19th Feb 2010, 11:58

Replace the timing belt since rubber ages with time. It beats getting stranded.

1st Mar 2010, 15:51

Hi all! I've read all the great comments about the Avalon. I recently purchased a 1996 Avalon, XLS with 36k miles. The car rides like a gem. Very quiet and smooth ride. I did notice that the CV boot may need replacing. Also, the radio doesn't work, and neither does the antenna go up, nor does the CD changer play. I need to have these items checked out. I also need to have the valve cover gasket replaced. But that's about it for now. I'm really happy that I bought the car.

21st Mar 2010, 08:05

I have a 1996 Avalon with 150,000 miles. As to the previous comment about the radio. My power antenna also failed. Just loosen the outer hold down nut and pull out the antenna. After tightening the nut, remove the power from the antenna from inside the passenger side rear wheel-well. This will keep the antenna from trying to go up and down. All the radio stations will now work. Hope this helps.

2nd Aug 2010, 09:32

I have a 1996 Avalon XLS and it has been the best car I have ever owned!

I recently traded in my 2004 GMC Denali because I had lost my job and I purchased my Avalon for $2500. It had 170,000 miles, which I must admit worried me. But after having this car for a few weeks, I swear that this is the best built car I have ever had! It rides like it only has 10,000 miles on it!

There are a few minor problems with the car. My antenna is stuck, but at least it is stuck in the up position, so I have no problems tuning into my favorite radio stations.

The struts in the back are pretty much shot, which the only thing that shows this is that the car is a little bit of a rough ride, the most annoying thing is the loud clunking noise.

The left control arm is broken and the wheel does pull because of this.

The timing belt and spark plugs need to be replaced due to age.

Once I find employment again, I will have all of these problems taken care of.

Other than that, this car is built like a tank! I'm keeping this car as long as I can and will be very sad when I do have to give it up (although from the other posts, it looks like I have a long time still!).

If you can find a 96 Avalon, grab it! It will be the best decision you will ever make in life!

26th Aug 2010, 07:34

I agree with the other comments. I have had my 96 Avalon since 1999 with about 30k miles. As of today, it has 225,000 miles and going strong as ever. Nothing major as far as repairs only oil change, brakes, etc. In fact, I have never had to change my timing belt and don't plan on doing it soon. I will keep this car for as long as I can. I would like to see how far this car can go as far as mileage. Will keep you posted!

21st Sep 2010, 19:26

I have a 1996 Avalon I purchased in 2002. It had 42k miles on it. It now has 170k.

It has had normal maintenance except for front axel replacement 1k, CV boots and joints $500, and recent gasket leaks and associated work $1200. I have owned it for 8 years and $2700 in repairs. Not too bad considering my Mazda is an 04, owned it for 3 years and already spent 2k in repairs.

I also drive the Avalon very hard. I routinely see triple digit speeds, more often then not I cruise around 85-90 MPH, with hard acceleration. I really beat on this car. There is not a spot of rust and the car has never been garaged by me. It sees harsh winters and road salt for two months a year.

The tranny is starting to 'shimmy' a bit during shifting, but as hard as I mash the pedal I'm not surprised it might be wearing out. The recent pedal sticking issue is serious, but if I could get another Avalon before those pedal issues, I wouldn't think twice.

It's been a great car.

1st Oct 2010, 08:48

Have a 1997 Toyota Avalon, purchased in 2000, and still using it with 271,000 miles on it. I did have to rebuild the engine because of the oil sludge problem (always get dealer service now with genuine Toyota motor oil). It's been a great car, and I will most likely ride it till it rides no more.

10th Dec 2010, 10:00

I have had my 96 XLS since 1998. It had 33K miles, now has 133K on it. It looks excellent, runs perfect. Other than expected maintenance, I have only replaced the leaking steering rack, and both stub axles, since the boots were tearing at 110K miles.

The rack leak was minor and probably could have been stopped using "Stop-Leak" additive, but I don't tolerate any leaking fluids, etc. on my garage floor from my vehicles. She burns/leaks NO oil, etc.

The engine, exterior, and leather are all maintained in great shape - both in appearance and performance. I replaced all four complete strut assemblies, mounts, bearings, boots with Tokico HP types and most bushings with the Energy-Suspension upgrades. I also added cross-drilled rotors on all-fours.

It is a fine auto, and I still totally enjoy each drive in it, although my wife is the primary driver. I also enjoy my supercharged 98 T-100 4x4 SR5, which is set up fairly nice and equal in its superb condition.

But for a super touring car that rides fast, smooth, and cost me very little over its 14 year tenure - (plus it's still going strong) - The 96 Avalon can't be beat.

22nd Sep 2011, 08:59

I have a thousand more miles to go on my 97 Toyota Avalon before reaching the 300,000 mile milestone. Bought it used in 2000, and have been using it ever since. I did have to do an engine rebuild because of the oil sludge problem, and put in a steering rack, but other than that, it's been great. I am driving this car until it gives up. It's good to have a car that outlasts your payments by a wide margin.

26th Oct 2011, 12:11

I have a 1996 XLS, and it runs well, but have had to replace antenna, CV joints, struts and now rack and pinion. I am actually thinking about selling it. I am wondering if I should hold it, seeing as how we have sunk some $ in it, but it is gold and kind of ugly. And we may have a baby soon, and will need something more baby practical. We paid $4,000 for it 3 years ago from our in-laws, who put no money in it. Feeling like we got hosed a bit.

31st May 2012, 06:04

My 1997 Avalon just turned 300,000 miles yesterday. Never broke down on the road. Trans and engine never out. Just regular maintenance and wear items.

Been in the family since new. Kids drove it in college. I took it over again at 250,000 so the kids wouldn't get stranded when it does finally die. Drive it to work every day (50 mile round trip). Would not hesitate to drive it cross country. Everything still works.

3rd Sep 2012, 16:22

I have a 1996 Toyota Avalon XLT, and would like to know what the cost was for you to repair & replace your CV boot & joint. I never know if I'm getting the right price.

14th Oct 2012, 00:25

I bought a used 1996 Toyota Avalon XLS with 42,000 miles in January 1999 from an LA Toyota dealer. As of today, it has 434,000 miles! It is the best car I have owned.

I spent a lot on maintenance, but it has been worth it. Change the oil at 7,000 miles intervals. The engine runs like new, and it handles great.

The only problem I had when I first bought it was the right front wheel... Came to find out all that was needed was a new rotor. Since then, it drives just perfect.

I bought a 2010 Prius in 2010... and both cars are the best purchases I ever made.