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Toyota Sienna Maintenance and Repair (2003 earlier)



  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,403
    I believe I read somewhere that Jeep got a lot of complaints about its commercials where they show Jeeps splashing merrily through mountain streams...well a few owners tried this, and guess what?

    You can even seize an engine by just starting it up in the morning---if you have a leaky head gasket, water will drip into the cylinder during the night, and yes, even the force of just your starter motor might bend the rods....or at least lock the motor until all is drained out.


  • Speaking of Jeeps going thru water. I have a friend who has a perfectly good (almost new) Jeep which he just lives to drive through the deepest and dirtiest mudholes,swamps, ponds, rivers, and such that he can find! (The thought of doing that to a nice new vehicle gives me the heebie jeebies!) Strangely, there's a Club of Jeep owners here who all do it on weekends!
    He spent a young fortune equipping it with a snorkel air intake and exhaust, huge oversized knobbly tires, a winch with a looong cable, jack-all jacks, chain saws, ropes, etc. He says it's "fun".
  • Your'e right, I was just not getting it yesterday. It suddenly came to me last night after a beer or two. (funny how that happens.) I was thinking that the gas and air were both mixed and injected. I realized that only the gas is injected (duh) at the same time (more or less) as the engine is taking a big gulp of air. Or in my case, a nice swallow of water. Hopefully the insurance company won't try too hard to jack me. I pay a lot for that "other than collision" coverage.

    Thanks everyone for replying. I'll try to post after this gets resolved.

  • I have a 2003 sienna van 81000 miles. The problems is car will not start and idle after car is park overnight.Car will crank , but will start and idle if you press the accelator pedal when starting the engine..
  • Few things to check. Check the iac motor and the mass airflow sensors as those are common replacements on Siennas. Ceck fuel pressure at the time of hard starting. Buy a haynes manual for your vehicle so that you know all the stuff to do. If you haven't had a tune up lately, now may be a good time for one.
  • I have a similar acceleration noise problem with my 2006 Sienna. Could you share what you have found at the dealer with me? Thank you.
  • Greetings,
    Three days back , while my car was in my garage the alarm went off (factory installed), then I used the remote key and pressed "unlock" to shut the alarms off. Then for the past 2 nights the alarm is going off (for no reason) in the night atleast once. It will stay for 20 seconds to 1/2 minute and shuts off. The garage is closed by the way in the nights. I checked the system and it is working fine . the theft deterrent system light is flashing when the system is on and goes off when the key is introduced and turned to on.

    Any reason why the alarm goes off for no reason in the middle of the night and when it is dead calm outside and when it is parked inside the garage ? I need to find an answer soon, as it is making me and my neighbours go "NUTS". Is there a way to disarm this ? Thanks.

    My car is
    02 Sienna LE,
    37 000 miles,

  • I am at my wits end trying to figure out what is wrong with my Sienna. I have the entire staff at Firestone stumped. This is where my story begins. When I bought my minivan from Ebay we were told about a howl that the back brakes were causing. I took the car into Express Lube and told them about it. They gave me non ceramic brakes but did not fix the problem (even thought I told them I thought it was the drum). I came out with 3 noises instead of the only one I went in with. I took it elsewhere and they resurfaced the rotors (I think that is what they resurfaced) and still had the howl (again I told them about the drum issue with Sienna’s). My husband replaced the back passenger drum and no more howl (YIPPEE). Now I have a vibration in the back of the van. I have had brand new tires put on it and new shocks and still have the problem. I told Firestone that the drum had been replaced and whether it could be a difference in weight or something like that. I was told that it would be a 1 in a million chance that it would be that. My question is does anyone have any suggestions as to what the rear violent shaking is at 45 mph plus is? My 3 little ones are getting tired of being vibrated. LOL. I just don't want to take it somewhere else to have them tell me it could be one thing and spending a bunch of money and not getting it fixed.
    PS as you can tell I don't know much about cars.
  • Have you had the tires balanced? Everytime I had such occur on a normal road surface it was because the individual tires were out of balance. They put little weights at different spots around the rims so it spins evenly at high speeds.

  • Yes I had that done today.
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,411
    What are you doing at Firestone???

    Either go to the dealer -- I'd rather avoid that, but they should at least know what they're doing.

