2013 Avalon Hybrid

Discussion in 'Toyota Hybrids and EVs' started by windstrings, May 3, 2013.

  1. Isaac Zachary

    Isaac Zachary Member

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    I used to drive a Nissan Leaf 150 miles in a day at 35mph with no AC or heat, but could brag that all the charging was free.
     
  2. windstrings

    windstrings Certified Prius Breeder

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    Yea, that gets old after there's no one left to impress, then you ask yourself "and why am I driving & suffering like a poor person when I spent xxxx on this car?
     
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  3. Isaac Zachary

    Isaac Zachary Member

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    Ya. At least with my VW Golf I can say I only paid $600 for it and it's lasted me 7 years so far without any major problems. But having at least AC would be nice.
     
  4. Aaron Vitolins

    Aaron Vitolins Senior Member

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    You also might want to check out the fusion hybrid 2013+ I have a c-max that has the same 188 hp. It gets 40 mpg and has nice off the line torque! I can screech the tires
     
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  5. Isaac Zachary

    Isaac Zachary Member

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    I'll check those out @Aaron Vitolins . Thanks!

    Right now I'm looking at some used Avalon hybrids. Not at all cheap!

    The closest one (300 miles away) turned out to be a dud. A 2013 with a salvage title and changed odometer.

    After that, I'm looking at one that's 800 miles away in Fort Worth, TX. It's a 2013 with 43k miles for about $16,500. Carfax checks out fine and it's being sold at a Toyota dealer. I plan on scheduling a mobile pre-purchase inspection and heading out to see it the Monday after next. I just don't know who to get to do the inspection.
     
  6. Aaron Vitolins

    Aaron Vitolins Senior Member

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    That's awesome! I've always lusted after an Avalon hybrid. They are very common here in Nashville. They have nice power, extremely smooth and quiet, all while getting 40 mpg. Compared to your VW you'll think you had died and gone to heaven !
     
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  7. windstrings

    windstrings Certified Prius Breeder

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    Get it get it!
    The ONLY thing negatives that aggravates me about our 2013 is:
    1. it takes a while before the air wants to quit thinking about the environment and actually starts blowing well.. You can override it by turning the fan up high.
    2. Also the led screens on the air are hard to see in daylight.
    3. NAV screens could use a faster graphics processor.

    But it works, and it's a great riding car!
    I put Michelin defenders on it, it drives like new still with 160k!
     
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  8. Isaac Zachary

    Isaac Zachary Member

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    The goal is that my wife feels that way.
     
  9. Aaron Vitolins

    Aaron Vitolins Senior Member

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    You're a good man! Can't wait to hear what you end up getting!
     
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  10. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Happy wife, happy life(y).
     
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  11. Isaac Zachary

    Isaac Zachary Member

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    Update. So the Avalon I was looking at has a big deep scratch, crease and dent in the right rear door. The window in that door also doesn't work correctly. Not sure if the two problems are related.

    Well call me cheap but in view of the two problems I offered $1,500 less. $15,300 instead of $16,800. Now I just have to wait and see what they say. Even if they let me lower it $1,000 I'd still go get it. Last time I had a similar dent fixed at a body shop it cost over $3,000!

    I saw another Avalon hybrid for around the same price and at the same distance, but in another direction. However I've asked twice by email if I could have a pre-purchase inspection done and I get a lengthy email back each time telling me how wonderful their dealership is. So I think these guys with the second Avalon might be trying to hide something even though it has a good Carfax report.

    I noticed there are a few certified Avalon Limited Hybrids for around $17,500. To me it would be worth it to pay $1,000 more to not only have it certified and gouge free, but also rear heated seats.
     
  12. windstrings

    windstrings Certified Prius Breeder

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    Humm, Its one thing if you know exactly what you're dealing with but it sounds like there could be yet other issues now...
    What about the hybrid battery, or the cooling fan etc that could be damaged with the impact, or frame etc.... Damage should drastically lower the price "more than 2500.00 imo"

    They like to flip these things with no hands on money out of pocket to fix things.
    Ask them to fix all the known issues and see what they say and what will be the new price... You may be shocked!
    They want you to deal with the unknowns and headaches... It really is a gamble.... Just like a car auction.

    Gambling is only worth it if the price is right... "that's how and why they bought it", that opportunity is gone at that new price.

    I would be patient and get what you want, and know there are no obvious surprises.

    I dont like gambling with that much money, let alone the hassle of fixing it just to break even "best case scenario".

    There's just too many other opportunities out there without stepping in it on purpose!
     
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  13. windstrings

    windstrings Certified Prius Breeder

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    I could see an unscrupulous seller hiding something he thought the buyer would probably never find any way, but it really drives me nuts when there is something quite obvious that they hide till later knowing the customer will hopefully be emotionally invested by the time they find out and they can leverage a better deal then if it was revealed first.

    Hence the need for the creation of organizations like Carfax which are often corrupt even in themselves

    There is nothing like dealing with a person eye-to-eye shaking hands feeling their personality yourself.

    So many of these guys have absolutely no problem screwing the buyer having an attitude that they should know " buyer beware" and it's their problem to figure out the secret hidden problem areas.

    The other side of that coin getting a really good deal, it's common sense to realize you are getting what you pay for-- not a brand new car.

    I just like honesty in the deal & if I sense the guy is in too much of a hurry or pulling a fast one the deal's off and I walk.

