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Toyota Sienna Engine Problems



  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    edited August 2011
    A flashing chk engine light should not be ignored. A steady state light means there is a stored code. It could be something current, but most likely it is an 'event' that happened in the past. A flashing light is warning you about something that is happening NOW and could cause damage. This quite often happens with a cylinder misfire, and that could lead to major engine damage.

    Bad tires? Is this an AWD van? Toyota is much more forgiving than say Subaru on the issue of mismatched tire diameter, but I suppose that if you were way off it might log an error. The skid control and traction control systems do use wheel speed sensors as an input, and it might not like a constant rotational difference if a tire was way off from the others.
  • Its a front wheel drive. All of the codes that came up were misfires in all six cylinders and the tires all match and we had them rotated and balanced to see if that fixes the problem but I don't see how they are blaming perfectly good tires for the misfires. The check engine light was flashing so I stopped immediately.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Tires...ONLY if you have F/awd, and still maybe even then.
  • I have a 2001 Sienna and have been chasing the CEL for 3 years. Name a part and I have replaced it and the CEL is still on.
  • I have a 2010 Sienna, now with 40,000 miles on it but it sounds like a diesel when cold and since I purchased it new.
    The dealer and the Toyota tech rep say that it is PISTON SLAP and that this is normal. Do your reserch for what piston slap means ( bad news ) but Toyota seems to think that its OK I guess we are all stupid. This will be my last Toyota, I know what Piston Slap does to an engine.
    Good luck with yours.
  • capitalfederalcapitalfederal Posts: 11
    edited November 2011
    It seems that there are a few people with the same problem of Piston Slap, does Toyota really think that they can fool all of the people all of the time?
  • I know this is an old thread but I would like to share my thoughts on the issue. I only buy GM vehicles and I have been experiencing piston slap since the mid 1990's. The first vehicle you own with piston slap makes you think that it's defective. GM always ensured me it was normal and will not affect longevity in any way. In my experience they are correct. All my vehicles with piston slap have not been affected by it and are still running with over 200,000 miles. Nissan, Honda, Toyota, Ford, and GM all have complaints about piston slap but there is no defect. These engines are aluminum so they will be louder until they warm up (metal expanding). In some engines a slight amount of piston slap is normal when the engine is at moral operating temps, also. For all of you worried about the noise, I would not worry about it. Toyota and all other manufacturers build their engines to precise specifications, follow their maintenance schedule and your engine will last. If your engine performs as it should, doesn't burn excessive oil, does not have a check engine light on, and gets decent fuel mileage, every manufacturer will tell you it's normal. Take their advice because there is nothing wrong with your engine. Hope this helps all you Toyota owners experiencing this problem. Drive safe!
  • sopmansopman Posts: 46
    I have a 2006 Sienna. There are two power adapters on the dash and one in the back. One of the two on the dash and the back power adapters do not work. Does anyone know where the fuse is located?
  • gobubbagobubba Posts: 2
    edited October 2012
    There is one (or more) problems with your analysis of Toyota engine piston slap.
    Piston slap is not the same for every Toyota vehicle. Some Toyota engines develop the issue sooner than others. Also, the amount of time it takes for the slapping to dissipate varies also. These two inconsistencies alone are solid proof that Toyota engines do not have consistent piston/cylinder tolerances.
    The Toyota factory rep told me (on Dec 2011) that it is normal for their engines to develop piston slap (at what point this will happen was not specified) and that it is normal for them to sound like a diesel engine for the first 10-12 minutes of driving (depending on outside temperature).
    If your commute is only 10-12 minutes like mine is, you will have a knocking engine the whole way to and from work.
    *** This is not acceptable in my opinion. ***
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    You are probably correct. Short skirt pistons are so 'on the edge' that minor manufacturing tolerances and matching to cylinder bores, the exact fit and balance of piston rods and wrist pins, etc., that some have it from day one, others develop the noise over time, and I'll bet that the noise varies from cylinder to cylinder within any engine.

    Here's the thing. If you own a Subaru, you've probably lived with piston slap for 15 years. Corvette - famous for it. Go to the Dodge board - yep. This is the direction of the industry, as they attempt to trim reciprocating mass. And with all the complaints over the years on the Subaru boards, there seems to be little evidence of real engine damage other than a little scraping of the moly coating on the skirt, with little or no evidence seen on the cylinder wall. I've seen no change in oil consumption in 100k miles on my Subi, and it clatters like a diesel on a cold morning. My Sienna (2008 - 2GR-FE) does also.

