Sienna sliding doors freezing shut- HELP PLEASE

adiehl13adiehl13 Member Posts: 28
If it wasn't bad enough that our 2005 XLE had the door weld issue, AND the cable corroding and breaking causing the door not to open NOW on cold days both sliding doors won't open until it warms up ( and not just in the driveway. We have to drive to school about 20 min). The kids have to climb over the front seat.

This didn't happen last year. They did however replace the cable in the one sliding door. Could they have broken a seal or something that's somehow causing moisture to get into the car and freeze up the doors?


  • leh39leh39 Member Posts: 1
    My 90k mile 2005 XLE AWD has all same problems (+more). FREEZING DOOR: Sliding doors wrap over the roof, snow builds up in the space and takes ~ 20 minutes of driving to melt. FIX: When door is open, wipe clean & dry and spray PAM or other cooking spray to top gasket, door and roof. Now it doesn't stick anymore; I was surprised that it could not be seen, and how well it worked.

    YOUR DOOR: Was just cable replaced, or was it a $1,500-$2,000 job? Fixed by dealer or _____?
  • adiehl13adiehl13 Member Posts: 28
    edited December 2011
    I'm not exactly sure what they did besides replace the cable (i'll see if I can find the service receipt. It was done at the dealership. I was traveling and my husband just told me that he nearly had a heart attack when they told him it was a ~1900k repair that was covered under warranty. Was there a recall on this part though or just the door welds? I had read that some people were getting letters about the faulty door welds. I'd be interested to see if the same was happening with the cables. Seems like an obvious safety issue if you can't get the door open.

    One thing I Do know- anyone who buys a Toyota should be prepared to shell out more money for the 8 yr/ 100,000. All of our problems started after 50k (except we did have a cooling issue early on).
  • kk147kk147 Member Posts: 1
    I have had so many problems with my 2004 Toyota Sienna. The electric slider door passenger side started intermittantly working. There was no real rhyme or reason: cold, hot, ice, not. Could not figure. Last year when I was clicking unlock and my daughter was starting to open it - it stopped working forever. Of course when we were on vacation in NYC. It started by not being able to use the outdoor handle to open the door, but eventually whole thing stopped. Other issues: the light that illuminates the button for opening a garage - by the front windshield went out like at 37,000 and was so costly I didn't bother to fix. The rear tail light on the driver's side has been replaced multiple times and I gave up, there must be a short. Bulb goes out quickly after replacing. The CLICKER no longer works. Many battery replacements, but no longer working. Driver's door is hard to manually lock with a key, must use passenger lock. Oh this is the newest at 126,000 miles the hydraulic lift on my trunk is gone. You will be instantly killed if you lift the door and let go - SLAM. Did I talk about the rear fan going on randomly. Again an electrical short. I have to switch it off. It goes on high by itself. So basically to get in or out of this van is a total pain. I can't even load groceries. ANy little thing I tried to replace or have repaired was a major cost. I did have to have my leaking radiator replaced, tires wear out after 30,000. I pretty much get tires every 1 1/2 years. OOHHH AND I ALMOST FORGOT BECAUSE IT IS WINTER... MY A/C NO LONGER WORKS. YES THAT IS THE LATEST. I forgot about that one. I really need to get a new car before summer. I but if I wanted to repair everything I would be well over $5000. The electric door is like $1500, the door clickers hundreds, A/C probably over 1000. RIDICULOUS NOT TO MENTION the numerous recalls the van has had.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYMember Posts: 3,786
    I learned the painful lesson many years back to NEVER buy the first year of a new model. Just listen to the guys with the 2011's and look at all the recalls and TSB's related to that model. In another year or two the new model will settle in and be as rock solid reliable at the 2007-2010 vans from the Gen-2 body style.
  • tabitron19tabitron19 Member Posts: 2
    :) I had the same problems with my 2004 Toyota Sienna. I actually bought it used last June and had problems such as the sliding doors freezing, driver's door weld making the popping noise, and the trunk randomly closing on me while I was unloading groceries! After reading many posts online about this, I became very discouraged that it was going to be expensive and a pain to solve. NOT TRUE. I went directly to the closest Toyota dealership (Toyota Vanderstyne on Ridge Rd, Rochester NY) and they were excellent!
    They were polite & honest. My Toyota had passed the time limit for the recall (Othere was a recall on a part for the rear trunk & driver/pass. door welds). However, I bought extended EasyCare warranty with the car and it covered everything! The problem with the sliding doors was that they were freezing up due to cold weather. They gave me a free can of silicone spray, put it on, washed my car and gave me a bill for $100. My warranty covered $1100 worth of work! Toyota took care of the legwork for me, made me feel valued, and had my car up & running in a day. My advice is to stay positive, go directly to a Toyota dealership, be polite & honest. You could also just go ahead and put silicone spray on it, hope this helps. I still love my Sienna and Toyota hasn't screwed me yet, so stay positive.
  • kitcloudkick3rkitcloudkick3r Member Posts: 15
    I have a 2001 that had a similar issue, i took the door completely off the van, and took the door completely apart in my garage.. What i found was that the cable (like most cables) stretches over time.. I purchased an adjuster and welded the adjuster in place.. It cost me about 8.00US plus 1.00 shipping to fix the door.. It took about 6 hours to fix both doors.. you will need a garage, patients, a welder, two cable stretcher adjusters (Bike shop) and a can of lithium Grease.. Fixed.. Beats the 2K dollar price the dealer game me.. HA!
  • indysgyzindysgyz Member Posts: 1
    Our 2004 Sienna has been great, up until 6'ish months ago when the driver's side sliding door started making a terrible noise, and the passenger side door handle stopped working intermittently. We took it to Toyota, and they said the cable was bad and in order to fix it, the entire "assembly" needed to be the tune of $2k!!!....OR, they could cut the cable, turning into a manually operated door for $100.....guess which one we chose. Same thing with the passenger side door....but since that one still works most of the time, we chose not to do anything, that door does not work at all, in any weather.

