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Toyota Sienna 2004+



  • jejorg126jejorg126 Posts: 11
    Thanks for sharing my concerns. I just envision myself being 1000 miles from home, on a late Sunday nigh whe everything is closed, with 3 screaming kids in the back of the van, when my tire suddenly decides to explode or do something else irrational. But I guess that is why they make cell phones, huh? I mean, it isn't like I know how to change a tire anyway, you know? Perhaps if the Sienna had Onstar...hmmmmmmm.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    I understand completely.

    From my own personal experience, the only issue I would have would be the apparent poor tread life for the RFTs on the Sienna. The last actual flat tire I had was due to some inappropriate offroading with my dads 4wd Toyota PU more than 20 years ago (although, I've picked up my share of screws, they've always resulted in just a slow leak).

    Some new cars these days have neither RFT's nor a spare. The Mazda RX8, for example, simply includes a can of fix-a-flat (although a donut is available as an accessory, it eats up a fair amount of trunk space).

    I know it will take a fair amount of time, but it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to read through some of the "Run-flat, self-sealing, PAX tires for minivans" thread here in the minivan forum. You also might want to read through some of the "Sienna problems and solutions" thread for more specific info on the RFTs for the Sienna.
  • nicknamenickname Posts: 1
    I have a 2005 Sienna and love it!!! I do share the same towing problem with a full load on board and towing a pop up camper....bottom out! I am having trouble finding air shocks or whatever will help. The dalership said they have nothing.
  • toyotakentoyotaken Posts: 897
    If you're carrying a full load AND towing a camper, check the owner's manual for gross vehicle weight including passengers, gear, and trailer weight. You may be overloading the vehicle overall. Just something to consider.

  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    If a court approves an attorney's subpoena for the black box "history" just before an accident I don't see how a manufacturer could legally refuse to recover/provide it.

    The vehicle cannot "learn" and therefore continuously adapt to your driving style without keeping a 3 minute running record of same.
  • paulepaule Posts: 382
    Assuming that an attorney could subpoena the data (I don't know if they could or not), they could do that on ANY new vehicle. I don't believe that is a valid argument to sway your decision from one new vehicle to another.

    I also don't believe it would be the manufacturer who would provide it. Once they sell the car, the manufacturer doesn't have access to the data with the possible exception of Onstar equipped vehicles.

    There is possibly the situation where an Onstar equipped vehicle could be "polled" but I don't believe it is sophisticated enough to dig that deep to get anything other than check engine light codes. Maybe it is.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    When the VSC "failed" on my 2001 AWD RX300 the Lexus mechanic/technician was able to tell me the stearing wheel position, the value of the yaw sensor output, my speed, how long it took before the failure indication went out, etc, etc.

    It hadn't actually failed it had over "bailed" temporarily to keep the ABS pumpmotor from overheating.
  • paulepaule Posts: 382
    I'll assume the "Wrong..." comment is referring to my post so I would like to clarify my point.
    Yes, the dealer can hook up their diagnostic tester and determine those values.
    I happen to use both Chrysler DRBs and the Toyota diagnostic tester on a semi-regular basis.

    My point is that an attorney cannot "force" a manufacturer to hook up a tester to get any information.

    I'm also pretty sure that your mechanic was giving you real time information on those values with a tester hooked up while driving your car and not hunting for "stored" data months after a crash occurred and the vehicle is either totalled or repaired and the data no longer exists or has been overwritten.

    Also, you haven't disproved my original point. The data exists on ALL new cars; not just Toyota Siennas. Buy the car you like and don't worry about it.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The data the technician quoted me was that which the system had memorized at the time/point of failure, days earlier. As an engineer I most certainly would never be involved in designing such a system that did not "save" numerous parameters from the point and time of failure.


    Can you really see a manufacturer appealing a subpoena to produce the memorized contents of any of the ECU's in today's vehicles?

    Even if they did I can't see them prevailing on appeal.
  • cccompsoncccompson Posts: 2,388
    In the event of litigation where either side desires the "black box" information, it is a simple matter to have the vehicle produced for testing. Likely no subpoena would be required unless the vehicle is no longer under the control of any parties to the lawsuit.
  • paulepaule Posts: 382
    OK, last time replying to this inane thread.

