Last post on Apr 21, 2013 at 5:02 AM
You are in the Toyota Avalon
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Toyota Avalon, Interior, Sedan
#3115 of 3629 Re: Avalon 1999 -- roadh handling - what to do? 
Aug 01, 2005 (10:15 am)
Thanks for the good words. We live in very Upstate, NY, near the Canadian border. We have winters similar to yours, although last year was without much snow, but bitterly cold. I also run 15" H rated winter tires during the six months, same size as original equipment on all four wheels. I think between all things, you have to decide which car is of more use. I had just the opposite feeling about the new model although, as I said I sat in it but did not drive it. Mine could always use more low end torque for pulling the trailer, but with an automatic in the new one, it comes on at mid-RPM, and the weight limit has diminished. Maybe I should take a drive in the TOURING model and compare it to mine. That would probably be a nice comparison for those deciding what to do. Either way you'll have a nice vehicle. I am just gettin old and once I become familiar with my machines, I like to hang onto them. I do the majority of maintenance myself anyway.. Yesterday, changed the PS fluid, and today I may have to change the radiator fluid for the first time in 4 years since I bought it. No biggie.
I would wait until the 06 or 07 came out though. Stuff happens, especially with first year models, unless one has to be the first on the block to keep up with the Joneses. There are no Joneses where I live, at least on the 40 acres surrounding us, so ....You'd get a kick out of the PIAA 1500, FOG and DRIVING lights I retrofitted under the front bumper, relayed them separately, so the fogs come on with the low beams, and the driving set comes on with the high beams, good for winter storm driving. Since I got the XL, I had two dummy switch plates on the bottom right side of the driving fascia under the steering wheel. NO VSC in the XL that year. So I bought two Toyota lamp switches and they fit perfectly in there. Handy and lucky I guess. Changed the 9005/9006 bulbs to PIAA bulbs as well, and there is enough front and side road illumination on a rural highway up to about 65MPH. After that, I don't think my reflexes are all that good anymore.
Anyway, standard sizes for the winter tires are best for all the uneven road surfaces. While I wouldn't call any of these add on investments, I could agree with you more as to adding to the enjoyment of the ride and holding onto the vehicle. The dealers want you to trade in every four years, so I go by the way of how many cycles I can go before buying another one.
Anyway, let us know what you do. It should be interesting.
#3117 of 3629 Re: Avalon -- roadh handling - Tokico & KYB 
Aug 02, 2005 (10:19 am)
I believe Energy Suspension has their own web site with applications for different vehicles. I believe I purchased the bushing from Lightning Motorsports which also had their own website, and we nice to deal with. Wish I could say the same for the local Toyota dealership but their service dept. was inept.
#3119 of 3629 Re: Avalon 1999 -- roadh handling - what to do? [abfisch]
Aug 04, 2005 (8:00 am)
So far, it looks like around $800 for strut replacement and alignment done locally. I could probably shave that a bit, or quite a bit if I wrenched it myself. I found instructions elsewhere on how to change struts without a spring compressor, or just remove the strut/spring assembly, then take it to a shop to have the springs put on the new struts. At this point, to have the job done seems like pouring sand down a rat hole. Too expensive, unless I plan on keeping the car for many years. I would probably be better off selling my 03 outright and putting the strut money towards a new 06.
While at our one price dealer, we got a price on ours, to see what it would cost to trade. The appraised price was $17,800 with stock wheels, and $18,500 with my 16" American Racing Snipers left on. As a one price dealer, the trade price wasn't inflated, and they offered to buy the car outright at that price. Not bad, considering I paid $19.9 for it when it was less than a year old. Of course I added about $500 worth of stuff with the spoiler, wood grain, gold package, and other smaller items, all purchased online and installed by me. That's about as cost effective as you can get owning a nearly new car. The deal matters, but so does great resale values, something most people don't consider.