    I understand your feeling, and I don't like it, but I've learned to live with it.
  • gobubbagobubba Posts: 2
    edited October 2012
    Good discussion!
    Here is my my view on Toyota's piston slap issues. They should be up front and tell potential customers about the "normal" operation of their engines.... They will develop piston slap which causes the engine to sound like a diesel for the first 10-12 minutes of driving (from a cold soak engine temp). They should also let them know that if one of their engines does not develop piston slap.... then it is considered "abnormal". If the customer still wants to purchase the vehicle, that is their choice.
    My wife and I have personally owned 14 different cars from 6 different manufactures (including a 1993 tercel), none of which had any audible piston slap whatsoever. I am not counting the 2008 certified preowned Highlander that we kept for one tank of gas and then forced the dealer to buy back due to piston slap.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    No doubt if that Highlander was a V6 model, it had the same 2GR-FE engine as in your Sienna.

    I cannot argue with you on this, as I really agree. Piston slap is one of those universal dirty little secrets that nobody wants to acknowledge or openly discuss. I'd love to see a manufacturer issue a TSB that fully describes it, and what the 'limits of acceptable' noise level and duration is. They may exist, but I've not seen one. But yes, it seems to be the 'new normal'.

    In my opinion, 10-12 minutes seems like a long time. As I said, both my 2002 Outback and our 2008 Sienna sound pretty bad for a few minutes, but you can hear it fade away as the engine(s) warm and smooth out.
  • What octane fuel have you been running? I recently had all that fixed I hope. But prior to that, I either disconnect the battery or take it to an auto part store to reset the light. The light will stay off as long as I run high octane fuel with no ethanol.
  • GM addressed the reason for piston slap in the 1990's and I believe Subaru did as well. It was mainly for fuel economy. Engines designed with piston slap have short skirt pistons generally and the pistons are considerably smaller than the engine bore they operate in until the engine warms up. As the engine warms, the pistons expand and make a near perfect match with the cylinder bore. Engines develop piston slap at different mileages and that is due to many factors, non of which are to be concerned with. As for manufacturers placing a warning or notice in owners manuals about piston slap; probably won't happen. An owner with rod knock or other engine noise might be under the impression the noise is normal if the owners manual said that loud cold engine noises are normal, making the manufacturer liable. Most manufacturers are going this way for fuel efficiency so now more people are aware of it and are concerned with the slapping noise. It's a little frustrating at first to listen to but you get used to it. My slapping engines have 97,000 mi, 248,000 mi, and 153,000 mi. No effects on longevity! Happy driving!
  • Just wanted to add that my father and brother have several LS1 powered camaros and corvettes. All have piston slap and some go away once the engine is warm and some continue slapping the whole time the engine is running. I don't understand how that is but some of their cars are going on 15 years old with over 150,000 miles and still run like the day they rolled off the line. My aluminum gm v6 engines, my 2.2 ecotec, and my silverados all have it. It is a mystery for sure.
  • Regarding sludge, the only thing I've noticed is in my oil fill cap I see some slight reddish brown pasty gel. The engine probably burns about 1/2 to 1 quart per 5000 mi. So, just to be on the safe side, I've just started adding a dose of Seafoam(r) additive to the crankcase to keep the internals clean. The gel is not as noticeable as it was before.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I would try using synthetic oil and/or shortening the oil change interval.
  • ummix3ummix3 Posts: 2
    I've had my 2008 Sienna LE since for five years now. Always had it maintained at the dealer around my way. I've got 107,000 miles on it, and recently had the VSC, TRAC Off and the check engine lights come on. Took it to the dealer and they mentioend that there is a a service bulletin for this problem: TSB0094-09.

    They want to charge over $5,400 to fix this problem. I don't understand it. I've paid $close to $31,000 for this car the past five years. If I've done everything right, then why should I have to pay this large an amount to fix something that Toyota knew was a problem.

    I've opened up a case with Toyota, and hoping they will help. I'm already in the market for a new car, but if the new Toyota's are built in a way that you have to have a major repair done on them after 107,000 miles, then they are just not worth it.
  • rwolf1rwolf1 Posts: 1
    I took my 2012 Sienna in for a fluid leak. To my surprise it was an oil leak coming from the top part of the engine. They decided to replace the block and the two cylinder heads due to oil leak between the head and the block. They reported that the leak may have been caused by potential damage during engine assembly.

    Has anybody else had problems with oil leaks like this? Especially on a Sienna with such low mileage. Should I be concerned with having them replace the block and cylinder heads and re-using all of the other parts from the original engine. they put in a new crankshaft and pistons. However, they reused the valves and other parts.

    I feel like I own a new vehicle with a rebuilt engine!!! Should I be concerned that they have gone into the engine this deep? I have a concern that they have done so much work under the hood that there will more chances for problems in the future. We are the type of people to buy and hold our cars. We currently have a 12 year old Sienna.

    Concerned Toyota owner...
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