Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Toyota Sienna Maintenance and Repair (2004+)



  • danogdanog Posts: 318
    I can't recall ever using the normal setting in any vehicle I've ever owned. Too hot and humid in the South not to run the Max and recirc setting. It really isn't a/c performance rather than a true issue of poor cycling. I've not been to the dealer yet but I can say this is the first out of 7 vehicles this has ever been an issue for me.
  • spencer30spencer30 Posts: 4
    I just had the same issue w/my sienna. This is the deal with mine. When the engine gets too hot, the A/C will turn off. I was in stop and go traffic, and it was 93 degrees. Once I got into clear air, and was able to consantly move, the a/c worked fine. I am on vacation in NJ, we drove from NH. I brought my van to a Toyota dealership in May's Landing on Monday. The radiator is bad. I had coolant leaking. There is an issue with the radiators on the new Sienna's. I am hoping to get mine back tonight in time to return home. Toyota put me in a rental just in case. Toyota is short on radiators, so if yours goes, you may have a long wait. This dealer is taking the radiator out of a Van they just recieved to get me on my way. The other alternative is waiting another week, and coming back down here to pick it up. If your A/c is cycling on and off, and you van is running hot (mine was 3/4), bring it in imediatly to get you radiator tested.

    I know we aren't suppose to name specific dealers, but this one I brought it to has been great... if anyone is in the NJ shore area, I would check them out.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    I think you CAN name specific dealers; just not specific individuals (either service or sales) at the dealership.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Engine water jacket temperature begins to rise above a set level and with both (??) electric fans running the next thing a designer would do is shut down the A/C.

    Make sure both radiator cooling fans are running and at full voltage. Assuming two since my RX has two.

    You might want to wire the fans such that they run constantly with A/C enabled rather than only turning on AFTER the temp begins to rise.

    You can also improve the efficiency of the A/C by closing off all hot water flow to/through the heat exchanger using a manual shutoff valve. The more efficient the A/C is the lighter the heat loading will be to the engine cooling radiator.
  • danogdanog Posts: 318
    Now that you've mentioned your radiator is bad I noticed a strong coolant smell a few nights ago. Enough in fact that I checked the engine compartment and below for a leak not finding anything. I'll take it into the dealer and have them check things out. I have no time for shade treeing this new van.

    Wwest, thanks for the tips. I think it makes sense and could be exactly how the Sienna was designed.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Like Rror says, naming dealers is fine; no names of individuals or salespeople please. Thanks,

    Steve, Host
  • kmeadkmead Posts: 232
    Closing off the hot water flow to the heat exchanger is not a good idea from the standpoint of coolant flow through the engine. As the systems now use dampers to route air throught the climate system, shutting off the flow of coolant will have little or no effect on the cooling of the air.

    Almost all AC systems are wired to run the fans immediately upon turning on the AC. Even with the vehicle in motion. It maybe that in the interests of efficiency they only run them when the compressor is actually running, but I doubt it.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I meant to say to shut off the flow ONLY to the heat exchanger within the HVAC plenum. The airflow routing vanes will not have air flowing through the heat exchanger during max cool but the radiant heat from the exchanger will still elevate the system airflow temperature somewhat and will heat the dash and console also.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Lots of different circuits....

    My 92 LS will start the two fans in series and then switch to both across full voltage if engine coolant temperature rises....

    So even if both fans are running they are not necessarily at full speed.
  • spencer30spencer30 Posts: 4
    I had no coolant odor. I am not sure what the stuff is in it, but it isn't traditional anti-freeze. The stuff is pink, and you would see pink coolant. Also, check the resevoir to see if it is low.

    The dealer was Shore Toyota in Mays Landing, NJ. I can only vouch for their service... They took great care of me and my family in our time of need. I have an 8 month old and a 3 year old.
  • stewboystewboy Posts: 1
    (forgive me if I use incorrect terms to describe parts of the tow package. rookie here.)

    Just got my van w/ factory Class II tow package/hitch. First time in my driveway, CKGGCKKYYMMCCKK!! (that's a scraping noise).

    I looked at the light hookup, and the dealer had bolted the trailer light connector bracket on the underside of the mounting plate, so it hung well down below any other part of the hitch. I re-ran the wires above the hitch and bolted the light connector on top the plate. Hope that solves the problem. Anyone else in the same boat?

    The way it was installed seemed counter-intuitive to me. I'm thinking about asking the dealer to replace the (now-mangled) bracket. How is anyone else's factory Class II light connector installed?

