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Toyota Sienna Maintenance and Repair (2003 earlier)



  • inkyinky Posts: 370
    Amusing but who knows it may have been a poorly maintained 98 with 80,000 miles. Toyota reliability cannot overcome Owner negligence. Just a thought.
  • kd10kd10 Posts: 1
    Sienna's are known for their 'soft' suspensions but not to the extreme you are describing. My guess would be that either one of the struts(front)/shocks(rear) and/or springs are faulty on ONE side or the other. That condition would cause the 'rocking' action you mention. Get the dealer to check them.
  • bertschibertschi Posts: 1
    We have a '99 XLE with consistent power door problems. We have had the computer replaced once and adjusted several times. It is now working better than it ever has, as it only refuses to close several times a week instead of all the time. I am keeping a log of the times it won't close, and am thinking about demanding that they replace it with a manual door before we reach the 36K mile warranty limit. Anyone have any clue as to what Toyota's response might be to such a request?
  • gogaijingogaijin Posts: 2
    Toyotas never have problems!

    At least I thought so until my neighbor's Previa went deep south. I had to help him dig into his DASHBOARD just to get to the Engine!

    Ultimately he gave up and bought a GMC Safari a year later, but MAN did we have fun trying (failing) to get that van working!

    Hope you Sienna owners are better off.
  • rward99rward99 Posts: 185
    Have you tried taking it to another dealership? Maybe another set of eyes could find the problem. For the warranty, as long as they haven't repaired the problem I would think that it would still be covered beyond the 36K mark.

    I have a '99 XLE too, and I've not had any problem with the power door, but I wouldn't buy another one (power door, that is. I like the Sienna). I like the manual door on the driver's side much better and would prefer it on both. I don't know if they could retro-fit your van with a manual door.
  • I have a 2000 Sienna LE, loved it, until ...

    approx. 19,000 miles - on one rainy afternoon, the transmission died in the middle of the road. AAA tolled it to dealer and replaced it.

    aaprox. 20,000 miles and few weeks later - on one rainy morning, "BANG", car died and stuck in the middle of the road again. AAA took it to a different dealer. The dealer said the transmission died, AGAIN!!! I was also told, some of the transmission were recalled. (BMW, I never receive any notice!)

    now approx. 23,000 miles ...
    1. Anyone out there who has similar problem? Transmission die in bad weather?
    2 Should I buy extended warranty or pray real hard that no more problem after warranty expire?
    3. Wait for it to die two more time for the lemon law to kick in?
    3. Trade it in for another car?
    PS: I love my AAA.
  • tgif888tgif888 Posts: 351
    Starting 2001, the new lemon law had kick in. This is the detail:

    Lemon Law. SB 1718 provides that a vehicle may be presumed to be a lemon after two failed attempts at repairing life-threatening defects. The previous law required that four repair attempts be made before a vehicle was determined a lemon.
  • tgif888tgif888 Posts: 351
    I am assuming you are in California.
  • Thank God I live in California!!! I'll go and pond on my dealer's table - LONGO TOYOTA, here I come! Thanks for the info!
  • quichemanquicheman Posts: 4
    Anybody know of any decent aftermarket swaybars for Sienna? I was hoping that TRD would produce some, but they're too difficult to reach in person to find out.

    Love the Sienna ride, but my wife and kids are getting sea sick in the turns.
  • walt26walt26 Posts: 2
    In response to your question about the after market sway bars - good luck! See message #967. We have the same problem my wife gets "seasick" too- the dealer is brushing us off saying "soft ride" etc. We are going tonight to try and trade for a Chrysler, hopefully without losing too much money. Something we should have done in the first place. I bought my first and last Toyota! Please advise as to the outcome of your problem.
  • jeproxjeprox Posts: 466
    You may have some luck with or . I've never heard of sway bars for Siennas but you never know! You can probably solve the "seasick" problem by slowing down when you turn unless you have no choice. Also, try opening the rear window for some air. Some passengers are used to riding in front seat and feel sick when they sit in the back! With the window open and fresh air blowing, it helps.

    You may want to look into bigger wheels/tires combo. I have this and it seems to no lean so much on turns.

    As far as trading in a Sienna for a Chrsyler, I personally think it's a bad move! You will loose $$ and not to mention the quality. I used to own a Caravan, got sick of its problems and that's why I have a Sienna!
  • My 98 van developed the sliding door rattle (right side only) discussed on these pages at approximately 34,000 miles. The dealership ordered a "replacement kit" and installed it last October. I have two daughters so both doors get opened and shut on a daily basis. Late this Spring the rattle periodically showed up and it finally was evident all the time in May. The dealership said they warranty the parts installed for 12 months so they said bring it in. Their solution on the paper work was to lubricate the door at various points. As others have mentioned, this worked for a little over a week but now the rattle is back and the inside button on the door handle does not work.

    I am trying to figure out if I am going to have to put in a "replacement kit" every year to keep this rattle at bay. I love the van and can tolerate the squeaks of the dashboard, but the door issue is very concerning. If the parts they use to solve the problem fail within a year, there appears to be a major engineering issue with the door and the lubrication appears to be a weak Band-Aid at best.