I could do still better if I sold the car myself. My yard backs up to a 4 lane county highway and I've sold many of our vehicles by just dialing them in and parking them there. I also type up a nice sheet with the history of the vehicle and why we are selling, as if I were speaking to the buyer. This seems to provide a bit of a comfort level people that it isn't something just being turned to make a buck.
When I say dialing them in, they end up looking sharper than cars on the dealer lots. Armor all is great stuff for this. Try pressure washing the engine compartment, then when it dries, simply spray the entire engine compartment with a light mist. It will migrate and cover everything to make it look like new under the hood. Try it, it's magic.
Thanks again for the feedback, AB.
#3120 of 3629 Re: Avalon 1999 -- roadh handling - what to do? 
Aug 05, 2005 (4:40 am)
Thanks. That sounds about right for strut replacements and alignment, in the ballpark normally anyway. You didn't says what the cost of the new car would be, so it is harder to assess which would be best. I personally don't think that $800 is alot for the premium struts once you ride in the car and see how it transforms it, but.....that depends on how long you really keep cars. If you turn them over, and you like the 05/06, then I agree, I would not spend the money. I think I would rather just have a new one.
However, I am much more comfortable upgrading, fixing and working on what I have. Maybe I am just gettin older, but I just started to get comfortable with this 02 after 70K. It took me 1.5 years just to get it correct anyway. My last car I sold at 236K and I would have no problem keeping this for 300K. The new one in addition does not fit my needs as this model does as I mentioned in the past. It does not have a bench seat option and has only 50% of the towing capacity, something I need for my LOG HOME/40 acres. NO...I don't really want a truck, I want a nice big car, that can pull a utility trailer so this worked for me.
Again, the new one is nice, and the speed of it, seems inviting, but it does not add up for some of us as they have changed it. I like the Ford 500 better, if it wasn't a Ford.
#3121 of 3629 Re: Avalon 1999 -- roadh handling - what to do? [abfisch]
Aug 05, 2005 (6:54 am)
"You didn't says what the cost of the new car would be"
We drove an XLS with a window of $32k+. Selling price was $30k+. If I could sell mine for $21-22k, and move up 3 years, to a Touring for $25-26k range (I think they list for $27k?), It wouldn't be too hard to take. I think someone posted that one dealer was discounting $3k, and $4k for the touring. Maybe the Touring is a slow seller. But I will probably look for a used one in Arizona this winter or next if I don't do the struts. I suppose I could just do the bushibgs for now. I can live with the struts except when there are passengers in the back or we have the trunk loaded. Then we get the Buick float with no control back there. I HATE that. But this is my wifes car, and she loves it, so I grin and bear it - to a certain extent anyway. She certainly wouldn't have a problem with a new one though.
#3122 of 3629 Re: Suspension upgrade or new Av
Aug 05, 2005 (6:56 am)
"You didn't says what the cost of the new car would be"
We drove an XLS with a window of $32k+. Selling price was $30k+. If I could sell mine for $21-22k, and move up 3 years, to a Touring for $25-26k range (I think they list for $27k?), It wouldn't be too hard to take. I think someone posted that one dealer was discounting $3k, and $4k for the touring. Maybe the Touring is a slow seller. But I will probably look for a used one in Arizona this winter or next if I don't do the struts. I suppose I could just do the bushings for now. I can live with the struts except when there are passengers in the back or we have the trunk loaded. Then we get the Buick float with no control back there. I HATE that. But this is my wifes car, and she loves it, so I grin and bear it - to a certain extent anyway. She certainly wouldn't have a problem with a new one though.
#3123 of 3629 Avalon 2000 - Stereo Issues
Aug 12, 2005 (8:39 am)
I have seen this problem listed here a feew times but no one ever said what the fix was. I have my stereo volume going up and down at times. it is really anoying b/c i only listen to my iPod and it is really distracting. Any ideas?
Aug 15, 2005 (7:20 am)
I unfortunately can't offer a fix, but only note that I have a 2000 XLS with the same issue. We have had another Stereo put in (factory JBL) for another reason, and it does it also.