Toyota Sienna Maintenance and Repair (2004+)

st_pust_pu Member Posts: 74
edited March 2014 in Toyota
Toyota Sienna Maintenance and Repair (2004+)


  • st_pust_pu Member Posts: 74
    This discussion is for everyone who would like to describe Toyota Sienna 2004 problems. In case of accident with injuries, car detail breakdown or flaw, any other serious problem with your car, please go to NHTSA address and fill complaint form. This way NHTSA will request answer from manufacturer. And makers will fix problems soon, and increase quality of Toyota Sienna 2004+.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    It's pretty new for any major problems to show up, plus we have the Sienna Owners: Problems & Solutions discussion and the Toyota Sienna Problems one. How about we try to keep those going instead of confusing folks with yet another?

    Steve, Host
  • canuck13canuck13 Member Posts: 73
    I'd really like you to keep this open as a separate discussion. I have no interest/patience in trying to wade through a discussion that includes previous years models. I want to be able to go directly to a 2004+ discussion on problems. I also don't agree that it is too early to have major problems. I had my transmission replaced 3 weeks ago. What could be more major than that!!?? I also had lesser problems with the AM radio (didn't work at all) and with the power moon roof (lost its memory).
  • richb9richb9 Member Posts: 4
    My van didn't last 24 hours before needing a new transmission. According to the dealer, the solenoid wasn't working properly causing the torque convertor to burn up. They replaced the tranny with a new one they had to pull off the factory line. I am supposed to get it tomorrow. I will try to let everyone know the results.
  • richb9richb9 Member Posts: 4
    Since the 2004 is a major redesign, I feel that it is appropriate to have a separate forum for this vehicle.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Ouch, what's with all these problems right out of the gate! That's a bummer with a brand new rig, especially a tranny dying.

    I guess it happens, but not much fun if it's yours.

    Steve, Host
  • sbrandonsbrandon Member Posts: 24
    Don't suppose the torque converters were the same as the ones that caused the problems in the pre-2004 models (2000?).
  • bobbya2bobbya2 Member Posts: 35
    Hey Rich
    Did they just fixed your Transmission or Gave You a completely newer Van. If not then I think your dealer did not Inform you that you are entitled to a New Van under ARBITRATION PROGRAM.

    Look in the Vehicle Catalog for details of Arbitration Program. If not contact your state's Attorney General Office.
    You don't need a lawyer at a Arbitration Hearing usually held in one of city's municipal building.
    I was going to Order mine on Friday, but as per website
     there are 3 people so far complained about serious TRANSMISSION problem.
    As per their description of problem it is INDEED
    transmission problem.
    I HAVE 4 vehicles with Transmission Problems:
    1989 caravan, 1990 Honda Accord, Ford Windstar'95, 1993 Saturn SL2 .
    NO DEALER will admit problem and just say
    "Oh nothing is wrong, this is just NORMAL like they always say for any other problem.
    So in exchange what I do is NEVER BUY THEIR PRODUCT.
    I am disappointed at Import Mfrs. at using nowadays Engines and transmissions made here and not in JAPAN.
    Sorry friends, I am not against USA but I am sure we all know by now that JAPAN built is better and trouble-free.
    This is why we have a Forum like this and also why we all want TOYOTA .

  • montobahnmontobahn Member Posts: 11
    I agree with canuk13, it was too difficult and tedious searching for problems with the 04's in threads of older models. That said, I have been lucky and only experienced minor annoyances. My interior lights will not shut off if one of the kids leaves the door ajar, and not having memory for the driver seat is a problem for us (or maybe more of an annoyance and oversight).
  • kgnw1kgnw1 Member Posts: 94
    Email me and I'll give you the link.
  • rdballerrdballer Member Posts: 16
    I've had my XLE one week now and I've run into a "problem". We live in the foothills east of Sacramento. When we drive the van up the hills on the freeway (5 to 10 miles) and then pull up to our house, there's a very annoying noise coming from the lower back engine area/exhaust system area. It seems to go away after allowing the van to sit (running) for a couple of minutes. I've also noticed a "click/pop" in the steering wheel when turning the wheels from left to right (on rare occasions). I'm hoping that these are not being seen by others, but I thought I would post here to see if anyone else has experienced similar issues.
  • richb9richb9 Member Posts: 4
    Sorry it has been so long since I updated but it has taken this long to get everything ironed out with the dealer. They did offer to get me another van but I figured that would take months to get so I pushed them for an extended warranty. They gave me a 7 year 100,000 mile warranty.

    So, now that we are done with that the vehicle has been great overall. I love the way it drives.

    One minor problem is that we got the drop hitch receiver and it is VERY low to the ground. It pretty much scrapes the ground on my driveway even though there is only a slight incline every time I go in or out.

