Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Toyota Sienna Brakes



  • hogsettmhogsettm Posts: 2
    I had the same exact experience. I had a guy do the back brakes for me and when I got the van back the emergency brake went to the floor...the guy told be the cable needed to be replaced which I thought was odd since it wasn't to the floor before that and with new pads in the back it should have been even tighter. So I drove the van home and the brakes were very spongy and weren't stopping worth a darn. It was dangerous. I called the guy a few days later and told him the emergency brake wasn't holding and the van wasn't stopping even with the pedal to the floor. He said bring it back and he would check it out. He said the pedal going to the floor was probably the master cylinder so he replaced that and that didn't help one bit so I took it back to him and he said he would look at it. When I got the van back the emergency brake cable was magically fixed and the van stopped a whole lot better but I still couldn't get the van to stop quickly or enter a skid to where the ABS would start kicking in. I'm still having problems to this day. I'm orering some new Akebono Ceramic brake pads to see if that will help.

    If anyone has any advice, it would be greatly appreciated.
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 6,023
    Don't know if bdkny2001 ever read your post. Curious as to whether he paid $3,000 like the stealership quoted (appropriate term under these conditions), or the $300 gibson paid, per below your post.
    2020 Honda Accord EX-L, 2011 Hyundai Veracruz, 2010 Mercury Milan Premiere, 2008 Mercury Mariner, 2007 Kia Optima
  • khfvtkhfvt Posts: 1
    I have a 2005 AWD Sienna.
    Last april the brakes started to pulse. When I slowed at highway speeds (as entering an exit ramp) there was a pulsing in the brake pedal. I brought it in and was told I had mud in the tires. They cleaned out the tires and things were better.
    This spring I had a flat tire and when I brought it in for repair I was told that the rear brake pads were shot and it was "metal on metal." They replaced the pads.
    I had not heard any warning squeal.

    Now, a few weeks later, the pulse is back in the brake pedal. It mostly happens when slowing down on the highway. There is also a very faint whine when I accelerate at slow speeds, and I am not sure that is related.

    Any thoughts?
  • xmas99xmas99 Posts: 1
    Hi, I am new here. Just wondering if there's any update on this??? My wife's 2001 Toyota Sienna LE (120,000+ miles) has had this issue for a couple of months already and the technician couldn't figure out what's wrong with it. Thank you!
  • HI ,
    I ahave the same problem with only one difference. When the car is drivin more than the 5 mph and the ABS start to apply the brake, only the slip light and a sound come on.
    Do you guys think it is the same ABS problem or this is different ?
    thanks in advance for your help
  • This is the exact problem I have.
    I have 2004 AWD SIENNA. A week ago, when I started the car in a freezing morning and drove in subdivision road, the slippery light and beep came on and the break acted here and there on the wheels. At the very beginning, I thought the road was slippery. But it was not the case. There was no way my van was skidding all the time. I was only driving at 10 MPH. Then I realized the VSC was wrongly activated. Whenever I get to more than 10MPH, VSC got activated and broke the speed down to 5 MPH. I could only drive at 5MPH without getting VSC activated.

    Then I realized I could not drive this van on the road. I parked it back in garage. The next day, my wife drove it out of the garage and got the same symptom. We put the van back to garage for another 3 days before I was about to call a tow truck to tow it to a dealer for examination. I tried it again. Miraculously, the problem went away.
    I went to the dealer and talked to the service adviser, he said he knew nothing about the problem (recall etc.) and asked me to bring the van back for service once the problem happens again.

    I have to correct the title of this thread. It was not the ABS (When break peddle pressed, break pulses when wheel blocks, no light or beep in this case) that was activated, it was VSC (slippery light and beep comes on, break activates). It was not traction control either (only light will come on, no beep). All three features are controlled by the same module.

    My van appears to be working correctly now, but I dare not drive it far away from home. I know the problem is not gone. It will come back at the most inconvenient time. I do not want to be stranded in a snow storm at -30 degrees F that I can only drive at 5MPH (That is what the weather is like here in Chicago at this time of the year). I do not want to be thousand miles away from home when the problem happens again.

