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Toyota Sienna Maintenance and Repair (2003 earlier)



  • gunga64gunga64 Posts: 271
    I would bring it to Toyota and let them hear it see what they say. Without letting them know what happened.

    I think the engine might have a 60,000/5 year drive train warranty I'm not sure. You might be able to get it worked on for free at Toyota. I would not tell the tech what happened though. Also Toyota may want oil change receipts to cover warranty. Just play dumb if you need to as much as you can. Buying it used wont help you much here either.

    If Toyota says nothing wrong visually or by sound, I would still have them run pressure tests on the cylinders or some way to test the engine performance. So you have something in writing, after it is done. That way if you have to go after the Mom and Pop you have something. The cost should be very minimal, but would be well worth the test.

    As far as Mom and Pop go, I've had bad service done to me in the past as well. They never take responsiblity. They also usually win in any court case. You might need legal help to get them to pay for damage. It's basically your word against theres. Don't spend too much money going after them its a dry hole. As sad as it you may have to use them to fix it if they agree they are at fault. Bring a friend with you as a witness on what they say I guess. They are experts at denial however.

    When you stopped and saw it leaking it should have stopped you in your tracks. Also if no oil the thing should have been smoking and smelling bad for blocks. If it didn't smoke and smell it might have been short enough not to damage. Might have overheated the valve and cylinder and caused some warping to the cylinder.

    That might be the noise the scrapping of the parts. If it is this gas may get into the oil and really cause you grief. Theres a way to check oil for gas the techs know how to do this. If think if you pull the dipstick and put a match to the dip stick and it lights it has gas in it. I'm not sure though.

    Synthetic Oil may help you in the future. Who knows the engine might not be that damaged.

    Everytime someone works on your car you have to check their work. I dont care who it is. This could have just as easily been done by the dealer. Everytime I get an oil change I keep it off my pavers because undoubtfuly it will leak. Always a good idea to check under the car as well as keep an eye on the temp gauge in the car.

    One last note. My Sienna was bought new in 2001. The damn engine was always loud. You may not have noticed it before. Start up a used one at the dealership and listen for yourself. It could be the normal noise. I'm not kidding here either, my wive always complains about the noise. It is a lot noiser when the AC is on though, the reverse of yours.

    Last bit of advice:
    Trade the car in at a dealership( hopefully not the one you test it at if theres a problem) and get rid of the problem if it bugs you a lot. It would save you a lot of grief.

    By the way you got a good price on that van. If it is in decent shape.

    Good Luck
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    thanks for the kudos, but they are really undeserved. many people with door problems (make doesn't matter) find that cleaning the contacts using a pencil eraser does wonders to improve operation. i was merely passing along what others have already posted...

    edmunds is a valuable resource. pass it on. ;)
  • hqmhqmhqmhqm Posts: 1
    I have a Toyota 1999 Sienna van.

    I started the wipers up with heavy wet snow on the windshield, and they slowed to a stop, and then no longer work now, front and back. The washer fluid pump on the front and back windshield don't work either.

    I would suspect a fuse, but I don't have the service manual, I looked in the fusebox and didn't see anything obviously blown.

    Can someone tell me which is the fuse for the wipers in the fuse box, or if there is a circuit breaker or something to reset on the wiper motors. Since it is both motors and fluid pumps, I suspect it must be a relay or fuse someplace, but cannot figure out which one from the cryptic labels in the fuse box.

  • gunga64gunga64 Posts: 271
    Theres a 20 amp wiper fuse should be in fuse box. If you cant find it call Toyota and ask.

    The motors also appear to have some kind of fuse/breaker it looks like 1/2 moon symbol. It is internal in the motors, if it burns out the motor loses connection to ground. You may have to remove a motor to get to it or look at it real good for a breaker. I doubt theres a breaker though, they always want you to buy a new part. If you can pull the motor off at least you have a shot at fixing the fuse yourself. Focus on the front wipers as the rear are useless anyway. Also call Toyota and ask if theres a breaker on the motor as well. For the most part they tell you stuff.

