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Toyota Sienna Brakes



  • flaherflaher Posts: 1
    If you haven't found a solution to the problem yet, please have the mechanics check you master brake cylinder. I had a similar problem. Took the car into dealership before July 4th vacation and was told rear brakes needed replacing. Had those done. While on our trip, my husband kept complaining about the brakes and that the pedal needed to go to the floor to engage brake. When we got back took the car to a private mechanic that we have used regularly in the past and was told the master cylinder needed to be replaced. $750 later and I can definitely feel the difference with the brakes. I have a 2005 Sienna with about 114K. Good luck.
  • My van is now 204000 miles. After the dealer replace the front rotors and front pads at 190000 miles, the locking problem went away. Now, I'm tempted to check the brake pads after 12K miles of driving since the last repair to see the brake condition. When driving, I noticed that the slight noise is starting in the front again. yikes!

    My van needs new timing belts (last replaced at 102K), new shocks/struts (never been replaced). The dealer recommend to do valve adjustments but I don't trust them after the poor brake job. Overall, the van is great condition but should I trade it in or should I keep it till 300K. :confuse:
  • make sure that your bleeding procedures are correct
  • alot of times, people put really cheap autozone pads in their cars and the pads are too hard. so when the brakes r applied then the system thinks you're slamming on brakes either locking it or applying abs when its not necessary. Just make sure you put in dealer stuff only.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The (st,d)ealer is much more likely to use the cheapest pads available in the marketplace than ANY aftermarket parts shop would even consider stocking.

    Just avoid the pads that have a "lifetime" warranty.
  • redsea71redsea71 Posts: 4
    edited May 2011
    I recently read a few posts about a malfunction that occurred after a recall repair of the Stop Lamp Switch Bracket so I decided to join this chat and post my experience to share with others.

    I brought my 2011 Sienna in for its 1st service after purchase (3500 miles) and at the same time they did the recall replacement of the stop lamp switch bracket. Prior to this my car was running great - no issues at all. As I left the dealership, I noticed the brake pedal felt hard, like a rock with no give or squishiness – like stepping on a rock – and when I did press down on the brake pedal, it was very sensitive and stopped abruptly. This is an issue I never had before, prior to bringing it in for service. At the time, I didn't think it was an issue that maybe it was part of the recall work that had just been done, that they replaced the brake pedal. After about 1 mile, lots of warning lights (including the ABS light) went on and it was very hard to drive & control the car. At that point, I turned around and headed back to the dealership; it was very hard to drive & control the car safely – when I pressed the gas pedal, it was like driving with brakes on, there was lots of resistance & there was a burning rubber smell, when I took my foot off the gas pedal – my car would not glide, but came to an abrupt stop. It was hard to pick up speed & stopping the car became unpredictable. Brake pedal was still hard, with no give. So scary, with my baby in the car! I was so lucky that I didn't get in an accident - I was trying to navigate through a busy intersection during rush hour traffic and there was no place to pull off!!!!

    The dealership still has my car after 4 days, they told me it might be a faulty recall part (the switch bracket). Toyota opened a case to investigate this matter and a Toyota engineer is checking out my car this week. Not sure if a new switch bracket will fix the issue - if not, next time I may not be so lucky. It seems this is a serious problem that's been happenning to lots of people - I wonder how many others there are that haven't spoken up? I decided to join this chat forum just to get the word out there to other people. I hope others do the same! It's only a matter of time until a real tragedy happens...after all, these are family cars.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Did no one bother to look at the brake lights to be sure they "followed" the brake pedal operation/application...??

    Sounds as if the brake light switch is always closed and with the new brake override firmware fix that will disable the DBW throttle system.
  • redsea71redsea71 Posts: 4
    edited May 2011
    I just went to the dealer to get some stuff out of my car and ran into a mechanic who said it was a mechanical error - by this he meant the mechanic made errors when putting on the new bracket assembly. I don't have much more info since Toyota is still doing an investigation and I don't have an offical report yet. I've seen a number of other cases similar to mine so it makes me think there needs to be better training to repair this recall - maybe it's a bit more complicated than expected. I'll know more next week when I speak with the managers and get a hold of that report. Until then, my car sits at the dealership.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    For most cars with ABS, maybe all cars, when the brake pedal is initially depressed the system automatically checks to see that/if the ABS "reserve" brake fluid pressure level is as high as it should be. If it is not then the electric ABS pumpmotor is activated to bring the reserve brake pressure source back up to the functional level.

