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2nd Generation (2000-2004) Specific discussion of the second generation Toyota Avalon

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Old 09-22-2010, 11:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Rattling noise and delayed acceleration with 2000 Toyota Avalon

Hi all,

I have a 2000 Toyota Avalon XLS with approximately 110,000 miles on it, and would like to replace the engine with a newer engine, because other than the engine that makes a grinding noise and pauses for 1 - 2 seconds when I step on the gas pedal (as well as stalling occasionally), the car itself is fine.

Does anyone have any experience with this (with either the engine problem or engine replacement)? If the latter, how much would it cost to have this job done (which Avalon engine can I use, up to what year)? I live in Queens, NY.

Thanks!
Brian

Last edited by briankckim; 09-24-2010 at 04:20 PM.
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Old 09-22-2010, 07:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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1st things first

Hi Brian,
I also have a 2000 Avalon with over 158,000 miles on it. I just replaced two air/flow sensors, a O2 sensor, and a Mass Air Flow sensor. About 600 worth of parts. The engine has not felt so robust in a long time. I would suggest before you invest several thousand into a 10 year old car, you spend a little and find out what is causing the engine to make the sounds you are concerned about. Go to Auto Zone and have them scan ECM for any DTC codes that might be in history or pending. You might find the problem is not that big a deal.
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Old 09-22-2010, 08:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Has the throttle body been cleaned recently? When was the last time the air filter has been replaced? Do a tune up, new spark plugs and wires. Drain and Refill the transmission. Maybe sea-foam the engine?
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Old 09-23-2010, 05:47 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thank you for your responses -- I'll be taking the car to the dealership, so hopefully I'll get some answers! (I'm told that cars manufactured 2000 and after don't need tune ups or spark plug changes?)

Last edited by briankckim; 09-23-2010 at 05:48 AM.
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Old 09-23-2010, 08:06 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Tune up

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Originally Posted by briankckim View Post
Thank you for your responses -- I'll be taking the car to the dealership, so hopefully I'll get some answers! (I'm told that cars manufactured 2000 and after don't need tune ups or spark plug changes?)
Brian - who told you that?
They sure do need tune ups and spark plugs.
Different from old conventional tune-ups to say the least, but they sure do need and benefit from periodic maintenance.
The PCV system is something you can learn to "tune" yourself. (Change the valve and keep the hoses clean and unblocked.)
The air fuel sensors and oxygen sensors previously mentioned work with the computer to constantly monitor and affect performance. You "tune" those with professional instruments and replace as needed, but the benefits of performance are real.
The valve timing on those engines is belt operated and the interval is about 90k miles so check on that.
You very well may not need an new engine, but determine how sound the engine is before you make the decision to put a lot of money towards it.
Real issue IMHO, is how sludge free the internal part of the engine is. Your dealer/ tech can assess that for you by pulling a valve cover. That issue itself would be the driving force for me as to what approach to take. These engines can log a lot of miles if they are sludge free. Well worth putting $ into maintenance if they are sludge free and only if they are sludge free.
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Old 09-23-2010, 09:33 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Truth!

Brian, as a first move, going to the dealership is a good start. I strongly recommend that you make it clear with them, that you want them to ADVISE on what they think is wrong and what they want to do, and what the total cost will be. Do not mention you were thinking of replacing the engine! Grinding noises are not commonly associated with the engine. They need to be able to reproduce the symptoms in order to access what could be causing them. If you have records of maintenance performed, review it with them if possible. It did not sound like a lot has been done in 110k of city/highway miles. When was the last time the brakes pads were replaced? You said you had two different symptoms. One was a grinding sound, the other a hesitation event. These do not appear related to each other. I suggest, that you report on what you are told, before you give the go ahead.
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Old 09-23-2010, 10:31 AM   #7 (permalink)
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You should also read the maintenance schedule! If you don't have the paper one that came with the car, it may be read online at toyota.com, owner resources.

BTW, you should consider editing the title of this post.

Last edited by TedL; 09-23-2010 at 10:33 AM.
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Old 09-24-2010, 04:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thank you to all those who replied to my original post.