    Last week, I received a "warranty extension" letter from Toyota on this exact issue. They've extended the warranty to 9 years or 120k miles, whichever comes first. Well, we are in the DC area, and 120k miles on a 2004 vehicle is simply not realistic.....and especially since it's a DOOR!!....if it were the engine, I'd be more understanding. Anyway, I contacted Toyota Corporate, and all they will do is recite the warranty to me, and will not even consider an exception to the mileage limit (oh, ours has about 210k miles). OH...and GET THIS!! guy I spoke to said that since we do not get our vehicle serviced AT Toyota, they would not consider a Goodwill adjustment to the mileage limit.

    Needless to say I am thoroughly disgusted with Toyota over this.....the guy at Corporate said that until it is turned into a Recall, there was nothing he could do. Perhaps if EVERYONE with this issue called corporate to complain, we could get a recall!! Please call their Customer Experience Center at 800-331-4331, and go through the menu until you get a live person. Then, when they tell you that you are over the mileage limit (if you indeed are....otherwise, go get the service covered under the extended warranty), insist on escalating the issue and request to speak to a manager.....they'll tell you "he/she is not available", but insist on a call back. And if you really want to ensure the message is getting through, everyone should ask for the same manger, Steve Gardner.

    Ok....let's get to work!, call, call!!!....let's get this escalated to a Recall and all get our doors fixed!
  • tim232tim232 Member Posts: 1

    Both our doors on our 2005 Sienna have been freezing shut since we purchased it new. It was always annoying, but we never took it to the dealer. But this year, my brother in law ripped the handle off trying to force it open. I called Toyota and they were very unsympathetic and told me this was not a common problem and not covered beyond the warranty. I'm glad to hear about the silicone spray. I would not buy or recommend this van again.

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Member Posts: 4,085
    edited January 2014

    It is standard procedure in northern climates to apply 'protectant' to the rubber seals of all vehicle doors in the fall. There are dedicated products available to do this.which are silicone-based. -or- some folks use Vaseline petroleum jelly.

    A very thin layer is all that is needed. The doors on treated cars will NEVER freeze shut. (due to the seal icing up)

    It is also a good idea to do the same treatment to refrigerator and freezer door seals once in a while too. In this case, it is not to keep the door from freezing shut. Instead, it is maintain a perfect seal around the door to save electricity.

    Here are some sample products for this purpose

    Meguiar's M40, or Aerospace 303 would also be great alternatives.

  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYMember Posts: 3,786
    edited January 2014

    The best stuff I've found was from the Honda parts counter back when I owned an Odyssey: Shin Etsu grease. 4.8 out of 5 star rating. This product is best used on clean seals. Meguiars rubber & vinyl conditioner is great if you need to clean up old treatments or a lot of dirt first.

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Member Posts: 4,085

    @fibber2 said:
    The best stuff I've found was from the Honda parts counter back when I owned an Odyssey: Shin Etsu grease. 4.8 out of 5 star rating.

    Thanks for the pointer to Shin Etsu grease, as it turns out, the BMW product I used to like the best (Gummi-pfledge) is no longer sold in USA. :-(

  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYMember Posts: 3,786

    You are most welcome!

  • merjoliemerjolie Member Posts: 4

    You can find the Gummi-pfledge in Amazon.

  • gvndualgvndual Member Posts: 1
    SUCCESS! After months and months (years) of research, combining a couple of suggestions and just close watch on the door, I have found the culprit. We have an 05 Sienna, and like everyone, every winter the side sliding doors freeze. I broke the handle off last winter (and got the opportunity to figure out how to replace it, which wasn't all that difficult), and sure enough, today it's 6F outside, and the door is stuck. Last night, I sprayed EVERYTHING with silicone spray, with no luck. Welllll, it turns out, I didn't spray everything.

    Along the very top of the door, where it meets the roof, after running a thin-bladed screwdriver along that seal then carefully and sloooowly prying the door open a little at a time (at the back edge of the door where the window meets the door itself and the door meets the car frame), I noticed by sight and sound, that the door sounded like it was ripping (like slowly tearing paper) at that top area. Once it was opened (it literally just popped open), I discovered that while I had sprayed the front-facing part of that seal, I hadn't gotten the top of it, and lo and behold there was a small strip of frost all along top edge of the seal. Hard to believe such a tiny amount of frost could hold that door closed. So I applied a good bit of silicone spray, and it's working great!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    It's important to have a good door seal. If any water can drip into the opening and freeze, it can cause this problem. Over time, if the seals compress and if by constant use the door itself isn't sealing as tightly as it should, water will sneak its way in there and freeze.
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