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Toyota Sienna Maintenance and Repair (2004+)



  • mwcoxmwcox Posts: 13
    Interesting: :(

    Toyota and Goodyear are being sued for what claimants say are "defective" run-flat tires on the Sienna minivan. A New York law firm filed the suit on behalf of one Stanley Monk and other owners, the AP reports, who charge that the run-flat tires wear out after just 10,000 miles of use. The tires were made by Goodyear but sold under the Dunlop imprint on the Toyota minivan. Run-flat tires are designed with stiff sidewalls that provide on-road capability even when a tread puncture deflates the tire. Lawyers allege in the suit that the tire wear effectively means the tires must be replaced yearly at a cost of $1300 or more.
  • Bot Sienna 2005 (7passager), I want to move the center seat , by manual:
    Step 1, lower the head restraint to lowest position, slide to the rear-most lock ..
    Step 2 , fold down the seatback..
    Step 3, pull the seat lock release lever (red) and swing up the seat.

    Where is seat lock realease lever (red)? :mad: I just found 2 red button under the seat, I donot think I can reach it too far when I want to swing the seat.

    Do I miss something?
  • I noticed the post about the lawsuit re: the run-flat tires - is it just on the AWD or on the FWD also? Everything that people have posted is true about my car - less than 10 mo. old, with 15,000 miles on. Very soon after buying it we felt it pulling to the left. Toyota service people (incl. manager didn't feel it - just like they don't feel the air rushing thru the middle vent even when air/heat is off!). In summer Toyota Service recommended balancing (which I paid for) and the left front tire "screeches" when the wheel is turned hard left and u take off. My husband has been blaming me for driving the car hard..which I don't do!!!! Can I blame the tires? And what can I do about it without having to pay to replace the tires myself?
  • Correction for previous post re: tire problems on '05 Sienna.

    Also, my Sienna runs high - toyota service says that ok - at almost 2! Everything I've pointed out to them, is always "ok" - either they don't "hear" or "see" it; or that's the way its supposed to be - "normal". And can't convince them otherwise - no matter how many times I bring the car back.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "I noticed the post about the lawsuit re: the run-flat tires - is it just on the AWD or on the FWD also?"

    The lawsuit only applies to the run-flat tires. The run-flat tires were ONLY on the AWD versions of the van. If you have a FWD version, you don't have run-flat tires as original equipment. Therefore, the lawsuit would not apply to you.

    "...and the left front tire "screeches" when the wheel is turned hard left and u take off."

    It's not unusual for the inside tire to 'screech' if the wheel is turned all the way in one direction and more than a moderate amount of power is applied. I suppose one could blame the tires (not sticky enough/spin too easily), but the solution (more aggresive thread/rubber compound) would probably lead to other 'problems' (reduced tire life, decreased gas mileage, perhaps more tire noise in general driving conditions). It probably is more pronounced to the left side rather than the right side due to the suspension geometry (FWD vehicles usually have unequal length half-shafts from the transaxle; these unequal length half-shafts usually lead to more torque going to one side than other. This is usually exhibited as 'torque-steer').

