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Toyota Sienna Engine Problems



  • yatesjoyatesjo Posts: 186
    I'd have the dealer check out the battery strength. Personal experience is that once the battery runs down to the point it doesn't want to start our Sienna takes a few hours of driving to bring it back to full strength- this is after a couple dealer trips where they tell us the battery is good, but low on charge.

    These vans have a lot of accessories to drain the batteries. They also drain the batteries if the the doors left open for extended periods (ours was a few days in the garage) even with the lights off.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Remove the battery posts/connections and clean and burnish them.

    Corroded battery terminals will often easily supply low level current flow for lights/radio/etc but NOT the 100 plus amps needed to turn the starter over fast enough for the engine to fire.
  • I too have the annoying hum at 2500 rpms on my 2008 Sienna. I previously owned a 2005 with the 3.3L engine. It was a sweet car and had no such problems. I loved the 2005 so when trade in time came I went for the 2008 Sienna. What a fool I was not to test drive it first. As soon as I drove it out of the dealership I felt the difference with the 3.5L. The numbing drone appears when the gas pedal is feathered at slow speeds or when the vehicle downshifts from 5th to 4th on a long high speed incline. You feel it in the steering wheel, drivers seat, and floor under the driver. The dealer tells me I'm not the first to complain of it and when Toyota Motor Corporation was notified by myself all I got was BS. I've owned new cars and old tin cans but never had an annoying sound like this in a vehicle. This was my 5th Toyota and last because of their lack of response and help. They claim no one else has complained of the issue. Judging from what I've read on the web concerning this problem they don't care and won't be of much help unless the Center For Auto Safety gets involved. Hey Toyota, if you don't think that what happened to GM with Pontiac, Oldsmobile, and Saturn can't happen to you guys...better think again.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    FWIW my 07 has no such problems. The engine made Ward's 10 Best, too, for the combination of power and efficiency. Bonus - no timing belt to change, like the old 3.3l V6.

    I'll pick the 3.5l any day, twice on Sunday.
  • we have a 08 Toyota van and it seems to me to have excess motor noise at cold start up. My last toy van with 123K miles did not have this noise when i traded it in.
    new van has 48K miles,
    has anyone else had this problem or is it a problem.

    I plan to change oil and filter and maybe add some lucas oil stablizer to motor. Hopefull this will quiten it down some. After motor is warm it run fine.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The timing chain on the 07+ Sienna is a little bit more noisy than the belt on the 06 and prior models, FWIW.

    Toyota added insulation to the firewall to compensate, but outside you'll hear more noise.
  • karla7karla7 Posts: 1
    :cry: I have a Toyota Sienna Limited 2008, Is the most expensive car that I ever have... The problems star since the beginning with the stereo it just turn it off and trow the discs, the guaranty chanced for a new one, then suddenly star again and the speakers star with a strange nose, and they told me that it was electrical problem and
    I needed to leave my car for a week, ok they suppose fixed and they live all the wall dirty.. Well the car is ok, I will take it... Then the car was spending to much gas and my brother just check the air filter and it was never been chance and the car used to be about 4 or 5 times for the regular service... Then one night I tried to star the car and the battery was dead and I was out of town in the night, well i have to got one, the millage at that time was like 25, 000 miles... I spoke with a service manager and they told me that I have to bring the battery.. then I decided to take care of all the services for myself with the best oils, gas etc.. My car is like 60,000 miles and the motor engine is broke because a rode went in to my engine block, and forget about the guaranty, they told me that they need to call to the fabric, you know it will take about 2,3,4 or 5 months, and they will say no, it is not under guaranty... So I was thinking to get a new sequoia and my husband told me forget it, I will never will have a Toyota again... :mad: In Mexico all the car sales do the same thing.... So never never get a Toyota Sienna........... :sick:
  • I have the same problem. 08 Sienna LE with 59,000 miles. After taking into the dealership two times, they had someone from the factory come test it. Here is the response.

