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Toyota Sienna Transmission Questions

On my 2005 Sienna, we changed the transmission fluid at 30,000 miles and just checked again at 67,000 and it is nearly BLACK. I had it changed along with the filter and 4 days later it is black again...the transmission is running well but I know this is not normal and want to avoid problems down the road. My mechanic advises against a full flush because it can cause damage to the seals.
Is it normal for the turn dark so quickly in this vehicle?


  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    Hard to say if beginning of problems, more likely an isolated incident. Anyhow, it's totally unacceptable that this would happen on a brand new van. I would ask the dealership to extend the warranty of this transmission to 7 years. Others have asked to be switched out with a brand new van.

    If van continues to have problems you can pursue lemon law, or Toyotas have high resale value... sell it.
  • Hello. 45 days ago I purchased a new 2007 Sienna XLE. It test drove beautifully (actually drove it for a full day or so before buying). It had about 350 miles on it when I took it for the test drive.
    It currently has under 1,600 miles on it and about 10 days ago I noticed when it would shift from 1st to 2nd gear, it would hesitate & buck. It almost seemed as if it was a manual transmission & you let the clutch out too fast. On the way to the dealer, I noticed that it wouldn't go into overdrive until reaching about 53 mph which seemed too high to me.

    Dealership says I need a new transmission (obviously under warranty). My question is that my family has owned approx. 6 Toyotas throughout the 80's and up to 2004. After putting up to 120,000 miles on these vehicles, we NEVER had any issues with anything other than the normal items that get replaced (brakes, timing belt, tires).

    Should I be concerned that this is only the beginning of problems? I totally babied this van driving it very conservatively. The dealer said the transmission is shot & it is a defect.
  • Luckily we have a lifetime power train warranty that our dealership provides to every new Toyota, so that is good. Yes, I'm hoping it's an isolated incident. This was the entire reason why we dumped our GM & bought a Toyota.
    I don't know if it makes a difference, but I was reading on this site that the transmissions are now made in the US in West Virginia for the Camry, Sienna and possibly another model. I figured the parts were still made in Japan, but assembled in the US. I guess not anymore.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Let them fix it.

    The 5 speed trans is actually pretty good. Toyota is having more issues with their 6 speed, though the Sienna didn't get that new design yet.

    Mine has been fine, so I agree this will likely be an isolated incident.
  • lxpatellxpatel Posts: 34
    Life time warranty that you did have to pay for? or they gave that as a result of tranny failure. Let us know, I would want to shop over there next time, to avoid buying extended warranty.
  • The lifetime powertrain warranty was given to us by the dealership at the time of vehicle purchase. It is something that all of the Toyota dealerships give at the time of a new Toyota vehicle purchase.

    Got my van back on Friday and it runs beautifully! Super smooth (I think smoother than when I purchased the vehicle)!

    So far, so good! :-)
  • You just got yours back today and mine was just diagnosed today!!!! I also have a Sienna 2007 LE and it has 4,500 miles on it and we purchased it in May this
    They are ordering a new transmission for the vehicle! Obviously it is under warranty...but we did not get the lifetime, because Gettel Toyota did not offer it. However we got the vehicle for several thousand less than other toyota dealerships that offered the lifetime. This is our 3rd Toyota...and the first to have a major issue:( Coincidence...or just a bad line of transmissions...or the beginning of a lot more problems???? I'd like to know also.
  • caravan2caravan2 Posts: 198
    That's interesting.... I was giving the option for 100K warranty if I do all the maintenance work at their shop.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Hopefully they fix yours just like they fixed his. Let's see.

    I bought mine in May and the trans is fine, actually my overall performance/MPG is fantastic.

    Extended warranties are dirt cheap, about $800 for a 7/100. There is a thread here on Edmunds if you search.
  • Good luck with your new transmission, pingmoon. Hopefully your 2nd one will be perfect -- mine is far better than the original but I had no idea because that was the only Sienna we test drove. Hmmm, maybe that's why we got such a good deal?? :-)

    If you can, let me know when you get your Sienna back with the new transmission. Our service advisor told us that we were getting a "new" transmission. However, when we got the receipt, it shows a "reman atm". Turns out it is a remanufactured one, sort of. They told us the transmission is new except the outer casing. They told us that the dealership cannot obtain a new transmission through Toyota, only this one which legally must be called a remanufactured one because the outer casing is from another Toyota.

    I've never had to deal with any of this before but I feel since it has a lifetime warranty, then I should be OK.

