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Hello,

I thought i'd share this in the event it would help anyone...

I purchased a 2016 Avalon XLE about three months ago with 47K miles. The car was a local, one-owner that traded it in on a new Lexus. About one month after I bought it, I started to notice a whine under acceleration. To me, I sounded like a faulty alternator or water pump, but it was tough to imagine at such low mileage and that it would not whine when revving the engine in park; only under acceleration. I took the opportunity to replace the battery as maybe the alternator was overcompensating for a failing battery that wouldn't hold a charge. I didn't do much in the way of diagnosis on this as it was due for a battery anyhow. After the battery replacement, the whine was still there.

Several weeks later, I found a new issue...

When shifting from Reverse to Neutral, the transmission felt like it was going to fall out of the car. The vibration was unlike anything i've felt before; the 'judder' would vibrate the entire car. No other gear selection changes did this (Neutral to Drive, Drive to Neutral, etc.) You might wonder how I didn't notice this earlier, but how often do you change from Reverse to Neutral? It was not noticeable when changing from Reverse to Drive; quickly passing through Neutral.

I took it to the Toyota dealer and both of us agreed that this was probably a faulty engine / transmission mount or low fluid. However, considering that it only did from Reverse to Neutral, I still had some doubts. The dealer diagnosed it as 'abnormal,' but after checking the mounts and fluid, could but determine what was causing the issue.

I decided to take it back to the selling dealer who then took it to another Toyota dealer. The second dealer diagnosed it as faulty transmission. The ordered a Toyota Reman Transmission and had it swapped out in about a day under the 5 year / 60K powertrain warranty. I received the car back today and everything is fixed - no more whine or vibration from reverse to neutral.

I've owned many Toyotas, and this one was just odd....
 

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2014 Avalon Limited
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116 Posts
Welcome New Member. Thought this was going to be another nightmare story. Glad to hear Toyota made things right this time. The timing on this transmission fault could not have been much better for you, It would have soon cost thousands to fix.
Thanks for the heads up on the trans problem. Today`s in car electronics are a problem for so many new car manufactures, and seem to start to show up as the cars get older, and the miles add up. Soon to be gone are the days of new low tech cars with great reliability. Happy Motoring.
 

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2015 Toyota Avalon
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99 Posts
They tend to whine when low on fluid. Go too long with the whine and they burn up. Trouble is most places just say eh, sealed transmission, which couldn’t be further from the truth. It is unique in that it holds a mere 6 or so quarts, total, and requires a temperature sensitive level check, but when done, is a solid transmission otherwise.
 
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