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Toyota Sienna Maintenance and Repair (2003 earlier)



  • epharpepharp Posts: 7
    Over the course of the last week, I would have warning lights come intermittently on in the middle of driving, such as the ABS light come on then go out when the engine is restarted, also the seatbelt light warning light come on after being on the road but then would reset when we pulled over, stopped and started the van without detaching the seatbelt. Has anybody else experienced this problem? Is this something that the dealer could trouble shoot without the warning light actually being on when taken to the dealer, since it doesn't occur all the time.
  • pn6pn6 Posts: 14
    FREEBIRD: I can see the sensor in the rear side using a mirror while lying by the car. I have not put it on blocks to crawl under yet. I cannot see where the wire lead connects to the car's harness. Could you be more specific as to where the sensors connection is. Is it difficult to unplug? Is the wire the same length as the front?


    Thanks... it's good to benefit by one's experience and I guess that's what these boards are all about.
  • jaclacjaclac Posts: 2
    where would you say is the best place (or specific person at toyota)to send or email a complaint letter to?


    we have a 98 sienna that has sludging and transmission problems, and i'd like to let them know of my dissatisfaction with their horrible product. (the sludging was somewhat bearable to go through since they covered the problem, but the transmission didn't fail until 6 months after the special warranty expired, so we had to take care of that ourselves).


  • Sorry I can't answer your 'where to file complaints question', but since I have the same van as you, I was wondering:


    1) at how many miles did the engine show problems? How about the transmission?


    2) what were your oil change and transmission fluid change intervals? I change oil at 3750 miles, and trans at 30,000. My van only gets driven about 10,000 miles/year though.
  • If you get under the van and follow the wire, you will feel the harness connector. I remember that it has a connection on the fire wall to keep the wire from dangling around. You have to use two hands to disconnect.


    If you look at the O2 sensor connector on the front as described earlier, then you will see the exact connector that you will be dealing with on the rear.
  • deepandeepan Posts: 342
    Both policies i think are 8 yr 100k miles or 160k kms. in the early days toyota would reimburse the money if repaired at a toyota facility.
  • scoti1scoti1 Posts: 676
    Not sure of the best place to send a letter. The phone number given in the letters sent regarding the sludge problem is: 1-888-802-9436.


    If you do a search of Edmunds for "sludge" you will find an old archived discussion that was started by Toyota to address the sludge situation. I think I remember seeing ways to contact people at Toyota. Again, this was for the engine, not the transmission. It won't hurt to file complaints with the NHTSA at and the Center for Autosafety at


    Good luck. If I come across any information that may help you, I will post it.
  • jaclacjaclac Posts: 2
    engine problems started around 75,000 miles


    transmission failed around 155,000 miles.


    changed oil about every 3000 miles. never changed transmission fluid - (bought car with 70,000 miles) supposed we learned an expensive lesson from that :(


    the sludging warranties for 8 years regardless of miles. the mechanic at toyota told us it will definately sludge's just a matter of time. it's a 1998, so hopefull it does it before 2006. a local mechanic said he's had customes add a touch of transmission fluid to the oil and never have sludging problems again...anyone ever heard of that?


    the transmission warranty was a time issue, (regardless of milage), which ended in may of 2004. (of course our transmission was fine until nov of 2004...isn't that the way the cookie crumbles)


    thanks for your responses!
  • Our transmission went out just after Christmas. We called Toyota customer service and was told the first time that there was no extended warranty. Ditto THE DEALER. Called back to the Toyota (800) # and was tolded that there was an exteded warranty to 100K/8 years, but that it only covered the transaxle, not the full transmission. Went back to the dealer and he said - they were the same thing. Had to pay $250 for misc fees, but it was better than the $3,100 quote that we originally got. If you've already paid for the repairs, you should still have a good chance of getting reimbursed. Good Luck!
  • It's interesting to that our check enging light keeps coming on in our 2000. I'm pretty sure it's the O2 sensor, because I've already had to replace both of mine in my 2001 Tundra. It makes one wonder if there might not be an ongoing problem with these sensors that Toyota is using.
  • 03honda03honda Posts: 96
    Took it to the dealer today...lubricated the streering column boot assembly under warranty and no more squeaks!!
  • epharpepharp Posts: 7
    03honda, thanks for the update, I'll have them lube that boot when I take it in to have them check my electrical system.


  • pn6pn6 Posts: 14
    FENCEPRO: There is an ongoing issue with failing sensors and Toyota should do something about it. Seems to be a popular subject; just do a Google on it.


    They're $300 each installed after they do their "required" diagnostics! My local Toyota dealer in Wellesley, MA wouldn't do a thing about it, other than to charge me.
  • pn6, thanks for the reply. seems like i've been doing quite a bit of research on the sienna lately. I don't remeber where I found it, but TSB EG019-02 was issued saying that toyota would reimbusre for failed o2 sensors up to 7 years/90k. I found the receipt for the sienna at 62K miles, but both of mine on the tundra went out after 90K. go figure. after all the trouble we went through with the transmission on the sienna three weeks ago, we now have engine trouble. found an oil leak and took it to an independent. he told me the crank seal was leaking. had it towed to leith toyota in raleigh. the service tech told me that it was not a gel problem with the oil, but that the valve seals had gone bad. i then asked about the crank seal and he said, oh, yeah, that has gone bad too. talked with another independent and he said that if the pcv valve was getting clogged (thickening oil) that it would create enough pressure inside the engine block that it would start blowing all the seals. am going back this afternoon to talk with them again to see if both the front and back crank seals as well as the valve seals have all gone bad independently of one another. to say the least, i am highly skeptical that this problem is not directly related the to engine gel problem.
  • TSB EG019-02 looks like it only applies to the 2000 Tundra. Did you get Toyota to apply it to the Sienna too?
  • deepandeepan Posts: 342
    this was one of the findings back in 2001 that was causing sludging. An easy do it yourself thing to do it change it every yr or every 2 yrs. The part is $10 and it requires no tools and about 10 mins. Chk for a posting from "jeprox" about how to change it.
  • We have a 1998 Sienna with 120,000 miles, and I was just told we need a transmission replacement, at a cost of $3300! I found our letter from Toyota in our file about the engine sludge warranty they gave, but cannot find anything about a transmission warranty. Would I be covered with 120,000 miles and a purchase date of May 1998? Thanks.
  • scoti1scoti1 Posts: 676
    I am not sure, but I thought the transmission campaign was limited to 100,000 miles; however, the sludge campaign is unlimited miles, so I could be wrong. According to the NHTSA government website, the recall Service Bulletin Number is TC03014 and it is stated to be for "extended warranty coverage regarding a no movement or a slipping condition of the automatic transaxle". I recommend that you contact your local dealer with the bulletin number and see if they can give you a print out or at least some more details.
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