Toyota Avalon Navigation System

bypopbypop Member Posts: 1
My 04 navigation unit started coding check DVD and error; I took it to my dealer who advised that the Unit is defective and is causing a ridge to form on the control disk. Dealer advised to call the Toyota 800 number due to my 36K warranty is gone. Called toyota and they referred me back to my dealer who is giving me the stall.anyone with similar problem or possible solution thanks.


  • pcgpcg Member Posts: 6
    Is it possible to have the Toyota factory NAV system retro-fitted to the '05 Avalon Touring Model?
  • arkitek4arkitek4 Member Posts: 2
    Night Nav Screen I am unable to get the night nav screen to show. The day screen is always on.When I first brought the car home, the night screen showed up in a darkened garage, but have been unable to get it to darken lately. On the contrast/brightness screen the "day mode" does not appear. How do I bring that screen back? Can someone walk me thru the setup commands?
  • arkitek4arkitek4 Member Posts: 2
    Just took the car in to Toyota:
    They set all the switches to default on the display screen and the night mode came back along with the toggle to keep the bright screen at night. End of story!
  • fragmirefragmire Member Posts: 97
    Arkitek4: What switches? Are these within the navigation system or are they hardware switches somewhere?
  • pdr99pdr99 Member Posts: 2
    The DVD version number on my menu screen ("DVD" is upper right icon) screen says "Ver.04.1". I saw a version 4.2 referenced somewhere but cannot relocate.

    Does anyone have any info on a later DVD version? If so, is there any
    way to find out changes from previous revision?

  • rod8rod8 Member Posts: 4
    I've called Toyota a couple of times about the navigation system in the Avalon. I don't like it. I've looked at the Prius and also the Lexus, both great systems. I was told today, that the Avalon uses the #3 system and the others use the #4. I don't know who made this decision but it was a bad one. I think if enough people complained they would change it. I think it is a soft ware problem but I'm not that much into computers. The biggest difference I can see, is when you go to the POI and press enter, the others highlight "LIST" which the Avalon doesn't. You have to go through several more steps in order to show the lists. Thanks, Rod
  • leinadleinad Member Posts: 32
    is there any way to get rid of the initial navigation question where you accept to drive safely? seems ridiculous to have to agree a zillion times!
  • merskymersky Member Posts: 1
    Just purchased the 2006 Avalon. We've used navigation systems before and this is the first that doesn't allow us to input a destination while driving. It takes the fun out of using it. There must be a sensor connected to the axel. The function activates the moment the car comes to a stop. I understand the legal problem, but doesn't the Agree button indemnify Toyota? It doesn't make sense. The passenger is not operating the vehicle. Anyway, is there a way to deactivate this restriction?
  • rsblaskirsblaski Member Posts: 68
    I would also be interested in a simple way of bypassing this silly restriction. I just traded in an '05 Honda Odyssey Touring with nav. The nav in the Honda allowed the use of all the navigation functions while driving. This came in especially handy this summer during 2 major trips from the Las Vegas area to Wisconsin, to Florida and back to Nevada. While driving, we would use the POI to find motels and call while on the way. If we made better time than we anticipated or decided to just drive further, my wife would use the POI list to find something further down the road. While we were doing this, we could continue to eat up the miles at (generally) around 80mph. It would have been a major pain if we had to stop every time we wanted to use the POI list.
    I also have a Garmin 2610 which we use if we fly and rent a car. This is also functional while driving.
    Both the Garmin and the Honda unit (made by Alpine) have the usual "pay attention while underway blah blah blah", so I think that Toyota is being just a bit over zealous in their attempt to nanny us. :P
  • monamilarmonamilar Member Posts: 4
    I just bought this car and was surprised to find that the nav system was years behind my 2000 Acura TL's system. Touch screen is much easier than this mickey mouse type entry and having to stop to use the system is nuts. How does someone in the car using the system become dangerous?

