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Toyota Sienna Engine Problems

I have a 2004 XLE with approx 40,000 miles and I have a very persistent spark knock that is anoying. Does anyone know how to remedy this? I f I remember you used to be able to retard the timing just a touch and eliminate this one some vehicles. Would this work on this one and if so how can I go about doing it?

I have also noticed that these vans eat tires. I'm on my second set and they are already wearing unevenly (after alignment) and making the dreaded wop wop wop noise ( yes I rotate them and keep them inflated firmly).

Thanks for your help.


  • I have an '04 with similar mileage, but have not experienced your problems - not with knocking and not with tires. We are on our 2nd set.

    In a way, I can understand if these vehicles go through tires quicker than other vehicles b/c of friction. Just like sportscar tires wear out more quickly b/c they are made to grip the road and, thus, increase friction, the weight of the minivans should give more friction to the tires than other vehicles.

    Good luck with your issues.
  • tanzatanza Posts: 1
    My 2000 Sienna XLE has 84K miles on the odometer. I took it in for the "big" service. Now it has harsh engine vibration at idle while the car is in gear (i.e. stopped in traffic). The engine is also noticeably louder when it shifts into OD at freeway speeds (55-65 MPH). Finally, the gas mileage has dropped about 2 mpg. My dealer can't seem to figure out what the problem is. They changed two engine mounts which isolates the vibation somewhat but there is still engine vibration.

    Has anyone experienced this problem? Can someone offer some advice? I like my Sienna but the vibration is starting to get on my nerves.
  • caravan2caravan2 Posts: 198
    I was driving someone else's 2006 LE with 25K miles on it. When I start it, the sound comes like slippage of serpentine belt. Then it goes away. Is this normal?

    Second, Service RQD was on constantly. He said, it has to be reset everytime after oil change is due. Is this normal also.
  • There is a TSB on the nocking I took mines to the dealer
    and got fix at no charge.
  • I had recently had a check engine light diagnosed as a faulty ECM. This module is very expensive ($1700)and I was looking for a replacement.

    Any ideas here?

    What impact is there for not replacing this module as the car is running okay?
  • nhzeronhzero Posts: 1
    Every time I get into my Sienna to go somewhere, after a few seconds it will make a weird noise that I can feel through the pedal for about two seconds. It seems to be speed triggered, not time triggered, and it takes a little while, it's not immediate. It also doesn't seem to be related to whether I back out or pull forward, or have anything to do with whether I use the brakes or not.

