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Toyota Sienna Maintenance and Repair (2004+)



  • cappy4103cappy4103 Posts: 48
    I had a 2004 Sienna and after one winter of upstate NY driving, the front edge of our hood took a beating! After purchasing our 2005 Sienna, I purchased a magnet bra and installed it for the winter. It's a magnetic vinyl like the signs that companies put on the sides of their vehicles to advertise. It only covers the front foot of the hood, doesn't chatter like the fabic bras, and can easily be removed and reinstalled... just an idea. The company is located online at I think the cost was about $50. Good luck!
  • warpspeedwarpspeed Posts: 8
    Im overseas & I could realy use the alignment specs for the 05 sienna asap..
    Anybody ?? :confuse:
    Thanx n advance :)
    (17k miles since Jan.)
  • hibrienhibrien Posts: 7
    Thanks Phoebe! Yes, I drove the minivan home and parked it all week.
    Thank goodness, that I can pack three kids in the back of a 2004 Honda
    Civic Hybrid and get around without the minivan.
    Parts are supposed to be in on Friday June 3, then I return to the Toyota
    dealer Saturday June 4 for repair. I have since learned from siennaclub
    dot org users that there is indeed a second air conditioning unit in the
    rear of the sienna. I suspect that maybe Toyota did not design the
    vehicle to withstand the flex of driving around mountain roads. This is probably
    why the air conditioning lines separated in the rear of the vehicle. You will spot
    oily fluid in the right side passenger rear wheel compartment outside the vehicle.
    In terms of electrical problems- same guess, who knows what wiring harnesses
    back there have been stretched out causing electrical problems to occur.
    The vehicle has not been off road. In terms of steam coming out, that's hard
    to say- could be radiator, but then you would see coolant on the ground.
    If the air conditioning refrigerant leaked out, you could be seeing that in terms
    of steam or condensation, but no fluid on the ground. Stay in touch. Thanks. -Brien
  • I did not hear any noises with this problem. The van hesitated only when the gas tank got below ¼ tank, and got worse as the tank got lower. It started happening on the very first tank of gas. It particularly hesitated while reaccelerating after a stop or a turn.
    Hope that helps
  • rzqg8rrzqg8r Posts: 1
    I am sure you have answers by now, but if not, here is what I do on my XLE Limited (I got it in May). First turn on the Radio on punch DISK then put the DVD into the back Entertainment system. If you have the Emergency brake on - you will see the movie up front as well as in back, but if not - you will still get the movie sound through the stereo.
  • ednovakednovak Posts: 55
    One more note. You may have to turn the volume way up to hear the DVD through the stereo properly (at least it's that way on mine) so be careful to turn the volume down BEFORE you switch to the radio. Otherwise even if the resulting roar dosen't damage the speakers, it won't do anything good for your nerves..
  • vgrinshpunvgrinshpun Posts: 36
    I replaced Bridgestone B380 RFTs at 42,000 miles with Yokohama Avid TRZ tires and could not be happier. Harsh ride and noise associated with Bridgestones are gone, and Yokohamas perform very good (substantially better than Bridgestones) under all conditions: snow, rain, dry. I have used Yokohamas for about 6,000 miles on them.
  • jtd32jtd32 Posts: 1
    I am also glad not to be alone. We currently are getting the run around with our tires on our 04 Sienna. At 20k miles our run flat tires were totally worn out in the rear end. We needed all 4 new tires. We had searched for the tires in our town with out luck. They had to be ordered from Dunlap and would take a month to get. Two months later we had to park the van as the tires were to badly worn and unsafe to drive so we had to squeeze our kids back into our smaller car. Until we could get the tires. Then we find out that the rear end can not be aligned so we brought vehicle back to the dealership. The service technician at the dealership had to call their technician help line to try to figure it out. They told us that even if the rear end is off that it really is not as there is a flex bushing in the rear suspension and that the rear wheels can not be aligned because they always adjust due to the road conditions???? Then they tried to say it was our fault as we need to check the tire pressure every 2 weeks and has to be exactly 32 lbs. Explained no one ever mentioned this maintenance issue when we purchased the van and paid 40k for it. I am afraid that the new tires we just got today are just going to wear out the same as these ones even with checking the tire pressure every two weeks because how the tires were worn appeared more to be that the toe was off. The the dealership told us we should are lucky as a lot of people are only getting 12k- 15k miles out of the tires. I don't know about anyone else but these are very expensive tires to be replacing so soon and not what I bargained for when purchasing this vehicle. I want to do something just I am not sure what to do. Does anyone have any suggestions ???
  • hibrienhibrien Posts: 7
    The latest update for June 4th is that the Toyota dealer installed new air conditioning
    lines in the rear of the minivan, and recharged the air conditioning system. The new
    refrigerant leaked out. Additional new air conditioning parts are on order to arrive next Tuesday. In addition, the oxygen sensor in the exhaust manifold was seized up. A new
    exhaust manifold is on order to arrive next Tuesday. Yet one more week without my minivan. I still can't believe that at 15k miles, the air conditioning fails, the oxygen sensor fails, and now a new exhaust manifold! Ridiculous.
  • hibrien-

