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Toyota Sienna Brakes

linealinea Posts: 9
edited August 2016 in Toyota
My Sienna 2005 experience intermittent complete brake failure 3 times within 18,000 miles,the brake pedal goes to the floor and it does not slow down, so I coast until I stop. However, when I release the brake pedal and then reapply the brakes, it works fine. A non-Toyota mechanic thinks it's due to malfunction of ABS. The dealership is unable to finds error codes and brakes work fine when the Sienna is in their hands. I scared that the brakes will not work the next time I reapply the brakes.
Has anyone else experience similar problem or have suggestings?


  • This almost sounds like a bad master cylinder issue. From my days before ABS existed, I remember having to pump the brakes to build up pressure to get a car to stop. Invariably, I would end up replacing the master cylinder and bleeding the brake system. Things would be just fine after this.

    It could also be contaminated brake fluid, air in the system or a bad connection between the brake peddle and the master cylinder.

    I've got a 2005 but have not experienced a problem with the brakes (only have 8200 miles though.)
  • linealinea Posts: 9
    Thanks for the suggestions. They have bleed the brake system and check the master cylinder, but Van brakes continue to fail intermittently.
  • jprocjproc Posts: 135
    On our Sienna the brake light keeps on coming on.It will flash on and then after a minute os so will go off.Anybody haver this problem? Brakes seem fine no squealing etc.
  • I have a 2004 XLE AWD Limited Sienna. We have had problems
    all across the board. I have had the van in 3x's for brake
    noises...grinding, squeaking, that even runs itself under
    the center of the van. Each time they say the brakes are fine and lubricate it greatly. (one set of pads has been replaced, can't remember front or back) Within 5 days, it's all back. When coming up my drive, you almost get a rusty bed springs creaking as the van turns the hill. The kids hear's crazy for a $40,000 tag. We are in the process of looking to buy a Sequoia because this thing has been in the shop more than my old crummy caravan. My list is long.
    Can anyone suggest what to tell the Toyota service people to look for? I have read others saying replacing drums etc.
  • jjoseph2jjoseph2 Posts: 18
    I am looking for a service Manual for 2002 Toyota sienna(ce).If any one have it please post a message.I like to have it on a cd And willing to pay.
  • ClairesClaires Chicago areaPosts: 1,222
    Hi, Jemini,

    A good place to ask about this is in our Owners Manuals topic in the Maintenance & Repair Forum. Click the link to read a post from another member who obtained a manual free from Toyota.


    Need help getting around? [email protected] - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Tell everyone about your buying experience: Write a Dealer Review

  • jjoseph2jjoseph2 Posts: 18
    Hi,Claires Thanks for your help.I am looking for the service manual not the owner's manual. I know Toyota is not going to give me a free service manual.It will cost me around $200.
  • ClairesClaires Chicago areaPosts: 1,222
    Um, no... probably not. :( I'm guessing you've already looked on eBay?


    Need help getting around? [email protected] - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Tell everyone about your buying experience: Write a Dealer Review

  • buyer777buyer777 Posts: 70
    How much should a front brake job go for on a 2001 Sienna?
  • I bought an '07 Sienna last week. After I left the lot, I notice the brakes slightly and rhythmatically grinding as I come to a stop. The salesman said that was just part of the break-in: I think not. :mad: I've dropped it off at the service dept of my nearby dealer for examination and repair.

    Separate observation: The tires' valve stems are way too short. It's very challenging to air up the tires (two tires were 5 lbs shy of the recommended 35 lbs. The service rep suggested that I install extenders on them. Toyota should ship the vehicle with stems that are .5 to .34 inches longer.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Which rims do you have? Steel or alloy? And what size?

