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Toyota Sienna Maintenance and Repair (2003 earlier)

Karen@EdmundsKaren@Edmunds Posts: 5,028
Please continue discussing and posting your Sienna
problems here.

Past Toyota Sienna Problem topic:
Problems with Toyota Sienna Van

Vans host

Karen-Edmunds Community Manager



  • vwbus1979vwbus1979 Posts: 42
    jeprox...Thanks for the update. I tried
    holding the button. It worked! No more annoying
    idiot light.

    Speaking of idiot. I suppose I could have read
    the manual to see the fix, but I'm the kind of
    guy that doesn't read the manual.

    Oh...And Yes...The dealer DID take the original
    tires. I caught them in a lie! I checked the VIN
    and it showed that my LE came from the factory
    with the rims. I got it with CAPS...It cost them
    $500 in negotiations! SIX hours worth! But I got
    our van for $18k with 24k miles! It's in MINT
    condition, too. Lease returns are the way to
    go in MOST cases. We lucked out.
  • eomeom Posts: 7
    Sienna automatic brake adjusting takes place via Parking Brake usage...not when backing up. So sayes Toyota Customer Service.
  • bobsmith3bobsmith3 Posts: 14
    So should I or should I not be concerned about the click (it's actually a linkage-like noise) that I hear when I first apply the brakes to slow or stop when backing up?
  • vwbus1979vwbus1979 Posts: 42
    I wrote a response to this issue, but I
    never posted it, so I'll make it short:

    The Hand Brake only adjusts 2 out of 4 brakes.
    When you engage the reverse gear and press the
    brakes, it clicks to adjust them to spec level.

    Toyota Service does not go into detail. They
    are right. The hand brake does adjust brake
    level, but not for ALL brakes. Just the brakes
    it's attached to. (rear). So the fronts click
    when you reverse as normal operation.

    If you are EVER suspect of your brakes though,
    it's safer to simply pay $15.00 to any place
    (Midas, Winston, Good Year, etc) and get your
    brakes inspected. Brakes are the only system
    on your vehicle you DON'T want to fail! Be
    safe and get them inspected.

    As a rule, I get my brakes checked when I get
    the oil checked. It's an additional $15 at my
    shop, but that small "investment" is peace of
    mind. They give me the % stats on wear, so I
    know when to replace the brakes before costly
    rotor damage.
  • cblake2cblake2 Posts: 53
    My dealer just replaced the rack rods in my '99 Sienna. Just after picking up the van from the routine maintenance service visit, we experienced severe vibrations while traveling on the beltway in the D.C. metropolitan area. There was no braking at the time and we were traveling about 60 MPH. The vibrations were so severe that we had to leave the highway. The dealership said the problems were "fixed." We had to have the van towed to the dealership and get alternate transportation home. We were an hour into our vacation!

    When we returned from our vacation, we got a call from the dealership. They now tell us the rear brake drums were "out of round." They said the brake shoes were rubbing and this caused the vibration. My question is, is this a common problem? Can it cause the severe vibrations? Could the symptoms be caused from the problematic rack and pinion? Thank you for your information.
  • sbrandonsbrandon Posts: 24
    We haven't bought yet, but were wondering which gas is 1) recommended by Toyota?, and 2) recommended by actual drivers?
  • yamanyaman Posts: 113
    We've been using regular which is fine per the owner's manual.There has been some discussion on this board that using premium will increase gas mileage.We are averaging about 17-18 mpg with 90% of the driving being my wife's local stop and go type.
  • dylbrenadylbrena Posts: 7
    My question to the dealer would be if there was a problem, shouldn't they have seen that during the maintenance visit? After all, isn't that what we pay the price for "routine maintenance" for? I just had my 15k mile maintenance done. $103 later, and knowing we would be heading for vacation soon, I told them I wanted to know how the brakes looked and I wanted the tire pressure checked and adjusted if necessary. (I know... an easy thing, but I figured it was there) Do they only check front brakes on routine maintenance? That would be stupid. I'd be pretty ticked.
  • nuclear78nuclear78 Posts: 1
    Hello, I have read many of the posts on this topic of Problems with the Sienna. I purchased a 2000 Sienna LE 1 day shy of a month ago. It has already been in the shop three times. I am having the following problems. The rear windshield washer is leaking fluid or dripping. The van just got the Torque converter replaced, They replaced the computer because they weren't sure what the problem was after I told them that replacing the coverter still didn't cure the problem with my van. Then they said I had a bad solenoid on the transmission. Now the van is surging really bad and is currently in the shop. I called Toyota and they said it was a misfire problem in the #1 cylinder and he wasn't sure if it was a plug, wire or a bad coil. To make a long story short I believe I purchased a Lemon. I am going to talk to the Manager today. I am going on Vacation in one week and it is a 1,300 mile road trip. I donot trust my Minivan anymore. That didn't make the service manager very happy, but who cares. I have a $26,000 dollar investment sitting in their garage and they are not sure what the problem is!!!! I say Bull butter. Well if anyone would like to email me and talk in depth more about the problems I have expierenced they can email me at
  • vwbus1979vwbus1979 Posts: 42
    We use 92 octane and get 21 city/24 highway

