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2004 Toyota Sequoia
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223 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I posted this on a FB page as well, so some may have already seen this there, but looking for more opinions.

Considering an '05 Limited with 131k miles. It has the optional Navigation and the little speaker on the steering wheel which I thought was bluetooth, but not so sure?

Runs and drives really good, but has a clunk through the steering wheel, mostly when turning at low speeds and when backing up, etc. Was told it could be the "Steering Intermediate Shaft" or maybe strut mounts, or worse?

The A/C blows cold, but the blower does not seem very strong, even when on MAX A/C and recirculate.

Dash lights do not seem very bright and the odometer is very dim at all times. I turned the knob until it clicked which was supposed to be "full brightness" and it was still dim.

Didn't smell any oil burning, but on the top front of the engine under that plastic cover, it looked a little oily and greasy. I suspect the valve cover gasket seeping. How difficult to change?

I can get the car for about $3,200 and is nice otherwise, just do not want to have to spend thousands to get it where it needs to be. Not looking for a show car, just something reliable to get me to work and not eat me up in fuel costs and give my Sequoia a rest. lol.

Thanks.
 

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2005 Avalon XLS
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53 Posts
Clunk is most likely the steering shaft. Not hard to lube and/or replace.

The blower could need replacing or maybe the cabin filter is really dirty.
 

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2004 Toyota Sequoia
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223 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks! I was wondering that too about the cabin filter. What about the dash lights being dim at all times? Also any input on the front of the engine being oily?
 

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2005 Avalon XLS
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53 Posts
There might be some dash bulbs out. Instrument clusters aren't too bad to remove.

The oil could be bad valve cover gaskets. Make sure it isn't a leaking oil pressure hose for the vvt-i.
 

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Avalon Enthusiast
05Avalon, 03Mustang
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935 Posts
Some answers to your original questions:



Considering an '05 Limited with 131k miles. It has the optional Navigation and the little speaker on the steering wheel which I thought was bluetooth, but not so sure?
Pressing that button temporarily turns on the Navigation voice command receiver. You speak your command in the general direction of the microphone (located in the map lights assembly) and hope for the best. Be forewarned the system does not do well with spoken English :), and may often misinterpret your intent. There is no factory Bluetooth, but you can purchase an aftermarket adapter that functions well.

The A/C blows cold, but the blower does not seem very strong, even when on MAX A/C and recirculate.

The cabin filter, located behind the glove box, may have accumulated years of debris. If the vehicle has been stored outside, mice or chipmunks find the cavity above the cabin filter a desirable place to take up residence during the winter. They leave behind several inches of insulating material they scavenged elsewhere.



Dash lights do not seem very bright and the odometer is very dim at all times. I turned the knob until it clicked which was supposed to be "full brightness" and it was still dim.

Our '05 odometer was unreadable except in total darkness, from day 1. Look through old forum posts from 2005 and you will find numerous complaints. "Too dim" is a subjective evaluation; best to compare to another '05 - '07 Avalon before deciding if there is a malfunction. Worst case, an external switch could be added to bypass the dimmer for full brightness.


Didn't smell any oil burning, but on the top front of the engine under that plastic cover, it looked a little oily and greasy. I suspect the valve cover gasket seeping. How difficult to change?
There are several Technical Service Bulletins ("TSB") for engine oil leaks, The VVT oil hose leak is the most infamous, because it can become a "gusher" without warning if not addressed. The valve cover gasket drip can be fixed, but the TSB allows more than 12 hours labor to accomplish the job. If the leak is not serious, I would just wipe the oil off with a rag once in a while, and otherwise ignore it.
 

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2004 Toyota Sequoia
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223 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks. I was wondering if that could be the issue with the a/c. I'll check it.
On the oil question, I did see on the Toyota website that it was recalled or warranted for a new vvti oil hose back in 2009. I guess it could be the issue again but it wasnt a bad leak, mostly like a glaze of light grease. The dash light are lit, but all the same amount of dimness. May be an issue or characteristic of the 05 models. I have seen others much brighter, but may have been 2006 or newer models. If I can get the car for $3000, I may go ahead and buy it. Thanks for the info.
 

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Avalon Enthusiast
05Avalon, 03Mustang
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935 Posts
Other than the odometer, I have found the gauge displays to be plenty bright, even in daytime. The switchgear, on the other hand, has always been too dim for my preference at night.
I am on my 3rd VVT oil hose; the service life of the replacement was not much different than the original hose. Some forum contributors have fared much better. I suspect there was a lot of variation in quality of the replacement job from dealer-to-dealer.
 

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2005 Avalon XLS
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53 Posts
wow, 12 hours for valve cover gaskets that is ridiculous!

I would probably rather try high mileage oil or some type of seal conditioner to try to stop the leak before I want to spend that much money or time
 

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2001 Camry
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495 Posts
I'd try to go under $3,000. You want to leave a little money for the small stuff/maintenance that it may need in the next year, which all older cars need from time to time (not a big deal).

The valve cover gaskets are a bit of a job on these Toyota V6s. It's not really a big deal if it leaks a bit, but have the spark plugs been replaced yet? They were scheduled to be done at 120K. No harm waiting until 150K or even 180K if everything seems fine, but I'd budget for spark plugs if they haven't been done (and you may as well replace the leaking valve cover gaskets while doing spark plugs). Since it's such a big job, if you have everything opened up, some might suggest you replace the rear 3 ignition coils as well.

Perhaps the dim lights are just a flaw of this model, but test the alternator with a voltmeter to check its output.
 

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2004 Toyota Sequoia
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223 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all of the replies. I hem-hawed around trying to figure out more about its issues and the car was sold today to someone else. It is gone.

The search goes on.
 
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