Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Toyota Avalon Steering Questions



  • lookseelooksee Posts: 8
    Had my 97 Avalon serviced in Feb which included a power steering flush along with other things I probably didn't need but oh well ($$$). Dealer did a bad alignment. I schedule a return visit, plus need the rotors turned. Hit a pot hole on Tue and bend the rim. Fix rim. On Fri dealer says the rack is leaking (fluid in bellows boot), I have never seen a drip on garage floor. He doesn't know how he missed it in Feb.

    Quote is $1,200 to replace, plus all new tires. My feeling is he thinks he has a fish.

    With no noticeable steering problem, could he be pulling my leg? Also I priced a replacement part on the web at around $300.

    I think I should run from this dealer. Any help since I am a novice.
  • danielj6danielj6 Posts: 285
    Your Avalon is way out of warranty. Why are you still taking it to dealer service? You should perhaps get a private, reliable and trusted shop to do the work. Good shops abound, ask around. But, you should really run from the dealer or otherwise stay and help them pay their overhead.
  • petras2petras2 Posts: 104
    hi and thanks in advance...on a recent brief inspection of my 98 avalon, the mx said the steering shaft joint was bad and service manager stated that required replacement of the entire rack at a cost of around $1200... can just the shaft joint be replaced? currently i have no steering leaks or noticeable problems with the steering...also after replacing the front strut mounts with a modified version, the rattling noise has returned after less than 14k mi.. dealer refuses to give me a break on a reinstall since it's beyond the one year warranty...has anyone had repeat problems with the strut mounts?
  • deepandeepan Posts: 342
    i recently bought a 96 avalon and according to the service history the Rank & pinion was changed.

    also the temp guage is a tiny bit above the halfway mark. Coolant and themostat were changed and a reputable garage in town assures me that it should be fine. Could the gauge be faulty or could there be something else.
  • mikes.mikes. Posts: 336
    My '96 XL has ran the gauge slightly above the halfway point since the day I bought it. I wouldn't worry about it.

  • My daughter's 1996 hail damaged Avalon with only 45,000 miles developed a power steering leak. She could hardly make turns and when she did, there were loud noises. I took it to the dealer and they put in a new rack and pinion including wheel alignment for $800 plus tax. Now the steering is working correctly. While I was there, the dealer recommended replacing the timing belt ($285), replacing the drive belts ($206), something about the front seals and 60,000 mile maintenance ($707), and something about the valve cover gaskets escaping oil ($ 505). With only 45,000 miles, is it really necessary to do all those things?
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 591
    Here's an opinion:

    Timing Belt - An 9 year old timing belt is a liability. Replace it.

    Drive Belts - If they are original, they are probably wearing out. Replace them.

    Cover Gaskets - If they leak, they need to be replaced (maybe just tighten the bolts a little and see if that helps first.) If they don't leak, leave them alone.

    Seals, I am not familiar with, need someone else to answer that one.

    The 60k maintenance will change a lot of fluids, etc., and you may need it. How often do you change all fluids in the past? Read the owners manual about this, then decide. The price sounds high at $700. Check around for a better deal.

    Hope this helps, others may offer comments as well......
  • If you are going to keep the car for several more years change the fluids, belts, and hoses.


    My 96 has 70K miles. Still has the OE front brakes with lots of lining left. All of the hoses and belts look and feel okay. Can't see the timing belt. Have not changed plugs yet.


    Car runs fine, but will change everything, including the front brakes, before the car goes to college in the fall.


    Fluid changes around here are about $110 for transmission (flush), $90 for radiator flush, and $70 for brake fluid flush. Brakes run from $200 to $450. By the time I renew everything the cost will be close to $2000 (tires and shocks too). That's a lot to spend on a ten year old car that isn't worth much more than the renew costs, but is still a lot less than a new car.
  • jdonzjdonz Posts: 1
    My 1996 toyota avalon also just got a power steering leak at the pump. However I have 163K miles on mine. I took care of avalon and it has run forever however now on trade in they are only offering me $1800 for it. I have a hard time paying the $600 for the power steering repair just to get possibly $2000 on trade in the enxt few months. Take care of your avalon and it will run forever.
  • miket99miket99 Posts: 6

    "a defect in the steering wheel column that could result in a loss of control of the vehicle, the company and U.S. safety regulators said on Monday. "
  • avalonxlavalonxl Posts: 1
    I have 1995 Avalon XL and had the same lekage, I tried to replace the rubber seal but didn't work so I put the steering oil with leak control (avalible on more car parts stores) and problem seems to be gone.
  • judycjudyc Posts: 2
    Hey, I'm driving the Avalon this week (my husband thinks it's HIS car!), and the knocking in the steering is driving me crazy. I don't know why he hasn't taken it in! I hear this knocking sound when I turn the steering wheel, and I also noticed a lot of vibration at the steering wheel on the freeway. Does someone out there have any ideas as to what this could be, and approx. how expensive it's going to be to fix it? Thanks!
  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591

    Outer CV joint, part of the axle. Take it in immediately before you get stranded.

  • judycjudyc Posts: 2
    Thanks, abfisch! After typing in "Outer CV joint" in Yahoo!, that sounds exactly right, as I noticed last night that it stops knocking after I drive it for awhile. I'll get it into the shop ASAP.

    Boy, I'm not sure what the deal is w/CV joints & boots -- that's where I've had problems with my '96 Camry, and my Ford before that! I'm guessing that these are not parts that are meant to last a long time.

    Hey, thanks again!
  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591

    All FWD cars have these issues when high mileage is attained. RWD cars to a lesser extent. Not a big deal.

