Last post on Oct 12, 2013 at 11:13 PM
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Toyota Avalon, Suspension, Sedan
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#132 of 203 Strut mount revisited
Dec 31, 2007 (2:56 pm)
This is in follow-up to my rear strut mounts on a 1996 Toyota Avalon. I replaced the left rear before as well as the struts for a metal to metal like noise especially during cold weather and going over rough surfaces or over a pothole with the affected side but speed bumps did not seem to incite the problem. This winter my rear right started acting up just as the left did before. Knowing pretty much exactly what was wrong, I found the lowest price at Sears ($80 for labor and $50 for the strut mount) whereas everyone else wanted $325 or more. The mechanic took it for a test drive and did whatever else and said he found nothing wrong with the car and didn't want to replace the strut. I thanked them for their honesty (also Sears does not charge any diagnostic charges at least for this as many auto repair places now seem to want to tack on an $80 or 90 fee --the local Toyota dealership does so as well as many other shops). I said I have been through this before and I'll take the chance of having the strut repaired to eliminate the very annoying and cringing and grimacing over rough surfaces for peace of mind. The other counter person had heard my conversation and said just spray some lithium lubricant on it--I said I was tired of having to take the back seat out for all the temporary fixes and that the nuts were also on as tight as they can be. So far, the replacement has fixed my problem. Next time I will have it done in pairs as such paired things tend to go out within 18 months of each other--CV joints is another fine example of such wear. In my case, nothing short of replacing the strut mounts worked.
#133 of 203 Sway Bar? Toyota Avalon '97
Jan 20, 2008 (8:34 am)
I know nothing about cars and am trying not to get swindled like always. I have a thick bar broken in half hanging down inside of my front driver's side tire. I had one person look so far and they said it was a sway bar and that they would have to get into the steering column to fix it and that they didn't do that. They referred me somewhere else, but the question is that when I look up sway bars on the internet, they don't look the same. The parts I see on the internet are the upper part that is coming down from somewhere up above. But, the part that is broken is the large (approx 1 inch diameter) bar that is supposed to go horizontal toward the middle of the car. This has snaped. Is this indeed a sway bar? Does anyone have any idea what it SHOULD cost to fix something like this? The car runs as smooth as ever and I don't even know how long it has been hanging there! Thanks for any advice.
#134 of 203 Re: Sway Bar? Toyota Avalon '97 [tamraw]
Jan 20, 2008 (12:00 pm)
Quick answer: The front sway bar connects the two front wheels to keep the car from "swaying" as it travels on an uneven surface or navigates a corner. There is also a rear sway bar that does the same thing in the rear. The bar is round and somewhat crooked as it goes under the engine, running the entire distance across the car. There may be small, shorter "link rods" at each end that drop down, or go up, to a bracket near the tires. The sway bar is the long rod, not the shorter links.
Wait for a more tech member, such as *abfisch*, to give you a more detailed answer. But at least you know what the sway bar is and what it does. You will likely not hurt the car driving slowly but higher speeds may make it hard to control on some roads. It needs to be fixed. Hope this helps.
#135 of 203 Touring Suspension
Jan 28, 2008 (6:27 am)
Does anyone know if you can swap the XLS springs onto a Touring Strut? A friend has a 2008 Touring and would like to soften the ride a bit. I know that the struts between the two models have different part numbers but will it work and will it provide a softer ride? In working on older cars I know that changing the springs have always played an important role in ride quality more so than just changing the shocks. Any information would be greatly appreciated.
#136 of 203 Help! My Avalon pulls left
Feb 11, 2008 (7:43 am)
">I have a 2001 avalon with 115K on it. Several months ago someone backed into the left rear door. It seemed to be minor damage. However, they did have to replace the back door. Following the accident, I had to replace the left rear bearings because they started making a noise. coincidence?
After the accident, I put new Michelin Primacy tires on it and had it aligned. Then I noticed that it pulled to the left on the highway. The body shop, that is very reputable, checked the frame and it was off by 6 mm in the back. Not much. They realigned it again and everything was straight.
