If you’re looking for a full-sized sedan that offers great handling, thrilling performance, and bold styling, the Toyota Avalon is a great option for you. With its fuel-efficient engine and adaptive variable suspension, the Avalon makes a reliable daily driver. Its value is expected to depreciate by 55% after five years according to CarEdge.com.
Are Toyota Avalons Reliable?
RepairPal gives the Avalon a 4.0 out of 5.0 reliability rating, ranking it third out of the12 full-size cars in its segment. The average ownership cost for the Avalon is estimated at $460, which is $130 less than its competitors. The frequency of unscheduled repairs for this model is 0.4 times a year with a 13% probability of the issue being severe. This is slightly higher compared to other full-size cars.
Common Toyota Avalon Problems
Despite being one of the automaker’s flagship models, the Toyota Avalon has had its fair share of problems. Here are some of the most common issues associated with this model:
Defective Rear Window Sunshade
A defective rear window sunshade has been a common complaint from some 1995-2016 Toyota Avalon owners. Drivers of the affected model years have reported that the sunshade produced grinding noises and required passengers to manually push it down. This issue is typically corrected by replacing the entire sunshade assembly. Removing the fuse is also a common fix to eliminate the grinding noise.
Distorted Speakers and Defective Infotainment System
Many owners of the Avalon’s 2015 redesign have said that their speakers produced buzzing noises when there were lower bass tones on the radio. Other drivers tried installing extra padding to resolve the issue, but the same problem occurred. Owners have been told that this is a design flaw and have been advised to replace the door panel.
There have also been reports of a defective infotainment system in some 2015 Avalon units. Drivers have complained that their radio, navigation, and other applications would restart intermittently. The screen would sometimes freeze, leaving caller ID information displayed.
Owners of many 1995-1998, 2000-2007, 2009, and 2015 automatic transmission Avalons have complained about their vehicles being unable to shift correctly. Their transmission would hesitate when shifting from second to third gear when driving at low speeds. There have also been cases where the transmission would jerk or stay in neutral before kicking into gear due to a faulty throttle position sensor or shift solenoid. Replacing the throttle position sensor can cost anywhere between $150 and $400, while the price for a new shift solenoid can range anywhere from $100 to $500 plus labor costs.
Faulty EVAP Vapor Canister
Some 1995-2004, 2006, 2011, and 2015 Avalons have had issues with their vapor canister releasing charcoal pellets, which may plug the vent valve. This issue triggered the check engine light in the affected models and emitted a fuel vapor smell from underneath the engine.
Sudden acceleration has been a common problem reported by many 2014 Avalon owners. There have been complaints that their vehicles would accelerate for no reason with the RPM jumping from 700 to 3600 in 1.5 seconds. Some have also reported that their accelerator pedal went from 27% to 79.5% in less than a second. Toyota, however, claims that no issues were detected from the affected models.
Sudden unintended acceleration usually occurs when a vehicle experiences an electronic malfunction, causing the throttle to expand without the driver stepping on the gas pedal. In some cases, sudden acceleration can also happen when the driver hits the brakes, switches to cruise control, or shifts gears.
Many owners of 1995-2010, and 2012 Avalon redesigns have reported several cases of engine misfires. Their vehicles would jerk and hesitate due to a faulty ignition coil. Replacing this part can cost anywhere between $5 and $50 plus labor costs.
Note, however, that there may be other causes of an engine misfire like a malfunctioning control module, crankshaft position sensor, or fuel injector. Mechanical problems may also cause the engine to misfire. If your engine is misfiring, it’s best to have your vehicle checked by a licensed mechanic to get a proper diagnosis.
Faulty Oxygen Sensor
Some drivers of the 1996-2008, and 2012 Avalon redesigns have reported that their faulty oxygen sensor caused their vehicles to suffer from poor gas mileage, a rough running engine, and may have caused them to fail their emissions test. The price of a replacement oxygen sensor typically ranges from $30 to $150 plus labor costs.
Peeling paint off the roof has been a common 2011 Toyota Avalon problem reported by many drivers. Owners have reported that paint bubbled on the roof of their vehicles as well as in between the windshield and sunroof. There have also been cases where the paint would peel off in sheets due to the lack of primer upon applying the paint.
Loss of Engine Oil
Loss of engine oil has been a common problem found in many units of the 2006 Avalon. Owners have reported that their vehicles would make unusual engine noises due to a damaged oil hose that causes engine oil to leak. Some drivers have also reported their vehicles had to get towed to a repair shop due to a huge hole on the side of the engine block.
Clogged Idle Air Control Valve
A clogged idle air control valve has been a commonly reported issue by some 1995-2004, and 2006 Avalon owners. Drivers of the affected models have reported that their vehicles took longer to idle down. There have also been cases where the engine would refuse to accelerate under 2000 rpm due to debris buildup in the idle air control valve.
As reliable as the Toyota Avalon is, problems are bound to arise as it racks up mileage. By familiarizing yourself with the model’s most common issues and staying on top of its maintenance needs, you can expect your daily driver to last for a long time.