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Toyota Sienna Maintenance and Repair (2004+)



  • golfinedgolfined Posts: 1
    tevans--I have a 2005 that is doing the same thing. It actually is harder to steer right than left. I suspect it is the rack or the power steering unit but we will find out I hope. I had it test driven by an industry expert and he certainly noticed it. The local dealer tells me 'the vehicle is operating as designed' which is a royal insult. What state are you in?
  • sportymonksportymonk Posts: 258
    Has a four wheel alignment been done? Also tire totation may make a difference. (If so, it indicates a tire problem)
  • jim33jim33 Posts: 10
    I have a 2005 XLE with a Smart Card. Put it up at the top of the windshield behind the mirror. No problem. If you can take the EZPASS off your old vehicle, take a test drive through a gate holding the pass up at the top of the windshield.
  • We have a 2004 Sienna LE FWD with 15000 miles on it. I went in for the power steering hose recall yesterday. At that time, I was informed of the remaining things on the list - don't remember any mails from Toyota on the other "campaigns" as the dealership put it..

    Also, I hear a constant clicking-type noise from behind the glove compartment on some days. Last Saturday, it was really loud and the sales guy at the front desk indicated that it could be one of the bearings in the heating motor fan. Turning the air vents on the front heaters to high seemed to either muffle the noise completely out or eliminate. When I brought the van in for service, the technician could not replicate it and promised to replace the heater motor unit if it happens again. I am wondering if anyone has observed anything similar.
  • allison5allison5 Posts: 130
    Originally the dealer said we were going to have to pay around another 5,000 for taxes, license and the such well somehow we didn't have to. We kept telling them we should not have to pay again, we brought the van back the next morning. All I know is that we did not pay any more money out and our payments are less on the monthly lease for the truck and for the same amount of time. I have to say I really liked the Sienna except for the seats, I am still driving this big SUV at 2.25 a gallon for gas. I drive alot with kids etc and a tank of gas is 50.00 for this yukon,and I go through 2 a week. Anyway thinking of looking into Recaro seats, wondering if anyone has heard how good these are etc. Someone told me they are very goodn, however narrow and for lightweight people (110 lbs), I am not heavy but not that light weight.
  • lghong67lghong67 Posts: 29
    I believe that Recaro seats aren't an option if you also have side airbags because the system depends on sensors built in to the seats. Can anyone verify or deny this?

