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Toyota Sienna Maintenance and Repair (2003 earlier)



  • ksass2ksass2 Posts: 2
    I was curious....did the dealership tell you that when they ran your vehicle on the computer the code that came up WAS for the catalytic converter? The reason I ask is because I own a 2001 Sienna as well with what sounds like the same problems. We took it in and they told us it was the c.c and that it would cost around $1100.00 to fix it. They had an official from the company who we bought our extended warranty( purchased at the dealership) come out and look at it. He told the dealership to reset the code so the check engine light would then turn off. The tech working on the car told my husband it might take up to 1000 miles before the check engine light will come back on. Unfortunately, our extended warranty will be up in another 1000 miles!!! We are in the process of looking into our options.
  • 32valveuser32valveuser Posts: 31
    There are a few things you may want to try before shelling out 1100.00. First off the tech is correct that if your CEL is on and you have it reset without any repairs it will come back on. 1000 miles sounds like a strech to me. If you have real problem the light should come back on soon. A CEL light can be reset by disconecting the negative cable on your car battery. very easy

    Things to check:
    1 the warrenty on the c.c. may be up to 80,000 miles on a 2001.
    2 a bad c.c. will smell like rotten eggs all the time.
    3 did your car fail the emmisions air test? how the mpg?
    4 get the CEL code from your dealership and then contact AUTOZONE, give them the code number and ask for the description for your code. I think you know there are several hundred codes for all types of car problems.
    5 that price sounds very high find out from AUTOZONE how much a new c.c costs.
    If you need it you need it the code will tell. Good luck and try to update us if you can.
  • ksass2ksass2 Posts: 2
    Thanks valveuser,

    We have an extended warrenty which covers EVERYTHING and is up at 100,000 miles. They just replaced the canister about a month ago so I'm not sure if that's helped in the demise of the c.c. I'm taking it today to see if it will pass's not due until next month. I haven't noticed any "rotten egg" smell
    though...that may be a good thing. We're going to check on the air flow regulator as well since they just replaced the air filter perhaps that might be something as well. I did phone an auto parts store yesterday(it wasn't Autozone) and the man told me there isn't a code "just for a c.c." I'm going to do some more checking on all these codes. I'm not so sure it's a good thing that cars have gotten so technical! Thank you so much for your advice. We're going to check it all out.
    And hopefully get it all resolved before my warrenty expires. I don't suppose there's anyway to get the light to come back on faster? It's frustrating, the tech says the c.c. is bad but yet the light doesn't come back on!
    Again thanks and I'll update!
  • jtmmnmjtmmnm Posts: 1

    Did you ever fix your problem? I have the same Check Engine Light on my 2001 Sienna, and replaced the 89467-41040 with a Bosch oxygen sensor, which, of course, did not fix the problem. Today I found out that the auto parts store has been selling me oxygen sensors instead of the A/F ratio sensor replacement. That 89467-41040 part is very hard to find around here.

  • deepandeepan Posts: 342
    you indicate that the tech said the c.c was bad. do you have anything in writing. if so even if it fails after the warranty expires you can tell them the issue was notified and noted before the warranty expired.
  • zea3zea3 Posts: 2
    I have a 1999 Sienna XLE that has been making a clunking sound when I apply the brakes for over two years. When it first started, the dealer said the brakes work fine and they didn't know what was causing the noise. The brakes may be safe but it is annoying, plus whenever someone who is not used to my van rides with me, they worry about my brakes going out! From scanning past posts I see that this is not an unusual problem. Another source I read suggested changing the brake return springs. Has anyone sucessfully fixed this problem?
  • sacsac Posts: 2
    Sounds like one of my problems, though bumps in road not corners makes louder. Did you diagnose? Dealer says it's: 1) Transmission is trashed and making the noise (?!?@!?)
    AND 2) strut mount tower probably needs replacing
    I had not noticed transm. slipping when driving.
    I took to dealer because: - other shop had looked at ball joints and struts and couldn't ID the source of the sound, - and because of occasional excess vibration at 65 mi+
    Trying to decide: Trust the dealer and $3100 parts and labor for remanufactured transmission, OR get a second opinion and let an independent do it for less?
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,562
    Do the suspension. Do it now, and have someone you trust do it. If your dealer has a good reputation, consider doing it there. But your van is going on 8 years old -- the older the vehicle, the better an independent is gonna be, because if they know what they're doing (IF IF IF) then they can save you money by going aftermarket, and they'll know when it's best to stick with Toyota parts. At the dealer, they don't have that freedom.