    Toyota is too far behind. Wish I had tested the nav before buying it. Would have bought a garmin hand-held instead. Dealers seem unable to cope with customer requests on this one.
  • dmdooleydmdooley Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2006 Avalon Limited with the navigation system. I also have had some problems understanding some of the features of the system. Such as when you are inserting a destination what do you need to do to modify the route the NAV system elects for you. Any comments or advise will be appreciated. Thanks Duane :)
  • jimmy13jimmy13 Member Posts: 1
    I agree. Bought a limited yesterday. I think the instruction manual on the nav system was written in Kyoto. I have a Maggelan in my other car and a chartplotter in my boat. Never had a problem like this. No one at my large dealership could figure it out.They do not use terms like "address book" or "store" that americans are used to. I can't believe that Toyota couldn't have had a new user work with that manual before they published it.
  • superepsuperep Member Posts: 8
    I didn't get the GPS on my new Avalon Limited . Would you recommend a Tom Tom or a Garmin as you mention in your post? I also can't believe they didn't put an outside temperature gauge on this car. talk about being behind.
  • neil5neil5 Member Posts: 118
    First, I have friends with Lexus system (both voice). Lexus touch screen, Avalon has Mouse. Functionality is the same. I had daughter type up all 150 voice commands on one sheet of paper and laminated it for the car. "Push button and say Chinese, japanese, Atm, Hospital, emergency etc. Very easy and same can be done with mouse. you can move the circle over the item in the distance on the map and it will tell you exact milage to that site. This is a very fast system with excellent voice recognition, so you people afraid of computers relax. So far the Avalon is the best buy I have found.
  • neil5neil5 Member Posts: 118
    True but the voice activation does let you locate sites by voice command.."mall, gas station, hotels, etc" Read your manual
  • bobwileybobwiley Member Posts: 241
    Toyota Nv System is TOTALLY user "unfriendly" and I'm sorry I got it. I can't even put in my home address--its not recognized along with many other spots in our area. Nav Sys on Lexus ES is great--same with TL. I bought Nav Sys & Remote Start on an impulse--neither are that great--I love the Laser Cruise. I've written to Toyota and voiced my disstisfaction with the Nav Sys. I've told friends who after seeing our Avalon are considering one--DO NOT buy the Nav System--buy a Garmin GPS for $600-$900--or better yet--ask directions!!
  • theazlittheazlit Member Posts: 4
    I disagree with you. With the extended warranty for 7 years and 100,000 miles, the factory installed is fine. I have used both and have little problem programing it. People have to realize that manufacturers cannot support programing on the fly, anyway. The way current legislation is moving against cell phones in sue during driving, I certain that programming on the fly would be serious liability for Toyota.
  • bobwileybobwiley Member Posts: 241
    theazlit: Guess I missed something here? I never advocated programming on the move--I just said for the "average" person, the Nav System is complicated and takes considerable time to understand. i also find it odd that adresses that have existed for over 10 years cannot be programmed. And, for that reason I still say that an $800 Garmin GPS can do the same thing except provide a female direction voice.
  • fhsfhs Member Posts: 1
    I have an 06 limited with the navigation system. When I select the heading up option, a compass needle appears in the left top corner. The red end of compass needle correctly shows north and south but east and west appear to be reversed. I cannot seem to correct this. Any ideas?

  • sharkmama49sharkmama49 Member Posts: 22
    I was wondering if anyone has had a problem with their nav screen saying it can't read the dvd. If anyone has any suggestions on how to fix this, I would really appreciate it. If not, I guess I will have to go to the dealer.

    Sharkmama :confuse:
  • neil5neil5 Member Posts: 118
    As another add-on Modification. Just installed Backup Camera like Lexus sells on to my NAV screen. For more info see Galleries Toyotanation 3rd gen Avalon pics and that forum. Tonight under evening lighting I could see behind me (20% TINT) perfectly.
  • dandydon2dandydon2 Member Posts: 77
    Hi Neil,

    I can't locate your reference. Can you provide a URL? I have a new Av Limited and want to add the BU camera. Which one did you choose and how did it go in?

  • dandydon2dandydon2 Member Posts: 77
    Hi Dzuba,

    I'm not familiar with Honda's nav, but I have used the Lexus system for the past two years and now have one in my new Limited. There have been a lot of complaints in this forum about the Avalon nav; most saying that it is not friendly to use. It's been my experience that you must spend a considerable amount of time learning to use any of these systems, regardless who makes them.

