Toyota Sienna Sliding Door Problems



  • sienna12sienna12 Member Posts: 2
    I too had my power door fail do to a broken cable. The plastic chipped away causing the cable to become it exposed. It corroded and snapped. I too file a complaint with Toyota in the US. They will not assist in the payment of the 1500 it will cost to repair. All they are doing is documenting the complaints. I have also filed a complaint a few government agencies as well since the door cannot be opened more than 12 to 18 inches it poses a safety threat since no one can exit through that door. My advise is to file a complaint with any vehicle safety agencies in your country if possible. The more places this defect is documented the better.
  • sienna12sienna12 Member Posts: 2
    The cable on my 2004 toyota sienna corroded and snapped. I file a complaint with Toyota and they the only thing they are doing right now is documenting complaints. I also filed a complaint with the Auto Safety Hot line and the Center for Auto Safety. I recommend filing a complaint with these places as well. The more places and the more people who document this defect the better.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    File a complaint here, with the Office of Defects Investigation:

    If they see a pattern they can force a recall.
  • cheranecherane Member Posts: 8
    THANK YOU for the link to file a complaint which I promply did.

    I also put 'safty issues' regarding the side air sac. If the sliding door doesn't work then my thoughts are the safty air bags are deflunk as well.
    I put two.
    the thing that gets me is I only had 17 thousand miles on my 2006 at the time the door stopped woking. to even look at it they wanted over hundred bucks.

    I bought toyota since the middle eighties.. brand new since I'm approaching age of who knows when anothe rnew car will come my way. I have bought brand spanking new can make a bet this will not happen again.
  • sallyg1sallyg1 Member Posts: 3
    We are having problems with our Toyota Sienna 2006 sliding doors. They never worked properly since we bought the vehicle. They were repaired in 2007 but never really worked properly and now they are frozen. The warranty has expired. My problem with Toyota is that this is a manufacturer's defect that should be fixed at their cost. One thing I can say for sure is I won't ever get another Toyota because they don't look after their customers when it is their defective product.
  • sallyg1sallyg1 Member Posts: 3
    What does it take for Toyota to recall the Sienna with with door problems?
    This problem existede since 2004 going into 2006
    And why isn't there a class action suit since so many people have problems?
  • sallyg1sallyg1 Member Posts: 3
    I must disagree with you on this. If you have to exit this vehicle in an Emergency would you say it is safe and efficient for your passengers to do so with the two side door frozen. What if either of those two doors were the only way your family could have exited that vehicle and it was frozen shut? I even read in one of these messages that the air bags would not function if the doors are dysfunctional.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    But you know the defect was there before you placed your kids in the car to begin with! It would not be prudent to use the car once you know both doors aren't working.

    The safe thing to do is to stop using the van and get the dealer to fix the doors.

    I agree that Toyota should be paying for many of these, and the burden shoud be on them to prove it was mis-used if that's what they contend.

    Click the link above and file a complaint. If there is truly a pattern of failures and enough people complain NHTSA can force Toyota to address the issue.

