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Toyota Sienna Maintenance and Repair (2003 earlier)



  • penizzlepenizzle Posts: 104
    Just look at the things I told you. Also, I thought of a couple more ideas. Check drive belts, and pullys too. Since I can't see or hear your van, its hard to help you. I have never heard of such a thing.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    could be hard to diagnose issue, but some additional sleuthing may strike paydirt.

    some ideas from a fellow motorist:

    sit in the passenger seat and have someone else drive to re-create the noise. often helps you determine the thing causing the noise (localizing or better pinpointing the source). you will not be distracted with the act of driving and you can move about in your seat to get a better sense. you can roll the window down and stick your head out.

    you might even let someone drive the car by you when your standing in the parking lot.

    trust me - it can all help.

    i'd try to determine if you can re-create the sound when reving the engine in park. if so it's probably not transmission related (which is good - 'cause a transmission issue could be expensive).

    try this: shut the car off, open the hood, make sure car in park and parking brake on, restart the car and have someone else hit the gas while you listen to things in the engine compartment. maybe you can localize it. have them cycle getting on the gas hard and letting up. listen listen listen. move around the car while this is done. let your ears help localize the sound. we have 2 ears and the ability to move our head and body for this reason.

    you have correlated it to acceleration / cruise. that is a good good start but still a bit too general.

    it could be belts on your pulleys, it could be a loose something or other in the engine compartment (a loose windshield fluid resevoir for example), a piece of metal or plastic somewhere.

    with the car off and cool, use your hands to gently determine if anything is loose (has excessive play) in the engine compartment. perhaps a bolt holding something on or tight to the engine side walls or another engine component is loose.

    penizzle has suggested an exhaust issue. very probable.

    many cars have heat shields on the exhaust manifold (where the gasses from each cylinder exit the engine and are collected and sent to the catalytic convertor and muffler), and/or around the catalytic convertor, and/or the muffler.

    a loose heat shield could be the issue. with the engine cold, car in park, emergency brake on, you could try to sneak under the vehicle, even using a long stick or piece of wood and see if there is any loose shield from the engine back to the exit of the muffler at the back of the car.

    another possibility is a missing or disconnected "exhaust hanger". these are made of hardened rubber (like a black thick rubber band) and will connect to a hanger on the body of the vehicle, and another hanger on some exhaust pipe or muffler etc (there are usually a few of these things...3 or 4). it will hold the exhaust system in place, but at the same time, help hold it away from any other metal on the bottom of the car. it also allows engine vibration and movement to occur without fracturing the exhaust can move with the engine, and not be transmitted to the engine compartment.

    when the engine revs, a few things, it's position changes somewhat and it's vibration level can change, and these can can be coupled to the body of the vehicle somewhere. we already discussed the exhaust and hangers.

    a bad engine mount (the things holding the engine in place in the engine compartment - there are probably three) if damaged, can allow that engine vibration to be poorly damped, coupling vibration to the engine compartment, and the movement of the engine to be greater than it otherwise would be as you get on and off the gas.

    other possibilities include loose plastic on the under-body of the car up near the front (for example protecting the oil pan). other pieces of plastic probably exist in the driver and passenger wheel well.

    i hope i'm not confusing you. if so - i apologize.

    you're on the path of discovering what's going on. it's gonna take some work.

    good luck.
  • mitsymitsy Posts: 3
    Thanks for the help I will take it in for service(have another long road trip ahead hate to break down in nowhere land) and atleast have some ideas as to whats wrong. Maybe they won't rip me off to bad.
  • sopmansopman Posts: 46
    We plug our portable DVD player into one of the outlets in the front dash. When we turn the car off and then back on the DVD player powers down and then back up. This starts the movie from the beginning. Is their anyway to rewire the outlet to keep power to the outlet continuously?

  • I have this same problem. We bought a used 2001 Toyota Sienna last month, two days later, the check engine light came on.....then it went off for a week, and came back on and has been on since then. I havent called the dealership as we bought it AS IS. Do you know how to get the code from the computer so i can see wh :mad: at the problem is?
  • penizzlepenizzle Posts: 104
    Since that person hasn't posted in 6 years, i'll answer. Unless you have a scanning tool, you can't find out the codes. Take your car to a local auto parts dealer like Auto Zone or etc.. and they will usually scan it for free.
  • Were you able to resolve the issue? I just had the same situation occure with my 2001 Sienna and I wanted to know what you did to resolve it?


