1998 Toyota Avalon XLS from North America - Comments

9th Jun 2003, 10:01

To the owner of the '98 Avalon with sludge, I am wondering why Toyota charged you for repair (if you can call it that) of your sludge problem? You should have been covered under the 8 year unlimited mile sludge policy which calls for free repair by Toyota as well as covering for incidental costs like rental car, etc. Some Toyota spokesperson said in one of the articles last year that they see the sludge happening where summers are most hot and humid or winters most cold. I noticed that you are from Florida.

11th Jun 2003, 00:20

I just recently bought a 1998 Toyota Avalon XL and from what I hear, I'm getting a little worried. The previous entry said in really cold weather, the engine will create sludge. I live in Buffalo NY and believe me, it gets REALLY cold up here. I was wondering what I can do besides oil changes to prevent the sludge from ruining my engine. I really like this car and don't want it to end up like others who have complained. Any ideas? Thanks.

23rd Jun 2003, 08:27

If owners must change oil every 3000 to 4000 miles to prevent sludge they should be told BEFORE they buy the vehicle. This should be spelled out in the owner's manual. It is against the law to change the maintenance requirements on a vehicle after it is sold unless the dealer agrees to pay the additional maintenance cost. It may or may not solve the problem, but it does not hide the fact that either the manual or the engines are defective. Also, who believes what the service guy says, anyway? These guys are out for the buck. The more you come in for servicing, the more EXTRAs they can try to squeeze out of you. The manual is supposed to be the correct resource for servicing your engine as it is the servicing prescribed by the engineers who designed the engine!

12th Sep 2003, 21:09

I am a owner of a 1998 Avalon. I purchased this car in February 2002, it just hit the 50,000 mile mark. I have no complaints. The only service I needed to my car was brakes, and a oil change. This is a wonderful and reliable car. If anyone looking into buying an Avalon, this is an excellent choice! good luck!

20th Feb 2004, 09:35

There are quite a few reports of the sludge happening if you don't follow oil changes as in the manual. Read reviews for various Toyota makes and models at the home.autos.msn.com site. You can search in upper left corner of web page. The American Engine Rebuilders Association says once you get sludge and get it cleaned from the engine, you should then change your oil every 1000 miles.

24th Nov 2004, 08:01

Sludge policy is for 8 years unlimited miles AND unlimited number of repairs. You should be eligible to get your engine repaired again. Insist on a NEW engine this time, one that has had the repair to eliminate the sludge problem (sludge is due to small engine cooling passages and there was a fix that made these passages larger. They also improved design of the PCV.

26th Sep 2005, 23:48

Wow, I don't know what to believe. I am thinking about buying a 1998 Toyota Avalon with 123000 miles on it for my son. The car looks and runs great. However all the talk about sludge/white smoke makes me somewhat afraid to buy this car. Would anyone buy a 1998 with 123k miles on it??

22nd Nov 2005, 06:16

I have a 2001 Avalon that I purchased new. It currently has 138,000 miles on it and the engine runs and sounds like new. I change the oil and filter every 3,500-4,000 miles with a Toyota filter and Castrol 5-30w. I plan to buy a new Avalon, but this one runs so good I might keep it until it has 200,000 miles. My Avalon does not burn or leak a drop of oil. The oil on the dipstick always looks clean with no hint of sludge. Some people just have bad luck with cars. All mechanical items will eventually break, but my experience with Toyota has been great. A few years ago Toyota recalled my V6 pickup and rebuilt the engine for free; they said the head gaskets leaked, but I didn't even know it had a problem. At the time it had 80,000 miles on it, and I didn't even buy it new. I can't imagine any other car company doing that.

27th Dec 2005, 14:39

I hate this car.

I bought this Avalon XLS from a family member three years ago as a transition car with 88,000 miles on it. I told them and myself I'd keep it until it breaks, and then I would get rid of it and buy something newer.

It has not sneezed. It runs like an effing sewing machine. It now has 124,000 miles on it, and starts every time regardless of the weather, taunting me every time. I would LOVE to buy a new car, but I see no reason to part with the thing, regardless of how stodgy or outdated it is becoming. So I keep driving it. Many new cars do not drive as well. It gets 30+ mpg on the highway. Locally, not so good. 17-18 mpg, depending. But I have a heavy foot.

I figure if I buy a 2007 Avalon (which I would--I just wish it had AWD), I will be able to drive it until I turn 50...in 2019.

Damn car. I guess that's why some folks need to keep buying American cars--they need the change of scenery every 2-3 years after the car depreciates and becomes junk.

10th Feb 2006, 17:15

I have 3 Toyota Camrys for my kids and 2 Avalons. I have never had a problem (up to 200,000 miles on most pre-96 models) until now. Both my 1996 Camry with a V6 and my 2001 Avalon with a V6 have oil sludge. The 2001 Avalon was a company car with scheduled regular maintenance (oil change by Goodyear every 5000 miles required). I have the records to prove it. At 90,000 miles and 4 years the Avalon started showing white smoke at start up and now burns oil. Toyota has said they will not repair and that the warranty has expired. The 96 Camry I bought used so I do not know if it was maintained. Toyota is losing a very loyal customer.

18th Feb 2006, 11:47

TOYOTA SUCKS!! I too have recently found my Oil Light coming on. My oil is also burning quickly with a white smoke coming out of the tailpipe at start-up. I have a 2000 Avalon, 67,000 miles - with frequent oil changes, tune-ups & check-ups! Toyota needs to recall all their crap and take the blame for it!! We are loyal customers with proof of oil changes yet we have to PAY for their MISTAKE! Please, someone notify me if there's a class action suit against TOYOTA! I want to be one of the first in line. I am so upset with them. I thought TOYOTA was good, unfortunately I was wrong. My next car will be either a HONDA or NISSAN. Sorry TOYOTA, you've lost another customer - and GOD willing, your crappy engines will soon be exposed to the public - enough hiding!

26th Feb 2006, 06:51

Toyota has admitted to the sludge problem with the v6's. I had the same engine in my 97 Camry. I maintained the car very well and had NO PROBLEM what so ever for 160,000 miles. Toyota sent me an unlimited replacment for the engine for the life of the car. What more can you ask. P.S. I NEVER went to JIFFY LUBE or the like for oil changes.