2002 Toyota Avalon

Jan. 1, 2020
Introduced in the 2000 model year, this is the second-generation Avalon, and the first Avalon built at Toyota's production plant in Georgetown, KY. Two trim levels were built, and the XLS model was available with a 110-volt AC outlet in the instrumen
Introduced in the 2000 model year, this is the second-generation Avalon, and the first Avalon built at Toyota's production plant in Georgetown, KY. Two trim levels were built, and the XLS model was available with a 110-volt AC outlet in the instrument panel or center console.

Both models are equipped with Toyota's standard-issue V6 engine. The fuel system is returnless, meaning the device under the hood that looks like a fuel pressure regulator is really a pulse damper. Fuel pressure is checked with the engine not running.

The timing belt drives the water pump, and ignition timing is checked with terminals TE1 and E1 on the underhood Data Link Connector jumpered together. Although it has solid lifters, at least the adjusting shims are on top of the buckets, so you don't need to remove the camshafts for valve adjustment.

The transmission used with this engine is always listed as a four-speed, but it really has only three gear ratios plus an overdrive unit. That means acceleration is "dignified," but gas mileage is outstanding for a car that weighs almost 3,500 pounds.

The XLS model was available with Toyota's Vehicle Skid Control system, which uses the ABS computer to apply brakes on each wheel as needed for traction control and/or stability control. Another option is Brake Assist, which uses sensors to determine if the driver is making a panic stop, and if so, the vacuum boost is automatically increased to apply maximum braking.

Only two serious technical service bulletins (TSBs) have shown up for the Avalon. The first one, a malfunction indicator lamp (MIL) illumination accompanied by misfire codes, is usually caused by faulty ignition coils. The second involves EVAP codes: Check the Vacuum Solenoid Valve (VSV) first, otherwise known as the canister purge valve, for malfunction or clogging.

These cars were expensive when new, and they're holding their value, so it's likely the owners will want the best care and service they can get.

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