1998 Toyota Avalon XLS from North America - Comments

8th Apr 2006, 23:45

I recently purchased a 1998 Avalon with 91000 miles. So far I am very pleased with the features. I have done some routine fluid changes, but the previous owner really maintained this vehicle. It drives very nicely and has a great interior design. My A/C is not blowing cold right now, but I hope that it just needs a shot of freon. Overall I like this car very much.. My first Toyota and I am impressed. This used car is packed with a ton of features and luxury for the money.

30th May 2006, 15:30

I recently bought a used 1999 Toyota Avalon XLS with 70,000 miles on it. The entire car is beautiful and reeks of quality. I love the stereo, the way it drives, all of the functions, everything about it. There is such a difference between Toyota quality and most domestic makes. I can feel the difference between this car and GM/Ford/Mopar in everything from the interior to the body. But, I am also experiencing the blue puff of smoke at start up in the morning, and it smokes intermittently once it's warmed up, driving around town. It runs beautifully and doesn't knock or miss. If I couldn't see the smoke, I'd be happy. But, after just 2 weeks, I'm a quart low! Its at the dealership right now for a diagnostic, I'm a college student and I'm really hoping this doesn't turn out to be too expensive. Wishful thinking. Of course, it didn't smoke when I test drove it, and it somehow passed emissions. Does anyone know if there really is some type of offer from Toyota to help with these engines? My parents have a '98 Camry with this same V6 and 140,000 miles on it. It's been through me (dukes of hazzard), several kids, many drag races, lots of trips, 135mph several times, and it still runs like a top. No smoke, excellent mileage, smooth as can be. So what's up with my car?

21st Jun 2006, 16:23

I currently drive a 98 Toyota Avalon and it has about 130k miles on there.

Problems:

1) brake rattling sound or it's the shock?

2) Steering wheel misaligned when driving.

3) The key-less power lock does not lock the driver's door.

Since I took over this car from someone last year, I have been maintaining its regular oil change every 3000 miles.

Hope this car does not have the sludge problem everyone else mentioned. It surely feel good to not have to pay monthly payments for just a transportation vehicle.

10th Nov 2006, 19:35

I purchased a 2001 Toyota Avalon XLS in December of 2000. It now has 126,000 miles and not one mechanical problem. No sludge problems. No blue smoke. Original brakes and struts. I change the oil at the recommended mileage and time intervals. I use a high quality synthetic motor oil. I have owned Toyota cars and trucks in the past and have experienced the same excellent reliability. I also currently own a 2001 Toyota Tundra with the same results as above.

28th Aug 2007, 00:40

You are all correct herein. I also have a 1997 Avalon with 123K. I've always loved this car, however, recently the CHECK ENGINE light has came on. It turned off twice before with oil changes, but noticed that when I accelerated too fast, the Check Engine light would come on. After taking it to TOYOTA I was told by a rude Miami technician that something called the, "Charcoal Cannister", needed replacement and this would cost around 900 dollars due to the location of this thing and the labor intensity. Well, I've never done this charcoal cannister thing change, I believe it may be something other than an charcoal cannister, like say, a complete engine tune up. Anyone have knowledge of this cannister's existence? Any suggestions anyone???

Anthony M.

Miami, Fl.

28th Aug 2007, 06:48

Many Toyota models from 1996 - 1998 had faulty evaporative emissions system, which Toyota lied about their architectures to the US government so their vehicles could be sold in the US. The problem was uncovered when the vehicles started having problems, and Toyota had a judgement issued against them in Federal court, where Toyota had to pay a fine, and extend the evaporative emissions warranty on 2.2 million vehicles (possibly including yours), to 14 years or 150,000 miles.

I used to have a copy of the actual full judgement, listing all of the specific vehicles affected, because I had several friends who were having problems with their Toyota's, and I uncovered the document while doing research trying to help them. The dealership should know about the judgement, and whether your vehicle is affected. If it is, they have to help you or they are in violation of Federal law. The charcoal canister is a part of the evaporative emissions system.

I am sorry that I no longer have an actual copy of the judgement, or I could have told you whether your vehicle was affected or not for sure. But, that was lost the last time I changed operating systems (got tired of the problems with MS Windows and installed Linux) on my computer.

Good luck, and never trust Toyota; they arrogant and they lie. Their products do not live up to the hype surrounding them either, as you seem to be finding out. I have so many friends who had nightmares with those pieces of garbage, that they thought would be the answer to all of their automotive problems for life, that I have lost count of them all.

29th Aug 2007, 07:46

I have a 99 Avalon that sludged up, replaced the engine with a junk yard engine with 65k on it. The new engine showed no signs of sludge that the old one did. Maybe it is the type of oil, I now and desludger at every oil change.

30th Aug 2007, 17:29

Personally, I would avoid using a "desludger" (I think that's what you meant to say), and just change the oil very often, at 2500-3000 miles. Oil additives can alter the additive package already included in your oil and cause unpredictable problems. I am not familiar with "desludgers" (never had a sludge problem), but it sounds like something like that may alter the viscosity of the oil, and effect its lubricating abilities. You may want to try a "quality" synthetic oil such as Mobil 1 or AMSOIL, as they are much more resistant to sludge than regular oil.

22nd Oct 2007, 22:15

I have a 1996 Avalon with 200,000 miles on it and it runs great.

23rd Oct 2007, 12:27

I have a 1996 Avalon with 270,000 miles. Other than replacing the alternator and ignition, that is all it has needed in all those miles.

29th Nov 2007, 04:43

I have 98 Toyota Avalon XLS with a little under 150K. For the most part it has been an excellent car however I do have a weird rattling noise (especially on uneven grounds) and the brakes grind a bit.

15th Jan 2008, 14:34

I have a 96 Avalon with 115K and it has been great. I am however concerned at all the sludge problems I read about. I do change my oil every 3K.

31st Jan 2008, 18:42

Guess what, you know who, Toyota has a real reputation for engine sludging with this year and model. Apparently you didn't look at the reviews for this car very closely, hmm. Frankly I'll take my real luxury Buick with true comfort any day over Toyota's poor attempt at it. By the way, it has had none of the problems that all GM cars apparently have according to you at 140,000 miles.