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Toyota Sienna Maintenance and Repair (2003 earlier)

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Comments

  • lsaclsac Posts: 22
    I had read some problem regarding erratic alarm behavior. I figure it is similar to garage openers. Some openers may open itself with no reason. It may happen in the night. The next morning, it is like "did I forget something last night?". In that case, reset openers and add remote back to openers' memory. Same could be done to car alarm, but security ECU is so deep buried and involves some amount of labor.
  • Has any heard of a spark plug breaking in a Sienna leading to damage requiring a new engine?

    In addition I have an extended warranty that Toyota refuses to honor saying they don't cover spark plugs. However, all the research I've done says that engine problems with fuel ratios, pre-ignition or detonation lead to spark plug failure. If that's the case then the engine caused the spark plug to brake and then caused the damage. Any advice on how to deal with Toyota would be appreciated. By the way my Toyota is a 98 with only 60K miles.
  • sbisssbiss Posts: 9
    Anyone experienced any brake issues with their Siennas? I am not talking about squeaks, but about rusted caliper slide bolts. When I changed the front pads, I practically had to pound out one caliper slide bolt. Apparently water had intruded and rusted the bolt. My dealer acted like this was not uncommon, other than it being a bolt on the passenger side front wheel, instead of the driver's front.

    In case you are wondering, the symptoms of this problem are very similar to a warped rotor, as this is usually the result of the caliper not moving freely.
  • My wife has a 1997 Sienna with 48,000 miles. For the past year or so she says she hears a small clunk, clunk, clunk when applying the brakes. Most noticeable at lower speeds. Sound APPEARS to be coming from the right rear. A new set of tires at 46,000 miles didn't affect the sound either way. Any ideas or suggestions as to what would cause this sound and what the cure might be? Thanks.
  • cied2cied2 Posts: 3
    Iv'e been noticing more Siennas (since it happened to mine)with that telltale big dimple in the corner of the rear bumper. This no doubt happens because of the lack of "postive feel" when backing up and hitting another object. In my case it was a fire plug that I just kept slowly backing into. My cars with metal braced bumpers never presented this problem. I am of course very careful now with the Sienna, however, I do consider this to be a design flaw which resulted in undue damage to my vehicle. Does anyone else feel as I do? Is Toyota doing anything to give their bumpers positive feedback to the driver? Finally, is there a fix for these ugly dimples that is relatively cheap? Thanx for any and all responses.
  • smfransmfran Posts: 432
    I've posted regarding this design flaw in the past, and even mentioned it to the service department at our dealer when my wife barely tapped a tree while backing up and pushed in the corner of her bumper. No one ever acknowledges that a design flaw exists. I have seen countless Siennas and Camrys as well as other Toyotas with a pushed in rear corner bumper. The design flaw is that there is no reinforcement behind the bumper in the corner area. Wherever the bumper is straight, there is a white reinforcing material behind it. The way my dealer fixed it (at no charge as a courtesy) was to remove the bumper and apply heat to the area and "pop" it out. Short of that, it is expensive to replace the bumper.
  • jasdmwjasdmw Posts: 118
    Unfortunately, all new vehicles produced for the NA market have the same bumper design. What you see on the outside of the vehicle is a called bumper cover, a faux facia that looks good but doesn't protect anything. The actual bumper is generally a piece of high density styrofoam mounted behind this cover, but located in the center of the car. They do not wrap around like the bumpers of old.

