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Toyota Sienna Maintenance and Repair (2003 earlier)



  • paysonpayson Posts: 32
    This also happened to our 00 Sienna. I can't post the links here, but do a google search for "sienna hatch broken", and a number of sites will come up with detailed instructions. Replacing the latch was easy, and only cost about $70.
  • mathews99mathews99 Posts: 2
    We have encountered a similar problem with our 2000 Sienna. Bought van used at 45K miles and really liked it for first three years. At 85K miles, lost AC and had to have evaporator replaced ($$$). Then at 88K miles, started hearing front-end noise when car was in motion. Had already replaced wheel bearings on both right and left front due to previous noise problems, and dealership now says we need a transmission rebuild (est $3,300 - $3,500). I never expected this after having no problems with my '93 Camry or my '88 Camry before that. Dealership called this morning and suggested we try Toyota Customer Care for post warranty assistance. Anyone had success with that route? :confuse:
  • andrews777andrews777 Posts: 6
    We were told that there was an offer to fix it up to 100K now and 8 years. It is under the years, but I don't know your current mileage.

    They paid for all the parts on mine, so it "only" cost about $1000. :/

    The wheel stuff I replaced came out of my own pocket. That was another $1500 or so.

  • hottmusichottmusic Posts: 11
    I recently took my 2000 xle to the dealer to have the a/c checked out because it's not cooling. They couldn't find anything wrong and recharged (added freon or whatever they use these days) the a/c and added some dye to check for leaks. So far, it's working fine, but the dealer is saying that unless they find a leak or a problem with something, I'll have to pay $189 for a/c service, even though I have the extended warranty (6 yr/100k). I have 70K on the van, and wondering if anyone has had a similar experience. Is it normal for the a/c to need recharged after a period of time , or would this only happen due to a leak?
    Thanks for any feedback.
  • andrews777andrews777 Posts: 6
    I believe you need to recharge the system every so often, even if it is working correctly. A leak will make it "go bad" quicker, but I think "normal use" also requires replacement occassionally.

  • deepandeepan Posts: 342
    I dont agree. Its a completely sealed unit. there shouldnt be any leaks. My older 96 avalon blows cold air!
  • 01siennaja01siennaja Posts: 4
    I posted earlier, my 2001 is now on its 3rd A/C condenser. The first two got holes in them. Very disturbing! Once there is a hole, it can't be fixed because it's such a high pressure system, and you need a new condenser. I think the most recent one is a manufacturer defect, so I am going to try to get some $$ back, I'm sure it's an uphill battle with Radiators Express.
  • andrews777andrews777 Posts: 6
    Maybe, but the "recharge" business would be a lot less if that was always true. :)

    It shouldn't leak that quickly, but nothing in life is "completely airtight." :)

  • mathews99mathews99 Posts: 2
    We followed a similar path with our 2000 xle. When a/c first stopped cooling, mechanic could not find any leaks, so they recharged freon. W/in 3 mos, we were back in the shop for another recharge. They ran dye test but again found no leaks. Suspected problem was evaporator. Finally had evaporator replaced earlier this month, and a/c working fine again. They probably won't check that since it is labor intensive. Good luck.
  • yisonyison Posts: 1
    I recently had four new tires replaced for my Sienna LE 2000 by NTB tire company a year a ago. Approximately two weeks later steering wheel started to shaking at 5-15 ml/hr. I returned to NTB and complained about the problem. They rechecked it. They told me there were no problems found with my tires. After I had two tire rotations (approx 10,000 miles), I returned to NTB and complained again, but I got same answer. They told me one of my tire rims was bended. So I went to a junk yard to get a used rim and went back NTB. I told them my shaking wheel was not a mechanical problem, but a problem tire coursing steering wheel is shakes.
    It wasn't rim instead they found two bad tires and replaced them. Now I am satisfied because I don't have any problems and the new tire are covered by warranty. :)
  • firenutfirenut Posts: 1
    I have 2000 Toyota Sienna Van. I have been using the seat belts to secure car seats in the middle bench seat. My van did not come equipped with the "LATCH" system. I was wondering, can I just switch out my seat with another seat from a later model Sienna with that is "LATCH" equipped? What is the latest model seat that will fit into a 2000 Sienna. I went to my dealer, and he told me that I could fit up to a 2002 seat into my Sienna, but none of them came equipped with the "LATCH" system until 2004. I think he is wrong. According to the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety (ACTS), Toyota started putting the "LATCH" restraint system in 2001 Siennas. To put it in a nut shell, is there a middle bench seat that will fit into a 2000 Sienna that is "LATCH" equipped? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  • Just got a 2001 Sienna CE with low mileage thru a dealer, supposedly Toyota certified. Driver side window scratched the very 1st time we used the window (within a week). Dealer replaced the glass. Now, passenger side getting EXACT same type of scratch, same place, same width. Have seen this reported on this board in earlier postings. Any resolution to this ? It has to be mechanical. Once I'm out of warranty I'll be stuck with scratched glass. Dealer doesnt seem to know (?) Does Toyota support any fix on this? Thanks
  • gunga64gunga64 Posts: 271
    At least you got a window. My driver window got it during my 36,000 warranty and they blamed sand. They supposedly blew it out. But I never got a replacement glass even though I stated I thought I needed one, and did not believe sand did it. Every Sienna that year has this scratch. This single issue is making me rethink purchasing another Toyota product by the way. Since the Service guy made it sound like he never seen this problem before. We all know he has.

