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Toyota Sienna Maintenance and Repair (2004+)



  • tdotdo Posts: 1
    We just bought a 2005 Toyota Sienna Limited. It has the navigation system on board. We bought the van in the United States, it came with a North American map dvd, and we were immediately shipped to Germany. We were told by the dealer (in the States) that we could just purchase a Europe dvd map for the navigation system, when we got to Germany. Well, now it looks like the navigation system may not be compatible with the map that we would be able to get here.
    Anyone know anything about this subject? If I can get a Europe map that would work and where could I buy it? I made a feeble attempt to contact the German dealer, but I think that before my next attempt I need to have some knowledge and someone that speaks German.
    Thanks for any suggestions
  • ednovakednovak Posts: 55
    The navigation system used in the 2005 Sienna is virtually identical to the one used in the 2005 Lexus models and the 2005 Camry. You might try to borrow a Camry or Lexus map DVD for a few minutes and try it in the Sienna. (Make sure it is from a 2005, the earlier models used a different GPS generation.)
    I don't know if there were other changes made for Europe (different version of the software etc.) but this should be a simple way to find out if just buying a map DVD from Toyota or Lexus will fit the bill for you.
  • jb_shinjb_shin Posts: 357
    I used ebay quite a bit when I lived in Germany. Try contacting UK dealers since that won't pose a problem with language. As another poster suggested, also try a Lexus dealer if you have one nearby. I lived in Berlin and there were plenty around where someone usually spoke English. Not sure where you are based, but I would ty UK dealers (though they may not know for sure until they try one in your Sienna), Lexus dealer to see if they will let you try it, out of one of their demos, then eBay to actually buy it. Price will be far better in most cases on eBay, I've gotten some great bargains for my BMW while I was there.

    Oh, the other thing is that there are a lot of grey imports from Japan in UK, and I am sure some of them have tried using EU/UK Nav disc in Japanesse-market car. Try email or call to UK dealer and tell them that you have a US spec Toyota and want to know if EU Nav DVD will work, they might just know.
  • Thanks...I will check out the other forum. As a matter of fact, at its most recent visit to the dealer, they did the software upgrade. I have noticed no difference. I also took a ride with a technician, who said the van drove normally. He recommended driving it in 4 vs. OD around town and under 55 mph. He said toyota does not usually suggest this but he said it may help with all the shifting I feel. He said the new vans are so sophisticated in their trans that its a different driving experience. OK...well, Im not loving this driving experience and will keep my eyes and ears open for the real problem here....I don't want to find out about it after the warranty expires. Thanks for your suggestion..I'm open to any help.
  • meg7meg7 Posts: 7
    I found this article online in the Nov. 2004 issue of Ward's Auto World. Here is an interesting excerpt that we should be discussing with Toyota and Dunlop:

    "Honda and Michelin have invested in a nationwide network to supply Pax tires wherever they are needed by Odyssey customers.

    More than 1,000 Honda dealers in the U.S. and some 200 independent tire retailers have received Pax tire-wheel assemblies. A technician need only remove and replace five lug nuts.

    If an Odyssey owner has a flat Pax in a remote area -- say, Yellowstone National Park -- a logistics service will fly a new wheel-tire assembly to the nearest airport, then have it driven by courier directly to the consumer. Michelin vows it will deliver a Pax assembly anywhere in the continental U.S. within 12 hours."

    With this kind of network in place, plus a mileage warranty from Dunlop, perhaps we will be able to drive our AWD Siennas with confidence. And not have to spend $1200 a year for new tires. Let's work together on this problem!!!!!

