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Toyota Sienna Maintenance and Repair (2004+)



  • gbtwgbtw Posts: 4
    I have a 2005 Sienna Limited AWD with 6500 miles. Starting at 1000 miles I've been bringing the van back to the Toyota because of an excessive vibration inside the van. They have "fixed" the problem by balancing a wheel, rotating the wheels, balancing 2 wheels. They now tell me that there is nothing more they can do, "it is the nature of the beast". The service department told me it is the combination of the way the AWD wears (scallops) the very stiff run flat tires and the very stiff run flat tire transferring the resulting vibration to the body of the vehicle. I was offered 3 options from the dealer. 1. Purchase 4 new run flat tires at a cost of $600. 2. Purchase 4 new Michelin tires and a donut spare for a cost of $400. 3. Trade my fully loaded 2005 Limited AWD Sienna with 6500 miles to them for $30,000 and they will sell me a new fully loaded 2006 Sienna Limited FWD for $37,611. They said I will get a portion of the Extended Warranty that I purchased for the 2005 Sienna. The cost of the 2006 did not include an Extended Warranty.

    I did not think the first option was reasonable, because it would not resolve the problem (remember- "nature of the beast")

    I have two problems with the second option. First, the safety issue of laying the donut spare inside the van without being attached to anything. Secondly, it just did not seem right that I should be paying anything to have a brand new vehicle ride without excessive vibration.

    The third option? I was astonished that to "resolve" the problem, the dealer was going to make a rather large profit on my trade-in and another profit by selling me a new van. Besides being unethical, I would think that it is illegal!

    I have called the Toyota customer service 800 number and they referred me back to the dealer. I called them again and they said that there is nothing they can do.
  • ohresohres Posts: 46
    Personally, I think that none of the options are attractive. Check your state's Lemon Law to learn about your rights (you should have a booklet illustrating the lemon laws and the arbitration procedures). Make sure that all the repair visits are documented and that you have hard copies of the repair histories. Telephone call is convenient but sending a written complaint seems working better for me. I got the same response as you have when I called about the problems on my 2004 Ltd AWD but when I sent a formal complaint they called me and asked me to file an arbitration. I don't expect too much out of the arbitration process but I think it is better to follow their suggested route. If I cannot accept the outcome then I will seek a help from a lemon law lawyer to see if I have a case or not. Currently, I am waiting a response from the arbitration board. Good Luck!
  • heywood1heywood1 Posts: 839
    The donut spare tire kit comes with hardware to attach it to the floor, so there is no safety issue. Also, there is a color-matched cover that makes a flat cargo surface over the stowed spare.

    If you can get four new Michelins (not my favorite brand, though), and the donut spare kit for $400, you're doing well. The cost of the spare tire kit and related parts are at least that much, so you'd be getting the Michelins for free.
  • I recently took my new Sienna through a clothfree wash (just water spraying). Upon entering it had an under carriage spray of water. After the wash, I noticed lots of steam from the very front of the car where there are some fans that weren't running and what looked like a radiator (can you tell I'm an expert?). It smoked/steamed the whole way home, similar to what a classic case of radiator overheating has looked like in older cars I've owned.

    It seems to have disappeared the next day. Did I just get water in a spot that didn't like it? Thoughts are welcome. Guess I won't be doing undercarriage sprays again.

    I have just over 1000 miles on the van and the last two tanks have averaged around 17-18 mpg with mostly city driving. Very pleased with the van overall. Nervous about some info about water getting into the van and also hearing about AC system backups that leak into the carpets. (Was told to get the system flushed regularly, though not sure what interval is appropriate).
  • gbtwgbtw Posts: 4
    The donut spare they offered with the 4 Michelin ties does not come with the kit. For an additional cost I can purchase the kit. This would resolve the safety issue, but reduces internal storage space and prevents the 60 split of the third row from laying flat into the floor. I believe I would accept the loss of storage space, but I need to regularly fold the third row seat flat. That was one of the selling points for this vehicle.
  • gbtwgbtw Posts: 4
    I am looking at my state's Lemon Law. For your info my state law says:
    "..the consumer will elect to use the dispute settlement mechanism established by the manufacturer or the state arbitration board. The consumer's election of either the manufacturer's mechanism or the state board will preclude his or her recourse to the method not selected."
    If your state is similar and you are pursuing Toyota's National Center for Dispute Settlement program, then you may not be able to file a claim under your state's lemon law.