  • lxpatellxpatel Posts: 34
    can you tell us dealership that gave you the lifetime warranty, Thanx
  • Jenn,
    How frustrating. Do you think they are telling the truth when they say it is new except for the casing? These vehicles are too new to have to accept a used transmission. I'll let you know what they tell me.
    Thanks to the other poster for the warranty info!
  • Yes, I know it's hard to believe....My hubby and I bought a brand miles....2007 Sienna LE in July of this year and in 2 weeks and under 500 miles I was stranded 4 hours from home. Transmission acted like it was slipping and then would not work at all. We towed it to dealership and they just said since it was so new etc. they would just feel better replacing the whole tranmission. Ok, so I'm a little disappointed that I have a 29,000 dollar van that didn't even make it 500 miles....but I got over it. Now, with 5500 miles and ownership of just over 3 months it stranded me again. This time I was slowing down at stop sign and there was a huge noise and I could no longer accelerate and when I put it in park it began to roll down the hill where I was. Obviously it was towed in yesterday (Sat.) and we haven't heard yet.....but I am convinced they are going to tell me it's the transmission. In Ark. you have to have the same problem 3 times before it's a lemon. I'm well on my way huh?
  • Tonya, honestly, I don't know what to believe. Unfortunately there's not much I can do unless I have the same problem 3 times (Lemon Law). I guess I just have to hope for the best and assume that they are telling me the truth about it not being a rebuilt.

    The name of my dealership is Toyota Center in West Columbia, SC. There were and have been very good to deal with, I'm just hoping I don't need any other service except for scheduled maintenance!

    So sorry to hear about your Sienna, Budgetmom. I can certainly understand your disappointment and frustration! Please let me know what you find out!
  • Budgetmom,
    So can you pursue the lemon Law? Or do you technically have to wait for it to happen one more time? This is really scary to hear....this is so unusual for a toyota.
    They did change the transmission from the 2006 to the 2007 model...I think. Maybe you need to let them know this is the route you plan on pursuing if they don't get it right. They told us....and ours was just making a barely detectable unusual sound...that they don't repair transmissions...they just replace them. Also when my husband dropped off the vehicle, he asked if it was being replaced with a "new" transsmission...the reply was "absolutely" ...that was yesterday morning. So we will see. This is the first time we have ever purchased a new vehicle..and the most we have ever spent one also. so it is very dissappointing. Thanks for sharing it is very good to be in the know about these things. Thanks for taking the time to post.
  • siennamisiennami Posts: 116
    Oh, no... I test-drove an 07 from there in June. I ultimately ended up with one from Florence Toyota. Ironically, they offered an "exclusive" lifetime warranty also! I'm very sorry to hear of your problems with your van. So far mine has been working great.
  • I got my Sienna back last week from having the transmission far so good. I'll post here of any future issues with the transmission.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    NOT true. I tried to trade off my 2006 Sienna LE with less than 3,000 miles on it. The Toyota dealership used car manager said it was worth only $19,000...which is a loss of $ 10,000 in only a few months. :sick:

    If you are having problems with your vehicle, would you sell it privately to dump your problems on another person? :confuse:
  • I really hope there will not be anymore transmission problems. That is the only problem so far, but that was a pretty big issue for a Toyota. If I continued to have
    big issues, I might seek legal advice, if we chose not to go that route and the dealer would not give me a reasonable trade-in then I would sell privately, but I would definately tell the person the transmision was replaced. It is sad because this is the first time I have chosen to buy new. However I guess I could have bought my same van a year later 1 year used on a Toyota lot and never would have known the transmission was replaced.
  • mcase2mcase2 Posts: 160
    This is the most disturbing Forum on the Sienna I have ever seen. The transmission on my 2004 Sienna has a dead spot at around 1100 rpm. This was common on the 2004, but was only a minor nuisance. In fact I only notice it once or twice a year when stuck in stop and go traffic. However, failing transmisions are absolutely inexcusable on this high priced Toyota. The problem is widespread enough to have resulted in a forum and I would opine that most people do not get the warranties mentioned in these posts and are taking a huge risk in buying this car. I actually was thinking of getting another Sienna when the 7/100,000 was up on my 2004, but this not going to happen in light of the this latest failure on the part of the "the most reliable car maker on the planet." I had a failed transmision on a cheap used Dodge Caravan and Chrysler actually gave me a new transmission - not a reman. Toyota has cheek palming off remans on people who bought their high priced minivan. By the way, the word of a car dealer that only the case is recycled is meaningless. Its all about money and the guts are recylced as well. The sad truth is that you don't have remans available unless you have a high failure rate. Clearly Toyota has lots of failed transmissions to pick parts out of.
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