    I'm guessing that most of the Avalon complaints come from those who have never had one of any kind before. Lexus uses a touch screen and Avalon uses a button-joystick method. Believe me, both have their drawbacks and advantages. Others complain that the database doesn't include their local street even though the street has been in existence for several years. Blame the people who develop and update the software. It's a continuing process and will always be less than perfect.

    For those who opt to skip the factory nav and buy an after market variety, maybe it's the right choice for them, but I wouldn't care to stick one on top of my dashboard and have to squint at a tiny screen, plus see wires laying out in the open - not in a new car I just paid big bucks for. Nice to have choices, but mine goes for the factory version.

  • rsblaskirsblaski Member Posts: 68
    Your statement re the datatbase is correct. Toyota CHOSE to use a nav system with what I consider a very poor GUI. I have had three iterations of the Garmin StreetPilot as well as a 2005 Honda Odyssey with an Alpine based nav system. I used to complain about the Alpine in comparison with the Garmin UNTIL I got my 2006 Toyota Limited with nav. Now I would give my small left toe to get the Alpine based unit in my Ltd. Whereas the Alpine would give a rather tedious announcement about entering an area with unconfirmed mapping, it would at least let you program a destination from that area. With the Toyota, if you are in an unconfirmed area, you are told to drive to a confirmed area before street-by-street directions would begin.
    The Honda (Alpine) unit would also let you enter a destination and do searches while the car is in motion. All nav units that I have used give the generic warning at start-up, but the Toyota is the only one that has refused to let me (or a passneger) do a search or set a destination while under way. I could almost go along with a passenger interlock which would only allow operation if a passenger was on board.
    In summary, I don't fault Toyota for the poor database in the nav unit, I fault them for CHOOSING the nav system that uses that poor database.
    I think that my frustration is greater for having had other nav units. I'm guessing that others who haven't merely assume that these deficiencies are merely common to all nav systems. I and others know better.
  • dzubadzuba Member Posts: 159 if you had to do it all over again, would you have passed up the Toyota NAV and used a Garmin?

    That is where I am leaning (or towards an Acura TL) I too have an Odyssey w/NAV that I like. Not sure if I really want an external unit, and the wires, etc.........

    However the new Garmin unit not only works great for Navigation, but also includes Bluetooth - an option I desperatley want that is not available in the Midwest. Yes, Bluetooth is offered in the SE by Southeast Toyota (SET), but not in the Midwest.

  • neil5neil5 Member Posts: 118
    No I want the NAV. It allowed for Backup camera. Today I entered in Home directions while riding. I did not have to stop. Laser Cruise it a bit tricky
  • rsblaskirsblaski Member Posts: 68
    That's a tough question.
    The nav system is undoubtedly the biggest disappointment in terms of the features of the car. I just wish that a major manufacturer such as Toyota would have opted for a better featured nav system. I also wish that Toyota had given us an option for a factory installed XM/Sirius radio system. I was told by the saleman that the car was "XM-ready." I (mistakenly--and I'll accept blame for this) thought that this meant that a simple add-on of a satellite antenna for ~$50-$100 would provide me with the XM reception. Of course, we all know it's not as simple as that!! And don't get me started on the cheesy way the antenna is mounted...
    That being said, I really like the overall quality of construction as well as some of the "toys" found on the Limited. I especially like the keyless starting system and the laser cruise control. The automatic wiper system is also quite cool.
    So to answer your question, had I known about the absolute deficiency in the nav system, I probably would have looked into either an Acura or Lexus. It may have overcome the major reason I didn't stay with Honda, which is that I didn't like the fact you had to jump to their flagship line (Acura) in order to get something a little bigger in size than the Accord.
  • jwhagenjwhagen Member Posts: 4
    Are you saying you were able to change the Home Directions while driving a 2006 Avalon? If so, what did you do to allow it to work? Also, can you point me to the backup camera option? Thanks!

    John Hagen
  • topgeartopgear Member Posts: 111
    I have a white '06 Limited Avalon with the optional DVD Navigation of which I have complained about previously. I wish to amend my negative opinion. Although it is a pain to program, it did serve us well on our recent trip to Orlando Florida. I could find points of interest (of which there were plenty in the Orlando area) and it guided us beautifully. It even brought us "home" again to our hotel repeatedly from our local journies.
    I still wish one could program it while driving and not have to come to a full stop though, -and the joystick method of entering data is still a pain and prone to mistaken-entries. However, I just wanted to say the system served us well.
  • dandydon2dandydon2 Member Posts: 77
    Hi Topgear,

    Glad you're finding more to like about your Avi nav system, but you should be happy that the design will not let you program it while under way. That feature may very well save your life one day - or that of another motorist.