    'Pulling to the left' sounds like an alignment issue.
  • mcase2mcase2 Posts: 160
    "Scalloping" thats nice its called wear. Your run flats are wearing unevenly and prematurely. There is a class action suit over the incredible wear on the run flats filed in NY and one underway in CA.
  • mcase2mcase2 Posts: 160
    I don't know what you mean by "Everything people posted here is true about my car" there are lot good posts about this car. My FWD Sienna has no pulling, in fact its the most stable car I have ever owned. If your Sienna is pulling to the left there is something wrong, its not characteristic of the vehicle. You might try a different dealer or mechanic because we all know car dealers are not always objective. I find air flow in my middle vent too, though its not "rushing through". It only bothers me in moderately cool weather, when its cool, but not cool enough for heat. I found that simply turning the flow to floor vent eliminates it. The tires are not run flats on the FWD, but they are junk. Most stock tire that come with new cars are junk and Toyota's are no exception. There is no way Toyota is going to replace them for you, sorry. Try inflating them closer to their max psi. Mine squealed all the time no matter how I inflated them, though. I finally replaced them with high quality tires and the squealing stopped.
  • bmahhbmahh Posts: 1
    I just went to have a service performed on my 2004 XLE AWD and commented on the tire wear to the service consultant. I have about 40,000 Km of which more than half was on snow tires ( about 18,000 km or about 12,000 miles on the run flats). The snow tires suprisingly does not show the same wear that are exhibited by the run flats. Their response was that I needed a tire alignment ( at my cost ). When I said that I had one performed about a year ago (free by Toyota because they noticed abnormal tire wear) they responded that I should have one every year. Also, they responded that other AWD/Four wheel drive vehicles have similar wear to the tires and that that was normal. Needless to say, I was disappointed with the responses. Other vehicles that I have owned have never required yearly wheel alignments. Also, to say that abnormal tire wear for AWD vehicles is normal is ridiculous. It appears that this issue is being miss-handled by Toyota or at worse, ignored. When I have to replace the tires (probably in about a year), I will be using normal tires. If the wear persists, I will be looking to replace an otherwise great van. Meanwhile, in my eyes, Toyota has lost my respect as a company, in not addressing complaints with regards to this issue. I guess I will join many other AWD owners and start complaining to Toyota. :mad:
  • How do I get more info on this? I've already replaced 2 of the tires and now all 4 seem to need replacing again. I'd like to participate in the suit also. Should I complain to Attorney General?
  • Did anyone ever tell you how to get info on the lawsuit? If so, could you please forward to me? Thanks.
  • heywood1heywood1 Posts: 850
    You--and all the others here who seem to think a lawsuit is the answer--would be better served by pressing harder for a resolution from your dealer and your regional Toyota rep. The only ones who benefit from class action lawsuits are the attorneys and their firms. They'll get the lion's share of any settlement, and it will be years before you see any money.
  • We live near Cincinnati, Ohio.

    We have just replaced the Turanza tires (at 38K miles) with Yokohama Avids. Much better and more controlled ride than the Turanzas. Still get the occasional pull to the left but not as pronounced.

    One other thing that is starting to occur is a sort of crunching sound like ball joints going bad when you start rolling forward slowly. We have about 40K miles on the van at this time. I will be taking it in soon (Nov. '05)for regular service and have them look at the ball joints to see if this is also what has historically caused the car to pull to the left.
  • I agree 100% and as I always say stay away from doctors and lawyers....
  • I read here about some problems with other sienna vans having problems with the clicking/noise in steering wheel and they had the shaft replaced. Well our 2004 van has 35,900 miles on it and a few weeks ago started making the clicking noise, can hear it when turning the wheel to the left in a stand still. Brought it to dealer and they eventually replaced the shaft assy., it said rack was leaking, replace rack. But no mention of tsb but there is a tsb on the steering, service bulletin number 00304 steering intermediate shaft noise. Of course service tech. heard nothing of the tsb or wouldn't admit to it, I think sometimes they don't want to or maybe they have no clue about tsb's. They also did the seatbelt bezel recall, tape recall (what ever that was I think it was about the sliding door rusting or something). Also the driver side window as rattleing when it was all the way down and you close the door would hear the glass rattle, it was a bad bolt. This van is a good van when not bringing it to service for all the tsb's and recalls, ie radiator had two relplaced, steering return hose recall, check engine light on was vacum leak, then light went back on it was oxygen sensor, then again light went on it was a 500 idod. Have never brought a new car to a dealer for so many problems, our next van may not be a toyota?
  • I bought Sienna CE 2006 two weeks ago. Overall pleased with it. But I have a problem with the A/C. Everyday in the morning, when I first start the car, the A/C doesn't work (i.e. no airflow from the vent, A/C, circulation light can't be pressed on, etc.). I have to restarted the car and then everything is fine. This also happens when the car parked for a long time and I try to start it for the first time. Dose anybody have the same issue? Any inputs will be greatly appreciated!
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The following may apply to your vehicle. Many modern day automatic climate control systems work this way.

