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Toyota Avalon Engine Questions



  • Hello, I have a 05 Touring and had a noise similar to what you described. I also came to the same conclusion that the oil pump was malfunctioning. I went to the dealer and explained the problem; of course they saw nothing wrong. So I suggested that a technician sit in the car with me so I could reproduce the problem and let him hear it. They agreed, so a tech sat in the passenger seat while I turned the car on, put it in drive, and pulled forward 5 feet and how about that, “oil pump sucking air”. We stopped and repeated 4-5 times with the same results. It would only happen when the car was pulled forward after being turned off. He was happy to put it on the diagnosis machine and let me see the results to assure me it wasn’t the oil pump. He was able to diagnosis the problem in about 5 min after being in the car with me and hearing the sound. It turns out that sound is not the oil pump the ABS servos. Every time the car is turned on and pulled forward they execute a short self test to verify proper operation. I was a little skeptical of that my self but, I’ve driven the car an additional 14 months, if it was the oil pump I defiantly would have know by now. The sound is there every time on cue so I can only assume that was the correct diagnosis...
  • sbmansbman Posts: 12
    Hi, I purchased a used Touring 2006 in September. I had always noticed the same startup thumping noise as posted by others and just found out its the ABs. Thanks jrwyatt!

    The car also just started making a ticking noise from the engine (values?) that lasts 5 -10 minutes when cold. Dealer said its normal, but I doubt that's true. Any valve or lifter problems noted by any others? Any thoughts why it shows up in cold weather?
  • sbmansbman Posts: 12
    Have you noticed a ticking noise from the engine when you first start the car and its cold? My 2006 Touring just started with this noise. Thanks for the info. on the ABS as the dealer could not tell me what was happening. I have the same noise.
  • farrizfarriz Posts: 10
    I have a 99 avalon with 138000 miles on it. The check engine light has come on and the code is P0446. I replaced the fuel filler cap still the light is on. I checked out on internet and it is Evaporative emission control system vent control circuit malfunction.What does this mean. Also where to find the charcoal canister in the car. It says the hose to the canister may be loose.
  • Hello Boys....since I purchased my 07 XLS Avy, I've read several posts where people have had complaints with engine sludge problems. Well so far nothing like that with my car (yet) but I did read an article today that I thought would be of interest to you. bewarned.. it's long, but you might want to print it out for future reference, just in case. here it is...
    Toyota Agrees to Sludge Settlement for Consumers
    Class Action Suit Brings Relief to 3.5 Million Toyota, Lexus Owners

    By Joe Benton

    January 8, 2007
    Toyota Sludge

    • Toyota Agrees to Oil-Sludge Settlement
    • Toyota Coughs Up
    • Toyota Sludge Complaints
    • Lexus Complaints

    Consumers saddled with sludge-clogged Toyota engines may soon get some help from the Japanese auto giant under the terms of a class-action lawsuit settlement that covers roughly 3.5 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles damaged by engine oil sludge.

    An engine gummed up with oil sludge can cost thousands of dollars to repair and in many cases must be replaced. The class action settlement could potentially cost the automaker hundreds of millions of dollars.

    The agreement will allow consumers whose claims have been denied by Toyota to submit those claims to a third-party mediator at no cost for binding arbitration.

    The lawsuit, filed in a Louisiana district court, could receive final approval by the middle of February. Details of the settlement are being mailed to 7.5 million current and previous Toyota and Lexus owners.

    The agreement provides owners of sludge-damaged Toyotas eight years plus 120 days from the original purchase date to file a complaint.

    Toyota consumers who have repaired their sludge-damaged engines may be able to recover their costs. The car only needs to show evidence of oil sludge damage.

    The terms of the settlement are transferable to future vehicle owners.

    Toyota owners have repeatedly written ConsumerAffairs.Com detailing Toyota's attempts to blame sludge problems on inadequate vehicle maintenance by the owner.

    Charles in Arkansas said: "At 36,000 miles the engine gummed up and quit running. My wife had the oil changed at Wal-Mart and did not keep receipts for the oil changes. The North Little Rock dealer and the Toyota representative told us such problems were rare and that we had caused the problem but for $2,500 they could fix it. They inferred that my wife was a liar," he wrote.

