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Toyota Avalon 2004 and earlier



  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    I like the Acura in general. It is not in hte same size class and I tend to prefer the "Toyota feel" but in general, the Acura is a well made car. It all comes down to what you want. If size and luxury ride are at the top of your list, get the Avalon. If a more sporty look and feel are your priorities, the Acura may be a good choice.

    See, I can be objective. Now just don't ask me something silly like my opinions on Buicks.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    It is funny to me how one subject comes up on several forums at once. This warning light issue is currently being discussed in two other Toyota topics. It seems Toyota gives you a lot of leeway when the light comes on. They have always done this. My '87 Celica has 4 gallons left and my 2000 Tundra has about the same left when the light comes on.
  • drgg4drgg4 Posts: 9
    Thanks for your opinion on Acura are safe on Buicks as that is not on my short (or long list) of possible choices!
  • snippersnipper Posts: 4
    Somewhere I read that a reviewer of the new Avalon considered it ".......the finest Buick you can buy". There's some truth to that and should be considered something of a compliment.

    Recently I had the opportunity of driving a 2001 I30 and came away feeling I had absolutely made the right choice -- FOR ME -- with my AValon '00 purchase. While obviously a fine car, I30 has a quite different personality - more towards the sporting pretensions of a TL. But if one is looking for svelte, pampering luxury with bags of room (a la Buick of yore), but now more in the Lexus mold, I truly believe AVA is unbeatable -- even though it may be a couple of grand more.
  • kurtb35kurtb35 Posts: 3
    Has anyone experoenced paint problems with the 2000 toyota avalon? While washing the car this morning, I noticed small strips of paint missing from my front bumper. The strips are 8 to 10 inches long, about 1/8" wide. They are on both sides of the bumper. I do not see any visible impact point that would cause it. Also, noticed a spot on one door where the paint is flaking off. Any ideas or anyone else with paint problems?
  • randl1randl1 Posts: 1
    The owner's manual states to change the oil every 4 months/5000 or 6 months/7500 miles depending on your driving conditions. I have chosen the 5000 mile schedule, however the local dealership says I should change the oil every 3 months or 3000 miles. What do you think?
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    The symptoms you describe sound much like parking lot damage than anything else. Do they match a railing of fence of any kind near where you park? Plastic bumpers are a pain when it comes to this. They don't show dents or impact points but the paint comes off very easily.
  • tjlewtjlew Posts: 10
    I've changed the oil every 5,000 miles. Easier to remember and I rotate the tires at the same time. My other cars are '87 Nissan Maxima with 173,000 mi and '96 Honda with 145,000 mi. No problems and no major engine work... hope this helps
  • drgg4drgg4 Posts: 9
    FWIW, I change the oil and filter on a new car at 500 miles and it looks like aluminum paint. Then again at 1500(w. filter) for a 1000 mile interval, then finally at 3000(w filter) for a 1500 mile interval, and then every 2000(w. filter) after that, since I drive mostly stop and go in the city with not many highway miles. I have never had any engine problem on any car,(Ford, Nissan, GM, Toyota, Chrysler products) even some with over 100,000 miles on them. I do not agree with the longer oil changes nor have I ever talked to any experienced mechanic who does either. I hope this is helpful to readers of this posting.
  • I need to replace my cloth seats to leather. Please advise if this is possible.


    [email protected]
  • I'm sure that it is possible to replace the seats as they can just be unbolted and replaced. I believe that the leather seats can be equipped with side impact airbags, but if you originally had the cloth seats, the wiring and appropriate sensors may not be installed in the current vehicle. Seat replacement is big $$. I recently had the drivers seat replaced in my 98 Avalon XLS due to seat heater malfunctioning and replacement parts were not able to be obtained. Dealer told me that if this was not covered by warranty, it would have cost about $3,000 just to replace the one seat. You may want to check local salvage yards for possible replacements at a lower cost. Good luck.
  • slmanslman Posts: 2
    I haven't seen the type of problems that you have, however, I have noticed 6 places on the hood where the paint has already chipped away. I have 8200 miles on my Avalon and do mostly city driving. I am a bit dissapointed in the paint integrity. I have a 98 expedition with 70000 miles of driving and have less paint chips on the hood. My brother in law has a 99 4Runner and I have seen the same type of small round chips on his hood also. Other problems that I have had/am having: Driver Door making loud popping sound when opening/closing (fixed this myself after finding loose screws on door mounts inside doorjam). Severe muffler rattle when engine is idle, especially when shifter is placed in park (trying to find time to take car to dealership to fix this). Dashboard surface around radio/CD slot gets pretty hot on long trips. Appears to be a heat management problem inside the dash. Last thing is that periodically, the volume of the radio/CD will drop slightly (but still very noticeable) without even touching anything. Besides these issues, I love this car. Lots of room, features, power and it looks great. If anyone else has had similar problems, I'd like to know what you found out about them.
  • keeney1keeney1 Posts: 1
    I presently have 105,000 miles on the car. At about 95,000 the brakes started to "shatter". Going down long hill and applying the brakes, I would get a lot of vibration. Went to some local brake folks and they said this is "typical of Toyota and Honda cars". "The discs heat up and become distorted, and then you get the vibration type feeling."

