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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I bought a 2006 Avalon Limited 11 days ago based largely on an article by Kelley Blue Book that rated #1 the 2006 Avalon for used cars $8000 and under and stated that well cared for examples largely provide 200k trouble free miles. See article here: http://www.kbb.com/car-reviews-and-news/top-10/best-used-cars-under-8000/2100000852/

I thought a well cared for example was what I bought. One Owner 81k miles extensive service history documented by carfax at local Toyota dealership. Car truly looks immaculate. I did notice on carfax that in December 2009 the engine oil cooler line was replaced/repaired.

Imagine my surprise a day or so after buying the car to come across the carcomplaints.com website and the “avoid like the plague” designation the 2006 Avalon has earned there. Well, so now the engine oil cooler line thing makes sense to me. The next day, I made the trek to the local Toyota dealership to find out what hose was put on the car in December 2009 AT 37165 MILES. They were not very helpful, but I did get a diagram of the hose location from the parts dept.

The following day I went to a different local Toyota dealership, and this service guy is a tad more helpful. We go inside and he tells me that my car is not even listed as a part of that recall. As he is looking at some service history, a “severe oil leak” event caught my eye. It was April 2009. This event is NOT on carfax. An out of town dealership is the dealer doing repair. Mileage = 28835 Notes: SEVERE ENGINE OIL LEAK Cause Desc: HOLE IN VVTI LINE, GASKETS, COVER & OIL SOAKED BELT(VVTI LINES HAVE BEEN ON BACK ORDER) 14 DAY RENT Part # of replacement hose was 1570731030

So, to summarize: 4/09 – severe oil leak from busted vvti hose. how can I find out if there was engine damage? Then 8 months later in 12/09 local dealership reports replacing oil cooler line.

After closely looking at the hose currently on the car, I believe the updated hose is installed, but I believe it is the Lexus version of the hose. I can make out the following yellow letters Oil > ACM FKM.

Are there any confirmed failures of the replacement hose? Does it matter that the Lexus hose was used instead of the updated Toyota hose with the yellow bar?

Are there any signs I should look out for that might signify existing engine damage from the line failure at 28k?

Any other suggestions, tips, and hints would be greatly appreciated!
 

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Just my 2 cents.

You mention work being done or conditions reported 7 yrs. ago - 2009

The engine could not have been too terribly damaged and survive 7 yrs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Just my 2 cents.

You mention work being done or conditions reported 7 yrs. ago - 2009

The engine could not have been too terribly damaged and survive 7 yrs.
Thanks Mike. That is what I was thinking as well. I guess I am just looking for reassurance that I did not waste my money. According to the records on carfax, the car was otherwise regularly maintained at the dealership.

How accurate is the mpg that is represented on the display screen? My mpg does seem worse than expected according to the number displayed. I am now tracking it the old fashioned way to get an accurate reading of my mpg.
 

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Hello all,

I bought a 2006 Avalon Limited 11 ...

I thought a well cared for example...
Congratulations, welcome to the club!

...
Imagine my surprise a day or so after buying the car to come across the carcomplaints.com website and the “avoid like the plague” designation the 2006 Avalon has earned there.
That website is going to have a list of the worst complaints about any given car. And...lets face it, EVERY CAR MADE...has the potential to be a problem child. Depending on all kinds of issues. I don't think "avoid like the plague" reflects most owner's experience. On on the whole, I think you will find the Avalon lives up to its reputation as a fairly reliable car, if you do the factory recommended maintenance.

... this service guy is a tad more helpful. We go inside and he tells me that my car is not even listed as a part of that recall. As he is looking at some service history, a “severe oil leak” event caught my eye. It was April 2009. This event is NOT on carfax.
Doesn't surprise me. I did run a CARFAX on my 2009 XL before I bought it. Some things that the previous owner told me he had done were NOT on the Carfax. But you know you can also register as the owner on the Toyota web site and see dealer service history for your particular VIN, right? If not, I recommend that you go do that, too.

So, to summarize: 4/09 – severe oil leak from busted vvti hose. how can I find out if there was engine damage?
As you already deduced, the fact that engine has continued to run this long indicates there wasn't anything too severe. Otherwise, it would have manifested itself by now.

Any other suggestions, tips, and hints would be greatly appreciated!
My recommendation is to look at the Factory Maintenance Service Guide (it's available free online at Toyota.com if you can't find a copy in the glovebox) and make sure you are up to date on all the required service items.

Some folks on here will recommend that if you buy a used car, be proactive and do all the required fluid changes (oil, coolant, trans, brakes) up front.

I think that's a bit excessive myself, especially considering you have the service history record.
But it really doesn't hurt and can give the new owner some peace of mind, knowing you are starting with a "fresh slate" when it comes to maintenance.


From what I've read (but thankfully not experienced myself), the faulty oil line is one of the few serious issues this generation of Avalons had....and you've already had yours replaced. From what I have read, some folks had the replacement line fail too, but not sure how common that is.

