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Toyota Avalon 2004 and earlier



  • Do you outside mirrors have a fold back option?
  • For whatever it's worth, we did a great deal of comparison between these two models, and wound up choosing the Avalon. This was a big change for us former long time Lincoln owners, in that we had a succession of Town Cars prior to this year and felt that the LS might be a better, more practical version of what, for us, had been reasonably satisfying experience.
    After numerous test drives and conversations with owners of both models, we bought a 2K XLS, and are not in the least dissappointed. The difference we paid over and above our trade in was exactly the same in either case, so price wasn't a factor, incidentally.
    Why did we choose the Avalon over the LS?

    1.Roominess and comfort was more to our liking.
    2.Performance, ride, and handling was as good or better.
    3.Build quality was, by far, much better with the Av. The LS had interior parts missing or loose in all 4 of the cars we tested.
    4.Dealer service is much more of a pleasant experience--Our regional Lincoln dealer service is really not customer friendly (And this seems typical of most Ford Dealers we visited over the years).
    5.Resale values for Toyota products are historically higher. Lincolns really get hit hard at trade in time for some strange reason.
    5. IMHO, the Avalon delivers much more bang for the buck than the LS in every category. It's a Lexus quality car for less money--An excellent value all the way.

    I would be interested in any feedback on the above. Thanks.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    I will be on vacation for the next week and a half. I may be checking in from time to time but I don't know how often. I don't want any of you to think I am ignoring your questions.

    See ya'll when I get back on the 26th.
  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 2,471
    I was wondering. The Y2K Avalon XLS has everything but the kitchen sink. Are any there entrepreneurs out there who can manufacture a miniature kitchen sink that could be displayed in the Avalon? Or on a key chain? I think it would make a nice gag gift and give us AV owners one more thing to talk about.

    Love that car.
  • One item you might want to look at is the key chain rattling against the dash. As you have probably noted, the ignition switch is not on the steering column like most cars--it's on the instrument panel (and a more sensible location by far!). The downside to this otherwise intelligent feature is the fact that the other keys on the keychain can touch the dash, and rattle.
    Check it out!
  • Hi folks - have gathered much insight from this board and now need some help as to what to expect.

    Our 2000 XLS has a real bad shimmy - especially after braking hard. Took it to a local dealer - had a 15K service done also. They said "yup it's got a shimmy and we have to call the district service manager." I asked if they looked at it, they said well it could be a # of things and we have to speak to him first.

    Is this standard procedure? Can't the shop diagnose the problem themselves?

    Also - anyone else have this shimmy problem?

    Thanks for any help.

  • I have a 95 Avalon with 106K miles. I've noticed a front vibration above 60mph. Recently had tires rotated which helped but did not "solve" the problem. Also have a similar front vibration with aggressive braking (noticed this after front brake pads were replaced at 85K). I had the car in for timing belt replacement and general check up at 100K and everything was ok according to my dealer. In general this has been a great car with no mechanical problems. Anyone have similar vibration experience with an older model Avalon? Are the two vibrations related?
  • There have been some interesting posts related to both of your problems in the "Tires" sub-forum under the Care & Maintenance forum. Apparently some tires/brands will develop out of round problems after so many miles of treadwear. See if you have the same brand of tires discussed there.
    But it also sounds like your discs/rotors are involved also. And it could be a case of chicken/egg. Good luck with your problems...
  • I have had my Avalon for 9 months now and like the car alot. I chose the Avalon over the Acura TL and I would have preferred a crisper ride, but I chose the Avalon for its reliability, not it's sports car ride. I can put up with most characteristics of the Avalon except the window glare.
    Does anyone have a fix for the glare from the spedometer lens not being recessed enough to eliminate the glare on the windshield? It is almost to the point where it is dangerous and I hate to drive at night, especially if on dark roads. I either turn down (almost off) the dash lights and fumble for the controls to eliminate the glare at night. In the sunlight the glare off the plastic lens is not much better, but more tolerable .
    The Toyota dealer won't fix it and I await some entrepreneur to develop a cheap piece of black plastic that can be velcro'd to the top of the cluster to block the glare.
    I appreciate any constructive comments.
  • Our '99 XLS developed a shimmy after several years
    of pleasurable driving. It seems that we ran over
    a chug hole that had been recently patched and the
    right front tire picked up a portion of the tar/rocks used for the patch. It wasn't much but enough
    to cause the shimmy.

