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Toyota Sienna Maintenance and Repair (2004+)



  • klinklin Posts: 54
    sorry to post here if it is the right forum.

    We just bought an AWD LE, but I forgot if it needs chain in the snow country...

    Trip is tomorrow, but I forgot to buy and stores are out of stock for the tire size :<

  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    If you are traveling some place that requires chains to travel, like California (Tahoe, etc.), then chains will be available for purchase at the service stations along the way and usually most sizes are stocked (buy them before you get to the trooper stop). I understand that the California troopers will sometimes let 4WD's proceed without chains but will turn back AWD's.

    I've had great luck finding chains at thrift stores.

    Steve, Host
  • Be careful to read the manuals requirements on chains. I had an old Voyage when I went to Germany and it required "S"class chains which nobody knew what they were back then. A lot of vehicles lack the clearance or have other problems with chains or may require special types of chains. The wrong type can mess a vehicle up quick. Read the manual.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Due to low suspension clearance snowchains CANNOT be used on the rear of the AWD Sienna so Toyota recommends snowchains be used ONLY on the front.

    But be aware, just as the CAUTION note in the owners manual indicates, substantially higher traction on the front vs the rear can be extremely HAZARDOUS, high potential for loss of directional control on downhill curves, in the slippery roadbed conditions you expect to encounter.
  • When I had my Subaru with AWD, the CHP would always wave me through without chains when others were putting them on. This was on I5 north of Redding. That is why I got the AWD Sienna. But I have not been on the interstate yet with the Sienna in chain conditions.
  • Hi, in response to request for maint info for 2004 xle regarding oil filters, you can use the fram
    ph3614 oil filter that you can buy at walmart
    for 3 bucks, oil is 5-30, I use valvoline as
    post rebate price is around 89 cents a quart,
    and while you are at it, the fram air filter is
    ca 9360. I change the oil every 3k miles. You can find the filter look up info at I am having problems finding the wix cabin filter for the xle. I have the minivan for only one year, but the cabin filter is already dirty. I will probably settle for the toyota cabin filter. More info about wix can be found at It is
    really easy to open the glove box and replace the
    cabin filter. Have fun, it's easy. Brien
  • the light looks something like this i have a 2004 toyota sienna (>.<) something like that and it says mant req but what the hell is that light
  • I don't know about the indicator but the "maint Reqd" is a reminder to change the oil. It comes on at 5,000 miles for a few seconds every time you start the van and stays on permanently at 7,500 miles until the "mileage clock" is reset.
    Instructions posted over a to reset it are: Turn ignition key OFF while the Odometer Reading is showing. Turn the ignition key to "ON" while holding down the trip meter reset button. Hold down the button for at least 5 seconds. The odometer indicates "0000000" and the reminder light goes off. That should reset the "mileage clock". (If the system failed to reset, the light will continue flashing.)
    I haven't tried it so I can't guarantee it works.
  • geneegenee Posts: 170
    I have reset the Oil Change light a couple of times. It does work ... easily. I am now trying to get it to reset to 3000 miles instead of 5000 - as posted above. Will let you know if it works ...
  • usual stuff oil change and tire rotation . i am going to ask about the power lift gate . it seems to not want to stay in the open position after it drops below 30 degrees (F) . For some reason or another it was 50 here last week and it worked fine but this week it is colder and below freezing and it is not always working. i am thinking it is just the cold but we will see what they say . the other thing is i want the front end looked at there is a noise there hard to describe but i am going to see if they hear or see anything there. i will let everyone know what it is with the lift gate . i haven't heard anyone else complain about it though.
  • Just when i thought it was safe ... As stated before i was having problems with the power liftgate in the rear and when i took it in this morning i showed the whole crew what was going on and one tech said that there was a recall coming on that and it wasn't posted yet to just order the parts and do it as a service call and when the information comes in I will have to go back to have it updated. I didn't mention the slight noise i was hearing because i am no longer hearing it all the time and no one else is hearing it but me. the seat warmers I am leaving for now as they seem to be Ok . The recalls that are also coming is a sticker in the owners book and some kind of plastic on the doors. they were going to do all the recalls today and i should get it sometime this afternoon.
  • Is there a web site that explains how the 4 wheel drive system on the Sienna works ? Thanks for any info
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
  • mcase2mcase2 Posts: 160
    That sounds really dangerous. You might want to notify the auto and highway safety people. Honestly the defective sensors should be recalled or at least addressed in a service campaign not merely the semi-secret route of a tsb.
  • Looking at possible purchase of Sienna XLE LTD. One thing I couldn't find out whether the Sienna can use a standard EZPASS transponder. The vehicle I'm getting rid of couldn't because of a coated windshield and had a bunch of problems w the bumper mounted transponder. thnks.
  • mcase2mcase2 Posts: 160
    I have an 04 Sienna LE. It has an area of treated glass that runs along the top of the windshield and dips down behind the rear veiw mirror. I placed my EZ Pass transponder just below the treated area and slightly to the right of the mirror. It works just fine and is nearly invisible from the driver's seat.
  • the recall for the power steering was done , the recall for "Sienna tape " What ever that was is done I myself didn't even know what it is and another recall for a sticker is going to be completed when they mail out the stickers. As for the Power rear hatch situation they found a wire coming out of the connector so they repaired it and reset the timing on the door. i hope this fixes it. all went well but the van was gone all day . let's see if this fix works.
  • I have a 2005 XLE Limited with the transponder just behind the rearview mirror below the blacked out area. However, it seems that it even works when mounted IN the blackout area. Haven't tried it yet though.
    Also EZpass has an on line list of the "problem" vehicles that require the bumper mount transponders.
  • I have a 1999 Sienna. We've had to replace the tires twice. I have a very jumpy steering wheel and nothing we've tried (new tires, balancing, alignments, etc.) has ever alleviated the problem. I am sure Toyota is aware of the issue but trying to dodge the bullet.