    Yes I might miss a good deal here and there but I'm not willing to risk a bad deal and I have never purchased a bad deal yet!
     
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  14. Isaac Zachary

    Isaac Zachary Member

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    Looking at the car personally the scratches and "dents" are hardly even noticeable. Maybe it got hit by a shopping cart once upon a t time.
    Anyhow, with the CArfax being good and the pre-inspection mechanic recommending the car I am now the proud owner of a 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid XLE.

    Now I just need to figure out how to take care of it. Are there factory repair manuals available for cars like this? What's all entailed in "tightening the chasis and suspension bolts" as said in the maintenance schedule? How often should I change the timing belt? How about radiator flush? Should I use Toyota oil, Mobile 1 or my old favorite, Motul? Best filters?

    And most importantly, is there a block heater I can get for this car?
     
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  15. Munpot42

    Munpot42 Senior Member

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    How many miles on the car? Do you have all the manuals for the car?
    Don't know about a block heater, but the drivetrain is the same as the Camry Hybrid if that helps in your search.
     
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  16. Isaac Zachary

    Isaac Zachary Member

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    The car had 52K miles. I've put some 5,000 on it since I bought it at the beginning of the month. Yes, I have all the manuals, and the car came with three keys! Thanks for the Camry Hybrid tip! I see that there is a block heater available for the Camry. I hope to get one this up coming week.
     
  17. Isaac Zachary

    Isaac Zachary Member

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    Here's a question.

    To S mode or not to S mode?

    I drive over a lot of mountain passes. The ones I drive over regularly aren't too terribly steep, but can fill the battery to full half way down the mountain quite easily. In fact I end up filling the battery to full 5 times in a single day. (Which is kind of fun afterward for the next several miles as I get 99.9mpg under pure electric power). The easiest thing for me to do going down hill is just turn on the cruise control and let the Avalon regen brake to maintain it's speed. Once the battery starts getting full it starts to engine brake automatically. The amount of regen braking, according to the eco meter, is about half or less when using the cruise control downhill than when using the service brakes. I like using cruise control whenever I can since I can keep my eyes on the road, which is important considering the amount of deer I drive by.

    But on the other hand it seems some have said that such driving can be hard on the traction battery. I really want this car to last. The Avalon has an engine braking mode called "S mode" with 6 different virtual "gears." I notice that the eco meter indicates it regenerates even less while in S mode than in D with the cruise control on. But sadly you can't use S mode and cruise control together. So that makes me look down quite often at the speedometer in order to know when to "shift" up or down to maintain my speed.

    The nice thing though is that either way it makes using the service brakes unnecessary. But should I worry that much about hurting the traction battery?
     
  18. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Going off the shifter in my 2016 ICE Camry, you should be able to make use of the Sequential mode without looking down after a bit of practice, but I'm spoiled, got a SE with paddle shifters for it.

    Even when the display says the battery is full, there is still a sizeable buffer of unused capacity in the pack to reduce any damage from overcharging. Toyota designed the system to last for a 10yr/150k mile warranty. Regular mountain driving can be harder on the battery than cruising along the flats, but it is harder on all of the car. So use the method you are comfortable with.
     
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  19. Isaac Zachary

    Isaac Zachary Member

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    Today, for the first time for me and all by myself, almost 5,000 miles and a little over one month after I bought my Avalon:
    • I changed the oil and filter
    • I changed the transmission ATF fluid
    • I installed a block heater
    • I rotated the tires
    • I replaced both the engine air filter and the cabin air filter
    • I pulled down the muffler which was kinked up into the heat shroud
    • And I inspected the brakes, lines, CV joint boots, etc. Everything was in great condition.
    I was also wanting to check the quality of the radiator and brake fluids some time soon. And I want to see if there's a date or something on the 12V battery. I might just replace it since it's 5 years old now, that is, if it hasn't been replaced before. Anything else I should look at?

    We're loving the car! and I'm getting about 42mpg average. That's a little better than the EPA rating. My hip pain has gone away. Now I know that if I don't fit in a car, it hurts! (I'm 6'1").

    But here's one thing I want to do that I just can't decide upon. Maybe someone here will say yay or nay and I'll just do it just because. I want to get winter tires for the Avalon. Probably some studded Firestone Winterforce snow tires. But I can't decide whether to just have them changed every season, or get a set of rims and then change them myself. (The all-season Pirelli's I have look brand new.)

    I can get 4 used Avalon rims for $435 on eBay with shipping included. I can't seem to find any steel rims for any cheaper. I did see some aftermarket aluminum wheels that would fit for $250 for the set on CraigsList. Not sure if there still there. But the downside to changing the rims is I don't have any way of synchronizing the tire sensors. And aftermarket rims don't even come with sensors. Would it be possible to sync them myself? Or is just ignoring whatever tire-pressure-warning-light going to be ok?

    Changing the tires each season adds up to about $120 per year ($60 each change). And a couple down sides are 1) I basically have to guess when it is going to snow (and stop snowing). But with my own rims I can put them on and off whenever I want. And 2) I've had snow tires start to split at the bead from being removed so many times. So that could happen and then I'd need a tube which might mess with the pressure sensor anyway.

    Any suggestions?
     
  20. Munpot42

    Munpot42 Senior Member

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    Buy a set of wheels and do it yourself. As far as tire sensors, leave them in your summer tires and do without on the winter tires. Note: This suggestion comes from a really cheap guy, enjoy your Avalon, I've had mine for 5 years and still love it.
     
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