    Now this happens often enough to have us thinking whether we want to buy Avalon again. We are presently shopping to replace this one.

    Any comments?
  • I believe there are companies that make leather upholstery kits for the Avalon. A friend of mine recently bought a new Camry with cloth seats. The dealer arranged a leather upgrade, having a local upholstery shop install an aftermarket kit which included new door panel inserts. The dealer remarked that the aftermarket hides were higher quality than the factory-installed leather interior. The results look terrific, you'd never know the car came with cloth. Bharat, I'd recommend calling the dealer and area upholstery shops and see what they say. You may have to purchase the kit yourself (check the internet) and have it installed.
  • kurtb35kurtb35 Posts: 3
    Thanks for the response. I have looked and do not see anything that would cause this damage. (No poles, wires, etc.) The paint appears to be brittle? and is peeling off.
  • kurtb35kurtb35 Posts: 3
    Thanks for the response. I just noticed a paint chip on the hood.

    I also have the problem with the drivers door popping as you open/close it. The screw that holds the door works loose and has to be tightened periodically.

    I also have the radio problem. Nice to know I am not the only one with these minor problems on an otherwise awesome car.
  • mmcfmmcf Posts: 3
    For others who've been looking - I've just installed original Toyota Mudguards for my 2000 Avalon. They went on easily and fit well. I
    e-purchased them from Metro Toyota of Michigan at for $80.00 (yikes!) and $8.00 shipping.
  • mmcfmmcf Posts: 3
    Recently purchased a 2000 Avalon and a week later had the dealer service department look at several issues. All were declared "within normal tolerance". Now I'm waiting for a call from the regional Toyota rep. I've already posted my complaint about the three holes in the rear of the vinyl steering wheel. Second biggest irritant is window rattle. Both front windows rattle on even slightly bumpy roads. And if you have the window anywhere but closed when you shut the door, the window visibly shakes and really rattles. Actually, my brand new expensive Avalon has more creaks and rattles than the eight year old Camry it replaced! Do others notice rattling in the windows while driving? Is this truly within "normal tolerance?"

    Also - no clear coat on the right insert where the fog light would be. Wrinkled finish at the edge of the right rear wheel well. There's a gap (over 1/8th inch) where the front bumper meets the fender - again on the right. You can push the bumper in with your finger and the gap closes.
  • My XL came in with Dunlop tires and I have them all at 32 lbs. COLD.

    I have read other posts about higher pressure being better.

    Any opinions based on experience with this car?

  • guynksguynks Posts: 2
    Where you able to get the mudguards in different colors or only in black? Did you have to drill any holes to install them? I'm glad to see they are available now. I was in Atlanta last month and i saw 3 avalons that had mudguards and they looked sharp.
  • phandmkphandmk Posts: 3
    For those who have noticed paint chips, what color is your car? Just wondering if it is with certain color(s) or all cars. What has dealer done to remedy this problem?