  • Trying to find out why there's an annoying rattle coming from either the steering column/dash in a 2001 Avalon XL. Anyone else experience this problem? Solution??
  • sheabsheab Posts: 2
    i have a 96 toyota avalon. there is few problem with the car i feel that the stearing is hard to make turn. other hand its look like the stearing pump is leaking on the bottom not sure if its working but the stearing fluid is in same lavel. i also have little vibration on the stearing ... is there anyproblem thats i need to fix ...
    i have about 1,16,000 mil on the car so please tell me what i should do for the hard and vibration of the stearing thanks :confuse: :mad:
  • turkeytturkeyt Posts: 19
    I have the same problem with my 97 and i took it to the shop where i get my work done and he thinks it is the rack and pinion going bad. The only other thing it could be is the bearing in the strut mount going bad and causing the steering to be tough to turn . It feels like you only have about 50% of your power assist at certain times. Sometimes the steering works fine and then bingo it acts up. Does this sound like your problem? It acts up more in the morning. If yours does the above i would say it's probably going to be the R&P. going bad. $170.00 bucks at Advance Auto and about tree hours labor and an alignment. Hopes this helps.D.T.
  • sheabsheab Posts: 2
    im just cerious to know if i can replace camery Stearing to avalon stearing becus i dont like the look of 96 avalon stearing can i can anyone tell me which one will work fine
  • Hey guys, I've got a 97 avalon bought in Fl but moved here in Toronto 3 years ago and have the same steering wheel fluid leaking problem.

    The deal is quoting me $1200 w. tax included needs rack replaced and new alignment + 14% ontario tax!

    Also said something about engine oil dripping out of valve cover gasket? DOES ANYONE KNOW WHAT THE HECK DOES THIS MEAN!!!! ?

    Any help appreicated :confuse:
  • netwonnetwon Posts: 53
    Over your valve train on the top end of the engine both banks of cylinders have a cover that goes over the valves. There is a gasket that holds them on. The gaskets themselves aren't that bad to get but they may be hard to get to. The front one in your car should be easy if that is the one that is leaking.... Not a major repair.

  • Net...thanks for explaining...I asked mylocal mechanic and he quoted $300 for complete job +taxes...He said exactly what you mentioned above that the gasket itself is for $60 but to replace it is the time it takes...around 2 1/2 hrs job so labours kills it.

    So now i have 2 things to take care of: Rack n Pinon to be repalced from my toyota dealer and the valve cover gaskets from my mechanic

    Question: is it a good idea to have the fluid flushed while i'm getting new rack?
  • netwonnetwon Posts: 53
    Once the rack is removed 95% of your PS fluid will be gone. Have Toyota check to see if your car can take transmission fluid, for PS fluid. (some quote DOT3 brake fluid but can take Tranny fluid as they found it lasted better in the cold Toy will know) If you can use transmission fluid get a good Mobil One Synthetic. It will cost you 8.99 a litre but works awesome in the cold. Short answer to your question post rant. You will have all your fluid drained when the new rack goes in. Just ask the mechanic to make sure he bleeds the old fluid out (which they most likely will.

  • Okay thanks again! you mentioned transmission fluid in PS? How's that possible, I've heard even people say just use genuine toyota ps fluid! because generic can casue racks to leark (from seals i guess)

    Also, is there any way I can have my dealer charge less? (any tips on saving money at service?) :)
  • netwonnetwon Posts: 53
    I own an Avalon and a Toyota Corolla my factory fill for the Corolla is Dextron III (trans fluid) for the PS system. Some older Toyotas that require special fluids should use the Toyota brand. My cousins Tundra required brake fluid (DOT 3) for the PS, but after pump failures in the cold weather of Edmonton, Toyota eventually came out with documentation into using tranny fluid. Both Dot 3 and Dex 3 are technically hydraluic fluids.

  • carterbcarterb Posts: 2
    I have owned a 2007 for about 3 months and the steering seems oversensitive. It is just all over the highway, if I glance away for a second I am in the other lane. The dealer says no use checking the alignment, this is just the way the car steers. As great as this car is, I hate the steering and am wondering if I should trade it. Is it me, or just my particular car?
  • This is not typical.

    One reason could be overinflated tires, a common and dangerous oversight when new cars are first delivered. This happened to me twice, with a 97 Camry and a 05 Avalon, tire pressures were way over spec. Setting correct pressure made a huge difference in handling.

    Your 07 has built-in sensors so this should not be happening -- but I'd still suggest to check tire pressure manually.
  • carterbcarterb Posts: 2
    Yes, I should have mentioned after getting the vehicle home I deflated the tires from 37 PSI to 32. I have a very accurate digital gauge I use for all my cars.
  • ydnicydnic Posts: 2
    While I am driving my Avalon, the steering is very stiff and jerky. After turning the steering wheel does not return to straight.

    Any thoughts on what could be causing this?

    I used a syringe to extract most of the old power steering fluid and added new Dex III, as recommended by my Toyota manual. Someone told me that I should add some Lucas power steering fluid to stop any leaks (none visible) and make smooth steering. I purchased the Lucas, but I am hesitant to add it to the reservoir as it is not mentioned in my Toyota manual. If it is safe I will take some of the Dex III out and add Lucas to the fill line.

    I appreciate any help with this problem.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,488
    This question is already being answered in our Answers Department:

    Please feel free to come back here and talk about your Avalon but go over there for responses to your specific power steering question. I think you have 3 answers already!

    Visiting host

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

    Share Your Vehicle Reviews Here

This discussion has been closed.