Toyota Sequoia Maintenance and Repair



  • redsox5redsox5 Member Posts: 22
    One of the many reasons I decided against an Expedition was the amount of brake dust that built up on the wheels. This was a common complaint on the Expy boards, and I wasn't expecting it to be as bad on the Sequoia. Should I just get used to it, or will it get better as my pads are broken in (they only have 1200 miles on them)? What has everyone been using to keep there's clean. I've used Simple Green on past vehicles. I've also heard waxing will make clean up easier.
  • steve287steve287 Member Posts: 7
    Why is the Sequoia octane 87 and the land crusier octane 91 if it's the same engine? The salesman had no idea either. Anyone have a REAL answer in here
  • nomariannomarian Member Posts: 19
    I don't have a Sequoia yet,(waiting on 2004) but I do have 2002 Pathfinder with auto off lights. They will only automatically turn off if left in the auto position. If I manually turn them on with the switch, then they will stay on all night. Is there a switch on the lights in the Sequoia?
  • rpnugerpnuge Member Posts: 13
    Hey RedSox5,
    I too have alot of brake dust on my 03 SR5. I have 2 Hondas with lots of brake dust, so I'm use to it. I use a rim cleaner (there's several) that state to take of brake dust. I usually clean the rims with a sponge when cleaning the SR5 to take the heavy stuff off, then spray the rim cleaner on, let sit and wash off with hose. Then I wipe the rims with a rag or paper towel to shine it up. Seems like a lot of work, but really isn't. I like my SR5 clean and the rims always shine afterwards. Unfortunately, brake dust starts showing up in 3-4 days again.
  • steve287steve287 Member Posts: 7
    Just pick up teflon wax, never have pad dust again.

    WARNING: Make sure you use it ONLY on the exterior of the rims.
  • mcmattmcmatt Member Posts: 80
    There is now a TSB that addresses the alarm suddenly going off when being disarmed. See if it applies to your vehicle.

    The TSB is EL007-03 from May 14, 2003 "Antitheft System - Alarm Sounds When Unlocking Vehicle".

    Good Luck
  • deviyiyadeviyiya Member Posts: 25

    Where can one get a copy of the TSB EL007-03 to find out if my vehicle is covered?
  • h20vet1h20vet1 Member Posts: 2
    Although I've read many postings referring to the "sulfur" smell generated by the catalytic converter I have yet to find a message concerning an ammonia smell from my '02 Sequoia. This is my 10th Toyota vehicle with little or no problems on any one of them but I refuse to believe this is “normal.”

    During hard acceleration I get a distinct and pungent ammonia smell permeating the vehicle. This also happens when towing a 19 foot boat suggesting that the occurrence is related to engine stress. At first I thought that I may have spilled some glass cleaner on the dash, allowing it to seep in to the vents and be distributed by the a/c system but this is not the case. This is definitely related to acceleration/torque. Has anybody else experienced this problem?
  • jj35jj35 Member Posts: 283
    My 02 Sequoia has a high pitched squeal when making sharp turns to the left, such as when parking. It sounds like someone speeding sharply around a corner but I am often going no faster than idle speed. When this was first noted, somewhere around 15,000 miles, the dealership where I get it serviced said that lubrication was needed. They did this but the squeal continued. At the 20,000 mile service, I brought it up again and they told me that it was a leak in the rear axle seal that caused the squeal. I thought this was peculiar mostly because the squeal sounds like it is coming from the front of the vehicle. I reported on this earlier here and I think the rear axle problem may be a common one in the Sequoia. It was fixed under warranty, but the squeal continued. On my 25,000 mile visit yesterday, I brought it up again. This time they told me that there was nothing they could do about the noise and it was normal and common for the vehicle. The service writer told me that they had 4 Sequoias in the shop at that moment and every one exhibited this squeal. I am not buying this. I have two neighbors with 2002 Sequoias and theirs do not squeal and I have not heard anyone else but me and speeding teenagers make this noise.