    I read someone wrote that the dealer cleaned wheel sensors and recalibrated the system and got the problem fixed. I went under my van and inspected the 4 speed sensors (The only sensors that are exposed to the outside). I did not find visible unusual dirtiness, snow, ice etc.

    I would be more than happy to get the VSC feature disabled when it false activated so that I could drive the van to the dealer instead of getting it towed, or I could drive home. VSC is just a nice to have feature, not essential to the van. I have been driving a car with no ABS, Trac control, VSC for more than 10 years. The dealer and Toyota 800 number told me there was no way I could disable VSC.

    I did some reading and found there were 2 VSC related relay blocks in the fuse box under the hood. They have "VSC MSR" and "VSC Fail" printed on them. I tried to remove one of them and then both of them. The ABS and VSC light passed the start up test and went off. They come on once I drive for about 50 feet. Now the van can drive without ABS and VSC. Mission accomplished.

    After I put the VSC relay blocks back and drive for about 50 feet, both ABS and VSC light went off. The ABS and VSC are back again.

    I have to make a disclaimer even thought I am not claiming anything. You do whatever you do to your car/van at your risk. I am not telling you what to do. I am just sharing what I think I would do when the problem occurs.

    After I found out how to disable VSC, I drove my van 200 miles away to Wisconsin Dells for 3 days. It made the round trip no problem.

    I have to be cautious to see when my Sienna will fail again.
  • I have my 1st front brakes done on 2001 sienna with 175K miles about a month ago. The rear brakes are still original (abt 2mm left) and I'm also getting the same break sticking problem. This happen only on high speed. I brought it back to dealer's service dept and they could not figure out the problem. They want me to recreate the problem but this happen randomly. Any suggestions?
  • flush the brake , change the oil, May be this will fix it. I had the same situation and after they flush the brak it worked fine since then.
  • The digital clock went out on on my 2002 Toyota Sienna. I checked all the fuses and they are fine. Anyone have any sugestions on what else it could be?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I had that issue with a previous car and it was cracked solter. I used a soltering iron, removed the clock and just re-soltered the cracked connection.

    You may want to look for something like that.

    Could also be the bulb but when you are in there you'll know.
  • thanks. I will try that and post the resutls if the my brake problem will go away.
  • When I press on the brakes the pedel its makes a high pitch humming sound.
    Took to dealer and checked ABS and flushed brake line.
    Didn't fix problem. The sound will stop if I pump the brake pedel.
    However, it will do it again when I press on the peddle. It happens every 7 out of 10 times I push on the brakes.
    Any ideas as to what the problem is or where to start?
  • waymondwwaymondw Posts: 2
    I am going through the same issue up to the replacement of the master cylinder. My mechanic now thinks it's a problem with the ABS. What happened to your car eventually.

  • knang8888knang8888 Posts: 13
    Took my 2001 Sienna back to he dealer, flush the brake fluid and also a rear drum brake service for last Memorial Day weekend drive. Drove the van for about 650 miles, and the sticky brakes occurred 4 times during this 650 mile trip. Every time the sticky brakes started to appear, I force myself to slow down and I end up going to a rest area and do a full stop. Most of the time, the problem will go away. This is just strange that the problem is not consistent. I could not figure what triggers this sticky brake problem. The last 190 miles, he problem did not occur at all. So Wierd!
  • 1978transam1978transam Posts: 16
    I've got a 2004 Sienna with about 83K miles. I've done the front disc brakes twice. I removed the back drums today to check the rear brake shoes. I noticed that the friction material is bonded and not riveted to the shoe. The friction material thickness of the leading shoe is about 4mm and the trailing shoe is about 5mm. Anyone know the thickness on a new shoe? What is the service limit requiring replacement?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I would suspect the caliper pins aren't sliding freely. I would have the calipers rebuilt or even replaced. Brakes are so essential to your safety that this is an area where you really just need to fix it completely.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I would replace them if only because of the uneven wear.
  • knang8888knang8888 Posts: 13
    I agree that the brakes are so important. This is why I took the van back to the Toyota dealer who already did my front and rear brakes and flush the brake fluid. I'm curious if they will come up with the same diagnostics on the calipers, The dealers are going to check the wear and tear on the rotors and pads for unusual signs. We'll see what they come up with. Hopefully, this will not put a big dent on my wallet.
  • My last visit to the dealer on May 29 '09. They resurface my front rotors again (after front pads and resurface done in 12'08). Flush my brakes fluids, and replace rear drum brakes pads and resurface the drums. The toyota dealer mentioned that brakes is as good as new. 183K miles reading on my 2001 Sienna.