    The transmission? Do that as a last resort. Fix everything else that's broken, and see if the sound disappears. My guess is it will. There is an extended warranty on transmissions, much like the sludge/gel warranty on your engine, but it goes to 8 years/100k miles or something. Search this thread for more information. If they'll give you a free transmission, do that FIRST :-)

    That's the downside of going to an independent. You lose the goodwill the dealer *might* throw your way if you're a valued customer. The local dealer where I live has such a foul reputation that I have all my work (such as it is, 03 with 36k) done at an indy shop I've been going to for years. They're good, and they also work on my other cars...

    Good luck, and let us know.
  • deepandeepan Posts: 342
    most likely its the strut mount, especially if you hear it only while going over bumps or imperfections on the road. I have it on my Avalon and although it annoying and i have chked with a few places its not dangerous. so far i have not planned to change it as the strut itself is in perfect shape.
  • sacsac Posts: 2
    Thanks Mathias! Very helpful. I found the messages about the extended warranty. I didn't know if I should trust the mechanic who said aftermarket parts better.
    More info if you're still there:
    Re: waiting on the transmission: the dealer said he pulled the pan or cover and it looked bad and feels it's unsafe to drive. Do you still think I should wait or get 2nd opinion?
    More info: I had the brakes (which is another saga) adjusted at an independant shop, got on the freeway, and the vibration hit. Pulled over twice due to it, then vibe went away, but I also stayed under at 65 mi.. Drove to dealer, told about the intermittent vibration and the rattle. They drove and first said didn't notice anything, then drove again, looked at tranny and said that and the strut mount are the prob.

    I guess I'm answering my own question: if I'm this unsure I should at least take it to another mechanic for a second opinion!
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,562
    "I guess I'm answering my own question: if I'm this unsure I should at least take it to another mechanic for a second opinion!"

    Ask around, you need a good shop.
    Maybe check the "Mechan-X Files" on Click&Clack's Car Talk website. That's about the only resource I know of other than just asking people.
    I'd give you the web adress, but then I'd get a spanking from the host... use your imagination, and you will find the "cartalk" website...

    A bad transmission does not cause vibration, at least I've never heard of it. Strut mounts, yeah. After 8 years, the whole front end should be looked at by a good shop anyway. I had a ball joint give out while driving... that's hard on the rest of the car, traffic around you, and your underwear.

  • georgeepageorgeepa Posts: 5
    The dealer ran it on the computer 2x and both times nothing came up - not the c.c. or any other actionable code. I have a 70K warranty so this will continue to evolve and hopefully will remain fully covered now that I have started the paper trail.
  • georgeepageorgeepa Posts: 5
    So far no resolution to this noise from the dealer. it will be an ongoing problem.
  • georgeepageorgeepa Posts: 5
    We are in warmer weather so the noise only happens on cooler mornings. There is definitely something related to engine temp and expansion as the engine warms causing this.
  • 3screwsloose3screwsloose Posts: 116
    Our '98 ( 137K mi ) had a clunking/knocking noise in the right-hand front when driving straight down the street. I also noticed a clunk when backing out of the garage/applying the brakes with steering wheel turned. I took it in at 17K mi. They said it was the brake pads moving around in the caliper and knocking when applying the brakes. I said it clunked/knocked when driving down the street without braking. They said, "that's our story and we're sticking to it". Gradually the clunking/knocking grew worse ( 99K mi ) . Finally after much begging by my wife ( her car ), I decided to fix it. We had a service contract thru "Toyota". They now said it was the MacPherson strut in the r-h frnt. They said shock absorbers were not covered by the service contract ( wear item/maintenance item ). I said no way ( $500 ). I did it myself and found the locking nut at the top of the MacPherson strut was just loose enough to wallow out the upper strut mount hole ( egg-shaped ) where the strut piston shaft goes thru. I took them the wallowed-out upper strut mount and they said, "tough darts - not warranty ". I said "seeya". I sent letter to lots of people/places (General manager/Service manager/Toyota - no reply. I said "seeya". I bought a Passat, I bought a Mazda 3, I bought a Focus - all new. I have 87K mi on the VW, 10 K mi on the other 2 - no problems. We still have the '86 Camry and the '98 Sienna. I am planning on replacing the VW before too long. "Seeya, Toyota of Dallas!".
  • Interesting. After reviewing this thread of posts, I decided to post as well. We have had several issues with our van including replacement of HID, replaced center amp for the stereo,etc. We have just chalked the transmission hesitation up to bad design.

