Toyota Sequoia Maintenance and Repair



  • gkatz1gkatz1 Member Posts: 296
    When I went looking at SUV's I found much less of a difference than 4K. In some instances the Expeditions were more! I guess it depends where you look and the dealer.
  • zman3zman3 Member Posts: 857
    It must depend on the model. I got an Eddie Bauer 4x4 with most everything except navigation and DVD system. I bought it for invoice, minus $1000 rebate, minus $400 Ford discount. It stickered for $45,190 and I bought it for about $38,400 if I recall correctly. The comparable Sequoia Limited stickered for just under $47K and I figured I could by it for a little over $42, based on a recent purchase by a friend. The Sequoia had a few things that I didn't want like woodgrain trim, etc. So maybe it was slightly less than $4K but that is still a sizable chunk of change.

    Maybe for 2WD, or non Limited versions the numbers look differently, but for me at least, that's the way it all stacked up. If the prices had been more comparable then I probably wouldn't have been so inclined to hold the Toyota to a higher standard.

    It also helped that I thought the Ford was every bit as good as the Toyota, as far as features and performance. Expected reliablity was the main thing that the Toyota had going for it.
  • xman1035xman1035 Member Posts: 52
    I pay $750 a year to insure my 2002 Sequoia 4x4 and that is full coverage and would have probably paid the same if I had purchased an Expedition.
  • cindilcindil Member Posts: 18
    I have the headlights without the automatic light control system. I have accidently locked my doors with the remote and my lights are not automatically turning off as stated in the owners manual. I don't hear a reminder when I get out of the car either. I do have the daytime running lights feature if that makes a difference. Has anyone else noticed this or do your lights turn off when you lock the doors with the remote like stated in the manual? Also, does your car give you friendly reminder when you exit if your lights are on? Thanks,
  • gkatz1gkatz1 Member Posts: 296
    Limiteds can get very expensive. A nicely equipped SR5 probably would have been within $2K. My co-worker has a 2003 Eddie Bauer Expedition. Nice truck!
  • zman3zman3 Member Posts: 857
    Let me first say that I really like my insurance company and agent. I have had the same agent for 22 years and I'm only 38. He also insured my parents. Anyway, I was floored when he (Farmers Insurance) quoted me a Sequoia at $500 a year more than the Expedition. I couldn't justify the added expense, and since I've been with him for so long and have never had any issues with my homeowners claims, I was not about to switch insurance companies just to drive a different vehicle.

    I do still like the Sequoia, however. It just ended up being too expensive to own.
  • verolitverolit Member Posts: 6
    h20vet1 is right , when i first brought to the dealer, they didnt know what i was talking about so i insisted on taking the service manager for a test drive. i then found a vacant lot a block down , and it rained the night before so the grass was muddy. i then drove in circles spinning and sliding the sequoia , then all sorts of grinding noises came out of the hood and he was shocked at the amount of noises, and said he never heard anything like that before.the then did a battery of tests and said there was nothing wrong w/it. so yes, it indeed is a design issue.
  • verolitverolit Member Posts: 6
    as an afterthought, most sequoia trucks will never be driven offroad. the most severe driving duties will be to run errands on pavement and such. consequently these owners wil never hear this noises and the dealers will not get enough complains, and TOYOTA MOTORS will not get enough complaints to warrant an investigation of this design flaw.
  • raddboy41raddboy41 Member Posts: 249
    Design flaw? Not in my mind. Hell, it's not THAT bad folks! I think of it more like a buzzing. I'm GLAD that I can hear it, so I know that I've lost traction.
  • doudoudiddoudoudid Member Posts: 76
    can you let us know what insurance company are you using? i think it's a good rate, i remember i pay a bit more than that with farmer, but i know it depends on region too, we live in the bay area.

  • dskmddskmd Member Posts: 2
    I just purchased a 2003 SR5 and noticed that the antenna height is too high for my garage door by about 2-3 inches. I used to own a land cruiser, and it had a switch that let you set the maximum antenna height. The SR5 antenna is either fully extended or retracted, there is no middle ground. I know that eventually someone will forget to shut off the radio before driving into the garage, and the antenna will snap. Does anyone know if the antenna height can be modified?
  • dskmddskmd Member Posts: 2
    The limited comes with a sensor that automatically turns the headlights on at night. Does anyone know if that can be added to the SR5 aftermarket?
  • overtime1overtime1 Member Posts: 134
    How many inches above the roof rack does the antennae extend?