    For those with a shimmy I suggest that you have the
    tires balanced while on the car. A good shop will
    also be able to tell if the rim is out of round
    and/or if the tire is out of round too.
  • I have a '96XL, and have experienced the shimmy at high speeds also. At first I thought rotors, but I also think it could be a tire out of round...? Re: reflection-I recall some discussion about this a while back. Anyone remember? BTW, how do you get into the car and maintenance section? Thanks
  • aimanaiman Posts: 61
    Vibration at high speed is proly because of out of balance tires. When u take ur car to a tire shop u need the tires balanced, not just rotated.

    As far as vibration when braking hard, get it checked. It's proly the rotor.

    I have experienced both problems in two different cars years ago and both were solved by what I just wrote. Good luck!
  • I have a 2000 XLS that I purchased in May and
    now have a couple of paint chips down to the metal
    - does anyone have any experience with using the
    touch up paint available from Toyota for Avalons in
    lunar mist - if so, how is it best applied and how
    are the results?
  • I'm just going to say this once. I'm very unhappy with my 1998 Toyota Avalon XLS. This car was leased brand new in October 1998. As a fully loaded vehicle with a price of $27,500 (No box left unchecked!) I expected automotive bliss. It lasted about 6-months. I have had the brakes and rotors replaced twice. The carpeting had to be replaced due to a leak in a rear passenger window that created the biology experiment from hell under the back seat and carpeting. The plastic trim around the sunroof squeaks, the alarm system has had problems, the driver door trim fell off, the automatic headlight module has been replaced twice and the power seat memory function has been fixed two times. I have never owned a vehicle that required this much time in the dealership. Having jumped from a 1996 Honda Civic (Flawless) to this level of vehicle, I am so under impressed. On a positive note, considering the lead foot from which I suffer, 22 mpg is the worst I've recorded in town. On a recent long trip I averaged over 38 mpg travelling at a high rate of speed through Northern California. So, I think the thing to remember here is that Toyota quality is slipping. However, Broadway Toyota in Portland OR has my undying gratitude for addressing all of these problems without hesitation and never charging me a dime!
  • The following was found on the NHTSA (National Highway Transportation & Safety Administration) web site (under "complaints");

    ODI ID: 862170
    Make: TOYOTA
    Model: AVALON
    Year: 2000
    Date of Failure: Thursday, May 18, 2000
    Incident: No
    Fire: No
    Number of Injuries:

    Two (2) other complaints also registered there. Web site can be located at the following;

    Could this problem be fixed with a dashboard mat/cover? (If the dashboard mat extends out further than the lip of the dashboard, maybe it would block the light between the instrument cluster & with windshield.)

