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Toyota Sequoia Maintenance and Repair



  • I have a 2002 sequoia limited that has been rapidly falling apart. Latest issue was a replaced windshield which apparently wasn't sealed properly. A leak (which was not caught until the 3rd inspection by Toyota) corroded and ruined the fuse box. When we picked up the car (after they replaced the fuse box), the battery was completely dead and could not be recharged (apparently they left the doors open while repairing the car). The next day, we picked up the car (after they replaced the battery) and the car lost power and couldn't get over 30mph on the highway - back to Toyota. Now, the exhaust system is supposedly shot and needs to be replaced (at a cost of $640).

    Funny how every time we go to Toyota to have something fixed, something else turns up broken the very next day.

    We have had MANY MANY problems with this car, admittedly some were not caused by Toyota, but we are fed up with the quality issues that WERE caused by Toyota (rear door hatch broke twice, power antenna motor broke 3 times, Drive light has been out for 2 years, cheap plastic that scratches when you look at it, etc.).

    Bottom line, we will be buying a new car, and it won't be a Toyota. However, until we can afford the new car, we need to repair the exhaust system. We're out of warranty at this point - is their price reasonable? Any reliable chain that should be able to do it for less? Does their diagnosis sound like it makes sense?
  • To answer my own question. I took my ’08 sequoia to the dealer today to have a windshield washer fluid level sensor replaced. I asked them about adjusting the headlights. They showed me a black plastic cap on the back side of the headlight that needs to be pulled off, under that is a nut that you turn to adjust the headlight.
  • Thanks for the post. I have had my 08 now for three weeks and have been flashed about 20 times. I know I have great visibility with the lights and never have to put them on bright, but I may have to make a change in them as well. I sometimes feel guilty when I pull up behind someone in a little car at stoplights and they are completely flooded in light from my Sequoia......I get over it real quick, because most people should accept these things when they buy a vehicle. My wife has Mini Cooper and when I drive it at night I get the same bright lights in my rearview mirror.....I just adjust the mirror and move on.
  • Cool - thanks for the tip - I've been living with my sub-standard '01 Sequoia headlights for 8 yrs now - but funny thing, the original headlamps have not yet burned out. I swapped them for Sylvania SilverStars thinking I'd finally get brighter beam - but hardly noticable, and the Sylvanias burned out in exactly 1 year. I wrote Sylvania and they admitted "the lifespan will be short for their "High performance" bulbs"! They also gave me refund and I'm using Bosch now I think. The headlights in my wifes 2003 Highlander are much much brighter but dont fit into the Seq..unfortunately - it may be the reflector thats better,not sure. Ive thought about replacing the fog lights with driving lights but havent gotten around to it. Other than the hatch latch failing repeatedly, and the Drive lite out on the dash (at 202,000 miles I cant complain) nothing major has sidelined this vehicle.
  • Like a lot of other Sequoia owners, I have had brake problems and VSC problems.

    I finally found the solution. Here is what I did. Good luck with your vehicle.

    One day I was on ebay and noticed a set of rear and front brake calipers for a 2006 Sequoia. I was bored and bid $99.00...damn I won. I figured, OK, I will need a set of good discs to go with them. Again I found a set on ebay...CHEAP. New. Drilled and slotted front and rear.

    When I jacked up the Sequoia to work on the brakes, I did the rears first...NO PROBLEMS.

    The front was a different matter. I knew the front 2006 calipers were larger, but I did not know that the backing plate on my 2001 would interfere with mounting them. I got my sawzall out and a new metal cutting blade. Chopped about an inch and a half off the corners of the backing and bottom...VOILA... it works. The only other thing that you have to remember is that the 2006 calipers are thinner so you will need to use a washer with the bolt so it does not botttom out when you try to tighten it all up.


    I decided to "re-set" the memory in the on board computers. Doing this is easy. Disconnect the battery. Hold the negative cable and the positive cable together for 10 seconds. Since I did all this, I have had NO warnings from the VSC. The vehicle stops extremely well and the rotors are true so that all my brake chatter and small shimmy at highway speeds has disappeared.

    I hope this helps everyone.

    So why has Toyota not addressed this issue? Damned if I know. I am just happy to finally have a properly functioning vehicle after 8 years of aggrevation.
  • harboharbo Posts: 136
    Wow .... thx from all us Sequoia owners ... !! Are the brakes more positive (firm) ??

