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Anybody ever heard of this?

03-21-2010, 12:08 AM
In December my 2000 Avalon XL, 80,000 miles, just turned off while I was driving! Could not get to restart. Check engine light and oil light had come on and off in the three weeks preceding it turning off. During that time my brother checked with ODB scanner and code came up re: variable valve timing. Oil change done about a month before incident ( about 3500 miles since oil last done). In the weeks before this happened, the car made a whining noise when I initially started and drove it, lasted maybe a couple of blocks.
I had car towed to Toyota dealer for eval. The service manager called a few days later and told me my engine was "locked up" and needed to have re-manufactured or maybe he said replaced, to the tune of $6000!! I told him I would have my car towed back to my home/garage as I was not going to pay $6000 for a engine on a 10 year old car. Car has been in my garage since then, would not start. We occasionally would try to turn the car on, without success. My battery ran down and had to be periodically jumped to turn use power locks, radio, etc.,. The engine would never turn on though. Fortunately I was able to use a car that my parents have while I have been debating what to do about my beloved Avalon.
My brother's friend is a mechanic and was going to take a look @ my car this week and give me an estimate/recommendation. He called my brother this week to tell him about a similar experience he had with a low mileage Camry which also had been diagnosed with a "locked up" engine. After examining the engine, he determined that the engine was not locked up after all. He discovered there was a problem with the Camry's power steering pump failing, something about the gears in the pump locking up and not cranking the belt that goes to the engine(?). He told my brother to open the power steering pump on my car to release pressure and see if car would start. Well, he did this and the car started! After three months of sitting there, the car started when he did this! Music to my ears to hear my car running!! No whining noise when he turned it on and the engine came on right away! Now I have to get a new power steering pump- am not driving car yet. My brother tells me the engine was not locked up-- can that be? Service center told me it was-- @ the cost of $125!

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