    Good Luck!
  • I would appreciate any ideas or suggestions on this. I have a 2006 LE.

    Twice, when I had to stop quickly while in a turn, I heard and felt a loud crunch at least 1 full second long that sounded like metal on metal. Both times were at speeds less than 20 MPH. I can't make it happen on purpose, the two times appear to be random. And both times, the van stopped just fine - but with the funny noise.

    Any thoughts? I want to wait to take it in until I can reproduce it at will.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    You're probably hearing the VSC kicking in and "unbraking" the front wheel on the inside of the turn, especially if the street was wet or slippery. That's what it will do if the vehicle isn't closely following the correct "line" as defined by the stearing wheel position. Or it might even be the Trac system.
  • ohresohres Posts: 46
    Thanks for the information.

    As an engineer, not a lawyer, I don't know the details about the law but I went through the process with the same NCDS organization few years back when I claimed my Dodge. The NCDS decided to deny my appeal since the vehicle was not eligible for dispute under the PA Lemon Law. About the same time, I was getting an offer from Chrysler. There was few hundred dollar difference that prevented us to settle. After my lawyer contacted Chrysler and after few negotiations, my lawyer could guide us to make an agreement with Chrysler. My lawyer recovered his costs from Chrysler.

    It appears that Toyota started using the same organization for their dispute settlement. Even if the organization supposed to be a neutral decision maker, their role is unclear. Hence, I don't expect much from their decision rather I consider it as a step toward further negotiation.

    I may get the same answer saying that PA lemon law is not applicable for my vehicle since it has more than 12k miles on it and since we owned it for more than 12 months. If this is the case then, as before, I may seek a help from a lawyer who is familiar with Federal laws. It will be a slow process though.
  • Thanks! That gives me a much needed starting point to start some research.
  • mwcoxmwcox Posts: 13
    Interesting: :(

    Toyota and Goodyear are being sued for what claimants say are "defective" run-flat tires on the Sienna minivan. A New York law firm filed the suit on behalf of one Stanley Monk and other owners, the AP reports, who charge that the run-flat tires wear out after just 10,000 miles of use. The tires were made by Goodyear but sold under the Dunlop imprint on the Toyota minivan. Run-flat tires are designed with stiff sidewalls that provide on-road capability even when a tread puncture deflates the tire. Lawyers allege in the suit that the tire wear effectively means the tires must be replaced yearly at a cost of $1300 or more.
  • Bot Sienna 2005 (7passager), I want to move the center seat , by manual:
    Step 1, lower the head restraint to lowest position, slide to the rear-most lock ..
    Step 2 , fold down the seatback..
    Step 3, pull the seat lock release lever (red) and swing up the seat.

    Where is seat lock realease lever (red)? :mad: I just found 2 red button under the seat, I donot think I can reach it too far when I want to swing the seat.

    Do I miss something?
  • I noticed the post about the lawsuit re: the run-flat tires - is it just on the AWD or on the FWD also? Everything that people have posted is true about my car - less than 10 mo. old, with 15,000 miles on. Very soon after buying it we felt it pulling to the left. Toyota service people (incl. manager didn't feel it - just like they don't feel the air rushing thru the middle vent even when air/heat is off!). In summer Toyota Service recommended balancing (which I paid for) and the left front tire "screeches" when the wheel is turned hard left and u take off. My husband has been blaming me for driving the car hard..which I don't do!!!! Can I blame the tires? And what can I do about it without having to pay to replace the tires myself?
  • Correction for previous post re: tire problems on '05 Sienna.

