact Toyota to see what had happened and where to proceed. The tech stated he had never seen a vehicle act like mine when it needed to shift. If your car shifts smooth already and you have the lag when coming to stops and such I don't know if I'd take it in quite yet. The tech stated that Toyota will be coming out in about a month for that fix. I'll keep you all informed.
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