    Are any of you other Sequoia owners having this same squeal?
    Should I try another dealership? I was trying to consistently visit the same dealership thinking I would get better service from them that way, but right now I feel like they have given up on me.

    Also, I have the horrible sulfur smell. They gave me a TSB on it on this visit. It just blames it on the gas. I have been using premium gas for several months now, but the smell continues. They say sulfur content in gas varies. Anyone know how to find a gas station that may carry a lower sulfur concentration in their fuel?

    Overall, I am pretty happy with the Sequoia and would recommend it to others. I just am not happy that some of these nagging problems seem like they are "normal" and not fixable.
  • kdvaillancourtkdvaillancourt Member Posts: 19
    2002 SR5, owned for 12 months w/13k miles. The past several months have been noticing a noice from the 3rd row seat area. Finally invested some time to find the source. The 3rd row seats are vibrating. I have taken them out and checked all connections and appear correct. Any other owners with similiar problem and have found a solution.
  • gkatz1gkatz1 Member Posts: 296
    The seats don't vibrate on their own so I would suspect that you have a rear wheel out of balance. Assuming you have them installed properly and everything appears tight.
  • mcmattmcmatt Member Posts: 80
    You can get them at another car website if you join. You can get them at Someone said you can also get them at libraries. This I'm not sure about. Your dealership should also show you a copy. If they don't, think of divorcing them ;)
  • tacovivatacoviva Member Posts: 116
    I have an 03 4Runner and also have the smell. It's because Toyota has designed vents on the rear of the vehicle. What's happening is the exhaust is getting sucked back in to your vehicle. Toyota said the same thing abou the gas and showed me the TSB. However, the Customer Service rep and the Toyota manufacturing rep both said that this is because the vents are placed too close to the tailpipe. Toyota has a design flaw on the vehicles and the high sulfur content has only made us aware of them. Look on the 4Runner forum and you'll see a topic regarding this. A recent test conducted indicates that unsafe levels of emissions (CO) is entering the cabin. If your upset, I don't blame you. I just went through arbitration and lost. I just found out that the arbitration company is PAID by Toyota. I'm very frustrated too. I'm conducting emission tests of my own and would recommend you do the same. As I understand it, Toyota has this problem on the Highlander, 4Runner and Sequoia. I think it's a similar design on all three. Good Luck.
  • sanny299sanny299 Member Posts: 3
  • kinaponkinapon Member Posts: 1
    Can anyone tell me when to turn ON and Off the overdrive for Sequoia? I have a 2002 SR5 and I don't really know when to properly use it. My old Pathfinder's transmission went out because of the same problem I had, When to turn Off and On the Overdrive.
  • pielapiela Member Posts: 1
    Post #192 caught my eye. I too just discovered a soaking wet carpet at the right rear of the cargo area while vacuuming this past weekend. My Sequoia is equipped with a sunroof as well as rear AC. The previous post suspected a leaking sunroof but I wonder if the evaporator is not draining all to the outside. Does anyone else have this problem or, better yet, has anyone discovered the remedy?
  • raddboy41raddboy41 Member Posts: 249
    I always leave the Overdrive on unless I'm towing. That's exactly what the manual says to do.
  • low_ball_88low_ball_88 Member Posts: 171
    I just recently noticed squealing noise coming from the driver side of the car, especially when making a turn. I start noticing it after I had my break TSB done (BTW, everyone who is eligible to get the break TSB should do so. What a big difference!) I have not brought it back to the dealer to look into it, but I will, when I bring it in for my 15K mile service and fix my steering wheel off center TSB problem. Would anyone who knows about this squealing problem provide us with answers.

    As far as overdrive. I turn it off while climbing a steady hill (for example, the steady climb to Lake Tahoe from the valley). Should this be done or will it damage my engine/transmission?

    Thanks in advance for you response.
  • petro33petro33 Member Posts: 192
    I make the same trip to Tahoe fron Folsom and once I get in the hills I take it out of OD. Otherwise it just keeps shifting back and forth. Plus I don't know if it is good to go up a hill under high throttle in OD. Is that putting undue strain on the transmission. I do leave it on when pulling my travel trailer in the valley as shifting is minimal. As you would expect is not in OD on my way to Oregon!