    I would def change the regular fuse first though. Even if it looks good.
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,561
    One word for you: Owner's manual.
    All the fuse locations are in there.
    Good luck,
  • deepandeepan Posts: 342
    some useful opinions all around. since you say the van has been with you only a week maybe the noise has been there from day one. we have a 00 sienna and it makes a small noise and is unnoticed by outsiders if i didnt tell them.
  • As a professional mechanic let me add a few things.
    Agree with the others - when that oil light turns on, turn the engine off!
    As far as testing the engine for damage there are only two ways.
    1) The ear. with the eng idling in Park, rapidly accelerate the engine (briefly - don't exceed 4000rpm) - if a knocking sound becomes evident (have someone listening under the hood) you may have bearing damage.
    2) Visual inspection. A mechanic removes the oil pan and examines the engine bearings.
    Bottom line. Oil contains additives to protect the engine in case of metal to metal contact - for a short time. Hopefully your drive back to the lube place was short and you didn't accelerate hard (load the bearings). I would expect lifter noise after such an incident but it should go away in a few miles. If you suspect there is damage take it to a shop to have the bearings visually checked - there is a fair chance that any damage is limited to the bearings, which can be replaced without removing the engine. If you keep driving the damage will get wor$e.
  • JBL system works great except KOA, 850 AM has noticeable distortion. All other AM stations are fine. KOA is a 50,000 watt clear channel station and should come in great. Other vehicles and radios here get KOA with no problem. Got an exchange JBL radio/tape/CD unit from local Toyota dealer, installed and same problem! I guess that there must be some kind of radio frequency interference created by the engine management system or some other RF generator in the vehicle. Anybody have similar experiences/solutions/suggestions?
    Jim in CO
  • Thanks everyone for providing me with all these valuable info. I hope that that you guys were right that the noise is there and I just didn't notice it. As for leaving the car in park, it is very quiet and no noise at all, as for my CE model, there is no Tach on it. :( But yesterday, I was on the highway and did almost 90mph and the car runs fine with no problem. I only hear the noise when i am waiting at the light with my foot on the brakes and listen very carefully, thats where I here the tapping noise. I guess I'll find out tomorrow as I have to drive long distance (60 miles). I'll report back once I get back on Friday and let you guys know if my engine is still in one piece. :cry:
  • w2323w2323 Posts: 60
    The belts on the beast are pretty loud and could be considered a tapping noise as well. When I turn on the AC its very pronounced. Been like that since new however. How about you guys is your AC compressor kinda loud?

    AC works fine been noisey since day one for me. Even after a belt change.
  • Sounds like you hit the same snag we did. My dad and I just finished popping the panel back onto my driver side door.

    Once we got to the guts of the door, we found that we can't see the motor. The wiring looks good though. So, it must be the motor itself that is dying.

    Co-workers have told me that Binswanger Glass can fix that for me for $150. It's only third-hand information at this point. So, once I find out for sure, I will post and let you know.

    NO WAY am I paying $450 for that though. I'd rather open the door when I go to the drive-through!!

    Thanks a bunch!
  • I posted my reply to someone else just now. Wanted to thank you too. Saw that you have been through a lot with this thing.

    jadakaye, "Toyota Sienna Owners: Problems & Solutions (2003 earlier)" #3430, 6 Nov 2005 12:42 pm

    Seems like it must be the motor itself was the point of my message. We took the whole thing out (and may have damaged the clip that holds the set of window switches locked into place ... now it wiggles).

    So, once I contact Binswanger or some other glass repair company, I'll post and let y'all know how much.

