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Toyota Sienna Maintenance and Repair (2003 earlier)



  • I think I have the same brake noise that you described. No one has yet to determine the cause nor cure for mine. Pls. review my previous post and see if it sounds like the noise you have.
  • deepandeepan Posts: 342
    Phillipm & cwsibley, the question is when does this sound arise. Does is only arise when the road is wet, snow covered or always. If its the former then its normal as the ABS in intervening and one can feel the pulsating on the pedal. If its the latter then there might be an issue.
  • Irregardless of road conditions. Dry, wet, snowy, makes no difference. Sound is most noticeable when you gently, slowly apply the brakes. A clunk,clunk,clunk eminates from the rear brakes. Almost like a flat spot or knot on a defective tire will make. However, a new set of tires made no difference and I have closely inspected the tires for any defect and found none. The brakes perform well,just noisy. I have had several passengers who were in the van inquire what the clunking sound was. It's that obvious. The van is out of warranty and that's the reason I hoped someone on this site might have had the same problem so I wouldn't have the expense of taking it in to the dealer. Any ideas or suggestions will be appreciated.
  • jeproxjeprox Posts: 466
    i suggest you jack up your van and try to turn the rear wheels and observe if you can hear anything and if the wheels rotate freely.
    if it rotates freely and you hear nothing, i suggest you remove the drums and inspect your shoes/drum.

    it could be due to:
    - hot spots on your brake shoes
    - shoes not installed properly
    - drum needs to be turned
  • I'd second jeprox's analysis. If the sound occurs when you apply the brakes, chances are it's the brakes, not your tires.
  • Does anyone get a vibrating/humming noise when your 2003 Sienna Symphony edition is at idle? Specifically when you are in drive and stopped? It sounds bassy when the RPM's are around 600 or so.

    This happens to me when the engine is at operating temperature. I have brought it into the same dealer twice and while the mechanic notices the noise they tell me its normal. This is because no one else has addressed this issue.

    I went and test drove another 2003 Sienna and got the same noise. I called toyota corp and no one else has called on this. companies usually don't do anything until enough people complain about the same thing. I am pursuing arbitration on this car with toyota, to me its unacceptable! Let me know what you think, I'd be interested to know.
  • Has anyone had an issue with a clicking noise coming from the front end of their Sienna when shifting from reverse to drive? My '01 XLE has 30K miles on it and has been meticiously maintained from day one. I jacked up the front and checked out the CV joints and they seemed to be in good shape. With the front end off of the ground and the tranny in park, when I try to spin one of the tires it sounds like that same clicking noise is coming from the tranny. Please tell me this isn't common.
  • 03 Symphony w/7k on it. Also have the squeaking breaks. Interested if anyone who purchased their Sienna new and has had the problem recur and tried going through their local state lemon law?

    This is the third time I've brought the car in for service and they replaced the rear drums.

    I love the van. Had a 91 previa that had 150k. had a fender bender and the insurance co totaled it. Own an 88 corolla w/130 k on it as well. I've had good luck w/Toyota, hope it doesn't run out...

    Anyone gone through their state lemon law on this?
  • I also have a problem with rear brake noise.It is hard to beleive that toyota does not correct this problem .As good as the van is there should not be hard to correct this problem.After all every other minivan manufacter can build a van that the rear drums don't squeak when stopping.There should be a fix for this.go
  • Somewhere I had heard or read that the squeaking brakes had to do with the lining of the Toyota brake shoes. I think it was that they were asbestos-free or something that caused them to glaze over easily. Replacing them with generic Auto Zone shoes worked, I think. My '02 XLE does the same thing. I tell my wife that it's a "feature".
  • mojakomojako Posts: 7
    03' Sympho at 3520mi. I notice that humming noise too during idle. I'm not sure if it is the A/C or something else.
  • yamanyaman Posts: 113
    We replaced the battery on our 2000 XLE this past weekend.Now the radio is nothing but static.Is this a coincidence or is there something that the mechanic replacing the battery needed to reset?
    Anyone have any ideas?
  • bob57bob57 Posts: 302
    You just need to reset you stations on the radio. With the battery disconnected it looses it's memory.
  • yamanyaman Posts: 113
    Thanks -I'll give it a go.
  • I have a 99 XLE Sienna. I recently had my brakes replaced and about 15 days later I noticed that everytime I went in reverse and stepped on my brakes I would here a clunk. It sounds and feels like I'm hitting a pot hole in the road. I took it back and they resurfaced the brake pads. Everything was fine then about 15 days later it happened again. The brake place told me that sometimes the suspension gets loose, so they tighten the suspension. Later that day I was driving down the road and my Van started shaking violently, I couldn't drive. I called the tire place and they towed my van to the shop. They went ahead and replaced the brakes with the Toyota Factory Brakes. I'm still having the same problem. The tire store has been very gracious on trying to fix the problem without charging me. But this is the 4th time that I will have to be calling them again. Has anyone else had this problem?
  • I am looking for a used 99 Sienna as I have read from Consumers and Edmunds that they appear to be a good choice. I cannot afford new. My question is.. Anyone who has a 99 Sienna what do you think? Has it been good value with few problems. If there are problems, what are the ones to watch for? I'm guessing sludge could be a concern? How can you check for that anyways? Anything else?
  • jeproxjeprox Posts: 466
    i have a 1999 model and no sludge or major problems.

