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Matt, Mechanical Engineer
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 21867
Experience:  BEng, Repaired my own cars and others for 20 years, worked in Formula 1 for 10 years
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Our toyota avalon is very unstable in wind to the extent of

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Our toyota avalon is very unstable in wind to the extent of being scary.could this be a stability control problem.note it is a 2009


the 1st thing to check is are the tyre pressures up the recommended maximum shown on the door pillar sticker.

also do you have the same make of tyre from left to right. If these are both OK then I'd take the car to a place that does 4 wheel suspension alignment, most places use the back wheels as a datum and assume that they are perfectly straight and true. Often this is not the case and many modern cars are now adjustable at the rear as well as the front.

A 4 wheel alignment measures all four wheels independently and each is set -up without referring to each other.

Let me know how you get on

Customer: replied 4 years ago.


normal driving with this car is haa four new tires and the car has 38000 described the car sways back and forth dangerously from side to side as if there where a weak componet somewhere in the suspension system componenants when wind gusts push on the sides of the car.this effect is so pronounced that it alarms people driving in the carr.i agree that your answer outlines a reasonable check list however it does not get at the root of the cause.can you dig a bit more on the issue?

mike noll

Hello Mike

it sounds like the anti-roll bar may have a worn drop link
- jack the car up so the wheels are off the ground and then reach under and use a pry bar to move the anti-roll bar up and down as it should be tight

if this OK then shake the tyre from top to bottom and from side to side (with someone holding the steering wheel on the front) there should be no play in either direction. Any play in 1 direction will usually require a joint to be replaced, if there’s play in both directions then the wheel bearing may be at fault. If theres play only up and down its the strut top mount - to find this one you have to shake the suspension strut it self up and down with the wheel off the ground - so you may need to remove the wheel to check this one.

Now with the car jacked up on that side with the wheel about 2 inches off the ground use a steel bar under the wheel and lever the wheel up and down slightly, you should be able to look at the end of the axle and see if the suspension arm is moving up and down separately to the axle.If so replace the bush

To feel if there's a worn strut top bearing then lightly hold the spring by hand and have your assistant move the steering from left to right with the wheel on the ground - a worn bearing will feel 'notchy' through the spring. The wheel needs to be on the ground for the test to load up the bearing

Customer: replied 4 years ago.


while your response makes sense i cannot believe a car like this one should should already have such pronou ced wear at the low milage of 36000 miles.does this make sense to you in this context?



Hello Mike

I'd agree that 36,000 miles is low for suspension component to be worn, however potholes can prematurely wear components like this out so its not impossible

the other possibility is as you originally stated , a fault with the ESP or stability system

however these would usually turn on the ESP light on the dash which you haven't mentioned so I was assuming that the issue is something else

however if the suspension checks out OK then this would be the next thing to check and this is best done with a diagnostic check, by plugging in a diagnostic device to the OBD port
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