    If not enough people complain, then shame on us. Or perhaps there aren't enough problems to form a pattern that NHTSA will recognize.
  • fix_it_againfix_it_again Member Posts: 9
    2 of the 3 bolts on the rear latch of the manual rear door have pulled through the sheet metal and left nice clean holes. Now the rear latch will not latch. Considering how thin the metal is here, I am surprised I have not seen any other posts on this. I plan to just put big washers under the bolts. Has anyone heard of a solution from Toyota?
  • symphonydadsymphonydad Member Posts: 2
    I am hoping someone has a solution other than take it to the dealer. I don't believe I've seen this addressed here yet.
    My driver's side manual sliding door is not allowing me to open it. I can use either the power lock/unlock or manual to unlock the door, but when I try to open the door, it just locks again. I have opened the door while physically holding the door lock button in the unlocked position while trying to open from the outside, but less than a 10% success rate. I've given up even trying anymore. It's been like this for about two weeks.
    I did read one post regarding cleaning the contacts, but I haven't had the oppty yet.
    Any suggestions? I feel I'm starting to be nickeled and dimed after several other costly repairs. I bought it new 7 yrs. ago this week. Thanks.
  • amyk5amyk5 Member Posts: 1
    Yeah solution from Toyota dealership was for me to take to a body shop. I starting having problems with my passenger sliding door within the first year. Several trips and my repair shop solution of "keep lubricated" and the door hasn't operated for over a year and a half. This week my passenger side manual rear door would not shut. Could not lock the car. There is one bolt left in the mechanism. Repair shop stated that they haven't seen anything like that and a body shop will have to repair. All this and my van was one that had the problem with the front door and the popping sound. Had to have it to a body shop where the had to re-weld. Normally that would mean it was fixed. I had to take it back 2 weeks later because that weld failed as well.
  • fix_it_againfix_it_again Member Posts: 9
    This sounds like the problem I had. Two of the three bolts on the rear latch of the sliding door had pulled through the sheet metal, preventing the rear part of the door from latching. I used two washers and slightly longer bolts. I left the piece of sheet metal that had pulled through in place to position the bolts. The order on the new bolts is, new washer (slightly bigger than the hole, small cone shaped washer that is actully the sheet metal that pulled through, and insert into hole. The threads start so deep inside the door that you will need longer bolts than what came with the car to accomodate the new washers. Even though I used hex head bolts (easier to get in), and the bolts stick out more than the original, there is room and they do not hit anything when the door closes. I did not weld anything and it just took a few minutes. The door works as well as new. Tools required: star screw driver to remove the orignal bolts and hex wrench set to install new bolts. Tools and part are available at most hardware stores. Since I had both tools, it was less than a $5 repair and stronger than the original.
  • preacher7preacher7 Member Posts: 1
    I have the same car and the same problem. I bought a packet of 4 flat washers for $1,49 and fixed it, at least for now!
    When you buy these metal washers get one with a slightly larger hole than the base of the screws but smaller than the head to resecure the screws to the inner part of the door. This will allow the tapered head to go deeper into the hinge attachement while keeping it from pulling through the skin of the car.
    My sliding door is working again but I have definitely been disappointed in the quality of the van doors and this 04 Sienna after owning 5 other Toyotas.
  • rthrouperthroupe Member Posts: 2
    there is a new technical service bullitin ( march 09) on the sliding door. The bulltin shows a new way to replace the cable and pulley without having to replace the motor. So now the price is 540 for the pulley and cable plus labor, of course I told the dealership they were rip off artists on a 40 dollar part.

    I also called the toyota national customer servive in CA and told them of the "safety" hazard and got them to reimburse half. Be sure to file a complaint with NHST
  • rthrouperthroupe Member Posts: 2
    what you described on the front door popping sound is the door welds which was part of a recall several years ago. check into that
  • toronto_davetoronto_dave Member Posts: 3
    Do you have any details on this technical service bulletin? I had my door fixed in April. I even spoke to Toyota Canada complaining about the $2,000 estimated repair bill. Neither the dealer, nor Toyota Canada mentioned anything about a less expensive way to repair the door. In the end, Toyota Canada refused to pay anything (even after this was my second door in 5 months). The best I could do was to negotiate a reduced rate with the dealer, which still came in at $1,800. If you have any details about this TSB, I'd love to go back to the dealer and to Toyota Canada and say that you should have been aware of this.
  • debitcashdebitcash Member Posts: 1
    2004 Toyota Sienna Sliding Door Cable. My door remained in the open position over the weekend and would not close. The manual override feature would not allow use to close the door. Cost to repair at the dealer is over $1,800. This is pretty sickening considering the van is only 5 years old. I think the quality of Toyota vehicles has gone downhill since the last one I owned. Tomorrow I am going to see the service manager at Bill Kidds Toyotal and "get all up in his grill"
  • kanukgirlkanukgirl Member Posts: 5
    Well, I can definitely understand your frustration as I went through the process not once, but twice! BEST thing to do, is to PLEASE call the Toyota Cust. Serv. number in my article and open a claim and add yourself to my claim. If we can RALLY we might get somewhere with our complaints ie: possible recall.

    Thanks for your reply.. good luck to you!
  • rnovakrnovak Member Posts: 3
    Two years ago I paid nearly $1,600 to replace the motor, etc. in my Sienna door once the cable broke, eventually paying an additional $200 to make the door manual after they could not get it to work properly. Like most of you, I kicked and screamed to no satisfaction. Three weeks ago the other sliding door's cable snapped and I asked the Toyota dealership if they can by-pass the motor replacement and simply make it a manual door. They said that it was not possible and indicated that I would need to pay another $1,600 for this door. Yesterday, I brought it to my local repair man just to see if he could fix it and what the cost would be. He called me to tell me that it was fixed and that it was no charge as all he did was cut the cable. When I picked it up, it opens and closes perfectly manually.
  • oncalldbaoncalldba Member Posts: 1

    Do you have details about new technical service bullitin ( march 09) on the sliding door?