    Also, my Sienna runs high - toyota service says that ok - at almost 2! Everything I've pointed out to them, is always "ok" - either they don't "hear" or "see" it; or that's the way its supposed to be - "normal". And can't convince them otherwise - no matter how many times I bring the car back.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "I noticed the post about the lawsuit re: the run-flat tires - is it just on the AWD or on the FWD also?"

    The lawsuit only applies to the run-flat tires. The run-flat tires were ONLY on the AWD versions of the van. If you have a FWD version, you don't have run-flat tires as original equipment. Therefore, the lawsuit would not apply to you.

    "...and the left front tire "screeches" when the wheel is turned hard left and u take off."

    It's not unusual for the inside tire to 'screech' if the wheel is turned all the way in one direction and more than a moderate amount of power is applied. I suppose one could blame the tires (not sticky enough/spin too easily), but the solution (more aggresive thread/rubber compound) would probably lead to other 'problems' (reduced tire life, decreased gas mileage, perhaps more tire noise in general driving conditions). It probably is more pronounced to the left side rather than the right side due to the suspension geometry (FWD vehicles usually have unequal length half-shafts from the transaxle; these unequal length half-shafts usually lead to more torque going to one side than other. This is usually exhibited as 'torque-steer').

    'Pulling to the left' sounds like an alignment issue.
  • mcase2mcase2 Posts: 160
    "Scalloping" thats nice its called wear. Your run flats are wearing unevenly and prematurely. There is a class action suit over the incredible wear on the run flats filed in NY and one underway in CA.
  • mcase2mcase2 Posts: 160
    I don't know what you mean by "Everything people posted here is true about my car" there are lot good posts about this car. My FWD Sienna has no pulling, in fact its the most stable car I have ever owned. If your Sienna is pulling to the left there is something wrong, its not characteristic of the vehicle. You might try a different dealer or mechanic because we all know car dealers are not always objective. I find air flow in my middle vent too, though its not "rushing through". It only bothers me in moderately cool weather, when its cool, but not cool enough for heat. I found that simply turning the flow to floor vent eliminates it. The tires are not run flats on the FWD, but they are junk. Most stock tire that come with new cars are junk and Toyota's are no exception. There is no way Toyota is going to replace them for you, sorry. Try inflating them closer to their max psi. Mine squealed all the time no matter how I inflated them, though. I finally replaced them with high quality tires and the squealing stopped.
  • bmahhbmahh Posts: 1
    I just went to have a service performed on my 2004 XLE AWD and commented on the tire wear to the service consultant. I have about 40,000 Km of which more than half was on snow tires ( about 18,000 km or about 12,000 miles on the run flats). The snow tires suprisingly does not show the same wear that are exhibited by the run flats. Their response was that I needed a tire alignment ( at my cost ). When I said that I had one performed about a year ago (free by Toyota because they noticed abnormal tire wear) they responded that I should have one every year. Also, they responded that other AWD/Four wheel drive vehicles have similar wear to the tires and that that was normal. Needless to say, I was disappointed with the responses. Other vehicles that I have owned have never required yearly wheel alignments. Also, to say that abnormal tire wear for AWD vehicles is normal is ridiculous. It appears that this issue is being miss-handled by Toyota or at worse, ignored. When I have to replace the tires (probably in about a year), I will be using normal tires. If the wear persists, I will be looking to replace an otherwise great van. Meanwhile, in my eyes, Toyota has lost my respect as a company, in not addressing complaints with regards to this issue. I guess I will join many other AWD owners and start complaining to Toyota. :mad:
  • How do I get more info on this? I've already replaced 2 of the tires and now all 4 seem to need replacing again. I'd like to participate in the suit also. Should I complain to Attorney General?
  • Did anyone ever tell you how to get info on the lawsuit? If so, could you please forward to me? Thanks.
This discussion has been closed.