    My wife and I are seriously considering a Sequoia but also looking at a couple of others...

  • mcmattmcmatt Member Posts: 80
    Well after complaining about it for a long time, I finally took my 01 in for the stereo upgrade. It was well worth it! The bass and the rear volume problems are fixed.

    I don't know for sure, but just my observations tell me that they took out or reduced the response of the "active" bass or "autoloudness" circuitry that caused the old one to have too much bass at low volume and Ok bass at higher volume. They also appear to have changed the frequency where the bass adj is centered. It seems now to be closer to 60Hz whereas before it seemed in the 100Hz range. This would explain why it was boomier and now it has a little "punch" to it. The fader works more like a normal fader since the rear volume is louder.

    I recommend taking it in if you haven't already. You will need to tell them you have too much or "boomy" bass and that the rear volume is too low. If they balk, just give them the TSB number.
  • minuteman26minuteman26 Member Posts: 70
    Helped my 01 also...strongly recommended!
  • xman1035xman1035 Member Posts: 52
    The name of the insurance company is Wawanesa. They have been around for over 100 years and have offices in Canada, Oregon and California.

    You can get more info and a quote via their website below. I have been with them for 10 years and they have the lowest rates in California.

  • jlisterjlister Member Posts: 1
    I just wanted to tell you as an Expedition owner that I'm looking at trading it in on a Sequoia. Reason being, my Expedition is 3.5 years old with 84,000 miles. I thought when I bought it, it would last at least 150K. Well, there's a main bearing (or however you spell it) going out which is going to throw a rod, etc in the engine. My mechanic said to get rid of it because it'd be too expensive to fix. He also said that most American cars only last about 100K before they have real problems. Toyotas & Hondas are much better built (at least their engines are)
  • chineechinee Member Posts: 50
    My antenna clears my garage entrance by less than an inch, the roof rack by about 3 inches or so. The math then says that the antenna extends approx. two inches above the roof rack.

    I've already snapped mine off, at a carwash. The mast cost about $40 and I installed it myself, extremely easy, done in 5 minutes with my 3 year old helping me. It really was that easy.

    But the point of the post is that a mechanic friend of mine told me that shorter masts can be used in the power antenna. And I can tell you that since I did the replacement install myself, I believe it's possible to use a shorter mast. The determining factor is the diameter of the antenna base, it seems like a standard size, but I don't know for sure. Also the length of the plastic guide, only so much will fit in the retracting motor, so it can be shorter, but not longer.

    Confused? Clear as Mud?
  • bhicks1bhicks1 Member Posts: 3
    Mu 2003 Sequoia, 900 miles, is making a grinding noise from the front when the vehicle is cold. It's a consistent sound that can even be felt in the hands and feet (steering wheel and acclerator pedal).

    This noise, at about 20MPH, is every 1.5 seconds and lasts for about ten minutes.

    Dealer says that they had the same problem on another vehicle last week and solved it by replacing the front differential.

    Anyone else having this problem?
  • nzmailnzmail Member Posts: 1
    I am having the same exact problem with my 2003 Sequoia. I have 600 miles on it, and have heard the noise since I purchased the vehicle. I have been to 2 different dealers and both told me that they couldn't fix the problem. Bhicks1 - did you have your front differential replaced also??
  • bhicks1bhicks1 Member Posts: 3
    My Sequoia is in the shop right now. The dealer told me yesterday that they had ordered a new one and that it might be Friday (tomorrow) before they can finish replacement. I'll keep the list updated. My suspicion is that this is no design flaw as the system is at least three years old now, but rather a batch of these vehicles went out with something wrong.
  • jraiderjraider Member Posts: 25
    bhicks1....I also have a 2003 Sequoia. I hear the noise too. I live in Northern Ohio so it's been cold evey time I've started my Sequoia. I also feel a rumbling noise under my feet(drivers feet)when I accelerate when it's cold. Does this sound familar to anyone? I have to take it back to the dealer as there was a scratch in the bumper when I came to pick it up new. They are going to fix it. I also want them to fix anything else that I find wrong at the same time.
    My rear passenger window doesn't roll all the way down either. These are minor things all and all I love the vehicle...I just wanted to know if others are experiencing these things.
  • bhicks1bhicks1 Member Posts: 3
    Well now, the story has changed from earlier.