    My 2004 Sienna LE has one power door. After reading this forum, I am operating the power door manually using manual override feature.
  • dtsohndtsohn Member Posts: 2
    My driver side sliding door is inoperable. In order to assure the safety of my children, I had no choice but to have the cable cut while I try to fund the replacement of the motor and cable. Subsequently, now none of my rear cabin interior lights are functioning at all. The passenger side door has the same symptoms and I fear it will likely fail very soon. Once put into manual mode, these doors require a strong adult to open them, and certainly cannot be operated by a child. This is most definitely a safety concern. If you have this same problem, please contact the NHTSA at 1-800-424-9393 and file a complaint. You can also do it at These doors also often close on my children even when not on an incline, which seems to be a common problem. I intend to pursue this vehemently, as I cannot afford $2300 x two broken doors on a vehicle with 70K miles on it. Come on Toyota, DO THE RIGHT THING, PLEASE.
  • bsaundbsaund Member Posts: 1
    Great Info. The door on my 2004 Sienna just stopped working tonight. I am taking the car to the dealer tommorow to get it checked out. I assume its the same problem. I will call cust service and list my complaint and hopefully work with the service manager to help me out...

    will let you know what happens
  • rkqrkq Member Posts: 1
    2005 Sienna with power sliding door issue The power sliding door does not move, whether open or closed, using either driver's ceiling button or the button on the door frame or the FOB. The motors hum and try to open/close the door but can't. I believe the door latch is not releasing the door, but once I delatch the door manually it starts working, Is it possible that the door lock actuator failed? how can I fix it?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Do you honestly think it's going to help your case to mistreat the service manager?

    You get more bees with honey.

    Report the problem to NHTSA's ODI and to Toyota corporate if you're not happy with the service you're getting. Getting all up in his grill will accomplish nothing, except maybe get them on the defensive, which will make them even less likely to help.
  • kanukgirlkanukgirl Member Posts: 5
    I totally agree that being aggressive wouldn't solve anything... which is why I felt I was getting "some" sympathy from Toyota when I plead my case. I really do hope that most people are able to deal with these issues in a cool and collected manner so that we're able to get them on our side.
  • vern54vern54 Member Posts: 3
    I have the same problem with my 04 Sienna. I was surprised at how many people are having the same problem. And those people are just the ones that take the time to do a little investigation after they find out what repairs cost. The biggest issue here is safety. I have discovered another safety problem which may prove to be even bigger than cabel and motor problems. The mechanicle part of the lock where It clamps the door to the door frame. The main part ( a "c" shaped clamp) that makes the connection to the door frame. It has a plastic coating on it that once it is worn or torn will let water and salt corrode the part from the inside out. This swells up the clamp which is sandwhiched between metel plates. Adding lubricant is false security. At any time the lock could bind and not allow it to be 100% secure. There are two of these clamps on each sliding door and one on each front door that can fail. (The ability of this plastic coating to fail and cause the locking mechanisum to bind up and NOT BE 100% LATCHED has happened to me. The numerous problems which I have also had with the cabels and sensors in these doors is not right and not safe for our children.. Please call Toyota and NHTSA 1-800-424-9393 and voice your concerns about these Sienna door issues. This is a very serious and dangerous manufacturing flaws and should be made right by Toyota.
  • toyotawoestoyotawoes Member Posts: 2
    I was at the toyota dealer to get my sliding door fixed this AM, and while i was waiting I checked online and found this forum. Therefore, I was not surprised when they called me in and told me $1200 to replace motor and a couple other doohickies. I said "can't you just cut the cable and make it into a manual door" (as I learned on a previous post)? They said "I don't know, we would have to take the door panels off and your probably looking at $400 to $600 in labor..." I left, unfullfilled and bummed. When I got home, I took a close look at the door, specifically the middle channel under the back windows and saw the cable that was the problem; it was slack and binding. I cut that cable with wire cutters front and back and now it slides perfectly as a manual door. 5 minutes! It's not as convenient, but I'm not paying $1200 just to press a button for something that will probably break again. I just wanted to post this to possibly save someone else the money.
  • dtsohndtsohn Member Posts: 2
    after you cut the cable, just use WD40 to lube the rollers on top and bottom and it will work well just like the old fashioned doors. I also spray WD40 on the rollers on my door that isn't broken yet to help save its life. We have turned off auto doors and use the one remaining working on only on special occasions. So glad I paid all of the extra money for automatic doors, aren't you?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    The WD part of WD40 stands for water-displacing.