    I have noticed an increase in brake pad life once I had the TSB done on the front brakes!
  • seadoo3seadoo3 Member Posts: 3
    I have an 03 Limited and every know and then, I will here a static noise that comes across the speakers. It's like a ticking noise only it is static and it will tick for about 7-9 times then stop. It happens when I listen to the radio or C.D. player. I turned the stereo completely off and it still made the sound. I asked a Toyota service person about it but he had no clue. Anyone else expierence this problem or have any ideas. Thanks
  • vickruc1vickruc1 Member Posts: 10
    I'm getting the same noise on my 2003 Limited. It's sporatic. I've had the truck since July and it's just started making the noise. I have a little over 4000 miles. I'm going to take mine in. Dealer doesn't have a clue--think it could be a loose connection --speaker or amp.
  • deviyiyadeviyiya Member Posts: 25
    I also have 03 SR5. I just started hearing it also. It is sporadic as Vickru1 said. It sound sometimes like electrical shorting noise. I have 4700 miles on mine. I plan to take it in when I got for 5000 miles service.
  • suv2004suv2004 Member Posts: 3
    I leave overdrive on during normal driving, except up/down hill. Also, I turn it off during a high speed stopping like getting off highways, I usually downshift from overdrive then to drive then to 2 gear then to low gear. Downshifting is for engine braking to assist me for coming to a easy stop.
  • sequoiasoonsequoiasoon Member Posts: 223
    Where is your Cell Phone if you have one? Many times the ticking is the "cell" switching. Does it get worse or better if you move the phone? Was the phone on / was it in use?
  • vickruc1vickruc1 Member Posts: 10
    I found out something interesting with mine. I also have a rear DVD system and on a hunch I took the batteries out of the wireless headphones. Surprise-no noise for 2 days. Drove over 9 hours today off and on without a hint of noise. Not sure if it's related--I'll keep you all posted if anything changes. Note: I had cell phone on all day with no issues laying in the center console as always.
  • snakepillsnakepill Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 TOYOTA SEQUIOA 2WD. It has about 14k on it.
    The problem with it is whenever I take a U RURN or a fast turn the front tyres make a
    screeching sound. Is it normal with SEQUIOAs? or is it something to do
    with the tyres? or do I need to balnace the tyres?I have this problem since day one.
  • raddboy41raddboy41 Member Posts: 249
    I've got the exact same vehicle as you with the OEM Dunlops and have not heard any screeching. Tires might be underinflated.
  • marsimmsmarsimms Member Posts: 8
    Hi Everyone!
    I bought my 2003 Limited Sequoia in July. I absolutely love the way it drives and the interior is spacious and comfortable...HOWEVER....I have a sunroof that squeaks incessantly. From what I can gather, the sunroof lift arm needs to be replaced and it's a HUGE job (about 6 hours, headliner removed, etc). My dealer has tried unsuccessfully to fix this thing 3 times and has failed each time. Finally, the service manager gave me the 1-800 # for Toyota. WHAT A MESS! All those people do is "YES" you to death and promise to call back (which they never do). No dealership in the area will touch the vehicle and I am at a dead end here. I don't want to go through the hassle of arbitration, but for 50k, I expected much more than the rattlebox I am stuck with. The roof noise is unbearable, especially in the cold weather. Any tips or suggestions???
  • slcamtslcamt Member Posts: 37
    You should bring your Sequoia to Utah. Take it to Mark Miller Toyota. in Salt Lake City. They will fix it right the first time and give you a car so you can check out the city while you wait. I agree with you the squeak is unbearable. Good Luck.
  • marsimmsmarsimms Member Posts: 8
    Well, I live in NY. If I ever get the urge to drive out there, I'll bring my rattlebox with me (smile). At least I can tell this "specialist" which dealership to call for advice. thanks so much!!!
  • tnt8tnt8 Member Posts: 7
    I did the test today! it ran great! 03 SR5. Just a little uneasy about having to remove back seats for more cargo space. Has anyone found it really bad? would probably remove them once a month. Would try Nissan Armada and see how it performs.
  • deviyiyadeviyiya Member Posts: 25

    It is very easy to remove the third row seats. The instruction on the seat is a bit confusing at first. Once you get the jist of it, it is easy.

