Toyota Sienna Warning Lights & Problem Codes

gsnageshgsnagesh Member Posts: 3
edited April 2019 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 Member 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 Member 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.
  • gsnageshgsnagesh Member Posts: 3
    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 Member 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 Member 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.

  • gsnageshgsnagesh Member Posts: 3
    I heard that the new model Siennas have a seperate "loose gas cap" indicator light, but I have not personally confirmed that.

  • tanker5tanker5 Member Posts: 36
    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 Member 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 Member 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.
  • sienna2005newsienna2005new Member Posts: 3
    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.
  • carolinesfolkscarolinesfolks Member Posts: 1
    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?
  • 3screwsloose3screwsloose Member Posts: 116
    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"
  • 3screwsloose3screwsloose Member Posts: 116
    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.
  • 3screwsloose3screwsloose Member Posts: 116
    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.
  • saafedtsaafedt Member Posts: 3
    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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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.
  • ny04siennany04sienna Member Posts: 4
    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 Member 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.
  • rmuscolormuscolo Member Posts: 11
    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!
  • rmuscolormuscolo Member Posts: 11
    2001 Sienna - my Tire Pressure light came on and off - without explanation - for several years.. the first time the dealer told me it was because the shop who did an emergency repair (replaced my wheel) most not have transferred the sensor to the new wheel. Then the light went off... now reason, then back on...Dealer said it was the sensor - I had it replaced, a few weeks - back on... this has gone on for years... it is currently in the "off" position...We just keep checking the air pressure in the tieres... Looks like in 6 years - they haven't fixed the tire pressure sensor issue!
  • gunga64gunga64 Member Posts: 271
    Yeah had tire pressure sensor on for years. Finally just reset it and it took the last time. Most of time the reset was ignored by the computer. More of those dumb sensors. Really scares me that they put all this traction control, abs, stability control airbags all over the place. All of which have sensors. I tend to think the actual parts aren't bad and it is the sensors that go bad. They also usually put the sensor in place where you cant get at it without a lift. I've even read that the sensor they put in the seat to tell you to put on your seat belt fails. What other junk will they add to these autos.

    Glad to hear you can replace the door handle on your own. You saved boco bucks. Mine is still the orginal.

    Also don't just take your car to the dealership for second opinions. Try a local shop as well. The dealership uses a rate book that is basically the same at all dealerships. Also if you want to buy a part try to get a non oem as they are cheaper and work just as good. I have also called dealerships for dealer only parts and have gotten as much as a 30% difference in price for the same part.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    You can blame the government for trying to protect us from ourselves - TPMS is now required on every car.

    So it's not just Toyota. At least for 2007 on the vans they went to an actual sensor in the wheel, rather than just relying on the ABS sensors.
  • ny04siennany04sienna Member Posts: 4
    I picked up my car from my dealr the very same day I posted my message, 11/1. Let me correct the codes that I posted in my previous message. The codes are p0441 & p0446. According to the dealer's recommendations, the dealer wants to change the following parts ($cost of the parts): canister ($553.00) and Duty Valve ($185.00). Please note that these are just the cost of the parts not including labor. I turned down the offer and drove my car away.

    On 11/3 (Sat), all three MIL (malfunction indicator lights) went away.

    As of today, the warning lights remain off.. I have been asking around, some repair shops claimed that the lights that went on the second time might caused by a loose gas cap valve. It might take couple of "running cycles" for the computer to reset.

    Now, I am very frustrated. Was the service that performed by dealer on 9/21 necessary? That might caused by a loose gas cap also??

    I learned my lessons this time. I am not going back to my dealer anymore.

  • rmuscolormuscolo Member Posts: 11
    Yes... my son saved me a lot of $. He's a Honda & Subaru fan.. a "Tuner" learn alot by reading Chilton's manual and just trying... unfortunately, (or fortunately) he's away at college now so I need to wait for his trips home to help out. Current project a new radiator for his sisters 96 Accord...purchased part "on line" for about $50...will install Thanksgiving....saved us at least $350! I think I'll treat him to something nice!:)
  • rmuscolormuscolo Member Posts: 11
    I tried the link for NHTSA above - but got an error page>?? I also went on the web site directly - without success. Is ther an actual recall happening w/sensors? I'm the only owner of this car and never received any information in the mail fro Toyota!
  • wheels13wheels13 Member Posts: 51
    Have any of you had this problem? After 3 days the light went out. Thanks
  • rmuscolormuscolo Member Posts: 11
    The airbag light is just about the only light that hasn't given me a problem, although my purse does activate it!
  • ny04siennany04sienna Member Posts: 4
    there is no actual recall yet...they issued the TSB because they are aware of the issue....

    I will try to get the link to work...but try to search by the TSB number when u are in the site...