    You set a check engine light. Yes, the system probably did record a "freeze frame" data point when the code was set.

    This is not what happens in normal every day driving. Again, there was a failure that occurred to cause that particular data set to be recorded.

    I also agree with cccompson that any data that exists can be "read" by anyone with a diagnostic tool. It certainly doesn't have to be the manufacturer of the vehicle.

    Oh yeah, I have two engineering degrees myself. Who really cares?
  • I am seriously thinking of purchasing a new Sienna CE. How does this van handle in the snow? I have a '96 Toyota RAV AWD that is the most awesome thing I have ever ridden in the snow. It never slips, slides or exhibits tire spin. On the other hand I also own a 2002 Camry LE that is the WORST FWD car I have ever driven in the snow even after replacing the Craptinental tires after 5K miles. In fact the tires spin in the rain too. I am almost afraid to take this sucker out in the snow!

    I want to be sure the Sienna handles safely in the snow and rain. I'd get the AWD but already am spending thousands more for the Toyota vs a Chrysler...I can not afford the AWD model.

    THANK YOU!!!!!
  • toyotakentoyotaken Posts: 897
    This has been discussed before, but to restate... FWD, RWD, AWD, 4WD, doesn't matter anything with a vehicle that doesn't have good tires. Invest in a good set of snow tires for your Camry and/or the Sienna and they will handle as well or better than many AWD/4WD vehicles with all-season tires. The Sienna handles fine in the snow (coming from someone living in Buffalo, NY) but if you're nervous about winter driving, invest in the added peace of mind that TRUE snow tires will give you with the added benefit that you're only using you're summer tires half of the time so will last 2x as long.

    Hope this helps.

  • It may have been discussed but I am looking for real world Experience with folks in Siennas and the OEM tires that come with them. My experience for 15 years was that I NEVER had any issue driving a FWD car in the snow with any OEM tires or replacement tires. The Camry was my first 'bad' experience. I replaced the tires with ' good' ones at 5K miles (just juswhat you want to do when yt spent 20K on a new car!) and yes traction improved however not enough that I would purchase the car again. It may be that the Camry is too light or its weight distribution a different than other cars. One thing I am sure of tires alone do not make a difference on the Camry traction.

    So, everyone else, what has been your experience with 2004 - 2005 FWD Siennas in the snow and rain.

  • 9" DVD monitor is great.
    Optitron gauges are great.
    Power folding 3rd row is wonderfol.

    But what about the NAV screen?
    Is it now like the Avalon & Lexus' Voice-activated 7" or 8" that controls the stereo, A/C, DVD player? I heard it has Bluetooth like the Lexus NAV.
    Is the dvd player still on the ceiling or is it in the front?
    Will it have 6-disc changer?

    Are the woodtrims any better looking?
  • taxesquiretaxesquire Posts: 681
    No snow here in FLA, but we do have heavy rains. Our FWD Sienna XLE handles them great on the basic tires that came with the vehicle.
  • piombo1piombo1 Posts: 3
    My FWD Sienna with OEM tires in the snow was OK and better than my pickup truck with RWD. With the engine weight over the front, the tires pull the van along. I have had problems at two different campgrounds trying to pull a tent trailer up a loose gravel driveway. The front wheels just both started spinning and I had to back down and go another way. That was very embarrasing. I wish that I bought the AWD. You would have better traction and piece of mind with AWD. It might be worth the extra money if it snows a lot by you and snow plows don't come around very often or if you pull trailers up gravel roadways.
  • autoguy1autoguy1 Posts: 87
    Bluetooth is available with the Navigation

    It did say something about voice recognition so I presume that the Navi is gonna have it.

    DVD Player is going to be still on the roof

    No word on the CD Changer.

    Hope I helped.
  • I bought a 05 Sienna LE one week ago. Unfortunately, there was a small damage on the windshield which I did not notice upon the purchase. The dealer eventually agreed to replace the windshield for me. However, after the replacement, the windshield molding at the left-upper corner does not fit well on the glass(resulting in a gap of 3 mm wide and 5 cm long underneath the molding). The dealder said that the gap is perfectly normal cause nothing in the world can do as perfect as that by a manufacturing robot in windshield installation. Is this true? I am considering to ask them to redo the job cause the gap really bothers me a lot. However, I am also afraid of receiving an even worse job according the remark by the dealer. Any suggestion? Thanks a lot.
  • paulepaule Posts: 382
    I would probably agree that you will not get as good a job with a replacement windshield as you would straight from the factory.