    Oct 24'09. 190K miles reading. Well, i heard some metal to metal noise and I took it back to the dealer. They replaced my front pads for free as a 1-time courtesy but I have to pay for front rotors replacement for $176. My frustration started after the initial front brakes job on Dec '08. The dealer also mentioned that the master cylinder will need to be replaced and my calipers will need to be rebuild b. This is suggested because the dealer feel that the front pads will wear down fast and I will be back for pads replacement in a few months. I declined the estimate of $500+. Should I get this done at the dealer or should I try another non-delaer replace place. Any advice out there?
  • I have new purchased Sienna XLE on 7/2007, 14,000miles on it, my wife drives it as house wife car. At last week regular service at Toyota dealer, it was found that needs to change front and rear brake pad and rotor, front 3mm and rear 1mm left. This is my fourth new Toyota cars, and I never hear such thing before. My questions are how often this early brake problems happen to Sienna? Should I seek second opinion? Should dealer cover this problem although brake is not included in warranty? The repair work they quoted for me is over $1150,00. Thanks.
  • I have a 2004 Sienna LE with about 89000 miles. I replaced the front pads at 40000 without turning the rotors, Cost was about $50. I replaced the front pads and shims and had the rotors machined at 75000 miles. Cost was about $125. A brake job at 14000 seems very premature. Does your wife "ride the brakes"?
  • Thank you very much for the information. I have never seen such thing before either. The Toyota dealer insists that there are no other mechanical defect to cause this premature brake problems, they decline to pay for those repair job, but would like to ride with each of us to see our driving habbit. I told them this is our fourth Toyota car, we have trade in our previous 3 cars at 40k-50k and never have brake problems. Should I send the van for second opinion? I am afraid that this problem will happen again if there are some defects some where, that the dealer did not find out. Can malfunctioning ABS cause extra wearing of brakes since the dealer said the calipers are "fine". Thanks.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I have an LE purchased 4 months before yours, with 28k miles. My brake pads aren't even worn significantly.

    I'm very gentle on the brakes, though, coasting to red lights to save gas for instance. This also helps my mileage.

    Your case does seem very unusual, but warranty doesn't cover wear and tear items like brakes, clutch, etc.

    Your van is a bit heavier, but I agree with the poster above who asks about her driving style.
  • ABS does not apply the brakes. It modulates the the application of the brakes to prevent wheel lockup. I believe VSC has the capability to selectively apply the brakes to prevent a skid.
  • Thank you guys out there, those message really help me a lot. Today we went to dealer for driving test since the Toyota rep likes to see our driving habit to make sure we do not drive with foot on brake at the same time ( I never heard of this kind of driving). After that, the tech did show us the wearing of the pads, I just can not believe my eyes, 3mm in fronts and 1mm in rear. the rear rotors have been unevenly wearing and needs to be changed as well. The dealer gave me a deal, Toyota will pay the front pad and rotor repair, I will pay rear pads and rotor replacement, which cost $580. I even do not know whether this problems could happen again or not, because nobody knows the reason except Toyota. I guess that I either pay for it to get it done, or may fight for lemon car?( In MA, under 150k, if there are serious problems, but I do not know this brake early wearing belongs to this category).
  • yatesjoyatesjo Posts: 186
    That the rear brakes would show much more wear than the front brakes is VERY abnormal and competent tech should red flag that right away. The front brakes do most of the work stopping the van and should wear much faster than the rear (my personal experience on FWD cars is replacing front brakes twice as often as rear).

