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Toyota Sienna Maintenance and Repair (2004+)



  • Thank you very much for your posting.

    I hope this is made public before anyone else suffers from injuries. Toyota's local reps and the dealer have denied that anyone (other than me) has reported a problem.
  • jb_shinjb_shin Posts: 357
    I think I noticed it once or twice when it was cold and there were some snow on the hatch, but has not happened again since.
  • I just want to clarify something here....not only did my hatch come down on me, but it did not retract when it encountered an obstacle (my back). It continued to power close and it began to squeeze me.

    Our cursory evaluations to date show it fails to stay open 100% and inconsistently attempts to re-open when it encounters an obstraction. So there are really two malfunctions here:
    1) Closing on its own,
    2) Failure to sense/reverse when an obstraction is encountered.
  • I have exactly the same problem with my 2004 LE, purchased new, except the wind noise is on the passenger side, between the front door and rear sliding door. I actually had the Toyota Regional Service guy look at it and he gave me the same type of obfuscation that your dealer is giving you (driving a box). When I tried to go to another dealer, he called them and told me NOT to give me an appointment. So good luck dealing with the vaunted Toyota organization and their dealers.

    I have also had the transmission problem where the van lurches ahead when accelerating from a slow (5-10 mph) speed. I was again given the routine about the van 'learning' how you drive.

    I am struck by the uniformity of nonsense offered as 'reasons' for their defects.

    If you can find a solution, I would VERY MUCH like to know what it was.
  • c2rosac2rosa Posts: 76
    Check out:

    for information on:
    " investigation of 2004-2005 Toyota Sienna minivans after receiving complaints that the liftgate had failed, causing the hatchback door to close on motorists.
  • I have a 2006 Sienna XLE with 6,800 miles and recently I have been experiencing a similar problem. The knock happens at about 2000 RPM or greater and at about
    35 to 45 miles per hour. It is especially pronounced when going up hill. It is a single
    knock that is occurs when pushing on the accelerator. The knock can be felt in the steering wheel as well as in the accelerator pedal. But the knock is also felt when the
    vehicle down shifts so I am betting the problem is in the transmission and not in the steering column or front end. Let's see if the Toyota dealer dismisses this new problem
    as a phantom like my transmission slipping that he diagnosed as "normal".
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    perhaps a faulty engine mount should be considered?
  • beernutbeernut Posts: 329
    Just happened yesterday on my '06 with manual left side door. It suddenly quit latching itself held in the open position and sounds like its hitting metal or something on the rearmost travel stop.

    I'm sure its a mechanical or linkage thing and am hoping its an easy fix that I can do myself. Although it is under warranty, taking it in for a simple thing is a pain.

    Have any of you had this problem and found it to be easy to fix?
  • loucapriloucapri Posts: 214
    seen it on my 04 every once a while.
    It is a manual door on the driver side.
    Yes, sounds like its hitting metal and couldn't get the door open fully.
    One thing I notice is it only happenes when the car is not running. (no key inserted)
    I parked my car in the garage and sometime I need to put thing inside the van and that's how I found out the problem.
  • beernutbeernut Posts: 329
    So, for you it is intermittent? Have you been able to fix it or does it still happen?
  • Is the window on that side slightly open? We just bought a 2006 Sienna, and I thought that we had a similar problem. However, it was due to the window being open on that side. If the window is open, the door will not slide back all the way to the catch.
  • beernutbeernut Posts: 329
    Hmmm. Good point. I don't know the answer to whether the window was left opened by one of the kids just then. I'll try it both ways and see if it makes a difference.

  • isamauisamau Posts: 1
    Slugo12: I'm having the exact same problem as you with my 2004 Sienna. I have less than 20K miles on my summer tires (Michelin LX4's). I live in Canada and rotate them with winter tires, which is why the mileage is so low on them. Did you ever document a case to Toyota as you suggest? I've had the alignment checked twice on the van and they see no problems, yet tire wear is uneven which leads me to believe this is a bigger problem as well. :(
  • We have a 2005 Sienna XLE and have just loved it since day one (now at 20K miles). :) It has been pretty much problem-free so far, but we had a strange problem yesterday.