    I haven't aired mine up yet (dealer adjusted the pressure for me once though), but I think the valve stems are pretty standard, so maybe it's just the rim design.
  • Try
    Got that from a Tacoma forum when I owned one. I ended up not buying anything for my Tacoma, but did get a set of carpeted floor mats for an '01 Camry. I was on that site on Monday looking for wheel covers for my '06 Sienna, which I didn't find, so was digging around a bit. I saw Owners Manuals listed.
    This site is a Toyota dealer in Michigan. I'm too tired to check right now, long story...
    I ended up buying the wheel covers (Hub Caps?) for my CE on ebay.
  • I did check; $25.58
  • Your post was March 18. Like I said, I was tired...
    never mind :blush:
  • Very tired. Back in March, you asked for a Service Manual.
    If anyone needed a new Owners manual for an '02 Sienna, maybe at least I can save some face. :blush:
  • Steel rims.

    The stems seem to be standard, but the wheel covers prevent easy access to them with a standard 90-degree air tool. I just installed 1-inch stem extenders that solve the problem and let me avoid more scratched knuckles.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I still haven't looked at mine, but I have the 16" alloys. I hope they're easier access to the valves than the wheel covers allow.
  • Do I need an scan tool to cycle the pump and valves when bleeding the brakes??
    Is there a bleeder bolt at the ABS controller??
  • ava2ava2 Posts: 1
    I just had to replace my brakes for the 3rd time. I have 36,000miles and this is the third time. It has worked out to around 11,000 miles or so on a set of brakes. It cost right around $275.00 each time. Anyone else having this problem?
  • gunga64gunga64 Posts: 271
    Just had my front pads and rotors resurfaced cost $139.00 on Sienna 2001. You may have to get a few estimates from different places.

    Went to 3 places:

    Toyota dealer wanted to charge $500.00 said needed 2 pads 2 shoes and all resurfacing, plus needed wheel cylinders repaired.

    Just brakes ripoff place don't go there: 2 pads 2 shoes and resurfacing, plus wanted to rebuild calipers repack bearings and some extra charges. Price quoted was $270.00 but read how they low ball you in and then trap you later with price increases to bring price up, so we left that place.

    Standalone shop: Said just needed front pads and resurfacing of front rotor and rear brake adjust. I just went for the front: costs $139.00 will do rear brake adjust myself as it is easy.

    Note: How they all found something different, when all I went in there for was for front pads and resurfacing.

    Had the pads replaced at around 45,000 this is the first time I had resurface since new. Sienna has 98,000 miles have had little issue with brakes.
  • caravan2caravan2 Posts: 198
    If you have drums on rear, they lost much longer than Rotors.

    Also, for future, look for new Rotors instead of resurfacing.. sometimes you can buy new rotor for $20 at shops like Autozone. I was installing new rotors myself instead of resurfacing on my Caravan and I plan to do the same on Sienna. And Rotors are easy to install.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Next time consider life time brake pads. Costs more up front but you'll never pay for pads again.
  • caravan2caravan2 Posts: 198
    But their is catch for lifetime pads... you still have to pay for the labor.
  • gunga64gunga64 Posts: 271
    Yeah, I usually put in new rotors I priced them at 24.95 each. I have done them on my camry. I would think the sienna would have been a little harder and since I dont plan on keeping it as long I went and had them turned. I also had the option to put on cermics for 20 bucks more but I plan on only keeping the van 6 months. Why put more money into it.

    The fix it shops don't want to change the rotors as much as they used to. Because now they can turn the old rotors right on the car. It's a lot easier and faster for them. Yet they still charge a premium to do it. figures!
  • gunga64gunga64 Posts: 271
    Sounds like you have a problem with your calipers. They should last much much longer. Get more quotes
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    An on-car lathe is more accurate, though, since the rotor is torqued down.
  • gunga64gunga64 Posts: 271
    Update from previous post:

    Well I cleaned the back brakes with break cleaner for $2.50 and adjusted them cost me nothing. Actually the back brakes did not need adjusting at all they were fine. I checked the shoes on the back breaks as the dealership said I needed new shoes. It looked like to me that I had plenty of shoe left, enough to last 2 more years at least.