    For cooling mode the blower doesn't start until the A/C evaporator has been chilled enough to cool the incoming air. In heating mode the engine water jacket must reach 130F before the blower starts.
  • abinabin Posts: 18
    CE with auto climate control?
    I see a problem here.
  • mcase2mcase2 Posts: 160
    There is no auto climate control on my 04' Sienna, besides if it was the result of a control why would it be erratic?. You turn the knob the air should flow. You press ac the light should come on and it should start the compressor if the fan is in any of the on positions. Its sounds like a defect to me. An 06' must still be under warranty. Complain now and get it fixed. If its erratic it made be hard to get it to happen for the dealer, but at least get your complaints documented. If they won't fix it now and it gets worse after warranty you can demand repair because of their refusal to fix it when it was.
  • Having monitored this forum for quite some time, and also just having switched out my runflat Bridgestones for normal, non-runflat Yokohama Avid TRZs, thought I'd post my experiences with them.

    The TRZ is a quieter, softer tire. It does improve the ride since the sidewall is much more flexible (the 50 mi you get running a runflat flat is because of a super tough sidewall, which also makes the ride harsher). Haven't had them on long enough to check fuel economy. No, I didn't get the toyota spare. But I'm actually in a better position to fix a flat tire than before. Some might not know it, but to fix a runflat, like I had to do once for a screw, you have to find a tire shop with a runflat capable tire mounting machine. The normal tire mounting machines can't handle the extra stiff sidewall of the rf. So if you get a flat in an RF, you have to find the special shop to repair it. They're growing in number, but aren't saturated yet by any means. With my new TRZ's, any tire mounting machine can take it off, then plug patch it, then put it back on. Thus, my places to repair it are up ten fold. I also carry a compressor, a plug kit, a bottle of sealant, and a AAA plus card (100 mi free towing). The TRZ is also an 80K mi warrantied tire.

    My Bridgstones did OK. They liked to wear on the shoulder. I found if I kept them firm at 40psi, they wore much more evenly. Made for a firmer ride though. I had 28K mi them. Could have easily gotten 30-35K, but I rotated religiously every 5K mi.

    Just my 2 cents.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    I had my first serious encounter with a steady cold rain yesterday, and I was shocked at how bad the defogging in the Sienna is. With the heat all the way up, the fan all the way up and the control set to defrost only - I was not able to fully clear the front windshield and two front side windows (there was fog around the edges), and the rear windows were totally fogged up. Even after 20 minutes. This is by far the worst defogging I have experienced in any airconditioned car I have owned - the only vehicle being about the same is a '76 plymouth Volore without A/C.

    My question is. Is this normal? Is something wrong with my car? There was absolutely no difference between having the A/C and and off. All previous cars I have owned with A/C were able to clear the entire car in the same situation in less than a minute with the a/c engaged (and were about the same as the Sienna without the A/C.

    BTW I have the manual A/C and the temp outside was about 34 degrees with a steady rain. Does the low outside temp mean that the A/C won't work - if so, then this is a dangerous situation.
  • Easy fix. Do not use recirculated air when defogging. Make sure that the lever is set to intake fresh air. Had a Camry and Sienna and both were the same way. This should easily correct your problem.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    I wish it was that simple. I did use fresh air, and in fact the manual says that if you are in recirc mode it will automatically switch to fresh air when defog is engaged.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Because there is a law of physics that says water will freeze below 32F all modern day A/C compressors are automatically disabled before the OAT declines to freezing level. Otherwise you might find yourself with a huge block of ice caked into the A/C evaporator blocking ALL system airflow.

    In order for the A/C to dehumidify the incoming airflow and thereby be of help defogging the windshield it must chill the incoming airflow down to dewpoint. With the minimum operating temperature of the A/C compressor being slightly above freezing, and the OAT already so near freezing that just simply ain't going to happen.

    As a matter of fact, beginning with an OAT consistently at or below ~47F, the outside air must be extraordinarily humid for the A/C to be of any use for dehumidification, windshield clearing, purposes at all.

    Something I don't understand...

    In the conditions you describe, which actually are pretty standard with a Toyota/Lexus vehicle due to the inherent flaws in their HVAC design, my RX300 will blow so much HOT air to the windshield it will quickly drive you out of the car.

