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Toyota Sienna Maintenance and Repair (2003 earlier)



  • gunga64gunga64 Posts: 271
    If you use 87 octane gas its a good idea to get a fuel injector cleaner put in your gas every 2nd oil change this will clean out the carbon that forms from using low octane gas. It comes in like a pint and cost about .75-1.50 its good cheap preventive maintance. Keeps your injectors nice and clean.
  • bob57bob57 Posts: 302
    The gauge is more accurate than the hand - I think it's normal.
  • Picked up the van yesterday and was assured again that there was no problem with the electrical system and it should be fine. Went out to the driveway tonight and the van is dead again. Between the door switches, torque converter problems and all of the little odds and ends that have occurred with this van I am fed up. The only saving grace in all this is that I was smart enough to only lease this pig and it will be someone else's headache at some point! This was my first, and sure to be last, experience with Toyota; so much for paying extra for reliability
  • Does it make any sense to buy the extended warranty? If the dealer is making money on the warranty, my first impression is that it would not be a good deal.
  • Oddly enough, I think you should get the extended warranty. Given the amount of time my Sienna is in the shop they couldn't extend my warranty far enough.
  • tbpjrtbpjr Posts: 2
    Passenger side power sliding door sticks in the open position and has to be closed manually. Dealer says that they have seen a few of these problems and it can be fixed with a new sliding door computer. I am their first out-of-warranty job ..... $775. Out-of-warranty by just 6 months.

    Anyone else had this prob.
    Was it fixed? Did it stay fixed?
    Ours started with intermittant pauses half open. Now it is constant. If you experience these intermittant pauses, take it to a dealer before warranty runs out.

    I also have the "button sticking" problem on the driver side sliding door. Any ideas what that will set me back?

    I've been a Toyota owner for 20 years and am saddened by this turn of events. I ran a celica and camry into dust without spending a penny. Looks like Toyota's rein as king of quality is a thing of the past.

    I really DISLIKE Honda dealers. Anyone heard about cheap little Hyundai. Do they stand behind their vehicles - instead of hiding behind them?
  • dardson1dardson1 Posts: 696
    I suggest power rear sliding doors are about as useful as motorized pop-up head lamps. They are a cute, kinda George Jetson, novelty just waiting to be an expensive problem. I bought an XLE last fall and could not find one withoout at least one. I rarely use it, and my passengers find it confusing. It is unworthy of Toyota to join in these mini-van wars seeing who can gee-gaw their vans up most. I really don't understand why minivans have to have rear sliders. The hinged door has worked perfectly well for 100 years.
  • smfransmfran Posts: 432
    We did not get an extended warranty and don't feel we need one. Our '00 Sienna LE has had some typical minor issues (like with any vehicle); all fixed by our dealer efficiently and with a smile. We are not expecting any major issues after warranty time that would of made an extended warranty a good investment.
    I like sliders and attempt to park next to another van in parking lots as I've been "door dinged" too many times by others swing out doors.
  • Twice I have had to put my Sienna in reverse quickly. This means stopping my forward movement by braking relatively hard, quickly shifting to reverse and then backing. Both times the car performed fine, but I felt and heard a couple of thumbs from the car. Could have been in the tranny or the brakes. To be honest, I was shifting quickly and counld have been moving from forward to reverse too fast. I've never felt bumps like this in another car though.

    Is this a problem?
  • tbpjrtbpjr Posts: 2
    Thanks for the slam dardson. Sorry I didn't know any better -- gee-gaw!!!!!

    Anyone have some real knowledge -- like fighting "just-out-of-warranty claims?

    Anyone know how to find listings of Toyota Tech sheets?

    How 'bout this, gee-gaw!!! Anyone other than the grannies looking to boost their frail egos by slamming anything and everything people seek help on -- know of a REAL site where Toyota lovers actually help one another?

    The world is full of know-it-alls who know nothing, flap their jaws and tell you how stupid you are. That's why people come to sites like this -- to look for answers instead of listen to hot air that's about as beneficial as a one cent stamp..

    People who know nothing talk loudest to hide their ignorance.

    Thank you for the warm reception ... I'll get off the soap box now and go elsewhere ... thank you very much.
  • sgergensgergen Posts: 155
    Thanks for that blaring message.
  • 5spd5spd Posts: 38
    Hot hood is normal. The V6 engine together with 5 quat of engine oil and ? liter of coolant means a great heat capacity value. Takes a while to cool down after you parked. My wife's Sienna takes a whole night to cool down if we park it inside the garage !
  • 5spd5spd Posts: 38
    I bet the sound you heard was the self adjuster of the rear drum brake working. Nothing to worry about.
  • dardson1dardson1 Posts: 696
    {Thanks for the slam dardson. Sorry I didn't know any better -- gee-gaw!!!!!}
    Please explain exactly how you interpreted my post a slam! I was offering an opinion to the readers in general (and responding to your post in particular) about power sliding doors. It is based on my experience since I happen to own an '01 Sienna with one of the "gee-gaw" sliding doors. I am certainly sorry you took it as a slam and did not intend it as such.
  • igoppigopp Posts: 3
    It seems such a fate has struck me. I mean my van, sorry. Does anybody know if extraction of dead animals from ventilation ducts is covered by manufacturer's warranty? What about repairing any damage that may have occurred when said animal came in contact with the moving parts (damage to said parts, not to the animal, I mean)?
    Here's why I believe there's a mouse in my air pipe: We spent last weekend out camping. The first time started the car the morning after that, the fan started making banging noises and vibrating. The first hints of an unpleasant smell came the next day, and it has been increasing ever since. Now it's to the point where entering the van is virtually impossible. Let's not even talk about turning on the AC.
    The van is still under warranty, so I am planning to have it checked out by the dealer. Has anybody ever had a similar misfortune, or does anybody know if I have a hope of warranty coverage? I believe it a design flaw that the AC system is not mouseproof.
    By the way, this is not a joke, and any advice is appreciated.
  • Unless the animal was factory-installed, I don't think it will be covered under the warranty. You probably have a valid insurance claim though.