    With the lack of clearance, it looks to me as though I'll need a raised drawbar/ball for towing. Anyone have any 1-14" recommendations?
  • Just picked up my 04 ltd and love it, other than a seemingly poor FM reception. Many local channels sound terrible. I read a couple other posts with folks having the same issue.

    Is this a known problem? Other than replacing the radio with a different brand, what can I do?
  • davenowdavenow Posts: 171
    Took it in for my first oil change and maintenance. seems to be running a lot more efficiently (based seeing higher "avg mpg" numbers on the computer screen) which is yet to be seen whether or not it will show up as better calculated... i'll keep you posted!
  • le04awdle04awd Posts: 2
    We have had our '04 LE AWD since Dec '03. We're pretty happy with it, except that the van's ride is rather rough.

    When going over bumps in the road at speeds greater than 30 MPH, the rear of the van vibrates harshly and the front of the van also jerks but not quite as badly as the rear. I am wondering if this is a problem with AWD models in general, or just a problem with mine.

    Reading the 30+ reviews about our particular model on edmunds, a lot of people leave positive feedback about the smooth ride. I wonder if this a suspension problem with just our van. I know if I take it to the dealer they will say "this is normal".

    Any comments would be appreciated.
  • davenowdavenow Posts: 171
    Does anyone know if there is a web-site where Toyota owner's can go to track their maintenance schedules?

    As an x-Honda owner, i would track my Accord's maintenance schedule on a web-site i used to subscibe to, and it would send out updates warning of up-coming work that needed to be done, as well as track all work that was completed on it. It also had area's where you could keep vital information, like VIN numbers and radio security PIN#s, etc.
  • raydahsraydahs Posts: 449
    Do you have this symptom also? raydahs "Toyota Sienna 2004+" Jun 1, 2004 11:44pm

    I have the same vehicle as you. I'm curious, how many miles do you have on it and which run flats do you have? The reason I ask is, I've noticed that the rims and tires (I have are the Dunlops) have been balanced from the factory with tape weights instead of the usual clip-on the side of the rim type. Hopefully due to common sense of NOT putting clip-ons onto nice alloys, but maybe these run flats are more sensitive and go out of balance easier causing slight vibrations. Lexus dealers have a "road force balancing machine" my local dealer charges $10/wheel. I used this procedure with success on my Trooper.

    Check out post #780, another interesting story.

    I've also noticed that mine sits higher in the back than typical FWD versions. Visually, thier seems to be more clearance in the rear tire well on the AWD versions. I'm basing my opinion on the same wheels with Bridgestones on the XLE version though. Maybe someone like WWEST or KMEAD could add an opinion to this. I'm finding It's very difficult to get any info on the AWD system from Toyota or Lexus on the RX330, maybe thier is something different in the suspension on the AWD versions?
  • le04awdle04awd Posts: 2
    Thanks for your reply, raydahs.

    I have 8K miles on the van. It is riding on Bridgestone B380 tires.

    I took the van in to the dealership today and, much to my surprise, they found a defective shock absorber on the driver side rear and replaced it under warranty. I was pleasantly surprised becasue I was almost sure that they were going to give me the "this is normal, nothing wrong with your vehicle" line. The delaership (Herb Chambers Toyota of Boston, MA) has gained a customer for life.
  • jdconradjdconrad Posts: 11
    I have an 04 Sienna XLE. The average gas mileage shown on the computer seemed to hang up at 25.6 mpg. It never changed in the next 3000 miles. I reset it and it appears to work now ( mpg changes according to the type of driving.). Has anyone experienced this???
  • weedshastaweedshasta Posts: 84
    You say you reset the average gas mileage display. How do you do that? Thanks.
  • byupiratebyupirate Posts: 6
    I need info to on checklist since I'm buying Monday can you send me the checklist at, I tried to email you but there was no details how. Please if anyone has a checklist when I go in to pick up the van, that would be nice. Thanks Larry
  • postmanpostman Posts: 3
    When I start the van for the first time each day, I hear a loud squeak from the engine area as I'm turning the key. It usually only makes the noise once a day. It has become progressively louder. I took the van to the dealer but they couldn't find anything. They checked the belts but they were fine. Anyone else have this problem? Any ideas what it might be? Thanks!
  • gao_meigao_mei Posts: 6

    I have owned this 2004 Toyota Sienna XLE Limited 4WD for only 4 months, now the AC is broken!!! The dealer said it is a defect and would take 3 weeks for the parts. Has anybody else have problems???? Is there any place I can complain?

