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Toyota Sequoia Maintenance and Repair



  • I have had a problem with both VSC and brake lights coming on & staying on for a period of time and then just goes off. The dealership put a new "sensor" in it but that did not help. I called another dealership and they said that the Toyota engineers are aware of this problem and are working on it. There seems to be no rhyme or reason they can find for this problem. It has been doing this for well over a year now (I have an '03) and still hasn't been resolved.
  • jj35jj35 Posts: 283
    I also have a 2002 Seq. and had the rear axle seal replaced twice, both times covered under warranty. I also had the brake pad wear early and paid to have them replaced. Later, on this message board, I heard that there was a TSB on the brake pads. I meant to get back in touch with Toyota to see about reimbursement, but never did. Here is a copy of an earlier message on this problem:


    "#546 of 983 Brake TSB... by raddboy41 Dec 22, 2003 (1:45 pm)

    Bookmark | Reply


    The brake TSB is BR005-02 and covers 2001-2002 vehicles with VINs lower than 5TD*T##A#2S136792. The TSB is applicable for Sequoias that exhibit a vibration during braking. Due to the fact that your pads simply wore out would probably NOT have gotten this TSB applied unless you asked for it specifically or mentioned vibration. Don't kick yourself for not knowing about it now, but you might want to have the NEW (wink, wink, nudge) vibration looked at BEFORE your vehicle reaches 36,000 miles. With the larger calipers and pads, you could expect longer life due to the greater surface area.

     The brake seal TSB applies to 2001-2002 Sequoias and replaces part #90310–56001 with part #90310–56002. There is also the need for a new "Special Service Tool(SST)" that is needed to properly install the new "angle face" seal. If it's not used, it could damage the seal and you could be right back where you started. Maybe this is what happened originally or they didn't use the new seal design. "
  • 2toyotas2toyotas Posts: 104
    Sorry it took so long to get back. Does it also do it in 4WD? My 03 did what are saying occassionally. It did not do it in 4WD. I now have an 05 and it has not done it yet. I thought they corrected this problem, guess not. Try driving in 4WD to see if it happens.
  • 2toyotas2toyotas Posts: 104
    I think the problem was the Traction Control. In 2WD when it kicks in it dethrottles the engine as well as braking a spinning wheel. I forgot you had an 03. My truck would do this on hard right turns. It would not do it when in 4WD. When the vehicle is in 4WD the Traction Control only brakes the spinning wheel, it does not dethrottle the engine. I beleive it was a sensitivity issue with the Traction Control, which has now been corrected. I did not really push the issue with Toyota because I beleive the Traction system in this truck is a little advanced for them. Some of them don't even really know how it works. I kept my truck in 4WD 95% of the time. I have driven a lot of SUVs and the Sequoia is one of the most stable and planted to the ground that I have driven. If I were you I would not want them playing with to many different things in your truck. I just learned to live with it. There is no real advantage in keeping the truck in 2WD anyway, it is definitely a safer truck in 4WD all the time. Good Luck!!
  • epmomepmom Posts: 7
    The problem doesn't happen in 4WD because it disengages the skid control. It's not recommended to drive full time in 4WD. Lower gas mileage, harder on transmittion and turning ratio is diminished.


    I can't live with it. I have been in several situations, where I wasn't sure if the car would move before I was hit from on coming traffic.