    The dealership was very persistant on getting my brakes done there. So much so he was going to take 10% off. But glad I didn't get it done there 139.00 is better for my wallet then 500.00. Also the dealer said I needed both wheel cylinders replaced as they "appear" to have a leak. I checked them while I had the drum off they were dry just brake dust on them.
  • I have to resurface my rotors constantly on my 2002 seinna. Can a person replace the rotors and pads at home if he is not familiar with this procedure? I was wondering if I could put a EBC or Brembo rotor in and have them last longer than one 600 mile road trip. Also, would Ceramic pads help with the heat issue that makes the cheap rotors warp??-=Dave=-
  • gunga64gunga64 Posts: 271
    I have done rotors and pads on the past 3 toyotas I have. I am a little scared to tackle the rotors on my 01 because of the sensors and abs. You have to resurface your rotors a lot??? I think they can only be resurfaced once maybe twice. If you are wearing the rotors fast or uneven then the calipers may be bad. I like my cermic pads on my camry that I put in myself. They don't cost more for the cermics part as the repair shops make them sound. Like 4 bucks more per pad its really rediculous what they charge for cermics.

    If you are good with your hands you should be able to do the brake job But I would go to a discount auto or someplace that has a repair book for your model and look at the procedure. I have a book on mine. I can usually fix things but if the book makes it overly complicated I do not attempt it. Getting the rotor off can be an issue. I even used my car jack to unseat a stuck rotor once. It worked like a charm. Sure beat hitting it with a hammer (what I did for the first 30 minutes trying to get it off)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You might want to at least get some help from a friend with experience on your first brake job.
  • I have a similar problem with 2002 Sienna. Brake, ABS, and Tire Pressure Lights are on but so far everything seems to work, nothing feels different. It's Saturday night. I will be bringing the car in to the dealer first thing Monday. I already told my wife if there's anything wrong with the ABS we're looking at $Ks instead of just hundreds.
  • I have a 1999 Sienna and had grinding rear brakes. I replaced the rear shoes and now the brakes are spongy. They did not act that way before, they had just started a grinding noise. The brakes perform better after pumping them once or twice, but seconds later they go nearly to the floor with little stopping power.
    I have tried setting the emergency brake while moving slowly (as a friend suggested) with no effect.
    Would the wheel cylinders need to be replaced as well? Do the lines need to be bled? (The lines weren't fooled with).

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, :(
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I would bleed the lines, for sure. That should probably have been done when the new drums were installed.
  • jojoajojoa Posts: 1
    I have a 99 toyota sienna the right rear drum break is sticking and making alot of noise. I took it to the dealer and they told me that the drum is out of circle and glazed so they machined the noised dissapear for a while. Now it's back when I touch the left rear drum is cool to touch but the right is hot. When I slow down to stop I can hear the right rear rubbing but when I opened it up it looks ok. Any advice on why only the right rear is hot and not both rear drum
  • I have seen a couple of posts on this forum about the finish bubbling up due to corrosion on the rim. I have a 2004 Sienna XLE and am experiencing this problem on all four rims. I talked to my dealer and they blamed it a cleaner or something I applied to the wheel rim. This sounds absurd to me and was wondering if someone has reached any solution from Toyota on this issue.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I don't think a wheel finish would be covered under anything but the 12 month adjustment period. Even the 3/36k warranty would not cover that.

    For painted items it has the rust all the way through, for instance, for a manufacturer to cover it.
  • Just wondering what kind of noise you are hearing. I have a 99 sienna & when I brake, there is a thumping or clicking sound. The dealer told me I need new axles, but spoke to some friends & they don't believe axles would go out.
  • I have a 2006 Toyota Sienna and the brakes were replace last April. I took the van to the dealership for some work today and they told me the brakes were worn out again. I told them that this has to be a problem with the design or mechanics of the brake system. They said it was driving habits. My wife drives using only one foot on the pedals. I had a friend replace the brakes the last time and he worked on Toyotas in Arizona and know works on Mercedes, and he told me there was nothing wrong with the brake system (including the calipers and brake booster). This is a problem with the pads or design os the brake system. I am checked some forums online and have discovered that other people are having the same problem. You may want to file a complaint with the NHTSA. I will be filling a complaint and I am going to contact Toyota Corporate regarding this.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That does seem like excessive wear.