So I took the car to the dealership, and the code was "P0171", which is a "lean fuel condition (flow sensor)". Anyhow, I paid $1,710 for the repair job and the rattling noise and hesitating acceleration symptom is gone, and the car drives like almost new, so I'm quite content -- I would still like to breakdown the cost with you and I would appreciate it if you can tell me if I overpaid for anything:

DIAGNOSTIC $220.00 ($110.00/Hour for two hours: Diagnose system, trace code, clear code, replaced mass air flow sensor that had a lean fuel condition, and road test)
- METER SUB-ASSY $213.31

CHANGE DRIVE BELT (No Labor Charge)
- DRIVE BELT, VANE PUMP $12.38
- BELT, V-RIBBED $23.85

REPLACE TIMING BELT
- LABOR $561.46
- PUMP ASSY, WATER $155.26
- BELT, TIMING $73.29
- SEAL, TYPE T OIL $11.93
- SEAL, TYPE T OIL $24.10
- ANTIFREEZE GALLON $28.96

Fuel system service(Pressure clean fuel injectors, combustion chamber, intake valves; clean and reset throttle body. Added concentrated fuel system cleaner to fuel tank)
- Labor $179.95
- Emission Service $69.99

Thanks!
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Old 09-24-2010, 05:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Two hours of "diagnosis" time, labor at $110/hr, parts at 125 to 150% of MSRP. That's New York!

Five and a half hours for the TB, WP & seals is also quite generous for an experienced tech who specializes in Toyotas.

Did they at least throw in a jar of Vaseline?
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Old 09-24-2010, 05:29 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Yep, that's NY indeed. But I also checked with a mechanic that came highly recommended by the folks at Cartalk.com, and he quoted a similar price, $100 - 200 cheaper but not available until October. I decided to spare myself from the hassle and decided to consider the extra $100 - 200 as a"convenience fee".



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Two hours of "diagnosis" time, labor at $110/hr, parts at 125 to 150% of MSRP. That's New York!

Five and a half hours for the TB, WP & seals is also quite generous for an experienced tech who specializes in Toyotas.

Did they at least throw in a jar of Vaseline?
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Old 09-24-2010, 05:48 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Reminds me of the experience that made me decide to learn how to do my own work. My first car was a new 1971 Corolla 1200. I brought it back to the dealer (Queensboro Toyota) for the first oil change. I had actually read the owner's manual. When I saw the invoice for 5 qts. of oil and a 16 oz. can of Bardahl, I asked if they had really done what the paperwork said: put 5.5 quarts into a system that holds 4 qts. Oh, a mistake, one they corrected since I pointed it out.

After going through the same scenario at the second oil change, I decided the best way to avoid ripoffs was to do it myself.
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Old 09-24-2010, 08:27 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Knowledge is Power

First, let me say I am glad your content. To pay dealership prices is like buying art work. If you like it, it's worth it. At least you decided not pursue swapping out the engine. I would say what you had done and what it cost was par for the metro area. Labor rates are lower in more rural areas, but the dealership OEM parts seem to be pretty much the same all over the country. Now that your car is running good, take some time and spend some time with this forum. For example, do a search on P0171. You will find many threads that explain what that means, and what an average person can try to fix that themselves. Sometimes, just cleaning the Mass Air Flow sensor with MAF spray cleaner, will make the Power Control Module PCM happy. If you really want to take the plunge, get the Haynes Manuel for your car. The best $17 bucks, I have ever spent. If you really get into it, get a decent scanner ~$80.00. Then the next time your 'Check Engine' light comes on, you could do your own diagnosis and either learn how to fix it, or go to the dealer and tell him what codes you found, and save yourself a few hundred.

Welcome to Toyotanation 2nd Generation Avalon Forum.

Last edited by OpticNerve; 09-25-2010 at 08:47 AM. Reason: added close
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Old 09-26-2010, 08:29 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Brian
You got some phenomenal advice in the last two posts.
Keep the fluids clean, all of them, and change that PCV valve regularly. Work you can easily do, or pay small amounts to have regularly done.
Good approach with the dealer service that you had done.

Last edited by ChiTDI; 09-26-2010 at 08:30 AM.
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Old 10-26-2010, 02:53 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Glad you got your car all sorted out! Did you ever find out which year motors will work in a 2000? I am in a similar situation only the motor in my 2000 Avalon is blown.

Thanks,
Chris
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Old 11-20-2010, 12:54 AM   #15 (permalink)
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You shelled out a bit much..... but convenience is good thing... the car should easily do another 100k without any problems...
Just keep the oil changed.....
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