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Toyota Sienna Maintenance and Repair (2003 earlier)



  • I have the 70K warranty on my 02 with the piston slap. My bet is the problem will finally fully blossom at 71K. LOL. That is why I made the service advisor note the noise on the paperwork. If this leads to blow-by or other things that could result in a major repair I want Toyota to cover it.
  • asdf5asdf5 Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Sienna and my power door is not working after changing the battery. It was working prior to changing the battery. I've cleaned the contacts with an eraser and also tried disconnecting the new battery for 1 minute to clear the computer. (I've done this twice, once with the door open and once with the door closed during the minute of being disconnected.) I also was careful not to "chatter" the positive cable while reconnecting it to the battery. Should I wait longer or are there any special tricks? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
  • I have the same problem with the same make/model - 98 Sienna! I'm wondering if the problem was the sun/moonrool drainage, or if it turned out to be something else. Did you ever get it fixed? Thanks for any input you might have.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    water in the front footwells can be indicative of a clogged Air Conditioner Evaporator Pan. you can turn on your AC (providing it isn't really cold outside), and see if condensate is leaving the vehicle from the hose going from the pan through the firewall and out onto the pavement.

    if you don't see water hitting the pavement (with the car running AC on, in park with emerg brake on) as you look under the vehicle from the side near the front passenger wheel area - that's probably the cause of the water.

    you may see water dripping into the footwell area when making turns and some vehicles make a hissing sound, sort of like water hitting a hot frying pan, when the drain clogs, and the evaporator coils come in contact with the water in an over-flowing evaporator pan.

    if this isn't your issue, and you suspect a moon-roof or sun-roof leak, ask a service tech (dealer or independant) where the drain channels / lines are located. maybe then you could take a sports bottle filled with water and pour it into the channels to see if they are blocked.

    i would also visually inspect the door rubber molding all around the sides and bottom of each door.

    any rust / holes in the wheel well area?

    if the water is in the back, do you have a bad seal on the hatch door, or debris in the channel / hatch hinge area?

    i guess these are some of the things that come to mind that i'd investigate a bit. good luck.
  • I have a 2001 Sienna and my power door is not working after changing the battery. It was working prior to changing the battery. I've cleaned the contacts with an eraser and also tried disconnecting the new battery for 1 minute to clear the computer. (I've done this twice, once with the door open and once with the door closed during the minute of being disconnected.) Should I wait longer or are there any special tricks? Any suggestions would be appreciated. The driver side works ok. The passenger side opens but will not close. The PWR DOOR dash light stays on along with the BRAKE light. I just found this forum tonight so please forgive me for asking this ? again. E-mail me with the responce also if you can. Thanks, TJ
  • I have a 2000 XLE and it seems to provid poor heat output in the front passenger side and no heat for the rear heating system. This is with the rear heat controls on full hot. Even front drivers side is slow to heat, but it eventually gets there. Any ideas??
  • I own a 2000 Toyota Sienna with CA emissions.

    When the millage reached ~55K the check engine light came on and the error codes read P1130 and P1135. After much investigating I determined the following facts:

    P1130, P1135
    1) This is the error code for Bank 1 Sensor 1 which is located in the exhaust manifold in the back near the fire wall (tough to repair yourself).

    2) Because I have a car with CA emissions (living in MA) my sensors are Air-Fuel ($375 ea) rather than the affordable O2 found on all federal emission cars. Never buy a CA emissions car unless you live in CA!

    3) No aftermarket sensor exists for this car, so I am stuck paying a hefty price tag.

    4) This is such a big problem that a class action suit was settled which will cover all the costs of the repair on a CA emission car. It appears that this only applies to people living in CA. Is this true?

    This all happened about 2 months ago and after some discussions with my dealer (and the fact that I was looking to buy a second car). The dealer decided to comp my repair. This made me happy as it saved me some bucks.

    A happy ending to my story, right? No...

    At ~59K miles my check engine light came back on and the engine started running a little rough. I took it in to AutoZone and they read the codes for me. P1150, P1155 Bank 2 Sensor 1. I can only assume this is the Air-Fuel sensor that is mounted in the exhaust manifold in the front of the engine (between engine and radiator).

    Since I am not sure I have any more leverage to get another comp repair I am looking to get some more information about if I am covered by the class action law suit?

  • I do not have all of the technical specifics yet but driving home Christmas night in a downpour we heard a loud thump underneath our 2002 Sienna followed by another thump a few minutes later. We assumed that we had hit debris in the road. The next day we discovered that the van had developed a power sucking, gas guzzling exhaust leak up near the engine. I figured the supposed debris we hit had punctured an exhaust pipe and we took the van to a local repair center to get it checked out. This is where I do not have the specifics but from what I can tell they found out that the bolts holding the catalytic converter to the exhaust pipe had both broken off and the converter is sliding up and down the sleave allowing air to leak. Since our van has only 45,000 miles and this is so unusual our repair center suggested that we should take it back to the dealer. I will take it in next week but wondered if anyone has heard of this problem and if there is a bulletin out on it.