    Latest update, check engine light, VSC and Trac lights went back on again after they were off for 1 wk.... :(
  • rmuscolormuscolo Member Posts: 11
    If it wasn't such a pain to worry about...this would be comical! My husb. & I laugh at the new commercial for the car w/all the sensors plus 6 sensors to monitor the sensors!!!
  • gunga64gunga64 Member Posts: 271
    The canister for my sienna 2001 at one dealer here is $275.00 shop around.
  • geogengeogen Member Posts: 3
    I just had this problem on my 03 Camry. I see more people with the trucks have this problem, can't find Camry owners complaining of it. The song and dance I got from the dealer is the Traction control computer needs replacing for a mere $1,780+ dollars. haha. I'm not that crazy. :confuse:
  • harleypriceharleyprice Member Posts: 1
    I have the same problem with my 02 Sienna xle with 62,000 miles. Is the O2 sensors covered by an enhanced warranty? What was your solution.
  • rmuscolormuscolo Member Posts: 11
    To be honest...I've had SO MANY codes & sensor's go bad.. I'd need to do a anaylsis of all the statements over the past 5 years to figure out what solved which problem! NOTHING was covered by ANY warranty! We paid to replace the sensors. As you've probably read in this thread... I am just "milking" the last few months from this car before I need to re-register in 9/08....won't pass NYS inspection with a check engine light - and with 140,000 plus miles - I am not about to spend close to the $5,000 they say is needed to pass...some items I normally would do (brakes - working fine, but they suggest they they get replaced )... but most expenses are sensor failure and a claim that the "sensor says" the catlytic converter is shot. I could first replace the sensor to see if it clears the codes.(not cheap)..but if not, I'm in for the big bucks.... time to trade it it! Sorry - no mechanical answers from me.. I really am venting to let other's know of the issues I've had so when they are choosing which vehicle to purchase themselves, (new or used) they are aware of this issue. Consumer reports, who we always consult prior to purchasing a car, has never mentioned sensor problems... a great disservice in my opinion, since I am clearly not alone with this problem! Maybe Toyota will step up and do something about this issue (pay for repair?) before they has a mass exodus of customers.
  • mpokeompokeo Member Posts: 8
    Have an 02 sienna with same sensor problem it says bank 1 catylst not up to specification. Replaced 02 sensor , replaced catylitic converter, replaced plugs,replaced timing belt, $2000 later are still having the same problem. Now toyota is saying the y pipe with the 2 small cats is bad and it cost another $1400 to fix. Basically toyota doesn't have a clue whats wrong with it and they are trying to bilk me for everything they can. I will junk it before i put another $1400 into it also i will never buy another toyota again.
  • mpokeompokeo Member Posts: 8
    Have an 02 sienna with same sensor problem it says bank 1 catylst not up to specification. Replaced 02 sensor , replaced catylitic converter, replaced plugs,replaced timing belt, $2000 later are still having the same problem. Now toyota is saying the y pipe with the 2 small cats is bad and it cost another $1400 to fix. Basically toyota doesn't have a clue whats wrong with it and they are trying to bilk me for everything they can. I will junk it before i put another $1400 into it also i will never buy another toyota again.
  • mpokeompokeo Member Posts: 8
    Bank 1 is cylinder 1 which is the side of the engine facing the firewall
  • veepee1veepee1 Member Posts: 6
    I recently changed my timing belt on my 01 Toyota Sienna, 104k. After driving for a while the Check Engine Light illuminated. A diagnostic check revealed code P1346. which defines the problem as VVT Sensor/Camshaft Position sensor circuit, fault Bank 1. Could this sensor become defective by changing the belt? Its location is not in the vicinity of the belt that it could be damaged during repairs. This sensor appears to be difficult to get to as its not easy visible. Whats your suggestion for a DIYer.
  • nb_desnb_des Member Posts: 1
    I purchased 2008 Sienna LE couple of weeks back and when I was driving it back after my purchase engine indicator and VSC/Tracktion off lights came on. I took it to the dealership they ran it through some checks and then said that indicator is malfunctioning. They replaced the indicator and then after driving for another day all of sudden when I was driving on highway the lights are back again. Now I am taking it back to dealer service. It is frustrating, has anyone else experienced same issue?
  • soobmeistersoobmeister Member Posts: 2
    My piece-of-junk 2007 Toyote Sienna with <17K miles has done this on 4 trips now:
    -Check Engine light comes on
    -Begins to lose power
    -Starts "hunting" a gear it can sustain in. Back & forth, back & forth
    -Starts acting like it's running on 3-4 cylinders
    -Starts bucking
    -Won't go over 50 mph uphill.
    2 dealers say they can't find anything wrong. They tell me it must be gas. What a crock! Stopped at WalMart and put in a 20-oz Fuel System Cleaner plus a full bottls of octane booster. I have a 2000 Odyssey with 193K, runs like a dream. I'll never drive this piece-of-junk Toyota on the road again. Only 4.5 more years of payments. Drove 250 miles like that last night, have 400 more miles this morning. I hate this Toyota. Anyone have any ideas? The experts don't.
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