    Dealer called back and said that they had "jumped the fun" from yesterday.

    They called Toyota MidAtlantic (I'm in Virginia) as they are supposed to report any problems on vehicles with less than 5,000 miles (helps them ward off potential problems, I guess).

    Anyway, according to the service rep at Toyota MidAtlantic, what I'm hearing (and feeling) is normal. Per them, as the gears "mesh" with use, this noise will go away. They (the dealer) reported also that the Sequoia on which they changed the front diff. last week is still experiencing the noise/vibration. So, that's their story.

    Though I have a hard time believing that this 'meshing' is not causing some unusual wear somewhere. A design flaw, maybe. I'm going to go to the Tundara site and see if folks there are talking about the same problem (Toyota MidAtlantic referenced the fact that this 'problem' also appears on those vehicles).

    Per chance, I was sitting at a traffic light this morning and noticed a Sequoia turning next to me. I took the opportunity to follow this vehicle to a nearby shopping center where I engaged the driver in a conversation around this issue. Her Sequoia was a 2002 with 20K miles on it. She reported the same problem I'm experiencing when they first got the vehicle but that it did go away; though her description of the noise was not as noticeable as what I heard and felt on mine.

    I guess the story continues.
  • jrtannurajrtannura Member Posts: 18
    My 2002 has a clatter when first started in cold conditions. It completely disappears after about 5 minutes of operation. Sounds like the valves but I'm not sure. Oil consumption seems to be less than a quart per 3000 miles. Just coming up on 11000 on the od. Sorry if this has already been discussed but otherwise I sure would like to hear any suggestions or ideas. Thanks
  • gkatz1gkatz1 Member Posts: 296
    If your engine sounds like a deisel when cold than it is probably "piston slap". Almost every Toyota 4.7L exibits it. It doesn't seem to cause any problems as far as I've read. Whether or not Toyota acknowledges it is anyones guess.
  • shek3shek3 Member Posts: 72
    I have that noise too! took it to the dealer and he said he couldnt hear or feel full of Q$@#%@......Mine is also a 2003 this a warranty issue, should i make them replace the front diff???? help!
    ps i can be reached at [email protected]
  • chadrappchadrapp Member Posts: 35
    I have a 2003 Sequoia SR5, and thankfully not hearing the grinding noise. I have 5000 miles now. But I have noticed too much bass at low volumes. I would have thought this would have been corrected in the 2003 model but maybe not. Or am I just paranoid by reading these posts. I have the basic 6 speaker CD player. Anyone else experiencing this in 2003 model?
  • ekunstekunst Member Posts: 21
    has anyone had an experience with the vsc lights and the brake warning light coming on after initial start up? my 03 sr-5 has been doing this for a short time and i notice that it seem to happen only on real cold days. after the truck is driven for a while they go off, or when it is shut off and reastarted after a good ride they go off??? i really hate to bring iit in for service already...dam this is the reason i wouldnt buy american!
  • trustgodtrustgod Member Posts: 4
    Follow-up to prev. question regarding headliner..Dealer installed new headliner which solved majority of the sunroof vibration. But still have vibration (could be considered a rattle at times) from the rear hatch. Temp. has a big affect (i.e. when warmer vibration/rattle not an issue). I have tested all the plastic, etc. in the rear and appears to be no problem. I'm sure their are other Sequoia's with same problem, please advise on cure. Appt. set w/dealer, but if the weather is warm it will be a waste of time (live in San Diego)
  • chadrappchadrapp Member Posts: 35
    Well after commenting that I haven't heard the grinding noise, today my wife tells me the VSC light is on and at one point at acceleration from a stop she heard--you guessed it "a grinding noise like something was dragging the ground." I guess I'll call my dealer tomorrow. Anyone else that has an update on this please post. Thanks
  • gkatz1gkatz1 Member Posts: 296
    The traction control will exibit this noise when your wheels break traction. If you're on snow, put in 4wd. The noise is normal and is the ABS system slowing the slipping wheel.
  • chiefmanchiefman Member Posts: 4
    reference the vsc off /and vsc trac idiot lights i had the same problem last week. had the vehicle checked and a code was retained by the vehicles computer. the code indicated that the steering angle sensor had to be re-caliberated. if the lights come on again they advised that the sensor will have to be replaced. when the lights come on a code should be stored by the computer and should be serviced. tsb # BR001-02. hope this helps.
  • mcmattmcmatt Member Posts: 80
    trustgod, have you found a solution to the rear hatch rattle. I have the same thing and it got worse in colder weather. It sounds like loose plastic hitting metal when going over bumps. It is inside cabin.