    With the new agreement, consumers need only show reasonable maintenance in terms of oil changes.

    Toyotas covered by the Louisiana settlement include the:

    • Camry 4 cylinder from 1997-2001,
    • Camry 6 cylinder from 1997-2002,
    • Camry Solara 4 cylinder from 1999-2001,
    • Camry Solara 6 cylinder 1999-2002,
    • Sienna 6 cylinder from 1998-2002,
    • Avalon 6 cylinder from 1997-2002,
    • Celica 4 cylinder from 1997-1999,
    • Highlander 6 cylinder from 2001-2002,
    • Lexus ES 300 from 1997-2002 and
    • Lexus RX 300 from 1999-2002.

    In 2002 Toyota admitted receiving 3,400 complaints about sludged engines and the automaker extended its vehicle warranty to eight years along with unlimited mileage to owners of 1997-2002 Toyota and Lexus vehicles equipped with 3.0-liter V-6 or 2.2-liter four-cylinder engines.

    At Toyota dealerships, however, consumers have encountered repeated denials from service managers insisting that sludging occurs primarily when owners fail to change their oil frequently enough.

    Lauren wrote ConsumerAffairs.Com from Tampa, Florida that, "My check engine light came on once again so I immediately returned to Stadium Toyota. The next day, I received a call from Stadium Toyota telling me that my engine is damaged due to engine sludge and it will cost me $4,500 to fix it."

    In Lawrenceville, Georgia Valerie ran into a hostile dealer despite Toyota confirming her vehicle was "part of their oil gelling/sludge program. The service dept at the dealership says that I'm not entitled to anything," she wrote.

    In Apex, North Carolina Jan heard the bad news from her Toyota dealer.

    "They checked it over, then called and said that the engine had sludge in it and it needed a $7,000 to $8,000 repair," she wrote.

    "They also said it was my fault, because the oil had obviously not been changed properly. When I purchased the car, the Toyota dealer talked me into a $999 extended warranty plan, which he assured me would cover any major issues that might come up with a car. It is called their Tender Loving Care package."

    Edward from Parma, Ohio received the Toyota brush-off despite promises of an extended warranty.

    "I called the dealer and was basically told by their customer service manager that they refused to do anything and did not care if I chose to file a lawsuit or anything else, Edward told ConsumerAffairs.Com.

    Lois from Cedar Rapids is still steaming over her treatment despite promises of an extended warranty.

    "We received a letter from Toyota that indicated the engine was covered for a period of 8 years for engine sludge. In February of 2006, at 144,000 miles, the engine started making a loud noise. We were told that our car had 'blown a rod' and needed a new engine. We asked about the previous problem but were told that this was not related to the sludge problem and the car was not covered by Toyota."

    The Toyota agreement the court is examining contains no finding of fault by Toyota or its dealers and does not prove Toyota or Lexus vehicles are predisposed to develop oil gel.
  • day9day9 Posts: 57
    It has 84K miles. One month ago, the light was on and the code is P171. I had the MAF sensor changed. Then two weeks later, the light was back. This time the codes are P125 (engine temperature) and P135 (O2 sensor). My mechanic told me there is no oil sludge problem. He also told me I should begin to use premium gas. I have been using regular gas for the last 20K miles. He told me the regular gas is killing the sensors. Can anyone give me some idea what could be wrong? :confuse: Could the premium gas be the answer or the sensors just quit working? Could it be the air filter? I bought the Fram filter (better one) from walmart about half of year ago. Just guessing.
  • Thanks, TH. I've been trying to get the MAINT REQ'D light off for the past two weeks. You did it!