    Sorry to hear about your whoas. They sound very similar to ours except instead of an oxygen sensor our ECM went and the entire computer had to be replaced. I know these boards generally only generate negative comments but it seems like there are some fairly consistent themes that Toyota needs to address.

    BTW we have had our Rear A/C system re-done TWICE in 17K miles. :mad:
  • james22james22 Posts: 2
    My Dunlap Run Flat tires wore out at 19,000 miles. All they recommend is rotating them every 3,000 miles.
  • james22james22 Posts: 2
    I bought 4 Dunlap Run Flats at Discount Tire for $218 each and they included a Discount Tire 30,000 prorated warranty. We will see.
  • thoele1thoele1 Posts: 1
    I just bought a 2005 XLE with leather and find the thigh support awful. Don't know why they couldn't have made the power movement more adjustable with moving the front of the seat higher and the back lower. I can do this on my pathfinder which has seats of the same length. They also should have added an inch or so in seat length like my father-in laws odessey. Don 't think toyota will help with a fix on movement. Hate to have to raise front on my own with shims after spending 34xxx. Have you figured anything out??
  • yanyan Posts: 1
    I have the same problem for my 2004 Sienna as your 05 Sienna. This rattle started 3 months later after I bought it.

    I sent it to the dealer 6 times for repairing. Every time the slide doors started to rattle again in couple weeks after repairing. Last Wednesday, the technician tried everything he could. But he still couldn’t fix the rattle.

    Would you like to share more your information? What are you going to do next? Contact Toyota or Dealer? These are thing I am thinking to do.

  • neilj93neilj93 Posts: 1
    Here is our story about our 2004 Toyota Sienna XLT-AWD. We have a similar tire problem, Dunlop SP 4000 run-flats. We are in Up-state NY and do a lot of highway driving/traveling. Our van is 10 months old and has about 13,800 miles. On June 9th we noticed that we had a flat tire on the driver's rear. There was no dashboard indicator light, and my wife had driven to and from work on the flat (probably above 50 mph). We went to a gas station and tried to put air in and noticed that between the treads, there was a massive hole. There was 0 psi/air in the tire, it flowed right out. The next morning, I limped the $37K mini-van down to the same dealership that had sold it, serviced it and rotated the tires. I asked for a new tire and was told they didn't have any, they would try to locate one. It was Friday morning and there was no certainty I would have the van back the same day. I explained that we needed the van that day and I would have to call around to see if someone else could fix it. I call another dealership and they have the tires in stock, for $241 + mounting & balance! The dealership that had my van called and said they could do it, the tires were $269 + mounting & balance. I told them about the other dealership and they said they couldn't match it! I told them I would pick it up and bring it elsewhere. Of course, shortly thereafter, they call and said, "Are you sitting down? We got a deal for you." My manager called the Toyota Rep and we will give you 4 brand new tires for free, you have to let us keep your van until Monday." I told them I would have to get back to them. I called the other dealership and ran the story by the service manager. He said there must be something wrong with the tires, but don't be crazy, take the deal. The tires are $1,300. I call the original dealership back and tell them to go ahead and change the tires. When I questioned him about the other tires, he said they were worn down to a point of barely passing NY state inspection and they did not want to lose a customer. I think they know something is wrong, especially after doing a little searching on the internet/here. The moral of my story is that the free tires (which I'm very grateful for) cost me a weekend rental car and they can't buy me/shut me up. There is obviously a serious problem after looking here and at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website ( There are others that have had the same bad experience. If everyone complains, who knows...something may actually be done. Hope it helps. :lemon:
  • We bought a 2005 Sienna LE in December 2004 and were told no problem to tow our family pop up camper. Previously we had a GMC Savanna Van to tow. Sales person told us to buy an after market hitch rather than the factory provided hitch.