    Current commercial codes would not require A/C systems to be mouse-proof or provide consumers with the expectation of mouse-proof air conditioners.

    That is tough luck, but asking Toyota to be responsible for it may backfire and you could end up with a higher bill. Best bet is to hope for sympathy and an easy carcass extraction. Very likely this will not cost too much, but if it does, you're insurance company should pay for it.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Warranties cover factory defects. A mouse in the AC would fall under the catch all "...and other environmental conditions" exclusion.

  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    Vehicles should be mouse proof (rat, snake, bird, etc). They put screens on the air intake near the windshield to keep insects out. Maybe there is NO dead animal, and the foul odor that comes from most air conditioners after the vehicle gets older has appeared more quickly and stronger in your Sienna for some unknown reason.
    BTW, I agree with dardson. Too many options now appearing on vehicles are not necessary and are very likely to cause reliability problems. I do NOT want power sliding doors, power liftgate, etc.
    I will re-state my observation: Toyota has the best reliability of any brand. Some people have posted their reliability problems with their Toyota but I do NOT personally know of one Toyota owner who has had problems with a Toyota.
  • rward99rward99 Posts: 185
    dardson1 I read your post and I completely agree with you, on both counts. I didn't see your post as a slam, and I too, after having owned a Sienna with a power sliding door, would opt for a standard door, and I've not had any problems with it.

    Passengers do find it confusing,always pulling against it and making it reverse. I always have to give that R/R passenger a 'sliding door' exercise before going anywhere.

    I can sympathize with tbpjr, though. I had a 31" TV picture tube go out 30 days after the warranty had expired. That was almost the cost of a new TV to have it replaced. Fortunately, RCA was very understanding and replaced it for nothing.

    I can only suggest that if the dealership isn't willing to cover it that tbpjr contact Toyota and find out is something can be worked out.
  • dardson1dardson1 Posts: 696
    My '01 XLE listed for just over $32k. I call that a fairly high dollar car. I like many things about it but when I drive over a rough patch of road it sounds like I've got a box of loose tools in the rear end. If Toyota is going to ask that kinda money for a car, the interior needs to have the high dollar quiet of a luxury car. I came out of a Tahoe into an Expedition and out of a that into the Sienna. I can tell you the Chevy and the Ford were both quiet rattles. My Sienna sounds like a low dollar car by comparison. Funny, the Sienna (long term) may be the superior car, but the rattle-prone interior gives the impression of a cheap car.
  • zman21zman21 Posts: 46
    i have to agree with dardson1. i have the same van model, same price and the same annoying rattles (or as you said "a box of loose tools") i wouldn't get any other van but i do hope toyota will notify us and fix this. are you reading toyota???
  • sgergensgergen Posts: 155
    I have a 2000 XLE, no rattles or squeaks.

    Have you brought this issue up with your dealer?

  • I've got a '99 Sienna CE. The scheduled maintenance manual suggests changing the differential fluid at, I think, 35000 miles. I've got a copy of the factory repair manual and can't find any mention of changing the differential fluid.

    Anyone done this before? How do you change it?


  • dardson1dardson1 Posts: 696
    I find the problem systemic, meaning the whole interior is rather loose and well below what I think of as state-of-the-art tolerances or up to the level of other $30k+ cars. My wife drives a Lexus. That darn thing is screwed down! I don't care where you drive, what kind of nasty road you encounter, there is not a groan or rattle. My Sienna cost very nearly as much but the cars are light years apart. My point, is Toyota needs to do their homework if they're going to offer cars in the $30k+ range. The Sienna is a very well done $22k minivan that has the heart and soul of a mid-priced vehicle. It's outta it's league when it pretends to be a luxury car.
  • dardson1dardson1 Posts: 696
    the Sienna is a great value in the CE and possibly the LE series. The very best stuff about a Sienna is available on a bottom of the line CE, that being the engine/power-train. The engine/transmission is quiet, smooth, and right up there with the best. If I had to do it again I'd buy a CE (instead of an XLE) with the CE Value Package (which adds the essentials), and I'd have all the good things about the car for something like 8k less.
  • dpandeydpandey Posts: 2
    The left middle row seat belt in my 2000 sienna got stuck recently. The dealer says that the seat belt will have to be replaced ($310) and it would not be covered under warranty. I was wondering if anyone else had this problem.
  • lamm9733lamm9733 Posts: 37
    Unless you are over the mileage for the warranty, I would ask the dealer to very clearly explain why this would not be covered under warranty. I find it unusual that this would not be covered (although I do not know for a fact....maybe Cliffy could shed some light). I would find another dealer and/or take it up with a regional rep.
  • ...that this forum even exists. I just sold my 1998 Sienna (got a very good price for it) to get a Highlander. The Sienna was one of the most trouble free vehicles I have ever owned. Only two problems: Three radio buttons fell off (radio replaced under warranty), and the CD player skipped in cold weather (also replaced under warranty).
  • just bought a 98 sienna with 35k miles on it. Took it on its first road trip. Everything is excellent except the air conditioning seems a little wimpy. This had dual air conditioning controls, by the way.

    It eventually cools the car fine, and admittedly it's in the 100s outside. But my Ford Windstar seemed to do a better job.

    Does the car need to be checked or is this endemic to the early Siennas?

  • yamanyaman Posts: 113
    We have a 2000 xle and i think the air conditioning is wimpy also.once it gets going it cools the car fine but it seems to take forever
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