  • kmeadkmead Posts: 232
    You can check you owners manual for the number to Toyota.
  • canuck2canuck2 Posts: 3
    Hey Cybernut04 -

    I'm very sorry to hear what you're going through . We purchased a 2004 Sienna LE AWD in July of last year and had similar responses from our dealership . I would definitely take advice from others and get the Transmission problem checked further if the problem continues. Some of the other Sienna owners getting the TSB Transmission fix seem to be having luck with it. I've chatted with numerous owners who still have the problem after the software change or software flashes have been performed. Several have even had there transmissions replaced in an attempt to stop the problem. I've also read where some of these replaced transmissions even had metal particles in the fluid . Related Issue ??? who Knows

    Some of the other people on the site could better update you on the current progress Toyota is making with this Problem. Unfortunately our vehicle had an extreme case of unpredictable jerks,hesitations and full throttle accelerations.And our dealer caused more problems than helped . We walked away from the vehicle after 4 months and before the software fixes started coming out in November. The best the owner of our dealership offered us was to drive it in 3rd gear while waiting for the new software to be developed. We had some scary close calls in everything from parking lot to highway traffic and decided to take the loss and not risk our safety any longer.We were told at that time the problem existed in the complete product line and was in the transmission's software.We were told the problem would vary with road conditions,the loading of the vehicle ,the driver, the accelerator pedal position and the speed the vehicle was moving . Initially before our dealer admitted there was a problem , we were told that we " Hadn't taught the transmission to drive properly "( similar to what you were told). Our dealer was very unproffesional -But There are a lot of good ones out there.

    It does sound like some positive headway is being made .I hope you find a helpfull dealer and everything works out for you and your family.

    On a positive note - when the vehicle drove properly it was one of the nicest vehicles we had ever owned. It has a lot of great features

    Take care and best wishes to you and your family

    Signed - Poorer but wiser Canuck
  • rf1rf1 Posts: 1
    owner of 2004 sienna. 11.5k Miles. Radiator replaced. Had dealer check brakes and uneven gear shifting at about 5K miles. Told that the uneven shifting was due to throttle-by-wire (I'm guessing software glitch)and that no repair available. Has anybody experienced the same and given same explanation? Also, back to the brakes, experiencing uneven braking action especially going down hill. Just recently experienced pulsation of brake pedal. (worped rotors? 11.5K miles) Anybody experience this? Feedback appreciated.
  • momstruck1momstruck1 Posts: 206
    today while loading the trunk put two strollers in the well and a cooler along with some bags. the rear wall in the well along the outside of the van (the plastic covering ) closest to where your legs would be against the back of the van . On the drivers side the cooler must have dented the well. The plastic is dented inward . The space behind there must be hollow for this to happen. i would guess the dealer could look at it when it goes in for the first oil change . it is inside the van and only bothers me as no one else can see it . Just wondering if it has happend to anyone else with a lot of stuff in the well area. other then that all is well KNOCK ON WOOD .
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706

    An E-throttle gives the software guys more control over your driving style. Want to JAM the throttle causing a downshift while turning hard right?


    FWD vehicles lose control (torque steer, understeering, etc.) too easily that way.

    Only God know just how many VSC algorithms are enabled by that e-throttle.
  • davenowdavenow Posts: 171
    mine is that way.
    i thought it was made that way.
    i like it like that, because it makes fitting larger objects in that much easier. Plus, it fits my youngest's stoller perfectly with out taking the wheels off. boy!, that stroller is a tank :)
  • momstruck1momstruck1 Posts: 206
    what I did loaded the van and never noticed it. i know it was flat the day before and not dented in because i had to vacume it out as my middle child sitting in the back spilled a bag of chips between the rear seats and i had to flip and fold the seats to clean up the mess so the trunk was empty. I guess it is common and it really isn't a big deal as I folded the rear seat and it has no effect on that . Not a big concern but wanted to know if it was common.
  • storm11storm11 Posts: 38
    Postman: I have an LE8 and experienced the exact same problem. Only upon the first start up of the day did the squeak occur. I knew it had to be a loose belt issue. On my first service visit, they gave me the same spiel you're getting. On the second visit, I was more insistent on them resolving the issue, as I knew belt slippage will prematurely wear the belts out.

    Theory was correct. The A/C belt was loose. They tightened it and the problem is gone. Be more insistent. It seems they only really pay attention when they realize you won't accept a flimsy explanation to get them off the hook temporarily.

    Good luck.
This discussion has been closed.