Last post on Apr 21, 2013 at 5:02 AM
You are in the Toyota Avalon
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Toyota Avalon, Interior, Sedan
#3494 of 3629 The American Toyota
Mar 16, 2009 (11:29 am)
Needing some advice from other Avalon Owners. Looking to buy a 1999 in impecable condition with 77K miles on it. Now my mechanic says to steer clear of the Avalons specifically, and go for another toyota, siting the fact that they are American made and therefore faulty. (My question would be--how much different could they be if still from the same company standards? Maybe this logic doesn't work in this case). I used to own a Solara and fell in love with this car for a lot of the great details it has; leather seats; wood paneling, etc. I may only be 30 but I am an old soul, and old fashioned taste. It's not surprising that I should go for a more "mature look". Any more news on this car?
#3495 of 3629 The American Toyota
Mar 16, 2009 (11:35 am)
Meant to put the price. The dealer is selling me the `99 Avalon for $7,495 at a very high interest rate due to my sub-prime credit has (77K miles on it). But this is down from the $10,995 it was listed for. I have to put $3,000 down but they dropped the price this much because the bank had to buy it at the best price from the dealer. So it's actually a great deal. Yet it is only a great deal if it is dependable and I don't have to put too much $$ into it. Grateful for your response regarding the dependability of the '99 Avalon. (I'm biased because now I really want the car!)
#3496 of 3629 Re: The American Toyota [minido]
Mar 16, 2009 (1:34 pm)
Your two posts still omit significant information; for instance, is it an XL or an XLS? If the car is in good shape visually, 77K is not a bad mileage for the year, but the original dealer price was just outrageous. The reason the dealer lowered the price was that no self-respecting finance company or bank would agree to $11,000 - in my opinion $ 6000 for an XL and $7000 for an XLS would seem more reasonable.
You cannot predict what the longterm reliability will be. We purchased our 2003 after we had leased it for 4 years, assuming we had a reliable car. We greatly enjoy it still, but repair costs have been well above average, close to $2500 over two years. If the previous owners have not been using synthetic oil and frequent changes, your engine is a risk for sludge. Other problems associated with that year are front disks that warp and suspension components that go soft.
I can't recommend your proposed purchase. Unless you have a complete history, I think the price is too high and the risks too extreme.
#3497 of 3629 Re: The American Toyota [mcclearyfl]
Mar 16, 2009 (3:44 pm)
Italic text: text (alt+i)My concern would be your credit rating, and what you are driving now. Is it reliable? Is it paid for? Expecting any major problems? Are you paying sub prime rates on an existing loan? I know you want the car BUT, maybe you would be better off driving what you have until you get the other stuff squared away. Maybe make those payments on debt or to a savings account set up for Car. Then you will have a substantial amount down when you really do need a car or debts are paid off (assuming that be the case). Just think of sales tax, increased license, insurance etc. you will have to pay that you get no return on.
There are always cars like this coming up for sale. You just have to keep your eyes open.
You may want to look private for a retirees car that has not been parked on the street, parking lots at work, and has had regular dealer service. I just picked up a dealer paper and see 2003 Mitsubishi Galants for $3500 asking. Here, you could make sub prime resale work for you. We owned ours for 10 years and sold it for $3500. Our daughter took it to Chicago, a 350 mole trip, for her internship and it sat outside. She came home every few weeks. We never had a concern about it's reliability. As always, there are options in life. Pick the best one for you. If you made those payments to your savings account instead of buying the Avalon, how long would it take you to accumulate $3500 so you could pay cash? That's a great feeling. And, instead of paying a big sub prime interest payment, which most of your early payments would go towards, you actually earn interest on your money while you wait. Calculate it both ways and see if you are shocked at the difference. OK, that's my speil for the day.
BTW, have you read:
OR, search on 55396 if you want to want to see more abnormal thoughts.
#3498 of 3629 Re: The American Toyota [minido]
Mar 16, 2009 (7:32 pm)
You are buying a very reliable car compared to all others made in 1999. Mine went thousands of miles before we traded up for a 2003. Brakes and suspension were weak points and there were some engine sludge problems. Overall however, it was a good year for Toyota.
But, you are buying a 10 year old car. You know nothing about it. Others have suggested you attempt to find out about maintenance. Get the dealer to give you a Carfax or similar report to find any insurance claim damage, salvage, etc. Get a new emissions certificate. Also be prepared for electrical problems due to age.
Properly maintained these cars can go 200k miles without major component work. They are well built and if the mileage is correct it should last 10 more years if you take care of it. The price sounds a little high, as pointed out in a prior post. Good luck !
#3499 of 3629 The correct bushing size?
Apr 13, 2009 (7:01 am)
I want to replace the two bushings on the front sway bar of my 2003 XLS, using a polypropylene replacement. The sway bar has a diameter of 17.3 mm. I only see 18mm diameter bushings when I do an internet search. Is this slightly larger diameter the correct bushing size?
#3500 of 3629 Re: The correct bushing size? [mcclearyfl]
Apr 13, 2009 (7:42 am)
Hah. Another one with my delema. I thought spec said the rear sway bar was like 19mm. Thought I had better measure it before ordering. 17mm. No 17mm available. Energy recommended ordering 16mm and honing or enlarging the hole. I installed the front's with a very noticeable improvement, but have still to find a precise way to enlarge to 17.
ABFisch says the bushings may need to be relubed every 1-2 years if they make a noise. Mine have been installed for a couple of years. I thought I noticed noise when arriving in AZ this year, but it went away. I had used silicone plumbing grease which was still nice and moist where the excess had oozed out, but just for insurance, I sprayed the bushing/bar area with a 'super lube' before we left. All is well, except for the uninstalled rears. I did notice that some bushing applications listed a grease zerk, and I wondered why these couldn't be drilled for zerks also. We also installed KYB GR2 HD struts. What an improvement. Actually find myself smiling driving it hard now.
#3501 of 3629 Re: The correct bushing size? 
Apr 13, 2009 (9:35 am)
Well, 55396, glad I'm not alone. How did you bore out the 16mm bushings? Are they split so you can just fit them without removing the sway bar?
I'm also headed towards the KYB struts - our Avalon has 83K on it, but much of this is on Florida's smooth highways so we are not yet experiencing problems typical of the flimsy originals.
#3502 of 3629 Re: The correct bushing size? [mcclearyfl]
Apr 13, 2009 (11:33 am)
I have not found a good way to enlarge the bushing yet, and haven't seriously looked. A friends shop has adjustable hones, but alas, too large. I thought about making a tool, but low on the priority list.
The bushings are split, so you don't have to pull the sway bar, and the Energy bushings come with new brackets. I bought a set of 4 struts on ebay for $209. A great price at the time. Dunno bout now. My originals were OK at 50k, and I still have them in a box. Someone with a hi miler may be able to use a cheap set - like 50 bucks, but I haven't advertised them. We just wanted a more sporty package, and we got it.
There has been quite a bit of conversation about this. If you haven't found it, you way want to search on 55396 or ABFisch. Not sure if in this forum or on suspension. Maybe search higher up, like under Avalon forums.
#3503 of 3629 Re: The correct bushing size? 
Apr 13, 2009 (1:50 pm)
Thank you for your suggestion. I scrolled through past posts from you and Abfisch, and I came across the Energy Bushing website (again). This time I looked for a universal bushing rather than Avalon specific, and came across Part # 9.5155 -- a red polypropylene set of bushings that measure (wait for it) 17.5mm (versus my 17.3mm sway bar). They are also fitted with zerk grease nipples. Cost is $16 per set. I have ordered a set, and will report after they are installed.
I appreciate your advice