1998 Toyota Avalon XLS from North America - Comments

26th Jul 2002, 17:02

Toyota Avalon XLS 1999 with 100 000 miles.

Run like a new one can't figure out why so many people are talking badly about such a great car! The problem mention are not identify in any reference book that I did verify before buying the car at 75 000 miles.

THIS IS THE BEST CAR I EVER HAD.

Buy one if you can!

6th Sep 2002, 15:12

I bought a 1997 Avalon with 106 thousand miles, and it is smoking at cold startup. I thought it was valve seals, but reading this web site I now think it is sludge. I like the car, does anyone know what to do to fix this problem?

8th Oct 2002, 10:59

I have just purchased a 1996 Toyota Avalon XL, with 81'000 miles on it. It runs well and did not have any emission problem at the beginning. I changed the oil three days ago and soon found out that it emits a large amount of white smoke at start up and in fact keeps emitting. I guess the previous owner had added some sort of additive to cover it up and sell this lemon to me. Anyway, I'm upset and don't know what to do! should I drive that as it is or what? It seems that it needs a couple of thousand dollars to fix that and I can't afford it.

21st Oct 2002, 14:58

I own a 1998 Avalon with 65K miles. No problems so far except for strut bearings. Just received a letter from Toyota stating they will repair any sludge problem should it occur.

27th Nov 2002, 22:04

Don't want to bore you with the same old story, but my brother's 2000 Toyota Avalon is dead. It has 45,000 miles on it and it exhibited the same blue smoke emission as all the rest of your entries. Needless to say he is very upset because his dealer said that it was his fault and they would not repair the engine. They told him the engine had oil sludge without even examining it. He is driving a rental car at the moment. Very expensive. The dealer wants to charge him $6,000.00 for a new engine. Yes, he kept up his maintenance on the car, but not with the dealer. He has been a loyal Toyota driver for years. He is so disgusted with the whole ordeal that I am investigating it for him. Thanks for all your comments. I will show them to his dealer... Anne of Baltimore.

4th Dec 2002, 13:31

Own a 1996 Avalon from new. Now has 178000 miles and doing fine. I change the oil every 5000 miles with Mobil 1 and a Pure 1 filter. I use no oil between oil changes. Plan to keep it until it blows up, which will be by 300000 miles according to two dealership service reps.

9th Dec 2002, 11:32

In August, 2002, AutoNews ran an article about the Toyota sludge letter. AutoNews author felt that Toyota had not mailed its letter. But Toyota claimed all had been mailed. Now I read here that some owners just received their letter in October and November. I think it is bad that Toyota has a defect and is letting people run around with this problem unbeknownst to the owners. I can see how Toyota cannot feasibly recall over 3million vehicles, especially if not all are going to sludge. But they should at a minimum send out all letters asap. They have been saying all have been mailed since February of this year!

1st Jan 2003, 14:42

This is the only comment here that begins to make sense about how to cure the problem. It is not the oil change frequency. If Toyota says that it is they are blowing smoke (pardon) and they know it. Check the pcv valve. Drop the pan as suggested and clean. Flush out the engine. New oil and filter. I want to emphasize that you must check the emission system, of which the pcv valve is the most likely culprit.

18th Jan 2003, 10:01

I have leased 200 Avalon for last 3 years. Recently began burning oil at 45,000 miles. Love the car, but am concerned. Am considering purchase of 2003 Avalon XLS. Has Toyota addressed the sludge problem?

21st Jan 2003, 11:50

Regarding a new engine in 2003, keep in mind that Toyota never has admitted that this is an engine design problem. I don't know how anyone can know if the problem is fixed when there is not any certainty about what the problem is exactly. They did claim to change the PCV system and valve cover mid-production on the 2002's, but they said that these changes would not prevent sludge and would just prolong the occurrence.

20th Feb 2003, 12:43

The comment about the new PCV valve and how to clean the engine was very interesting.

I have a 98 Camry with 203,000 miles. My engine check light came on, and I replaced the EGR valve, as my Toyota dealership said that should help and did. When I removed the old sensor, it had a layer of baked on film that peeled off readily. Also there appeared to be a buildup inside the old part. The oil has been changed regularly at Super Lube using 10-40 Havoline, but I suspect there is still a problem, as the engine will not idle properly on a hot startup at times, when stopping to refuel and then restarting the engine, It will idle at about 300 RPM until driven for a short distance, or shutting the engine off completely and restarting it. Then it will run normally...

As a item of interest to other readers, go to www.yotarepair.com. Scroll down and click on Sludge Zone.

10th Apr 2003, 17:58

My comment is: Has anyone, because of their sludged engine had their engine replaced with another Toyota engine and then that engine also sludged? Or, are the odds of getting another Toyota engine, same year, make and model very, very slim?

16th Apr 2003, 23:43

Guys, I have Toyota Avalon 1998 with 122,000 on it!!! The only problem I had was AC not being cold enough. Good luck to you all!

30th Apr 2003, 10:57

Regarding the sludge repairs. It is my understanding that Toyota just rebuilds the existing engine unless damage is so severe that a new one is needed. I don't know if they use used rebuilt engines or brand new ones. I would be worried with a repair of the existing engine or a used rebuilt engine. If you have the same engine or a sludge-prone engine, there is nothing to prevent you from getting sludge again. I Have seen internet accounts of a vehicle being stricken with sludge more than once. If it is the same engine, expect the same problem.

2nd Jun 2003, 21:06

I own a 1998 Avalon which recently started emitting white smoke upon cold startup as well as after a few hours parked. The Toyota Dealer told me it was sludge in the engine, but never checked the oil pan or valves; however they offered to clean the oil pan for $150. This is my second Avalon, never had a problem until now; no overheating, no oil light indicator, nothing until 86,000 miles. Have performed maintenance according to instruction booklet. Can't believe all of these sludge complaints at this website. I assure you I am for real in Orlando not the same woman complaining over and over again. Twice I have taken the car to Toyota and twice they have assured me nothing is wrong with my car. Change the oil every 1000 miles and the sludge will clear up. So I will try it.