    I never had a problem with the passenger side. Although my window motor on the passenger side is dead. I have a feeling all of the Siennas have that problem by the way. I also think the problem is from a piece of metal that is in the door jam. I read that they bend it so it does'nt cause the problem.

    Be aware that my front windshield also has scratches that were not caused by me. I have never run bad wipers. Yet my front windshield has deep scratches. I think its because they never properly tempered the glass. Since I've seen this same problem on every sienna that model year I know its of no fault of mine.

    You could have had those scratches since you owned the van. They could have used something to hide it from you.

    All in all the van has been fine. With exception of the wiper motor and the glass. If your van has low mileage think of using syntetic oil like mobil 1.

    Heres a thought. If they have some siennas on the lot that are used that year go look at the window. You want to bet they have those scratches?
  • gfialgfial Posts: 1
    I have a 98 Sienna and the AC shuts off when I turn on the headlights. It works pefectly as long as the headlights are off. Has anyone had a similar problem?
  • HI everybody I have a Toyota Sienna 2000 CE, AC works great but I live in Imperial Valley, CA, temperature goes up to 120 in summer. AC works great and it is very cold,but suddenly the compressor goes off, AC switch remain on and blower works perfect but of course air is hot, after 2 minutes or so compressor turn on again. Does anybody knows what happens? or any ideas??

  • therockstherocks Posts: 1
    I have recently encountered 2 dashboard problems. The clock is no longer working and I believe it is a fuse problem. Question is, which fuse? I'd really like to replace it myself, but I don't know where to start. Seems like there are a lot of fuses. Second problem is with my top cigarette lighter. An i-pod charger piece is lodged inside it and I don't know how to remove it. Is there an easy fix or do I need to take this to the mechanic?
  • hawaiialhawaiial Posts: 3
    I've got a 1999 Toyota Sienna CE, just got the following 3 codes P0125 - closed loop fuel control insufficient coolant temp, P0135 - 02 Sensor Heater Circuit Malfunction (Bank 1 Sensor 1) & P0155 02 Sensor Heater Circuit Malfunction (Bank 2 Sensor 1).

    This minivan has been at the dealers and multiple mechanics to try to repair. These are the latest readings. The dealer said both 02 sensors were bad & I had them both replaced. A local mechanic was originally getting Solenoid Sensor Malfunction, which I replaced. Then the shift cable was replaced. Can anyone help?

    Originally, when driving for a while up step hill, the car would suddenly lose power and overheat (the transmission?) After replacing both 02 sensors, out of the blue it acts as if it has no power then lurches into power - never no when and not regular. Any assistance is appreciated - you can email at as well as resply - thanks.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    the solenoid sensor sounds like it was fixed. shift cable too - i guess both needed to be replaced.

    anyway, now one of your problems sounds like perhaps a bad engine temp sensor (which might result in the unit running richer than necessary and also possibly retarding the transmission control module from shifting through all the gears).

    but, latest codes seem to suggest you've still got O2 sensor issues (I presume right after replacement). perhaps something wasn't replaced or re-connected properly.

    if your O2 sensors are still reporting bad, and if the car is loosing power going up hill, sounds to me that you might not be scheduling the correct amount of fuel to the engine, and in addition, based on them being a problem in the past, perhaps (emphasis) the Catalytic Convertor may be history soon.

    you may need to have it diagnosed by a specialist on Toyotas (maybe an independant shop - perhaps someplace other than the dealership if their work is in question).

    if you do, ask if the people that look it over again can determine if you actually got 2 new O2 sensors and if they are hooked up properly.

    question, if the dealership just replaced 02 sensors and you're getting 02 related OBDII codes, why isn't the dealership taking care of you to re-diagnose and replace parts for free?