    "Vehicle is currently operating within manufatures specifications, FTS inspected vehicle for engine noise. FTS noted engine noise on cold start-up is described as piston slap, after driving vehicle and letting it run for 20 minutes the piston slap noise was gone. Engine noise on cold start up and after warm up is normal operating condition when compared to other toyota v6 engines, noise is due to short piston skirt design, Toyota recognizes some customers may complain, however it is not considered a mechanical defect and will not affect the life of the engine. No repairs made."

    Doesn't seem right to me, anybody else taken the vehicle in to get this checked? Same response and outcome?
  • I would suggest taking it to an independent shop for diagnosis. Piston slap should not last 20 minutes under any condition.
    My 2001 with 135k on it doesn't do it, although it's an entirely different engine family, but as I said, 20 inutes is way too long for parts to warm up and expand.
    And for the sake of your engine, use synthetic oil.
  • We own an 09 Sienna van with just over 14k on the vehicle. When we bought it new it was hard to tell that the engine was running. Now there is a noise coming from the engine especially loud at a cold start. To me I would call it a bad lifter. Once at operating temp it quiets down but I still can pick it out. I have been around engines for almost 50 years and I have never had this with any car I owned. This is my first "rice burner". I took a hose and held one end to my ear and then went around on the engine to pinpoint this sound. It was not hard to find right at the top of the head on the leftside of engine. Took it into dealer and they say nothing is wrong. Now I will try again at another dealer and see what they say. This dealer said "we hooked it on the machine and all checked out". Trouble with so many of these new mechanics is all they can do is read a machine and not know the basics of engine diagnosis like we did years ago.
    Well anyone have this same trouble. Would like to hear your outcome.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'm surprised you're not getting a check-engine light. OBDII regs mean that a single misfire would trigger such a malfunction indicator.

    How is your gas mileage? Besides the sound, is it running OK?
  • I agree i have a 2010 with 9000 miles. Have been in the shop three times for oil changes.Every time i go in i question the noise and get the same outcome.I own a auto repair shop im ase cert and still use my ear and a hose.The dealer said the vehicle is new and i need to wait and change the oil .Three oil changes later and still the noise continues.
  • I have a Toyota Sienna 2000 with 260k miles, and engine check light has been on for ~ a month already. Plan to bring the van to a shop, and would like to find out what are other parts/points that need to be checked before and during the engine check. If there is something that I can do it on my own in my garage would be good if you can share them to me Thanks.
  • Take it to any repair shop--most all have dignostic meters that plug into your computer system and tell you what is going wrong. I can't imagine letting a month go by watching the light and waiting for something to go bang or thud to a stop. DO IT!!!
  • This is an older message that reflects a design defect in the original ECM on 2001-2003 Siennas. It is still worth talking about, because effects of the defect can show up late and cost the owner a lot. Toyota admitted the defect in a 2005 TSB (EG047-05) but did not notify owners. The original ECM versions worked correctly except that they could generate a false p0420 code when, in fact, the catalysts and associated sensors were operating correctly to limit emissions and control engine parameters. Toyota's fix (but only for owners who had the specific complaint within the qualifying years/miles) was to replace the ECM under warrantee with a redesigned one which would only generate the p0420 code when it should. The vehicle can be driven with the MIL on for this reason, but: 1) the engine is always in open loop so it will use extra fuel and may gradually lose some of its reliability due to oil dilution, slow warm up, etc.; 2) the catalysts may eventually die from running too rich; 3) emissions are too high; 4) you cannot pass state emission inspections; 5) if a meaningful code occurs you will never know and may suffer costly unnecessary damage because the MIL is already on. Some "fix" the problem by a workaround such as disabling the MIL or installing an O2 sensor simulator, but these leave the engine in open loop with all the attendant risks mentioned...

