Last post on Apr 21, 2013 at 5:02 AM
You are in the Toyota Avalon
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Toyota Avalon, Interior, Sedan
#2699 of 3629 Extended service Contract
May 30, 2004 (7:38 am)
umpire – buying an extended warranty is a personal decision. Basically, it depends on your risk tolerance. Here is a good way to evaluate your risk tolerance, if you are the type that arrives at the airport two hours before departure your risk tolerance is low and you should buy the extended service contract regardless of what it cost.
If you are a risk taker, here are the expected costs (taken from Auto World Magazine) of some common repair costs for the 2002 Lexus ES 300, a sedan similar to the Avalon:
Timing belt: $53 + 3.3 hours of labor time
Automatic transmission: Too new, not listed (but for the 2000 Camry it is $3,375 + 6.7 hours)
Air-conditioning compressor: $730 + 3.0 hours
CV joints, one outer: $554 + 3.0 hours
Front brake pads, turn rotors: $60 + 1.5 hours
Catalytic converter: $820 + 0.8 hours
One headlamp: $272 + 1.3 hours
Engine control module (ECM): $1,446 + 0.4 hours
Labor cost at my Toyota dealer is $89.00 per hour
#2700 of 3629 Choosing a Certified Wrap
May 30, 2004 (3:24 pm)
BWIA's cost estimates for some key repairs are quite sobering. Umpire has already invested in the cost associated with an extra 3 years of drivetrain warranty, and it would seem appropriate therefore to add on the Certified Wrap for 1.5 cents per mile. The piece of mind would be worth it.
One caution, however. Where must the warranty work be done? At that specific dealer, at any Toyota dealer, or at any service location? If you know you are going to be conveniently located to the dealer for the rest of the warranty, it probably doesn't matter very much. However, I declined a Tires-for-Life program because I may not use the dealer in the future. And who is underwriting the warranty -- Toyota or a third party?
May 31, 2004 (6:51 am)
Purchased a Toyota Certified Avalon 2000 XLS in March and added the "Wrap" warranty. I believe the cost cash (not financed) was about 650.00. Not sure why it was lower. Same stipulations as you described. It may have had something to do with the mileage. Mine had 46k already on it when purchased and a few more years on it. After seeing those repair bill numbers, I am even more glad of the purchase.
#2702 of 3629 Extended Warranty
May 31, 2004 (3:20 pm)
Never bought one for either of my two Avalons but here are some thoughts:
Most consumer mags cite the extended warranty as a total waste of money. The "wrap" idea is similar. And the better the car nameplate with a lower repair frequency, the worse deal the warranty becomes. It really comes down to what BWIA has posted above. What is your tolerance for risk?
The prices quoted for repair work are stunning.. and probably accurate. Ouch. But with an Avalon, what are the chances of a major part failing? A transmission at 100k? Not hardly. A headlight? Maybe, but not too likely.
The timing belt, however, is a known repair. If the timing belt is covered, for $50 deductable, that returns over $100 right there. The deal now looks a little better, given the unknowns, especially if you can cut the price.
So...back to square one. What is your tolerance for risk? (Important: make sure WHO is behind the warranty and the places for repair work if needed! As posted by mcclearyfl above.)
Enjoy your Avalon...
#2703 of 3629 Wanders the Road
May 31, 2004 (4:00 pm)
My new 2004 Avalon wanders around the road, I may get used to it but I feel like I can't look away from the road for fear I'll be off the road in a spit second. The car feels like it's going to tip over on curves, is hard to brake down, it nose dives with hard emergency brakes. I'm really disappointed with this, would a tire change help? The tires seem too small for the size and weight of the car. Pluses are rain and snow traction. It's great on a trip, very quiet and comfortable. I've read through the various tips on tires, shocks, etc. I'm wondering why the handling problem escaped almost all of the reviews I read before buying the car?
May 31, 2004 (10:51 pm)
Resdo, what are you using for comparison with your 04 Avalon?
Don't have an 04, but my 96 does well on curves and doesn't dive too much with hard braking. The brakes work fine too, but feel soft compared to my other cars. However, the 66k on the front brakes may be the reason for the feel.
See the posts about changing shocks. Sounds like all you need is more shock. A little more tire may give more grip, but a lower profile may take away some of the long trip comfort too.
#2705 of 3629 Wanders the Road - there is a reason
Jun 01, 2004 (4:53 am)
Yes, fndlyfmrflyr asks the right question -- "compared to what?". Many cars use a high +ve caster adjustment on the front wheels to address "drift". More positive caster provides improved stability and self-centering in a vehicle's steering, but it also makes the steering heavy, especially at low speeds. My Saab, for instance, feels very heavy, almost cumbersome, but tracks very straight.
I actually enjoy the lighter feel of the Avalon's steering, while recognizing that more driver input is required to avoid heading for the bushes. I also enjoy the very linear feel of the steering; exactly the same amount of effort is required to change direction whether it is just a slight movement from dead ahead or whether you are cranking the steering wheel to parallel park.
Abfisch has posted extensively on the needed strut upgrades. The ONLY complaint I have about my 2003 XLS is the wallowing suspension, and I intend to follow abfisch's suggestions when my factory struts finally give out.
Jun 01, 2004 (7:45 am)
McCleary is right. Wandering is caused by the "under engineered' shocks. Poor when new, mine are now "jello" at 30k miles.
Failure is defined by Toyota as " leaking", and that hasn't happened yet, but the shocks have definitely softened considerably.
I may have to upgrade Toyotas engineering at my own expenses.
#2707 of 3629 40K and shocks are fine on 2000 XLS
Jun 01, 2004 (9:26 am)
Our 2000 XLS has 40K on the original shocks.
We did a family drive in February from New England to Cleveland and back over a long weekend, with four adults and a very full trunk. Handling was great, drive was easy, no dive problems. Steering is finger tip easy.
A later trip to the NYC area under similar cicumstances was equally pleasant.
#2708 of 3629 A fully-loaded Avalon
Jun 01, 2004 (2:17 pm)
<<with four adults and a very full trunk, handling was great>>
The impact of poor shocks (struts) is less evident on a fully-loaded car, since inertia and spring compression assume a larger role in the handling of the car, particularly in freeway driving. Those of us who drive trucks will vouch that the unladen ride can be bouncy and hard, but mellows with a load.
I doubt whether the same pleasure would have been experienced on one of our Kentucky winding highways, even if the original Toyota struts were still in new condition!