My Avalon still pulls to the left. I'm not sure what to do and am thinking about getting rid of it. I hate to because I just put new brakes, tires, timing belt...the whole enchalada thinking this car would be good for another 250K...
#137 of 203 Re: Help! My Avalon pulls left [toxman]
Feb 16, 2008 (5:43 am)
Hard to say if the minor accident caused enough stress to damage a bearing. Probably not, but there is no way to know. Mileage alone may have done it. Avalon alignment and the pulling to one side on this 5 model year run can be a problem. Search Edmunds Avalon forums for many past discussions on this subject.
Try this, in order: First, check all air pressure. Next, rotate tires diagonally. This will resolve tire defect causes. Make sure wheels are torqued properly at rotation as mag wheels will warp. After driving, if it still pulls, check the brake rotor temp with a heat sensor. Dragging calipers can cause pulling.
If it still pulls to one side, it's the alignment. It did not do it before the work, now it does. Find settings that eliminate the pull. Had to do this on my '03 XL, same basic car you have. It can be done, my tire guy did it. Hope this helps. Good luck.
#138 of 203 Re: Help! My Avalon pulls left [toxman]
Feb 16, 2008 (8:44 am)
My 03 had a pull to the left also. We couldn't get the adjustment to go quite far enough to eliminate it, so installed an eccentric kit to provide additional adjustment.
#139 of 203 Toyota Avalon 98 Struts Mushy When New
Aug 21, 2008 (9:39 am)
I have a '98 Toyota Avalon bought new and early on I experienced rattling in the passenger front wheel area. Ultimately, a Toyota dealer diagnosed it as a defective strut and replaced the right front strut under warranty.
So, 10 years later, my Avalon, which drove like JELLO ON WHEELS since day 1, is driving the same as always. It was always fine with me as I bought it to drive to a job down an interstate. These days, I drive to work in the city and with no problems. It's a mushy car, and always was.
I took my Avalon to CarX because of issues with my lifetime warranty replacement brakes (of course they couldn't hear the problem I described but that will be dealt with).
They pointed out that my '98 Toyota Avalon XL with 72K miles needed new struts and mentioned the wear and tear risks of not fixing them. The CarX manager quoted a price of $1,200 to $1,500 to replace my struts!
Needless to say, I declined.
This has been a FANTASTIC car with no problems, although I did replace brake rotors, etc. once at CarX.
This car was mushy out of the lot. I presume it had original struts/shocks that were poorly designed, but I see no reason to replace them given current mileage of under 7k per year.
#140 of 203 Re: Toyota Avalon 98 Struts Mushy When New [abc222001]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Aug 21, 2008 (12:28 pm)
If you see unusual tire wear that could be an indication that you're pushing your luck. 72K miles seems a little premature but if we put say some new Bilsteins on your car you wouldn't believe the difference you'd feel I'm sure.
However, if you are experiencing no control issues, no cupping or feathering of your tires, and no excessive bouncing/bottoming out, then I guess you're good to go for a while longer.
#141 of 203 Re: Toyota Avalon 98 Struts Mushy When New [abc222001]
Aug 21, 2008 (12:51 pm)
Not sure if there is a question here, but this topic has been beaten to death. I replaced struts etc. on mine, just because we prefer a more taut controlled ride and like to drive more aggressively. I replaced mine at 50k and they still functioned as stock is intended to. Still have them nicely packed in cartons, if anyone wants a cheap upgrade.
If you back up to Avalon forums, and search on abfisch and 55396, you will see all the details of what an upgrade will do for you. There are cheaper ways to do it too. We are very satisfied and the end result is that we will keep a car we like much longer, making the outlay worth it. Trading ain't cheap. Neither is the ongoing extra expense of license, insurance, depreciation etc. on a newer vehicle. Your local salvage yard may have a cheap labor rate too. Then only drive it straight to an alignment shop if they can't do it. Mine is going there for a wheel bearing replacement soon. I will buy the part online at half price.