    My Sequoia an 02, 120,000 mile Lmtd. Routine maintenence except for (2nd) rear latch. K & N air filters, Bosch Platinum 4 prong plugs, Castrol Syntx 5W40. 16/17 City, 20 mpg highway @ interstate + spds. I'm waiting for the twin turbo diesel Sequoia. Get with the future Toyota Corp.
  • The brakes are awesome. It stops without drama. No vibrations. No shimmying. No "out of balance" feeling while at speed. Stopping distances are dramatically reduced. What I still cannot get over is the absence of the old VSC warning lights flashing and the ABS going out.

    I just wish I had sat down and applied what I knew about race cars to this problem 5 years ago when I gave up on Toyota and their "technicians". I prefer mechanics.
  • We just had this similar problem. Everytime we started the car and put it into drive, you could hear the VSC/TRAC system trying to work and then it would beep,and the lights would come on and stay on. I saw that someone else had taken out the VSC sensors from the wheel hub, on all four tires and found they were rusted. When the rust is cleaned off and reinstalled, then unplug vehicle battery to reset computer and the problem is solved. THere is a O-ring that is worn on my back two wheels that has allowed rust and debris to form on the sensors. I'll be replacing those rings. This was a pretty simple fix, for what could have been a very expensive dealer repair.
  • Hey, we just bought an '01 Sequioa and it was idling a bit rough....but only while in Park. When you are pulled up to a stop light or checking the mail with your foot on the brake while in doesn't have a rough idle at that time. The truck now has 120,000 miles on it....and everything else on the vehicle is fine. I was thinking about changing the spark plugs....??? Anyone have any suggestions on whether this will help???
  • When you change the plugs, clean the throttle body. It is easy to do. Get a can of carb clenaer and start spraying away at the accumulated grime in the intake.

    I suspect your problem will disappear.
  • Will do jerrydock.....thanks for your reply.....
  • I recently came across a 2002 Sequoia for sale with 150,000 miles. Looked like it was in good condition, but before getting too involved with it, just wondering if anyone out there would recommend it with such high mileage. Appreciate your thoughts.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    That works out to well over 20,000 miles per year which is quite high (typical is around 12-14,000 per year). Mileage like that is indicative of highway miles and some would interpret that as a good thing. In any case, you can use that high mileage as a bargaining chip.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • trapper51trapper51 Posts: 27
    I continue to drive a 2001 with 208,000 miles here in New England - has been the longest living vehicle we have owned, and the least problematic. Total repairs have not exceeded $5000 and of that half were under warranty by 100k miles - such as 4WD differential and seals, intake manifold leak, JBL speakers (junk) and of course the plastic rear latch release - 3 times. I tow a boat occasionally in summer, and light off -road for necessity not sport, but mostly drive highway miles year round. If this one gets hit I'll replace it with another, especially to get the larger engine - the 4.7 struggles to tow. Adding a K&N air intake was worth the $150. Good tires (not the low mileage OEM Dunplops) and Mobile 1 will keep you on the road.
    My other family members with Yukons or Pickups think Im telling them stories.
    I tell them Toyota furloughed their US SUV/Truck plant employees with pay while GM and Ford just keep throwing them away, on top of squandering customers' money on foreign acquisitions they cannot integrate - Land Rover, Jaguar etc.
    Good luck.
  • harboharbo Posts: 136
    My 02 Sequoia has 115,000 trouble free miles. One power antenna, 2 rear door latch's, transmission flush, injector flush, coolant flush at 95,000. Replaced original Bridgestons at 45K w/ Michelin LTX M/S 265 R70 16 that should make 140,000. One set of brake pads and turned rotors at 75,000. Basically a bullet-proof truck. Run K & N air filter & Bosch Platinum 4 prong plugs. Castrol Syntec 5w40 change at 8,000 miles. Love this rig.
  • kineokineo Posts: 7
    My '01 just passed 140k. I do drive a lot of highway miles, put on over 30k last year alone. With regular oil changes, tire rotations and one latch. I also agree if this one did get hit ,I'd get another without a second thought!!! One question for fellow high mile owners when did you change the timing belt? Thanks ;)
  • backsterbackster Posts: 12
    2001 Limited with 166K and absolutely love it-one of the best vehicles I have owned-just put a deposit on a 2008 limited! My vote go for it!!!
  • kingfans1kingfans1 Posts: 137
    I have 2006 Camry LE V6 with 139,000 Miles.. I haven't done any transimission flush, timin belt, or major repair... done replacing brake pads at 90,000 miles ..regular oil change, rotate tires.. V6 camry is very reliable... I live in Reno/Lake Tahoe Area. I want to upgrade to 2008 Sequoia SR5 4x4.. anyone know when 2009 Sequoia are coming out?????
  • youngphyoungph Posts: 1
    My 04 Sequoia has a problem with the truck trying to turn over the engine in short blips with no key in the ignition. It will turn the engine over every 20 - 30 seconds until the battery runs down at which point it just clicks. This has happened two other times in the last 6 months. I have replaced the battery twice and it is back in the shop. Any ideas on what could be the problem ? :sick:
  • normhnormh Posts: 30
    Does anyone know how to replace the bulb (for night illumination) in a Homelink button?