    things you should pay attention to:
    - brake squeal
    - alignment problem
    - rattle above the speedometer

    these are the three things well known to the sienna. brakes would squeal when you slow down to stop. van would pull to the right or left even on flat roads. annoying rattle above the speedometer.
    as far as the sludge, have someone look at the tailpipe when you start up the van - if you see a puff of blue smoke then don't buy the van. check the dipstick to see if the oil clean or black n thick. sure way to find out is to remove the valve cover.
  • ..the brake squeal is a "feature" on all current Sienna's, not just the 1999 model.

    It will be interesting to see if it is "included" with the 2004 year model.
  • innovations - did you pay extra for it? It didn't come on our 2000 LE or my brother's or my sister in law's. We're at 48K miles, though... going to need new brakes soon - perhaps they'll install the "squealers" then? ;)
  • duckshooter - it came standard, I guess. In fact, it must have been on some kinda delayed activation or something. I had been telling others on the board a couple of years ago that the "feature" didn't come with mine, but as soon as I opened my big mouth, I noticed that it had been "activated". ;)
  • yamanyaman Posts: 113
    Our's were included free of charge on our 2000 XLE.Other than that, car has had no problems through 45k miles and 3 years.
    Last time we asked the dealer to look at the "squealers" he said they were almost like new.So perhaps duckshooter you might have a ways to go before getting yours.
  • kw6kw6 Posts: 26
    Mine squealed, but not very bad UNTIL I had the 60K service done. Now, they are worse than ever. I also have the clunk when taking off after a stop. (The same one you get when backing up, except mine does it both ways.) The pads had 50% left at 60K. If I wasn't thinking about "TRADING UP" (pardon the pun), I might try replacing the pads.
  • dougb10dougb10 Burlington, Ontario, CanadaPosts: 185
    I just traded my 99 XLE for a new Camry. The Sienna had 117,000 KM. on it when it went in to the dealer. Dealer service done every 6,000 km. with virtually no problems. Had slight brake "groan" coming from the rear drums, which disappeared with a brake service around 24,000 km. The van was traded with the original drum brakes (lots of wear left). Only one set of front pads was installed when I had 72,000 km.
    I installed a new set of Michelin X-1's at 72,000 as well. The car never required alignment, and the only "problem" that bugged me was the washer fluid that dripped from the rear washer when the summer heat was excessive. This car was a gem....hope you can find one as good as the one I just traded. Good luck.
  • rleirlei Posts: 26
    Doughb10, mind I ask how much you got for the trade in? That's like something my wife's looking for.
  • dougb10dougb10 Burlington, Ontario, CanadaPosts: 185
    riei....what they gave me for the trade doesn't mean much....what the dealer is asking for it is the real question.
    The dealer is Milton Toyota and they may still have the was just traded two weeks ago.
    Go look at it if you want to....all the service records are with the car. These are nice folks and I was very pleased with their ethical behaviour.
    Ask for Daryl Strong....the sales rep who handled my deal.
  • rleirlei Posts: 26
    Thanks Dougb, thought it would be nice to know what they paid for before talking to them. But that's fine. Milton is bit too far from where I live (Markham) so I will let this one go.
  • jeproxjeprox Posts: 466
    for a 1999 sienna, depending on the model, condition, your location and mileage - prices range from C$18,000 to a max of about C$25,000. this is what i've seen anyways in our area

    to give you an idea of trade-in price... example, a 1999 sienna CE with about 64,000kms. in good condition can be sold for roughly around C$21k-C$22k. dealer will take the van off your hands for about C$15k-C$16k. some dealers will give you more.

    all figures are approximate of course - just to give you an idea.
  • rleirlei Posts: 26
    Thanks for the info, jeprox. My wife actually tries to avoid an used car. But a brand new XLE costs around CDN 50K, for that price I'd really like to have a Pilot which does pretty much everything a Sienna does and more.

    We're very worried about getting a lemon. A Toyota lemon is way worse than a Dodge lemon, for it costs more to buy and repair.

    This will all change after I win this Friday's super 7;-)
  • jeproxjeprox Posts: 466
    well, the AWD XLE Ltd. 2004 sienna starts at C$51k! unless i'm super rich, i wouldn't spend that much on a minivan. with that amount, i might as well buy a mercedes SUV. :)
  • deepandeepan Posts: 342
    on 04 sienna. Its US based but i guess one can do some calculating.
    chk out
    shabbycat "Sienna Owners: Future Models" Feb 13, 2003 4:19pm
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