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The Toyota Avalon might be heading for discontinuation, but there are plenty of used model years for potential owners to consider. Still, even Toyota’s reputation for reliability doesn’t a flawless car make. Even the venerable Toyota Avalon has a couple of problems, like a check engine light indicating a failed oxygen sensor. 

What problems does the Toyota Avalon have?

The Toyota Avalon has a few problems that owners report with frequency. According to RepairPal, the Avalon’s rear window sunshades tend to fail or emit a grinding noise. Over 200 owners have complained about that issue. 

Moreover, like every other car on the market, the Avalon has examples of mechanical issues that could occur with high mileage. For instance, 171 owners complained about ignition coil failure after the 100,000-mile mark at the time of this article. Still, it’s not a catastrophic problem. 

Another issue that the Toyota Avalon has is a check engine light that illuminates following an oxygen sensor failure. That’s a common issue with passenger vehicles and definitely not an issue unique to Toyota’s large, affordable luxury sedan. All in all, the Avalon’s issues are manageable. 

Does Toyota Avalon have transmission problems?

While it’s infrequent, some Toyota Avalon owners report transmission issues at high mileage. For instance, nearly 100 owners said that their automatic transmissions fail to shift properly after reaching high odometer readings. 

This older Toyota Avalon is prone to problems like check engine lights, but looks composed on stage.
Toyota Avalon | Frank Polich, Getty Images

Most of the other most frequently reported issues involve sensors and failing components over hundreds of thousands of miles. Fortunately, transmission issues are not common. Moreover, most model years of the Avalon go without mass complaints of transmission. However, says the 2015 model year does have instances of “jumpy” transmission operation. 

Which year of Avalon should you avoid?

The Toyota Avalon model years with the most problems are the 2006, 2007, and 2008 models. According to, the 2006 model year has the most significant number of issues. Specifically, owners report oil leaks and loss of oil pressure without warning in their Avalon’s engines. 

Conversely, the latest Avalon model years exhibit very few owner complaints. For instance, the 2021 Avalon shows just one common complaint: an interior accessory issue related to the model’s infotainment system. Moreover, the 2022 model is the last of the sedan’s latest generation and has no commonly reported problems. 

Is the Toyota Avalon a reliable car?

The Toyota Avalon is a reliable car in the affordable luxury space. RepairPal gives the Avalon a 4.0 out of 5.0 for reliability, earning the Toyota model the third spot in the full-size cars category. Also, the Avalon boasts a low annual repair cost of around $463.

Moreover, the Avalon is more reliable than the comparable Nissan Maxima. For instance, the Maxima earned a 3.5 out of 5.0 for reliability or ninth place in RepairPal’s full-size category ranking. Also, with an annual repair cost of about $540, it’s more expensive to maintain than an Avalon.


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