    We loaded the family into the van to run errands and started to back down the driveway into the street. Our driveway is sloped down to the street, so I usually start the engine, put it in neutral and let gravity slowly roll it back into the street (it is not a busy street). It had rolled backwards about 10 feet, usually where the antilock brakes do the quick adjustment, when suddenly it felt like we hit something and the vehicle slowed (yes, even in neutral). It did slowly roll out into the street, but that's when I noticed that the engine was dead. I cranked the engine three times, but it would not start. My wife and I did our best to push it back into the drive. I continued to try to start it, but no luck -- it just would not fire. We checked under the hood, and, well, with our limited automotive knowledge, we could tell that the engine was still there anyway. ;) Took the keys out of the ignition, unloaded the family and hung out for a while -- fortunately we were not in any hurry. About 5 minutes later, I jumped back in the van, put the key back in the ignition and it started right up as if nothing had happened.

    The only thing I could possibly think of is that the sensor for the engine immobilizer that detects the engine key malfunctioned temporarily. I'm interested to hear if anyone else has ever experienced a problem like this, or if there could be other possible causes. If it happens again, I'll check the security light on the dash to see if it is blinking, which would suggest that the immobilizer has been activated even with the key in the ignition. I didn't think about checking that until long after the problem occurred. I'll post an update if I am able to recreate the problem.
  • jbolltjbollt Posts: 734
    Silly question, and no offense meant.....did you check the fuel guage? It's possible that the fuel level was low, and the slope of the driveway effected the pickup tube in the tank, when the car was level again, the fuel level may have been enough to reach the pick-up tube. A long shot, I admit.....

    Just a thought
  • Thanks jbollt -- good suggestion -- ironically, that's one of the errands we were getting ready to do was to go and fill the gas tank. However, it did have a 1/4 tank at the time. I could only get about 14.5 gallons in before it was completely full when I filled it later in the evening. We've definitely had the gas gauge much lower (at "E") before and parked on the sloped driveway, but we've never experienced this problem. What's strange is that the engine seemed to shut off immediately rather than struggle like it was running out of gas. It was as if I had suddenly turned off the key while in neutral. I just wish I would have though about checking the security light at the time; I may never be able to recreate the problem (but that would actually be a good thing!). :)

    Again, thanks for the idea!
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Sounds as if your transaxle slipped into "drive" (and mostly likely 1st gear) as you were rolling backward. That would very likely stall the engine and most certainly would add braking to your rearward movement.

    Insofar as refusing to "fire" afterward I could see the episode resulting in one very confusing group of ECUs.

    You also said something about the "happening" being at about the ABS where you are used to having the ABS do its checking.

    I don't think that is a normal action of the ABS. But then the vehicle rolling backwards in neutral with the engine running is clearly outside the design envelope for the firmware specifications of any of the controlling ECUs.
  • estoesto Posts: 136
    But then the vehicle rolling backwards in neutral with the engine running is clearly outside the design envelope for the firmware specifications of any of the controlling ECUs.

    Huh? I do this all the time with several different vehicles with no problems. Or did you mean to say "inside" instead of "outside"?
  • Thanks wwest -- that could be a possibility; it would explain why we felt like we hit something rolling backwards as the engine "grabbed". But if it had slipped into drive without me knowing, I don't know that I would have been able to turn the engine over or push it back into the drive -- it seems like the transmission would have been engaged at that point. But I know what you mean -- it seems like it could easily slip into drive if one isn't being careful. So I guess for now I'll hope it doesn't happen again, but I'll pay closer attention to the shift lever and the security light if it does reoccur. I just thought I'd check to see if anyone had encountered a similar problem.

