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Toyota Sienna Maintenance and Repair (2003 earlier)



  • gunga64gunga64 Posts: 271
    I put ceramics on my 2001 camry and never looked back. If you do the job yourself its under 100.00 for the front end that included new rotors. Although I could have used the old ones they were so cheap to put new ones on about 25 each. The same should be possible with the van. When I asked Toyota how much it would cost to put ceramics on they told me they werent available.

    Yet the after market folks had many available for my car.
  • gunga64gunga64 Posts: 271
    My 2001 also has many scratches on the front windshield. Toyota blames sand. But I've been driving for 20 years never had this problem. It appears to me that the windshield wasn't properly tempered. Also I have a scratched driver side window. It appears every Sienna that model year has these scratches. When I brought it up to Toyota during the 36,000 warrenty they blamed sand. We all know better now. Defective glass. One reason I will probally not buy another Toyota. They act like they never seen these problems before. I'm amazed they havent fixed the problem in the 2005's. It astounds me.
  • paul6paul6 Posts: 14
    Tell me the scratches in the drivers door glass are at eye level, about 1/4 the way in from the latch side. And are about 7" tall and 2 1/2" wide. I've seen this on a few Siennas.

    Our 2000LE came with a defect in the door frame that has caused the weatherstripping to bind tightly against the glass. This has caused grit to accumulate, rather than be brushed off by design, and scratch the glass.

    Toyota dealer in Wellesley MA denied this possibility since day one. They did replace the glass and weatherstripping under warranty when new, but the probem persists because of the improperly made door frame.
  • paul6paul6 Posts: 14
    Backed into the river last year without disconnecting trailer lights, and since then the rectangular box that converts the cars wiring to the trailer wiring hasn't carried a signal for the brake lights. Other lighting functions work fine.

    Can't buy just the converter box, and the wiring assembly is kinda expensive.

    Does anyone know what the box does electronically? Is it possible to jumper the brake light wires and, if so, what kind of inline protection should I be adding?
  • dillydilldillydill Posts: 76
    Any update for this dash bulb?
    My 99 has the same bulb out.
  • junpingjunping Posts: 5
    I also noticed the muffler has many small rusting spots after I noticed the rusting drops on my garage floor. I complained to toyota about it. They ignored me. It had less than 50,000 miles on it when I noticed it. I went to auto zone and bought some heat-resistant paint. I tried to clean it with sand paper and then painted with this ceramic heat-resistant paint. These small holes/spots have not busted yet at this time. I am just wondering anyone has noticed the same problem.
  • Have had to have both front arm suspension units replaced on our 2002 Sienna (88000 kms)Minivan due to the rubber bushes breaking away from the metal component arm. The dealer claims its due to driving over rough terrian but this has not happened. ANybody had experience with a problem like this? Seems like it could be a faulty part??

    Photos of units at
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,411
    Now that's timely.

    Oh yeah I have experience with this.
    Took my hitherto flawless '03 Sienna to a trusted independent shop to do a "k" service. It's at 46k miles -- 74,000 km -- so I figured we'd do the 30k "severe" schedule and all inspections.

    Sure enough, I need new lower control arms left and right, for $144 each (dealer item), because the $10 rubber bushings have failed. They aren't available separately, of course.

    My control arms aren't removed yet, but they appear to have failed in exactly the same way yours have; the mechanic showed me how you can push the arm up and down and the metal sleeve moves around the piece of rubber. Pretty stupid design.

    I think the dealer is right on with his diagnosis; the part is not strong enough to withstand use in a 4,000+ lb minivan. I don't think you ruined the suspension over rough roads, 'cuz I know we didn't. It used to be my car before the wife took it over, and neither one of us particularly beats up on cars.

    I'm gonna keep the old parts.
    As a friend of mine said, "it's a Toyota, so you know there are 150,000 minivans driving around with the exact same problem. It's a car chassis trying to do a truck's job."
    I think he's right; I think it's not the end of the world; I think that in a year or three, there will be a way to rebuild these because more and more will fail.
    If I hadn't asked to check out a weird noise my wife mentioned, I doubt they would have found it. I bet someone will come up with a way to fix 'em cheaper, and then I'll have my original ones redone.

    Thanks for your information and commiseration,
  • Thanks Mathias - You are the first to have the same problem I've seen -where are you located? So your dealer admitted it was a design problem?
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,411
    I'm in MI.
    Dealer? I took it to an indy I've been going to for years. And there's nothing to "admit", the darned things aren't supposed to fail... if it's a lousy design, they're all going to go bad early... if it's just a lousy part, it's just yours and mine.