    Is it possible you wife has been driving with the parking brake on? The parking brake only applies to the rear wheels and driving around with tha on would wear the rear bakes very quickly.

    If you wife insists she doesn't drive with the parking brake on the does she see the VSC light very often? The VSC system applies the brakes at individual wheels when it senses a loss of traction or control. If the rear calipers are good and the system isn't over pressuring the rear, then the VSC is the only other system I can think of that could be causing so much wear on the rear.

    Also, what is your fuel economy like on the van? My 2008 LE runs around 19-20 MPG in town and 25 on the highway. If your brakes are applying constantly then you should see a hit in fuel economy.
  • I have paid $2,000 for brake service since buying my 2002 Sienna van. Now the shop wants to replace the front struts and shocks, saying that they are weakened due to all the weight of the van during stopping transferring to the front brakes/axle. Before dRopping another $ 900 into the front end, any advice out there?


    PS: There is a lot of good info at:
  • If the struts are worn you will likely notice the front or back of the vehicle bouncing up and down while driving. One purpose of struts is to dampen the up/down movement of the suspension. If your back is sufficiently strong, you can duplicate this up/down oscillation by lifting up and pushing down on the bumpers several times and letting go. The car should stop bouncing up and down within one cycle if the struts are good. The shop should be able to demonstrate this. How long do you plan to keep the vehicle?

    As vehicles age the coil springs weaken and sometimes break. To replace the coil springs the struts must be removed to access the coil springs. If you are replacing the struts have the shop check the ride height and also the coil springs for cracks and corrosion.
  • Thank you very much, Yatesjo. You are really good at it. I am going to let Toyota dealer to check the VSC since we do have tough winter in MA. It is odd to me as well as common knowledge for such unusual wearing, but Toyota insists there are nothing mechanically wrong. They agree to pay half the cost for replace both front and rear break pads and rotors. I am going to do it next Monday. Then trade in this van since I do not trust it anymore.
    I do have very similar MPG as yours, that is why I believed what the tech told me. I do learn a lot from you and really appreciate it.
  • I got a 99 sienna that I cannot figure out my brake problem that has been going on for about 2 or 3 months. Any kind of road condition i press the brake once to stop and nothing the pedal goes straight to the floor. Pump it 3 or 4 times and it stops fine and pedal is where it is supposed to be it dont drop at all. ABS works fine. Just replaced master cylinder and brake booster to no avail. Have bled the brakes NUMEROUS times and still not fixed. Any tips or advice to point me in the right direction??? No leaks anywhere and everything else works fine after pumped a few times. No noise at all when stopping. PLEASE HELP!!!!
  • My front brake problem is finally gone. My front pads weared down after 2000 miles driving from the dealer's front brake job. The dealer offered to replace my front brake pads for free and replace my front rotors at $70 each (discounted rate). I believe the front rotors were resurfaced too much which cause the calipers to be over extended and locks sometimes . I did not have to replace the front calipers or any brake lines. After another 4000 miles of driving, my front brakes is still at 9mm and this is a good sign. My suggestion for those who wants to do front brake jobs, just replace the rotors instead of resurfacing them. My 2001 sienna has 194900 and the next project is to replace the rear and front shocks or struts. Not sure what my van has and I'm thinking to replace just the rear for now to save money.
  • If you Google "bleed abs brakes" you'll find that the ABS side of the brake system can be bled. I don't know how that specifically applies to your 99 Sienna. Some systems require the connection of a diagnostic tool to the OBDII port to cycle the ABS controller during the bleeding process. You might be able to download just the section of the Sienna service manual that details brake service.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    My 93 Miata has a slave clyinder that failed, I had to rebuild that.

    I'm not even sure if your 99 Sienna has one, but there may be other parts of the system you haven't looked at yet.

