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+)



  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    I told you I was being a snot.

    You mean that not all people do their new car research by joining the TownHall community and participating for a couple of years before they purchase????? :confuse:

    "i remember reading a post in another forum where a person and his wife thought they were buying a 4WD vehicle and found out it was only 2-wheel sometime after the purchase."

    I'm not surprised this happens. I am surprised they fessed up to it.

    After re-reading my last post, I would like to offer this to meg7: the salesmen certainly shouldn't have assumed that any potential buyer would intuitively understand that vehicles with run-flat tires wouldn't have a spare. Run-flats are still new enough to the market that this is not common knowledge. Therefore, when pointing out that the vehicle comes equipped with run-flats, they should have pointed out that there was no spare.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    agreed (minus the sinus stuff). ;)

    now then - will the customers know that the RFTs on the AWDbSienna seem to be giving people problems and are rather pricey to replace (if they haven't done their research here)?

    and is it the salesman or the manufacturer's responsibility to point this out to a potential buyer? ;)

    frankly - just like on the issue of HIDs, i'm still stuck on the whole AWD benefits thing... i can't seem to come to an understanding of their true advantage - i believe the AWD technology helps get you going from zero speed, but once going, they don't add to your traction. i'm probably sadly mistaken about this - but it seems to be a bit of a hype, specially in a vehicle with Traction Control and Stability Control.

    talk about confused? sign me up.

    now i'm sure their are circumstances where the AWD is handy, but i don't see the disadvantages when coupled with RFTs outweighing their advantages. if the RFTs are replaced by conventional snows, then the equation changes slightly in my mind - but i'm still not thrilled with not having a spare, nor the impact on mileage, nor the increased complexity of the overall system...

    confused and conflicted. anyone else?
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    I'm with you on the AWD issue.

    AWD gives you better traction for acceleration (duh; you've got traction on 4 contact patches rather than 2). But no more traction for manuveuring or braking. Manuveuring and braking control is aided through the use of ABS/VSC which are available on the FWD models. IMO, many folks just get it in their heads that they 'need' AWD without understanding the benefits of Toyota's VSC system. Personally, I'd rather have the capacity to carry a spare and put on a good set of snow tires if I thought conditions waranted.

    Salesman/Manufacturer's responsibility - I think it is their responsibility to make it clear what equipment is on a car. I also think it is the responsibility of the consumer to ask questions of the salesman when they are unclear about a piece of equipment. And I certainly would never expect a salesman to 'volunteer' information about potential problems a particular piece of equipment was having. That's were research comes in.

    And the research really isn't that hard. If one wants to get an idea of potential problems with a car, one seeks out any Owner's Clubs for that car on the internet. One doesn't necessarily HAVE to know about Edmund's to find out this information.

    Although knowing about Edmund's certainly helps..... ;)
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    err - oviously coffee hadn't kicked in this morning. in my post, i meant to say i'm just not sure of the advantages of AWD with RFTs outweighing the disadvantages. when you go with snows, and you have Traction Control and VSC, what is the real advantage to the AWD system? does it outweigh the disadvantages?

    i understand they get you going easier, but how do they help in traction, specifically directional and stopping control?

    if there is someone out there that has a good scientific link to the advantages, i'd love to visit it. same with HID studies (as far as I'm concerned they are a nuisance to other drivers) but my opinion could be swayed. ;)
  • nimmy4nimmy4 Posts: 4
    We have a 2004 Sienna XLE FWD with ~20K miles. It has made this knocking/rattling sound for the past 10K miles. It used to only happen when the engine was cold when first started that day and right before the transmission shifted. Once the engine warmed-up, the sound went away. Lately, this has been occuring several times throughout the day when the engine is turned off and restarted, but still only happens right before shifting. After a couple of miles the sound does not occur.
  • tunchtunch Posts: 8
    I purchased a 2004 AWD sienna and after 22,000 miles have had to have the transmission replaced. I had it in for checkups several times for hesitations and the engine revving. That was supposedly fixed but has not changed at all. They have had the car for almost two weeks. I'm concerned that this will be an ongoing problem. Any others with this problem or are there any options that I have?
  • tunchtunch Posts: 8
    The brakes on my 2004 sienna squeal every morning. It usually stops after a few uses. I was told by the dealer service department that this is normaI. I recently drove a sienna rental of the same make and year for a week in Florida and did not have the squealing. Is this dealer correct or do I have a problem?
  • tunchtunch Posts: 8
    Altho my sienna is a 2004, I am in the process of having a new transmission put in after similar problems and many trips before they admitted it needed a new transmission. According to them this is a first. I am concerned that they will "rebuild" the old one and that it neede replaced after 22,000 miles in the first place. I'd keep on them
  • tunchtunch Posts: 8
    I have a 2004 sienna with 22,000miles. Supposedly my transmission will have been replaced by tomorrow (TWO weeks and counting) I'm concerned as to why it went in the first place and why it took so long for them to replace it. Is there a way to tell if they truly put in a new one or just "rebuilt" the old one. Do I have any options with the dealer. It took several visits before they "acknowledged" the transmission was bad.
  • ednovakednovak Posts: 55
    Since you are still under the factory warranty, if you don't already have an extended warranty, I strongly recommend you consider it. At least one dealer in the midwest was selling the 7 year warranty for well under $1,000. (You can purchase the warranty from any dealer as long as the vehicle is still under the factory warranty.) With this type of a problem, you don't want to take a chance on it having to be worked on again at your expense. :sick:
  • I just purchased an XLE with RES (package #7) this past weekend. After two days of driving, I noticed two things that are less desirable but I am not sure whether they are "normal" for Sienna. First of all, even though at 40 miles per hour, my van seems to take an awkful long distance to come to a complete stop. I don't know whether I need to slam on the brake harder or what. The brake just feel very mushy. Seondly, for some reasons, I have to turn the radio volume to at least 30 in order for everyone to hear the soundtrack from the DVD player. Normally, for radio, I only had to turn to 6 for me to hear radio broadcast. Can you imagine if I accidently switched from DVD to radio? Are these defects or normal operations? Should I take my van back to the dealer for check ups? Thanks.
  • ednovakednovak Posts: 55
    I've never experienced any problem with the brakes on my Sienna. It might be a good idea to ask the dealer for a "test drive" in another Sienna and see if it feels the same. You may just need to adjust to the feel.