    If anyone wonders why we'd do a neutral rollback, it is actually because the reverse on the vehicle (especially when the engine is cold and has high RPM) combined with the grade of our driveway gives us a little too much backwards force. We have small kids in the neighborhood that use our sidewalk and they could be hidden behind the van, so we prefer a more gradual backup in case we need to stop quickly.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    That's why I always BACKED up our steep driveway and into the garage, clear view of the driveway on the approach and on leaving.
  • But if it were an engine mount wouldn't I feel it in park or neutral?
    Also, I do not experience the knock when accelerating from a dead
    stop. It happens at between 35 and 45 MPH and in 3rd or 4th
  • nobel1nobel1 Posts: 8
    I have noticed humming noise coming from front by driver side when driving the van at 60 mph
    The van has 50 miles on it, could it be because of new engine?
    When I slow down to 55 or 50 miles the noise goes away. Has anyone experienced this?

  • djp2c1djp2c1 Posts: 2
    I recently hit a deer, a glancing blow only, and although I thought there was no damage my son-in-law pointed out that there was a small break inside the light unit that was going to let water in.

    So he bought a new left side headlight unit ($357.00) and he installed it.

    However I now find that the fog light on the left side doesn't work and worse the new headlight unit does not shine as far up the road as the right side unit, and in fact on dim it shines bright on the highway about 20 feet ahead and is not much different on high beam.

    I took it to the dealer and had the 18000 klm checkup and asked him to have someone re-aim the unit. I picked the van up later and the service mgr. was still as harried as he was when I brought the car in. There was nothing on my bill to show that the aiming problem had been addressed.
    I asked him about that and he said it was all right. I don't think anyone looked at it at all.
    They were very busy and I can appreciate the problem as it is a brand new building and has more employees working.

    What should I do? Take it to another dealer. There is another one 40 klms to the west. I really like the Service Mgr. and know he is doing all he can and I don't want to give him anymore problems :confuse:
  • nobel1nobel1 Posts: 8
    Humming noise I mentioned is seems to be coming from engine compartment, as soon as the engine rpm goes beyond 2500 it like starts.
  • nobel1nobel1 Posts: 8
    :blush: Ok I feel so stupid but for other who cares I have to share about my humming noise post.

    I took it to the dealer and the mechanic took the test drive with me, as soon as he shifted the gear to “ D” not “4” were I kept and was driving like that causing the rpm to hit 2500 and was not shifting to overdrive gear, hence constant hum.

    Thank god for that, now I am worried that I drove 100 miles that at 50/55 miles per hour (city driving) hopefully did not cause any damage to the gears and anything like that.

  • My wife and I purchased a new 2006 Toyota Sienna about 4-6 months ago. About 2 weeks ago, we had to have the brake pads replaced because they were scraping. Only 12K miles on it. Anybody else have this experience?

    Toyota is supposed to be better than American cars, not equivalent to them...perhaps my minivan was made in an American plant (I think most of them are now anyway?)
  • hypnosis44hypnosis44 Posts: 483
    Is this on a Sienna, or another Toyota. Dealer says there is no Voice Command available for Sienna NAV system.

  • We have an 05 and have just started trouble shooting a similar problem... I feel the knock in the steering while accelerating from a coast at 35-50 mph. I don't feel it while turning. The dealer, who I really like, has tried twice to figure it out with no success. They checked all the obvious places, ie. engine mounts, cv joints. Probably time to call Toyota. This issue appears in posts going back years.
  • On a recent trip to San Francisco in our now 06 XLE(automatic transmission) where there are a lot of steep roads I noticed that, when I stopped on an uphill road and released the brake temporarily to step on the gas to move forward the car would roll back, until I could step on the gas enough to make it move forward.

    I have owned other toyota's (sedans mostly.. camry/lexus) and found them to have a feature to prevent rollback. that is even if I released the brake when Idle( while in Drive(D))the car didnt back, someting prevent it from doing that.

    Has anyone else noticed this , or does anyone else have this problem? or is htis normal for a Sienna?
  • cptpltcptplt Posts: 1,075
    I've never heard of any auto tansmission car having a "hill holder " feature, you do see it in some manuals. You are probably just noticing the roll back more on the Sienna as it weighs a lot more than your previous sedans.
This discussion has been closed.