    Do you have a shop manual for it?
  • ckirkckirk Posts: 18
    I have experienced brake failure with 2004 xle awd. With no for-certain previous brake issues, in Nov, on totally dry street, was at 15-20mph when neighborhood dog strolled in front of us. I pressed brake progressively harder as the van barely slowed and the dog waddled just out of the way as we stopped just past him/her with brake pedal now to the floor.
    I had had an experience last winter on the freeway when I slammed on the brakes to avoid pile-up and the van seemed to be slowing gradually. I hadn't noticed ABS pulsing and wondered at the time if the brakes were working properly. I'm not sure about last years event, but the dog was for certain brake failure. Dealer said he couldn't duplicate failure and all was well with pads, etc;
    I've searched internet and have found linea's experience to be closest to mine. Any one else?
  • I also have a 1999 Sienna, and I am experiencing similar problems. Sometimes when I press the brake it doesn't seem to go down as far as it should and it makes sort of a whirring noise. When this happens, I cannot stop quickly. Sometimes it happens when the streets are wet or icy or when I am going downhill, but sometimes it happens for no apparent reason. It feels as though the brakes are locking up. Once I had to put the car into neutral to avoid hitting the car in front of me at a stop sign. I took it to a tire and brake shop, and they said the ABS brakes are activating when they shouldn't (but no light is coming on). They wouldn't fix it because they said something about the computer needing reset. As others have noted, I too have spent more money on brakes for this van than for any other car I have ever owned. The car has over 220K miles and we have owned it for about four years. Does this sound familiar to anyone? The repair shop told me it was fine to drive, but it does not seem to be fine when I cannot come to a stop when I need to.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'm assuming a reputable mechanic has bled the entire system and there's no air in the lines?

    Also, do you have the original brake master cylinder? I wonder if that's still OK.

    220k miles - wow, all bets are off at that age. I'd be happy to have a van with that many miles on it on the road! ;)
  • jeffstjeffst Posts: 1
    I've had a similar experience and just filed a complaint with the NHTSA. You should do the same if you haven't already done so.

    I have a 2005 Sienna XLE. It happened just last week, once to my wife and once to me while trying to stop at an intersection. The road was not slick. I pressed the pedal as hard as possible. No ABS pulsing occurred. The pedal did not sink to the floor despite the amount of pressing. I also tried pumping the brakes as I slowwwly came to a halt.

    The brakes have otherwise worked fine. Since the problem is intermittent, my mechanic is having problems diagnosing the problem. He thinks it may be a vacuum issue. Have you had a diagnosis yet?

    This is pretty scary.
  • rlelinarlelina Posts: 6
    I assume a Toyota dealer would do a free diagnostic for a safety critical issue like this. We have a 2002 Sienna and just a little over a year ago, the ABS light started coming on intermittently and eventually stayed on. My wife took it to the dealer and that said the ABS computer needs to be replaced -- $2000 just for the part.
  • jprocjproc Posts: 135
    Perhaps 5-6 times in the past 4-5 months I'll be pulling into a parking spot and the wheel will freeze up.I'm only doing a few mph but the wheel will start gyrating and it feels like the brakes are freezing up.Any ideas?
  • jim374jim374 Posts: 1
    Hello, i have this same problem. im hoping you found out what the problem was and your willing to share with me. i have done everything to fix this problem, new booster, new master cylinder, front calipers, rear as well. and bleed the brakes time and time again, please let me know if you fixed this problem. you can email me at [email protected] thank you
  • buyer777buyer777 Posts: 70
    On another matter, when did you change your timing belt on the 2001 Sienna. I still have original belt, but only have 70,000 miles on car. Is it a pure mileage issue or does "years" count?

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'd change it at 10 years.

    Just like old tires that still may have some tread left, you're better safe than sorry.
  • knang8888knang8888 Posts: 13
    ke problems was to replace the rotors. I still think that I need to replace my caliper someday. In the meantime, the locking problem is gone. My self analysis on the problem was that the rotors were worn out to a threshold point that the calipers are not releasing properly even though my rotors are within MFR specs. I did not have to replace boosters, master cylinder, calipers or brake lines. Good luck on your repair!
  • waymondwwaymondw Posts: 2
    I took my car to my personal mechanic to get all the work done. He did the same things you did except the master cylinder as that was going to be an expensive repair. My mechanic approached a mechanic friend of his at the local Toyota Dealer. He got him to look through the entire system and couldn't find anything wrong. Needless to say, it was disappointing but I got the van back and continued to drive it. Doesn't seem like the problem has come back but I'm still not entirely comfortable that the problem was addressed properly. Sorry, don't think this is much help.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Make sure you bleed the brakes and maybe have them cleaned up every few years or so. They get filthy.