  • trustgodtrustgod Member Posts: 4
    mcmatt, thanks for your response. I was beginning to think I was the only one..I agree, seems to happen most in cold weather or car has been outside at night. I live in So. California and we have been having a warm January. I am going to wait until a cold spell and drop the car off the night before at the dealer and then meet the service writer at 8:00 am for a test drive. If you find a answer, please let me know.
  • gkatz1gkatz1 Member Posts: 296
    I'm having the same problem with my new Sequoia (has about 1k miles on it) when the car is relatively cold, it will make a distinct humming noise around 40mph from the drivers side front wheel area every few seconds. Very annoying. I'm going to give it a couple hundred more miles and then take it in and have the dealer check the differential.

    Thanks for all the helpful info on this site.
  • jraiderjraider Member Posts: 25
    gkatz1- If you check over on tundra solutions there is a thread about this. Someone just posted that it is maybe a gear problem and toyota is aware of it. Take a look...interesting. Now I'm not a mechanic but do gears and differentials have anything in common or are they 2 different problems?
  • gkatz1gkatz1 Member Posts: 296
    I think my link form car and driver must have caused my user name to pop up on your post #243. Wierd.
  • bluegoosebluegoose Member Posts: 3
    First, is it normal for my 02Seq to make an ugly grinding noise when my rear tires slip while in 2WD?
      Second, as a long time 4WD owner who is frequently off-road, I am having a hard time adjusting to all the actions the Sequoia takes on my behalf. For instance, while climbing a slick mountain road where I expect to do some slipping, the car loses power at the most innoppurtune times. In some cases where I am trying to maintain momentum it feels like the bottom dropped out. Same for going downhill, the slightest slip activates the antiskid braking and I have to put up with all that pounding when I'm trying to concentrate on getting down in one piece.
      I have tried to read the manual but it is far too complicated. I am not that dumb but this is ridiculous.
      As far as I'm concerned, the last real improvement to 4WD was when they figured out how to switch without going out and locking the hubs. (this is just venting but I really would appreceate some advice on the other issues)
  • toyotakentoyotaken Member Posts: 897
    Well, one thing I will say, and I think Cliffy will probably concur (don't want to put words in his mouth), is that I almost always recommend that you drive it in 4wd hi all of the time. There are realy no significant drawbacks to doing this and reduces the likelyhood that the TRAC and VSC systems will get too intrusive.

    Hope this helps.

  • aapontessoaapontesso Member Posts: 2
    I've just returned from my 4th trip (2 different dealers) complaining about the clatter. It is getting progressively louder and lasts much longer than just a warm-up period. The dealer acknowledged that he could hear the clatter (finally) but the technician said it is within normal range. The service writer suggested I contact the regional service manager.
    Anybody have any long term experience? I'm thinking I'd better sell it before it runs out of warranty because the engine will crater at some point. I've got 25K miles.
  • jbb4jbb4 Member Posts: 4
    What a relief to find this site.

    I have been contemplating whether to mention to the service tech the vibration I feel coming from the front of my 2003 Sequoia limited. I feel it on the floor and in the steering wheel. It is most prevalent between 30 and 40 mph and cycles every 1 to 2 seconds. I was not sure if it was me being to picky, but it looks like I am not the only one with the problem.

    My Sequoia is going back in the shop for the 4th time to hopefully fix the problem I have with the VSC lights. I purchased the 3 weeks ago and 3 of the first 4 days I drove it the lights would come on and stay on after driving 2 to 3 miles. Since then the lights come on and stay on intermittently. They spent a week tracing wires thinking it was a short. They are now replacing the "speed control computer".

