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Toyota Sienna Maintenance and Repair (2003 earlier)



  • Guys / Gals ,
    just wondering where did you get your code reader from and how much did it cost?
  • I have a 2001 Toyota Sienna with 93K miles. Everytime I drive this car in the Freeway with 60+ MPH and I step the break. The Steering wheel is just to Vibrate. I had my tire balance and cross rotation but still doing the same problem. Can someone advice me about this problem?.. Thanks! :)
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    if you feel vibration only when applying the brake, my hunch would be a warped rotor issue. if you feel the vibration when travelling at speed but not applying the brakes, my hunch would be tire balancing and/or alignment.

    i think your problem is the former, not the latter.
  • ziennazienna Posts: 4
    Recently the driver side sliding door on my 1999 XLE is getting caught on a latch meant to stop the door from opening fully when the gas cover is open. Any ideas please
  • ziennazienna Posts: 4
    The gas pedal on my 1999 XLE vibrates when I accelerate above 50-60 MPH. Any ideas or solutions please.
  • Thanks for the advice user777... I will ask my mechanic to look at the rotor. Thanks again..! :)
  • I have a 2001 Toyota Sienna LE with 92K miles. I change my transmission oil every 10,000 Miles or so that I drain under the hood of the vehicle. My question is what else I need to change besides the transmission oil. I'm hearing noise whenever it shift gear. Please advise.. :)
  • Hello. I have a 01 Sienna that I have owned since new. This past summer the trans was replaced at 50k miles. I have now had shifting problems for the last month or so but it is only when it is cold in the morning. It seems to whine out and shifting from 2nd to 3rd takes too long. They tell me it will shift a little differently when it is cold vs. hot and they cannot find anything wrong with it. I know it did not do this for the 1st 4 years that I owned it. What to do? Confused in Chicago. Oh yeah, I have about 400 miles of drivetrain warranty left.
  • I went to AutoZone today and came home a little more disgruntled than before I went there. My 00 Sienna LE has about four things wrong with it that are driving me batty.
    1. Can't get the power door to close without pushing or pulling it. Found the eraser tip for that. I'm going to try it as soon as the wind dies down and the sun comes up.

    2. Can't figure out why the daggone seatbelt light comes on when my passenger puts on her seatbelt. Saw that we are just celebrating the color ORANGE ... and the "seatbelt lady" is our friend. So, HEY! Seatbelt Lady! Our Lady of the Dashboard.

    Now for problems three and four ...

    3. How do I pull off the door panel on the driver side sliding door to fix the outside door handle gadget inside? Right now I have to open the door from the inside. That is getting on my nerves. How much should that cost? Is there a good cheap way I wouldn't need to do this myself?

    4. How do I pull off the door panel on the driver's door to see about replacing the drive motor for the power window. As I said, it is windy and cold and when I put the window down this afternoon, it wouldn't go back up. I waited until my fingers were nearly numb and tried again. It went halfway. Good thing it wasn't raining, huh?? How much should it cost me to fix that? How easy is it? I know how to use a hammer and screw driver. I know the difference between phillips and flat head. I know "righty tighty, lefty loosy." And I know I'm sick of relying on the blind luck with that stupid window.

    Thanks for the great knowledge y'all have already shared.

    Anybody know someone who needs a van and lives in RTP, NC?? I got a great one!! (At least it WILL be great once I make these repairs) :shades:
  • deepandeepan Posts: 342
    "They tell me it will shift a little differently when it is cold vs. hot and they cannot find anything wrong with it. "

    its normal for the tranny to delay shifting when the engine is cold. After it warms up (a couple of minutes of slow driving) does it shift normally. If it does then you have a normal operating tranny
  • It works fine after warming up. I guess I never really payed attenion to it until we had the tranny replaced. Thanks for the reassurance.
  • My 1998 Sienna XLE suddenly lost its low beams. The daytime running lights (DLR) also do not work. The high beams do work. This happened after I blew the cig lighter/power outlet fuse, which I replaced. I wonder it it was related?

    I tried another -good- relay, with the same results.
    Could it be a problem with the photo sensor on the dash?