  • aliminalimin Posts: 80
    Have an '05 SR5 - dinged the tail light on the driver's side by hitting the trash cart backing out - got a replacement part for the outside driver's side tail light. Two screws to pop off - but is there an easy way to get to the inside and unplug the existing one and plug in the new one without, it seems, taking off most of the inside covers (where the head rest for the third row middle seat is stored)?
  • harboharbo Posts: 136
    Norm did you get an answer? I have the same problem.
    Thx .. Harbo
  • aliminalimin Posts: 80
    With the help of a friendly body shop owner, I solved my problem by simply twisting the original tail light and turn signal bulbs out of the damaged tail light and putting them into the new one. No need to unplug or replace the wiring at all, nor tear apart any inside panels. And now I have two spare bulbs.
  • danted23danted23 Posts: 1

    I can find tons of websites selling aftermarket and replacement parts for the "main" components of the Sequoia, but does anybody have a good site/suggestion on where I can find the smaller, cheaper pieces?

    For example, I need to find the little plastic light cover on the rear door that covers the light that turns on when the door is open.

  • aliminalimin Posts: 80
    After a 500 mile trip, I garaged the '05 Seq (87K miles) and smelled burned oil. The local dealer showed me some grease from the apparently over-lubbed (the dealership did the service work) front u-joint had hit the transmission housing and caused the odor. But he also pointed out a leak on the boot of the driver's side rack & pinion area. Said a seal is probably going bad. Also said it was very expen$ive to repair (quoted over a grand for the rack&pinion plus labor). Anyone else have that problem? Is there a less costly fix? How serious is the problem?
  • salem6salem6 Posts: 1
    my Sequoia is an '01 with 185k miles and after the last service with the dealer - I was alerted to a small leak also on the rack and pinion - it was early stage and no repair required yet. Similar cost estimate for replacing the whole unit with no alternative, would welcome thoughts re. repair rather than complete unit replacement
  • aliminalimin Posts: 80
    Took the '05 to a frame/alignment shop and they cleaned the boot and area around the boot on both sides and said to give it a week to see if it really is a leak or something else. He said he thought it was rare that the seals would leak unless the part was hit. So I'm going to see what happens over the weekend's 600 mile travels. Also, a local junk yard quoted a $600 parts price for a complete rack/pinion set. Good luck on yours, too.
  • aliminalimin Posts: 80
    Well, after the long trip, I still have some leakage around the boot area. But the mechanic suggested that, unless there was fluid on the floor, it wasn't serious enough to replace the rack & pinion system at this time. So I'll see how the next 80K miles go! Anyone else have that experience? Thanks.
  • raybobraybob Posts: 3
    I've got a 2004 Sequoia and the rear hatch won't unlock. I've tried to unlock it with the key and the transmitter with no success. I can hear the selenoid working, but the hatch won't unlock. Every once in a while it surprises me and it unlocks, but only 5% of the time. Anyone had this experience and know how to fix it short of taking it to the dealer??
  • trapper51trapper51 Posts: 27
    Yes - we all have had this problem -rear hatch has been problematic with the Sequoia - I have a 2001 with 209,000 miles and have fixed this 3x. Be sure to lubricate with PB Blaster or WD40 the external hatch release as well as the release block down at the base of the lift gate. (The external hand release is plastic and couldnt take the wear - it just snaps. The lower actual lock seems to rust badly but liubrication helps. Use the electronic key to lock and unlock many times. Repairs will cost $200 or more - the tech needs to work around the power window motor to replace the plastic handle - ask for a longer than normal warranty on this part and exercise it extensively - mine broke again after, you guessed it, 400 days! Fortunately - thats just about all that has broken a second time.
    Unfortunately - when the lock goes there is NO WAY to open or release this gate manually - very poor design, along with the heavy steel construction. My wife's Highlander just about opens by itself. Maybe someone else has a more permanent fix for this - like replacing it with something 100% manual? Good luck,
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