    When spring came and we hooked up the camper, bottoming out happened at the slightest bump. Have been asking the dealer for solutions but they have not come up with anything in 2 weeks.

    The pop up Gross Vehicle dry weight is 3000 lbs which is under the Toyota stated 3500 lb capacity. The dry tongue weight is 295 lb which is below the Toyota stated 350 lb limit. When we load up the camper, it will go slightly higher in weight but I don't believe over the limits.

    Checked with good local hitch shop and they suggest air lift shocks that insert inside the rear springs. I have brought that solution back to the Toyota dealer since we want to go on a family camping vacation this next weekend. They have said they will install but there will be no warranty on this.

    We just wish they would have had good information on this at the time of purchase and we would have bought a different vehicle that could have towed our pop up.

    Anyone have any information or stories about success or problems with these air lift shocks?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    have worked really well for many years on the back of my 1994 Ford Aerostar extended.
  • godthab5godthab5 Posts: 1
    We have experienced three different visits to our local dealership (Wilde Toyota in West Allis, WI) to have this addressed. Two times they have replaced the belt(s) under warranty which has rectified the situation however, in the last visit, the service advisor said that they were going to have to get someone outside of the dealership involved. I am on my 3rd call to the dealer with no calls back.

    Besides a very poor service experience around this, the noise that this squeal emits is terrible and for someone that took faith in Toyota on the first year of a new design, I am very disappointed. I knowingly am letting a poor dealership experience overshadow all of my Toyota experience.

    Does anyone know if Toyota has acknowledge this engine issue?

    I have over 40K on this car in less than two years and it has been great. Having a very high pitch squeal emit from the car in a parking garage at work, at a soccer field, or at church isin't good advertising for me or Toyota!
  • shainshain Posts: 3
    Just picked up my Sienna LE fwd 2 1/2 weeks ago. First week everything seemed normal. Just recently however, when I start it up with the engine cold, (morning or afternoon) the engine idles at about 1500-1700 RPM for 3-5 minutes. After it warms up, the idle drops down to about 600-800 RPM, which seems about where it should be. The local Toyota dealer claims that this is "probably normal."
    I would like to hear from other New Sienna owners about their experiences with the idle speed. This seems far from "normal" to me. It seems that putting it into gear at 1500-1700 RPMs would not be good on the transmission, and I've never owned a car in my life where I've had to wait 3-5 minutes before driving off. Thanks in advance for the feedback.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Try turning off the A/C compressor before you start the car. Also it might help if you reduced the alternator load, headlights, seat heating, turned off prior to starting the engine.

    And by all means DON'T turn the stearing wheel just prior to or as you start the car.
  • toyotakentoyotaken Posts: 897
    In over 10 years of working with and owning Toyota's, this is pretty standard. The idle starts higher to get the engine warmed up more quickly (esp. in the last few years to get the catalitic converter hot) then drops back down to just maintain. Hope this helps.

  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    It's completely normal for your Sienna to idle at about 1,500RPM for a few minutes after you start the car when it is cold. Shifting it won't cause a problem with the tranny either.
  • 12051205 Posts: 6
    Has anyone had any good or bad experiences with after market replacement parts? Someone hit our van and damaged both front and rear bumpers and the head lights etc. Farmers Insurance claims they will fix it with after market parts. It is my understanding That their has been many problems with after market headlights such as fogging up, cracks in the plastic lens etc. Also I am not thrilled with the fact that I paid 36K a little over a year ago with the extended warranty and now have what I feel perhaps are second rate parts about to be installed so the insurance company can save some bucks. The accident was not our fault and Farmers has no contract with me......just the person they insured. I'm not sure why I would want two reconditioned bumpers!
    Anybody with aftermarket experience?
  • ohresohres Posts: 46
    Thanks for your information.
    I am currently preparing an e-mail to a service manager, in order to get more attention on the problems I am having with my Sienna. I agree with you that the uneven wear should come from mechanical problem rather than the tire itself. The optimum suggested cold tire pressure on my XLE Ltd AWD is 35psi, posted on the pillar of the driver side front door. I check tire pressure quite often at home with a quality pressure gauge and always follow the pressure and rotation guideline posted on the vehicle. On my Subaru, the pressure on the front tire is higher than the rear one. On my Chrysler T&C AWD, all are 35psi cold. I never have any uneven wear problem on the two AWD vehicles. On my Sienna, however, I found the uneven wear problem so early such that I had to mention the problem when the vehicle was in for the 5000 mile service. Did you find any written guidelines about the 2 week tire pressure check? If it is not written clearly then they cannot say that it is your fault. After 10k service (two tire rotations), two tires show more feathering patterns than the others. I am wondering if the driver side rear wheel is somehow related to the problem. Toyota repair manual suggests that any bad suspension parts have to be replaced if the toe-in or the camber are not within the specified value. I will post an update after talking to the service manager. Thanks.
  • ohresohres Posts: 46
    Thanks for your info.
    I will carefully monitor the problem whether it has any relation with the gas level.
  • vgrinshpunvgrinshpun Posts: 36
    Do not waste your energy figuring out whether aftermarket parts are inferior to original manufacturer's parts. (The response to this question is obvious) Your efforts should be aimed at making Insurance Co. pay for OEM parts. They will after you insist. It is their business approach to sort out "soft" car owners by creating impression that they will not pay for OEM parts.