    I took a look at the Amanda today and it is not as beautiful as Sequoia.It looks like a box. It also has a lower gas mileage than Seq. It can only seat 7 people and the cargo space is small.

    You can guess that I have a Seq.
  • robertbickrobertbick Member Posts: 28
    Don't forget that the Nissan Armada will likely have some bugs. The first year of most models have some bugs to be worked out. Remember that the Sequoia had some AC and brake problems that have since been corrected.
  • raddboy41raddboy41 Member Posts: 249
    Well, I haven't seen your vehicle and it would be foolish to diagnose the problem over the here it goes!! :^) It could very well be the drain holes! Factory sunroofs (this is a factory unit, eh?) aren't designed to keep water out, but to channel the water to the tracks and then the drain holes. A quick blast of compressed air should clear any blockage that may exist.
  • marsimmsmarsimms Member Posts: 8
    Ok, what about a SQUEAKING sunroof?
  • raddboy41raddboy41 Member Posts: 249
    Sounds like you've got a mouse stuck in the drain hole! :) Actually, can you hear the sound with the sunroof open while going down the road? If so, reach up and grab hold of the luggage rack. Now reach around and scratch your right ear with your left hand while sticking out your tongue! Now, look in the rear view mirror. Pretty funny, eh? Actually, I'm serious about reaching up to grab the luggage rack.
  • slcamtslcamt Member Posts: 37
    I was at my friendly neighborhood Toyota dealer the other day. I was witness to a fellow Sequoia owner losing his mind because the service writer informed him that his new starter would cost him $1200.00. I am sure he wasn't angry about the price. I think it was the fact that the truck had all of 80,000 miles on it. I am thinking the warranty is looking like a no brainer at this point. Oh What A Feeling
  • haymakerhokiehaymakerhokie Member Posts: 11
    I've noticed a few postings regarding the random VSC Trac Off, VSC, and ABS lights, but I'll add my experience so far. Anyone that has further information, please pass it along.

    2003 Ltd has intermittent VSC, and ABS lights coming on and off. When diagnosed by the technician, the computer code says to replace the back right speed sensor. They replaced it and about 1/2 mile down the road, the lights came on again. By the way, all the lights are linked together, and I've been told that it doesn't hurt to drive it, just the ABS brakes won't work in a pinch. They hooked it back up to the computer again, and it said the same speed senser was faulty. Next steps are to check the wiring and computer end and go from there. I plan on passing along any information I dig up on this board to my technician, like replacing the speed computer and steering angle sensor. Did anyone else get this issue fixed? It's more annoying than anything else, but the Toyota dealer has been great about looking at it, although I find it difficult that they couldn't replicate it when it happens to me within a 1/4 mile of the dealership. Any thoughts?
  • tharmstharms Member Posts: 12
    I've read where this has been an issue for other owners for about 2-years now. Has Toyota found a solution? Has anyone experience a serious problem due to this issue (i.e. burned valves, excessive oil usage, thrown rod?). Mine has both the engine tapping noise as well as the the crunching dashboard noise whenever I hit a bump.

    I bought by '01 Sequoia Limited used and would like to get the service history but my local dealership said that it is not available to them unless the previous owner had the work done at their dealership. Is this true? I figured that Toyota should have a national database where they could pull service data from all dealerships.