    My question is, If they don't know how to correct the problem in this model year, how could they have corrected in the new models?
  • lumber2lumber2 Posts: 184
    Can they resset the computer to disable the VSC?
  • When I start the engine, I hear a crank noise, almost like a metal clash noise, just right before the engine starts up.. I don't know if this is normal.. Try and turn off your radio, A/C, etc, listen, and start the motor. Do you hear that metal crank/clack sound? Maybe normal..
  • bart2bart2 Posts: 1
    Remove the adjustable crossbars which are probably hitting the big door opener hook shaped clamp. to do this remove the plastic covering on the front of the rack system by carefully prying them out. Once removed you will see the star holed screws which can be removed. Make sure you use the appropriate type screw driver as to not strip the screw head. Just remove the screws on the front of the racks. Once removed unlock the the cross bar knobs and shimmy the bars off of the tracks.
  • I have a 04 Sequoia Ltd 4x4 w/ 25k miles that has similiar low hum noise and vibration that is quite annoying but it happens in the 60-70 mph range. Dealer replaced both front and rear differentials but did not fix the problem. I also experience the intermittent transmission thump coming to stop. Taking it back in for them to try to fix one more time then its arbitration time. Hope they can figure it out because I absolutely love vehicle except when I have to drive between 60-70 mph but will get rid of it because it drive me crazy. Will post after next dealer visit.
  • husky92husky92 Posts: 56
    They replaced the front differential for us. We also drove around with underinflated tires for a while which may have damaged the tires. My wife says she still notices it. I don't really notice it much. We're in the 25k mile range as well so new tires might be in order soon. Sorry I don't have any more info.
  • Service dude said the clank I hear is the starter engaging the fly wheel, and that it's a normal sound.. The teeth of the starter matching up with the teeth of the fly wheel..
  • '02 ltd. Tranny seal leak the first year. Brake tsb and rear axle seal replaced at 12K. Steering sensor replaced at 30K. Just had 2nd axle seal replaced (same side) and rotors grinded at 31K.

    Customer service rep. didn't want to do the brake work for free.

    I asked him how could my rotors be warped when the tech said there's 55% pads left. He told me driving through water while the pads were hot would do it. I guess that is a new phenomenon in motoring! When a different tech noticed that the rear seal that they had already repaired was weeping onto the rear rotor they decided to do the repairs for free. I owned my first Toyota for 8 years with zero problems. My confidence in the build quality is really starting to wane. I'm actually considering going to an XL (due to a growing family). If we keep this lemon I might have to get the extended warranty. Any opinions on such a move?
  • pman5pman5 Posts: 11
    Anyone had transmission problems with 05 sequoia? Had 975 miles on it when it started bucking and hesitating. On The first highway trip engine was whining and would not slip into 5th gear.I was unable to go above 60 mph. Pulled off road and waited 5 minutes. Restarted and completed the trip with no trouble. VSC, trac off and check engine lights going on and off. Toyota dealer has had the truck for 1 week, and is in the process of replacing the transmission. Not what I expected from a forty thousand dollar truck. Think I have a lemon?
  • We have 1200 miles on our 05 SR5.. When we start it, we can hear what the service dept said is the starter engaging the flywheel.. It doesn't sound good.. I'm worying that the new engine being in it's first year, is going to have kinks that need to be worked out. I was afraid of this, but wanted the extra Horse Power.. We have not had the problems you mention.. Tire pressure gauge light issue, but it resolved itself..
  • Hello, I also have had problems with my Vehicle Skid Control and Traction control. I have a 2003 2wd SR5. My service guy told me the loss of power is how the VSC/Traction works. Sensors indicate your quick acceleration or turn (especially on hills) may have made the vehicle unstable (slight "tilt") and the traction control cuts power until the vehicle "stabilizes". It is extremely dangerous as it happens to my vehicle when I make a turn out of a side street while accelerating into traffic. Now, to top it off, the computers that control my VSC and traction control (and ABS) are not communicating properly and need to be replaced. One may have shorted out and "taken out the other". Of course, my vehicle is 25 months old and has 42,640 miles on it so it is out of warranty. I didn't buy an extended warranty because of Toyota's "reliability" (I have had several other Toyotas and a Lexus LS400 and the Sequoia has had more problems). The repair is almost $2000 which I have refused to pay (and haven't had the work done) and am trying to negotiate something with Toyota - I'll let you know how it goes. I have been reading up on this lately on several sites and it sounds like Toyota is aware they have a problem. Lutto99
  • One problem I have had with my Sequoia is poor aerodynamics. You simply cannot drive the vehicle with the rear windows or sunroof open without opening the rear (tailgate) window. If you don't open the tailgate window, the noise and vibration are very bad. The first time it happened, I got out to check and see if I had a flat tire. Lutto99
  • rrkrrk Posts: 2
    I own a 2003 Sequoia (not the Limited version). The backlight for the garage door opener button in the overhead multi-informational display console is out. I can’t find anything in the owner’s manual on replacing a bulb or getting into the display console. I’ve searched this forum, searched the internet and talked to dealership service managers without really finding anything out regarding how easy or difficult or expensive it’d be to get the bulb or whatever it is replaced or repaired. Anyone have any experience with the backlight going out in any of the multi-informational display console buttons? Thanks in advance for any help.