    I could not find another relay to the headlights.
  • Thank y'all so much for this awesome site! I "fixed" my power door non-close issue. It works when the engine is running. It still isn't connecting for that second click when the engine is off ... neither all the way off nor with the switch on to listen to the radio.

    So, when I sit in the carpool circle, I have to keep 'er runnin' to shut the door completely! But it is working. I'm so excited. Thanks again.

    Went to AutoZone today to read more about how to replace the motor for the driver side power window. I don't understand that at all. Something about checking fuses. I can barely follow the diagram that shows which fuse is which and all the thingies are abbreviated.

    Isn't there someone who has done this and can tell me what I'm supposed to do? Preferrably with pictures?
  • We have had to replace 3 out of 4 rear seat belts in our '98 Sienna, all in the space of one year. Now the 4th one will have to be replaced. True, they get a lot of abuse with 2 kids under 9, but isn't this a little excessive for a car?
  • lsaclsac Posts: 22
    My sienna is at 73k mi. Valve cover seems greasy on both banks. PCV works fine, but grommet is greasy. I clean up PCV with carb. cleaner when I think it thirty enough.
  • w2323w2323 Posts: 60
    I too have the same scratches. When I took it to the dealer under the warranty they told me sand got down there and they blew it out. ie they lied.... As we can tell they all have those scratches. I also have scratches all over my front windshield. They told me sand as well. But I do not believe them. I have never had a windshield that was so scratched up.
  • w2323w2323 Posts: 60
    I have had this problem as well, exactly one year ago. I cleaned the carb and Throttlelinkages, with carb cleaner. The problem disappeared for about a year. It's back again so I think I need to clean it again.

    Also I would not put premium in. Stick with the 87. I have also had stalling after putting in carb cleaner, the STP type that you can get to put in the gas.

    This car seems to have problem when gas is not up to par or over octage. If you clean the IAC (by using carb cleaner to clean the carb area) I think the problem will be fixed for awhile.
  • w2323w2323 Posts: 60
    Sounds like you need a front break job. Which includes your rotor being spun and cut. The rotors are uneven and need to be turned. No biggie. But thats what I think it is.
  • w2323w2323 Posts: 60
    Drive it to ANOTHER Toyota dealer and get it checked out. Get everything they tell you in WRITING. Just to cover yourself. Specially since they did work on it already. Get R Done don't wait.

    If you had transmission done at a different place also get it in writing from them.
  • w2323w2323 Posts: 60
    Get a Chiltons book for about 14-19 bucks from discount auto or autozone or whereever. They tell you how to remove both panels. I'm going to do my passenger motor this weekend. I can tell you after that how hard it is. But the book makes the panel removal look easy.

    The book does not show you how to remove the motor. It does show you how to test the wiring and such. The motor may be very tricky to remove.

    By the way while I have the panel off, I will also try to remove some of the dings on the door. Easy access with panel off.

  • w2323w2323 Posts: 60
    Discount Auto has a replacement window motor for about 79.00. Autozone may also have one. I think autozone has a lifetime warranty on stuff but I'm not sure. It could be worth getting one there.

    The dealer wants like 450.00+ for labor and part. So it is better to try it yourself. As I said I will be trying maybe this weekend. I will post my results.

    Also I have a feeling the Siennas have problems with the window motors. I know of others with bad motors. It happened to me right after the 3 year warranty was up.

    Since I have had my Sienna so far have had problems but they are minor so far.
  • w2323w2323 Posts: 60
    More info for you, If the window moves a little as it sounds like it does. Forget the fuses they are fine. It could be the switch you press to open and close but I doubt that. Theres also a relay, but if you can open the other window fine I doubt its the relay.

    That leaves one of 3 things.

    1. The wiring to the motor is loose.
    2. The window just gets jammed in the bracket and is too tight for the motor to move
    3. The motor is shot

    Hopefully it is 1 or 3. If the window is getting jammed its beyond our repair and have to have a pro fix it.

    Also when I brought my car to Toyota they told me the motor was shot without even opening the panel. I figure they have had problems with the motor in the past.