    There are several unfortunate aspects of this problem. Toyota would replace the ECM for free within 8 years and 80,000 miles, but up to 5 of those years had gone by before they admitted the defect. No doubt many owners replaced sensors and catalysts several times, only to have that p0420 frustratingly pop up again within a few months or thousands of miles (in the most painful scenario, this would happen just out of warrantee...) Most owners, despite having a defective ECM from day 1, were lucky (or unlucky) in that their catalysts/sensors/etc. stayed no-code-good (as opposed to just good-good) for a long time. While many "working" examples of original ECMs are available cheap on the used market, the redesigned ECMs seem unavailable. It cannot be that the upgraded vehicles are immune to being junked, which suggests that a great many owners may have replaced defective ECMs at their own expense. The sad thing, of course, is the cost of ~$1600 plus labor. Though specialized and ruggedized, these computers are relatively simple and made in large numbers. I bet Toyota pays less than $100 for each. How much goodwill could they have earned by replacing the defective ECMs with no limit on miles and years?
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,780
    edited March 2011
    I realize that this is a very old question to be responding to, but I might have figured out the answer. We just purchased a CPO '08 and drove a few before picking this one. Each one we drove seemed to have a different noise 'issue'.

    The set of complaints listed on page 2 & 3 was related to resonating vibrations heard/felt at some narrow RPM bands on 2007 models with the new 2GR engine. When crawling around underneath, I noticed on my '08 that just behind the spare tire were two heavy 'dumbells' clamped to the exhaust pipe. Were they there on the '07? I'm wondering if these are dampers added to change the resonance of the shaking pipe. Perhaps adding / changing the weights could null out or shift the noise to a less objectionable RPM? Just a thought....
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,780
    Again, two new items that I came to find out about my 'new' '08 related to engine noises:

    Quoting from my car's service log

    1) Driveability - Customer states there is a ticking noise from engine area. Ticking sound from B2 exhaust camshaft VVTI controller. No codes present or stored. Technician replaced B2 exh camshaft VVTi controller.

    2) LSC 90k campaign - Variable Valve Timing Oil Hose replacement - completed.

    This may be your noise!

    I found a campaign letter on a Camry board that was issued for the 2GR engine. It states that other vehicles may be impacted, and the recall could be widened to a broader range of vehicles...

    Q2: What is the cause of this condition?
    A2: The rubber portion of the engine oil supply hose for the VVT-i actuator may develop a pinhole. Over time, exposure to small amounts of corrosive gases from the positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) may cause this pinhole in the hose to expand. As a result oil may leak from the hose.
    Q3: Are there any warnings that this condition exists?
    A3: Yes, this condition may cause abnormal engine noise and/or the oil pressure light to illuminate.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    For more than 3 years I have had a perfectly good, brand new, oxygen sensor stored in the spare tire wheel well of my '01 F/awd RX300. The fault would not stay cleared so I purchased a new oxygen sensor to install.

    I guess the threat of being tossed into the waste can caused the old one to perk up and fly right...;<)
  • adam07adam07 Posts: 5
    Was the problem fixed?
    I am getting the same noise from my 2008 Sienna.
  • My 08 sienna has had the check engine light, VSC light and the TRAC OFF light come on all at once twice in the last month. This last time the check engine light was flashing. What does this mean?? The dealer maintance shop is trying to tell me it is bad tires but that doesnt sound right. Any insight would be nice! Thanks!
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,780
    edited August 2011
    A flashing chk engine light should not be ignored. A steady state light means there is a stored code. It could be something current, but most likely it is an 'event' that happened in the past. A flashing light is warning you about something that is happening NOW and could cause damage. This quite often happens with a cylinder misfire, and that could lead to major engine damage.