    - Mike
  • rednebredneb Posts: 5
    Fellow Sienna Owners. I have owned this '98 XLE since brand new - April of '98 and it has been a great car. No problems. We now have 79,000 miles. For the last 18 months or so have noticed a clunk/rattle on minor bumps coming from rear suspension. I have jacked the car up and had a look at all suspension mounts that I could see - can't find anything loose. Has anyone else experienced this and if so - please advise of fix.
  • deepandeepan Posts: 342
    is your engine knocking. the engine has a knock sensor and will adjust the timing accordingly to avoid it. try putting in a tankful of supreme gas and see if it goes away.
  • deepandeepan Posts: 342
    one of the changes done was to incraese the clearance of the PCV valve. a new valve costs 10$ and changinf it every 2 yrs or so maybe a cheap insurance. the procedure was listed somewhere here and have it saved . if you need it i can dig it up
  • mleesmlees Posts: 1
    I am having a similar problem. I recently encountered the CEL with diagnostic code P0135 - O2 sensor heater circuit malfunction - bank 1 sensor 1. I was advised that the O2 sensor in front of the catalytic converter on my 2003 Toyota Highlander 4WD, V6 with 67,000 miles on it needed to be replaced. I replaced it myself two days ago and returned to the auto parts store that did the original check. The code was reset and quickly returned. Now I need to trouble shoot the 'heater circuit'. How did your situation get resolved? Does anyone know how to trouble shoot this?
  • cfauvelcfauvel Posts: 1
    this is definitely a flaw and toyota know about it. They rebuilt my engine for free and gave me eight year warranty on the engine. The fix was to rebuild because of the damage, and a new valve cover baffle that allows the engine circulate the gasses farno more problems...but do persue the problem with Toyota.
  • Hello,
    Anybody have an idea what's causing my problem?
    When I turn the lights on, cruise control won't work (the cruise control dash board indicator does turn on), or if I'm running on cruise control and turn on the lights, the cruise control turns off. Cruise control works perfectly if the lights are turned off.
    Also, if the lights are turned off and I hit the brake, the dash board lights turn for as long as the brake pedal is depressed. Weird!
    Could these be related?
  • deepandeepan Posts: 342
    i would suspect an electrical problem here, one of the hardest to daignose. they do have seperate fuses right
  • The other day, my wife took the 2002 through a low spot in the road with water flowing through. Car died. Water was below the underside of car by 2 inches or so, no water in vehicle. My wife said lots of other cars, including sedans were going through, waving at her as they went by. Dealer says water was sucked into engine, toast. New engine cost 9000. Bought car new, now has 65 k mi, with really no problems, engine was clean enough to eat off of. My questions are: 1.) Where the heck is the air intake? Is it really so low that we can suck water up through the filter? 2. On a fuel injected engine (I'm a carbuerator guy), can you get enough water to toast the engine.

    Dealer says, no problem, covered by comprehensive insurance. Insurance says only cover to buy a used engine, since no "betterment" is covered. so we're stuck with the difference. Still waiting to see what our cost will be, beyond the deductible

    Any help or insights?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,564
    First of all, your insurance company really sucks to pull the "betterment" clause on you---many companies have such a clause but most won't use it against you.

    As for your problem, this is called "hydraulic locking" and it is not uncommon. Mostly it's a matter of luck whether or not it happens to your car. Some intakes are more vulnerable than others, it's true. Also the speed at which you hit the puddle makes a difference.

    It doesn't take much water to lock an engine...all you need is enough to fill the space on one cylinder, between the piston and the cylinder head. A piston cannot compress water, not even a little a coffee cup full of water might be enough to jam one cylinder, and when one jams the connecting rod is immediately bent.

    I don't see why your engine cannot be examined and possibly repaired---it's unlikely all cylinders are damaged.

    anyway, nothing wrong with a good used engine.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • Thanks for the reply. I agree that the insurance speak blows, time will tell if they really try to pull it, but I wouldn't be surprised. After all, I only pay my premiums time after time after time, with not all that bad a claims history.

    Anyway, I'm still confused about the injectors allowing a gulp of water in. I can see that in a carb, but it seems like it would be more unlikely in an injected engine. I know my wife tried to restart the car after it died, maybe that kept pumping water in and it built up. I probably would have done the same thing, and tried to get the car the heck out of the water.

    My worry with the used engine route is knowing the history of the engine. My old engine was maintained like crazy. More frequent that the owners manual, cause my wife listened to the dealer's schedule. With all the "sludging" stories out there, I'm worried I'll be trading for one that was poorly (or not even) maintained, and it'll crap out shortly.

    Any ideas on how to ensure the best for my money if we're forced to go that way?
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    i think the only difference in a fuel injection vs. carb design is how the fuel is delivered and air and fuel mix. well maybe also the way the fuel and air are metered by the computer systems. engines are air breathers (pumps) and just because it is fuel injected doesn't mean it doesn't have a big air intake leading to a filter assembly and throttle valve.
  • Really sorry to read about the flooded engine. The insurance company offer doesn't help much either, but I've learned by bitter experience they're not in business to pay claims if they can get away without doing so. I'd be aggressive in seeking better compensation than a used engine and you paying part to boot. At the very least they should repair yours. Nothing to lose by digging in your heels.
    Hydraulic lock can be a killer no matter how you look at it. A fuel injected(or carburated)engine needs 15 parts of air for every 1 part fuel no matter how the fuel is delivered. If enough water gets in to the air intake while this is going on, look out! Going thru a deep puddle is often enough to make that happen. Yours was that deep from the sounds of it. Engine flooding often depends on how fast you move through the puddle. You can't go too slow, but it doesn't take much to go too fast! Water splashes into the engine bay, and it's game over!
    Hydraulic lock used to be the bugbear of the older radial aircraft engines, where half the cylinders were below the oil sump. It was always necessary to manually pull the propeller through several rotations to clear the engine of oil settled into the low cylinders. If not, the engine would often blow a cylinder or two right off the crankcase! Always a spectacular event!
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,562
    Anyway, I'm still confused about the injectors allowing a gulp of water in. I can see that in a carb, but it seems like it would be more unlikely in an injected engine.

