Last post on Apr 21, 2013 at 5:02 AM
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Toyota Avalon, Interior, Sedan
#3080 of 3629 Improving ride of 2000 XLS
Jul 07, 2005 (2:04 pm)
I just read many messages on Avalon suspension weaknesses. I own a 2000 XLS with 38 000 miles, made in december 1999. I just changed the four struts and struts mounts for Toyota factory struts and mounts at my Toyota dealer and paid the big price.
I am completely dissatisfied with the result. The ride is bouncy on bumps and dips, as is the shocks were not working properly. The chief mechanic of my Toyota dealer says the shocks are working as expected. Compared to my other 96 Avalon, the ride of the 2000 Avalon is not as smooth, thought it is quieter.
Many members of this forum seems to have experienced better ride with KYB (I though this was OEM) or Tokico shocks. I am afraid they may firm the ride too much. I am 60, and I prefer a soft ride.
Nobody mentioned that Toyota made a change in april 2000, switching from 374,5 mm front coil springs to 378,5 mm. Will installing these longer springs improve the ride? Does anybody know why Toyota made that change?
Do I have to change the newly installed factory struts to really improve the ride? Is there a way to convince my dealer to take back those struts if so?
Any help will be appreciated!
Jul 08, 2005 (4:23 am)
Can't offer any wisdom on working with the dealer on the work already done, but I made the change to Tokicos and have been completely happy. The ride did stiffen some, but so did the handling and I can now have passengers in the back seat without fear of ripping the gas tank off driving into parking lots. (You know what I mean). Good luck
#3082 of 3629 Re: Improving ride of 2000 XLS [par_pa]
Jul 08, 2005 (6:27 am)
After the fact is hard to do. Tokico's or KYB's struts are premium to the OEM struts. You thought incorrectly if you thought the KYB's GR2 struts are OEM. They put in the same struts as the Camry/Solara. Look at the similar parts numbers.
You can improve the ride some, but not as much as with the struts. Change the tires to a sportier tire without changes in the diamter (Falken Ziex) and you can change the sway bar bushings to PU type (Energy Suspension). That is about all you can do.
#3083 of 3629 Re: struts [sanandton]
Jul 08, 2005 (6:36 am)
Thank you sanandton, I have read all your posts.
What do you mean by stiffen some? The new struts of my XLS 2000 seem to kick up the front end at large dips, instead of absorbing the shock. So the body has too large a motion, that independent suspension mechanics also found strange and disturbing. Have the Tokicos you installed suppressed that wallowing and excessive body motion?
I think you also have a 2000. Was it made after april 2000, with the longer front coil springs, that I suspect are softer than the shorter ones?
I am considering replacing at least the front struts with KYB or Tokico (not well know in Canada), and also replacing the front coil springs. I live in Quebec, where the roads are kind of bumpier than the ones in US. If successful in suppressing the kicking, I will then replace the rear struts.
Jul 08, 2005 (10:16 am)
I have noticed that I can feel minor road imperfections slightly more significantly since the Tokicos were put on the car. The noise did not change. Our Avy had 46k miles on it when we bought it. It would pitch and roll like an old Cadillac with bad shocks when we bought it. When we would traverse speed humps(not bumps) the front would bottom at least once, and the back at least once, possibly twice. Since the Tokicos this has all stopped. The handling is much more resposnsive, and the car does not lean around curves as it used to. I think it is a much better ride, and worth the money spent.
On the other hand, the Avy is my Wife's driver. I drive a Tahoe Z-71 with off road suspension. It is very stiff, but makes the handling much more controllable, so I appreciate the Tokicos a little more possibly.
#3085 of 3629 2003 Avalon XLS/2005 Avalon Limited
Jul 11, 2005 (2:17 pm)
I had some spare time today and took a 2000 Avalon Limited for a drive. I currently own a 2003 XLS with all options except Navigation - 38,000 miles.
Other than the tremendous increase in power I did not find the 05 Lmited to be impressive. No body side moldings for protection in parking lots. Door lock controls still not luminated, minor but bothers me. Brand new vehicle also had a minor vibration which I could feel in the seat - probably tire balance problem.
Sticker price was $35,751. Dealer wanted my car and $15,751. in "real" dollars I figure they were offering me, at the most, about $17,000 for my 03 Avalon.
I'll spend the bucks & change the struts. I live in the Boston No Shore area and can not locate Tokico Struts - can find the KYB's with no problem. Does anyone know if there is much difference with the Tockci & KYB Struts? Thanks
#3086 of 3629 Re: 2003 Avalon XLS/2005 Avalon Limited [jluther2]
Jul 12, 2005 (12:15 pm)
There is not alot of difference in ride quality or handling. I bought my Tokico's on the net, but I cannot recall from where. You can go onto there website or do a search and put your car info in. First, find a good shop that deals with axle, suspension, alignment, etc. Do not take it to a muffler shop. Unless you have the heavy equip to do yourself, you will probably not be happy.
I too feel the same about the new Avalon. I would rather buy a Honda Accord with folding mirrors and be done with it. When changing the struts, also change the strut rubber mounts, gotten at a local Toyota dealership. You might as well since tthey are going in there.
You will notice quite a difference. To bump it up another notch, some have changed the rubber sway bar bushings to PU(poly urethane) with remarkable handling results.
#3087 of 3629 Garage Door Opener Getting Weak
Jul 13, 2005 (1:50 pm)
We have a 2000 XLS and it seems to us that the garage door opener is getting weaker. It's been used alot over the 5 years we've had our Avy.
Does the garage door opener have a battery? Is it replaceaable?
Thanks In Advance
#3088 of 3629 Re: More Problems with VSC lights [greenbelt]
Jul 15, 2005 (12:58 am)
I also have a 2000 Avalon XLS with 64K MI with the same problem. Here is what I did to fix the same problem.
1. Replaced plugs with same type as originals
2. Replaced fuel filter
3. Replaced PCV valve
4. Replaced Trans. fluid
5. Replaced Anti-Freeze
6. Replaced engine air filter
7. Added 2 tanks of fuel with bottle of Chevron Fuel Injector Cleaner
I think that is about all I did. The steady burning check engine light, VSC, and VSC OFF lights no longer come on. I have driven it over 250 mi and no problem YET. One of the trouble codes showed lean burn on the frond bank of cylinders. This led me to believe that either it was a Fuel Injector problem or spark problem. I also had an engine stumbling problem when hitting passing gear at high speeds. I believe that the gas I get now days is of poor quality and deposits are a problem. Don't know if this helps you but it is my 2 cents worth.. I sure wish they still made the RWD Cressida. It was far superior to the FWD Avalon. I will not pay the inflated prices for a RWD GS Lexus.
#3089 of 3629 Re: More Problems with VSC lights [pcp2]
Jul 15, 2005 (7:31 am)
I too liked the Cressida way back in the day, although the plastic dash was cheaper, and there was no bench seat. Without Traction Control, it wasn't a 4 season car either. So, back in the day it was nice, but it cannot take the place of our 00-04 Avalon now. Thanks for your comments above. I have 60K on an 02 Avalon without VSC, so I do not have to worry about the light although I am unsure how some of them are interelated.