    re Dunlop P225/R60/17 run flat tires
  • heywood1heywood1 Posts: 839
    The devil is in the details. Go to the PAX/Run-flat tires for Minivans discussion to read real-world experiences of PAX owners.
  • adams4adams4 Posts: 1
    Here's our story: within weeks after buying our 2004 Sienna AWD XLE, I noticed significant veering to the left when driving on the highway. It's more noticeable when in the left lane due to crowning in the road, but it's also there in the center lane. We brought the car in and they rotated tires and did an alignment, replaced a front "toe-in" (what's that?) and a front camber (hunh?). Well, problem wasn't corrected. My wife brought the car back and drove it with the service manager (a very patient and nice guy) and he didn't notice anything amiss. About 6 months later, I had my local regular mechanic due and oil change and he noticed extreme pulling in steering and remarked that the tires showed 30,000 miles worth of wear after only about 6500 miles of actual usage. I then called the Toyota service manager back and he admitted that they have been having problems with run-flats wearing early. So, we brought the van back to Toyota and he said he would check the front end again and put on a new set of tires. The service receipt says "unstable steering deformed whle disc/tire dismount R&R" but I have no idea what this means. Problem remained. In April of '05, I spoke with Toyota customer service national about this continuing problem. I was told that Toyota has issued no recalls, nor were there any known alerts or problems with run-flats or this model Sienna or veering or pulling. He sent info to customer relations manager at my dealership and was assured that he would contact me to make sure everything was inspected on he vehicle. Well, a few days later I get a call from the friendly service manager again, talk about buck-passing. "Bring it back in," he suggested. So,, drove it for a while longer, no change, in August, a few weeks ago, I brought it back in and drove with the service manager. He claims that the veering, which he noticed only when removing foot off accelerator and taking hands off wheel, is "normal" and that's the way these AWD cars work! "You mean the car won't drive straight?" I asked!! He claimed this was normal. He did notice a shimmy at high speeds which was another problem that started only a few weeks before. He also noted that he hadn't had any other complaints from Sienna owners about veering, pulling, etc. He balanced the front tires. I came away feeling frustrated and resigned that this pulling is normal. But I can't let it go. Started surfing on the web and find that I'm not the only person with alignment and tire wear problems. This morning I looked at our tires again and they show significant wear again! Maybe the New York Times wants to do an expose on this problem. I've read or heard nothing in the news media about this problem.
  • meg7meg7 Posts: 7
    I've done a quick search of the internet databases and did not find any articles discussing the number of consumer complaints regarding the Dunlop run-flats or the AWD Sienna. A friend who is a writer suggested that we do a letter writing campaign to the media outlets, especially to Consumer Reports, but I haven't had the time. (I only became aware of the problem a week ago.)

    I'm frustrated that even though I did my research before the purchase, and I went to a number of Toyota dealers when shopping for the van, not one salesman explained that my car did not come equipped with a spare tire. Although they did mention the "special" run-flat tires, I was not aware that that was synonymous with "no spare." Basically I feel duped.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "I'm frustrated that even though I did my research before the purchase....."

    Um, not meaning to be a snot or anything (well, not much), but the whole "Runflats and lack of a spare tire" issue on the AWD Siennas has been discussed, extensively, here on Edmunds for about the last 2 years.

    And 'run-flat' tires has been synonymous with 'no spare' for virtually EVERY run-flat equipped vehicle ever sold. If you can find a single vehicle factory equipped with run-flats which ALSO has a spare tire as standard equipment, I'll be very surprised.

    In fact there are several vehicles on the market which have NEITHER run-flats or a spare tire as standard equipment.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    rorr - meg7 has only been an Edmunds member for the past week, so bringing up the discussion on Edmunds isn't really fair.

    now then while we know it would be extra-ordinary (probably impossible) to have a drive line to the rear axle and have room below the vehicle to store a spare, it isn't obvious to everyone.

    i remember reading a post in another forum where a person and his wife thought they were buying a 4WD vehicle and found out it was only 2-wheel sometime after the purchase.

    i suspect, many people don't even know where a spare in a non-AWD mini-van is stored, and that AWD implies no spare by virtue of the fact there's no place to stick it unless it's on the back, the top, or inside of the van (all obvious)...

    scary i know but - there are plenty of people out there (i mean here) that evidently don't open their owner's manual, and couldn't tell if a vehicle was AWD or not by looking under it.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    I told you I was being a snot.

    You mean that not all people do their new car research by joining the TownHall community and participating for a couple of years before they purchase????? :confuse:

    "i remember reading a post in another forum where a person and his wife thought they were buying a 4WD vehicle and found out it was only 2-wheel sometime after the purchase."

    I'm not surprised this happens. I am surprised they fessed up to it.