    I too have noticed cars with damaged covers, but these are not restricted to Toyota. It's not a design flaw. The cause of it is more in line with the vehicle operator. I had a similar occurance with my '92 Caravan. Just came a little too close to a curb. Easiest way to remedy the dent is to heat it slightly with a hair dryer and push it out from behind. Easiest way to prevent the dent is to avoid the curbs. You can install an aftermarket sensor system to warn you of impending obstacles when backing up. I'm sure it will be available on the '04's. Ford is putting them in the front bumper covers on their next model year vans in addition to the rears.
  • my 2k sienna le was also the victim of my backing into a concrete column (luckily not another car) crunching the drivers side rear bumper, dinging the metal below the tail light and destroying the outboard lens.
    The bumper has a 2 inch cut in it from the steel support underneath;
    With some patience you can take the cover off (i did it in about 15 minutes). It is held on by a bunch of plactic fasteners that are reusable (push the center of each fastener in about 1/4 inch to release the fastener, pry out the fastener from the edge; install: reset the center to be 1/4 inch ABOVE the surface of the fastener, press fastener into the mounting hole, then tap the center flush to attach the fastener), and 4 10mm bolts ( two under the lift gate, and one under each rear wheel well - use a 12" extention to get to these under the back edge of the wheelwell liner)
    I popped it off, and in a soft grassy area to avoid scratches, stepped onto it from the inside and popped it out) Reinstallation was easy.
    The cut in the plastic and some scratches are still there; just got a bumper sticker.
    good luck
  • ahujasu - I have also had a similar experience. My 1998 Sienna, perfectly maintained with factory maintence, has also needed a total engine rehaul after apparent spark plug faliure.
  • smfransmfran Posts: 432
    Regardless what jasdmw states in post 2283, The design of the bumper is flawed. There should be reinforcement behind the corners to avoid the disproportionate damage that occurs by slightly hitting something at less than 3 MPH.
    I have seen this result in other vehicles but in a much higher percentage of Toyotas; particularly Siennas.
    Of course damage is avoided if the "vehicle operator" doesn't hit something. Unfortunately these things do happen but the bumper should absorb the impact.
  • I saw a maroon one yesterday on the Fairfax County Parkway - right in front of me. Right rear bumper (on the outside wrap around area) significantly pushed in. No other damage apparent anywhere on the vehicle. That's like a 60,000 dollar (I'm guessing) SUV. Guess they have the design flaw too.

    "Unfortunately these things do happen but the bumper should absorb the impact."

    Yours apparently did.
  • pjksrpjksr Posts: 111
    An Oddyssey owner down our road had a "dent" a few weeks ago too...

    If the bumper did not dent inward, the bumper mounts would shift instead. Or, as I found in my late Ford Aerostar, which was hit when parked, the "tougher" bumper could crack, and the whole bumper would require replacement.

    These bumper designs are not bad.
  • Just reposting what davedave said earlier... this doesn't look too hard and I'd definitely try it if I was facing a $900 shop bill:

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    #2284 of 2289 bumpers... by davedave1 Dec 30, 2002 (03:04 pm)
    my 2k sienna le was also the victim of my backing into a concrete column (luckily not another car) crunching the drivers side rear bumper, dinging the metal below the tail light and destroying the outboard lens.
    The bumper has a 2 inch cut in it from the steel support underneath;
    With some patience you can take the cover off (i did it in about 15 minutes). It is held on by a bunch of plactic fasteners that are reusable (push the center of each fastener in about 1/4 inch to release the fastener, pry out the fastener from the edge; install: reset the center to be 1/4 inch ABOVE the surface of the fastener, press fastener into the mounting hole, then tap the center flush to attach the fastener), and 4 10mm bolts ( two under the lift gate, and one under each rear wheel well - use a 12" extention to get to these under the back edge of the wheelwell liner)
    I popped it off, and in a soft grassy area to avoid scratches, stepped onto it from the inside and popped it out) Reinstallation was easy.
    The cut in the plastic and some scratches are still there; just got a bumper sticker.
    good luck
  • The spark plug in the 2003 that I have has a wierd type of spark plug called "Iridium spark plug". Since, I've just bought this 2 weeks ago and have put 1569 miles on it. Should I replace it with Bosch Platinum 4 to avoid damaging the engine later down the road by the Toyota manufacture's spark plug????