    Unfortunately, the volume issue for the DVD is well known and all of us have at one time or another "switched" from DVD to radio without turning the volume down. When it happens to you, your hearing will recover but it takes awhile.. Seriously though, I don't know of any fix for it.
  • tunchtunch Posts: 8
    I already have the extended warranty, my concern is how do I know they didn't put in a rebuilt one(15 days seems like a very long time) Now today they said it also need a distributor and steering lubricant. plus new tires (which are my responsibility altho they are worn unevenly despite rotating them and regular realignment) My extended warranty is called "extra care" thru the dealer but it does not cover transmission components, altho I was told it did. One would need an entire day to read all the small print they hit you with when you are signing on the line. Lesson learned the hard way. Thanks for your input and I'd appreciate any advice you have. I seem to have gotten a bad car, but since it was a demo with 9000 mi, I'm not covered by the lemon law in PA.
  • sam_chansam_chan Posts: 10
    I have a 2004 LE with pkg #7 with 30,000 miles. Recently, we noticed this power sliding door problem: with the engine turned off, start closing or opening the passenger side sliding door, while the sliding door is in motion, start the engine, at this point, the power sliding door would stop and door motor would no longer work.

    In order to reset, we will need to manually force close the sliding door, then the motor would work again. Does anyone have this similar problem?
  • ohresohres Posts: 46
    My 04 Sienna Ltd AWD also has several problems that makes me concerned. After receiving an updated code, the transmission with severe hesitation problem is working better than before but it now has some sluggish acceleration at times (it appears that it is trying to hold onto a higher gear longer). The problems on the transmission and the RF Tires should not happen if Toyota tested the vehicle properly before introducing the model.

    Did you consult your case with a lemon law lawyer?
    When I had a problem with my Dodge Grand Caravan, a lemon law lawyer could help me to get a replacement even if the PA lemon law was not applicable due to the time and the mileage requirement. After reviewing my case including all the document (such as the service records and the letters to and from the company and the arbitration board) for free, they agreed to help. He applied other consumer protection law. The service was free for me but upon settlement they recovered their fees from Chrysler. Good luck!
  • After driving it for a few more time, I am getting more used to the brakes. Regarding the DVD, I wished I tested it before the purchase. I would have chosen package 6 instead (and save myself almost $2K). :cry:
  • ednovakednovak Posts: 55
    My extended warranty is called "extra care" thru the dealer but it does not cover transmission components, altho I was told it did.

    Below is an extract from the ToyotaFinancial site:

    "Toyota Certified Used Vehicle Protection Plan

    All Toyota Certified Used Vehicles (TCUVs) come with a Limited Warranty that covers engine, transmission, and axle-assembly components. Toyota Financial Services offers a Certified VSA that enhances this Limited Warranty by covering additional key components while your Limited Warranty is in effect.

    The Toyota Extra Care Certified VSA is available through your Toyota dealer only at the time you purchase or lease your TCUV. Please see your dealer for pricing information."

    All Extra Care warranties (there are multiple different types) cover engine and transmission although only the more expensive "options" cover other components like the NAV or Audio systems. You are not being given the correct information by the dealer. I would demand to discuss this with an area representative since the extended warranty would be worthless if it didn't cover the engine and transmission!