    [email protected]
  • Yes, mmcf my Avalon was delvered last week.I have noticed an intermittent rattle on front passenger side only- it doesn't occur in All bumpy road situations- but maybe 75% of the time. Checked that door for any loose screws, attachments, lock and window but they all seemed tight.
    Any suggestions, cliffy?
    BTW this has got to be the best car I have drove at least for this first 150 miles.
    Very smooth & quiet. Had never seen silver spruce but ordered it based on the catalog/internet appearance. Have held brochure sample to hood and the hood and rest of car seem darker. But still a very elegant shade of grey.
    I really love the car so far but i must include some annoyances.
    1 Have to take car in for service already bec. the airbag sensor is flashing a warning.
    2. Found one chip spot along trunk edge. Already painted with dab of primer, need to get touchup % clearcoat
    3. Abovementioned door rattle.
    But still overall after these few miles I would recommend the car to anyone who can buy it. Good luck!
    Also need to know if anyone has used or applied the 3M masking product retailed by Clearmask or X-pel. It seems some areas on the Avalon already have it-the rear bumper and two small patches near lower quadrant of both rear doors. Tried to apply the free door guards from Clearmask as a way of practicing, couldn't get rid of all the bubbles, afraid to move up and try to install the already received hood protector. So far unable to find any Hawaii(Oahu) installers.
    Any hints or tips would be gratefullu appreciated.
    ThanK you in advance.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    We have installed leather on many different cars but I really don't like doing it on the Avalon. The side air bags are the big issue here and you need to check with the installer about this. On the factory leather, the seams are designed to split at a certain pressure. I trust that but I really don't know if I would be too comfortable with aftermarket covers.

    Oh, and I don't have anything on the rattles that have been mentioned lately.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    You asked for comments, so I have one: Just what are you expecting from a car with 100k miles on it? Most cars need new rotors well before the mileage you've accumulated on this car - it's a bloody miracle you got to the 90k mark without needing new rotors! Get the brakes replaced and be grateful for you good fortune. And this is hardly unique to Honda/Toyota - every Ford product made in the last 30 years needs new rotors somewhere between 5k and 50k miles. Amazing...
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    There is absolutely no reason in the world to exceed the recommended tire pressure from Toyota for this car, unless you are determined to wreck the ride quality. If you are an extremely aggressive driver who likes to corner at the limit [hardly the job description of the typical Avalon owner, but who knows?], another couple of PSI max might help a bit, but much more than that will actually negatively affect tire wear. Leave well enough alone...
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    Our 2000 Avalon XLS was delivered 4/28. It has had a number of rattles and squeaks: front dash, driver's door, right front suspension ( 3 days in the shop to fix that one), another one somewhere in the ceiling area of the rear passenger compartment. In addition the plastic wheel well shields in the front both warped, leaving a bowed area that would let New England dirt and salt in.
    Our dealership and the local Toyota reps have all confirmed that all of these were items to be fixed and have cleared all but one (the clicking in the roof in the rear for which they are Oh-for-three).
    The good news is that we have a great dealership but the bad news is that we had to find out so soon....How very domestic, eh?
    I think that 2K Avalons have a lot more defects than prior Toyota owners expected (like me), but it must be a lot less than the Buick folks trading in and up or else the buzz on this car would be intense and negative.
  • mmcf said he got $80 factory mudguards from, but my two Toyota dealers say factory mudguards are not available, that they must be "made in Canada" (who cares if they fit) or aftermarket guards. $80 is steep compared to Contura Style E aftermarket guards at $10/pair.
    Cliffy1, help!
  • jmbkljjmbklj Posts: 19
    Cliffy.....sorry if you're sick of this question, but do you know when 2001 Avalon invoice and MSRP pricing will be published? Can't find what I want in a 2000. Thinking of ordering a 2001 but am reluctant to do so until the price changes are public. thanks.
  • ratledgeratledge Charleston county, South CarolinaPosts: 233
    CLIFFY, it's about that time (i.e. two-to-three weeks before September 1st). Do you have any further details on what exactly the 2001 Avalon will (or will not) have? I'm not interested in the navigation system, and pretty much have made my exact specifications from the 2000-model car options. I'm assuming that I will be able to get it "just like I want it" with no problem, as long as I get it in the first couple of months, but - how long will it take for the "I-dealers" to be 'in tune' with the good pricing (in other words, how long does it usually take to fill the pipe so that we can purchase a 2001 a reasonably the same cost as we could a 2000 model) - of course, I realize we're not going to get anything like what is being offered price-wise right now on the 2000's.

    Thanks, much! I'll take mine (an XLS) with Silver Spruce outside, grey leather inside, Option Package 6, traction/stability control, sunroof, GBS, mats and of course the wonderful extra southeastern dealer marketing mark-up, and even more unrealistic higher delivery fee (how can it cost more to deliver an Avalon in North Carolina - when they're made in Kentucky - than in Washington state?).