    If, as I suspect, you were driving around with your brake lights always on ABS "armed"), then an ABS fault would undoubtedly eventually arise.
  • TY so much for sharing this with the rest of us. We are not currently having any issues, but thought we'd have the recall done on our next oil change. We will now be waiting to hear more ... and hopefully give Toyota mechanics more time to figure out what they are doing!

    Please keep us all posted!! Thanks again!
  • redsea71redsea71 Posts: 4
    Final Report of Malfunction: They had my car for 2 weeks & opened a case and a Toyota Specialist/engineer came in and the investigation revealed that the problem was improper installation – the brake lamp switch had moved position & was applying pressure to the brake pedal causing partial engagement of brakes (brake pedal switch was not adjusted properly)… Ended up they replaced rotors, brake pads, and front/back calipers. A 2 hour investigation uncovered traces of brake fluid at all four brake calipers – fluid had bypassed caliper piston seals indicating the calipers had overheated…I drove less than 2 miles in total with the malfunction in stop & go traffic. I requested new rotors & brake pads and all parts associated with malfunction – the caliper damage wasn’t something I thought of and am so glad an investigation was opened. The dealership took full responsibility and is working hard to earn my trust. It seems from all the research I’ve done, there needs to be more training or care when doing this recall. It seems like an easy install BUT THE MECHANIC NEEDED TO READ DIRECTIONS!!!!!!!!!!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The mechanic probably rushed.

    Nowadays they get paid a set number of hours for each type of job they do, so they rush in order to get paid more.

    The first time they do any given task, though, it simply takes longer. He (she?) probably rushed to compensate for that.

    Automakers should provide better training so they're efficient even the first time they do any given task...
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    2011 Sienna...brakes were "on" and yet brake over-ride didn't disable DBW...?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Not sure if you were replying to me?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    edited May 2011
    No, just an open/public statement/question.

    Maybe the brake pedal was mechanically trapped, brakes were "applied", but the brake lite switch was not "on".

    Recall work was done by a McD flipper graduate or owner's teenage son....or both..??
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'll go with the burger-flipping theory. :D
  • Hi
    I realize this is an old post, but I just started having the same problem with my 99 sienna... thumping/clicking sound from rear when I brake. Just wondering if you ever figured out what the problem was? Van brakes fine, just noisy.

  • Hi Patti, I took my van to the dealer & was told that the noise was due to the rear brake drums & would need to upgrade to a new style which would run about $600. I then took it to a local car repair shop that a co-worker recommended & they resurfaced the rear breake drums and cleaned & adjusted the brake shoes all for $72 !! and the thumping noise has been gone since March 2008.

    Good luck!!
  • joed6joed6 Posts: 2
    edited May 2012
    I have 06 sienna bought new and the break is weak. I have one hit at the back and two near danger stop. Before I hit the car I drove at 40miles and have 30feet after him, I never expected the car cannot stop until I'm 4feet near by and I need add more force to the break, yet still hit the car at about 15miles and left two dents due to license nuts and my front logo dropped off. this happened less in a year ago with 60K miles in the car and after I have new front pads and fixed a caliper bolt stuck problem for about 30days driving.

    After bleed break fluid (I will check rear soon) I retested the break. the full range is about 3.75inches thus too long to use it w/o moving my foot. At 1st one inch I can stop an sliding car at idle speed; 2nd one inch I can hear air push sound; at third one inch the air push sound is obvious; the last 0.75inch needs large force or raise my foot.

    Compared with GS300, 1st one inch is nothing, but then nice sensitive and I usually needs 1.5inch for noticeable speed down at 40-50MPH.

    I posted my problem in another forum and a few replies either says one has similar hit accident or this is a well known Toyota 'feature'.
  • Sienna was at 42,054 at time of incident. At the conclusion of a 3 hour drive back home with the van, we had smoke rising from right-rear tire. The smell of hot brakes was very strong.

    I got the van to my local mechanic and he confirmed that the rotor was toast, pads non existent and caliper had seized. He replaced the brake pads on the rear tires and put new rotors on both. We opted, due to cost, to replace only the right-rear caliper. He thought we'd be good.

    Three weeks later my wife calls me that the hot brake smell was in the air again. This time it was prevalent from the left-rear tire. I was back at the shop once again with a seized caliper, but now on the left. This one was caught plenty early and everything checked out OK, but the caliper was replaced.

    Is 42,000 miles too early for this type of work? The van has only lived in Southern Maryland and Virginia. It did haul a UHaul trailer almost nearly one year prior when we moved from Maryland to Virginia. It hasn't hauled anything since then.

    I called a Toyota consumer line and they pulled up my information. They said there was nothing that could be done for us and it was just generalized as "wear and tear". I don't know about you, but I have owned many vehicles in my life and haven't seen such a wholesale failure of all the replaceable components like that. It was like they were on a timer.

