when starting up the car and putting my 6cylinder automatic in gear and starting to drive off i hear a relay kicking in. what is that noise? it only happens after first starting the car and pulling off, it does not happen at red lights or stopping with the enginge running- only on initial start-up.
I don’t think it is a matter to concern yourself about if the car runs properly. It could be part of the ABS and traction control systems going through the self check and set up process. This happens when the car is started and once set will not happen again until you take the key out of the car and reinsert the key to restart.
I believe that Uncle Turbo is correct.
The ABS self-test sound varies a bit from one make and model to another, but what they all have in common is that the self-test runs after the engine is started and the car is moved a few feet at low speed. It will not take place again until the engine is shut off and then restarted.
On some cars, the self-test sounds like a vibration and this vibration can be felt (faintly) in the brake pedal or the floor of the car. On other cars, it sounds like one or two clicks or clunks.
We can’t hear this “relay kicking in” on your Avalon, but I strongly suspect that you are simply hearing the ABS self-test. If you take a look at your Owner’s Manual, it may have a description of the ABS self-test sound, as well as describing the circumstances under which the self-test is run.