    We also had the left hand turn problem where the wheel would stick. We had to get a copy of the service bulletin before Toyota would admit there was a problem. The steering arm had to be replaced not once, but twice within the first 2 years.
  • I have a 2005 Seinna. On several occasions, with the cruise on, and at a speed of about 65 mph, I pushed down to passing gear and pulled out and the van stayed at the same speed. On one occasion with the cruise off, at 45 mph, I stepped down for passing gear, the engine revved, and roared and absolutely no pick up at all. I needed the power and did not get it. robairto
  • In a discussion in the forum section, I read that a fuse or jumper can be added in a fuse box on the 2004 Sienna. As a result, the day time running lights will be activated. Please let me know, and is it advisable with regard to the circuitry? What amp fuse?? Thanx robairto.
  • mcase2mcase2 Posts: 160
    A 2004 has automatic daytime running lights. They should activate themselves as soon as you turn the key. As for jumping anything this would probably be most unwise. 1, it could start a fire - 2, it would void your warranty -and 3, a 2004 is probably still under warranty and the problem can be proffesionally fixed for free.
  • mcase2mcase2 Posts: 160
    When you say "pushed down for passing gear", what do you mean? Did you shift the transmission into a different gear?? You should not have to shift to pass. Sienna's are all automatic the only reason to shift is for engine braking or for rare instances of hill climbing. If you down shift for any reason with cruise control on I believe that it is over ridden by the control. At the least the manual states that engine braking will not engage, which, I would assume, means that the cruise control will automatically seek over drive. As for the engine revving with the control off its hard to imagine that stepping on the gas would disengage the drive. Did you simply step on the gas and the engine revved or did you shift the transmission?
  • It appears that all 2004 and 2005 Sienna's are in fact wired for DRL but on the CE and LE a jumper/fuse is omitted so that they are disabled. Seems petty of Toyota but that's marketing for you.