    We are also dealing with sliding door issues, which I understand there may be coverage for at a dealer.

    Anything similar out there?
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,780
    edited February 2013
    Loosing two rear calipers in quick succession tells me there is likely something systematic at play. If your mechanic still has the calipers, he can do a quick inspection to determine or rule out some possibilities.

    1) Inspect the sliders, pins & boots for signs of corrosion or lack of proper lubricants. This would impede the release of the brakes. That would (possibly) indicate an original factory assembly issue.

    2) Check the fit of the brake pads in the carrier for the same thing. If they fit too tight, they won't retract well. Ever have the rears serviced prior to this?

    3) Does the piston move within the caliper easily? Pull the piston out of the caliper and check the inside for rust. That would indicate contaminated fluid. Given what happened, make sure your mechanic thoroughly flushed the entire system.

    4) I once owned a Corolla that did this to the fronts. The new caliper seized up too within a week. It turned out to be bad rubber hoses that collapsed on retraction, trapping fluid pressure on the caliper.

    5) Remote possibility, but it could be a master cylinder, ABS or proportioning system issue that is trapping pressure and causing the rears to drag.

    No boat ramps or immersion of the rears in standing water?

    I'm sure there are other possibilities, but that's what comes to mind!
  • orionreplayorionreplay Posts: 10
    edited February 2013
    Thank you for the reply.

    The mechanic said last night that though it was unusual for calipers to fail this early, it wasn't as uncommon as I'd think. He wishes he had replaced both calipers three weeks ago and not just the one.

    1) He made no note of any corrosion.

    2) The brakes have never had to be serviced in our 42,000 miles. I was tracking pad wear for an upcoming replacement, having had our tires replaced last May. When I'd go in for the free rotations, we were monitoring brake pads. I knew pads would need replacing in the next 10k miles.

    3) When the van was in the for the first failure (right side), the mechanic checked out the left side caliper and reported all pistons were working well. I neglected to say that during that first job, he flushed the brake fluid and filled with new, mostly due to the heat that generated during that 3 hour drive.

    4) There was no discussion of hoses being checked. Unsure.

    5) Mechanic spoke of this, but also said words similar to it being a very remote possibility.

    In the end he feels now that we have replaced all parts in pairs, we should be good to go. He kicked himself for not insisting we change out the left caliper at the time. But he felt for us and the bigger bill we were paying with having to change out everything at that time.

    No standing water or boat hauling. Just the one UHaul trailer for our move to Virginia from Maryland in January 2012. The mechanic had seen our trailer hook and questioned me on hauling as well.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I have my OEM pads and rotors at 58k miles, but no towing here. I do load it up with weight, though.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,780
    It sounds like you've found a competent mechanic who asked all the right question, so I don't know what more to add. Obviously if it were to happen again you go looking for the esoteric stuff like collapsed lines or a major problem in the expensive stuff under the hood (topic #5).

    At this point you write it off to a random freak run of brake components bearing an original equipment defect with unusually precise timing. Maybe you should play the lottery this week? Hopefully, we'll never hear from you again - and I mean that in a good way!!
  • wheels13wheels13 Posts: 51
    My 2006 Sienna had the same thing happen at 40,000 miles and I replaced the caliper and wheel had run very hot. At 80,000 the wheel bearing went bad due to the over heating caused earlier with the brake problem. We thought the caliper went bad because I drive a lot om gravet roads and it is dusty. Now at 100,000 no problem.
  • We are now at 42,000 miles and change. Since the left rear replacement of caliper, we have had no more issues in the last 2,000 miles. I find myself still checking after a long drive, feeling the rim... smelling for hot brakes. So far, nothing.

    I hope it was just a freak coincidence. This van was supposed to be our 200,000 mile vehicle. I had never had seen such a brake failure in any vehicle I have ever owned. I started to doubt my 200,000 mile goal. We'll see what happens now.
  • It is August and the right rear tire "hot smell" has returned after a grocery trip this morning. February to August... 6 months and failure again?

    Guess I'll be taking some time off of work tomorrow to see if the brake place can give me a caliper check.
  • For those of you following along, Toyota dealership identified a bad Master Brake Cylinder, rotors that needed to be resurfaced, and other brake fixes from my recent seizing issue. Total cost for the entire work was quoted at $1,800. I contacted Toyota Corporation for a little help. They agreed that at 47,500 miles I should have not had such a wholesale failure of my van's brake system.

    They have taken to discussing my outcome and meanwhile the dealership is continuing to make the necessary repairs.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,780
    Good to hear that they are at least considering helping you. Good luck and let us know.
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