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Toyota Sienna Warning Lights & Problem Codes

gsnageshgsnagesh Posts: 3
edited April 26 in Toyota
The last time we got gas in NJ, the attendant did not close the gas cap properly and the check engine light went on. We have now tightened the gas cap and the light is still on. It appears we have to take the van to the dealer to get it checked up could cost 75 dollars or more. Seems like a steep price for silly mistake of a loose gas cap. The van has about 40,000 miles and any ideas on what the problem could be. I would especially like to know if any of these would still be covered by warranty. Just curious.


See also: What Your Check Engine Light Is Telling You


  • avery1avery1 Posts: 373
    When this happened on my Lexus I was told it could take several days and even a tank of gas to clear the check engine light after I didn't tighten the cap one time.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    It will take several drive cycles to clear a CEL caused by a loose or malfunctioning gas cap. Or you can disconnect the battery for ~5 minutes. But if you do the latter don't take it for an emissions test until several drive cycles have elapsed.
  • Thanks for everyone who responded. It did turn out to be the loose gas cap code "P0440" or something. This time the dealer did not charge me anything, but somehow I get the feeling he will not be as nice the next time. So we will be double careful every time we get gas.

  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    I think it's about time that the engine's computer should get things right. I mean, with all the advanced technology today, can't we have a dedicated "loose gas cap" light on the dashboard? and if the "Check Engine" light is the only way to go, can't it come off right after tightening the cap? why should one wait so much time until the computer "resets" itself? Isn't that rediciolus?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    We can thank our government for that.

    ODBII requires the idiot light because they want people to go to the dealership to fix it, since it might affect emissions.

    They basically assume the vehicle owner is not smart enough or ethical enough to do the right thing and fix it.

  • I heard that the new model Siennas have a seperate "loose gas cap" indicator light, but I have not personally confirmed that.

  • There is a lose or improperly tightened cap indicator light on the 2006 Sienna Limited. A malfunction light illuminates on the dash. After properly tightening the fuel cap the malfunction light may not go out until after several trips. There is also an indicator that tells you on which side of the car the gas cap is. If the gas cap door is open the left sliding door to the Sienna will not open. If it did it of course could damage the cover.
  • ceo1ceo1 Posts: 23
    After the 2006 blizzard of Colorado, my 2004 Sienna AWD got stuck in the deep snow for a few minutes. As I maneuvered to get it out of the snow, both check engine light and VSC light came on. Without knowing better, I sent it to Boulder Toyota. After reading the codes, they said nothing was wrong with car and it is normal to have these lights come on when the car gets stuck and wheels spins without moving. The punch line is that they charged my $45 to reset those lights that were false alarms to begin with! I think that Boulder Toyota (part of Larry Mill Toyota group) is a crook disguised behind a friendly face.

    For $45 the service manager told me how to reset the lights DIY: Under the instrument deck, there is a fuse box. Remove the one labelled "EFI" for 30 seconds. That's it. Hopefully you all benefit from my tuition. But only do so if you are sure that those lights are false warning as in my situation.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I would bet that you were only able to "maneuver" it out of the snow after the VSC light came on meaning VSC & Trac were then disabled. Prior to that traction braking and engine dethrottled likely prevented you from braking "free".

    Yes, it is normal for the VSC to "fault" after a long period, ~45 seconds of continuous VSC or Trac activation, longer period for semi-continuous. The one in my 2001 AWD RX300 will reset on its own after a period of cool down time.

    But the CEL is another matter entirely, I don't think that was normal for your circumstance.
  • I just had this problem after re-installing battery on my 2005 Sienna AWD. The good thing is that the dealer didn't charge me anything for it; the bad thing was that I had to use the tow service as the VSC light came on with the check engine light. With VSC on, the car won't go more than a few miles per hour.

    I was looking for information on this forum; thought I share the result here.
  • So on Tuesday we bought our Sienna CE ' 06, with only 44 miles on it. We live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and had bad weather for a couple of days. But after having the vehicle only 2 1/2 days - the "check engine light" came on. I have checked the fuel cap...all good. Haven't refilled gas yet. Is it safe to say and do - computer error and just pull out the fuse and then put it back in?
  • The light should reset on its' own after 40 "trips". If there is no longer a "leak" caused by a loose cap. The OBD ( on-board diagnostics )II system checked for leaks in the fuel tank vapor purge system and saw a "leak" and turned on the MIL ( malfunction indicator light ). A "trip" is variable - depending on the recognized "fault", but whenever this happens to me it may take about 2wks to reset the MIL - 3-4 starts/trips a day. It will not affect the operation of the vehicle as long as there is no "current fault"
  • It probably won't help, the "code" may be a "hard code" and is not likely to be "erased" by a mere power supply interruption. If you live here in DFW, you can take it to AutoZone and they can "read" the fault, but not erase it. That way you can see what it is. It may require you take it to the dealer for diagnosis/repair - likely a warranty repair - especially since you seem sure the fuel cap was tight before the light illuminated. If the fault is no longer present, it may deactivate the light after about 40 "trips" - likely about 2wks.
  • Basically, they are right. Most people/companies will do the right thing only under threat of punishment. If the light is on, it will most certainly have an affect on emissions. Most people have no idea of the contents of their cars' owners manual.
  • I have less than 9500 miles on a brand new 2006 Sienna XLE. It has been in the shop 4 times on various problems. The latest is ABS,VSC and TRAF OFF lit up on the dashboard. The service Dept. replaced ABS/TRAC Actuator Assy. Does anyone have the same issue with your van, and btw I'm not impressed with the MPG either...


