1998 Toyota Avalon XLS from North America - Comments

6th Feb 2008, 15:57

I own a 1998 Toyota Avalon it has been in my extend family since it was new. There has never been an oil problem. So far the only thing that has going bad is the coil on the # 4 cylinder. Thing break that is fine it has 130k miles on it. My problem is in the brakes. My father is a mechanic and we do all of our own work. I have my breaks replaced when I was on a road trip because the rotors warped. It is now 8 months later and the rotors are warped again. Did the place just put crap parts on my car or is there a trick that anyone knows about to keep this from happening. I have never had this problem on any other cars I have owned.

11th Feb 2008, 18:41

With all due respect to those who think otherwise, the sludge problem is real; it is recognized by Toyota, and they fix the problem for every Avalon that is brought to them with this problem. I bought a new 2001 Avalon in April, 2001. In Jan., 2004, at around 23,000 miles, I began to notice blue smoke coming out of the exhaust at start-up (no at other times). Despite this, the car continued to run great, but I took it to the dealer, they checked it out, told me that it was their responsibility, loaned me a brand new car at no charge for the week they had it in the shop, and fixed the problem. They freely admit, even advertise, the sludge problem, do not try to dodge the issue, and any Avalon that has either of the two affected engines will be taken care of by Toyota, free of charge. And that's the name of that tune.

5th Apr 2008, 22:19

I just purchased a 96 Toyota Avalon XLS with 51,000 miles on it. I had two mechanics check it out prior to completing the purchase. After two days it would not start immediately like it had been. When I turn the key it does nothing. After a few minutes, I try again and it starts right up. The alternator, starter and battery have all been evaluated and are in good shape. Does anyone have any idea what this could be? Any advice will be greatly appreciated. P.S. I did not see all of the sludge postings prior to the purchase. Although the car is not smoking, I am very concerned about that as well.

28th Apr 2008, 21:03

2001 Avalon- I bought this car with 70K miles or so 3 years ago. My thought was to drive until the wheels come off. I never buy new cars so I take my time looking for a car. 2-3 months ago I started having blue smoke upon start up. It was burning a quart of oil every week or two. I took it to the local dealer and included the documentation backing from Toyota. The mechanic called me that day and said Toyota will pay for a new new engine and all of the labor. I will have the car back in a week and will see how it runs.

9th Jul 2008, 08:39

I need to replace my 2002 Avalon steering wheel. Will a 2003 wheel fit my car?

8th Sep 2008, 18:08

I have a 1997 Avalon - bought it before I knew about the problem. The guy I purchased from showed me all the invoices where he had his oil changed at the dealer. I mean he actually had a binder filled with all his service invoices from the dealer.

I am an ASE certified technician and have been for several years. I removed the valve cover and what I saw was absolutely stunning!!! For a car that had proof of oil change at the dealer for several years every 3k miles. I am definitely convinced that Toyota has produced an engine with a problem. I am sure that there are some Avalons and Solaras, and Lexus's out there that are fine, but Toyota most definitely produced a bad engine and thousands of them!!!

Toyota has publicly admitted to the problem, but has placed an 8 year from original date of purchase limit and unlimited mileage. Anybody know of anybody getting assistance from Toyota that is out of the 8 year range? Or if anybody can help me please email me at completeaquaticsolutions@gmail.com

As a tech I have seen the dealer do what ever it takes to deny things that I felt are morally wrong, and if anybody could help it would be greatly appreciated.

20th Oct 2008, 19:25

My mother has a 2003 toyota avalon with 240k miles on it and no problems.

3rd Jan 2009, 17:44

I bought an Avalon XL two years ago with 98000 miles on the odometer. Currently has 143000 miles without a single problem except for a bad spark plug coil.

All routine servicing done at specified intervals, tires, brakes, etc. Synthetic oil and quality filters every 5000 miles.

This has been a great car, as have all the other Toyota's I have owned including a 2004 Sienna my wife currently drives. I would not hesitate to recommend any Toyota, new or used, as long as regular service can be proved.

20th Apr 2009, 00:01

Hi, 2 1/2 years ago, we bought a 2003 Toyota Avalon, (actually it's on monthly payments) and it has just started doing this blue-smoke business upon start-up and at extra acceleration, and "missing" etc. We have changed all the oils, the oil filter, replaced the platinum spark-plugs with new ones, all to no avail. I have been reading all of the comments on this. Did I understand correctly that if we take our Avalon back to Toyota, that they will fix the problem (which seems to be a known problem by Toyota) free of charge?

Regards

Theresa.

19th Sep 2009, 19:17

I have a 1998 Avalon XLS that I’ve owned since 2002. When I bought the car, it had 39,000 miles on it. Now I have over 214,000. I’ve had no problems with the car. No sludge buildup, blowing smoke, or engine malfunctions and I change the oil myself every 5,000 miles with 5W-30 motor oil and FRAM filter. Was I lucky? I don’t know. I really love the car and drive it daily.

24th Feb 2010, 08:18

I purchased a 1998 Toyota Avalon in 2006 that had ~90,000 miles on it then. The prior owner had used Mobil 1 oil, changed at 5000 miles since he inherited the car from his father 2 years prior with ~70,000 miles. Up until 70,000 miles, regular dino oil was used and changed between at ~3500 mile intervals.

Since owning the car, I have used Mobil 1 5-30 with an over sized Mobil 1 filter (M1-209) and have changed the oil at 10-15k mile intervals.

When I change the oil, the old oil always looks like it has some more life left in it. It’s slippery to the touch, with no noticeable grit. It’s not the color of new oil, but not completely black either.

The car now has 145k miles on it, and there is no evidence of any sludge or oil issue. The valve covers were removed about a year ago when the car had about 130k miles on it, and the valve train looked very clean with zero sludge.

24th Feb 2010, 16:28

That's the nice thing about using synthetic. I have a Corvette and it must use Mobil 1 as well. Regular oil can sludge and I only drive 2000 miles a year. My dash says 76% life as of 2/10, and I changed May 2009. My other vehicles are basic, however I am now planning on running synthetic in all of them now.

9th Mar 2010, 20:15

I have a '98 Sienna that has just developed a serious sludge problem. I and the owner before me use only Mobil 1 Synthetic oil and new filters every 3-5,000 miles. This van drives awesome and has been owned and maintained personally by two Toyota freaks. Now, it is losing oil and running terrible and sludge is very easy to see inside. For being babied by two LOYAL Toyota owners, that IS a bad engine. MY family has owned 5 Camrys and now a Sienna. This is not what we expect from Toyota!

12th Mar 2010, 08:36

I posted a message here ~25 months ago. I bought a 2000 Avalon with 99400 miles. It's now 122000. Use Mobile 1 syn. I must say that it seems not to burn a single drop of oil.

I change it twice a year. I love the car. The drivers side seat is a bit worn. and would like to switch it with the passenger seat. I have done nothing to the car. No tuneup, no changing timing belt. It runs fine. Feel a bit guilty.

15th Mar 2013, 15:55

Me again, 3 YEARS LATER got worried and had a new timing belt and water pump put in at 126k. The old timing belt looked new. Had a valve cover gasket leak and changed them out. The rear one was a total B to fix. Had to change the OCV (5 minute job). It now has 159k miles on it and an annoying yellow warning light that I am having problems with. Runs great though.

Want it to last until Aug 27 2016, when I retire and buy me a new buggy.

It is a great car.

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