    One other minor thing which may be a design flaw. When the window is down on the sliding door it will not lock into place. It's ok on flat ground but almost decapitated my wife the other day.
  • tmurphx5tmurphx5 Member Posts: 14
    I found the same problem with the sliding doors not locking However when I checked the manual, I find that it is supposed to be a safety feature so that the kids cant get decapated if they have their head out the window and someone opens it, especially if they are power doors.

    So I guess it's a trade off on safety, it's hard to know which is the biggest safety hazard.
  • bakelly11bakelly11 Member Posts: 64
    I have an LE #7. Do the headlights shut off if you leave them on? Is there a beep or anything if you leave them on? The book says they shut off, but it doesn't happen.

    It's hard to tell from the manual what things are standard in the various vans. They don't tell you what features are optional on each model. Very confusing writing.
  • george96george96 Member Posts: 11
    Are the scrapes occurring without something in the receiver? What happens when you load the van with something like a bike rack? Our van is due in this week and we ordered the hitch receiver as well. I am wondering if it was a mistake...
  • beaghibeaghi Member Posts: 34
    I got my Sienna Firday afternoon and installed the hitch the same day. Yes it is very low. I measured 7 inches from the ground. The one I have is made by the company "HiddenHitch". It is a 5000lbs. I wish I could have bought a smaller 3500lbs but it just does not exist. It is low but I think that I can live with other choice anyway.
  • george96george96 Member Posts: 11
    Has anyone seen a checklist that a consumer could use when picking up their Sienna from the dealership. For starters, I now know that I need to see if the headlights shut off after 30 seconds. Anything else?
  • kgnw1kgnw1 Member Posts: 94
    Send me an email and I'll send you a link to a delivery checklist I've created for the 04 Sienna.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    This one was created for the Odyssey, but it works pretty good for any car:

    billg7 "Honda Odyssey" Feb 8, 2001 7:27pm

    Steve, Host
  • canuck13canuck13 Member Posts: 73
    Check that the AM radio works - mine didn't. Check that the sunroof closes properly. After I had my transmission replaced, they forgot to "normalize" the sunroof and it didn't close properly (it lost its memory). Get the door locks programmed to lock when you take it out of park and unlock when you put it into park. This isn't the default, but it works much better this way.
  • machinematamachinemata Member Posts: 11
    canuck13, do the door locks have to be programmed by the dealer? I've got a '98 Intrigue that I can program the doorlocks by following the instructions on the manual. Do the Sienna manuals have these instructions???
  • canuck13canuck13 Member Posts: 73
    The door locks do not need to be programmed by the dealer. However, the instructions are not in the owner's manual. There is a nice glossy booklet that I found on another site the describes how to do it. It is a bit complicated to describe here. You have to close all doors, turn the ignition to the ON position. Then within 1 second after the ignition is turned on you push and hold the power door lock button from the driver seat (located on the driver armrest on the driver door) in the "lock" position for 5 seconds (plus or minus 1 second). This will cause the door locks to lock when you take the shift lever out of park. To have the doors unlock when you put it back into park, do the same procedure except push and hold the door lock button in the unlock position for 5 seconds(otherwise follow exactly the instructions above).
  • beaghibeaghi Member Posts: 34
    Canuck13, thanks for the info. I also beleive that having park unlocking doors is better. Beside this procedure that you found, is there any other intersting programming procedure on that "other site". If yes, can you provide the address?
  • canuck13canuck13 Member Posts: 73
    Yes, there are other things you can change but this is the only one I tried. I don't think I'm allowed to post the other site address here.
  • bakelly11bakelly11 Member Posts: 64
    I can't believe how easy it was to change the locks. Thanks!!!
  • machinematamachinemata Member Posts: 11
    Thanks canuck13 for the info. I just got back from buying my XLE Desert Sand and am too tired to try it just yet.
    Like beaghi, I'd also like this link you spoke about! Could you email it to me at [email protected]

  • budzy1budzy1 Member Posts: 1
    Can you also send me the internet link for further info on the Sienna? Thanks for the door locks description.

    [email protected]
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    If you mark your email address "public" in your profile, you'll (mostly) avoid becoming spam bait.

    Steve, Host
  • beaghibeaghi Member Posts: 34
    Yes, I guest that you are right Steve. Can you edit my post and remove my email?

  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Only you can edit your post and that's limited to the first 30 minutes after you post it. You can delete a post at any time however with the Delete button, and try again.