    Here's why: The National Highway Traffic Safety Assn. reports that "In-car technology like cell phones, mobile Internet access devices, road guidance and navigation systems (emphasis mine) are dangerous driver distractions that cause accidents. In practicality, anything that compels the driver to take his hands off the steering wheel or eyes off the road can be a dangerous distraction."

    Another authority in this area, David J. Hanson, Ph.D., states that "Using a cell phone while driving is at least as dangerous as driving while intoxicated." And if A=B and B=C, then A=C, ergo, nav systems can be just as dangerous as cells.

    Some argue that a front seat passenger would be able to work the nav system safely if allowed, but it would be practically impossible to prevent a driver from also getting into the act in a system designed that way.

    On the positive side, here are a couple of tips you might find useful for your next trip: Go to the DESTINATION screen and note the 6 switches at the bottom. The left one is for getting you Home, but the other 5 can be handy, too. We'll be meeting some friends for a short vacation in Portland in a few weeks. We have decided to visit several restaurants and points of interest while there, but I don't know the town very well so I've programmed 4 of the 5 buttons with the addresses of my POIs. The sixth one I set with our hotel's address, so I can always find my way back to the starting point.

    Hope some of this helps.

  • melbcmelbc Member Posts: 31
    We also have the navigation system and the reason I have a problem with not being able to program it while the car is in motion is because I am usually in the front passenger seat when we are on extended car trips so I don't see why I cant program it..I am not driving so the safety issue would not be an issue at all...For this reason I wish that the passenger could overide the system somehow so that I could program it.
  • dandydon2dandydon2 Member Posts: 77
    Allowing the passenger to program the nav while under way would remain a safety issue for the simple reason that there is no practical way to prevent a driver from also getting into the act.

    It's too late for both of us, since we already own the factory nav systems, but there is an excellent alternative for others. It's a system sold by VCom for under $1,000 and it operates entirely by voice input, so you or the driver can use it while driving. You can ask for a gas station, or a specific address, without ever having to touch buttons or look at a screen. The unit is portable and can be hidden under the dash or seat.

    Go to and click on "Video Demonstration". They claim it's the world's only navigation system with no screen or buttons. Their ad states: "It uses advanced voice recognition software that actually works. Once VCom knows where you want to go, simply drive and listen to VCom give you super detailed, turn by turn instructions until you reach your destination. Includes millions of Points of Interests and a voice interactive game of Black Jack."

    VCom is very similar to the new OnStar Turn-by-turn screenless nav system. I think that both are the wave of the future for car navigation.

  • marunymaruny Member Posts: 1
    Can anyone tell me if the navigation screen will split into two screens automatically when you get near where you have to make a left or right turn and after you complete the turn it will go back to full screen. The new screen will show an enlarge map of your current position and the road that you will turn to. I think I so that in a Lexus car.
  • topgeartopgear Member Posts: 111
    I just wanted to post this thought. The navigation system should have a single, dedicated enter button instead of the tricky multi-function one. That would speed things up.
    So...Toyota, if you ever read any of the owner's comments here and there, I think this is a good one for you to consider!

  • b1gatorb1gator Member Posts: 12
    I have a 2005 Avalon with the DVD navigation System. I inquired with the dealer about the update CD for the Nav data base and I believe they told me the cost was about $200. Does this seem right and/or is there a better source for the updates? :confuse:
  • tstrick320tstrick320 Member Posts: 64
    YES!!! I'm planning to take my Avalon by the dealer and ask them to "show me how to input an address" so that they'll have to explain why this thing is almost impossible to use.