    I would recommend finding good Toyota dealership with body shop, state to them that you will not accept aftermarket parts, and let them deal with insurance. That is what I did with MY OWN INSURANCE CO.
  • clover1clover1 Posts: 4
    I just purchased a 2005 and took delivery of the vehicle in May 2005. I took the car home on Mothers Day. When I came home I went over every side of the car to ensure it did not have any abnormalities. Well I did find a few in the right passenger side fender area and hood. I informed my sales agent as to the issues, which were a cracked right headlight, scratches on the bumper and hood. I could not see this damage when I was in the dealership because it was raining and due to the fact that when the agent parked the car he directly parked it up to a wall. He told me that I could set up an auto body appointment to have the car fixed, since it was brand new. The appointment was then made by the auto body shop for 16 and I picked up the car June 17. To make a long story short I received my car back from the Toyota Auto Body and they had to replace the front bumper, due to a stress issue and other issues, such as scratches. They also had to replace the headlight and repainted my hood. The technician then tells me I cannot wash or wax my car for 60 days, because they had to repaint my hood, which is now a mess. Whoever painted my hood scuffed the paint in areas, so now I have scuff marks on my hood, which is unacceptable. My next steps are to contact Toyota headquarters directly to let them know what I have been going through. I am going to tell them to take back the car back or give me another one. I am aware of the MA Lemon Law, but this is rediculous. When you buy a new car it should be in 100% condition. Has anyone out there had to deal with the headquarters directly or had issues such as this on a new car?
  • woodytwowoodytwo Posts: 42
    Thanks for the info. I ordered the Avid TRZ tires today. can't wait for the harsh ride with the Dunlaps to be a thing of the past.
  • woodytwowoodytwo Posts: 42
    In Canada, Toyota has issued an advisory on the Dunlop run flats. It apparently applies to tires with under 31,000 kms. They give you some kind of $ credit towards a new set of the Dunlop Run Flats.My tires have 41,000 kms with about 5,000 kms left on them. I didn't pursue the toyota deal (Service Mgr said even at my kms they would probably offer me something) since I am tired of the harsh ride. I'll replace with Yokohama Avid TRZ and keep one Run Flat as a spare with a rim that I'll buy.

    By the way, the Run Flats have been wearing very even. I have rotated these tires on my AWD every 8 to 12,000 kms and have not had a problem. I had an alignment done at 24,000 miles because of a slight pull to the left. Tire pressure was kept at (32 psi when I went in for an oil change; seems the boys see Sienna and automatically put in 32 psi even if they have to let some air out) 35 psi by myself checked every few months or 4000 kms. Tires however never leaked air. about 20,000kms the van was at full load capacity (as weighed on a Provincial hiway truck scale) and driven on long hiway trips.
  • woodytwowoodytwo Posts: 42
    I've just received a recall for the rust or scaling at the bottom of the front doors on my 2004 AWD LE. They say the fix is to apply some kind of "tape" to the bottom of the front and sliding doors to eliminate the "grinding of dirt and salt against the rubber seal".
    They estimate that this will take 2 to 3 hours to service. Has this recall happened in the USA? If so why does it take so much time to install the tape? Did they refinish the door first?
    Any info would be helpful before I call my dealer.
This discussion has been closed.