    Steve, Host
  • george96george96 Member Posts: 11
    Picked up my Sienna this evening and after several requests of the dealer to make sure the drop hitch receiver I was getting could receive a two inch hitch, it arrived with a 1 and 1/4 inch receiver. The dealer has ordered an adapter that will receive a two inch hitch. I was told that with this adapter I will be able to use it to support a couple of hundred pounds. I need it for a bike rack and four bikes. I am hoping this information on the weight requirements will come with the part. Has anyone had a similar experience?
  • beaghibeaghi Member Posts: 34
    Here in Canada, it is the opposite. I could not get a 1 and 1/4 inch. The only hitch available was a 2 inches made by "HiddenHitch". Nothing was available directly from Toyota.
  • dinoanndinoann Member Posts: 3
    I tried to program the auto unlock function on my new Sienna, but it did not work. I followed the instructions you listed in your post. Could you please tell me what I might have done wrong. Better yet, please e-mail the link to the guide that you found. I would really appreciate it. Thanks!
  • canuck13canuck13 Member Posts: 73
    Just sent you an e-mail. I'm wondering if the problem is that you did not turn the engine on. You need to have it off to start and I think you need to actually start the engine to get this to work. I had to try it a few times to get it to work for me, so there is a very precise way you have to do this procedure.
  • rdballerrdballer Member Posts: 16
    Here are the steps to program the 2004 Sienna door locks. You don't need to start the engine to perform these changes. I found this info on another sienna related site. It worked very well for me. My owners manual said to see the dealership, but other 04 Sienna owners report that (page 24 I believe) states the following info as well:

    All of the functions work with the following preliminary steps:
    1) Close ALL doors.
    2) Turn the ignition switch to ON (don't start the engine)
    3) WITHIN 10 seconds, you must do one of the following:

    A - If you want the doors to lock when the selecter lever is moved out of PARK . . . Press and hold the FRONT of the power lock switch (driver's door) for 5 seconds with the selector in PARK. [Default setting for new Siennas]

    B - If you want the doors to unlock automatically when the selector lever is moved to PARK . . . Press and hold the REAR of the power lock switch (driver's door) for 5 seconds with the selector in PARK.

    C - If you want the doors to lock when the vehicle reaches 12mph . . . Press and hold the FRONT of the power lock switch (driver's door) for 5 seconds with the selector lever in any position EXCEPT Park.

    D - If you want the doors to unlock automatically when the driver's door is opened within 10 seconds of ignition shut-off . . . push and hold the REAR of the power lock switch (driver's door) for 5 seconds with the selector lever in any position EXCEPT Park.

    So you get in, turn the ignition to ON, and quickly choose one of the four options above. IF you did everything right, the power locks will function once when you release the lock switch. That's your signal that the function is set. If not . . . try again. As I said, it took me about four tries. Personally, I kept the default locking (A) and set the doors to unlock when I opened the driver's door (D).

    FINALLY . . . to cancel a function, just repeat a procedure. Each time you perform the procedure, the function is set or cancelled.
  • micreddymicreddy Member Posts: 8
    Really Automobile Industry is Exactly Like Software Industry.Whenever there is a new project even though inside the company they do many tests which are called Tech Lab Tests, at this point they wont find any problem, but initially customers they wont deploy the new Software to the entire Organization, they choose few people and do Pilot, Most of the Bugs, defects, design issues they will find during this Time.
    Exactlly it's the same thing , Already so far there are some cases like Transmission Problems, we have to think about this
  • tmurphx5tmurphx5 Member Posts: 14
    The list for the lock features above is great, one thing to add is you may have to disable the default(s). For example if the default is to lock the doors when you take it out of park and you want to change it to lock when you only reach 12mph then you have to go through the programming step of 'locking when the gear shift is taken out of park' and then follow up with the new setting you want.
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    No, NO!

    In the software industry when we find a fault, or our customers do, we oftentimes post a fix on the internet for access to all. In the software industry there is no motivation to withhold fixes.

    For the Japanese auto industry in particular no one wishes to admit culpability, everyone must "save face", and there is no watchdog legal system, virtually, like in the US.

    I sued Lexus under the lemon law in 93 for what I considered a rather serious, hazardous, design flaw within the 92 LS400 climate control system.

    I lost at trial, with their expert witness, Allan Vaughn, saying/testifying that applying heat to a fogged over windshield would exacerbate the problem.

    In the spring of 92 Lexus flew an (Lexus or NipponDenso??) engineer in from Japan to verify that my climate control was operating as designed.

    It occurred to me fairly recently that this engineer may have re-programmed my flawed climate control in order to avoid the adverse publicity which would undoubtedly arise otherwise.

    So I recently purchased a used 1992 Lexus LS400 with 150,000 miles, in service date of 11/91, manufacturing date of 09/91 (both same as my original 92) in order to discover if, and what, functionality could have been reprogrammed.
  • bakelly11bakelly11 Member Posts: 64
    I got my LE #7 May 22nd.

    - The storage compartment on the driver door needs a new screw (or something).