    Now however, the A/C in our 2004 (Purchased 4/2004) has stopped working for the second time in a year. Also when first starting out for the day, the transmission is now shifting very rough from 1st to 2nd and from 2nd to 3rd. It eventually smooths out so definitely not "normal".

    I thought maybe I was expecting too much, but I'm now beginning to think that Toyota might be losing their focus on quality as they focus on being the largest auto manufacturer. Be careful what you wish for, if volume replaces quality you won't maintain the volume long. Just ask GM.
  • jprocjproc Posts: 135
    On Saturday put the AC on in our 2000 XLE and the green light starting blinking on and off.Manual says this indicates air conditioner is malfunctioning.Sunday put AC on and it was running normal. (ie no blinking light and ac was cold) Has anyone else experienced this?

    Also Seat belt lights do not work.About a month or so ago when you put the seat belt on, the seat belt is off red light would start blinking.Conversely if you didn't put the seat belt on, the light would stay off.Now the light is just flat out off all the time.

    Thx in advance
  • freebirdfreebird Posts: 77
    Could be a simple as a loose belt. Other possibilities are low on freon (due to leak), bad compressor, or button on the dash.

    I am going through the same issue with my '99. It is back to the dealer for the second trip in the morning. I'll keep you posted on what my dealer finds.
  • deepandeepan Posts: 342
    as a matter of maintenance one should turn the A/C on atleast once every month or more often even during winter (with heat settings of course) so that the whole system is kept lubricated .
  • jprocjproc Posts: 135
    Thx for the info.A/C has been running fine for 3 days now.Perhaps the light started blinking on Saturday because the AC hadn't been turned on in 6-7 months or so and it needed to reset itself? Wishful thinking perhaps.
  • epharpepharp Posts: 7
    I took a rock to the windshield and it cracked the glass on my 2003 LE Symphony. I was told there wasn't a difference with the windshield between models. I thought I remember when I bought the car that the symphony model had the antenna in the windshield. Is this correct, is there anything I need to be concerned about?
  • deepandeepan Posts: 342
    i thought it was in the rear window. you should be able to see a fine line/wire in side the glass. dont mistake this with the defrost elements on some windshields. just throwing out suggestions as i dont know for sure.
  • fcettinafcettina Posts: 1
    It took me a while to find your message on the net. I have a 98 Sienna with the exact problem you described. Did you have to replace both motors or just one? Did the replacement solve the problem? I have one unhappy driver in the house...I need help.