    You are most likely out of luck with the tires. They seem to be prone to early wear and 22K is pretty good compared to what some others have gotten.
  • ednovakednovak Posts: 55
    I've found the same problem with Audio CD books which my wife and I listen to while commuting from PA to NY for family visits. When I forget to lower the volume before changing over to the radio, we get our ears blasted out.
    JVC really messed up the automatic leveling on this unit.
  • tunchtunch Posts: 8
    Thanks for the info. I will follow thru on that. I still don't have my car back as now there are more problems. I appreciate your help and will follow that up.. I'd stay on your sienna transmission as that's exactly how mine was, but they couldn't see it or hear it. I really am tired of hearing "that's normal for this car" As for the tires, they said I'm on my own with the tire company. Hopefully I can get this resolved without investing a fortune in tires too. It's quite an expensive car to have such major problems and as you said so avoidable with proper testing, instead of letting the consumer find these things out.
  • markie1markie1 Posts: 1
    I had similar rattling noise with cold engine on my camry.
    It turned out to be water pump(timing belt) problem.
  • papohpapoh Posts: 2
    We bought a 2005 Sienna limited/AWD top of the line van about a year ago. 42 grand new. Since then we have discovered that the tire pressure system does NOT work AT ALL with the run flat tires. My wife drove around for an unknown time with -0- psi in the tire and the system NEVER indicated a problem.

    After dealing with both local and regional Toyota reps they have refused to do anything about this, though they did acknowledge the system does not work as advertised.

    If not for this problem, we love the van. But I will not have my family driving around in an unsafe vechicle and the tires are rated ONLY up to 50 MPH and only for 150 miles on low pressure.

    I would advise anyone considering this van to NOT get the AWD version with runflats. It is not a safe van due to the admitted nonfunctioning tire sensor and the first time someone gets killed due to this Toyota is going to be sued for a known defect.

    I personally will never buy another Toyota again, and just cancelled a pending purchase on a 50 grand 400h lexus hybrid because if this is the best Toyota engineers can come up with, my family is driving something else. We will be trading in a year old Limited Sienna and taking a huge hit, but safety comes first.

    Totally disgusted. :mad:
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "It is not a safe van due to the admitted nonfunctioning tire sensor...."

    Interesting. Did your dealer find a nonfunctioning tire sensor? If a sensor was defective, why was it not fixed as a warantee item?

    Does it state anywhere in your owner's manual that you do NOT need to periodically check the tire pressure manually?
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    i may be mistaken, but doesn't the Toyota tire pressure monitoring system depend on wheel rotational speed differences as assessed by the ABS sensors? If so, this might suggest that the runflats on the AWD just don't change radius appreciably with loss of air pressure under certain conditions (TBD).

    there may be some legitimacy to the concern being expressed here as runflats are supposed to have a very stiff sidewall and/or internal supports to allow for driving at slower speeds for a limited distance without the vehicle riding on the rim. however, practically, people just may not know that their tires are low and may drive at considerable speed and distance with the tire compromised.

    this should be easy to test. check the owner's manual for a description of the monitoring system, then artificially let some air out of one of the tires to the point the system should trigger. does it trigger?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    the system was reset by someone without realizing that one of the tires was already "flat".
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    you mean once reset, it doesn't retrigger? I don't follow...
  • jb_shinjb_shin Posts: 357
    As the other poster said, I am pretty sure that the Tire Pressure monitor system looks at the rotational speed to determine if it is within acceptable range of the calibrated pressure. My M5 uses the same method, and each time there is a pressure change (adding more air), the system needs to be reset and driven at constant speeds for certain amount of time to recalibrate. Then the next time system detects speed differential, it will "assume" there is a pressure loss and trigger the light. Unless Toyota decided to use actual air pressure sensor inside the tire (read MORE cost), I doubt it would be useful in the case of the runflats since they may not deform enough to show difference. Of course I may be way off the mark, but that's my 2 cents.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    tire pressure "norms".

    Before you do the reset you should always check all four tires to be sure of equal and/or proper tire pressure all around. If one (or two) tires are under or over pressure and you do the reset then whatever pressure is there, within certain boundaries, at the time becomes the "norm".
  • paulepaule Posts: 382
    Easy fix: Don't start your engine while the door is in motion.

    It works as designed.
  • I owned a 2005 LE since May. It has happened to us a few times that battery is drained when the door is left open for 1+ hours. When it happened the first time, we thought that it might be because of the dome lights. We made sure that all the dome lights were turned off and it still happened. Our van's sliding doors are not automatic and they are not supposed to draw power from the battery.

    After this problem happens a few times, I got tired of it and placed a starter on board. But it is a joke that you cannot open the van doors for a while to enjoy fresh air when you are outdoors. Does this happen to anybody else?
  • mcase2mcase2 Posts: 160
    Tunch, who the heck told you Extra Care warranties exclude "transmission components ?" I have Extra Care. I read the exclusions. There is NO exclusion of "transmission components". Nobody would buy the damn things if there was. Your distributor may covered too. You might want to contact Extra Care directly and get this straightened out. The extra Care administration # is 1-800-228-8559. You may also want to speak to the Toyota district manager and discuss this with them. If you get a chance let us know what they say.
    PS - I believe they do have the option to use remanufactured ("like new") parts. Of course they are not the same as new.

    Best wishes
This discussion has been closed.