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Toyota Sienna Transmission Questions



  • siennamisiennami Posts: 116
    I don't think the fact that someToyota dealerships are offering Lifetime Warranties is necessarily a red flag. I think that's simply to "keep up with the Jones's". Chrysler offers one; so does Toyota. I just find it amusing that these dealerships are advertising them as "exclusive" when obviously they're not. I don't think that there's some big secret Toyota is hiding about transmission problems. The Sienna is a very popular van in my hometown. Out of my scrapbooking group, there are six of us that drive them. I think that out of the thousands manufactured,yes, there are going to be some that have some problems. And, yes, when it's your problem, that's a pain in the butt. That doesn't mean it's a pain in the butt for everyone else, however. If you feel that the dealership is lying to you, then by all means pursue the truth and get them to fix your van, and not at your cost. But let's not make a broad generalization of the entire manufacturing company because a few people have posted here. Power sliding doors not working is a problem; that's why I choose not to have them (and I can't afford them!). Sliding doors freeze.... but sometimes, so did the doors on my VW Passat when I had to park it outside during the winter. That doesn't mean that Toyota and Honda as car manufacturing companies are the most terrible in the world. There are lemons in every car make.
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,443
    If you are having problems with your vehicle, would you sell it privately to dump your problems on another person?

    Yep. I'd provide them with maintence records... their choice.

    If I were selling a newer vehicle I would offer it at private sale. Like you stated, dealerships don't want to give you jack for your trade-in... much less than jack on domestics.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I don't think these are very much related.

    One side may argue a long warranty is needed when people have no faith in the brand.

    The other might say a company offers one when they are confident in the product and truly believes they can afford to stand behind it without going bankrupt.

    But look at this simple example: even within brands, reliability varies. Yet those cars carry the same warranty.

    It's completely seperate.
  • mcase2mcase2 Posts: 160
    They changed the manufacturing plant - thats when the failures started - so the stats are irelevent because they apply to the transmissions which used to be made in Japan NOT the new failure prone ones made in West Virginia
  • mcase2mcase2 Posts: 160
    There are only an extremely limited number of people that contribute to this forum out of the millions of Sienna owners. Its probably a safe bet that dozens of complaints here represent thousands of failure on the road.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    What dozens? I've only seen a couple.
  • I own a 2007 Toyota Limited with 8250 miles. I have had it in to my selling dealer 3 times for the transmission. I'm sorry, but when I slow down to turn, go over a speed bump or otherwise make some change in speed, the transmission shouldn't be "searching" for a gear when I re-accelerate. The last trip to the dealer was after a complaint to Toyota and them setting up the meeting. The response? "Yes, we 've had lots of complaints about that...but Toyota hasn't given us any repair. We can reprogram the computer but that will last a couple of days and then it will be doing the same thing again". In other words...go pound sand because we're not going to do anything about your crappy transmission. I'm THROUGH with Toyota and this van is for sale. I'm sure I won't have any trouble selling a very low mileage Sienna with navigation/DVD etc. but what a load of garbage from Toyota. I'm totally disgusted.
  • siennamisiennami Posts: 116
    What do you mean "searching" for a gear? If you're talking about the slight hesitation you feel when you turn a corner, then yep, that is perfectly normal. Go to There is a long discussion given to this very same subject. I have learned to live with mine; it is a characteristic of the Sienna particular to the '07 model. If you had an '06, you wouldn't feel it at all, probably.... but then you also wouldn't have the bigger engine and be able fly when you need to, either! ;)
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Expect AT LEAST $ 10,000 less for your Sienna than you paid based on the resale value I was quoted by a Toyota dealership used car manager when my 2006 Sienna had fewer miles on it than yours has. :sick:
  • I'm not surprised by your experience trying to sell your van back to your dealership. In my experience, Japanese cars have held their resale value better than domestics. However, I have found that NOT to be the case with minivans in general. SUVs & trucks always have done better than cars, followed lastly be minivans.

    I, too, have felt that slight hesitation when slowing down (especially when going down a hill) and then trying to reaccelerate. I just figured it was the vehicle. It typically only does it on one or 2 particularly hilly roads in my area, so I guess it isn't too bothersome for me since it isn't a regular occurrence I encounter.