    Any ideas on how to best address my situation. Thanks in advance for your reply(I).
  • falis01falis01 Posts: 9
    I just purchased a '99 Sienna LE used. It is beautiful and rides nice. The only problem I have with it is that the left driver's side sliding door squeaks when it goes over bumps. Riding down the highway it is fine. Does anybody have any lost cost options that may fix this. Otherwise, the van is great. Please let me know of any available fixes!
  • tnovistnovis Posts: 10
    check with your toyota service advisor regarding a tsb that was issued in 99 regarding the door creaking. you should be able to get it taken care of at no charge at the dealership if you have them look up the tsb in their computer. By the way, we have a 99XLE with a power sliding passenger door and it is hit and miss as to whether it will close with the key fob, or the 2 buttons inside the car. It has been to the dealership 3 times in the last month and each time they "reinitial" the system by disconnecting the battery then reconnecting the battery and then opening and closing the door with the power button inside the car. (this is explained in the owners manual) Has anyone had a similar experience and what was finally done to fix this annoying problem?
  • lwmjkylwmjky Posts: 1
    My '01 XLE, less than a month old I was having problems with the vsc, abs and check engine lights coming on and staying on intermittently. After having to return because Toyota Walnut Creek had not fixed the problem-they had to give me an XLE loaner and keep the car overnight-it turns out the problem was a bad battery. It had low voltage and a a result the computers kept shutting down.

    I hope this helps some of you who have been having the same problem.
  • denises1denises1 Posts: 1
    We have a 2000 Sienna XLE with an intermittent rattle in the front dash around the radio and a rattle in the third row seats. The vehicle has leather seats and Toyota has said all they will do to stop the third row seat rattle is to put Lexol leather conditioner on the seat to try and dampen the sound. That sometimes works but often does not. Please let us know if you have a similar problem and what suggestions you have to fix the problem. Toyota has a techinical service bulletin about the seats but refuses to replace the seats.
  • tnovistnovis Posts: 10
    has anyone else had the sliding door malfunction issue and been told by their dealer over and over that the system just needs to be reinitialized?
    I have had the 99xle in the shop 3 times in the last month and each time the service advisor says it just needed to be reintitialized. Then it works fine for a week and then goes right back in the same mode-opens fine with the remote or inside switches, but will not close. just a click. any ideas out there?
  • tnovistnovis Posts: 10
    If anyone has any ideas or has had the same problem, please send me an email at:

  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    That's pretty excessive. Your service department needs to figure out why it needs re initialized so often. A power short or abuse are the two things that come to mind here. Also, are you aware that the owners manual tells you how to perform this procedure yourself?
  • tnovistnovis Posts: 10
    Cliffy, I had the manual open last night and went thru the procedure 7 or 8 different times and could not get it to reinitial. I tried before I took it in last time as well and even had the service tech come up to the service bay and go thru the procedure he used, just to make sure i was doing it the right way. I have a call in to my service advisor as i type. Anybody else have any ideas?
  • aaronhoaaronho Posts: 6
    First of all, I have to say that I am very happy with my 1 month+ old 2001 Sienna LE. However, I have a question for you experts out there. Since Sienna is so quiet, when I have the AC on LO or 1 level above(with no baby crying and stereo), I can hear some "SEEEEEEE" noise once in a while from the AC. You can hear it for a few seconds, then, it will stop for a few seconds, then come back again. Is it normal or do you think there is so kind of a problem with the AC?
    Thank you in advance for any comments.

  • bob57bob57 Posts: 302
    I think what you're hearing is the A/C unit clutch engaging. You will only hear it when the noise is low (low speed on the fan, etc.) while the A/C is on.
  • dardson1dardson1 Posts: 696
    '01 XLE....I've posted a few times here and this is MY BEEF...leather squeaks, seats rattle, rear doors groan (and rattle).....dash buzzes....way too much noise for a car in the 30k+ price range. Otherwise, it's great. My car is relatively quiet at the moment.......I took out the third row seats (didn't need them and it solved lots of noise problems). I also sprayed the leather with silicon at a few contact points which did wonders. My Toyota service advisor(great guy who owns a Sienna and knows the thing well) showed me where to "lub" the doors to stop the groaning and rattles when the the body flexes. With the help of that same service guy, finally found the dash rattle that I would have sworn was coming from behind the instrument panel but turned out to be a plastic part vibrating against a piece of metal down by the heater outlet near the floor.
    I say this every time I post here. This is a very fine car....wonderful power-train, smooth and amazingly quiet engine, fine ride (some do and some don't but I happen to like a suspension on the soft side), and plenty of power with the 210hp.....BUT, the interior is not properly screwed down! My '96 Tahoe was sloppy and nothing but a Chevy in many ways, but it never rattled. My '99 Expedition got horrible gas milage and was too big to drive easily, but it never rattled. When I buy a car in the $30's I expect it to feel pretty much like a luxury car, but a rattle-prone interior makes it feel like a $20k car trying to be a $30k car.
  • brother52brother52 Posts: 2
    Numerous posts on this high wind noise yet no responses. Let's take a poll to see if we have a mandate here. Do all Siennas have this problem that sounds like an open window when reaching highway speeds or is it just me and some Canadian Siennas ? I will make the first vote:

    Yes and fairly annoying too ! I really noticed it when I had to turn the radio down after getting off the highway because the radio was too loud !
  • jelhz43njelhz43n Posts: 44
    I have driven max at 75 mph and have not encountered any wind noise problem.
    Can you please give also at what speed you get this noise?
    I read it in some forum, the wind noise may be due to improper installation of roof rack.
    Anyway while we are discussing the wind noise then please specify the speed also at which this occurs.
  • sgergensgergen Posts: 155
    '00 Sienna XLE with moonroof and 1 power door.

    Nothing on the roof except the factory rack.

    Maybe try moving the crossbars to different positions?

  • yamanyaman Posts: 113
    2000-XLE No Noise
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    How many of you with this problem have a moonroof?
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