    This is my biggest (and just about only) gripe about this car. Everything else is near-perfection but the NAV controller drives me nuts. The NAV is great once the data has been entered but the cheesy controller design is awful.
  • ny_avalonny_avalon Member Posts: 3
    Are there By-pass options that will allow the Navigation to be used while the car is moving ?
  • boone6boone6 Member Posts: 8
    My NAV GPS system on my 2006 Avalon leaves a lot to be desired.
    I live in Houston and have set my home address in the memory. Recently while downtown I programmed it to take me home. This is a 20 mile trip on loop 610 and then highway 290. Basically a straight shot with no exits from the freeway. This goofy system has me exit at every 290 exit ramp, go south, then north on the next road, then back under the freeway and back on at the next entrance ramp. Then immediately get off at the next exit ramp and repeat the process. I have noticed it also does not have many roads in my area on it that were built or extended over three years ago. Those should be on the current software.

    Was recently on a vacation the western US. On the trip back I set it to take me home. I asked it for the quickest and the shortest route. It told me both were the same route. This was a 1600 mile trip from Salt Lake to Houston. I make the trip I was on yearly so knew what it was telling me was not quickest or shortest. There was no way to change it.
    The route it wanted me to take was over 200 miles out of the way. It did refigure every time I varied from the route it calculated but as far as being an efficient gps worth 2000 dollars it is not.

    I would suggest that if you are buying a new Avalon you forego the gps system that is an option. Buy something aftermarket that works.

    I read a column detailing the electronics on the Avalon and specifically the gps problems at It is dead on to what I have experienced.
  • heavensoldierheavensoldier Member Posts: 61
    I plan on buying the avic z1 located here Avic Z1 photo and information here

    I was wondering was is there any way to install the avic z1, which again is a in-dash navigation system, into the avalon 06? Many tell me it may not be able to be done, so was just wondering is it possible? image
  • user777user777 Member Posts: 3,341
    looks like a slick unit!
    i tried downloading the installation manual but was waiting for eons. maybe they need to reboot their server and it will be faster later today.

    you can email their support:,,2076_310069585,00.html-

    or call them:
    800 421 1404
  • motownusamotownusa Member Posts: 836
    Make sure you hire a pro to do something of this magnitude. That Navigation system looks awesome.
  • niteoneniteone Member Posts: 41
    I called a Car Audio place near me which has this in stock and they said it'll even fit a Toyota Avalon that has the NAV system in it....they'll just have to use a different interface to the head unit....

    but, a couple will you control the air, etc if you put that in over what you have there?

    I mean the new system will control the audio, nav, bluetooth, but how will you control the other funtions that the screen you already have displays, like air, etc.?
  • heavensoldierheavensoldier Member Posts: 61
    ">Thanks user777, I just e-mailed them. Yeah, the site is often busy. Watch the video clips of the avic z1 its outstanding too. You have to click "guidance" etc.. Hey niteone I know you can get the pac swi and retain your steering wheel controls, but ask at and they may be able to answer your question better. But your sure it can fit in the avalon 06? Thats great news, thanks again for the replies.

    Crutchfield has good information on the z1 too Crutchfield Avic z1
  • niteoneniteone Member Posts: 41
    the guy at the Audio place said they could do it....I'm just wondering about all the other stuff the original screen gives air control, etc....and, if you have the NAV like I do, there's a lot more stuff on it like maintenance, calander, dealer info, etc....I would think that you would lose all that stuff.
  • heavensoldierheavensoldier Member Posts: 61
    Oh okay I see, you may want to call the shop and ask them is there any utility you can buy so you can retain those features and any other features. The air control is on the navigation system or on that little blue screen? Yeah you need to ask them about keeping those features if you want to, and see what they say.
  • bobwileybobwiley Member Posts: 241
    jrjhm: Test drove the ES330---GREAT Nav System--thought the Avalon would be the same!! Anyway, the Avy has more room and smoother ride--interior materials as good as Lexus. Think about buying an after marrket GPS--Garmin makes a great one for $800-$00----I looked at the pricing for the ES330---Big $$$$$ compared to the Avalon. Also, the ES350's wheelbase is 2' less and yet it weighs 1,000 lbs more---same motor---can't see how it can get same MPG? Put an "L" on the Avy---you've got a Lexus!!!
  • captain2captain2 Member Posts: 3,971
    huh? the Avalon Limited 3600, 20 lbs more the ES. Sure, the FE will be comparable! Look it up, but if the ES really weighed 4600 lbs. it would be a real slug by comparison in power and economy...
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