    Thanks Clarke
  • paul6paul6 Posts: 14
    I''m also in Massachusetts with exactly the same failing sensor problem, however I wasn't as lucky as you and paid to have the first sensor replaced. Also as you do, I need to replace the front sensor. Our 2000LE is from Wellesley Toyota, where service has been OK but less than ideal.

    Please let me know if you find a good solution. This is an expensive repair every 60K. There's a third sensor in the system as well; expecting it to fail soon.
  • I went to the Toyota Dealer to replace/purchase my original factory battery. The Toyota replacement battery had a collar around the top, so the original battery factory shroud would not fit and had to be discarded. The battery did not have the "green eye" either.

    Why can't I find an exact replacement for the 2000 Sienna?
  • I have a 2001 Sienna with 80K miles. Just a couple of days ago I noticed the noise that you're describing - a whirring noise as the transmssion is shifting when the engine is cold. Has anyone just left it alone? If so, did further problems develop? Also, might some of the fuel system cleaners at the auto parts store make any kind of difference? Thank you!
  • Follow up to my post. Pretty strange but the assembly, including bolts, etc., that holds the catalytic converter in place was rusted out. Parts have been ordered and it will be covered under warranty for this 2002 Sienna with 45000 miles.

  • crissmancrissman Posts: 145
    A friend of mine was asking whether the timing belt needs to be changed in his 1998 Sienna. It now has 92,000 miles. I was not sure whether it used a chain or a belt. Thanks for any help.
  • jprocjproc Posts: 135
    The Manual recommends replacing it at 90,000 miles
  • densmedensme Posts: 1
    Thanks for your artical. I also have a 98 Sienna and am having a bottoming out problem too. Did your fix work?
    I also had problems with my front brakes and had a dealer brake job within the first 25K miles. What have you done about this problem...

    Thanks, Denny
  • jojjoj Posts: 6
    I have a 2000 Sienna that I am going to be trading in. I was looking at a Honda Pilot and when the sales guy saw my Sienna he said it was too bad that I wouldn't get much trade in on it because of the "sludge problem". Well, guess what, mine had the sludge problem but I am wondering if that is in any public records (like on CarFax) where it can be seen by anyone? Anyone know? I also was thinking about the Highlander but I am pretty sure that Toyota could run my VIN and figure out that my Sienna had sludge. I had the free warranty repair but I don't think they replaced the engine. That is part of the reason I want something new now cuz I worry about the Sienna getting sludged again.

    Also, I am pretty sure that the sludge is a thing of the past and newer Toyota models aren't facing it -- true?
  • paul6paul6 Posts: 14
    Could someone post instructions on how to change a dash bulb; specifically the one on the left side of the cluster by the temp gauge. Thanks.
  • scoti1scoti1 Posts: 676
    The Honda dealer is just trying to slam you on resale value. I don't think that sort of info turns up on CarFax either. You can always get more money by selling your van out right and if you trade it, they are going to try to pay as little as possible, or raise the sales price on the car you are buying. Wouldn't it be something if Toyota devalued your van based on the sludge problem!

    Also, turn this in to a positive, your engine has two more years on the sludge warranty. Not many 6 year old vans have that!
  • jojjoj Posts: 6
    Also, turn this in to a positive, your engine has two more years on the sludge warranty. Not many 6 year old vans have that!

    It is not much of a postive for me. I am not sure Toyota would fix it again if I get sludge. I am pretty sure they said it was a one time deal. But thanks for your advice.
  • :cry: I own a 2002 Sienna Symphony that I bought used in 2003. When the van had approximately 26,000 miles on it I noticed the carpet was soaking wet and there were puddles in various places, and it had a moldy/mildewy smell to it. I took it to the dealership because it was still under warranty. After a week in the repair shop and $4000 worth of work--out of Toyota's pocket--they decided that a drain plug was put in the wrong place and they "fixed" the problem. Now, my van has 49,000 miles on it and the carpet is getting wet again. Since it is not under warranty, I am guessing I should trade it, unless someone has an idea of what it could be. Other than this issue, the van is perfect and I couldn't ask for anything better.
  • jprocjproc Posts: 135
    Were you the original owner of the 2000 Sienna and if so how often did you changee your oil.Also how could the Honda salesman tell that your car had a sludge problem?