    Don't forget that minivans often don't get serviced all that well... mommy's too busy and all that. This failure isn't going to be found on a cursory inspection.

    As far as "admitting" anything... admit hell -- the darned thing's out of warranty, it's on my nickel, lousy design or no.

    I don't like it, but I accept it, and I certainly won't try to get any money out of either Toyota or the local dealership... I don't trust the mechanics there, so I never go and have no rapport.

    The fact that my ATF was black after only 46k bothers me more than the stupid bushings. Maybe I should sell it; at least resale is stellar on these things.

  • paul6paul6 Posts: 14
    I see online that replacing these sensors is common for the Sienna, and other Toyota models as well.

    Have they been covered under an emmissions or goodwill program yet? At $300+ a pop, these are becoming an expensive item to maintain on our 2000LE.

    We've replaced the two sensors on the engine manifolds already, and now need to replace one again.
  • gunga64gunga64 Posts: 271
    Same here brought to dealer prior to 36,000 and he looked confused. I knew that it was something wrong mechanically. All he told me was that sand got down there and scratched the glass in the exact same place as others said.

    Denied the fact that this happened too all of the siennas I've seen. They never replaced my weather stripping or window. Just blew the sand out with air. The front wind shield also of low quality glass and scratches very easily. Also the passenger window motor died right after warrenty was up. I've seen this on other Siennas.

    This an a few other things, will force me not to purchase another Toyota product.
  • We had the scratched glass too - window was replaced - fortunately covered under warranty
  • dmendez1dmendez1 Posts: 2
    I bough a 2004 Sienna on June, 2003. Today my unit has 49500 miles. Last week my unit turns on the check engine light. When I went to the dealer, they told me that the computer was registering codes P0301, P0302, P0303, P0304, P0305 but the unit does not show any signal of malfunction. They reset the signal light, but 2 days after the signal turns on again. I return the unit to the dealer and after 5 days with the vehicle in the dealer they gave me back the van saying that they don’t found any malfunctioning. Today (two days after) the light turns on again. Do you have any idea?
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    maybe there is a TSB on it, for example i found this:

    there may be another more recently issued TSB.

    see if the VIN is in the expected range for this TSB.

    even if not, this suggests the manufacturer had a problem with the coil packs produced and installed in a number of vehicles. your codes indicate misfiring (in every one but one cylinder? you sure you didn't omit code 0306?).

    sounds like all they are doing for you is resetting the CEL (check engine light). are they going through all the diagnostic steps to deduce misfiring?

    you could have an intermittent wiring problem to/from the coil pack or defective coil pack. then again, it might be something they aren't seeing because perhaps it is occuring when it is raining outside with moisture being kicked up into the engine compartment? ask if there is something they might do to rule out something that occurs as a result of excessive mosture (spray bottle test).

    print out the TSB (all the pages of it), and bring it back to them.

    hope it helps.
  • dmendez1dmendez1 Posts: 2
    Thanks a lot. I hope that this information may help me.
  • If any 2001/2202 Sienna owners get a chance to inspect the rubber bushings in their suspension assembly (as seen on attached photos) in their Siennas it would be appreciated. Bear in mind we did not have any warning that there was a problem - no vibrations or bumps. It was only found when the dealer was dealing with the front brake pads at 88000 kms. A previous maintenance inspection at 72000 kms did not reveal any problems. We were told this was potentially dangerous to drive with this condition.

    Photos of units at
  • chacagochacago Posts: 4
    Need some responses from 2003/02 sienna owners who have pulled boats. I'm going to be pulling between 2500-3000 lbs. Yes I know I should have an SUV but I have a van please only replies from expierences, help would be appreciated.
  • Deepan,
    I just found your post.
    we have the same thing on our 2000 sienna since new.
    i think that this causes the van to wander and other things.

    what did you do to fix the problem?
  • hwolfehwolfe Posts: 3
    Hi all,

    I've recently bought a used 2002 Sienna, and I have 2 questions on noises:

    1. There's an intermittent noise coming from my steering column that occurs occasionally when I steer in either direction. It sounds a little like a spring winding or some wires moving around. Anyone else experience this? Know what it is? Is it something to worry about?

    2. Both power windows make noises - but different ones. The driver side makes a buzzing sound going down, but is quiet going up. The passenger makes a similar noise going up but not down, plus on one occasion (when it was raining) made an alarming scraping noise, as thought the glass was getting scratched. Both windows operate at just about the same speed going up and down. Anyone else experience this? Something to worry about? Anything to do about it?

    Thanks in advance for any help.

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