    Or, and this is the best option, ask around and find yourself a really good independent repair shop. Then have everything done there and build up rapport with them. The less you know, the more important it is that you have people you can trust and who know their stuff.

    Muffler shops, tire dealers, all those places try to compete on price and can usually not afford to hire truly competent people. Trust me on this: $75 an hour is a bargain, if you really get a professional's full attention, his tools, his experience for that amount of time. You can try to locate a good shop using the "mechan-x files" at the clic&clack website -- i think it's

    Good luck,
  • They guy that has been working on the van at firestone is a guy I met outside of firestone. He is certified but he is young. He has brain stormed with everyone there including the owner but they just don't seem to know what is going on. I am new to the area and really have no one to get recommendations from. There is a place here that only works on Toyota and they are the ones that resurfaced the rotors (or whatever it was) and they didn't fix the howling problem. In fact I had to ask 3 times for them to have someone drive with me so they could hear the howling problem. Then they sent me with the owner and he has hearing problems and could barely hear it. It was very loud because when I would stop at places people would look so it was very loud. I don't trust them completely but I have heard people talk that they really like that place. I hate to go to the dealer and spend alot of money but I guess that may be what I have to do.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    listen to steine13. get your vehicle inspected by people that know your vehicle. you could have a bad set of bearings, a wheel grossly out of alignment, a bad tire, a bad wheel/rim, a suspension issue. this cannot be diagnosed over the internet.

    i suggest a dealership, but that is just a personal suggestion. another alternate "toyota specialist" shop might be a consideration, but in the end, you could be throwing good money after bad to try to save additional $$$.

    my thinking is you have a vehicle that is out of alignment, a rear suspension issue, a tire out of balance, a bad bearing, or even a tire with a bad tread.
  • We have the problem fixed. We bought another new set of drums and shoes and it fixed the problem. I guess the first set that we had gotten were bad or were mishandled in shipping. My husband put it all together last night and I was able to drive it over 45 and without vibration. Thanks for all of the advice.
  • My husband and I bought a 1999 Toyota Sienna two months ago. We felt that we got a super deal on it at $6,800. It was in pristine condition, looked like it had never been used. We have gone on a couple nice trips. No problem, drives like a dream. The people we bought it from had serviced it very regularly and had in fact, just done the extensive tune up that covered everything and cost $1300. Yesterday in the early am I left for an all day shopping trip 180 miles away. The icon of the dripping oil can appeared before I left town. I pulled into a station and checked the oil. It was full so, the attendant suggested that I check it a little further down the road and maybe stop at a jiffy lube place in case that was the problem. I made it 30 miles before it started making a knocking noise which rapidly grew louder and then it died. I coasted down the very steep hill I had just climbed and muscled it into the parking lot of a towing company. The attendant remarked "it's toast". We were towed back to town and find that the engine is a goner. The bill to fix is estimated at $4800. Any suggestions out there or are we "just toasted"
    Carolyn K
  • ClairesClaires Chicago areaPosts: 974
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  • I am the second owner of this 2007 Toyota Sienna with 12K miles on it. When I got the Sienna there were no problems evident and the carfax and recalls came out clean, but now I am having a minor or major issue. The seatbelt indicator that usuallys dings to annoy you about your seatbelt is not activating or working. This is only happening on the drivers side. It worked for maybe about a week, anybody else have this problem or a solution to it? I appreciate any help.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    There is a procedure to change that. You can select whether you want the passenger seatbelt chime on or off.

    I think you hold the trip reset button as you turn the ignition on. It has to be on the odometer.

    The exact procedure is in the owner's manual.

    The reason I turned mine off is that some times we fold the seat flat and the people in the 2nd row rest their legs on the seat. The weight fools the system into thinking there is someone in the chair, when there isn't. So we'd get an annoying reminder to fasten the seatbelt for an empty seat!
  • Hey thanks for the quick reply ateixeira, however the problem is not the passenger side, it is the drivers side. You think its something with the weighting mechanism on the seats? if there is such a thing? Thanks again.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Hmm, not sure, but I think the driver's seat belt warning would go on all the time, because it can't operate without someone sitting there. :surprise:

    Try the disable on the warning chime, it might work for both sides.
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