    You're thinking about this wrong.
    The water did not get in through the injectors -- and if it did, it wouldn't be a big deal -- but it got in through the AIR intake. And that's really just a big hole, is what that is... like shifty said, it don't take much; water does not compress, and something had to give.

    I shudder to think of the force necessary to bend a connecting rod. Ouch.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,564
    I believe I read somewhere that Jeep got a lot of complaints about its commercials where they show Jeeps splashing merrily through mountain streams...well a few owners tried this, and guess what?

    You can even seize an engine by just starting it up in the morning---if you have a leaky head gasket, water will drip into the cylinder during the night, and yes, even the force of just your starter motor might bend the rods....or at least lock the motor until all is drained out.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • Speaking of Jeeps going thru water. I have a friend who has a perfectly good (almost new) Jeep which he just lives to drive through the deepest and dirtiest mudholes,swamps, ponds, rivers, and such that he can find! (The thought of doing that to a nice new vehicle gives me the heebie jeebies!) Strangely, there's a Club of Jeep owners here who all do it on weekends!
    He spent a young fortune equipping it with a snorkel air intake and exhaust, huge oversized knobbly tires, a winch with a looong cable, jack-all jacks, chain saws, ropes, etc. He says it's "fun".
  • Your'e right, I was just not getting it yesterday. It suddenly came to me last night after a beer or two. (funny how that happens.) I was thinking that the gas and air were both mixed and injected. I realized that only the gas is injected (duh) at the same time (more or less) as the engine is taking a big gulp of air. Or in my case, a nice swallow of water. Hopefully the insurance company won't try too hard to jack me. I pay a lot for that "other than collision" coverage.

    Thanks everyone for replying. I'll try to post after this gets resolved.

  • I have a 2003 sienna van 81000 miles. The problems is car will not start and idle after car is park overnight.Car will crank , but will start and idle if you press the accelator pedal when starting the engine..
  • Few things to check. Check the iac motor and the mass airflow sensors as those are common replacements on Siennas. Ceck fuel pressure at the time of hard starting. Buy a haynes manual for your vehicle so that you know all the stuff to do. If you haven't had a tune up lately, now may be a good time for one.
  • I have a similar acceleration noise problem with my 2006 Sienna. Could you share what you have found at the dealer with me? Thank you.
  • Greetings,
    Three days back , while my car was in my garage the alarm went off (factory installed), then I used the remote key and pressed "unlock" to shut the alarms off. Then for the past 2 nights the alarm is going off (for no reason) in the night atleast once. It will stay for 20 seconds to 1/2 minute and shuts off. The garage is closed by the way in the nights. I checked the system and it is working fine . the theft deterrent system light is flashing when the system is on and goes off when the key is introduced and turned to on.

    Any reason why the alarm goes off for no reason in the middle of the night and when it is dead calm outside and when it is parked inside the garage ? I need to find an answer soon, as it is making me and my neighbours go "NUTS". Is there a way to disarm this ? Thanks.

    My car is
    02 Sienna LE,
    37 000 miles,

  • I am at my wits end trying to figure out what is wrong with my Sienna. I have the entire staff at Firestone stumped. This is where my story begins. When I bought my minivan from Ebay we were told about a howl that the back brakes were causing. I took the car into Express Lube and told them about it. They gave me non ceramic brakes but did not fix the problem (even thought I told them I thought it was the drum). I came out with 3 noises instead of the only one I went in with. I took it elsewhere and they resurfaced the rotors (I think that is what they resurfaced) and still had the howl (again I told them about the drum issue with Sienna’s). My husband replaced the back passenger drum and no more howl (YIPPEE). Now I have a vibration in the back of the van. I have had brand new tires put on it and new shocks and still have the problem. I told Firestone that the drum had been replaced and whether it could be a difference in weight or something like that. I was told that it would be a 1 in a million chance that it would be that. My question is does anyone have any suggestions as to what the rear violent shaking is at 45 mph plus is? My 3 little ones are getting tired of being vibrated. LOL. I just don't want to take it somewhere else to have them tell me it could be one thing and spending a bunch of money and not getting it fixed.
    PS as you can tell I don't know much about cars.
  • Have you had the tires balanced? Everytime I had such occur on a normal road surface it was because the individual tires were out of balance. They put little weights at different spots around the rims so it spins evenly at high speeds.

  • Yes I had that done today.
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