    Are there any changes in the specs, like possibly the horsepower and/or milage for city/overall?
  • After further thinking I realized the front passenger rattle only occurred when that seat was not occupied. This occurs @ 75% because my wife sits in the back when my daughter is in her car seat.
    While driving by myself i just reached over and stopped the rattle BY PULLING The UNUSED SEAT BELT AWAY from the pillar!?
    I post this message in the hope that somewhere out there someone else is still puzzled and hopefully not overlooking the obvious by 1st examining ALL the other things screwed in in that area!!!
    If not then I remain embarrassed(although I wonder if it would be helpful if Toyota/other carmakers put something softer in that area like cloth or velour).
    I hope my seatbelt sensor problem is as quickly fixed. And applying the "clearmask" product.
    Still, after 200+ miles I still think it is a great car!
  • Don't feel like the Lone Ranger. Although I have had no rattles from my 2000 Avalon XLS I do have the seat belt rattle in my '98 Suburban. I finally have trained my wife and daughter to tuck in the belt to the seat when they get out, otherwise it drives me nuts!

    About the first week that I had the Avalon I did notice a rattle and was horrified! I drove around for an hour trying to figure out where it was coming from! Then I realized that my wife had moved the passenger sunvisor earlier and didn't snap it back into the clip. Whew!! Almost went to the dealer with that one.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    We just got the first allocations of the 2001 but the prices still have not been released. The equipment is unchanged from last year and my guess was wrong on the nav system.

    As to where prices will be, it is hard to predict. Right now, we are selling the 2000s very close to where they have been for the last 6 months. Demand remains very high and in this area, the XLS is commanding prices between $800 to $1200 over invoice. This could drop over the next few weeks but I honestly doubt it will.

    Prices of the 2001s will depend on how many 2000s we have left. If people are still buying the 2000s for $1000 over invoice and I have several left, I am sure we will start off between $1500 to $2000 over on the 2001s until the 2000s are gone. If we are out of 2000s, we will just have to see what others in our district are doing and make our best guess at what the market will bare.
  • jmbkljjmbklj Posts: 19 question is.....when will the 2001 invoice and MSRP be published. Kind of hard to figure out your cost as to a certain number over invoice when the invoice is unknown.

    Any idea when 2001 invoice & MSRP would be available on Edmunds? Thanks.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Any day now we should have the pricing. If this follows suit with our other products, expect a $400 to $700 price hike on the invoice. The Siennas went up roughly that amount (but got the VVTi engine) and the Tundra is up by almost $400 with no changes. I'll post is when we get it.
  • mtpysmtpys Posts: 4
    I have a '96 Avalon XL with 73K miles on it and am seriously considering buying a new 2000 XL. Probably with the #2 package. I don't want alloy wheels particulary but they all seem to have them. Edmunds has their price at 23,000 something plus the package so I guess it would run about 24,500. Does this sound about right?
    Any ideas what I could expect for the trade-in?

    An e-mail to [email protected] would be very appreciated.

  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 2,472
    I would highly recommend moving up to the Avalon XLS. It is unlikely (in the Boston area anyway)to find an XL at the price you quoted. As you are well aware, a dealer's objective is to maximize profit; thus, you are forced to buy expensive combinations of options you don't particularly want or need but reluctantly accept at a price point close to an XLS.

    Your experience with a '96 XL (73,000 miles)would indicate that you are completely satisfied with the Avalon line. Why not go for the total genuine luxury experience? Leather, the JBL sound system,etc .... It will be a financial decision you will NEVER regret.
    Come, join us.
  • to footie:

    I noticed in your posting that you had a noise in the roof area in the rear passenger compartment. Could you please tell me what they found out. I, too, have this noise.
  • I was wondering if there were any further details on what the colors are going to be for 2001 Avalon. I remember in an earlier post that it was said that Constellation Blue & one other color that I cannot remember, were out for 2001. Is that confirmed, & if so, what colors are replacing them, if any. Is there any hope that Vintage Red will be replaced for a lighter/brighter red ?

    When you said you received your allocation, does that mean the Avalons are at the dealership now ? If not, when might they be expected to arrive ?

    Cliffy, thanks again for all of your great information on this board. It is great hearing from someone as knowledgeable as you !

    Any details would be greatly appreciated.