    Despite my transmission problem within the 1st month of ownership, I can honestly say I am very pleased with my Sienna as well as my dealership. By contrast, my father owns a 4 year old Suzuki Verona which has under 36,000 miles on it. The engine needed replacing (per Suzuki dealership) but Suzuki corporate wouldn't do it...only rebuild it. Needless to say, they had his vehicle for 4 weeks before my dad threatened obtaining a lawyer & going to the local media, as the dealership & corporate fought about it. It is now having the same exact problem with fewer than 200 miles on the rebuilt engine.

    So, I am thankful that my dealership (& Toyota) stood by their vehicle.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    I was going to TRADE in my 2006 Sienna LE on a new 2006 Grand Caravan SXT where the Toyota dealer sold BOTH new Toyota and new Dodge. The Toyota dealership should know the value of a Sienna better than anyone else. :blush:

    I like the Toyota dealership where I bought the new Sienna and like it better now that I am acquainted with the lack of features the Sienna has when compared to my less expensive 2002 Chrysler T&C LX.

    The Sienna does have some advantages: More cargo space behind the 3rd row and a more comfortable driver seat. :shades:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You got a low-ball, wholesale trade-in offer from a dealership.

    You should shop it around some more. You can get a lot more for it than a dealer would offer you.

    Go ask in the RWTIV thread. Imports especially can fetch a LOT more in private party sales. Thousands and thousands more.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Agree 100 %. Dealers have told us they make more profit on trade-ins and other used vehicles than on new ones.

    I bought my Sienna at a BAD time ( NO Toyota factory discount). :cry: Toyota offered a $ 1,000 factory rebate shortly after I got mine. Today's paper has a NEW 2008 Sienna LE with a discount of $ 4,869 whereas I got only $ 1,251 discount on my new 2006 LE.

    When I priced a new 2006 Sienna, the TMV for my new Sienna LE was MORE than I paid. (One reason I question accuracy of TMV on Siennas, Odysseys, and many other new vehicles. :shades: )

    I looked at 2008 GC SE's and GC SXT's today and prefer my 2006 Sienna LE to a new GC even though I would like the separately controlled temperature for driver and front passenger. My Sienna has more attractive door panels, more attractive cloth seats, MORE cargo space behind the 3rd row and I prefer the compass/outside temperature/trip computer in the overhead console in addition to the Sienna INSTANT ECONOMY function (not included on GC/T&C since 2002 models). ;)
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    The actual MSRP for a 2008 Sienna LE as advertised in the paper is $ 27,189 and NOT the bloated $ 27,858 stated in the ad. The discount is $ 4,200 and NOT the higher amount of $ 4869. Even with the error, it is obvious that I paid TOO much for my 2006 Sienna LE. :sick:
  • kjokjo Posts: 24

    My Sienna makes 268hp and is quicker than sports cars were not too long ago, yet I've also hit a record MPG of 34.0. Carrying 5 people and cargo. I've never done worse than 21mpg (what crossover can claim that?).
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------------------

    I know this is a transmission thread, but this caught my eye.
    Is that downhill with a tailwind? And how fast were you driving and over what kind of road to get the 34mpg? thx :shades:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I drove from the Dulles Airport Annex after the Air-and-Scare party they had for Halloween, back to my home in MD.

    Traffic was very light and I kept it at about the speed limit (55) to try to get the best mileage. At the exits I tried to coast to a stop, vs. going fast and then braking to lose kinetic energy.

    I was trying, for sure, but it worked like a charm.
  • lgodivalgodiva Posts: 5
    I am having a transmission problem with a used Sienna that is absolutely frustrating. Below is my story (I have sent this letter to Toyota arbitration, to no avail). Please read it in its entirety - there's a lot to say - and if you can help at all, please post a reply. Is there any other form of recourse other than to shell out $2500 to replace a transmission that Toyota is unwilling to stand behind?:

    I purchased my 1998 Toyota Sienna minivan from Sloane Toyota in Devon, PA, in the summer of 2003. I also purchased a 3-year extended warranty. Within the timeframe of the warranty, in the winter of 2004-2005, the transmission started making an odd noise and was replaced under warranty by Sloane in June 2005.

    Within the one-year warranty on that new transmission, my car started experiencing unusual behavior: on the coldest mornings, it would not automatically shift out of first gear into second gear for one to two miles, or about five to ten minutes, even if I pressed the accelerator down quite far. I contacted Sloane’s service department and described the problem in detail to one of the service people. They told me definitively that this behavior was “normal” and nothing to worry about. I questioned this, but was assured that everything was ok with my car. I even called one more time and received the same reassurance, plus the suggestion that I might check the transmission fluid level (I did, and it was full). They did NOT recommend that I bring the car in to be checked, or that there was any reason for concern, or that I should even check the color of the transmission fluid (I will refer to this later).