  • pushanpushan Posts: 15
    I have Sienna XLE 2004 model with 40,000 miles on it. My wife drives the van. She called me while I was out of town on a business trip and reported the same problem (Check Engine, VSC, and Trac off lights on).

    After one or two trips to drop and pickup the kids at school, the light automatically went off. I am not sure why the light came in the first place; I am puzzled.
  • bicalinobicalino Posts: 13
    I too have the check engine, vsc & trac off lights on .
    I went to auto zone , atre scanning , the code indicates
    air/fuel sensor heat circuit response. (bank 1 sensor 1)

    it says probable causes
    1. open or short circuit condition
    2. poor electrcal connection

    I would guess to start looking at the electrical connections at bank 1 sensor 1 , but what is that ?

    cylynder 1 or what .
    I 'd appreciate any help .
  • bicalinobicalino Posts: 13
    turns out , the trouble code indicated bank 1 sensor 1 . air/fuel sensor heat response circuit.
    these are toyota's version of an o2 sensor .
    the heat circuit is added to make it get to operating tempature faster .
    on the sienna ,there are 3 .one on each exhaust manifold & one downstream of the cat. they all work in conjunction w/each other to make adjustments.
    bank one is the first , next to the firewall, two is in front just behind the radiator , & three is last after the cat.
    at toyota , the sensor was $210 so, I bought it on the net from a toyota dealer fo $158, delivered. comes w/ a dab of antisieze on the threads.
    you're supposed to check the 02 sensor w/a voltage meter . there are paramaters to check if the part is in fact bad b4 buying an expensive replacement .
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Where's you go on-line to get it? Just curious.

    This site was recommended to me, are you familiar with them?
  • ckcarpriceckcarprice Posts: 29
    On 2007 LE I am getting dual warning. On the top left by F(full) of fuel gauge I have a lighted triangle with display
    of FUEL DOOR and at bottom of the gauge by E(empty) I have a lighted gas pump symbol. I did fill up the tank and close the fuel cap to one click and fuel door secured.
    Both the warning indicators still remains.
    Does any one have a similar problem/resolution?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The system is sealed, so it must be detecting a vacuum leak. Either that or the sensors themselves are bad.

    I think that will require a dealer visit.
  • wchengwcheng Posts: 1
    I have a 2007 Sienna Limited. For only three months (< 5k), one day I got tire pressure light on while driving on the highway. It's so scare so I had to find a safe place to check tire pressure, but just to find out they all normal with 35psi!?
    Then I went to the local dealer for help. First two times they could not find anything wrong so they just reset the button. The third time they told me they found the problem and had to replace the computers (sensors??). But the warning light still comes on the next day.
    After three visits I feel they may not know what the problem is. So I come here for a suggestion. Also wondering am I the only one has this problem??
  • vanfishvanfish Posts: 1
    Sienna failed at 75k? Our Toyota Sienna 99 started to shake when I stepped on brake, and the "check engine" light is on. Black exhaust was noticed when the car was accelerating. At the cost of $85, the Toyota dealer pulled a list of codes and asked for $5500 parts alone, which include air flow sensor (P0171), 3 coils, wires, spark plugs (misfire, P0300, P0301, P0302, P0304, P0306), igniter (P1300), catalyst system (O2 sensors, converter, P0420),and the pipe and Gear assy alone cost $1200 and $823 respectively. Another code is P0125, insufficient coolant temperature for fuel control. The car runs perfect except the engine shakes when it stops, and it happened four days ago. How could a Sienna with 75K mileage suddenly require total transplant?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'm sure not all those things are completely necessary, but it is 8 years old now and the plugs, plug wires, brake rotors and pads, and a few other things listed are indeed wear and tear items. Most of those should have been done with the 60k mile service, actually.

    I would try fixing a few things at a time, to see if that's enough to clear the codes. Maybe the things I mentioned above and the coils.