    Did they change the front and rear pads?

    The rear pads could wear prematurely if she left the parking brake on by mistake, I suppose.

    The fronts should last longer than 8 months unless she drives 10 times as much as normal.
  • :cry: Hi, I'm just a new driver and today while pulling out of the parking lot, I forgot to release my parking brake and drove for like 30-45 seconds. I turned it off immediately after the said period as soon as I realized it. Mine is 2005 Toyota Sienna LE and my question is what harm will it do to my car? Afterwhich my hubby used the car and said that its running smoothly, no sounds with the brakes or whatsoever, but I just want to know what happens to the car when this things happen?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Don't worry, that's not enough time to do serious harm.

    You'll basically have a little extra wear on the rear brake pads.

    Have the rear brakes inspected at your next oil change, I bet they'll be fine. This is a heavy van so the pads don't usually last that long anyway.
  • thank you so much for the info, well after this incident before I drive I check on the parking brake light and make sure it does not happen again. :)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'm the other way around - I some times forget to set the parking brake when I park (though I park on level ground).
  • That's precisely the reason why I forgot to release the parking brake, I dont usually use it on level ground, but on this particular case I was parked downhill. My husband was making fun at me, saying that how can I forget the parking brake, well I could say that if there's one thing I'd do the least, its driving.
  • Hi, did you ever figure out what was causing that noise? I have had an intermittant thump when i use my brakes. It sounds like it is coming from the rear and that someone is kicking the underside of the van.
  • The Toyota dealer that I recently brought my van into said it was due to the drums & I could upgrade to the newer heavier style to eliminate the noise. I would probably run around $600 to replace & the service guy thought it was an expensive fix just to get rid of the noise. I asked him to check with the technician to make sure it wasn't any safety issue & that the brakes would work fine & he confirmed it that they are fine.
    One other odd note - they technician cleaned & adjusted the brakes & the noise was gone for about a week, but now it's back. If it get's too annoying I may bite the bullet & replace them, but I'm almost at 100,000 miles so not sure I want to throw too much money into it.
  • My 2001 Sienna, 86,000 miles, has been doing the same thing. Sounds like someone is kicking it underneath. Noise is loudest from driver rear side. I was thinking that it was New Orlean's bad streets having damaged something. The whole underside of my car sounds like it is going to rattle off now. I am diligent about getting my car serviced, so this has me thrown for a loop.
    Will find out tomorrow from the dealership.
  • I own a 2004 Sienna with 70,000 miles. The ABS automatically engages when the vehicle is driving forward at more than 5 mph despite perfect driving conditions (dry ground, tire pressure). This is preceded by a beeping noise and VSC dashboard indicator. The Toyota service department has informed me that the ABS power unit needs to be replaced at a cost of nearly $3,000.

    Has anyone else experienced this problem? Any suggestions as to other possible causes? It seems that all of my Toyota problems have been big ticket items. I trust that the dealer did it's due diligence.....?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Your Toyota service department appears to be out to lunch, or someone's child's college tuition is due.

    There are only two sensors unique to VSC, the stearing wheel rotational position sensor the the yaw sensor. There is a procedure, a driving procedure, for recalibrating both. Have the dealer do both with you along as a passenger and if that doesn't work you either have a failed, failing, VSC sensor.

    The VSC system is designed to detect when the vehicle is not following the direction set by the position of the stearing wheel. So the VSC system either "thinks" the vehicle is turning when it shouldn't be or isn't turning when it should.
  • Almost identical experience with 2004 Highlander recently. Had to drive car to dealer on back streets at 3-4 mph entire way or ABS would activate. Problem arose suddenly, no previous indicators that something might be wrong. In my case, dealer cleaned the VSC wheel sensors and recalibrated the computer for $380. There is a toyota bulletin BR008-04 cited on the repair ticket, but I don't know where to find details. Hope this helps you or others with this problem.
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