    Pray for me!! :blush:

  • chan2chan2 Posts: 2
    How can I reach back of the front bumper cover? There is a dent on the right front bumper cover and I try to push it back.
  • I'm considering buying a used 2000 Sienna with 45,000 miles on it. I've owned other Toyotas and found them pretty reliable, but never owened the van. Can anyone tell me what to look out for and where the most common problems are with this model? Thanks for any and all info.
  • How do I find out which OEM radios/cd players are compatible with my 2000 Sienna LE?

    My CD player quit working. I would prefer to replace it with the exact model, but I might like to install the OEM 6-disk changer (if I can find one.) I'm shopping on ebay. Any other choices?
  • deepandeepan Posts: 342
    just make sure all maintenance was done. especially the oil changes done at regular intervals. looks like it was city driven so even opening up the vavle cover would be good. The engine was prone to sludge if not taken care of. there isn a 8 yr unlimited warranty on the engine if it siezes due to sludge. we have one and have never had any issues with it.
  • Help! Is this a common problem does anyone know if it signifies something larger. Irecently bought a 1999 with 112K miles and the gas pedal on my 1999 XLE vibrates when I accelerate above 50-60 MPH. Any ideas or solutions please.
  • This is starting to get very annoying, are there any ideas out there. 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. Thanks All
  • jprocjproc Posts: 135
    I agree with deepan-just make sure the oil was changed. I'd also want to see that the trans fluid was changed at least once.We have a 2000 with almost 80k on it and its been very reliable
  • We currently own a 1992 Camry and a 1998 Rav. Does the Sienna also require the timing belt change every 60,000?
  • My wife managed to break the plastic handle on the rear door of our 01 Sienna. Seems lots of folks have too (not too surprising when you see they are just plastic) I decided that a new one would only break again, so devised a permanent fix. I put pictures on a page on our website. Have had many folks email me their thanks for this, which is fun. Here is the URL - No idea why I cannot add this as a link but it did not work.You can copy and paste into your browser (safer anyway)
  • deepandeepan Posts: 342
    the sienna has a timing belt and will require a change.
    I am not quite sure of the mileage although it should be done before the 100k mark.
  • deepandeepan Posts: 342
    youre crusinig and when you want more pwr you put down your foot and for a brief moment the pedal vibrates and then goes away. I've had this happen and i've seen other talk about it too. i would have to say its normal.
  • jprocjproc Posts: 135
    90,000 miles is when it is recommended to change it.
  • deepandeepan Posts: 342
    is there a time limit as well. i.e lets say the van is at 60k but its 6 yrs from the in service date.
  • jprocjproc Posts: 135
    I'll check the manual this weekend and let you know what it says
  • My mechanic is baffled. He can't find any leaks, and no oil is being burned out of tailpipe. I bought this car used in February. I am religious about oil changes, but it keeps sucking it up.

    Is this the SLUDGE problem I've read about in earlier models? What can I (or my mechanic) do?

    Please help. I love my 2002 Sienna van. It is the nicest car I've ever had!

  • scoti1scoti1 Posts: 676
    It sounds like it could be the sludge problem, but the only way to really tell is to have your mechanic pull the valve cover. Signs of sludge include smoke in the exhaust, apparent rapid use of oil, check engine light is on, and sometimes you can actually see it in clumps on the dipstick when you check your oil.

    If it is sludge, you may be lucky because there is an 8 year unlimited mile warranty to cover a free repair, including cost of a rental/loaner car. I don't want to get your hopes up too much, though, because some 2002's aren't covered (those manufactured later in the year, check with Toyota for the VINs) and also, you will need to prove that the car has been reasonably maintained. Hopefully you got the maintenance records or can get them from the previous owner.
  • I have a 98 Sienna XLE the temperature controls on the heater does not want to work from time to time it will blow cold air on hot or cold setting than it will just start working I NEED HELP THIS IS MY WIFES VAN AND SHE DOESNT LIKE TO BE COLD!!!
  • Hi,

    I have the same problem on the driver side. Did you fix it? If you did, how? Thanks.
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