    The best you could hope for is for them to screw with the molding to see if they can get it to fit better. That's a hit or miss proposal though.

    If it was me, I'd probably try to live with it to prevent them from possibly damaging some other part of the van but if it really bothers you, try to get them to give it another shot.
  • I too have concerns as I’d like to upgrade from our small pop-up which tows very easy and is almost unnoticeable to a bigger travel trailer around 2800 lbs. I know I’ll need to get the braking system, and heard the torsions bars and sway bars are recommended. Anything else for an ’05 LE? I’m curious on others experiences towing larger/heavier trailers. Note all ’05 Sienna’s come with a standard Towing Prep Package [4] -- 3500-lb. towing capability with heavy-duty radiator, heavy-duty fan, 150-amp alternator and power steering oil cooler.
    PS. I installed the HiddenHitch 70639 - It's a Class III Round Tube Receiver Hitch
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    That weight on the tow hitch at the rear "unweighths" the front. On a FWD vehicle, or front torque biased AWD such as the Sienna, wherein the front tires are responsible for both engine drive torque application on the roadbed and directional control things can get a bit dicey rather quickly.
  • toycashtoycash Posts: 139
    On a FWD that could be true in extreme cases, but the Sienna's 4WD system is not front biased. It is a 50:50 torque split.
  • tunchtunch Posts: 8
    I have a 2004 AWD Sienna and would definitely say NO to good in the snow. The stopping time is very long and while other front wheel drive economy cars are stopping, I'm sliding and finally stop way past where they did. I was told that is because of the weight of the vehicle and that the driver needs to adjust to the longer stopping distance. Unfortunately, since one never knows when they need to stop quickly or can't control the distance from the road to a mailbox, this does not help. There is also an horrendous noise when the AWD kicks in and according to the dealer, this is normal too. I had an owner of a four wheel drive vehicle drive it and he says it doesn't compare to the four wheel drive. Since I bought it for imclement weather and was assured it was GREAT in the snow, I'm disappointed and will be selling it ASAP. Unfortunately I purchased it when the weather was good and did not have the opportunity to drive it in the snow.
    As for the "No spare", this is too true. I' never imagined there would be no spare and assumed they were normal tires until just recently when I complained about needing new tires (after only 22,000 miles) and was told about the tire type. I have seen several postings from others complaining about their expense and short wear time.
  • We've decided on the LE with pkg #5 (at least for now---who knows how many times we'll change our minds before this is through) but are still back and forth between the 7 seat and the 8 seat. I haven't found much comparing the two or even much at all about the 8 seat. Anybody out there want to tell me their opinion? The "Front and Center" feature looks great (yeah, we're buying a mini van because we 2 are now 3 and will probably be 4 in the next year or so) but is it as safe for infants/kids as the regular bucket seats? Any info would be great. Thanks!
  • ctsangctsang Posts: 237
    All heavy vehicles take longer time to stop, nothing to do with AWD. My wife swears that her Sienna AWD is better on snow than her Odyssey.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Your "stopping time" has absolutely nothing to do with the type of drive train you have. On slippery roadbed conditions ABS will ALWAYS elongate your stopping time and/or distance in favor of allowing you to maintain directional control of the vehicle.

    You should "welcome" the noise the ABS makes when it activates as the noise indicates it is helping you.

    One of these days soon the manufacturers will learn to couple ABS to VSC such that it doesn't activate until needed but until then all anti-lock systems will sometimes elongate your stopping distance un-necessarily.
  • heywood1heywood1 Posts: 850
    It's not your van that's bad in the snow-- it's your tires. Get a set of winter tires before you do something drastic like sell your van for a big loss. I have snow tires on my AWD Sienna, and its performance in winter conditions has been outstanding.
  • tunchtunch Posts: 8
    What type of tires do you use.I currently have the run flat ones that came on it so they were brand new in the snow. Also what do you do for a spare? Thanks for the input.
This discussion has been closed.