  • It should be covered by you new car warranty.
  • kennynmdkennynmd Posts: 424
    I haven't owned many vehicles but the last one before I got my Sequoia was a 98 Mitsu. Montero Sport. It too had the loud popping noise when I had my rear windows open. Maybe its an SUV thing?
  • rrkrrk Posts: 2
    I wish. Unfortunately I'm at nearly 38,000 miles and I believe outside the warranty for that sort of thing. Let me know if I'm wrong about that. Thanks.


  • jadsjads Posts: 1

    does anyone know how to open your gas door if the cable as let go.

    Is there a secondary release somewhere?

  • I purchased an '01 Sequoia in Oct. 04. Did not purchase an extended warranty b/c I was purchasing a Toyota! Took it in early January because the VSC? light and parking brake were coming on. Dealer fixed that and informed me that the rear axle seal was leaking, did I have the extended warranty? No, I told him, I just purchased a Certified Toyota three months prior, shouldn't need an extended warranty yet. Additionally, the transmission fluid was filthy (shouldn't that have been noticed when it was certified?) Repair and trans. fluid/flush, whatever, plus oil change, came to 850.00. Dealership phoned a few days later to rate my satisfaction and I expressed my disappointment. Dealer then offered simply to sell me the extended warranty, now at the price of 1000.00 that would cover me until January 2007 (TWO YEARS!)

    Service Manager told me that he almost never saw the rear axle seal leak on disc brakes, normally on drum brakes and normally not until well over 100,000 miles. Does this sound strange?
  • I just purchased a 2003 Sequoia SR5 with 43000 miles on it. My VSC and Trac lights would come on an stay on intermittently. I took it back to the Honda Dealer where I purchased it from. They sent it to Toyota. Toyota said the VSC computer needed to be replaced. $1558 for this work. S


    Since I have owned the vehicle for 1 week and the selling dealer offers a 3 month/3000 miles warranty, the cost was paid by the Honda dealer. What else should I be looking for?
  • I was delivered an new '05 Limited with 68 miles on it at my office. Driving home it exhibited hard down shifts, erratic up shifts, clunks at stop lights, not shifting out of second, RPM's at 500 at 50 MPH (like a non existent transmission). Two days in the shop later (they were still analyzing)they informed me that it needed a new transmission. I'm getting a new vehicle instead. Now I am worried!
  • I was under the impression that a Toyota certified vehicle was covered 6 year/100k from date of original sale? With a deductible ($250?) per occurance? Also, I was also told that vehicles must be under 66k to be initially certified.


    Did you see the actual leak? Unless you have a whole lot of miles, both the seal and trans fluid sounds odd.
  • I have just purchased a 2003 Sequoia. I have noticed that when I turn it off after driving and get out of the car, I hear a loud ticking /pinging noise from under the hood.

    Do you know what could be causing this? Anyone else have this?
  • "Since I have owned the vehicle for 1 week and the selling dealer offers a 3 month/3000 miles warranty, the cost was paid by the Honda dealer. What else should I be looking for? "


    A lemon law lawyer.


    Somewhere in the Edmund's website is information on TSB's & Recalls for cars. Hunt that down and you'll find a few maladies with the Sequoia. For comparison purposes, you could also check the TSB's for another SUV, like the Tahoe. You'll discover you're much better off with the Sequoia.
  • Those are normal sounds of very hot pieces of metal - (like exhaust manifolds) contracting as they rapidly cool off because HOT exhaust gases are no longer passing through them.
  • jhmacjhmac Posts: 1
    The rear window (liftgate) quit working at some point and I was shocked at how much it will take to fix it ( $477) I'm ticked enough that it went out as we rarely use it and have certainly never abused it. Has anyone else had problems with theirs or is this just a flukey deal that we will have to live with until we can afford to fix it? Anyone fixed this on their own?
  • My 2003 Sequoia has a battery drain out problem. If the car sits unstarted for a week the battery drains completely. No power at all. This happened to me at least 5 times. My TOY has 5000 miles on it. I don't know exactly what caused this problem. Brought in to Dealer but they have no clues. If anyone have anything regarding this problem. please post. Thank you.
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