    Bad tires? Is this an AWD van? Toyota is much more forgiving than say Subaru on the issue of mismatched tire diameter, but I suppose that if you were way off it might log an error. The skid control and traction control systems do use wheel speed sensors as an input, and it might not like a constant rotational difference if a tire was way off from the others.
  • Its a front wheel drive. All of the codes that came up were misfires in all six cylinders and the tires all match and we had them rotated and balanced to see if that fixes the problem but I don't see how they are blaming perfectly good tires for the misfires. The check engine light was flashing so I stopped immediately.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Tires...ONLY if you have F/awd, and still maybe even then.
  • I have a 2001 Sienna and have been chasing the CEL for 3 years. Name a part and I have replaced it and the CEL is still on.
  • I have a 2010 Sienna, now with 40,000 miles on it but it sounds like a diesel when cold and since I purchased it new.
    The dealer and the Toyota tech rep say that it is PISTON SLAP and that this is normal. Do your reserch for what piston slap means ( bad news ) but Toyota seems to think that its OK I guess we are all stupid. This will be my last Toyota, I know what Piston Slap does to an engine.
    Good luck with yours.
  • capitalfederalcapitalfederal Posts: 11
    edited November 2011
    It seems that there are a few people with the same problem of Piston Slap, does Toyota really think that they can fool all of the people all of the time?
  • I know this is an old thread but I would like to share my thoughts on the issue. I only buy GM vehicles and I have been experiencing piston slap since the mid 1990's. The first vehicle you own with piston slap makes you think that it's defective. GM always ensured me it was normal and will not affect longevity in any way. In my experience they are correct. All my vehicles with piston slap have not been affected by it and are still running with over 200,000 miles. Nissan, Honda, Toyota, Ford, and GM all have complaints about piston slap but there is no defect. These engines are aluminum so they will be louder until they warm up (metal expanding). In some engines a slight amount of piston slap is normal when the engine is at moral operating temps, also. For all of you worried about the noise, I would not worry about it. Toyota and all other manufacturers build their engines to precise specifications, follow their maintenance schedule and your engine will last. If your engine performs as it should, doesn't burn excessive oil, does not have a check engine light on, and gets decent fuel mileage, every manufacturer will tell you it's normal. Take their advice because there is nothing wrong with your engine. Hope this helps all you Toyota owners experiencing this problem. Drive safe!
  • sopmansopman Posts: 46
    I have a 2006 Sienna. There are two power adapters on the dash and one in the back. One of the two on the dash and the back power adapters do not work. Does anyone know where the fuse is located?
  • gobubbagobubba Posts: 2
    edited October 2012
    There is one (or more) problems with your analysis of Toyota engine piston slap.
    Piston slap is not the same for every Toyota vehicle. Some Toyota engines develop the issue sooner than others. Also, the amount of time it takes for the slapping to dissipate varies also. These two inconsistencies alone are solid proof that Toyota engines do not have consistent piston/cylinder tolerances.
    The Toyota factory rep told me (on Dec 2011) that it is normal for their engines to develop piston slap (at what point this will happen was not specified) and that it is normal for them to sound like a diesel engine for the first 10-12 minutes of driving (depending on outside temperature).
    If your commute is only 10-12 minutes like mine is, you will have a knocking engine the whole way to and from work.
    *** This is not acceptable in my opinion. ***
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,780
    You are probably correct. Short skirt pistons are so 'on the edge' that minor manufacturing tolerances and matching to cylinder bores, the exact fit and balance of piston rods and wrist pins, etc., that some have it from day one, others develop the noise over time, and I'll bet that the noise varies from cylinder to cylinder within any engine.

    Here's the thing. If you own a Subaru, you've probably lived with piston slap for 15 years. Corvette - famous for it. Go to the Dodge board - yep. This is the direction of the industry, as they attempt to trim reciprocating mass. And with all the complaints over the years on the Subaru boards, there seems to be little evidence of real engine damage other than a little scraping of the moly coating on the skirt, with little or no evidence seen on the cylinder wall. I've seen no change in oil consumption in 100k miles on my Subi, and it clatters like a diesel on a cold morning. My Sienna (2008 - 2GR-FE) does also.

    I understand your feeling, and I don't like it, but I've learned to live with it.
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