    Even at 60k miles I've seen brakes that were caked with black brake dust, a total mess.

    I also had to buy a rebuilt rear caliper on my Miata, though it was old at the time it only had 70k miles or so.

    They should be clean and well lubricated so they move freely.
  • audit2000audit2000 Posts: 3
    Does anyone has a problem with the brake on 2010 sienna? It seem like the brake take about 1 or 2 second before it is finally engage if I brake normally. If I brake hard then it is stop very good but if I brake slightly by press the brake normally then it is not doing good job to stop it. Dealer could not find any wrong with it. dealer let me test drive 2011 and the brake on the model work good as the break I have on Kia Rondo and Chevy Impala. I called Toyota company and they told me go to another dealer to ask for second opinion. I told them about the brake on 2011 model. They said my van has 7K mileage, the one I tested drive is new van. I told them my van is still new. I want to know if anyone out there has the same problem with the brake. What is my option beside report this problem to government?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    My brakes (2007 LE) don't behave any different than my other cars.

    I'd have the system bled to make sure there are no air bubbles in the brake lines.

    It is a heavy vehicle, so give yourself plenty of space to stop, also.
  • victor23victor23 Posts: 201
    The brakes on my Sienna 2005 felt mushy since the day one. Quite many other people reported the same feeling. The dealer said that is how it is, but this is something every dealer always says. However, as in your case, whenever we needed to brake hard, it did the job very well, so we just stopped worrying.

    Actually I am much more irritated by a very rapid wear of both front and rear pads, I have to change them every 10-15k miles in a mostly "suburban" driving, and as far as I could gather, this is also pretty typical for Sienna. I think maybe its Camry-like brakes are just inadequate for a minivan. Or maybe this is the electronic brake distribution thing, like with newer Honda Accords. This second hypothesis might explain why not everybody experienced this (not all Siennas were equipped with this option back then). Anyway, can't wait to see the reports about brakes of a next generation Sienna.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That seem too frequent - I'm on my original pads at 30k miles, and they have plenty of life left in them.
  • victor23victor23 Posts: 201
    Yeah, so you are one of those who, as I mentioned, were more lucky. Or maybe you just do more highway? The dearer told me, my wife is too aggressive a driver, and I nagged her with that, but the truth is, we both are very skilled and conscientious drivers (no bragging here), this never happened with any other of our current and previous vehicles over decades, though now I realize that I don't really have a reliable statistics for my previous Oldsmobile minivan. Hold on a moment, there is another exception: my Honda Accord has about 20k miles on it, and the rear pads are gone, while the front ones are intact. But this is a well-known Accord problem since 2006 which remains unsolved so far.

    Back to Sienna, this is not that the brakes would not completely release. I checked the wheel heating right after the trip, it is OK. The fuel consumption of my Sienna is pretty lousy in mostly "suburban" driving, about 18-19 mpg, but that is mostly in line with CR and others experience. (Only most people call this "city driving", whereas it actually is not. City driving - it is, by correct definition, stop-and-go somewhere in Manhattan.) We are getting 26-27 on a highway (and 28 when we purposely observe speed limits), so brake mechanics is not a problem.

    BTW, tires are also gone too soon. I blamed lousy OEM Dunlops for lasting only 20k and installed Yokohamas, but the improvement is just marginal. I did some research, and found that many-many Sienna users have exactly the same complaints about brake pads and tires, much more than owners of other minivans. But then again, many other Sienna owners report better longevity.

    Other than that and 3 problems with doors, Sienna is a very pleasant vehicle, and when I hear complaints about "disconnected feel" and "numb steering", always some old proverbs come to mind, but I don't want to inadvertently offend anyone.
Sign In or Register to comment.