    Toyota dealerships love to hide problems even if you ask the a straight question. ie the scratches on the driver side window. I specifcally asked the dealership to fix my window they blamed it on sand. Now I know that was not true.
  • w2323w2323 Posts: 60
    Thumping breaks backing up normal. But if making noise while going forward you may need to get your rear breaks adjusted, it will stop the thumping. Also this probally needs adjustment once in awhile it comes back over time.
  • I just pickup a 2003 Sienna CE and realize that the Manual AC control and the rear air control backlight is flickering. I have to tap it a bit and it will come on, and then goes off. It will come back on if I hit a hard bump or tap it again and goes off again. I am wondering if it the bulb. How hard is it to remove the instrumental panel to replace the bulb. I might have to pick up the Chilton or Haynes guide to get some instructions. Has it happen to anyone else before?

  • gunga64gunga64 Posts: 271
    My AC light flickered when i drove through water. The belts get wet and slip. Supposedly some mechanic forgot to put the skirt back on after doing an oil change so now it happens sometimes. Your AC belt could be loose. 2003 still under warrenty have dealer tell you what to do.
  • gunga64gunga64 Posts: 271
    Well, I removed the panel to see if I could get to the window motor. I found that the motor or the built in overload/heat sensor on the motor is the problem for sure. However after removing the panel, I found that the motor is attached to to window regulator. This whole unit needs to come out to access the motor.

    This is beyond my abilities. The access window they give you is very limited. It also looks very hard to put back in after you remove it. In fact I don't think I specifically saw the motor itself. It may be a pancake type or it could be higher then I can actually see (It think its higher then I could see). If you can't even see the part its hard to replace. I will see if a local person will install the motor for me at a low rate. Central auto parts has a replacement motor with lifetime warrenty for 81.00. Dealer wants something like 450.00 for parts and labor. I'd rather live with no window on that side instead of paying that.

    Shame it seems that the van has had very little problems besides the window motor. Oh yeah and all those scratches on the front windows and scratches on the driver side window. (Cheap windows at Toyota me thinks!!)
  • Just bought a 2001 Sienna LE minivan used from a private party. I figure let me get a oil change and stuff so I know when will I have to do the next oil change. Went to one of those mom and pop mechanics and they changed my oil. I drove out and about 5 blocks, my oil pressure light starting to flash and lit. I look underneath my Sienna and oil was dripping out. I quickly turned around and went back and they tighten the nut and refill about another 4 quarts of oil in it and said everything will be ok. So I drove off. Now when I am driving I hear engine noise (I think its lifters or valves) when in Drive or Reverse. When its in Park or Neutral its quiet. What should I do? Will a bottle of Slick 50 fix this or am I in DEEP TROUBLE. I had the car for less then a week. Its a 2001 Toyota Sienna LE with only 56,000 miles and I just paid $12,000 for it. Can anyone tell me what are my options?
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,561
    [..] about 5 blocks, my oil pressure light starting to flash and lit. I look underneath my Sienna and oil was dripping out. I quickly turned around and went back

    What were you thinking driving the car with the light on???

    That "turned around and went back" cost you your engine.
    It's still mostly their fault, but why oh why did you keep driving.

    Click and Clack once said that the oil pressure warning light should not show an oil can, but instead should say "5,000!" so people would pay attention.

    I do wish you good luck getting the damage fixed by the mom&pop mechanics. They really should have checked when they were done, or at least been careful.

    Good luck, let us know how it turns out, and never ever drive run the engine with the oil light on.

  • How long will I have until my engine will die? Should I continue to drive daily? Please someone tell me how serious this is...
    The sound is not very loud. Only noticable when I close the window, shut the radio and ac/heat off. If you get in the car and I don't tell you about it, you will not notice it.

    Thanks. :cry:
  • User 777 - you are a genius! Your solution worked like a charm and I am thankful for your slot car wisdom. One suggestion I have for others is that you might need to close the door manually after cleaning the contacts and then disconnect the battery for about a minute to reset the automatic sliding door processor and motor.

    It's amazing how many similar failure modes there are for this vehicle - this board is invaluable.
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