    - The 2nd row passenger seat belt won't go back into the seat. They are ordering a new seat belt assembly for it, instead of playing around and trying to fix it.

    No transmission problems, or anything major. We love the van.

  • lok888lok888 BostonMember Posts: 1,788
    I have been looking for 04 Sienna (8-seater) for months now. Getting one 8-seater is almost impossible within the region. The dealer just sold me the 03 Camry SE told me one of the reason why there are not too many Sienna built to satisfy the demand is properly Toyota don't want any mistake on the van which means slow production. I am not sure about it. I think the bigger mistake is having too many trims and options on the van and they are all built in one plant (also shares with Squeoia). And Toyota didn't realize the unusal high demand of 8-seater when they first planned to redesign the van.
  • bakelly11bakelly11 Member Posts: 64
    I also think that a big part of it is that it is such a nice van and that people want it. (just like a popular toy at Christmas.)

    When I was in the dealership last week, the salesman who sold me my van told me that someone offered him 2500.00 if he could get them a van sooner. Of course he couldn't, but that shows how desperate people are to get the van.

    He said they used to always keep 1 van on their lot for people to look at. Now they aren't doing that anymore. Also said they won't go below MSRP anymore (I got 500 off MSRP there, and got 1,000 more for my trade-in).
  • lok888lok888 BostonMember Posts: 1,788
    I am not 100% sure either. I got this info from my dealer which sold me the 03 Camry SE... saying Toyota wants to minimum any problems and mistake by not speeding up the production. I doubt it. I think they are slow because of many trims and packages on the van. Some posters mentioned some good projection Sienna sale number. I am not sure they will match that number by manufacturing this van in one plant. But the 8-seater is definitely hard to find at this stage.
  • jlewelling1jlewelling1 Member Posts: 65
    ...that they still have alot of 2003's left over. They want to release the 2004's, create the buzz and then sell the 2003's when the 2004's are not available.
  • lok888lok888 BostonMember Posts: 1,788
    at least not in my region in New England. It is like having no 03 leftover and no 04 stock in the lot. Well, there is always one for test drove.
  • sasas1sasas1 Member Posts: 11
    Help! I just purchased my '04 Sienna. When I picked it up, it had 168 miles on it! When I asked why, he told me that the people who were going to add leather (it's an LE8) drove it to and from the factory! I had been told that it would be transported on a flatbed truck. At first it didn't bother me very much. He said that the warranty would begin at the 163 miles. Then I started to drive it home. Atlanta drivers are so fast and crazy. I was very diligent in breaking-in strategies - drive 55-65 mph, no revving, vary speeds, easy breaking! The traffic was whizzing by me. I'm sure whoever drove the van did not stay in the 55-65 mph. And how do I know about the other things?

    How will or can their driving it extra fast etc in the first 163 miles affect my van???? What would you do??
  • bigbadwallybigbadwally Member Posts: 1
    Hello, all.

    My wife and I have decided that we need a van, and we're leaning heavily toward a '04 Sienna. I found this forum while doing a Google search for info on the vehicle, and thought it was an excellent way for owners to exchange information.

    We're very interested in the opinions of current Sienna owners (especially owners of the '04). What sold you on the Sienna? What would you change? Would you buy another one? What options do you really like (or dislike)?

    I'm trying to gather as much info about the vehicle as I can before we plunk down our hard-earned cash, probably within the next couple of months (assuming, of course we can actually *find* the one we want!).

    Thanks in advance for your answers.
  • acedriveracedriver Member Posts: 131
    people who were going to add leather

    Do you mean after-market leather installation ? If so, might be the case. Although, 75 miles from factory to leather installer is too much. Also, check your window sticker. If "Ship To" dealer name is not the same as your dealer name, then it might have been a dealer trade and driven from original dealer lot to your dealer's lot. Another thing is that it might have been the "test-drive vehicle" at your dealer. With all the new interest in the Sienna, and the fact that most vehicles are being sold as soon as they hit the lot, it is difficult for dealers to keep one in stock just so that people can test drive. Sometimes the dealer might just hold onto one (or maybe even buy one) so that people can test-drive which ultimately means more sales for them ...

    Either way, I would consider those 163 miles as being "hard-driven", but there should not be much to worry about - unless someone was redlining it all the time. Redline a minivan ? Hmmmm, maybe someone is my guru already :-) But, those engines can withstand pretty tough conditions.
  • momofthreemomofthree Member Posts: 35
    Love my new van, but was wondering where the dimmer is for the dash lights. The blue lights are great, but would like to be able to adjust them. I have an LE-7. Thanks.
  • tmurphx5tmurphx5 Member Posts: 14
    The Odo / Trip button between the Rev & Speed dials doubles up as the dash light dimmer.
  • momofthreemomofthree Member Posts: 35
This discussion has been closed.