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Toyota Sienna Maintenance and Repair (2003 earlier)



  • Our new (1500 miles) Toyota Sienna XLE is in pristine condition but picked up a few 'not too deep; scrratches in the front plastic bumper. Do I have to look at them forever or can I buff them out or do something else to make the care look better? Is there a chemical we could use to spiff it up a tad?


  • Our new SLE was broken in according to the book. Most of our driving is short hops with an occasional ttrip on the highway. We have gotten between 14 and 18 MPG. I am slow to accelerate and brake, wi live in Illinois where there are no hills, we use midgrade fuel as instructed in the book, and I am not too tolerant of my wife's use of the air conditioner. Any suggestions? Are others getting this same lousy gas mileage?
  • If most of your driving is around town, then yes you can expect 18 MPG. We have a 2000 XLE and avg. around 21-23 in mixed driving. I did avg. 24.8 MPG on a trip to Florida from Cincinnati. Loaded with vacation gear, running 75-80 with the A/C blasting. I think that was pretty good mileage. I think you can expect somwhere in the mid to upper teen range on the MPG around town.
  • Did you get that kind of mileage from the get go or did it take a while for it to improve? I am not a jack rabbit starter or a slam on the breaks type. Personally, I hate airconditioning but compromise with my better half. And, she tells me I drive too slow when I follow the speed limit. So I would think I'd be a candidate to get the best mileage. Is it the car, or me, or the need for time?

  • Thanks for the HoyFox info. But I did not have a good experience with them. I placed several calls to them, each time I was transferred to Parts dept., but just endless waiting after that. I could not have anybody to talk to after up to 15 minutes of waiting. I finally gave up on themand ordered the part from the dealer nearby. It costed about $86. The servcie manual costed $140. After I got the poart and studied the service manual, I was able to replace the handle in about 40 minutes. (The dealer wanted $140 for the same service).
  • I need to replace my left sliding door handle on my 1998 Sienna. Could someone please e-mail/fax me the instructions from their shop manual. I will be glad to pay for it.


  • The passenger side manual sliding door can be opened easy from the inside. However, from the outside I have to pull extremely extremely hard up and towards the front of the van to get the door to unlatch and open. I've tried graphite spray and it doesn't help. Any suggestions on how to fix?
  • Sorry the dealer I recommended gave you poor service. At least you resolved it yourself in the end. I'm sure you'll get more use out of that manual.
  • I would replace the Mass Airflow Meter. The heating circuit has gone out in it.

    This is the first sensor coming from the air cleaner box.
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  • I just had a similar thing happen two weeks ago. My VSC, Trac Off and check engine lights are came on at the same time. I tightened my gas cap and redrove the car. The lights stayed on after a week. I took my 2001 Sienna (these things always happen after the warranty expires) to Autozone who checked the lights with their OBDII scanner and determined that these were all caused by a loose gas cap. After they reset the check engine light, the VSC and TRAC lights also went away.
  • pn6pn6 Posts: 14
    Check engine light diagnostic codes read P1130 and P1135 which translate to:

    A/F Sensor Circuit Range/Performance (Bank 1 Sensor 1)

    A/F Sensor Heater Circuit Malfunction (Bank 1 Sensor 1)

    I have been told this refers to a sensor on the not easy to reach rear exhaust pipe which is supposedly the "bank 1 sensor 1" location... how does one zero in on the problem when check engine codes appear? Has anyone elso had these codes appear? How does one check a Mass Airflow Meter as freebird suggested?
  • There is an O2 sensor on the back exhaust (as well as the front) but I do not think this code is pointing to either O2 sensor.

    It is normal to see a "heater circuit malfunction" on an O2 sensor (I got this error, but I can't remember the code. The rear sensor is a pain to get to - I got to it from under the car.

    It seems like the O2 sensor was like $120. Try pulling the battery and change it to see if it takes care of the problem.
  • It has been over a year since you last posted and inquiry on about your seatbelt light on your Sienna. I am having the same problem and wanted to see is you were able to resolve the issue.

    Thanks for your time.

  • Over the past couple of months I have had an intermittent problem with the rear vent windows.

    There is one button that controls both vent windows. I will open out both of windows and then when I go to close them in the passanger side stays open and only the driver side will close. After two attempts to reopen and re-close the windows they will both cease to work. It is like there is a resistor that fails open or a battery dyeing on a cordless tool. If I let the car sit for 3-5 minutes and gently tap the passenger side vent window then both will close after turning car back on. However, if I attempt to reopen and re-close the windows, I may get only one successful open and close before the pass anger window will freeze open and/or both windows will cease to operate.

    The Service Department hasn't clue and said they never had this issue before but for $65/hour they will gladly try to find a solution to the problem "IF" they can.

    I may just shut them and leave it alone since this is an intermittent problem. Or, I can continue to play with it until there is a sudden and complete failure...only concern is they may fail in the open position while it is raining. Or, I can cross my fingers and hope they find the problem.

    Anyone experience this phenomenon? Is there some type of resistor that over heats and fails open? Do the motors only allow you to work the rear vent windows a few times before they automatically shut off? If one vent window motor fails does it cause both to stop working?

    I can not believe both motors ($250 each) have failed. So it may be the switch, but why would one window work longer than the other? Or can it be some electrical shorting issue with the wires or connections?

    Thanks for your help,
  • I have a '98 Sienna and have just noticed a substantial amount of water in the rear. I don't have a sunroof and there doesn't appear to be any leaks around the rear door or windows. Any ideas???
  • I may have posted once before back in 2000, as I was one of the people caught in the T/C replacement net. I have to say, that as disappointing as it was finding out that I had to have that done to my new vehicle, that my Toyota dealer handled it wonderfully. They did the replacement in a day, I don't remember having to wait too long for the part (they said a couple weeks but it came in like a week,) and they even gave me a car to use for the day.

    Today, my 2000 LE has just shy of 47K on it and I just found out that it needs the tranny replaced. It was making the whining noise I've heard referred to in other posts. Basically sucks, but again, the dealership is being great about it. They've ordered the part, it should be in mid-week, and because my schedule sucks they are seeing about getting me a car for the day while they fix it (since the dealer isn't very close to my new job or school). This dealership, Right Toyota in Scottsdale, AZ has always provided good service to me. Other than these two issues, the car has been a dream. I absolutely love my Sienna. I'm just happy that they are being so great about fixing it. They haven't given me a hard time about anything. I've taken the van on several long trips and the ride is smooth and comfortable. I've even taken one of the 2nd row seats out by myself a couple times and it wasn't that hard. On long trips I've found the car to be comfy for 4 passengers and a labrador retriever. Even with the transmission probs, I'd buy this van again. No problems with sludge here, I get my oil changed regularly. I'll keep ya posted if I get any hassles on this service, but I don't expect any.
  • rghkrghk Posts: 2
    I have a 2001 Sienna. It has 57 KM. The parking brakes light comes on intermittently. I am wondering if some else have the same problem and brought to the dealership to get it fix.
    I don't want to spend $$$ to bring to the dealership they might not be able to fix it. they will charge for the labor anyway.
  • deepandeepan Posts: 342
    could it be an indication that the pads are worn or brake fluid needs topping up
  • I had a 1997 Avalon and the brake light came on (intermitantly at first then stayed on) because the fluid was low. Try what the poster above mentioned and top off the fluid.
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