Last post on Apr 21, 2013 at 5:02 AM
You are in the Toyota Avalon
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Toyota Avalon, Interior, Sedan
#3327 of 3629 Re: Toyota Avalon 2001 start up problem [abfisch]
Aug 02, 2006 (8:40 pm)
Miles are under 57000. Service says no to CV joint problem. It is in garage now. We'll see tomorrow. Since it is only noticeable at lower speed accelerations, perhaps because with road or wind noises overcoming my noise.
I thought it might be caused by dirty fuel filter, but service advises that is in the gas tank! Still I think it could be the trouble if noise is only with feed at seemingly lower gas.
Perhaps this posting belongs on other than start up now!
Appreciate your interest and response. Thanks. I use 89+ Octane with gasahol as the state subsidizes through lower taxes, but I have tried several tanks of premium with no affect on this problem, even three tanks in succession on highway trip at 70+ MPH.
#3328 of 3629 Re: "TRAC OFF" Light [claytonp]
Aug 07, 2006 (10:13 am)
Thought others might like to know that this problem is associated with the Check Engine Light. My wife bought me a code reader and cleared the codes and the TRAC OFF light works fine now with the switch. What I was wondering about though was if anyone knew anything about code P1142. It also gave me a generic code of P0402. I think the later is for an EGR valve or component. I've done a lot of work one cars but never any major engine work. Is the EGR system hard to work on?
#3329 of 3629 Re: Shocks Bushing 
Aug 08, 2006 (11:12 am)
You will not get BMW stiffness, if that is what you want to call it. I own a fairly new BMW too, 04 325ci 5 speed Sports Package, and believe it or not, it is not very stiff an more, more refined, and ofcourse handles like a BMW with the sports suspension.
My Avalon is notably softer, although much less so than how it came. TokicoHP's or KYB GR2's either one are good. Both have websites. I bought Tokico but really there is not a major difference between them. The BIG difference is getting one of them( a twin tube, low pressure, gas strut) versus the conventional strut. Further, depending on the mileage, I would recommend changes the rubber bushings at 5-6 years into the car, and changing them to PU type bushings. Energy suspension makes the specific parts for the Avalon, both the sway bar bushings and the control arm bushings. Believe it or not, the cornering capacity of the car is much improved with minimal harshness tranmitted through the cabin. The only time I can detect harshness remotely transmitted is when I go over railroad tracks, otherwise the front stays flat around 45mph corners. OEM tires to boot. Same size. That is all I would do. It is enough and expensive, so consider keeping the car awhile. The bushings are much less expensive but together, you have a car that probably rides more sporty but not a sports sedan like the 5 series BMW.
Make sure you replace the shock top mounts too. Just get the Toyota replacement part for that. Bring it to people that are capable of doing it, and do it everyday.
Blue Marine grease is cheap enought, hydrophilic and works well. The sway bar bushing are the one that have to get re-lubricated every year or so, as the sway bars twists inside the bushings.
#3330 of 3629 Tokico vs KYB
Aug 08, 2006 (1:15 pm)
I tried to find specs on Tokico's, but can only find links to parts suppliers. Does anyone know where I can fund the Tokico manufacturers web site? Or someplace that has specs?
I want to know how much stiffer than stock their struts are.
Looks like I can get a set of KYB GR2's for a bit over 200 bucks. Cheap enough, but I spoke to a performance parts guy who told me - as earlier posted - that KYB makes OEM struts for Honda, Toyota and others, to MFR specs. He said that a Honda Civic had struts designed to Honda specs that had a 30k life. He also said KYB GR2's were 15% stiffer than stock. Not much. Another supplier said Tokico's would be stiffer than KYB, but of course they are about $400.
#3331 of 3629 Re: Tokico vs KYB 
Aug 09, 2006 (8:11 am)
Ummm. No and Yes. The site is www.tokicogasshocks.com You should have been able to look that up rather easily.
Depending on if they are stuts or shocks, makes a moderate difference in the price. In the AValon, it is struts on all four wheels. Third, just because Toyota or Honda contract with KYB or Tokico or Bilstein, doesn't necessary mean that you are getting the same part, as far as quality. For instance, some of the Bilstein shocks coming as OEM equipment are not the monotube high pressure shocks for aftermarket.
Fourthly, stiffness is rather a vague term. There are basically two ways a strut/shock goes, one is compression and the rebound. If you note some of the graphics, the compression stroke should be about the same, but the rebound will be different. None of the OEM shocks that I know of anyway, come as a twin tube low pressure gas design. Usually they are oil with gas hydraulic. Stay away from, unless you are racing your Avalon, the high pressure gas shocks. They ride terrible IMO. The twin tube low pressure gas shock gives you the best of both worlds, a compromise, but a good compromise. The ONLY caveat to this is that KONI, have come out with a strut/shock twin valve design, instead of a single valve design. Tested on a BMW(not an Avalon) 330ci coupe with the sports suspension, they compared the OEM sports shock, to the KONI FSD(frequency selective dampening?)and the Koni sport. You can go to the TIRERACK website and see what their conclussions are.