    Other issues:

    Programming door locks - thanks to raddboy41 for the instructions

    Knocking when cold, noticeable at temperatures below 40, pronounced at temperatures under 15. The knock goes away when the engine warms up.

    Wheels bent - I replaced the factory tires with a better set, in doing so the tire store noticed that 2 of the wheels where bent and should be replaced.
  • gkatz1gkatz1 Member Posts: 296
    I have to believe that if this was a problem that Toyota would have made a running change to fix it. I'm sure Toyota knows about it. Why would they continue to build more with the same issue if it may haunt them later? They have had three model years to address it and haven't, so I have to believe that it is not a detriment to the engine. I could be wrong though.
  • aapontessoaapontesso Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for a reply gkatz1. I agree Toyota surely would have fixed this problem by now. But, being a product of the '60's, I well remember the sound of solid valve lifters and of rods knocking. When I have friends ride in the vehicle for the first time, they even ask what the unusual noise coming from the engine is.
    I'd just like to know if anyone who has heard the noise (it's evidently common but not universal) has enough miles on the engine to assure that it will hold together in the long run. After all, V-8's are not Toyota's forte.
  • slcamtslcamt Member Posts: 37
    I agree all that fancypants stuff bugs me. Although it works great for the wife on slick roads. I do some wheelin on mountain gravel roads. when it gets too bad for the computer I just put it in 4 low and turn off the vsc. Suddenly I am back in control no niose no throttle cutout. Give it a try it's sweet.
  • bluegoosebluegoose Member Posts: 3
    Thanks guys, that was just the type of advice I was looking for. I'll be trying your suggestions when turkey season starts.
  • wcrmwcrm Member Posts: 1
    Is anybody else unhappy with how easily the interior of the Sequoia scratches? I have never owned a car with this kind of problem. Please complain to Toyota Customer Service 1-800-331-4331 and to the dealership. Maybe if enough people complain they will resolve the issue. They have used the wrong kind of plastic in these cars and you would think this would be one of their major endurance tests. (This can make a vehicle lose its value quickly.) Please voice your opinions. Thank you.
  • chiefmanchiefman Member Posts: 4
    DITTO ! ON THE INTERIOR SCRATCHES. Also has anyone experienced an acceleration lag. From a stopped position, as you pull out, the engine will accelerate then hesitate and then resume acceleration.
  • toyonoisetoyonoise Member Posts: 17
    I have a 2003 4WD Limited Seqouia which has made a noise from the front end since day one. After constant pursuit of an answer, Toyota has admitted a problem which is a "fluid friction" problem where the front drive shaft is moving even when not engaged in 4WD. After the transfer case oil warms the noise goes away. If you put the car in 4WD it will go away as well. I had a mechanic change out the oil with a synthetic Amsoil and it made no difference. I spent almost $50,000 on a car that has this annoying noise and Toyota says I'm sorry but there is nothing we can do. Anyone else out there with this? Steve
  • jraiderjraider Member Posts: 25
    wcrm- I saw your post about scratches, and I agree. I have a new 2003 SR5 with 3500 miles on it. I have a scratch by the many sunglass holders. I also have been carting my son and his friends to snow board (sometimes having the biggest vehicle is a drawback). The boys have been putting their snow boards in the back by themselves, they seemed like they were being careful. However, when I went to put groceries back there I saw that the side by that small door is all scratched up, it looks horrible. I really don't think it should scratch that easily, now we're wrapping the snow boards in towels, what a pain. I don't think this should happen in a $35,000 vehicle. My old Sienna did not scratch this easily.
  • raddboy41raddboy41 Member Posts: 249
    Yep, this has been reported by many Sequoia owners and its seems to just be a trait of the vehicle....albeit an aggravating one to some. Let me ask, did you hear the noise during the test drive? The reason I ask is because I will always test drive the EXACT VEHICLE I'M CONSIDERING BUYING extensively before making my purchase decision. I realize that the dealers try to keep the test drive miles down, but if I'm dropping $35K-$40K on a vehicle I'm going to put it through it's paces including ABS lockup, avoidance manuevering and strong throttle application. Yes, I realize how important the first 500 miles are towards a vehicles longevity, so I'm careful...but I do test it. Research the periodicals, research the internet, then drive it yourself. You simply have got to perform due diligence when spending this much money.
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