    NHTSA Home Web Site is located at the following;
  • tjlewtjlew Posts: 10
    Yukon14, you may want to check the maint/repair section and check the paint and body care forum. I read in one of the posts about using the end of a cardboard match stick from a book of matches to use as an applicator for the touch up paint (not a wooden matchstick). The applicator provided by the tube applies too much paint. Also, they have recommended to use a clay product to clean the chip of impurities prior to applying the first coat of paint. The idea is to apply several thin coats over several days rather than one thick coat. After applying the thin coats to your satisfaction, cover with a layer of wax. Hope this helps.
  • Thanks for letting us know how it turned out. I'm glad you liked ToyotaWC, they're great. And, congrats on your XLS. Hope you love it.
  • The care and Maintenance forum as well as all the rest, can be found by clicking on the "Town Hall" bar/icon found in the upper left corner of (I think) every page.
    Yukon14, I believe you should apply 1-2 coats of clearcoat before waxing.
  • Sorry for the above...I meant the Maintenance & Repair Forum
  • We just picked up our Whie Diamond 2001 Avalon XLS this past weekend From Toyota of Knoxville. Got all the options inluding package 7, traction/skid controlt, floor mats, glass bragage sensor, and moon roof. Paid $800 over invoice which seemed reasonable. We ordered the car only a month before so it worked out well. The car is identical to the 2000 models. We owned several other Toyota's and have never been especially impressed with Toyota service but for the most part these cars are bullet proof reliable. Looked at many other competitor's models but the Avalon continued to stay at the top of our list. It certainly seems to be the best value.

    We still have our 91 Cressida and use it as a daily driver. It is a great handling car (RWD)and the straight six provides ample power that makes it fun to drive. The Avalon certainly lacks when compared to the handling of the Cressida but so do all the other competitors in this price range. Just wish Toyota would have put mud flaps on it.
  • kcool,

    Can you verify that the following feature, which is listed on Kelly Blue Book's web site, is accurate?

    Mirrors, Dual Heated Power & O/S & Inside Automatic Day/Night

    Does this mean that either or both of the outside mirrors are electrochromic? Or is it just the inside mirror?

    Also, on the 2000 model, I noticed that only the driver's window is auto up/down. Is that still the case for the 2001s?

    Thanks for your input!
  • I posted previously regarding a dash rattle somewhere near the steering column or dash. Not loud, just annoying. It happens whenever not on newly flat pavement, and primarily on the highway. Someone suggested it may be the keys, but I have held them tight in my hands while driving down the road and the sound still persists. It is almost a ticking sound like a turn signal, but muted. Anyone have a solution?
  • I also noted Edmund's snide referral to the 2001 Avalon as an 'imitation Buick'.

    Has this commentator even rode in a new Avalon?

    Before buying my 2000 Avalon, I thoroughly tested a 2000 LeSabre. After being cramped into that 'luxury Buick' I welcomed the space, visual openness, performance and ride of the Avalon. Let us not forget - THE AVALON IS THE ONLY AUTO 100% MADE IN AND EXCLUSIVELY SOLD IN AMERICA. That Buick is about 40% made in Mexico, with 87 cents/hour labor!
  • Lexusfan,

    The 2001 like the 2000 only has the auto dimming feature on the rearview mirror. Neither out side mirror has this feature.

    The 01, again like the 00 does not have and auto down passenger window. From what I can tell, I haven't seen any difference in features from the 2000 to the 2001.
  • Got the word from the dealer and just wanted to pass the information on to all the other Avalon owners in case they come across the same problem.

    The dealer will replace the axle (hopefully this week). They determined this is the cause of the shimmy problem all of a sudden. When I get more details I'll let you all know.

    But what I thought was interesting is that my car was NOT one of those included in the recall campaign.

    Thanks for all the suggestions though.....
  • Thanks for your reply. I sent in my complaint.
    I would advise anyone who wants the glare problem on their Avalon fixed to do the same.
  • Thanks for all your input and answering my many questions, but I decided that an Acura TL was more appropriate to my driving style and need, so made my purchase last Monday, 9-25. I was surprised that the TL was about $1000 less money with a lot of features that the Avalon does not have, such as navigation system, dual exhausts, 100,000 mile tune-up, HID headlights, selectronic shift transmission,etc,&Avalon has more interior and trunk space, stability control, etc.
  • I've been going on a lot of bumpy roads lately, including some washboard. How good is the suspension on the AVA? Thanks for any input.
  • Living in an area where the roads are often poor, and living myself on dirt roads (with all that this implies), I tested a wide range of sedans in a similar price range as Avalon. Having spent the previous 12 years being jounced around in a Trooper, rideability, suspension comfort & quiet were perhaps my most important imperatives in determining my purchase. IMHO AVA was indisputably best in that area -- including Volvo S80, Acura 3.2, Infinity I30 -- and, although Audi A6 was very close, I chose AVA because my nearest Audi dealership entailed a 120 mile round trip, I didn't like their snotty attitude and the car itself was rather more money and had a poorish sounding audio system.

