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Toyota Sienna Brakes



  • 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 thank you
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