    Fatlittle
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Let me get this straight... you want to put in a non-Toyota part in hopes of avoiding warranty claim issues? You want to do this as a result of reading two posts in a bulletin board when nobody has asked if the plugs in question were the OEM or aftermarket? That is a mistake.
  • smfransmfran Posts: 432
    My undocumented analysis is that I see a much higher percentage of Siennas on the road with pushed in rear corner bumpers than any other vehicle. Am I alone in this observation?
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,972
    I haven't noticed, but I guess I'll start checking out corners now. This will be like trying to get the Gilligan's Island theme song out of my head - every time I see a van I'll have to eyeball the bumbers :-)

    Steve, Host

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • My ding came as I backed into a concrete post..didn't realize I hit it until the rear outboard tail light lens shattered. Put a small ding in sheet metal above the caved in bumper. I replaced the lens (80.00), body shop fixed the sheet metal (200.00), and I popped out the caved in bumper by heating with a hair dryer (careful here) and a nice hot sunny day (0.00). I used some very fine sandpaper and water to smooth out the scratches in the bumper..have to look closly to see any marks (0.00) I just have to be a LOT more careful backing up. Oh yea..my sienna is a 2001 LE...just turned 25K miles and NO problems. Best vehicle since my '83 Camry.
  • lsaclsac Posts: 22
    It was easy. I did it to my front and rear bumpers. Mine is LE, so no paint at all. For rear bumper, nothing needs to be removed. Just take a house stud. Stick it to the back of the dimple and keep pushing it out. A heat gun might help the job. For front bumper, side lamp must be removed to get to the back of dimple.
  • jeproxjeprox Posts: 466
    iridium plugs are better than platinum. they last even longer than platinum. so don't replace them with platinum!
  • Does anyone know whether Toyota has tweaked, refined, or fixed the potential for Sludge disaster in the 2003 version? Thanks...
  • payrewpayrew Posts: 3
    our Sienna 2001, with 18k miles , went for state
    insepection - have failed the tire inspection as
    the front tires rotated to the back - had worn
    out central treads. i put in new tires.
    dealer told me that since its front wheel drive
    they wear out faster. i have rotated tires earlier.

    either bad quality tires or something with seinna
    front tires design.
  • Wondering if anyone else has had this problem...

    Just got a new 2003 Sienna. The sun visor, when pulled down and pushed against the driver's side window (protecting my eyes from the sun coming in from the left), will swing out and hit me in the head during right turns. It doesn't stay in place.

    Has anyone else had a problem with this?
  • pjksrpjksr Posts: 111
    My visor is nice and firm, and doesn't move. Not sure if you can adjust it--can you? 2002 LE.
  • Doesn't appear that I can adjust it. And, a correction, it's the left turns which causes the visor to swing out.

    It happens on the passenger side as well (but it takes a pretty hard right turn for that one).

    But, I don't see how it can be adjusted. Do you think the service department would address this? It's really a pain, getting hit in the head every left turn (while the visor is against the side window).
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,972
    The loose visor should be a "fit and finish" issue that your dealer should be happy to fix for free. Yours is a newish one right?

    Steve, Host

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • Yes. Just bought it on Saturday.

    What's "fit and finish" mean?
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,972
    Usually there's a "fit and finish" warranty on new cars (often ~12,000 miles/one year). It's intended to cover niggling little defects like your visor, or alignments, for example. Stuff that the factory (or dealer prep) missed that affects how parts fit, etc.

    Steve, Host

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • Does anyone else experience squeaking brakes that sound like you need to replace them on their 2001 Sienna minivan? My van is 20 months old and at every braking opportunity, i.e. stoplights and traffic, the brakes squeak, squeal, and it sounds like I need to replace them - the dealer tells me I have 85% of the life left and there's nothing they can do.
  • pn6pn6 Posts: 14
    Has anyone been concerned about the inadaquate illumination the back up lights provide? The taillight assembly for the backup lights is very small, and the problem compounds with the privacy glass. We find it very hard to back up unless there are other sources of light.
    The dealer insists the b/u lights are to advise those behind us that we are backing up, not to light the area.
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