    I have no regrets in my AVA purchase and, while it is not perfect -- what is? -- its behavior on poor road surfaces is exemplary. Everyone that has been my passenger has also commented in amazement at this car's quiet & comfortable ride. Hope this helps.
  • Thanks snipper. I've got a '96XL and just hoping the suspension holds up with the dirt roads etc.
  • I have decided to buy a Toyota Avalon XL and have read many of the posts in this forum. I would love to have an XLS but need to keep the cost down. I would like to have opinions on which options seem important and are cost effective. I don't use a sunroof. I think I prefer fabric seats and would like the pros and cons regarding the difference between leather and fabric. I would like to know whether the vehicle protection plan is that important with the undercoating and treating of the exterior paint and if so should I get it only from the factory or have them add it at the dealership if it doesn't already have it? The perma-vin would seem to be worth the minimum cost as well as the cargo net, color keyed mud guards, carpet mat set, and door edge guards. What about the extra mile package with the aluminum wheel upgrade and road hazard warranty? And what do you think about the keyless entry and power adjustable driver and passenger seats? And what about the night vision mirror upgrade which dims automatically? I read the posts on the bench seats and haven't decided yet on bench or bucket seats. Are there other options you think I should consider?

    I read some of the posts on the traction and stability control. I would love to have it, but unfortunately it is not available in the XL. Do you think it is that important? I live in southern Missouri and we have occasional snow any more and some ice but not a lot. I almost considered buying the XLS just to get this feature, but I really can't justify spending an extra several thousand dollarson an XLS just for that. I like the bells and whistles on the XLS but like I said need to keep my cost down.

    I am curious about color selections. I saw the constellation blue Avalon on the road one time and it looked quite beautiful, yet the color has been discontinued and I have been told there were few made and it wasn't real popular. There are a few 2000 XL's in constellation blue left at various dealerships in a couple of states I have checked out. Any opinions on this color or on reasons for choosing any other colors? Another color I thought I liked a lot from the brochure was silver spruce. When I saw it, it looked gray and I was told it changes depending on the light. What color does the silver spruce look to you who have it? A silver with a green tint is what I expected. Does it look different in different types of light? I want a color that will not get real hot in the summer and that will not look faddish in a few years and that will not show dirt real bad.

