1997 Toyota Avalon XL 3.0 gas from North America

Summary:

Very comfortable, reliable car

Faults:

Right front CV axle.

Exhaust flex pipe.

Torque converter doesn't always lock up.

Valve covers leak some, but does not use oil between changes.

Typical suspension strut rattle.

General Comments:

Got this car cheap for a work car and it has exceeded expectations. It does have the strut rattle almost everyone else talks about, but it doesn't affect how it drives. One of the smoothest, nicest driving cars I have ever owned.

I do maintain it, and expect to get many more miles out of it. Have ended up driving this car on some long road trips, and it has been very reliable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th July, 2014

1997 Toyota Avalon from North America

Summary:

Good experience except for the unfixable front end rattle and uncomfortable front bucket seats

Faults:

Front end suspension rattle at slow speeds, that is accentuated when cold.

General Comments:

The info from this forum has greatly helped me understand the probable cause (s) of the front end suspension related rattle. The dealership said it was an improperly positioned spring when the car was almost new. They did something that solved the problem temporarily, but it came back and is now so loud I hate to drive it. Will probably drive it until it dies, without trying to repair it, based on the previous forum inputs.

The bucket seats are very uncomfortable, however thick foam seat pads alleviate the problem.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 6th May, 2009

1997 Toyota Avalon XLE from North America

Faults:

My steering rack went at 138,000 miles; lesson learned is to monitor and change out the steering fluid at least every 60K. This is the only major item that went unexpectedly on the car at a cost of $1000.

I have a rattling noise in the front and rear of the car pretty much since about 30K, so my next move is to have the rear and front struts replaced. The mounts are probably loose since I have read this is a problem as well. My mechanic gave me a $1,200 quote for replacement of the front and rear struts if he supplies the parts; he suggested that I go buy the parts off the net, which would save me $500, so I can get the job done for $700-800.

Very satisfied with the car overall; all you need to do is follow the regular maintenance intervals, change your timing belt every 90K, and Platinum plugs every 90K. I would change the fuel filter every 60K (I just had mine done, had not had it changed in 110K miles, and there was a bunch of sludge). I would also tell people to flush your transmission every 60K, and your radiator every 60K.

I went 110K miles since my last timing belt change and there was very little wear on the back side of the belt, the teeth were fine, and the water pump looked solid to the mechanic, but I change out the pump with the belt.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd January, 2008

17th Aug 2008, 11:56

In 1997 Toyota had a lifetime warranty on the struts. If you pay the labor then Toyota should cover the part. It's not in the regular parts warranty section. I found the note after I paid to have them replaced. 1997 Avalon 121,000. Good luck.

13th Mar 2009, 11:03

The so called 'life time warranty' was for the first 36,000 miles. I know because I had to have all four replaced after 70,000 miles and the dealer charged me full price. I then got my hands on a Toyota service bulletin and found out Toyota would pay for labor and parts if mileage was 36,000 or less. I still love the car even though it now has 295,000 miles on it. Have only replaced starter (easy joy) and fuel pump. It now needs to have the intake manifold gasket replaced and a new timing belt. Looking for a reasonably price auto shop to do job. Dealer is outrageous on price. Any suggestions?