    I'm not sure you need to replace the catalyst system - it's working properly, reporting misfires. Unless you've been driving with those misfire codes for a very long time you probably caught it early enough to fix the symptom, and not the catalyst itself.
  • rmuscolormuscolo Posts: 11
    Wow - even the newer models still have indicator light problems... I was hoping they would have fixed that! Just got an estimate for $6500 in "repairs" due to problems the computer has found - sensor lights, check engine, tire pressure & brake - all have been going on and off since I got this van new 6 years ago. We have already replaced several sensors and was told the "tire pressure" one was due to the fact that after a wheel needed to be replaced (big pot-hole) the local tire dealer must not have replaced the sensor in that wheel. Of course, no explanation as to why any of th lights go off for months at a time the suddenly reapear. We also had a "stalling problem" that took 2 dealers (and many "check engine light" cycles on and off) to figure out. This "warning" system has cried wolf to often - I tend to ignore the lights now. Only problem now -in NY you cannot pass inspection w/engine light on! So either we cough up $6500 for repairs or we cannot drive the car. By the way - the car runs fine, 138,000 miles - just drove 800 miles over the past week on vacation! Although the car has been comfortable - the many trips to the dealor with the stalling and sensor lights/computer diagnostic problems will prevent me from purchasing another! Toyota... are you listening???!!!?? Not only have you lost Me as a customer, but my family as well...
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It's well past warranty, so why not find a private mechanic that can fix it for much less. Sounds like the Toyota dealers didn't do it right the first time, why go back to them and pay more?
  • rmuscolormuscolo Posts: 11
    We went back a few times to my local dealer - they kept coming up with "different" codes and/or sensors that were causing the problems (nothing ever mechanical)...then tried a different dealer....they dented my rear tailgate (lifing it inside?) and claimed innocence (we don't own a garage)...but offered to split the cost w/us! We basically have no option now but to have minimum of $450 "repairs" done to a get a one year New York State Inspection waiver.. But we will use a local mechanic we know.
  • I have a 04 Sienna w/ 37,000 miles. The Check Engine Light, VSC and Trac Control light came on few times since I purchased my car back in 03. They would just turned off after the car was shut off. In Sept 07, above lights went on around 35,000 miles and never went away. I took it to the dealer for repair. They claimed it was the air fuel sensor (code P0031 & P2241). Even though the mileage was below 36,000 miles but I had the car for 4 yrs; therefore, it was not covered w/ the warranty. I coughed out $800 to fix it. A month later, the same 3 lights turned on again. This time, the dealer claimed it was about "emission" issues with code P0441 & P0442. It would cost me around $700.00 to fix it. I didn't have them fix it this time. When I looked up all these codes on the internet, I realized that NHTSA has already issued "defects investigation" for above codes. NHTSA # 10015534 for code P0031 & P2241 and NHTSA # 10005756 for code P0441 & P0442. Here is the link to NHTSA webpage for # 10015534 and # 10005756

    After reading other owners' complaints in this forum, I think the new Toyota Sienna is definitely having some issues over here. Should they issue a recall for this? How can we, the owners, get together and make them to do something about it?
  • gunga64gunga64 Posts: 271
    Take it somewhere else for another opinion. Those costs are way out of line. If you can find a reliable shop go to them with the codes maybe they can estimate the cost, without running tests (that cost money).

    Funny I looked up the emmissions warranty on my 2001 said its covered for like 7 years/80k yet toyota says 3/36k whats with that?

    By the way these toyotas seem to have an awful lot of sensors that go bad.

    I would also ask the dealer how they determined it would cost $700.00. Just by looking at some codes or did they actually run a real dianostic. Ask them what they would replace for that kind of money? I am going through a simular issue with emmisions and they just want to change parts out till the issue is resolved. Real shops will run tests on the components even run smoke through the system to find a leak. Which is what toyota should have done from the start.

    It sure sounds like the dealer is trying to rip you off.

    It's these types of issues that will make me not buy another toyota. Problems their repair facilitys can't solve. All they do is replace parts hoping the problem is resolved. When it isn't they want more money to take another guess.
  • Sad thing is,most of us are at the mercy of the dealers, we even went to two different ones, their "repair" was to swap out expensive "sensors"... no actual mechanical work... so was anything really ever wrong with the car???? I am definitely left with the "taken" feeling, and most definitely will not go back to a Toyota for my next car... I don't know if the "mechanics" know how to diagnose a car anymore.. just take the easy way out and rely on the computer. On top of that, they seem to have set price to do a "repair" based on some matrix, not how long it would actually take to do. Case in point - replacing the handle for the rear hatch - Dealer wanted $400+ parts - my Teenage Son - no formal training (just a lot of interest in cars) replaced the handle in 45 minutes - without a manual! The part - from the dealer- cost me $75 - so now are mechanics earning $600 an hour! I work for lawyers.. they don't even charge that much!
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