    Apparently, all you need to do to enable DRLs is open the hood, stand on the driver side, and open the fusebox. Put a jumper or fuse in the "empty" fuse slot in the fuse box immediately adjacent to the battery. When the car is started and the parking brake is off, the lights will come on just as they do with the XLE Siennas. I can get you a picture of where to put the fuse/jumper via e-mail if you wish. I'm ednovak on Hotmail.
    Remember to start the van and take the brake off when testing it though or they won't activate.
  • Thanx for the replies on the drl and lack of acceleration. On the drl, I located the fuse holder but do not have an idea as to what amp fuse to use. Toyota service reps are not sharing information regarding the addition of the fuse. However they are willing to make a service appt. As for the van's hesitation problem, when I wrote "I pushed down" I should have written, pushed with my foot, as in using passing gear. I still have both problems. The acceleration problem bothers me as I do not know when it will be ok or when its going to fail again. I am reluctant to address this with a dealer. The van performs well except for the intermintent problem, I do not want them to use it as a testing model. If this problem was constant, I would have it back in a heartbeat. I have !9,500 mi, The first time I had this problem was around 17k. Robairto
  • I bought what was represented to me as a demo 2004 Sienna with only 2,330 miles on it. Almost immediately we started to notice a funny smell in the van. At first we thought something had been spilled on the carpet. Finally we discovered the flood of water that was splashing underneath the van, which completely soaked the carpet mat. The previous owners had the van for 10 months and put only 2,330 miles because they obviously could not drive the van because of the disgusting moldy smell. Instead of taking care of the problem, they had someone from their family who worked at the Toyota dealership trade in the van for a Sequoia and then the dealership in turn sold the van as a demo. Unfortunately, I did not look at the contract carefully and demo was not checked off - it was checked off as a used van.

    The dealership was not able to fix the problem the first time and after having the van for another three weeks at the dealership, the van still has the same disgusting smell. Of course, the dealership and Toyota will not admit to anything. How does Toyota do their quality control for such a major manufacturing defect to occur? Now I have to deal with a mold problem. I explained everything to a Toyota representative. His response was to offer to replace the interior of the van. In addition, he said Toyota has no control of the dealerships. I guess the opinion of Toyota and the Toyota dealership is buy at your own risk.

    I am definitely not happy with this van and have absolutely no faith in Toyota. Toyota is just like any other manufacturer - if you get lucky you get a good product. In addition, make sure you check out a vehicle completely and ask questions about when it was manufactured, how the dealership came to own the vehicle and ask to see the proof. Also, check over every part of the contract, not just the figures. If you have questions about the contract, take the contract home so that you can completely look it over, because once you drive out with the vehicle, it's too late. The dealership and the manufacturer do not care about the customer - they just want to sell you the vehicle and whatever problems there are with the vehicle are your problems. Toyota is no better than any other car manufacturer.
  • heywood1heywood1 Posts: 850
    Sounds to me as if the van was wrecked and repaired by it's first owner.

    Offering to replace the entire interior doesn't exactly sound like a the dealer is blowing you off. I'd accept the offer, but only after you have another dealer or bodyshop check for the cause of the water leak, and fix it permanently.
  • I would insist that before the interior is replaced, that the source of the water be eliminated. You might want to suggest to whoever that they strip the interior trim out (headliner and all) and sprinkle talc power over everything. the source of the leak should become visible or at least point to a hidden area. It could be anywhere from a crack in the floor with water spraying up from the road to the roof leaking and running down the side. A leak in my wife's sunroof soaked the visor when water ran down the edge. Luckily the visor was down and we felt the problem immediately. Good luck.
  • Re DRL jumper. Did a bit more investigation. The jumper in my Limited (next to fuse 21) is slightly larger than the standard "mini fuses" and has NO rating on it (which leads me to believe it's just a jumper and not a fuse). There is another one in my fuse box located between fuse 11 and 12 and I have no idea what that one does. Since fuse 4 (for the DRLs) is 20A you should be safe using a 20A in that slot (if you can find one that fits, again it is slightly larger than the standard "mini" fuses in the rest of the box. Otherwise if you have Toyota parts bring up the picture of the fuse panel for the XLE and point out the slot next to fuse 21 ((RH Headlight) and tell them you need the jumper for that slot, I'll bet they can get the part number from the diagram.
  • carzzzcarzzz Posts: 282
    sorry to hear that! Hope you get it fix soon! Be sure the problem is FIXed before they replace the interior!

    were you able to check the insurance profile from the previous owner?
    my guess:(might crashed it and then repair, after repair the bad/funny smell occur and could not *yet* be fixed, so they re-sell it since one of the family members works at toyota)
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