    You probably covered this in an earlier post, but have you considered the Odyssey or Caravan / Town & Country? LH
  • I just bought an 8 passenger 2005 Sienna. This is my fifth new Toyota in 5 years, and I am very disapointed. The biggest problem is the second row seats. The outboard left and right seats are very hard to get out. I could't do it. I took it to the dealer and the salesman couldn't do it, and finally the service manager did it with difficulty. The center saet is worse. The van comes with a video on adjusting the center seat (tell me thats not a bad sign). I showed it to four different men who each independently tried to remove the seat and nobody could do it. I would like to return the car, but can not. As a mechanical engineer, I designed a rope mechanism to prevent the seats from locking down on the front latches. This is crazy. Any body else have these problems with the EIGHT (8) seater? Also the center seat in the forward position hits the tray table. I can't believe it.
  • lumbarlumbar Posts: 421
    I'm curious as to whether you checked these issues before you bought the vehicle.
  • Anyone ever have a problem with the front overhead maplights staying on and refusing to turn off? Or even stranger, clicking the right light would turn off the left? I had to remove the light bulb to save my battery until I can have the dealer check it out. Any one else have this problem?
  • momstruck1momstruck1 Posts: 206
    I have to say these were the most comfortable seats to us the dodge with stow and go was horrible what uncomfortable seats they were. I don't have an 8 seater but I had a chevy 8 seater which made me stay away from that again in theory it is a good idea but I like to keep the kids apart now and it is easier to get to the back with the 7 seat version.
  • No I didn't try to remove the second row seats before buying it. I tumbled them forward to get to the back seat, and that was easy. Don't get me wrong, the seats are comfortable. The problem is if you want to take them in and out often, it is very difficult.
    I observed another problem with the second row seats. The outboard vinyl or plastic seal at the joint on the right seat was ripped. I then looked at the left outboard seal, and it was frayed, and ready to rip. The comes from a bad fit as the seat is tumbled forward.
    I am going to guess, that this being the first year with 8 seat configuration, that Toyota rushed it out, without adequate testing and repair. The center row seats represent a defective design.
  • After noticing an acceleration lag problem on my car I read on this website that others were having the same problem. I took my 2004 Sienna in to the dealer and asked them to fix the lag. They did under the warranty. However, to date I've not received any recall/notice about the problem from Toyota. I have received a few recalls on other parts though!
  • lillelille Posts: 3
    I have a 2005 Sienna that I bought in December 2004. The hesitation was so bad I took it back in and they replaced the transmission after only owning the car 2 mos!! After the new transmission there is still a lag and I am still to this day fighting with Toyota to fix this problem. They told me this is "normal". I had several family members drive the van and they too said it feels like the transmission is slipping. I may have to go through arbitration. At this point I am looking into the Odyssey. I already know I will lose money from getting rid of the Sienna in such a short period of time owning it (3 1/2 mos) but I just can't see driving this van for 5 years while we pay it off. The Odyssey is much nicer and drives "normally". It actually accelerates when I press the gas pedal!! Gee, imagine that! Now that is how a car should drive. None of this hesitation stuff. They told me Toyota did that on purpose - yea, right. They just don't want to admit there may be a problem. I will NEVER buy Toyota again!
  • lillelille Posts: 3
    Read my recent response to soemone elses problems with the lag problem - #1372. This is NOT normal to drive this way!
  • lillelille Posts: 3
    DId you read my response (#1372) ? What did they actually do to "fix" this lag problem? The dealer says that this is normal - whatever. Let me know!
    Thanks -
  • I currently have a 2004 Sienna LE and have logged 38,000 miles on it. When I drove it recently (my wife's car, so I don't drive it often), I've noticed that there's a rattling sound when I push on the accelerator. This noise is similar to an engine knock sound, but it's slightly higher pitch and goes away once the engine is fully warmed up. I've also noticed light coating of black soot on the top of the engine. I've always used super octane gasoline, so I don't think it's engine knock.
    Can somebody shed some light on this issue?
  • allison5allison5 Posts: 130
    I am the one that has posted about front seats that are way too short and don't have thigh support. I have long legs, average height 5'8" but my back bugged me without support. Anyway I am still on a hunt to get rid of my yukon and would like to go back to a van possibly. I had a Odyessy and am not crazy about the new one, however might have to go there again. I REALLY liked the Sienna except for too short of seats and from what I looked I could not find any kind of cushion that helped that but I really wish I could. Does anyone have advice?
  • bluesiebluesie Posts: 6
    I have a 2004 Sienna Limited and the laser cruise control is broke because of "road hazard" is anyone else having this problem?
  • joyannkjoyannk Posts: 3
    WE are considering buying an XLE and have been concerned about the posts re: hesitation and transmission problems. So far we have taken 2 test drives. My husband noted hesitation on the first but not the second drive (different cars). I did not notice either time. Is this a big enough/common enough problem to give up on Sienna and go to Odyssey instead. We like both cars, but feel the interior on the Sienna is a little more to our liking. However we like the Odyssey too.
  • pilot130pilot130 Posts: 319
    It's 20 minutes after 12:00 midnight, Monday, March 28. (Really, it's Monday morning here!!)
    I'm sitting in a condo about 150km North of Sydney, Australia, getting ready for bed.
    Thought I'd try my Son's PC and see what's going on at my favourite cartalk site back in North America.
    Guess what, logging on with my username and password worked!! Wonders never cease!!

    Joyannk, here's what I think is the most honest answer you'll ever get for your question.

    The hesitation issue you ask about is a big deal to a few people, and not even on radar for most others.
    You will see posts that portray gloom and doom, saying the hesitation issue is widespread, serious, a safety hazard, and other scary stuff.
    You will see speculation about what might be the reason for it, and how it should be fixed.
    You will see talk of Lawsuit, Arbitration, Lemon Law, etc. from some.
    You will see stories of near misses on xways, extreme hesitation intervals, and other such dire experiences.
    You will see testimonials on how buyers shouldn't consider Toyota, or get rid of the ones they own.

    What you won't see are testimonials by the vast silent majority who like their vehicles, are quite satisfied with them, and have never experienced any of this hesitation.

    You know why this is, I'm sure.

    So my answer, yes, some folks say there's a problem, and others don't, because they don't have one.
    In fact, the truth lies somewhere in between.
    I submit it is indeed, very much closer to the latter scenario.

    I submit to you that the issue is getting play here because that's the nature of the players here.
    IMO, it isn't a big deal, it isn't widespread, it isn't a serious problem, and it sure as heck isn't a safety hazard!!

    Having said all that,be your own Judge Joyannk.

    Now I think it's time for my ration of Single Malt! (The Macallan-18YO if you're interested)

    G'nite All.
  • azyoazyo Posts: 3
    Momstruck1, I've 04 Siena with faint clicking noise on the driver side. It started the day after I drove it home from the dealer. That was last August. The noise has disappeared a few months ago. It just stopped by itself.

    As for recalls, I called Toyota (not the dealer) & the rep confirmed my VIN to have all the fixes that Toyota produced.

    So far, I'm very happy with the Siena. May be I'm one of the lucky few with no issues. I love my minivan more and more the more I drive it. It purs so softly. I hope you'll resolve all your issues. I believe Toyota will correct all the earlier faults. Hang in there!
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Pilot is quite undoubtedly correct.