    Andy G.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    From the time a car is allocated until it arrives on the lot is generally 3 to 6 weeks. I think the first ones we will see will be early September.

    The official colors will be diamond white, lunar mist, black, vintage red, desert sand, silver spruce and woodland pearl. These are all carry overs from 2000 and the constellation blue has been dropped due to lack of demand. Interior colors remain the same.
  • Cliffy - Some time back you said "no nav on the Avalon." Then you said "my guess on the nav was wrong." Does this mean it will be an option? Or am I just missing something??
  • I found about a 3.5K price point difference between an XL with most of the goodies - the Power Leather seats, wrapped wheel and shift, Alloy Wheels, Remote Doors & Trunk, Moon Roof and the carpets and cargo net. With the XLS you get heated mirrors, better AC, upgraded radio with a sub woofer, a remote rear view mirror and fog lights. Oh, I almost forgot, some toys on the dash, like a compass and calender.

    All things considered, the XL with the packages mentioned is a better deal IMHO.

  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Sorry for the inexact language. I think I was responding to the same question asked different ways and referencing different posts. At one point in the past month, I had speculated that the navigation system may be available for the 2001 Avalons. I guessed wrong. It is not an option on the 2001s.
  • slmanslman Posts: 2
    The color of my Avalon is Lunar Mist.
  • tbzhangtbzhang Posts: 1
    Hi, Friends:
    I just bought a 1997 Avalon with no onwer's manul. I notice there is a security system in the car and I did notice one day the red light was on and blinking. But somehow it is not blinking anymore. Did you know how to make it work? and how to use this security system?
    Thank you
  • So, I take it that the back seat of the Avalon is huge. However, what about the front seat? Right now I'm in a 1996 4Runner (with sunroof and non-power seats) and I have to open the sunroof shield, else my head hits the ceiling. I'm 6'5, with a long torso. I've tried sitting in other mid-size sedans such as the BMW 540 and Volvo S70 and just barely have enough room (abuot 0.5" clearance). Has it been people's experience that there is plenty of room up front? Headroom? Kneeroom? Does no sunroof add any space (in my 4Runner it definitely takes away an inch or two). I noticed in the Nissan Maxima 2000 that there was enough headroom, but the center swooped down too soon and seriously impeded onwhere I would want my legs to be normally. Right now the only cars I've been in with enough headroom have been full-size SUVS (Tahoes, etc, yuck....) and, amazingly enough, the extremely roomy VW Passat. I'll probably go check the car out in person when I get a chance, but I'd like some comments if possible....
  • boordboord Posts: 27
    Have had my new 2000xls for about three weeks. Because it is a new car I joined the Zaino wax/polish cult (go to the maintenance site of Edmunds) and put on three coats of polish. It shines beautifully! But the disc brake dust covers the shine every time.

    Previous posts mention Toyota mud flaps for $80 out of a Michigan dealer. Someone else has mentioned Contura Style E flaps.

    Has anybody actually intalled these flaps? Do they require drilling or body modification? How do they look? What color are they?

    Thanks in advance for any input.
  • uwilsgduwilsgd Posts: 4
    I am also 6'5" and just purchased a 2000 XL last week. I just came out of a 95 Maxima. I find the Avalon to be very roomy in the front seat with plenty of headroom with a sunroof; and plenty of leg room. It is very hard to find a sedan with a sunroof that has enough headroom for 6'5". I also was surprised by headroom in the VW Passat but couldn't bring myself to buy a VW over the Avalon.
  • I'm on the large side, enough to think that the Passat was to small for me. The Avalon is a FULL size car and not a mid-size in every sense of the word.

    You owe it to yourself to take a test drive...this is one very nice rice burner.
  • avfanavfan Posts: 17
    1)I have a situation that I am not sure if it is a problem or not. Never the less it is annoying. When the car is parked in the garage with the drivers window open (the doors are locked), standing outside the car, I reach through the window, using the electronic button to unlock the door and it will not unlock. I do this if I have forgetton something in the car and do not have my keys handy. Can someone tell me if this is normal?
    2) Just recently (7000 Miles) I have noticed a sound coming from the windsheild wipers. It sounds like a 2 springs rubbing together. Anyone else noticed this?
    I still love the car. It is a 2000 XL.
  • xsexse Posts: 66
    just checked out the avalon and love it. are there other sites anyone can point out?

    a little surprised by all the rattles and little problems.
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