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Buying a Used Sienna

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  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    It really depends... The departure and takeoff angles are not great, and on a weekly off-road adventure to a friends house we regularly scrape the front air dam and our rear hitch. The hitch I understand given that even the Curt unit which tuck up fairly well still lowers the already low rear bumper by another few inches.

    I've not driven a Sienna AWD in snow, but given that it has an open center differential, I wouldn't expect 'Subaru-like' grip. Once a single wheel spins, too much of the torque is going to end up sucked away. Hopefully the disk brake traction control system will compensate and save the day.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    OK, starting to sense something strange here. First it had a 100k warranty, then in the next post it was a 125k/8yr warranty on a 2001 bought last year? Now as Toyota platinum is from in service date, my math say it expire when??? Think I smell something fishy....
  • jlm86jlm86 Posts: 3
    Totaled my 2001 Sienna, only got $6000 back..

    Now need used Sienna.

    Looking at 2008 or so used Limited...
    Love all the stuff, but really seems expensive vs. straight XLE version..
  • gsemikegsemike Long Island, NYPosts: 1,760
    Only you can answer that question
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    In my area an '08 Limited sells for as much as a new 2012 LE. Lots of stuff is great to have, but is it really worth that much?
  • The last car we bought was in 1999. A 1998 Toyota Corolla LE. It has 136,000 miles on it now (and a cassette tape player)! We purchased this car before kids.

    We've grown out of it since we started camping last year and want to buy a minivan.

    I applied for a car loan on Wednesday and it was denied. Now what?

    We are now considering buying a 2001ish Sienna for cold hard cash. We have about $5000.

    What do I need to know about buying a 2000, 2001 or 2002 Sienna? We don't care about options, just need a ride. We are planning on looking on auto trader and craigslist. We are NOT car buying (nor car fixing) people. We're looking for something reliable to drive for 3 years while we pay ourselves a car payment and get farther away from the bankruptcy(2007) when we could buy something newer with lower miles.

    Is TMV realistic when buying a vehicle like this?
    Should we buy from a dealer over private?
    How do you make the deal with cash...a cashier's check? money order?
    What should we look out for with regards to these years?

    Thanks!
  • You would pay with a cashier's check from a bank or with a money order. You should also take the car to a mechanic and have them check it out for $50 - $100 or so to be sure it is OK.

    You can also call your local police and (at least where I live) they will immediately dispatch a policeman to do a VIN check on the car to make sure that it is not stolen.

    You can order a carfax if you want. I have looked extensively on Craigslist. Beware of the scams offering too-good-to-be-true deals where they say they are in the military and they will ship it to you from out of state and they ask you to pay via EBay. Ebay does not have any service where you could send them the money and EBay would hold onto it until after you get the vehicle. This is a major, major, major scam. I have seen 3 different listings like this.

    Personally, I would go to my bank with the buyer and have them witness me getting the cashier's check so that they know it is not counterfiet.

    Also, beware that 2/3 or so of the listings on Craigslist are from dealers...many of they make the listing as individuals, but they turn out to be small used car dealers. I would steer clear of them. Cut out the dealer's profit and split that between the buyer and the seller.
  • I recently (2010) bought a used 2001 Toyota Sienna, there are some issues with this van to worry about before purchasing. While they are great vans, if they are taken care of.. they are a nightmare if they have been neglected.
    First thing to keep in mind, this vehicle at this point is 11 years old.. they will need some kind of work.. whether it be basic maintenance or some other repair work done.
    Secondly, there are a few Toyota Service Bulletins on this van.
    the first is; There was a "hidden" recall for engine sludging.. this is typically fixed at this point, if there was an issue, you would need to rebuild the engine. This was corrected in the 2004 model year with the 3.3ltr replacement engine. Second was an issue with the ECM causing the engine to knock heavily causing issues with bent valves, or knocking motor sounds, it can be "hidden" with a thick oil. Keep this in mind prior to buying one..
    Actual recalls are also something to keep in mind.. 1. there are about 600 of them that were affected with sub-frame separation that will cause vibrations, or at worst the front with clunk heavily.. this is fixed for free from toyota.. 2. There was a recall on 60K of them for rot on the spare tire cable that can cause the spare tire to fall off the van.. This was fixed on mine.. But, again, if the van was neglected.. then who knows..
    i purchased my van at 70K miles, i now have 105K miles on mine.. In that time i have replaced.. 4 tires, Brakes, ball joints, tie rod ends, suspension bushings, ECM (mine was effected 500.00 part at salvage yard) Transmission fluid flush, Coolant flush, and dropped the Oil pan to clean out sludging issues.. have since run Full synthetic oil and now my van runs like a champ) I paid 4K for my van and so far have put in roughly 2k dollars in parts, which i have done 100% myself.. i would think it would be triple that if i had a mechanic or dealer do it. While i love and i do LOVE my van.. if i didnt have a mechanical background i would have bought a 2004 or newer.. where the worst are the issues are power doors breaking.. Best of luck.. hope this helps..
  • jekkajekka Posts: 3
    In addition to the issues mentioned there is another major one:
    For 2000-2002 model , IIRC, sienna had a TSB for replacement of ECM for 8years (expired already) which may result in ECM failure and/or exhaust system catalytic converter failure. ( I had 2001 sienna which I disposed off in March, I had to change both the O2 sensors twice and again the error was coming for O2 sensor failure or Catalytic converter failure think of $$$$ expense in repair).
    But if the seller has got the ECM replaced under this TSB then you will be safe. So ask the owner about it.
  • merjoliemerjolie Posts: 4
    We're considering getting a 2008 Sienna LE w/ 52.300 miles. 8 seater, power everything, with a transferable powertrain warranty until 2014. Is $15,950 a good price?

    Also, we currently own a 2005 LE w/ 107,000 miles. The van is fine, of course it has some issues since it's already 7 years old. Nothing major, some problems w/ the slidings doors (right one is hard to open, left one sometimes doesn't close well) , the battery is dying, there are lots of scratches on the paint. Would you keep it or upgrade to the newer one?
  • patnicpatnic Posts: 22
    I've always stayed away from new model years, for example, the 2011 Toyota Sienna. My dad always said the engineers, line assembly need to work out the qwirks, etc. Less problems down the road.

    So I'm in the market, getting ready to buy a used Sienna. There is a glut of 2011s and a few 2012s that match my needs. I actually have to drive out of state to see the four or five vehicles that meet all my requirements for a 2012.

    So would you buy the new model year of the Sienna (2011) or would you hold out for a 2012, 2013?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Engine wasn't new, at least.

    Trans was new to the Sienna but also not new.
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