Toyota Avalon Rain Sensing Windshield Wipers

don90don90 Member Posts: 14
Does your Avalon LTD rain sensing wipers make one swipe across your dry windshield when you hit the start button on a dry day when your wiper is set for auto?? Will if your dealer says this is normal he is wrong, report this to Customer Experiance at 800 331 4331 and ask to talk to Eileen Torres (Case Manager). Toyota Avalon's XLS fron 2000 to 2004 with rain sensing wipers did not have this defect, it only started with the new model in 2005. Toyota says no one has reported this problem but my self and that they do not intend to fix it with only one complaint. So if you have this problem please report this to Toyota Custumer Experiance and directly to Eilenn Torres (Case Manager)


  • rugsterrugster Member Posts: 6
    You've probably already checked this out but when we got our '08 , I had that same problem. When set to auto, the wipers would come on when first started over the dry windshield. It turned out that the "lever" itself was in the wrong position. There are three different positions ( if I remember right) on the lever.
    So besides setting them to "auto", make sure you have the lever in the correct position also.
  • don90don90 Member Posts: 14
    Yes I can stop this from happening by putting the wipers in the OFF position. But the whole idea for having the rain sensing wipers is that you can leave it in the AUTO position and when it starts to rain your wipers well operate automatically. I had a 2003 XLS with rain sensing wipers and never had this happen in the four years I owned it. The manual does not state that the lever should be in the off position when the wipers are not in use. This is a problem that Toyota will not address unless enough Avalon owners complain.
  • rugsterrugster Member Posts: 6
    I didn't mean turn them off. Set them to "auto" like you're supossed to do. What I'm saying is that the lever itself has different positions . Grab the lever and make sure it's in the right position
    , it worked for us.
  • rugsterrugster Member Posts: 6
    I wish it wasn't too late to edit my last post.

    Although I was having the same problem as you when I had the car for a few days, it's the wife's car and I'm rarely in it lately. I forgot exactly where the problem was for me.

    I had the placement of the lever "bumped" on low instead of auto. The velocity setting was also set to lowest point.When you started the car, the wipers went on once. Even if the windshield was dry. Because of this setting, it was still wiping across every now and then but EXTREMELY intermintant. I still thought I was in "auto" but just unfamiliar with this new car.

    At any rate, the car was home today so I got the water hose out and checked it. I placed the lever in "Auto" Stopped and restarted the car. No windshield wiper movement. To make sure it worked, I sprayed the windshield and the wipers started working fine.

    If you're pulling the "lever" down and counting the settings to find "auto". the first setting "up" doesn't hold so a person could easiy be off by one setting.

    Perhaps yours is just a faulty unit or maybe you unknowingly have it on the wrong setting as I did. As I said, today I tried it in the driveway. When set to auto, they work perfectly and do not come on when you start the car or untill it senses water.

    One way or another, this should be fixable as you shouldn't have that problem.

    Good luck.
  • don90don90 Member Posts: 14
    After six months of requesting to meet with a Toyota representative through my dealer's service manager, I finally had that meeting. The reason for the meeting is that every 2005 and newer Avalon Limited model has a problem with the RAIN SENSING WINDSHIELD WIPERS, I have a 2007. The problem is that when the windshield is dry and the weather is dry and you push the start button (smart key) with the wiper switch in the auto position the wipers will make one swipe across a dry windshield as the engine starts. This happens a random regardless of temperture,sun,or clouds or inside a garage or outside. Toyota recognize that this happens but Thomas A. Senneca the Toyota FTS that I met with after making some test stated on my work order that "FTS FOUND OPERATING AS DESIGNED". When I talked to Mr. Senneca before I left my car so he could make his test I asked him "are the wipers designed to make one swipe across a dry windshield so as to smear the bugs or possibly scratch the windshield from dirt that may be on the windshield". All I wanted was a yes or no, what I got was how the system looks at several conditions to determine when the wipers will operate he would not commit to a simple yes or no. As I stated before Toyota recognize that this happens and say it is NORMAL (I guess because they all do this) or their other saying is "WORKING AS DESIGNED". I didn't have this problem with my 2003 Avalon XLS, it had same wipers but not smart key. Since the Lexus ES350 uses the same smart key and rain sensing wipers, I wonder if they have the same problem or did Lexus fixed it for their owners? I have also noticed that the fit and finish is not as good as my two previous Avalons.
  • carlosjaycarlosjay Member Posts: 1
    This is a 2008 Avalon Limited, bought brand new but upon removing the foot from the gas pedal, the vehicle slows down very quickly. It is unsafe. My dealer and Toyota say that there is no fix. I have checked with independent repair shops who agree there is something wrong with the car because it stops too quickly and does not glide. I have started arbitration. Somebody, help, please.
  • don90don90 Member Posts: 14
    I have a 2007 Limited and I found that there is a Technical Service Bulliten that helps this condition, it is mainly for the shifting on the 2007 but after I had it done it did take most of the slowing down of the car after removing my foot from the gas pedal. The TSB is EG029-07 I don't know if this applies to your 2008 since it has a six speed transmission where mine has a five speed transmission. It may be worth a shot to see if this applies to the 2008. Good luck with TOYOTA, because if they admit to a problem it will be by luck.
  • mikes.mikes. Member Posts: 337
    I traded in my 05 LTD last night and while driving home it was raining from lite mist to heavy downpour. The wipers on the new car worked great. I always thought the 05 had a problem and my local dealer even replaced the unit once. But it never did work well.

