Need the site for repair manual subscriptions

jimpetrojimpetro Member Posts: 8
edited November 2016 in Toyota
Earlier this year I saw somewhere in Edmunds how to go to a website that had "repair manuals" digital that you could subscribe to. A broken wrist had kept me from following up on the work until recently. However, I can't find that site now.
I need to fix the brake pedal travel on a 2014 Toyota Sienna LEX (?) minivan. The brake pedal inconstantly slowly sinks down to the floor usually about 30 seconds after waiting with your foot on the pedal like at a stop light. Five Toyota techs have witnessed this but because the computer says nothing is wrong, Toyota will do nothing. For your information, the computer tester can't see any problem because there is no pedal position sensor and pressure inputs on the brake pedal side of the system. It will need the human eyeball and experienced brake technician. I need to copy the manual pages to see if I can make a repair or give it to the local garage mechanic to fix.


  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Are you still under warranty?
  • jimpetrojimpetro Member Posts: 8
    Yes, still under warranty. A Toyota engineer took a test ride with me and was recording the braking functions on his computer. The brake pedal sank to the floor and the sensors still showed "normal". I have been in touch with the head of Toyota USA and he refuses to authorize any hands on help to actually check the brake pedal side of the brake system. Four other service reps have also witnessed the pedal down on the floor at other occasions and they also would only do a computer brake check. A local garage mechanic suggested pulling the ABS fuse and see if there was still a problem. Can't do that because there are 3 fuses and each shares other functions that would prevent the van from running. I would like to find the website that has subscriptions to read the digital repair manual and copy any pages for me to take into my garage for references.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    edited November 2016 is one that I know of. Mitchel1 is another -- their web page says they go through 2014 models.

    If you just want to start with wiring schematics, has those for free.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Member Posts: 5,535
    You aren't going to find anything in service information that will work towards answering why the pedal is sinking. There are gages that can be attached to the brake system to measure the pressures when the brakes are applied, but very few shops are going to have them because they are pretty expensive and a thousand techs can go their entire careers without ever really needing them.

    To try and prove what is going on, I'd recommend someone get plugs to block sections of the brake system off. Start by first blocking one port of the master cylinder leaving half of the system operational, then switch by reconnecting that half of the system and block off the other half. If there is some kind of internal leakage say in the ABS system, the pedal will still sink when that half of the system is operational and not sink when it is blocked off. If both master cylinder ports are blocked off and the pedal still sinks then the master cylinder itself is suspect.

    ABS systems use accumulators inside the assembly to allow brake apply pressure to be bled off if a wheel is locking up. These accumulator piston bores usually have a small passage that leads to the outside of the unit that is blocked off with a removable rubber plug. If the port is accessible in the car, a technician can remove that plug, insert a tool through that port and touch the backside of the accumulator piston. Now if someone else pushes on the brake pedal the tech can observe if the accumulator piston is being pushed by fluid leaking past the dump valve. Any pistons being forced down their bores require the ABS control valve assembly to be replaced as they are not serviceable separately. This is a very rare failure if it is occurring. As in the case of those gages, a thousand technicians can go their entire careers and never even need to know this test is possible let alone have to do it. Then you have the problem that with how and where the ABS controls are often mounted in the vehicle it may be impossible to access the test ports to even try and do this test. This results in a lot of people just deciding to swap the unit out as a test, since trying to remove the unit and make some kind of a rig to test it would be very impractical. Then we have the little problem that nobody wants to be the person paying for all of the testing that might need to be done, which means if a tech does take this on he/she isn't being paid to do it, no matter how much time they invest.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    If you are under warranty and if in fact your brake pedal will sink to the floor on occasion, then you need to raise holy hell with Toyota corporate, using words like "dangerous" or "hazard to people in my van", etc. I don't mean threaten them, just plainly state that you have a dangerous situation in your van and that you have reported it to This should be in writing and address it to Toyota customer relations and to the CEO of the company's USA operations.

    Also, you might consult with a Lemon Law attorney in your state, since there have been, apparently, numerous attempts to fix this problem.

  • jimpetrojimpetro Member Posts: 8
    Thanks for the comments / suggestions. Twice I have mailed the Toyota CEO an appeal to have a brake engineer or tech to search for the source of the problem because it can't be determined by computer. Toyota did ask for me to bring it in under the pretense that this is what they would do. they gave me a Nissan loaner for most of a week. They did nothing more than drive it and look at the computer "OK". No one looked at the physical brake pedal parts. The loaner was so smelly from tobacco smoke that I had to have the windows always open.
    I used to be able to go to a digital repair manual for my Hyundai, but then they first started charging a 'subscription fee' and no eliminated the service all together. Earlier this year Toyota had a similar subscription manual but now it too is gone. During my search, It became obvious that all car manufacturers were doing the same thing beginning about 2014.
    I have filed the problem with NHTSA and probably will need to wait 10 years for them to get around to investigating it.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    If you work on the car yourself you may have trouble in the future getting any satisfaction from Toyota. Basically unless you are a super tech yourself you're probably going to have to take your best guesses on how to solve the problem.

    I'm still having trouble understanding how a factory tech can witness a brake pedal going to the floor and not authorizing a repair.
  • jimpetrojimpetro Member Posts: 8
    You would have been really perplexed if you were in the van when I went to the dealer and the pedal dropped to the floor while I was waiting for the garage door to open for me to drive inside. The service rep motioned for me to enter ....and I motioned "No, you come out here". She came out and asked why I don't come in. I pointed to the pedal resting on the floor and asked if I should really come in with a couple new cars sitting in there in front of me. There was momentary shock at seeing the pedal and then the rep called out the service manager. He looked at the pedal on the floor and absurdly said that it was OK and keeps the car from rolling backwards on slopes.........but this is on a level ground!
    Shortly before, I took it to another Toyota dealer and was told nothing was wrong and to come back if it happens again. A block away, it did it at a stop sign. I drove right back and the service rep went for a test ride with me. Nothing happened until we returned and as he was getting out the pedal dropped......and he saw it happening. He immediately drove it in to the brake tech. The result.....can't find anything wrong.
    At that point There were stories of similar brake problems at Ford. Is it possible that Toyota and Ford use a common brake part similar to many cars using air bags from a common supplier?
    I want to do the repair but need the service manual illustrations, diagrams, etc.. In all other respects this is a wonderful van.
  • jimpetrojimpetro Member Posts: 8
    I have subscribed to the service manual. When you have bought and serviced lots of cars for 50+ years, the diagrams and comments produced a couple possibilities for the brake conditions.
    1 I have noted that many new cars brakes work better after bleeding them. As an engineer familiar with production practices, my guess is that pouring the fluids during producing the brake fluid entrains air. Result the spongy brake feel.
    2 The only variable possible for the pedal dropping is in the vacuum booster. My guess is that it is a faulty check valve or hose leak.
    Terrible weather to work under the hood. Will get back at some time but don't know when.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Yeah let us know what you find out.
  • jimpetrojimpetro Member Posts: 8
    Final report on dropping brake pedal; It was impossible to see the vacuum system to check anything. However, we had a hot summer and perhaps this helped getting the leak site to seat or close off. The problem became less frequent and has not happened since August. I did trade the van in for a brand new Toyota van in September. Look for a new problem posting on that one......true odometer reading
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