There are many threads on this forum dealing with the "oil line issue", and some folks say the way to make sure it doesn't rear it's head again is to get it replace with an ALL METAL line.

Here is a thread that talks about the part numbers for that all metal line:

http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/156-3rd-generation-2005-2012/796498-vvt-oil-line-replacement.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
But you know you can also register as the owner on the Toyota web site and see dealer service history for your particular VIN, right? If not, I recommend that you go do that, too.
Sorry for my delayed reply. I took the Avalon on a quick road trip out of town. On the way home - all interstate - I set the cruise on 70 with the a/c on and I averaged 31 mpg over the course of the 200 mile journey. Very pleased with those results.

Thank you for informing me about registering as the owner on the Toyota website. I did not know that was available to me. I am now registered and have accessed the service history.

I have a couple of other issues that i need to address, but I will start a new topic for those. Thank you for providing all the helpful information.
 
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2021 Camry SE-2009 Camry V6
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Sounds like you are AOK after all

Sorry for my delayed reply. I took the Avalon on a quick road trip out of town. On the way home - all interstate - I set the cruise on 70 with the a/c on and I averaged 31 mpg over the course of the 200 mile journey. Very pleased with those results.

Thank you for informing me about registering as the owner on the Toyota website. I did not know that was available to me. I am now registered and have accessed the service history.

I have a couple of other issues that i need to address, but I will start a new topic for those. Thank you for providing all the helpful information.
**************
I am the author of this website (which I no longer update) and have dealt with the oil line issue extensively:

https://sites.google.com/site/toyotav6oillinescandal/

The fact that you got 31 mpg's says you are one of the fortunate ones who got through this with no engine damage. Many people caught the severe oil leak before the engine ran dry on oil ("only" loosing 3-4 quarts of oil out of 6.4). I too am a member of carcomplaints.com and there was one person on there with an Avalon who said that before the oil leak the car got 30 mpgs and afterwards got 25 mpg's so there was obvious engine damage. Toyota/Lexus' handling of the vvt-i oil line issue of course was abysmal. They couldn't even get the name of the oil line right ... they called it an oil cooler hose when the car doesn't even have an oil cooler. There is a separate faulty oil cooler rubber hose line issue that applies to Highlanders, Sienna, Lexus RX with trailer tow package where the cars actually do have an oil cooler. The VIN tracking system was a complete "clusterf#%$" and after three tries they still have not notified all of the owners ... hence .... the extended warranty until year 2021. There are so far no documented cases of the replacement oil line failing.


As noted on my website, there are however MANY cases where the dealer SAID they replaced the oil line (but clearly did not ..... they probably only inspected it) and the oil line failed. For peace of mind, as mentioned in an earlier post, you may want to replace your rubber line with the all metal version. This should cost you under $150. On all other vehicles with this engine, this is is at least a $250 to $300 job because the power steering pump has to be removed ... but due to the size of the engine compartment, on the Avalon it does not.

Anyone that has had to deal with a burned out engine is obviously going to say "avoid the car like the plague." Despite the oil line issue, at one time Consumer Reports (and they still may) rated the 05 & 06 Avalon as a "bust buy" with a great repair record in the "used cars under $10,000 category."

The only other thing to "keep an eye out for" with respect to the drive train is the water pump. You note that the car has an "extensive" maintenance history at the dealer. By now, in addition to obvious routine items like oil, air filter, and cabin filter changes, the following services should have been performed:

1) Coolant exchange. The owner's manual says 10 years or 100k whichever comes first. Then 5 years 50K thereafter. This service is particularly important since the water pump lubricant wears out with time. Further, the service requires coolant with "de-ionized" distilled water. To play it safe, stick only with Toyota brand long life pink coolant to avoid an adverse chemical reaction . The reason .... when they drain both sides of the the block plus the radiator ... not all the fluid comes out and the system is not supposed to be flushed with tap water like it was in the "old days."

2) Brake fluid exchange: The brake fluid should be the color of virgin olive oil. Since it absorbs moisture, when it deteriorates and turns dark, it can lead to expensive repairs to the master cylinder ant other parts. Although it is not on the maintenance schedule, note that Lexus uses the same brake fluid and says to exchange it every 30,000 miles. As a practical matter, it generally starts to deteriorate between 50k and 75K.

3)Transmission fluid drain and fill or flush: Follow the dealer recommendation and like the coolant, it is best not to mix brands or types of fluid.

Also, always use top tier gas (meaning name brand gas .... no "ghetto gas" ..... to keep your injectors and valves clean.

http://www.toptiergas.com/

Your spark plugs should be fine. Owners manual says 120,000 miles/12 years and people who have changed the plugs on this engine and posted pictures show that they are good for at least 120,000 miles. Plugs don't "wear out" with time like motor oil and coolant.