    Over the next two winters, there were few truly frigid mornings during which this behavior exhibited itself. Thus, trusting the advice of Toyota’s service department, I ignored it on the few mornings it occurred. (This only happened in the morning when the car was completely cold, never at the end of the day.) Additionally, the car exhibited no other unusual behavior during this time.

    Then this past winter, my car started exhibiting other odd behaviors that seemed to point to the transmission. The gear slippage worsened - it would occasionally be slow in switching between gears, typically from second to third. I started hearing a high-pitched whine that rose in pitch as I accelerated. I finally brought my car into Sloane Toyota to have it checked; they said my transmission was shot, and that it would cost $5000 to replace it. Sloane said they would not cover the replacement because my new transmission’s warranty had expired. I pointed out that I had experienced and reported unusual behavior earlier on, and that they never told me to bring it in. I also pointed out that it seemed quite clear that my more recent gear slippage was a worsening of the original problem on cold mornings, and thus an inherent problem in the new transmission they had installed in 2005. I said that this all could have been avoided if they had advised me to bring it in rather than assuring me that the symptoms I had experienced were “normal”. I pointed out that I did not bring it in because I was not advised to do so by their own service department – I had relied on their advice. I spoke with the service manager, Jim Nagle, on several occasions, trying to convince him of this, and thus that Toyota had some responsibility in the matter due to their poor advice of his own service department, but he remained firm on this position.

    I also issued a complaint through Toyota Customer Service and spoke with a regional service manager, Larry Roberts. He indicated that the original problem of not switching from first to second gear on cold mornings was a “safety feature” to prevent stressing the transmission, and that the new problems I was experiencing were completely separate and unrelated.

    For a second expert opinion, I then took my car to a very reputable and highly-recommended local transmission shop near me, who indicated that the transmission was a mess, that whatever was wrong had been building up for several years (i.e., since before the warranty expired). They said they found many “chunks of metal” in the transmission fluid and that the filter was completely clogged. The fluid was black rather than the usual clear color. They didn’t think it would last more than a few months. I explained the entire history of my transmission and my dealings with Toyota. They pointed out that Sienna minivans have a history of bad transmissions from the late 1990s through the early 2000s, and that my initial transmission replacement was one of many that Toyota quietly did under warranty. I described the “safety feature” concept, and he said it was complete and utter nonsense - that in all his years of transmission repair of Toyotas other cars, there was no such safety feature. Obviously, Mr. Roberts was lying in order to get me off his back, something I seriously resent and am deeply offended by as a Toyota customer. I called Mr. Roberts back to tell him this, and asked him for proof of such a safety feature. He ignored my request and became very gruff, hostile, and non-responsive.

    My trans shop replaced my clogged transmission filter and refilled the fluid, to at least give my car some short-term life. Their cost to replace the transmission is *only* $2500 (not surprisingly half of the dealer’s price).

    It surprises and distresses me that Toyota will not stand by their cars in this situation. Certainly, a new transmission should last more than a couple of years, especially on a Toyota!

    Here are the points I was hoping would convince Toyota to take responsibility in this matter:
    · Pat’s Transmissions expertly diagnosed how badly my transmission was damaged, compared to how relatively new it was.
    · The extent of damage points to the certainty that problems started very early on, related to my original problem of gear shifting on cold mornings. I would even suggest that the ‘new’ transmission Sloane Toyota installed was a ‘lemon’, i.e., faulty right from the start.
    · Sloane Toyota’s service department gave me poor and erroneous advice that the original symptoms I was experiencing were “normal”; moreover, they did *not* recommend that I bring my car in to have it checked while it was still under warranty.
    · There is a known history of Sienna transmission problems in the timeframe of when my car was manufactured. I have had two bad transmissions in my car over the span of only five years!
    · As a manufacturer of high-quality cars, Toyota should be expected to stand behind their products. Transmissions should not fail after such a short time, regardless of the arbitrary one-year warranty.
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,443
    Obviously your dealership lied to you... big time. That Toyota's regional service manager would also give you a bunch of bull is amazing. Unfortunately, unless you have any written documentation from the dealership indicating that this problem with the trans. was "normal", then you may out of luck.

    You aren't going to get anywhere with your dealership. If you have the independent mechanic repair the transmission Toyota isn't likely to assist in the repairs. Otherwise, I would try speaking to someone else at Toyota Customer Service. Then the only recourse you would have is small claims court. Without written documentation it would be your word against theirs.