    We have 82k on our 2000 Sienna and I am hoping it lasts til my youngest gets thru college (7 years away!)
  • hylynerhylyner Posts: 216
    The sludge story was blown totally out of proportion when it was first discussed. It received much undeserved publicity in the early 2000s, so much so that Toyota issued a SPA (special policy announcement) in 2002 providing free repairs up to 8 years--provided there was proof of at least one oil change per year.
    Toyota also made a minor change to the PCV system in those engines back in 02 which made them more tolerant of poor maintenance. This helped to minimize the issue even more.
    History has now shown beyond any doubt the vast majority of sludged engines occurred in vehicles which were not well maintained. Owners weren't changing oil at all, or going well beyond recommended intervals.
    A number of other makes were plagued with the same undeserved publicity, for the same reason.
    The so called "sludge prone" engines made by Toyota are reliable as they come--given reasonable maintenance. This requirement isn't any different for other manufacturer's engines.
    Simply put, after all that past furor about it, sludge is no longer an issue.
    It hasn't affected resale values at all for Toyota any more than all those failed Honda transmissions which happened at the same time. The salesman was blowing smoke.
  • jojjoj Posts: 6
    Yes, I am the original owner. The oil was always changed at around 5,000 miles, give or take a couple hundred. All my serving was done at Toyota so they could see I followed the manual on oil changes and fixed it for free in 2002 at around 40,000 miles, when it started smoking from the tail pipe and using a couple of quarts of oil a day. It was fixed under the extended 8 year warranty for sludge.

    The Honda salesguy did not know my van had the sludge before and I didn't tell him. He was just saying they couldn't offer much for it because it was one of the ones that could get sludge. I didn't feel like getting in a argument with him. I am still shopping around and haven't gotten to a bottom line yet. It just hadn't occured to me that it could lower my resale.

    I am not wanting to keep mine any longer. After the sludge, the dealer said I should change the oil every 3000 miles to maintain the warranty, but they were never clear whether they would fix another sludge engine. I don't want to chance it. Other than the sludge and going through tires like crazy, it has been an ok van and has served its purpose. I am ready to move on when my youngest starts driving later this year and I don't need a van for carpooling any more yea!
  • deepandeepan Posts: 342
    i also have a 00 sienna and change the oil every 4k kms or 4 months which ever comes first. i also have a avalon (same engine) and change it on a similar schedule. The avalon has 160k kms and runs like it was bought yesterday. cheap insurance against engine damage . ofcourse the salesman is going to low ball you so that when he turns around and sells it he can make a bigger profit.
  • jprocjproc Posts: 135
    We follow the same maintenance as you ie Oil changes every 5k miles.Maybe I'll switch to synthetic oil next change.I really don't want to buy another car.I'll be paying 2 college tuition bills for 4 of the next 7 years and 1 for the other 3.Don't have the dough to buy a car on top of that so I need this Sienna to last
  • ned671ned671 Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 Toyota Sienna LE, Symphony Edition with 43K miles. I have had a couple of minor annoying issues with it that I have seen mentioned on this board (squeaky stering wheel; a rattle on the driver side rear door; slow shifts when cold), but nothing major, until perhaps now.

    A couple of months back I noticed an "extra noise" under the hood - sort of a thrashy, slurry sound. This is especially noticeable when the engine is cold and I am accelerating at a decent clip. It is harder to notice at higher speeds when the road and wind noise mask the sounds + the RPMs fluctuate less when on the gas. I have taken it to 2 different Toyota dealers and neither seems to be able to find anything wrong with it. At each dealer they claim to hear it - one technician even said it didn't sound that different from other Siennas he had driven. It doesn't sound like the buttery smooth Sienna I paid $25K for!

    Just last night and again today I heard a new noise - last night there were two loud "clunk" sounds from under the hood. This happened under acceleration. Today at about 35 MPH and again under acceleration there was a single clunk sound.

    The thrashy sound made me think that it could be an issue with the beginning of the exhaust system. The clunk sounds more like a universal joint/transmission issue. I am about ready to take it to a "good ole boy" mechanic, because I have little faith in the Toyota dealers.

    Has anyone had a similar issue? Any advice? Thanks!
  • deepandeepan Posts: 342
    dont worry about the engine noise when cold. cold metal is supposed to make a bigger noise than when warmed up.
    the tranny is designed in a way to delay shifting till the collant warms up. so you have nothing to worry about. dont floor the van till the engine warms up.

    if youre doing regular oil changes i wouldnt bother spending the extra bucks for synthetic. my 2 cents.
  • My gas milage has decreased, and I do not know why!

    I purchased a 2001 Sienna in Nov 05 (its now Jan 06). I had decent gas milage (aprox 22 mpg) at first. After getting the 60K tuneup, which includes spark plugs, new air filter, and I had the fuel injector cleaning service done. In addition, I have had 3 emisions sensors replaced, and the valves adjusted (under waranty).

    After all the above was done, I expected BETTER fuel economy. Any suggestions?
  • deepandeepan Posts: 342
    its cold out there and usually fuel economy suffers. idling the car for extended periods.
  • We have a 2002 Sienna LE, non-power driver's side door with the same "rattle" when going over bumps. I even had the dealer install the rubber edging found on the passenger side power door in hopes of making the "dull, thumping" sound go away. No luck. I think the hinges that have the roller are spring loaded, always wondered if they become loose.

    Has anyone had this issue resolved ?

    Otherwise, at 45,000 miles we are very happy with Toyota quality.
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