    It's a thin oil that is meant to penetrate.

    The problem I foresee is that it could actually remove longer-lasting grease from the rollers and over time could potentially only make the problem worse.

    WD40 is good for cleaning an area but it's not a long-lasting lubricant, in fact it may end up stripping off the lubricant the rollers need.
  • dunkin2dunkin2 Member Posts: 5
    Well both my doors on my 2005 Toyota Sienna isn't working. I bought extra care warranty which would of covered this estimated bill of $2800. but my warranty ended at 75,000. My vehicle has 27548 miles on it. Toyota isn't covering it. I insisted that this problem has been occuring for the last six months. I am mad, can't afford this, and my children will continue to climb in the hatch. Please help me with any advice. I will not be buying another Toyota if the doors don't work.
  • singh05singh05 Member Posts: 1
    I bought a Toyota Sienna CE 06 and has manual sliding door. But I am interested in converting them into automatic doors. Has anyone tried converting them ? What is reliability of door motors. Are you satisfied with the change. Please suggest and share your experience .
  • dunkin2dunkin2 Member Posts: 5
    I called the NHTSA to complain about the issue. It just really breaks my heart that they can't fix this problem. There has been 30 registered complaints at NHTSA, so if you are having this same problem please take the time and voice your complaints
  • toyotawoestoyotawoes Member Posts: 2
    Dunkin, can you provide a contact number for NHTSA?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    You've come to a Problems thread, so all you will hear are complaints, naturally.

    NHTSA's ODI (Office of Defects Investigation) link is here:

    Go there to file a complaint. If they see a pattern, i.e. enough people complain, a manufacturer will be forced to do a recall.
  • musicstarrmusicstarr Member Posts: 1
    I am having the same problem with the rear lock being pulled through the door skin. The dealer also wants to replace the entire door. Do you know if the locking mechanism can be replaced? Do you have an idea on the cost of labor and parts to take the door apart and install a new rear lock.
  • sopmansopman Member Posts: 46
    I have a 2006 Sienna. My back door is manual on the drivers side. When I open the door it will not latch. There's a lever that stays open and hit something before the door can open completely and latch. I can't figure out what closes that latch to close. You can move the latch assembly by loosing the bolts, but it hasn't helped.
    Can someone help?

  • owegoowego Member Posts: 3
    Both sliding doors (manual) on my 2006 Sienna (60K miles) are next to impossible to open from the interior side. Sometimes, if I snap the handle back quickly, the door will unlatch. This problem started about a year ago and has gotten progressively worse. The outside latches are difficult to operate too but will eventually get the doors open. (They certainly don't operate like my neighbor's Odyssey). I'm now very uncomfortable with having passengers who may not be able to get out of the van without outside assistance. This is a potential safety hazard. I've posted this problem on the NHTSA site.

    I think the problem is within the latch mechanism. Maybe it just need lubricant. Neither door gets much use, especially the driver side slider. It surprises me that both started failing at the same time. Leads me to believe that something has aged out, like lubricant or a rubber part.
  • vern54vern54 Member Posts: 3
    Lubrication is worth a try. On my 04 Sienna it didn't work. I found that the plastic coating on the latch that is located in the door that is supposed to fasten itself around the u shaped striker on the door frame was sticking. Not because of lack of lubrication but because the plastic coating had swelled up from rust buildup inside itself. I think Toyota plastic coated them to make them quiter. But unless you made the latch out of something that wont rust, once it wears through the plastic, rust builds up and swells up the latch and no amount of lube will help.
    Another problem is the door seals they freeze up in the winter and also stick on hot days. Actually when doors fail to open, they present a danger to passengers in the rear if an emergency bailout is necessary. I have had the doors appear to be latched and then start driving down the road and the door open warning light comes on. Not great when you have young children in back. And it appears the cause is not that the door isn't shut properly but that the latches don't fully latch.
  • vulcan4vulcan4 Member Posts: 12
    For me it was the door seals on both of the sliding side doors.
    In winter they would freeze shut, you could not open them.