    In the future I would take my vehicle in to be looked at if it is under warranty... instead of relying on dealerships word over the phone. If the dealership says whatever the van is doing is "normal", make sure you are given written documentation indicating such.
  • I have a similar problem with my 2008 Sienna. If I slow down to about 5 MPH, the engine revs up as if the transmission is disengaged or maybe downshifting too soon. Also, the same will happen when I come to a stop. Instead of lugging the engine to slow down, it acts like it comes out of gear and is freewheeling.

    I would think they could reprogram the transmission to change how / when it downshifts.
  • tlw6tlw6 Posts: 16
    Asking for advice: I have an old car. The engine shut off on the highway. My son panic'ed and shifted the transmission (automatic) to P while braking. So, the car moved for a distance while the gear is in P before stopping. As a result, I lost the Reverse gear, the car won't back out. How bad is the problem? Does this mean that I need a new trans? Thanks in advance for any advice.
  • Since the day I bought my 2007 Sienna in May 2007 I have noticed a knocking noise when the accelerator is pressed. The noise continues until the engine reaches 2,000 RPMs. The noise also stops after the engine is warmed-up.

    The sales person who sold me the vehicle stated that all the 2007 Sienna's make the same noise. A mechanic I know; who owns a 2006 Sienna, stated that it sounds like one of the "lifters is sticking." If I accelerate too quickly, the vehicle almost sounds like a diesel (until I get over 2K RPMs). Not sure if this issue has been addressed in the past (on this board), any feedback is appreciated.
  • Since the early miles, we noticed hesitation when switching gears. There was evident delay when switching. This got worse and worse and by 600 miles, the car would not go in 'D'. Had to manually switch to 2 and 3 to get it going. Dealer got us a 'new remanufactured' transmission :-) It's running very well now.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    My engine doesn't sound like that at all.

    It is a chain-driven camshaft so there may be more noise than the old belt-driven cams on the 3.3l, but definitely no knocking.

    My trans hesitates a little bit, our 2009 Forester's 4EAT is much more responsive.
  • byumikecbyumikec Posts: 1
    Mine does the exact same thing. However it only does it when it is cold outside and only for 5 minutes at the most. I had the Toyota dealer look at it and the mechanic said that they all did that and that there was nothing wrong with it. The van had about 30k miles on it when I took it in.
  • Arodory, I got exactly the same issue, but the fluid turned black after 9k miles. The dealer flushed at a little over 30k, and now almost 40k and the color of the fluid is still dirty. I decided not to go to the same dealer ever again. Because when he came back recommending flushing the fluid, I told him it has been done not even a year ago. He goes like oh okay then maybe the technician made a mistake. What a f#$@ed up answer. Have you find the problem yet, please advice. Thanks
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You could drain and fill only, not flush, but do so more often. Maybe every 15k miles or so.
  • Karrosha, I had it flushed about 7000 miles ago and it still looks good. They flushed and replaced 12 quarts at the time. This machine sucks out the old fluid from the dip stick tube and no detergents are used to clean the transmission so I think it is a safe procedure. Before it gets black again or at 15,000 miles I will just do a drain and refill to keep it clean. Once it gets black, the drain and refill (which is only a few quarts) does a few days it is black again as it mixes with the rest of the fluid. Maybe the dealer did not flush all 12 quarts...did you check it after a few thousand miles to see if it was still clean or not. In any case, I think it should be flushed again. I understand the toyota fluid turns black faster then some other brands...but of course you HAVE to use the Toyota fluid.
  • The fluid was still black after 2 drain and refills. I did a "safe" flush...12 quarts were sucked out by special machine and replaced (no detergents were used). Now before it gets black (15,000) I will keep up on the drain and refills. I will never let it get black again. Thanks
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    A single, simple, drain and refill (4 qts) will NOT result in anything close to prestine appearing ATF. It takes at least two 5 quart drain and fill procedures to get to decent looking ATF.

    Even my Lexus dealer service did not know that the front diff'l case must be drained separately and has its own drain plug, that's why 5 quarts are required.

    I went through the above procedure, as the ATF was burned and dirty, at only 40,000 miles and am now at close to 80,000 miles and am keeping a close eye on the ATF condition.
  • Hello experts,

    I have question regarding Toyota sienna 2010 Transmission.

    i Know That 4-D = drive

    what about 3 and 2-L any idea

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