  • haymakerhokiehaymakerhokie Member Posts: 11
    I was informed by my dealer that Toyota keeps a national database of all work performed on their vehicles. So under that assumption, you should be able to get a history of all work performed on your vehicle at Toyota dealerships. If the work was done elsewhere, then you are on your own.
  • ar15ar15 Member Posts: 58
    Does anyone know how to reset the Average Miles Per Gallon on the Sequoia's computer?
  • robertbickrobertbick Member Posts: 28
    Put it in average MPG mode. Press and hold the "Mode" button and the "E/M" button simultaneously for a few seconds. This will reset it.
  • robertbickrobertbick Member Posts: 28
    I have an `04 Limited and can't seem to change from Mode 1 of the automatic door locking function. My wife wants all the doors to unlock after driving which would be either mode 3 or mode 4. I have gone thru the steps in the manual and nothing happens. Either I am missing something or it does not work.

    Do you need to start the engine or just turn the ignition to the "on" position?

    I tried to put it in mode 3 by setting the parking brake, closing the door, turning the ignition to "on", move the tranny to "N" and then holding the elec. door lock button to unlock for over 5 seconds. Nothing happened.

    I also tried performing the steps for mode 1 again to cancel that mode and it did not work.

    Has anyone done this successfully?
  • gkatz1gkatz1 Member Posts: 296
    I got mine done after trying for a while. The manual is not helpful and incomplete in this regard. Unfortunately, I don't remember what extra step I used. Try a search at tundrasolutions, we had a discussion a while back that explained it.
  • gkatz1gkatz1 Member Posts: 296
    I found my original post over there and it seemed to help everyone. Here is what I posted.

    "I changed mine to mode 4 after a frustrating experience. If I remember correctly the doors need to be locked ahead of time. The manual does not state this and following the book will leave you feeling dumb."

    FYI, mine is a 2002 and I'm unsure if anything has changed.

    Here is another post from someone else.

    "I noticed if you are doing one of the modes which require the gear to be in Park, you have to shift it into Park. here are the steps I took for Mode 4:
    1. Key in ignition
    2. Lock the car
    3. Shift into Neutral
    4. Turn ignition to 'on'
    5. Shift into Park
    6. Hold the door lock button down in the 'unlock' position for 5 seconds which point the door locks and then unlocks..."
  • nv1nv1 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2002 Toyota Sequoia. It was idling rough, and not accelerating properly when I pushed on the gas. The engine was stalling out, but not dying. When I would sit for any period of time, it would idle rough until it died. The dealer had it for 2 days, and said it was bad gas. They "fixed" it and I drove it yesterday and it did the same thing. It's back at the shop and they called and said it's the fuel pump, but might not be under warranty because the "bad gas" might have damaged it. Here's my question...How will they know if it's a bad fuel pump or if the "bad fuel" caused the fuel pump to go bad? It's still under warranty, but won't be covered if the "bad fuel" caused the problem. Also, how do they know I had "bad fuel"? Thanks!
  • robertbickrobertbick Member Posts: 28
    Thanks for the tip but I still could not get it to work. I'll do some searching on the web or call my dealer.
  • haymakerhokiehaymakerhokie Member Posts: 11
    Dealer rerouted some wires this time, and it almost had me fooled. Actually made it on one trip before the lights came back on this time. I was hoping to get more feedback from chadrapp or jbb4 on their latest findings, so if you are out there, please post something about your situation. Dealer's next steps are to swap out some computers, but after reading jbb4s post, i'm not sure that's gonna fix it. 6 trips so far to the dealer, with no end in sight. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
  • denalizandenalizan Member Posts: 1
    Just purchased new 03, 44 miles. Guess what... the VSC lights are on. Now I have to take this back to the dealer. I am not happy. I did not a Toyota to have problems within the first 30 miles of driving this SUV. Once I have gone through dealer experience I will update this.

    Clearly Toyota has an issue they need to address.
  • chadrappchadrapp Member Posts: 35
    I have actually had no more problems since they changed out the steering angle sensor. I believe that is what they called it. They tried to blame it on the aftermarket wiring for my DVD system, but I'm sure that had nothing to do with it. So far, so good. I've put over 10K miles since the change. I must go knock on some wood now.
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