    (Mostly city)

    I hear that 92 octane leaves less deposits on
    the piston walls and valves, but that could
    be good advertising to the oil companies credit!
  • jeproxjeprox Posts: 466
    Should read "Routine/regular maintenance does NOT necessarily..."
  • rabonrabon Posts: 1
  • gazoo1gazoo1 Posts: 3
    I posted this problem a few days ago. My dealer is telling me the same thing. My parts are on order but toyota is not shipping them yet. I also was told that this situation is not a problem. Does anyone else know anythng about this?
  • waldman1waldman1 Posts: 1
    Got a new Sienna XLE on Tuesday, and on Friday, at 177 miles, the Check Engine (Electrical/transmission warning) light came on. Went to dealer immediately. They ran the computer check and it came back cellanoid. HOWEVER, they told me that this has been happening alot and it is a PROGRAMMING ERROR. Toyota is sending new program for computer and it will be in in three weeks. He cleared the light and said it may come on again but not to worry, there is nothing wrong the car, it is a computer error. He said it has been happening after 100 miles and/or 400 miles.

    We had a 1996 Saab that started with the same sort of problems, although Saab never claimed a computer error, and had trouble with the car for four months... the amount of time it took my husband to convince them that we had a Lemon and threaten to sue them (yes, he is a lawyer). Finally, four months later they gave us a 1997. So, I am not so psyched about this... we will see... maybe we will all end up with 2001s!
  • ashworthashworth Posts: 1
    I purchased a 2000 Sienna in July,1999. After about 4 months, the power door would not close on occasions after pushing the latch button. On the 2nd or 3rd time the door would finally close. As time went on the problem would occur more frequently. Pushing the side release or dash release button had the same results. If I deactivate the electric door and use the door manually for a while, the door sometime starts working again. I am taking my van back to the dealership Monday for the 4th time. The dealer will usually adjust the cable and reprogram the computer. The cable and motor have also been replaced. In the past the fix has only lasted between 1 week to 1 month. It seems to be getting worse with each fix. I feel it must be something electrical - could it be a problem with the computer? If anyone has successfully solved a similar problem, please help.
  • mlin1mlin1 Posts: 2
    I had an xle 2000 two weeks ago. It had a power sliding door problem since I bought, the door occasionly bounce back. It refused to close. I was told by dealship : the rail of the door need to be re-aligned, the computer sensor think something in there and bounce the door back. I leave my xle for overnight and next day when I pick up, the sliding door works perfectly. By the way, my dealer also wash my xle and put full tank of gas.Did I mention they give me a loan car for free?
  • linkuslinkus Posts: 4
    I am going to buy a new sienna CE 5 door. I have got an offer for 2000 Sienna CE 5 door with HV+TO+BP1(bumper protector)+QS1(security system factory installed)+XH6(drop hitch and rec/wiring harness installed)+XY3(toyo guard) for 22,817. The dealer initially quote me the car with HV and Security for 22,300 since this one has TO+BP1+XH6, he gave me those at invoice price. The out of the door price is 24747(incl. tax, lic, tag, document fees). What do you guys think of this price for 2000 Sienna CE 5 door? Should I wait for 2001 Sienna? In addition, how common sienna has torque converter and windshield fluid leak from the rear window? This van has 18 miles on(still a new one). Should I go for it? Thanks, I have leant so much from this place than from the dealer. Thanks,
  • vwbus1979vwbus1979 Posts: 42
    Linkus: That is an excellent price for the CE.
    My wife and I priced one out about three weeks
    ago here in Southern Calif. It was a maroon
    5 door CE with dual air, tach, tow package,
    security, tint, rack, keyless and more. All
    for $22,500. He SHOWED us the invoice. We didn't
    go for it (Wished we had). Instead, we got an
    LE for $19,400. It's a '98 lease return with
    26k miles. It's not bad at all, but it's not new
    either. However, we're very happy with our
    Toyota overall.
  • jeproxjeprox Posts: 466
    I would personally wait for 2001 model coz' half the year is already gone. As soon as you drive that van out of their lot, the price drops at least 2 grand or more.

    Usually, the new models cost about $1000 more, give or take a few dollars.
  • lemon15lemon15 Posts: 1
    We bought a 2000 Sienna LE in Jersey 4 days ago. The engine light came on the way home from the delaer. First they thought it was a celenoid in the transmission. While we were waiting for that part to arrive I got a call from the dealer today that there is an internal memo from Toyota home office that the torque coverter is actually causing the celenoid to go bad. Toyota is looking at all of the torque coverters to figure out which ones actually work. They don't expect to have a replacement for our for 2-3 weeks. Needless to say, with less than 200 miles on a 25,000+ van we are not happy at all. Can't recommend buying the 2000 or 2001 until they straighten this out...what a headache. We had to fight to get a loaner while we are waiting for this part to arrive. Write me if you have similiar or additional
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