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Toyota Sienna Maintenance and Repair (2003 earlier)



  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    You are 100% correct about the so-called sludge problem.
  • I have a 2002 Sienna CE with 25k mile, I have the check engine light on and went to AutoZone and they mentioned the code was realted to a Purge Valve. Has anyone had this problem? I was reading that a gas cap not being properly seated could be the cause or it could this part that controls the pressure in your gas tank. Any help is greatly appreciated.

  • My 2002 Sienna Symphony is doing the same thing. The fueling nozzle just shuts off after about a gallon if the fuel is going in at a normal flow. It seems to be getting worse over the past 6 months. The repair shop could find nothing wrong, yet the problem continues. Did you have any luck with repairing the problem?
  • Have you taken it to the dealer?
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    not an expert, but that sounds like you are not removing air as the fuel enters the tank. there may be a fuel vent valve as part of the gas tank / fuel system. see if you can't find a diagram of these parts, and point this out to your tech.
  • I am having this issue with my 2002 Sienna. The pump shuts off after about a gallon of gas. I can pump if I pull the nozzle outside the tube and watch it, the gas bubbles up and out if I fill it too fast. HELP.
  • I have a 02 Symphony and I was driving it to Vegas and the driver side windshield weatherstip decides to peel back from the channel it is in and is flapping in the wind. I duct taped it down and went on my way.

    When I got home I brought the vehicle to Kearny Mesa Toyota and they tell me this is not a warranty item. I asked them for a refund for the Platinum warranty I purchased since it is essentially useless then. Of course I was told no and I had to pay to repair what is obviously a Toyota Defect.

    I called Toyota and asked them to cover it under warranty and they refused. I asked the CSR why should I purchase another Toyota when it is obvious that they will not stand behind the quality of their vehicles. All I heard was the static of the telephone line.

    Needless to say, Toyota has just sold another vehicle for Honda. Wheres the Quality, Toyota?????
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    i'm sorry i can't be of more help.

    it's possible that either your fuel filler tube (goes from the place you remove the cap and stick the fuel pump nozzle into to the tank) is crimped, or perhaps there is a problem with a fuel tank vent hose (or solenoid if there is one).

    i cannot seem to find a fuel system diagram on the web for a sienna, but i suspect one or the other.

    gee the service people don't seem to be trying too hard to locate your problem. maybe the tubes are difficult to get to. i don't know.

    good luck.
  • I have 2002 Sienna LE (50K miles) and been having check lamp light for past 1000 miles. I thought one of the lamp is not functioning. Recently at the time of oil change at Firestone, they told me that they have to check the engine to find the fault. Thinking of going to Toyota dealer ASAP.
    Pl. keep me updated.
  • I've got a '99 XLE, which has taillight lenses with amber plastic for the turn signals. At some point in the model run, Toyota changed to clear plastic with amber bulbs. Does anyone remember what year the taillights changed?

    (My teenager busted out the right taillight today, so I'm going to try to find a replacement from a junkyard, and want to know what years I can use.)

    He also busted the right sliding door handle to pieces. Ah, the joys of teenage drivers. Anyone know a good list of online junkyard parts sources?


  • deepandeepan Posts: 342
    2001 MY onwards

    they definitely look better.
  • paul6paul6 Posts: 14
    Which to install? Ceramic or non-ceramic brake pads and shoes?

    Did the 2000LE come with or without ceramics?
  • gbtwgbtw Posts: 4
    I also have numerous scratches on my 2005 Limited Sienna. I first noticed them about 6 weeks after I purchased it and they have progressively gotten worse. There is some connection between them and the wipers. I have seen very few windshield scratches in my previous 38 years of driving. What I see now is unbelievable. In some lights you can not see any of them and when my friends see them in other light they are shocked. The dealer, Toyota of Nashua, said I must have subjected the windshield to some kind of environmental conditions to cause that and therefore will not warranty it. Wow! What is he smoking?
    Maybe the New High Solar Energy-Absorbing (HSEA) glass is the root of the problem?
  • I have a 2001 Sienna, 53,000 miles on it. The brake light started to come on/off recently. It lit more often when turing right. Brake pad/fluids are all original and in good shape. Any thoughts?
    What should I do?
  • deepandeepan Posts: 342
    because it comes when turning it look slike your fluids are on the low side. chk it fluids. when was the brake shoes/pads changed. maybe thats why the fluid is low.
  • Thanks. I check the brake fluid. It was right on the mark (dashed line between the max/min). The brake pad seems OK too. IT does not make any noise yet. Sometimes it seems better. Do you think that I should try to add a little more brake fluid to just try to see what happens?
    Any thoughts?
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    if the fluid is at the proper level, sounds like it could be a level sensor / wiring issue. Is the sensor plugged in properly? Has the sensor incurred any mechanical damage?
  • deepandeepan Posts: 342
    no harm in adding a few drops as long as it doesnt go over the max line. make sure you add the correct type. Better get it at Toyota. my avalon exhibited the same behaviour when the temp gets below 10C and it was just below the halfway line. when i went for an oil change the guy added some fluid and havent seen the light.
  • junpingjunping Posts: 5
    it worked. Thanks. I just added a little brake fluid (Dot 3). The light has not come back ever since.
  • gunga64gunga64 Posts: 271
    If it was repaired by Toyota tell the sales person to screw off. Start using syntetic to avoid any future problems. Sell the van on your own if they try to nickle and dime you. Ask them for proof that it has sludge. Worse case drive the thing till it dies. SInce they sound like they wont give you much why give it away.
  • gunga64gunga64 Posts: 271
    I put ceramics on my 2001 camry and never looked back. If you do the job yourself its under 100.00 for the front end that included new rotors. Although I could have used the old ones they were so cheap to put new ones on about 25 each. The same should be possible with the van. When I asked Toyota how much it would cost to put ceramics on they told me they werent available.