  • Since you have a new Avalon with the new 3.5 liter engine, you shouldn't expect to have the "sludge" problem. That problem was mainly with the 3.0 liter V-6 in '99-'01 Siennas. We have a '97 Avalon--featuring that same V-6--with 178,000 miles on it. It continues to run like new, although the idle is not as refined as it once was. I've used nothing but Mobil One fully synthetic oil on it, and I usually don't go much beyond 3,000 miles between oil changes. Some folks might call that expensive overkill, but this car's bulletproof mechanical flawlessness since we bought it in '99 speaks for itself. We believe we've more than offset the additional cost of maintenance. A couple of common threads I've seen from people complaining about sludge problems with these engines: they get the oil changed at Wal-Mart or Jiffy-Lube (a BIG mistake, IMO, with precision engines found in Toyota products), and/or they go 5-10,000 miles between changes. Again, I can't imagine ever doing that, regardless of what a manufacturer allows for. If you're willing to spend the extra money to buy a Toyota, you should be willing to get the best maintenance available.

    Back to your '07 Avalon: we bought a new '06 last year. That 3.5 liter V-6 is the smoothest six on the planet, and that includes the BMW straight six. It feels like it ought to go 300,000 miles without so much as a hiccup. It drives like a much more expensive car than it is, although I've noticed a couple of minor rattles in the door or seat trim over rough pavement. A bit of a surprise, considering the car's obvious structural integrity and rigidity. Otherwise, it's a winner. Congrats on your purchase!
  • I understand that the direct-injection mechanism on the new 3.5 liter engine makes a ticking noise as a part of its normal operation. Car and Driver mentioned this in a review of the Lexus ES-350, so it seems normal for this engine. I noticed it in our '06--esp. when cold--and not in our '97 with the older-type indirect-injection 3.0. It quiets down in a couple of minutes, and you can only really hear it when you're outside of the car. Most of the time, you have to look at the tach to tell if the engine is running.
  • sbmansbman Posts: 12
    Hi , Thanks for your post on the ticking noise. Would a different grade of gas help? Or maybe an additive?

    Funny that the noise did not appear for about 45 days after I purchased the car. The weather did get colder by then. I also saw some Camry posts with the same ticking noise problem.
  • kpraveenkpraveen Posts: 22
    Thank you to all forum member for contributing all your valuable inputs.
    I have 1995 avalon xl (155k miles), recently I took it for oil change at Firestone. After Oil change, i put approximately 250 miles(daily commute 50miles) after that Check engine light is on. I checked fuel cap and it is fine. I took off connection from battery and reconnected so that Check engine light would go off. But it did not happen, after that i drove for 25 miles and parked car at work place in the morning and returned to car in the evening to drive back to home. Engine did not start, i tried with jump started but no use. I request forum people to contribute any help that can help me out get starting my car or to take necessary actions to get it done fixed.
    Thank you very much for reading this.
  • ogunbaogunba Posts: 1
    Hello. I recently observed a vibrating noise in the engine of my 2000 avalon. The noise cannot be heard from inside the passenger compartment but only when in front of the hood and when the engine is revved between 1500 and 3000 rpm. Is this serious or what? i have not had any major issue with the car in the last 30000 miles. Pls HEPL!!!
  • t_ruckyt_rucky Posts: 35
    There was a lot of hype and considerable misrepresentation about the so called "sludge" issue. My experience with a 2000 Avalon XLS(currently 168,000 miles, and purchased new) is very likely a much more typical experience.
    An article in another popular site best describes the issue IMO. Hope it helps put your mind at ease:

    "Toyota Engines - The Sludge Problem

    Both four-cylinder and six-cylinder Toyota engines have experienced oil gelling or "sludging." This has even been reported to affect cars that are only a couple of years old. Before buying a used Toyota, it may pay to look under the valve covers for "sludged" oil. Blue smoke may be one symptom. We recommend use of synthetic oil.

    What causes the problem?
    In some situations, oil additives are burned off or otherwise made useless; then oxidation occurs and various pollutants congregate in the oil, producing sludge and varnish. Originally, it was thought that the oil was being "burned" by excessive heat, but the problem appears to be caused by problems with crankcase ventilation, at least in some cases. The problem is not particular to Toyota and Lexus - Mercedes,Saab, BMW, Volkswagen, and Chrysler have all had problems (Chrysler's with the 2.7 V6, and cured soon after it surfaced) - but Toyota appears to have been afflicted more than any other automaker, and it affected both V6 and four cylinder engines (built from 1996 to 2001), but still, only about 1% of cars made appear to have had problems (keeping in mind that reported cases are probably fewer than total cases). However, any engine by any manufacturer can be damaged by the problem if reasonable care is not taken.