    I'm already much happier with the 08's wipers.
  • gomst1gomst1 Member Posts: 58
    Just my 2 cents. If it is working as designed, the solution is a redesign. Not a fix. It will be hard to say that the 2007 Avalon rain sensing wipers is the same as your 2003 Avalon XLS or the ES350 unless you have the schematic/design info of this component. Electronics keep changing everyday even two exact models are not the same. Components keep changing. I would get rid of the car if it really bothers me. Life is short.
  • amauhryamauhry Member Posts: 55
    Every once in a blue moon I have experienced that behavior when starting the car. However, I have notice that when it has happened the humidity is high.

    My reasoning: high humidity levels may trigger the system. Possible solution: decrease the sensitivity of the windshield sensor. I haven’t done it though, since, as previously stated, this behavior has occurred only a couple of times since last September.

    Also make sure that nothing is touching the sensor (attached to the windshield).

    ’08 Limited
  • don90don90 Member Posts: 14
    qomst1 I would love to trade it in on another make but since I am on a fixed income (retired) I just can't at this time. Although I have looked at the new Lincoln MRS and like it very much. After elections if the market rebounds a new Lincoln may be in my garage.
  • don90don90 Member Posts: 14
    mikes Try leaving your wiper switch in the AUTO position I am sure you have the same condition that I have on my 2007. I have talked to -08 owners and they have had this same condition.
  • don90don90 Member Posts: 14
    gomst1 Sorry the Lincoln was a MKS not a MRS.
  • mikes.mikes. Member Posts: 337
    don90, I'll do that and get back to you.
  • eclearwatereclearwater Member Posts: 1

    I have had since 2006 a 2006 Avalon Limited and I have experienced the magical wipe of the wipers as described here and got the same BS from Toyota. It is a problem and has ruined many a wiper. I decided tonight to disconnect the rain sensor. Quit easy. carefully pull down on the back cover closes to the sun roof... latches next to the top of the adjoining cover. When that comes off then pull the horizontal plastic lock for the other cover and rain sensor assembly towards the windshield from its place on the front of the rain sensor. Now carefully wiggle the sensor off its windshield mount by pulling from the end closes to the sun roof.... do not put your fingers on the sticky clear tape under the sensor attached to the windshield. Now push the tiny little clip on top the wire connector in so you can disconnect it. Leave it disconnected and reinstall in the reverse order. No more magical random wipes.

  • toylexustoylexus Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2003 Avalon and have had the same issue from the time I purchased the car.
    I am in AZ and it seems to malfunction mostly when it's hot.
    Wipers have also just come on for no reason when I am driving.
    I just turn them off and have to remember to turn the on when it may rain or it's starting to rain. I do like that they generally will pace the rain, so I don't want them disconnected.
    Dealer told me there was nothing wrong with them and that no other complaints had been made.
    I take it by this thread that after all these model years, the problem has not been addressed by Toyota.
  • toylexustoylexus Member Posts: 2
    Also, I am having to replace my windshield and am trying to decide who I want to do it. Wondering if after market windshields work well with the sensor.
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