    Yet the after market folks had many available for my car.
  • gunga64gunga64 Posts: 271
    My 2001 also has many scratches on the front windshield. Toyota blames sand. But I've been driving for 20 years never had this problem. It appears to me that the windshield wasn't properly tempered. Also I have a scratched driver side window. It appears every Sienna that model year has these scratches. When I brought it up to Toyota during the 36,000 warrenty they blamed sand. We all know better now. Defective glass. One reason I will probally not buy another Toyota. They act like they never seen these problems before. I'm amazed they havent fixed the problem in the 2005's. It astounds me.
  • paul6paul6 Posts: 14
    Tell me the scratches in the drivers door glass are at eye level, about 1/4 the way in from the latch side. And are about 7" tall and 2 1/2" wide. I've seen this on a few Siennas.

    Our 2000LE came with a defect in the door frame that has caused the weatherstripping to bind tightly against the glass. This has caused grit to accumulate, rather than be brushed off by design, and scratch the glass.

    Toyota dealer in Wellesley MA denied this possibility since day one. They did replace the glass and weatherstripping under warranty when new, but the probem persists because of the improperly made door frame.
  • paul6paul6 Posts: 14
    Backed into the river last year without disconnecting trailer lights, and since then the rectangular box that converts the cars wiring to the trailer wiring hasn't carried a signal for the brake lights. Other lighting functions work fine.

    Can't buy just the converter box, and the wiring assembly is kinda expensive.

    Does anyone know what the box does electronically? Is it possible to jumper the brake light wires and, if so, what kind of inline protection should I be adding?
  • dillydilldillydill Posts: 86
    Any update for this dash bulb?
    My 99 has the same bulb out.
  • junpingjunping Posts: 5
    I also noticed the muffler has many small rusting spots after I noticed the rusting drops on my garage floor. I complained to toyota about it. They ignored me. It had less than 50,000 miles on it when I noticed it. I went to auto zone and bought some heat-resistant paint. I tried to clean it with sand paper and then painted with this ceramic heat-resistant paint. These small holes/spots have not busted yet at this time. I am just wondering anyone has noticed the same problem.
  • Have had to have both front arm suspension units replaced on our 2002 Sienna (88000 kms)Minivan due to the rubber bushes breaking away from the metal component arm. The dealer claims its due to driving over rough terrian but this has not happened. ANybody had experience with a problem like this? Seems like it could be a faulty part??

    Photos of units at
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,562
    Now that's timely.

    Oh yeah I have experience with this.
    Took my hitherto flawless '03 Sienna to a trusted independent shop to do a "k" service. It's at 46k miles -- 74,000 km -- so I figured we'd do the 30k "severe" schedule and all inspections.

    Sure enough, I need new lower control arms left and right, for $144 each (dealer item), because the $10 rubber bushings have failed. They aren't available separately, of course.

    My control arms aren't removed yet, but they appear to have failed in exactly the same way yours have; the mechanic showed me how you can push the arm up and down and the metal sleeve moves around the piece of rubber. Pretty stupid design.

    I think the dealer is right on with his diagnosis; the part is not strong enough to withstand use in a 4,000+ lb minivan. I don't think you ruined the suspension over rough roads, 'cuz I know we didn't. It used to be my car before the wife took it over, and neither one of us particularly beats up on cars.

    I'm gonna keep the old parts.
    As a friend of mine said, "it's a Toyota, so you know there are 150,000 minivans driving around with the exact same problem. It's a car chassis trying to do a truck's job."
    I think he's right; I think it's not the end of the world; I think that in a year or three, there will be a way to rebuild these because more and more will fail.
    If I hadn't asked to check out a weird noise my wife mentioned, I doubt they would have found it. I bet someone will come up with a way to fix 'em cheaper, and then I'll have my original ones redone.

    Thanks for your information and commiseration,
  • Thanks Mathias - You are the first to have the same problem I've seen -where are you located? So your dealer admitted it was a design problem?
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,562
    I'm in MI.
    Dealer? I took it to an indy I've been going to for years. And there's nothing to "admit", the darned things aren't supposed to fail... if it's a lousy design, they're all going to go bad early... if it's just a lousy part, it's just yours and mine.

    Don't forget that minivans often don't get serviced all that well... mommy's too busy and all that. This failure isn't going to be found on a cursory inspection.

    As far as "admitting" anything... admit hell -- the darned thing's out of warranty, it's on my nickel, lousy design or no.

    I don't like it, but I accept it, and I certainly won't try to get any money out of either Toyota or the local dealership... I don't trust the mechanics there, so I never go and have no rapport.

    The fact that my ATF was black after only 46k bothers me more than the stupid bushings. Maybe I should sell it; at least resale is stellar on these things.

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