    I also wonder if it would be worth it not to narrow down my options too much and see what I can find that is left in the 2000's, but that would only make sense to me if the 2000's were significantly reduced to make it worth buying a car that is a year old already. I am wondering if anyone would know whether the Avalon 2000's will probably be reduced drastically in the near futures when there are fewer of them. Will the dealers just keep them until they sell above invoice or will there be a point when they will reduce them below invoice to get rid of them? Perhaps they sell fast enough that a sharp reduction is not even necessary. I also want to know the best way to find a super good deal on a 2000 Avalon. If I could get a low enough price, I might even consider an XLS. Am I being unrealistic in hoping to get a super price on the last of the 2000's? How would I go about getting the best price? Perhaps just cold calling some of the largest dealers in Oklahoma, Texas, and Missouri would make sense? I have not had any luck in these states on internet pricing. The direct sales sites do not seem to work much with the dealers in those states.
  • You should know that I bought a 2000 model AVA XLS. I understand significant changes were made in this model year changeover, and my previous comments may not apply to your '96 AVA version.
  • I have a 2000 silver spruce XL. It looks darker than the color sample in the brochure (this is a false effect of seeing it on a much larger area than the sample). In our daylight it has a dark blue green cast to it, with a grey silver sparkle. I have only gotten positive comments on it.
    As for your attempts at saving money, consider this: I bought a Toy cargo net for $25, Toy wheel locks for $25,color keyed mud guards for $56, and made my own cargo mat for $20 from Home Depot indoor/outdoor carpet. Even with shipping to Hawaii that is well under the dealer price, much less the retail price, for these options when buying a new car. The salesman threw in the "Avalon" floor mats for free, even though i am now using rubber mats because the velour fabric holds sand.
    Because I wanted a bench seat and the flexibility it affords, I had to accept the aluminum wheels and keyless entry as a package.
    There are many posts (see Maint. & Repair) on waxes and interior products that will be far less than the "toyoguard" package (you're paying for their labor to apply it , plus markup or profit). Even if you buy the premium stuff.
    There was also a previous post on installing the Toy security system yourself.
    It really boils down to how much you can/want to do yourself, how much you are willing to pay for, and what is important to you. Also then how much is already on the car as a Port installed option(PIO) or as part of a factory package. I declined the toyoguard package but as noted in prev posts my AV came with factory and PIO undercoating.
    Finally, as to 2000 vs. 2001, you have to ask yourself if you are planning to keep the car for a while. If not, then devaluation should be factored in for resale value. If you like it as I do and hope to keep it for 10 years+, then a 2000 model car made in July would not be much different in personal value as a 2001 model made in August.
    Good luck with your decisions!
  • Did anybody else here attend the "EdmundsLIVE" travelling show? It was in the San Francisco area a couple of weeks ago, and it is spectacular.

    For those who don't know, Edmunds provides dozens of cars for us to drive, as hard as we like. And, there are lots of friendly, knowledgeable people to answer questions, give advice, talk cars, etc.

    Oooooooooh, it's wonderful. A local TV show called it "an amusement park for men".

    Thank you Edmunds. Please do it again. (Only next time, include an Avalon.)
  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 2,471
    See posts 140 and 141. The faux wood finish, leather, and the trim level in general, is a powerful incentive to move up to an XLS. If you are at the age of the typical Avalon buyer (40+) then the XLS would yield Lexus class luxury at a Toyota price.

    My five cents (price inflation you know)
  • koni1koni1 Posts: 3
    I bought a 2000 xl and I was going through the same thoughts about wether to get an xl or an xls. Considering that an xls costs about $4000 more it is worth thinking about. For me the xl was a better overall value.The base car is excellent as it is. I got a silver car with the grey interior and to spruce up the interior bought a real wood kit from Joshua tree, , and it looks great! I think better than the factory plastic and it has more areas covered in the car. I got the rosewood kit and it only took about an hour to put it on.
    The speakers in the doors were changed and upgraded and I added a 10" bandpass sub woofer and amp I had in another car and put that in the trunk that can be removed easily it I needed the space. The sound is fantastic and the cost was much lower than a factory upgrade.
    Lastly I bought some premium sheepskins for the front seats which I prefer to the leather.
    If your are trying to keep your costs down get the xl and do your own customizing.
  • Thanks for the info on your customizing. You show a lot of initiative and creativity.
  • Just wanted to ask if you have side airbags-if so, where did you find high quality sheepskins that do not cover them up?
    Note to cjshriver: You can save money on the stereo as noted-but here the TOY dealer (we only have one) orders all AVA's with the upgraded stereo.
  • I just bought a Toyota from Miller Toyota in Manassas. Great Dealership!

    There is nothing worse than working with a dealership that you know is lying to you. You do all your homework and offer a good price and they jack you around. This happened to us. We looked on this website and found Miller's name and I wanted to confirm that they are great to work with.