    After re-reading my last post, I would like to offer this to meg7: the salesmen certainly shouldn't have assumed that any potential buyer would intuitively understand that vehicles with run-flat tires wouldn't have a spare. Run-flats are still new enough to the market that this is not common knowledge. Therefore, when pointing out that the vehicle comes equipped with run-flats, they should have pointed out that there was no spare.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    agreed (minus the sinus stuff). ;)

    now then - will the customers know that the RFTs on the AWDbSienna seem to be giving people problems and are rather pricey to replace (if they haven't done their research here)?

    and is it the salesman or the manufacturer's responsibility to point this out to a potential buyer? ;)

    frankly - just like on the issue of HIDs, i'm still stuck on the whole AWD benefits thing... i can't seem to come to an understanding of their true advantage - i believe the AWD technology helps get you going from zero speed, but once going, they don't add to your traction. i'm probably sadly mistaken about this - but it seems to be a bit of a hype, specially in a vehicle with Traction Control and Stability Control.

    talk about confused? sign me up.

    now i'm sure their are circumstances where the AWD is handy, but i don't see the disadvantages when coupled with RFTs outweighing their advantages. if the RFTs are replaced by conventional snows, then the equation changes slightly in my mind - but i'm still not thrilled with not having a spare, nor the impact on mileage, nor the increased complexity of the overall system...

    confused and conflicted. anyone else?
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    I'm with you on the AWD issue.

    AWD gives you better traction for acceleration (duh; you've got traction on 4 contact patches rather than 2). But no more traction for manuveuring or braking. Manuveuring and braking control is aided through the use of ABS/VSC which are available on the FWD models. IMO, many folks just get it in their heads that they 'need' AWD without understanding the benefits of Toyota's VSC system. Personally, I'd rather have the capacity to carry a spare and put on a good set of snow tires if I thought conditions waranted.

    Salesman/Manufacturer's responsibility - I think it is their responsibility to make it clear what equipment is on a car. I also think it is the responsibility of the consumer to ask questions of the salesman when they are unclear about a piece of equipment. And I certainly would never expect a salesman to 'volunteer' information about potential problems a particular piece of equipment was having. That's were research comes in.

    And the research really isn't that hard. If one wants to get an idea of potential problems with a car, one seeks out any Owner's Clubs for that car on the internet. One doesn't necessarily HAVE to know about Edmund's to find out this information.

    Although knowing about Edmund's certainly helps..... ;)
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    err - oviously coffee hadn't kicked in this morning. in my post, i meant to say i'm just not sure of the advantages of AWD with RFTs outweighing the disadvantages. when you go with snows, and you have Traction Control and VSC, what is the real advantage to the AWD system? does it outweigh the disadvantages?

    i understand they get you going easier, but how do they help in traction, specifically directional and stopping control?

    if there is someone out there that has a good scientific link to the advantages, i'd love to visit it. same with HID studies (as far as I'm concerned they are a nuisance to other drivers) but my opinion could be swayed. ;)
  • nimmy4nimmy4 Posts: 4
    We have a 2004 Sienna XLE FWD with ~20K miles. It has made this knocking/rattling sound for the past 10K miles. It used to only happen when the engine was cold when first started that day and right before the transmission shifted. Once the engine warmed-up, the sound went away. Lately, this has been occuring several times throughout the day when the engine is turned off and restarted, but still only happens right before shifting. After a couple of miles the sound does not occur.
  • tunchtunch Posts: 8
    I purchased a 2004 AWD sienna and after 22,000 miles have had to have the transmission replaced. I had it in for checkups several times for hesitations and the engine revving. That was supposedly fixed but has not changed at all. They have had the car for almost two weeks. I'm concerned that this will be an ongoing problem. Any others with this problem or are there any options that I have?
  • tunchtunch Posts: 8
    The brakes on my 2004 sienna squeal every morning. It usually stops after a few uses. I was told by the dealer service department that this is normaI. I recently drove a sienna rental of the same make and year for a week in Florida and did not have the squealing. Is this dealer correct or do I have a problem?
  • tunchtunch Posts: 8
    Altho my sienna is a 2004, I am in the process of having a new transmission put in after similar problems and many trips before they admitted it needed a new transmission. According to them this is a first. I am concerned that they will "rebuild" the old one and that it neede replaced after 22,000 miles in the first place. I'd keep on them
  • tunchtunch Posts: 8
    I have a 2004 sienna with 22,000miles. Supposedly my transmission will have been replaced by tomorrow (TWO weeks and counting) I'm concerned as to why it went in the first place and why it took so long for them to replace it. Is there a way to tell if they truly put in a new one or just "rebuilt" the old one. Do I have any options with the dealer. It took several visits before they "acknowledged" the transmission was bad.
  • ednovakednovak Posts: 55
    Since you are still under the factory warranty, if you don't already have an extended warranty, I strongly recommend you consider it. At least one dealer in the midwest was selling the 7 year warranty for well under $1,000. (You can purchase the warranty from any dealer as long as the vehicle is still under the factory warranty.) With this type of a problem, you don't want to take a chance on it having to be worked on again at your expense. :sick:
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