    First, even if the vast silent majority were ALL experiencing the engine hesiation symptom you wouldn't be hearing about it from them here at Edmunds.

    But even discounting that factor Pilot remains correct, still.

    It does appear, truly, that very few are experiencing the engine hesitation symptom.

    But the question remains....

    Is it a problem throughout the entire product series or is it such a rare series of events that leads to the engine hesitation that results in just a few having the experience?

    "Entire product series.."

    It appears that the symptom pertains to all Toyota and Lexus FWD vehicles that use the V6 engine and electronically controlled transaxles.

    None of the above is conclusive by any means, check the various posts on these vehicles to determine for yourself what the common denominators seem to be.

    Also please keep in mind that whatever the salesperson says otherwise Toyota has already acknowledged that the engine hesitation problem is REAL and they expect a fix will be forthcoming.

    Now, the safety/hazard issue....

    Assuming that those posting the complaints of a 1 to 2 second delay are correct I would think ANYONE should agree that in certain circumstances this could be EXTREMELY HAZARDOUS and/or UNSAFE!


    My wife perfers the Dalwhinnie SM and I guess I tend to agree except it's a tad pricier. McCallan is a really good scotch if you like my favorite scotch based drink, a Rob-Roy.

    The first time I was in Australia 15 years ago I tried my cell phone and got a good connection but was told that if I wanted to subscribe I needed to find a landline to call and sign up.

    Logic straight from the UK!
  • nljjs36nljjs36 Posts: 1
    I have a 2005 XLE AWD and I"m averageing about 12.4 MPG.
  • damddamd Posts: 2
    I've read a lot about radiator leak issues and its concerning me although my radiator seem to be fine for now. Does anyone has a copy of TSB? I really would like to read the detail explanation. Thanks.
  • dsrtrat2dsrtrat2 Posts: 223
    My son has a XLE Limited, '04 and the best MPG he has gotten is 20.5 by being very careful in his driving. He is taking it in to the dealer for maintenance and hopes they can help him improve on that. I'll be interested to see what you find out. Whenever I see an '04 or '05 in a gas station I ask about their MPG and it usually in the mid 20's.
  • pilot130pilot130 Posts: 319
    G'Day. It's just after lunch down here.

    The Alpha-Poster-Knower-Of-All-Things makes a profound point--"Assuming that those posting the complaints of a 1 to 2 second delay are correct......"

    So, are we perhaps suggesting these posts about scary situations might be anonymous and uncorroborated embellishments from cyberspace?

    Could it be......?

    To which I repeat my original advice to those who inquire about the hesitation issue----"I submit to you that the issue is getting play here because that's the nature of the players here."

    One more comment for the A.P.K.O.A.T.
    Some offered wisdom about good Whisky(and good wine, good food,etc.)worthy of consideration:
    "If it tastes good, don't ask why."

  • azyoazyo Posts: 3
    I've 04 Siena 8-seater. Comfy seats. Easy to remove. I'm not a mechanical engineer, I didn't try to analyze the mechanism, just took them out. Put them back in no issue. I wastched the video out of curiousity, I thought it would be much more difficult. After the video, the procedure turned out pretty easy. Could've figured it out without the video. Seats are kind of heavy, but sort of expected that. Very happy with the Siena. I love the fact the 3rd row headrest drops into the seat without having to "unplug" them like on the Odyssey before dropping the 3rd row into the floor. Just wished 2nd row seat had arm rests. Perhaps in the next model...
  • lumbarlumbar Posts: 421
    For my part, I'm at least glad that there is a perceived "hesitation issue" (also known as dissatisfaction with Toyota's throttle-by- wire). Otherwise, I wouldn't have the opportunity to enjoy your posts in response (over a Balvenie).
  • azyoazyo Posts: 3
    Yoyannk, this is why I bought the Sienna. Looks nicer on the outside to me (front and back.) Very quiet drive. Nice 2nd row seat windows that can roll down. Third row seat head rests sinks into the seats without having to "unplug" them and have sharp pointy objects in the rear ready to fly out (far fetched, but possible.) Powerful enough engine. Cool shifter location and I love the zig-zag shift into drive. Cool blue illuminations at night. JBL sound system. The rest are "comparable" to me. Oh yeah, it's a TOYOTA! Good luck, you can't lose with either Odyssey or Sienna. Honda has cult follower, but I think the new Sienna will change the new minivan followers, if they really compare without listening to "noise" from disatisfied owners. Read the complaints, but use some judgment. Good luck.
  • joyannkjoyannk Posts: 3
    Thank you very much for the reply. I suspect you are right about the situation. I will plan at least one more test drive of each car.
    Last visited your country in 2001;BEAUTIFUL!
    Hope to get back someday.
This discussion has been closed.