    Very professional and laid back. We worked with salesman, Rod Bentley. The managers are also great to work with, Barry and Walter. We negotiated over the phone and by fax and then made a trip there. It was worth the two hour trip to purchase from a honest dealership. Hope this helps someone.
  • koni1koni1 Posts: 3
    Using the sheepskins will probably compromise the airbag function to some degree and I did think about that when I was buying them. Hopefully they will never come into play.
    A big plus about the sheepskins is when you put them on right away on your new car it will keep your seats in mint condition. When it comes to time sell, peel off your skins and your older car will look showroom fresh and will probally bring a much higher price.
  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 2,471
    I checked at a Toyota dealership today to inquire about mud flaps for the 2000/2001 Avalon. To my surprise he said they sold them, but they were NOT genuine Toyota parts, although Toyota will honor any warranty related to the flaps.

    The parts manager said the flaps are color coordinated but unfortunately there were no samples in stock since these were special order items.
    Cost, $72 for the set plus an additional $68 for installation. He didn't reveal his supplier but he says their purchase price is $54 (a tidy profit margin). The service manager was not sure if additonal holes were needed to install them.

    Has anyone seen them? And is this a good price?

    At 10,000 miles on my '00 XLS I had the air conditioning filter replaced. Man was this thing filthy. The original color is white but the dirty one had turned charcoal grey. Cost, filter $39.92 plus $68 installation. This is not a do-it-yourself job.
    I thought this would be covered by the warranty but he said this is a routine maintenance item.
    Apparently they will be selling a lot of AC filters because they kept mine to display how obstructive a dirty filter can be.
  • castycasty Posts: 7
    I just bought a 2000 XlS loaded for 27500 in the Boston area. Is this a good price?
  • $72 may be ok depending on shipping costs to your location. For costs of mudguards, oem(black) or color keyed, and where to get them, see posts #199 & #178. I really like the color-keyed ones but I have seen the black ones and they look fine too.
    For installation, see post #176. You decide if it is worth putting on yourself- I think so. I didn't drill the 3rd hole and they are still attached. An offset driver really helps.
    Looks like you're being charged the min. 1 hour labor at $68. It will take you less than 30 min if you have the right tools.
  • on out latest trip of 413 miles was 29.88. Better
    than I expected considering a stronger head wind
    returning than tail wind going. My thoughts on
    getting good mpg:
    o accelerate smoothly from a dead stop
    o drive the speed limit or less
    o keep the windows up
    o use the cruise
  • I just picked up my 2001 Avalon XL. Rides smoothly and is very comfortable.
    I'm very pleased with it, but, would like to replace the HEADLIGHTS with something more powerful. Does anyone have any suggestions? I wouldn't want to stress the electrical system.Are the lights complicated to replace? Do I replace the entire lamp assembly or just the bulb?

  • I asked in a longer post earlier about pricing on 2000 Avalons. Does anyone know whether the dealers may be likely to go below invoice to get rid of their 2000 Avalons? I noticed that one has been sitting at the dealership for several weeks and it is now getting into the new buying season for 2001. I may make an offer and before I do I am wondering how low I might be able to get it.
  • castycasty Posts: 7
    I just bot a 2000XLS with package #7, sunroof, etc. for about 1200 over invoice (as posted on Edmunds ). They are quite scarce around my area.
  • indyoindyo Posts: 5
    I have a 00 XLS. Can anyone explain the feature on the radion. My understanding is that e certain station sends out traffic reports. I live in the Boston area and have yet to receive any reports while on these stations. What am I missing?

    Also someone told me that if you do not turn the ignition off when filling your tank that you mess up the Toyota computer settings. Any comments?
  • Thanks Cliffy and all of you for your informative postings concerning the Avalon. I recently purchased a 2000 Toyota Avalon XLS with package #7, moonroof, VSC, glass breakage sensor, and car mats in Lunar Mist. I paid $288 over the invoice price (not including taxes). The total invoice price was $30,112. I purchased this in Manhattan, NYC. Is this a good price? I have a couple of questions for Casty who purchased his Avalon XLS in Boston for $26500. Was your car a floor model? What color is it? Yours was an excellent price. By the way I like my Avalon very much. It handles beautifully. This is the most luxurious car I've ever driven.
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