    Of course that's assuming the engine water jacket is already above 130F. Before activating defrost/defog/demist I always select MAX HEAT on my automatic climate control system, and that results in LOTS of really HOT airflow to the windshield.

    I now have a microprocessor modification in my RX which automatically moves the mixing vane to max heat position when it detects that the outlet airflow control is moving toward the defrost/defog/demist position.

    If your engine coolant was already HOT and you turned the heat level to max and you still did not get HOT airflow to the windshield then something is defective. If you got lots of airflow to the windshield but it was not heated airflow then the system's reheat mixing vane has failed. If you didn't get very much airflow at all to the windshield the problem is likely the defrost/defog/demist outlet airflow routing control.

    In any case most of us with experience with these idiot Toyota/Lexus HVAC systems designed by NipponDenso, Denso US, have learned to live with them. One of the "secrets" is to lower the rear windows slightly at the very first indication of condensation on the windshield.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    So the answer to the question is - yes this is normal.

    I understand physics, but every other car I have had could (and does) handle the situation fine. Just push in the little A/C button and presto - even below 47 degrees.

    Why would the outside air have to be humid for the A/C to be effective (it was since it was raining)? It is the inside air that is being dehumidified. I would think dry outside air would be best.

    Yes the car was very hot - there was plenty of hot air flowing to the windshield, but driving 60 mph into a 45 mph wind (gusting to 55) takes a lot of that heat out! After 20 minutes of no progress I just turned the air volume down (to cool things off a little) the noise and heat were annoying. The windows did not get any worse.

    Once the temp got down into the mid 20's and the precip turned to snow the windows finally cleared.

    I long for cars that let the driver make more decisions if they want to,
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    I don't have a Sienna, but in my car the A/C comes on automatically on defrost of the temp is over 39 degrees. Did you try cleaning the inside of the windshield? In my car, it seems like the new A/C seems to build up a film on the inside of the windshield, so unless I keep it clean it takes a long time to clear it.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    I did not specifically clean the windshield - the car is only a few weeks old and it is not dirty. Nevertheless, interesting thought -I can give it a try.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706

    "...few weeks old and it is not dirty."

    Plastic & vinyl components in a new car "outgas" their plastisizer soils horribly for at least the first six months. That typically forms a thin transparent film on the glass surfaces and that makes those surfaces much more subject to misting over, and at the same time especially difficult to demist/defog.

    The reason your windshield fogged over was because the cabin air, atmosphere, was humid enough that the CHILLED windshield surface (COLD onrushing airflow continuously impinging on the exterior surface) was very likely well below the dewpoint of the cabin air.

    As you said, the system automatically switches to fresh incoming airflow when you select defrost/defog/demist. So it is the already COLD outside incoming airflow that the A/C is trying to dehumidify by further chilling it.

    But admittedly your circumstance does seem extreme. The only time I have had a "like" situation was by driving up to the slopes on a COLD day to pick up two very wet and sweaty snow skiers. They and their clothing humidified the car's passenger cabin beyond the capability of the system. But even in that case lowering the rear windows for the initial 5 miles or so solved the windshield fogging problem.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    I will definately clean the windows then, and hope for the best. Yes it was a pretty extreme situation weather wise. Adding to that were 5 people exhaling humid air - 3 of whom had just come from a swim meet and had wet towels etc. (though the towels were tucked away in a bag).

    Nevertheless it was still frustrating in a new vehicle.

    Outgas - otherwise known as new car smell. :)
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    i have found, in the SE where we can have cold fall days with high humidity, whenever i have had difficulty getting the windshield cleared (my '02 Accord and '03 Odyssey automatically select AC when I select the windshield as the destination of the airflow), i needed to clean the inside of the windshield (i use windex). when that's done, the defrost setting seems much more effective.

    the point being, not only do you want to take care of any initial film buildup due to outgassing of the interior components when the vehicle is new, it's a good thing to clean the inside of the windshield on a periodic basis.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "'s a good thing to clean the inside of the windshield on a periodic basis."

    Yes, the outgassing declines but never really stops. There is also the issue of smoking in the car. If you often have a smoker on board then the thin film (nicotine??)from smoking will build up fairly quickly also.
This discussion has been closed.