    It reminds me of those old toy cars that had a little plastic strip that touched the gear to make a noise. After it does the noise (EVERY time I go somewhere), it won't do it again until I turn the car off and go somewhere else. I haven't tried putting it back in park after it does the noise to see if it does it again, but I am completely confused as to what it could be. Any ideas? I am hoping it's not something expensive in the transmission.
  • mnrep2mnrep2 Posts: 200
    This sounds like, your ABS braking system "Self Test". Most cars exhibit this behavior today. Some more loudly than others. Don't worry, no problems ;)
  • jaccord,
    Do you know the TSB number so I can refer to it? Also how long did the repair take and did it work?
  • Anti-Lock Brakes it is! It is really noticeable in the Sienna. My last vehicle, a 2005 Tacoma was the first vehicle I had with anti-lock. It made a whoosh or shwoosh sound when first started up and you took off in the driveway. About 5-8 seconds after you started moving. Does it in reverse, too.
    We had snow a while back and I had some kids in the car who asked me to go sideways on the ice. You should have heard the anti-lock brakes then. Sounded like a little motor running when the tires slid when I applied the brakes.
  • Hi here is The tsb Im not sure how long it took I drop it in the morning and then pick it up at night.
    Engine "Pinging" or "Knock Noise"
    TSB EG055-06 September 6, 2006.
  • ejk3ejk3 Posts: 1
    I have 2001 Sienna of which mileage is 78K now.
    I took it to local auto shop to get maintenance 3 days ago.
    At that time, mechanic said my car's oil level was too low
    even though I changed it just a few months ago.
    The next day, he called me and said that one piston was broken and unless I change engine, my car will die on the road. And he said he had seen lots of similar problems in other Siennas and Avalons.
    I picked up my car today and they charged 1600 dollars.
    Can this case be covered with oil gel settlement?
    And I'm not keeping any oil change receipts. Can I get reimburse for this? :cry:
  • mlowmlow Posts: 1
    My 2004 Toyota Sienna has developed a noise when started, especially when cold. It is quite a loud noise, similar to valves clacking, but it goes away and we don't hear it once the engine is warm. the dealer does not seem to think this is a problem but it did not make this noise when we bought it over even a few weeks ago? I don't like it - anyone else have a similar issue now or in the past?
  • avital123avital123 Posts: 2
    I had a very similar problem witha 98 Nissan Quest Minivan. It had a loud clank noise as it the valves were clacking. When I first took it to the mechanic, they replaced the exhaust manifold seal. Noise went away but came back a week later. I took it again and it turned out that the exhaust manifold assembled to the engine block had warped. Some of the bolts holding the manifold to the engine had broken off as well. As the engine heated up (around 3 - 5 minutes) the warpage would straighten up and the noise would go away. I replaced both front and rear exhaust manifolds and the vehicle is working very well.
  • avital123avital123 Posts: 2
    I have a 1998 Nissan Quest Minivan. A year and a half ago after travelling 70 miles at 65 mph using the cruise control, the transmission shifted down to 3rd gear for a few seconds then shifted back to overdrive. As I kept driving, it did it more often. I returned the 70 miles and had to really slow down as the transmission shifted even as down as 2nd gear. The mechanic could not detect any issues using the computer. I used it 18 months in the city without any problems at all. This weekend I travelled and again after 70 miles, it started shifting down from overdrive to 3rd gear. On my way back, I was travelling against the wind and had absolutely no problems. It appears as if it was heating up but the wind was cooling down. I have been driving it around in the city and again, absolutely no problemas. Has anyone experienced the same issue? Should I add a transmission radiator or should I give up and replace the transmission?
  • fulcrum81fulcrum81 Posts: 9
    I was testing drive a sienna xle. It's very quiet on local road. But when I tried to accelerate, the engine sounds very noisy, not as rhythmic as odyssey's engine. Anyone noticed this?

    Also, on the highway, the sienna seems as noisy/quiet as odyssey...
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I think at cruise it's quieter.

    The 3.5l is louder than the old 3.3l because it uses a timing chain, but then again so does Honda. Plus, that means less maintenance down the road.

    Also, for the 3.5l, normally only one opening in the intake is used. At more than half throttle, or over a certain rpm, the 2nd intake path is opened for more power, and yes it makes more noise while that path is opened.

    Toyota added more insulation for 2007 to compensate for the extra noise, but at full throttle the engine asserts itself nicely.
  • nilionnilion Posts: 2
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    First off, the 2GR engine now uses a timing chain, which is a bit noisier but more durable and more economical than a timing belt, which usually have to be replaced every 60k miles.

    The catch is timing chains are indeed noisier, so Toyota added some extra sound insulation in the firewall and in the door jambs. I have a picture of it and you can see it below.

    Now, about the increase in noise at certain RPM - this engine also has 2 intake paths. Normally one is open to minimize intake road, but when the throttle is more than half way down and above a certain RPM the 2nd path opens to get maximum power.

    You might be experiencing that valve opening and closing, effectively doubling the intake roar. And of course it varies according to RPM and throttle position.

    FWIW, I don't think the noise is that bad. I've actually modified mine so that both intake ports remain open all the time. A set of vacuum tubes operates these and a simple mod leaves them both open all the time. I'm basically trading off a bit more noise for better throttle response, less hesitation, and (some say) better gas mileage.

    PS I should note that the older 3.3l engine also has the dual port intake, but it uses a timing belt.
  • nilionnilion Posts: 2
    Thank you ateixeira - your explanation and picture are very much appreciated and, I believe, an accurate assessment of the humming vibration issue.
  • caravan2caravan2 Posts: 198
    [quote]I've actually modified mine so that both intake ports remain open all the time[/quote]

    How do you that? Does this really improve gas mileage? If so, by how much??

    Does this modification effects warranty? Did you do it yourself?

    I have 3.5 engine.

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