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Toyota Sienna Maintenance and Repair (2003 earlier)



  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,993
    Maybe that's your problem - these are carnauba eating aphids and they're eating the new wax right off your van.

    Hey, it could happen :-)

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  • jeproxjeprox Posts: 466
    hmmm... you may have something there! carnauba eating aphids!

    i'll stop waxing my van and see what happens
  • I recently purchased a '98 Sienna from another person. When backing out of our driveway, we noticed the back brakes grinding to a halt. We had our mechanic replace the pads on the back with ceramic pads. Now when we put the van in reverse and apply the brakes, we hear a loud "thud" coming from the passenger-side rear wheel area. Has anyone else had a similar situation?
  • jeproxjeprox Posts: 466
    "grinding to a halt". can you elaborate on this?
    when you say "thud", is more like a click?

    reason i ask is because sienna's are known to have this certain sound when you apply your brakes when backing up. you will only hear this sound the first time u apply your brakes when backing up. when u back-up, the apply the brakes - you will hear this sound. back-up more and apply brakes, sound dont appear anymore! this is normal on sienna's.

    i suspect you are heard the same sound.
  • Thank you jeprox for the response. The "thud" sounds like you have just hit another car or a concrete post. It is very loud and much more than a "click". As mentioned, it sounds like it is coming from the passenger-side wheel area. I have backed out of my driveway 10+ times in a row and the same "thud" occurs. We have checked the underside of the car (as I thought maybe something not related to the brakes was shifting around) and have found nothing. It is a very frightening sound especially when you have small children around.
  • jeproxjeprox Posts: 466
    hmmm, if it's that loud then it's not normal! i wonder if it's from your parking brake. you didn't mention if you use your parking brake or not.

    if your parking brake cable is rusted or not lubricated well enough and you may hear this loud thud. when u release the parking brake, the shoes may still be engaged so when u move your vehicle - the brake shoes will release causing a loud "thud"!

    i've seen this happen on other cars with rusted parking brake cable or rusted springs/parts inside the drum.
    you can also try jacking up your rear wheels, support it with jack stands. rotate the wheels and hit the brakes and see if you get the same results.

    good luck.
  • nygregnygreg Posts: 1,936
    Are you sure the thud is not coming from the front? I have a thud caused by the disc brakes in the front shifting when I back up and then when going forward. This is the caliber shifting within it's cradle and is normal. If you back up and hit your brakes (thud sounds) and then back up again without going forward, does it thud again (it shouldn't)?

  • nygregnygreg Posts: 1,936
    My automatic sliding door warning buzzer has appeared to stop working. This is the buzzer that sounds when the door is open and you place the shift in D or R. Anyone else have this happen?

  • 1) What is it recommended to run only 5W30 weight oil? Wouldn't this cause the engine to run a little warmer? Are the oil passages really that easy to clog? Living in a climate that get's up to 120 degrees in the summer, that seems a little too thin to me.

    2) Are there any differences in the older Sienna engines, compared to the 2001's? How about the rest of the drivetrain?

    3) What is the advantage of having the Sienna with the towing package if there is no hitch and no external transmission cooler other than the standard one in the radiator?

    Any answers would be greatly appreciated.
  • nygregnygreg Posts: 1,936
    A thinner oil will transport heat better. Usually it is a breakdown issue. Again here synthetic is better than dino. I would ask Toyota/local dealer their recommendations for you temperature.
    As for the tow package - it consists of a tranny cooler and modified cooling fan logic which will keep the fluid cooler thus helping with tranny life.

  • jeproxjeprox Posts: 466
    1998-2000 sienna engines are 3.0L v6.
    2001-2002 are also 3.0L v6 but with VVT-i
  • I have switched over to the synthetic. Didn't want to take any chances there. I didn't happen to notice any kind of tranny cooler. Just the usual tubes running to the bottom of the radiator. Is there supposed to be an external cooler mounted in front of the A/C condensor with this towing package?
  • jeproxjeprox Posts: 466
    just wondering if any of you have this sharp squeal coming from the drive belt/pulley area when you start up the van first thing in the morning. as the engine warms up, the sound goes away completely.

    our weather is starting to get colder and this sound just started about 2 weeks ago. if the weather is warm, there's no sound. it only happens when it's parked overnight and i start it in the morning.

    i suspect it's the belt, maybe needs to be tighten a bit.
  • nygregnygreg Posts: 1,936
    To tell the truth, I quickly looked once but never really investigated this. Hmmm, well I just bought more Mobil 1 and will be doing an oil change tonight. I will check to see where my tranny lines go.

    Jeprox - that's what it sounds like to me (no pun). Check the belt tension, but don't overtighten as this will cause premature bearing wear on your alternator. They also sell belt dressing in sprays that help with squealing belts.

  • Keep me posted on your findings. I want to make sure that I didn't get taken by my no-nothing dealer. If there's supposed to be an external cooler, then I'm taking it right back to get it installed......along with getting the power window switches fixed.
  • Last month, I installed an alarm system in my new Sienna CE and in the process removed the negative battery cable for about 1/2 hour.
    Just noticed in the Toyota manual now that there is notice in the SRS section saying "Do not disconnect battery cables before contacting your Toyota dealer".
    Does anyone know what the significance of this is? I am worried that I have done some damage to my SRS (though I do not get any related warning)
  • neusslneussl Posts: 28
    1998 to 2000 3.0 Litre engine made in Japan; standard valve timing; less complexity.

    2001 to 2002 3.0 Litre engine made in USA; Variable valve timing; more complexity.

    Where would you rather have your engine made?
  • dardson1dardson1 Posts: 696
    I thought the additional 20hp with slighlty better gas milage was due to the valiable valve timing.
  • dardson1dardson1 Posts: 696
    If you take a look at the Honda OYD problems thread, you'll feel much better about your Sienna. There's a ton of posts with complaints about anything and everything....brakes, a/c problems, poor milage, transmission issues, drive-train bumps and thumps, power door troubles, and shimmy above 65mph are common. I see very little of that on this thread.
  • nygregnygreg Posts: 1,936
    Did the oil change this weekend. Sure enough, the tranny cooler lines connect to the bottom of the radiator. Sounds like your all set.

    Headers8 - sure hope there is no impact to SRS. I disconnected the battery terminals last week to clean for the winter. I can't imagine there being a problem since disconnecting the terminals is needed for maintenance or replacing the battery. Hmm, don't recall seeing that note in my manual - I'll need to check it out.

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