Last post on Apr 21, 2013 at 6:02 AM
You are in the Toyota Avalon
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Toyota Avalon, Interior, Sedan
#2517 of 3628 Answer to Post #2516/pmc48
Jan 28, 2004 (12:38 pm)
I hope this post addresses ALL your questions. If not, ask more.
1. I have had about, lets see experience with aftermarket shocks, since I was in college and had a Datsun 28Z, graduating in 1981. I know I am dating myself. The TokicoHP, in my opinion, are the best. Why, my experience with Bilstein, were they were too hard, except maybe for a 20 year old back, and a twin tube shock design given a comparable performance gives a better ride(softer, not softest).
2. I believe I got the shocks on the internet, for about $400, for the set of four. Actually, these are stuts, on all four corners. You can probably do better on ebay if you are smart and can wait a bit. Anything in the $350 range is a good price for the Avalon/Camry, which is the same replacement part number.
3. Warranty-A warranty is ONLY as good as the company and dealship that honors them. Some dealerships are great, some not so good. The dealership that I bought my car from was the later, as a separate warranty problem I had took 16 months to fix, neither by the dealer or the Toyota Motor Corp. They bounced it back and forth between the two of them, never diagnosing the problem correctly. Finally, (high speed vibration), I took about the front brakes and found the problem, and corrected it myself, using premium brake components. But...to answer you question from your standpoint, YES.... I voided their warranty 3years/36K at about the 15K mark, when I could no longer stand, the damn thing bottoming out when loaded, or excessively diving when seeing a patrol car or traffic stopping abruptly. It made me frustrated and angry, that there top of the line car, does not have top of the line dampers. Now it does. If you are reluctant to change them, then just wait until your warranty expires, then do it. You will have wished you did it sooner, but that is OK. Express your experience in this forum for others.
4. You did not get to the correct place on the Tokico site. When accessing the site, go to "Cars", then "applications", then Toyota, then you are there. They make the HP shocks, not the Illumina, for the older model and new model (2000-present) Avalon. I have an 2002 and they fit like OEM. Even though the dealership will not do it, a reputable, "wheel and alignment shop" or "frame and axle shop" will. You will need a 4 wheel alignment to supplement this change, so it is not an inexpensive deal. Struts, labor, and alignment, probably $700 or so when you are all through. The struts are warrantied from Tokico for the life YOU(original owner) have the car, so if you keep it along time, it is worth it. IF not, then probably not.
5. I drive 20K/yearly, last car sold privately at 236K (Honda Civic EX), 11.5 years old, Tokico Shocks put in after 100K. You couldn't make the OEM tires squeak around a corner. Superior in any vehicle that has decent suspension geometry.
6. Unless Toyota offers the 05 plus Avalon with a "Sports Suspension Package", I would expect the shocks to be the same ones they put in the NEW Camry/Lexus 330. This is how they save money and make money. The new Lexus 430, now comes with a "sports suspension package" (not fufu_ including different rate springs, a larger rear sway bar, some different PU bushings, and ofcourse 18" alloy wheels instead of 17". I have no idea how different it rides, but this should quiet those who says that the Avalon was only made to ride like a Buick. I disagree. It can ride well, isolate vibration, and handle well comprising little. It is still not a BMW 5 series ride, but close enough for the many miles I do, with much better reliablility and maintenance I can do myself.
I have 38K on this 02 now. Everything is fine. The XM stereo added to the JBL system was a sweet addition. We also hooked up a Valentine One Radar detector with a direct connect to the battery(no wires visible).
I hope this is informative and helpful. Again, if you trade often, lease, or just don't care, it is a big initial expense. But I always get my money's worth out of it in the end, as I always keep my vechiles a minimum of 10 years, paying for the next one cash. If you decide to do it, just find a competent shop that does that kind of work, all the time. It is usually very easy for them to do it as they have much bigger jobs, like taking down the entire suspensions, leaf springs in trucks, cross members, etc. It is a chip shot for a good ASE mechanic.
Jan 29, 2004 (5:36 pm)
Fourteen months ago in my 2000 Avalon xls my remote failed to work. Couldn't open the door or the trunk. Had to access the car with the key. Took it to Toyota and they re-programed the remote (whatever that means), charged me 50 bucks, everything fine. Until this morning, same thing happened again. Remote won't work, will have to take it back to Toyota. Anyone else have this problem? Thanks.
#2519 of 3628 Remote problems
Jan 30, 2004 (8:31 am)
Sorry you are having problems with the remote. Is it a Toyota remote????? Had a very good aftermarket AVITAL remote, alarm, and autostarter put on. In the Northeast on a 2002 and no problems to date. Use of 0W-30 helps in sub zero conditions.
Jan 30, 2004 (9:40 am)
My wife is complaining about the heater in both her "new" 1997 Lexus 300 (my old car) and my "new" 2000 Avalon XLS.
She claims that the air blows cold after a while. I presume that the heater supplies hot air until the desired temperature is reached and then cools down a little to keep the temperature steady.
I never noticed this while driving the Lexus over the last three years. Maybe the extra low temperatures in Mass lately have affected how the heater works?
Both cars have automatic temperature control.
#2521 of 3628 fatguycar - change the a/c filter
Feb 01, 2004 (2:16 pm)
We had some problems with heat distribution in my wife's 2000 xls earlier this winter. We had just had the 30K service and when I checked the paperwork noted that the a/c filter hadn't been done.
I took it back, they changed it (n/c) and heater air flow problems went away.
Feb 01, 2004 (7:36 pm)
Will check it.
#2523 of 3628 Avalon as Lexus?
Feb 01, 2004 (7:43 pm)
I have often wondered whether Toyota would be interested as marketing an Avalon (this one or the next) as a Lexus?
I could see an LS-330. Even the current model lends itself to Lexus treatment, thus leaving the low end of the Lexus range as IS-300 (Low price, competes with BMW 330), ES-330 (Competes with BMW 530), and LS-330 (General luxury car at sub-$40K).
The only trouble is that the Avalon is bigger inside than any Lexus ever made, even the current LS-430.
Feb 01, 2004 (8:43 pm)
Is the Avalon really bigger than the LS 430? If so then.. wow. I might be looking at it much closer when the '05 model comes out.
#2525 of 3628 Avalon bigger for now
Feb 02, 2004 (6:31 am)
There is a newish LS 430 on the horizon that could be larger, but the current Avalon is definitely bigger than the current LS 430.
#2526 of 3628 Disagree with above posts
Feb 02, 2004 (7:12 am)
Sat in a 04 LS430 last month. I am not sure what you are describing by bigger, but I did note the following. The LS430 seat not only articulates to move the bottom seat forward more towards your knees but the seat travel if much more than the present Avalon. The steering wheel also telescopes so the driving position for a bigger person is much improved. It is also a heavier car as I find the Avalon, big but light at supralegal speeds. The Avalon (and I like my O2) does not "hunker down" on the highway when go above 75MPH. It gets a little light, especially with the "light and fuzzy" steering. My opinions only, not the gopsel. The AValon is 1/2 the price, but their is a significant jump in the Lexux.
In addtion, the Lexus LS430's truck is at least as big, and the fuel tank is 22.2 gallons (US) versus the Avalon 18.5. While not getting the same gas mileage, you can run approx. 550 miles on the Lexus without fill up.