    I had lubricate put on that did not work, they Dealer changed door seal 2 or 3 times, finally they replaced seals with ones from "CAnada" I guess it colder up there.
    Anyway after 5 or 6 trips to dealer I finally got it fixed.
  • totallyannoyedtotallyannoyed Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2009 sienna both driver and passenger sliding doors are manual and when you open them they will not stay open most of the time. Its like the spot were they slid into and lock locks before the door is their. It is very annoying and somewhat painful to have the doors keep sliding on you while you are trying to load kids and other things into the van. We have taken it to the dealer twice, (we have only had it 6 months) and of course the doors work perfectly fine at the shop and as soon as I get home from the shop they wont stay open. They say they can't fix what they can't see. I feel that it is pretty obvious that the sensors in the door are not working. We paid extra for all the stupid warrenties. I wish they would just fix it. Is anybody else having a similar problem?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Are you parked at an angle? If so try to replicate that at the dealer.
  • fix_it_againfix_it_again Member Posts: 9
    My 2004 Sienna sliding door is designed not to latch open if the window in the door is open. I found it in the users manual. Was the window closed when you were at the dealer?
  • opticzopticz Member Posts: 1
    Wow, I thought I was the only person with a sliding door lock problem!
    This is obviously a safety hazard. God forbid someone is injured or dies, I think Toyota will have a class action negligence lawsuit on their hands.

    I've contacted the NHTSA and also e-mailed my concerns to Toyota.
    I suggest you all do the same!
  • sopmansopman Member Posts: 46
    Please send me the info to contact NHTSA.
    Also, was it your local Toyota dealer you emailed?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    File yours here:

    If enough people have the same problem, we'll see a recall.
  • familymandanfamilymandan Member Posts: 5
    "The power sliding door does not move, whether open or closed, using either driver's ceiling button or the button on the door frame or the FOB. The motors hum and try to open/close the door but can't. I believe the door latch is not releasing the door, but once I delatch the door manually it starts working, Is it possible that the door lock actuator failed?"

    Have you found any info on this problem or its resolution?

    I have the exact same problem. The motor works fine once I pull the handle which detaches the latch. If I push any of the buttons, the motor tries to go but the door does not delatch.

    I took off the trim and opened up both doors. I can see that the one that works has what seems to be an actuator that makes a noise while it releases the latch. The broken door's "actuator" is not moving nor making a noise.

    I don't know if the actuator is bad or maybe there is a "disconnect" in the system that tells it to activate. I am wondering if anyone has any suggestions.
  • vanmom8vanmom8 Member Posts: 1
    I have read quite a few of the posts on sliding door problems and am entering this point right now with my 05 Sienna. I would like to prevent as much trouble as possible while spending the least amount of money, naturally. The dealer quoted me a price of several hundred dollars to "clean" the tracks of the doors. I declined until I could look into it further. They plan on removing parts of the door; I would not, but just wondered how much of the cleaning I could do myself and if this is really a maintanance job that an owner should be expected to do. My doors can't be a dirty as those of families with very small children as I have seen lots of vans full of cereal, cracker crumbs etc. I have the extended warranty and could just let the motors fail, but that seems a little ridiculous. I could just pay to have the dealer do the cleaning, but after reading so many posts and not hearing any that spoke about cleaning I wonder if this is really the problem. Can anyone share what they know?
  • siennamomsiennamom Member Posts: 2
    I agree with "fix it again" - believe it or not - the sienna (i have an '05) is designed so that the sliding doors won't lock open if the windows are open. I had taken it in a couple of times when the windows were closed but the service people couldn't reproduce the problem. It wasn't until a friend of mine pointed out that it was designed that way so a kid wouldn't be decapitated if the window were open that it all made sense to me. Try it - if the windows are closed, then it is indeed a real problem.
  • siennamomsiennamom Member Posts: 2
    I've read this forum and seen similarities from what I'm posting but it's not clear if it's the same for each of you. I have a 2005 Sienna. About a year ago, one of the sliding doors (manual) started acting as if the child safety lock was on SOME of the time. Could only open it from the outside. Now it's in both doors MOST of the time. PLUS sometimes it won't even open from the outside. This is a disaster waiting to happen.
    I hate these SOMETIMES problems....
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I have power doors, so I'm not sure, but are there in fact child safety locks on those?

    I'd use lithium grease on the locks and latches, try that first.

    I also wonder if there is some safety device keeping the door from opening if the fuel door is open? I'd look for that mechanism as well, especially if you're talking the driver's side (that's where the fuel door is).
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