Happy motoring and don't worry, you made a great used car choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
**************
I am the author of this website (which I no longer update) and have dealt with the oil line issue extensively:

https://sites.google.com/site/toyotav6oillinescandal/
I have read your site and was hoping you would reply here. (Thank you for that site!)

The fact that you got 31 mpg's says you are one of the fortunate ones who got through this with no engine damage.
I certainly hope so. I will say on the way out of town, I only achieved 24.7 mpg. I did drive faster on that leg and occasionally had to utilize the passing gear. Just driving around town the week prior, I was only getting 20.5. At least I did prove to myself on the road trip home that 31 mpg was possible.

...and there was one person on there with an Avalon who said that before the oil leak the car got 30 mpgs and afterwards got 25 mpg's so there was obvious engine damage.
I did see that and it honestly had me a little concerned. The 20.5 mpg I've got around town so far is worse than I was expecting.

As noted on my website, there are however MANY cases where the dealer SAID they replaced the oil line (but clearly did not ..... they probably only inspected it) and the oil line failed.
I believe I have the replacement Lexus hose based on the markings I mentioned in my original post. Do you know if the Lexus hose is the equivalent of the replacement Toyota hose?

For peace of mind, as mentioned in an earlier post, you may want to replace your rubber line with the all metal version. This should cost you under $150. On all other vehicles with this engine, this is is at least a $250 to $300 job because the power steering pump has to be removed ... but due to the size of the engine compartment, on the Avalon it does not.
The second dealership's service department I went to quoted me 2 hours labor cost - so he obviously does not have the correct information. I need to call and check price at a couple more dealers.

Anyone that has had to deal with a burned out engine is obviously going to say "avoid the car like the plague." Despite the oil line issue, at one time Consumer Reports (and they still may) rated the 05 & 06 Avalon as a "bust buy" with a great repair record in the "used cars under $10,000 category."
I think you meant "best buy" rather than "bust buy" - ha! The article at KBB that I referenced is probably the biggest reason I bought the Avalon. It is disturbing to me, though, that KBB did not even mention the issue with the oil line while rating the 2006 Avalon #1 in their rankings. This seems like a pretty big deal if not addressed.

Happy motoring and don't worry, you made a great used car choice.
Thank you very much. I really do love the car so far. I did a lot of research before buying, but somehow I completely missed the vvt-i oil hose issue. If I had found that out beforehand, I'm pretty sure it would of scared me away. I appreciate all the work and time you have spent on this issue. Your information has been very helpful.
 

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....
I believe I have the replacement Lexus hose based on the markings I mentioned in my original post. Do you know if the Lexus hose is the equivalent of the replacement Toyota hose?

The second dealership's service department I went to quoted me 2 hours labor cost - so he obviously does not have the correct information. I need to call and check price at a couple more dealers ....
Here is the best I can find on the Lexus replacement part number from post #51:

Checked my mother's 2008 ES 350 today (build date 11/07), Made in Japan. She has the "old rubber design". On the side of the rubber it says in yellow letters: AT OIL ACM. It's the same piece of [email protected]#% as the rubber that was replaced on my 2007 RX 350 last week. The new, "improved" rubber should have the following designation on its side: KK20 OIL>ACM FKM. Toyota better start sending the campaign letters very soon before more people start getting the line raptures. Below I am posting a picture of the "bad" rubber, taken from another forum. This is what you want to have replaced with an "improved" design!!!!!!!!You can even see in the picture how the "old" rubber is starting to get soft, and it's visible how the metal clamp is squeezing the mushy, deteriorating rubber. I definitely would not want to drive any car with rubber ready to explode any minute. I think "AT" designation stands for automatic transmission, and Toyota simply put wrong rubber hose, designed to carry automatic transmission fluid, in the wrong place!?!?!?!?!?!?
http://www.clublexus.com/forums/es-5th-gen-2007-2012/470667-oil-pressure-hose-failed-4.html

I can make out the following yellow letters Oil > ACM FKM.
So it looks like you're "good to go" so to speak.

As far as labor is concerned for the all metal oil line, quotes are all over the map but most dealers seem to love to rip people off on this issue. Even on ES & RX Lexus, some quotes are as little as one hour labor. For example, see post #1 here:

http://us.lexusownersclub.com/forums/topic/62157-lexus-es-350-vvti-oil-line-failures/

Look here for a video of the leak on a 2GR-FE engine: http://au.toyotaownersclub.com/forums/inde...showtopic=22775

I bought the parts at my local Toyota dealer (all metal line and gaskets) for $31 and my ES goes to the dealer tomorrow morning for the install (they quoted 1 hour $109 for labor).

Part numbers are: 15772-31030 oil pipe, 90430-16012 gasket(2), 90430-16016 gasket, 90430-16017 gasket. The pipe is all metal.

The campaign for free replacement is Campaign 923. My vin is not on it so I am paying myself. $140 is cheaper than a new engine. Note: This also efects the RX350
 
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