You cannot really compare stiffness as a global sense, as I have had the experience of having TokicoHP's on a 90 Honda Civic and then on a 02 Avalon. All stock springs and tires sizes although the tires themselves were upgraded. Both provided a remarkable increase in handling characteristics but I remember the ride of the Civic and the vibration to be transmitted into the cabin. Not so with the Avalon as it has so much sound deadening material and rubber bushhings underneath that with the standard tires 15 or 16", I don't think harshness or stiffnesss most would feel or find. You will notice a decrease in floating at freeway speeds and a marked decrease in front end nose dive during braking, unloading the front brakes a bit. It still feels like a big luxury car but that is much more taut.
I hope that helps. Either brand KYB or Tokico will bring remarkable differences. If you are in the NY area, you are welcome to come and drive my Avalon to see. If you need a percentage, I guess 15-20% more taut would be accurate for this model. Don't be fooled by the performance parts guy though, OEM Honda shocks, unless on a specific model are not twin tube low pressure gas.
#3332 of 3629 Re: Tokico vs KYB [abfisch]
Aug 09, 2006 (8:37 am)
Good information. Thanks for the URL.
"The site is www.tokicogasshocks.com You should have been able to look that up rather easily."
The problem was that I did a search on Tokico struts, and that didn't show the URL. Shortened to just Tokico, it did.
Notice that I did say OEM's were 'designed to manufacturer specs'. If designed too well, there wouldn't be that profit on replacements, and it may add a buck or two to the production cost.
You are correct on the details. I just used a general term. We used to run 90/10 shocks on drag cars for low resistance on launch for weight transfer off the line. These would be totally unacceptable on the street.
#3333 of 3629 Re: Tokico vs KYB 
Aug 10, 2006 (9:18 am)
Agreed. Most, not all, are not interested in "The Launch" although "The Launch" is pretty neat, for fun. I am talking about a well balanced compliant but stable suspension that retains most of its geometry at legal or just above legal speed limits. the struts mentioned and/or PU bushing replacements (Sway bars and control arm) will achieve that objective nicely in older Avalons.
#3334 of 3629 Re: Shocks Bushing [abfisch]
Aug 11, 2006 (7:49 pm)
"Make sure you replace the shock top mounts too. Just get the Toyota replacement part for that. Bring it to people that are capable of doing it, and do it everyday."
I was thinking this would be an inexpensive item. NOT. I can buy all 4 KYB-GR2's for $209 (List $485) plus $28 shipping. BUT, the strut mounts, (SM5179 for RF) are $70 each front and $52 each rear. Are these the parts you are talking about? That's another $244 + shp, plus $400 for someone to install them plus a wheel alignment, plus Energy bushings if I go that route, and I would like to. Damn, it's getting to be real money. Are these the strut mounts you mentioned? Can't just replace the rubber parts?
#3335 of 3629 Re: Shocks Bushing 
Aug 13, 2006 (8:57 am)
That sounds a bit on the hight side. Shop around for more inexpensive but not necessarily cheaper parts for the mounts. Yes, those are the parts I was taling about. Older Avalons, were known for those to fail. Depends on how much mileage you have on the vehicle, how much you have on hand, and how long you intend on keepin it. If you have near 100K on it, you probably should. Even if things come out to $1200 or so, what car like the Avalon could you buy for that???
Mine has about 84K, rides better than the day I bought it and I have not intention of getting rid of it. Although, I need to change the front rotors and pads again, but that is another story. We use this auto as our staple. It takes us on long trips with grace and comfort, tows a utility trailer constantly, gets us through whiteout conditions with 4 snows in upstate NY, etc. It would be the last car we would get rid of, but it hasn't been the cheapest to own, unfortunately(some parts are cheaply made).
You could forego the bushings, but if you have play in the control arms, a Toyota dealership will charge you to replace the entire arm I believe, not just the bushings. And the bushings are what go, not the arm. Cannot stand it. Most of these makers what you to replace the entire arm instead of just replacing the bushings.
Our year Avalon is not replaceable by the new one. Although nice, it does not afford a bench seat, and the towing capacity is reduced in half even though it has much more horsepower. What is that tellin you. Different car than before applying to different buyers. I am sure Toyota knows what they are doing, but they lost me as a customer a long time ago. Nevertheless, I hope this forum helps other owners out as their cars age.
#3336 of 3629 Re: Shocks Bushing 
Aug 13, 2006 (9:30 am)
You mentioned to stop by and drive your Avalon. Well, I'm in Rochester. Unfortunately, that's Rochester, MN. Guess I'll have to pass, but thanks for the offer.
Yes, I found the mounts a bit cheaper, but I spoke with an alignment guy here and he said they usually don't replace them unless high miles, you hear clunking noises or they have deterioration. Ours only has 50k on it, but it has lost it's cushion on small road imperfections and it feels used and vague, although it has fairly good rebound control. I may have mentioned that we just bought a winter place in Arizona. Unfurnished, so the first trip will be with a full load. Maybe a trailer, so thought it may be a good time to upgrade. I guess I would go for the new Camry instead of another Avalon. I like the size and styling better. Or, an ES350. With BMW always in the back of my mind though. My buddy and I just drove an 06 330i and a 650. The little 330 will run right with the 650 up to 80-90 where the 650 will gradually pull away. That's a fun little car.