    Thanks for any help!!!
  • davemackdavemack Posts: 4
    Hi all.
    I just traded in my Corolla for a used 2000 Sienna LE and on the ride home, encountered recurring, weird electrical problems. This is a Toyota certified car that I got the extended service care program for along with my Toyota financing. I drove home at night in the rain, so the wipers were going, and the lights were on, trying out the new stereo, using the A/C part of the time to help defrost the windshield, when suddenly the door locks unlocked. At first my fiance and I thought one was playing a trick on the other so we re-locked the doors and kept driving. It happened again. And again. On the ride home, we honestly lost count how many times it happened. We even stopped once to physically open and slam every door making sure no doors were ajar. After awhile I noticed that when the locks would open there was a flash on the dashboard of the indicator for open doors (a little red car lit up with doors open). Then towards the end of the drive, as I put on a blinker to signal a turn, the inside "reading" lights (the ones above the head in the front seats that would help you read a map) started to flicker and the lights stayed on as I made a Uturn.
    At that hour the dealer was long closed, so I called the salesman's cell and joked that the car might be haunted, but explained the strange glitch. He mentioned I could bring the car back in the next day, but first off mentioned that electrical problems often manifest during rain (not reassuring enough just having driven a certified car off their lot). Also, the dealership is quite far from where I live and far from public transportation, so bringing it back there the next morning would be quite cumbersome. I asked about bringing it to the closest Toyota dealer, found out they were closed Sundays (bought it on Saturday) and was told if I didn't go back to the dealership where I bought the car, would have to pay $15 at another Toyota service shop, even being a certified car with the extra coverage, which I find unreasonable, given I just bought the car.
    I'm also wondering HOW this glitch passed through the 166 point certification check? I do know the car had just gotten on the lot a few days before I got there, but the carfax on it came up clean. My only hunch is maybe driving in the rain with lights on and all the other electrical elements combined in some way to set the locks open, something I didn't catch on the test drive because either I drove the car with doors unlocked and/or it wasn't raining then and the wipers weren't on and/or the lights weren't on...
    Now the question is what to do: my hunch was to take it to an independent shop on a Sunday to check out though I wouldn't want that to interfere with the coverage from Toyota or wait until tomorrow when I can bring in to my closest dealership to check. Plus, where the whole thing stands with my lemon law rights, if this turns out to be a big problem never caught during inspection. And further complications: I did the deal as a trade-in, so if I needed to bring the Sienna back, what is my recourse: a refund, a swap, getting my previous car back, etc. I've always been a Toyota owner and this is the first time I've had something like this happen.
    Thanks for any help anyone can give.
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,562
    "I'm also wondering HOW this glitch passed through the 166 point certification check?"

    166-point certification:
    * "Looks good to me"
    * Change the oil
    * Drive around the block
    * Do the paperwork

    Voila: Certified Pre-owned.
    CPO is an extended warranty; nothing more, nothing less.

  • davemackdavemack Posts: 4
    Good Heavens, Steine, I HOPE they're not that incompetent!

    :) d
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,562
    Incompetent I don't know about, but what I described is pretty much the industry standard. Do a search in the "Real-World Trade-In Values" Forum over in "Smart Shopper". There are plenty of posts by actual car dealers talking about this.

  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    as mathias states: certified pre-owned is evidently nothing more that you paying extra for a warrenty. the vehicles don't necessarily get inspected anymore thoroughly nor parts replaced just because it has that label.

    i've complained to the edmunds people because the Edmunds.Com homepage is misleading. Look at the Certified Pre-Owned, and you'll see some text: "Factory Inspected". Ahhh - what does that mean?

    good luck.
  • davemackdavemack Posts: 4
    Gotcha. It's just that Toyota states that their cars go through this 160 point inspection process before they are considered a certified Toyota Used car.

    From their site...

    At Toyota, only the best of the best are chosen to be Toyota Certified Used Vehicles. When we choose a vehicle for Toyota Certification, we have to do a little investigative work. Not only do we put each vehicle through an exhaustive 160-checkpoint Quality Assurance Inspection, but we also run a Vehicle History Report to ensure it's worthy of the Toyota Certification process. Then, each vehicle is reconditioned to Toyota's exacting standards by factory-trained Toyota Technicians. We want the vehicles to look, feel and smell as new as possible and we know you do too. We believe this helps maintain the value, as well as creates pride in ownership of Toyota Certified Used Vehicles.

    That's what all the salesguys say. That this process occurs before it's offered for sale as Used and after the previous owner. So is this all nonsense? I understand that it simply boils down to an extended warranty but how can they get away with claiming to do all this if people can prove otherwise? Isn't that false advertising?

    I'm simply curious, not trying to be challenging in any way.

    Also, it seems we may have had our rear-hatch door not completely closed (latched) tight enough last nite and perhaps that is why while driving we had the locks opening and the interior lights flashing. When we got in the Sienna today, the open door indicator light was lit until we opened and closed the hatch firmly.
    Tom'w while driving we shall see...

    Thanx again! D
  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    A reporter is looking to speak with owners of Chrysler, Saab, Toyota or Volkswagen vehicles who did all the scheduled maintenance on their vehicle and still experienced engine sludge within the warranty period within the past year. If this describes your situation, please respond by 6pm Eastern on Monday, May 23, 2005 to
    Thanks for your consideration,
    Jeannine Fallon
    Corporate Communications
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