    Making it worse, the volume of rubbish in the engine (including oil that's become heavy and burned, or sludged) can plug filters, the oil pickup screen, and oil passages, causing precisely machined parts to fail. Toyota's solution has been to extend warranties on the engines of these cars to eight years and unlimited miles, but originally blamed the owners for extending time between oil changes, and for a time refused to pay at all for engine damage. Mercedes raised their warranty to 150,000 miles after a lawsuit.
    The moral: keep your oil change receipts (or have oil changes done by a dealer) and use synthetic oil."
  • wig1wig1 Posts: 3

    I have a 2000 Avalon XLS and the engine "Check" light came on. How did you find out the code number Po446?

  • finfin atlantaPosts: 591
    To wig1:

    Code Make Description
    P0446 Generic Evaporative Emission System Vent Control Circuit

    Exactly what this means, somebody else will need to tell you. Hope it isn't serious. :)
  • paxlynnpaxlynn Posts: 1
    More then a year later!
    We have a 2006 Avalon Touring and after a few months of ownership had to replace the fuel tank as a result of contanimated gas.Long story shorter, we got premium gas at the regular station and despite fuel tests and so on.... we had to replace the fuel tank and incur the rental cost for three weeks. All in all a total of approx. $4000.00 after paying aprox. $41,000.00 for the vehicle.
    If you were lucky enough to come to any solutions, I would appreciate you sharing your wisdom.
    P.S...This is our 4th Toyota, so I had faith.
    Thank you in advance for your input.
  • huy67_cahuy67_ca Posts: 1
    Can some one tell me how to fix this or turn it off the "check Engine Light" . It failed the SMog check for the light is on, otherwise everything else pass... Thank you in advance
  • bws950bws950 Posts: 1
    My wife and I recently bought a 2001 Avalon with 100k on it, and then drove it about 1800 miles on our honeymoon. Halfway through the trip, the check engine light came on, along with the VSC and VSC Off lights. We drove the rest of the way home without incident (though the brakes feel a little jittery occasionally, but that may just be normal). We bought the car from my inlaws and it hasn't had this problem before. I took it to an independent mechanic, and it failed the emissions test. He told me there was a problem with the Vacuum Switching Valve (about $200 to replace - maybe he was just replacing the cap?) and that fixing this could solve both the check engine light and the VSC issues. I know nothing about cars, but that seems a bit strange to me. Are the two related? What should I do?
  • During 2005 I had engine lights on due to oxygen sensors bank 1 and bank 2. I replaced both and after awhile lights went off. Now, after two years, same problem, same codes P1135 and P1155............ is that a normal situation or something else is going up with the car? I have 118,000 miles an trying to keep the car in optimal conditions. Any suggestions? Fixing the car at the dealer cost > $600.00......please let me know.
  • You may have already found the answer??? However, we too have a 2001 XLS with 86k and exactly the same thing happened.
    Car continues to work normally and if you disconnect the battery cable for a few moments and reconnect, the lights will go away for a few days.
    Anyway, took the car to Toyota dealership. Diagnosis: For engine light and VSC light on--
    Codes: P0440, P0441, P0446
    EVAP codes, needs V S V. Replaced rear VSV
    part no 90910-12264 Valve, switching $73.70 cdn.
    Metric 6-bolt 6mm 0.76cents
    Metric 6-nut 0.44cents
    Hose clamp HS32 0.99cents
    LABOUR $43.77
    Total cost: $119.66

    Trust this helps. Pretty sure it would probably cost $50 D.I Y.
  • My 1998 Toyoto Avalon XLS with 91,000 miles recently started stuttering when I accelerate suddenly or accelerate when going uphill. Today I noticed it began to lose power when I was going up a hill then the check engine light came on. I parked the car and let the engine cool down for about 90 minutes. When I restarted the check engine light came back on and the loss of power was very noticeable.