    perhaps I'm misunderstanding your post.
  • deepandeepan Posts: 342
    this is to protect the compressor fom over heating. If the refrigerant is low and the A/C is working not stop the compressor will cut off so it can take a breather. this is how its designed!
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    and also, i believe refrigerant and lubricant must be in the system for lubrication / sealing of the bearings, otherwise the unit would surely fail.
  • hawaiialhawaiial Posts: 3
    Thanks for the reply. Here on the Big Island we have 1 Toyota Dealer. They charedg $150 just to read the codes, and wanted $600+ to change the sensors. I bought after market 02 sensors for $70 each and had a shop put them in for $100 - maybe I got ripped? My buddy thought the cat might be the problem just putting his hand behind the exhaust and feeling little pressure. Believe it or not, I've taken it 2 several shops to test the cat and no one seems to have the equipment to test emissions, since emissions is not required here. The closest, was Midas took a stethoscope up and listened and said everything sounds good. Big Island Toyota charges $1,500 for the catalytic coverter (part only) and Midas $100 - $300 for their after market. However, if that's part of the problem, I concerned with going after market now after my 02 experience. Anyways, I will check the temp engine sensor as well - really appreciated your suggestion.
  • buyer777buyer777 Posts: 70
    These 3 lights just came on my 2001 Sienna. Heading out on vacation...any ideas?????
  • hawaiialhawaiial Posts: 3
    Need to find someone with a code reader - hopefully, a friend who won't charge you to much to see the codes. Check out, they had same three lights. Good luck
  • dillydilldillydill Posts: 79
    Yes, it is a fuse. . .by the driver's left knee there is a fuse panel. When you take the cover off there is a grid to tell you which fuses are where. I believe it is on the bottom row of fuses.

    I can't help you with the removal of the charger piece but you will need to get that removed or the fuse will keep blowing.

    I took my wife's sienna to three different places and none of them could either "diagnose the problem" or had the correct fuses. . :(

    You should have at least one extra fuse under the hood.
    Check your manual if you have it. I used this one and then blew that fuse so i ended up searching on eBay for them. . .cost around 25 cents each.

    You can remove the old fuse with a needle nose pliers and may be able to install the new fuse with your hands only.

    Hope this helps. . .also if you have power mirrors they are probably not working either.

  • gunga64gunga64 Posts: 271
    Discount auto and other parts suppliers will check codes for free.
  • buyer777buyer777 Posts: 70
    Thanks..any "catch" to that? Or can I then just drive away??
  • penizzlepenizzle Posts: 104
    Hi, my sienna runs good but there is no fuel pump prime. According to Haynes manual, there should be one. I changed fuses and relays. what is the prob?

    If you own a sienna, do me a favor.... Turn the key on without turning all the way... Listen towards the rear of the vehicle for a 2 second or so whining noise as soon as the key is turned on. Does your car have a prime? The reason i want the prime is because if the van sits a while, it takes longer to start because there is no prime.
  • donb13donb13 Posts: 4
    I am having a problem with the fuel access door lever being hard to open. The lever is bent now and I am afraid it might break off. Anyone else having this problem? What would be a good remedy for this problem?
  • rsbasu12rsbasu12 Posts: 2
    I took my 2001 Toyota Sienna to the Toyota Service center to fix a
    brake-related problem ( brake light on dash board stayed on even when brakes were not on).
    The service rep. informed me that they needed to change the front brake pads and adjust the rear brakes and suggested that I do the 30K mile service that was overdue, which would include the rear adjustment. I agreed.

    When I picked up the car and turned the ignition on, a lot of white smoke came out of the exhaust. I immediately reported the problem to the service personnel who came out to take a look. They assured me that it would go away and was probably due to the throttles being cleaned out. On my way home, the car hesitated every time I :sick: applied the accelerator. Finally, on a turn, the car stalled and the check engine light came on. I turned the car back on, and returned home (about 1.5mi). There was still a lot of white smoke.

    I called the service rep. the next day, and described the problem, and among other things, asked if perhaps there was sludge on the engine. He said that it was unlikely and that the technician would have mentioned this if he had seen any.

    Next, I had the car towed back to the service center and some time later, was informed that indeed, the engine had sludge.

    My questions to you are:
    1. Could sludge cause the symptoms I described?
    2. The car had been running very smoothly before I took in for is it that these problems happened right after the service? Why would an oil change cause this problem to surface?
    3. Are there any other explanations for these symptoms (aside from sludge?)

    I would really appreciate any help on this matter.

  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    seems like they may have grossly overfilled the oil. just a guess.
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