2003 Toyota Avalon Repair and Maintenance

A guide to problems, costs, maintenance and repair for your 2003 Toyota Avalon

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The Check Engine Light may illuminate because a component of the oxygen sensor stops working. As a result the engine computer is unable to determine the proper ratio of air to fuel for the engine. Replacing the failed oxygen sensor should correct this concern.


On higher mileage vehicles, an engine misfire may develop and/or the Check Engine Light may illuminate due to a failed ignition coil. It is not uncommon to replace all the coils when the first one fails in order to prevent return trips to the repair shop.

The Evaporative system may have problems with the vapor canister releasing charcoal pellets that plug the vent valve. Typically a Code P0441, P0442 and P0446 will be set. The key code is the P0446 which is a vent valve electrical failure. The proper repair is to replace the entire canister with all the valves as a unit. This is located on top of the fuel tank and is expensive. Our Technicians tell us that for awhile Toyota was covering these problems, but this may have changed. It would not hurt to call the dealer if this problem occurs to see if Toyota is still helping with these repairs.

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The airbag control module can fail prematurely due to electrical noise beyond the tolerance it was designed for. As a result the front airbags, side airbags, and/or seatbelt pretensioners could deploy inadvertently while the vehicle is being operated, increasing the risk of personal injury and/or a crash. Dealers will replace the airbag control module and front and/or side impact sensors as required to correct this concern.

Circuits in the supplemental restraint system may short, resulting in damage that may unintentionally deploy the front air bags and / or seat belt pretensioners. Dealers will install a noise filter between the air bag control module and the affected wiring harness free of charge to resolve the concern.

Toyota is recalling 2000–2004 Avalon models due to improper casting of the steering lock bar, which may cause the bar to crack or even break. If the bar breaks, the steering wheel will lock, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash. Dealers will replace the steering lock device free of charge.

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have 110,000 miles. been getting a thumping noise from the rear. Have replaced struts and sway bar bushings, still getting the thumping noise. Looking for thoughts as cause. Please reply to drwnbhlr@rushmore.com thank you

Owned 2 4Runner's until purchased a 2004 Avalon. I LOVE the ride and comfort of this car I'm at 185,000. Gets excellent services oil changes with 3,500 mile scheduled maintenance. Runs smooth with the 6 cylinder love this car its worth everything in the book planning driving until all four wheels comes off. I recently got T-Belt changed @75,000 so far after 6 years owned my Avalon there hasn't ...

Owned Camry's up until this one. I love the conformable ride and so do our friends. Only problem, master cylinder went @ 108,200. All in all the car has been great. Just remember your service check-up, its been a fantastic car for us.

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