    Any ideas what this may be? (The problem seemed to start just after my 90,000 mile service a few weeks ago).
  • My '98 Avalon has been having ignition problems lately. Every time I start the car the engine check, oil check, and battery check lights come on. However, I just replaced the oil (100 miles ago) and added new water. Plus, the car will make no sound as if it were about to start, only the three lights will appear, nothing else. Does anyone have an idea what might be causing this? Thanks.
  • I own a 1998 Toyota Avalon XLS and my check engine light recently went on. When accelerating, the car studders and shakes and takes a very long time to get up to the desired speed. A few times, the speed actually started to go down when I accelerated. It does run fine once it is up to higher speeds but the problem continues to occur in first and second gear mostly. If anyone has had similar problems with their toyota avalon or knows what to do to fix it, please let me know immediately.
  • Hi,

    I recently purchased a 2005 Ltd. and I performed the test as you described. It appears you are exactly right and the the steering locked with the noise even after waiting as much as a minute or two before opening the door. Now that I'm convinced, where do I go from here to have it corrected and did you have your's repaired?
  • Regarding the rattles you have noticed...check to see if the passenger seatbelt is twisted. Another person identified that as a source of rattles and I found it to be the case with my '05 Avalon. Just untwist and it quiets right down.
  • melottmelott Posts: 3
    I have a 2003 Avalon. The maintainence charts say nothing about belt replacement.
    Are there recommended time intervals for belt replacement (assuming it has a belt)?
    Mine is low mileage.
  • brumorbrumor Posts: 1
    I started having similar problems with shuddering at low speed along with "Check Engine" and "Trac Off" lights in my 98 Avalon last summer, but after the car warmed up it would go away. Initially my garage thought it was a clogged fuel injector and recommended using a can of Seafoam with every tank of gas for a couple months. This did seem to help, but after the weather got colder, the shuddering got worse. By February, something had to be done as it continued to shudder even after warming up. Fortunately, it wasn't an injector, it turned out to be one of the three "pencil coils" that are mounted on top of the engine. These days, rather than have one central coil feeding all the plugs through a distributor, they put the coils right on top of the spark plugs and use a computer to send low voltage pulses to fire them. This minimizes the number of places where high voltage wire can break down. On the Avalon, each coil is shared by two spark plugs. I think the fuel injectors get fed from the coils too although this may just be low voltage wiring that passes through the coils. My middle coil was bad and that's why I was getting misfire error codes on cylinders 2 and 4. Replaced the coil and all is well. My garage charged $117 for the coil and $89 for labor which was mostly for the time spent diagnosing the problem. A Toyota dealer probably would have charged at least twice that. I have seen new coils for the 98 Avalon on the web for as cheap as $28, but you will probably have to have someone with sophisticated ignition diagnostic equipment to tell you if that is the problem and which coil it might be.
  • bpearybpeary Posts: 1
    Anyone know what these are? Follow links to pics.

    1. Black braided tube rising at rear of engine, with white plastic cap bearing letter A.

    2. Large white plastic reservoir under battery (not coolant, wiper fluid, etc).
  • ati13ati13 Posts: 1
    The only engine flush in a everyday car is the oil, transmission, radiator, power steering, and maybe a brake flush. but most of those have nothing to do with the engine it self. and yes once the oil sludges its very hard to fix externally. they do make some stuff to put in your oil. I dont know what it is called but it worked for me. My instructor at school said it not bad to add some every oil change and change the pcv valve everytime too.
  • binderzoobinderzoo Posts: 5
    I also have a 06 Toyota Avalon Ltd with a noisey engine when cold that sounds like a diesel until it is warmed up. Especially when accelerating. Did you ever find out the problem? I have been warming up the car for 10 minutes in summer and 15 in winter and I have been able to live with it. With the current cost of gas that's becomming expensive. I've taken it to the dealer but I doubt if they will admit anything is wrong. I use mid-grade Chevron gas.
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