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Toyota Sienna Maintenance and Repair (2003 earlier)



  • dardson1dardson1 Posts: 696
    I hurried down to my dealer to get my fourth oil change by the dealer @ just over 12k miles. There is just too much talk about sludge for there not to be some truth to it. There's another site devoted to minivans (not Edmunds). It's basically a message board for questions concerning problems with various brands. The Sienna board is 90% sludge related topics. If this is a conspiracy by a few Toyota haters, they must have nothing else to do all day. Too much smoke (no pun intended) for there to be no fire. I can well imagine in this less than perfect world that Toyota just might have made an engine that is prone to sludge if not religiously maintained.
  • dardson1dardson1 Posts: 696
    check this
  • jeproxjeprox Posts: 466
    anyone have problem(s) with loosing these little rubber stops on the driver side/passenger side door? there's 2 on each door - one just above the door latch mechanism and another one down at the bottom.

    i keep loosing the one on top! real annoying! finally stopped replacing them coz they cost C$8+ a piece! what a rip-off! i tried to glue them on but still came off!

    i plan to just stick a piece of tape over the hole unless i can find a way to make it stay in place.
  • Jeprox, try putting rubber band(s) on the rubber stops to act as inner washer inside the hole. Wrap the rubber band ( I think the small ones will be better) and then insert the stop inside the hole and push the wrapped rubber band inside also so that it acts like a washer inside. I have not tried it as mine is OK. Just a thought may be it will work.
  • jeproxjeprox Posts: 466
    thanks, will try the rubber band approach.
    if all else fails, i'm sticking a piece of tape over the hole!!
  • fguofguo Posts: 2
    We just bought a 1999 Sienna, when I drive the car over 50 mph, I can hear a constant noise like whistle. After driving 15 minute, the noise is minimal. When I accelerate, the noise is more obvious. Is there anybody who can tell me if this is a serious problem, or it is common on used Sienna. The car has 40k+ miles. Thanks
  • jeproxjeprox Posts: 466
    you have to be more specific about the whistle noise you are referring to.
    is it coming from your engine, windows, doors, etc. does the whistle go away at all or is it there all the time? does it happen only when the engine is cold?

    i have a 99 sienna with 51,000+kms. and during cold mornings, i will get this squeak/whistle type of sound during warm-up and then it goes away once the engine is warm. i believe it's got to do with the belt. it happened for about a month and so far, i havent heard it again.
  • Has anybody heard any more about the Sienna engine fires?
  • My guess is alternator.

    Mine on my 2001 whistles a little - the wife's 1998 does not - goes away after a while - doesn't really bother me but others have had it replaced (assuming you have a dealer willing to care - many would consider it a minor problem).

    Good luck!
  • jeproxjeprox Posts: 466
    yes, i've heard of the sienna fires. last number i heard was 2 sienna's out of (i don't know) how many thousand sienna.

    i believe there were some post about this earlier this month or last december.
  • bob57bob57 Posts: 302
    It was (is) the alternator on our '00. I used a screwdriver as a stethoscope - that's the "whine" at least on our van. Like Wolverine said, it goes away after a while so it doesn't bother me.
  • rward99rward99 Posts: 185
    The NHTSA sent Toyota a letter back in early December, asking Toyota to investigate fires that occurred in 2 Siennas. I know that in January Toyota replied to NHTSA about its preliminary investigation into the cause of the fires. I have not heard anything further about the investigation. The reply, I assume, was confidential, since no details were released.

    Searching the internet I don't see any reference after the 12/3/01 date to these or any other Sienna fires.
  • dardson1dardson1 Posts: 696
    I keep wondering if it's just me or what? At 12.4kmiles I have solved and/or learned to live with almost every buzz, rattle, whine, squeak, thump, and groan in my 01 Sienna XLE. NOW, I have a right rear brake squeak as I inch up at a traffic light. It isn't a quiet squeak. It is loud. And it it only after I almost come to a stop or after I come to a stop and let the car inch up at the intersection. I've taken it in 2 times with absolutely no problem making the darn thing hollar in the service bay. I am told there is "nothing wrong"......90% of the brakes left and not a thing they can do but replace the rear brakes if I'd like to pay for it.
    I feel like I'm the butt of this great big joke. I bought this fairly boring, rather plain, and totally sexless Toyota for all the reasons people seem to by them. It is supposed to be pretty close to perfect; yet, I've not spent one day in it that I was not trying to locate a rattle, squeak, groan, or buzz (15 months). All of the noise are "normal" according to the service advisor. Need I mention the sludge issue? I find myself sitting at the dealership an hour and half every few months getting the oil changed so I've got PROOF I changed the damn oil. These things are supposed to be "gas+oil" cars. No problems, no thinking, no nothin'.
  • sgergensgergen Posts: 155
    I think it's just you.

    Over 32,000 miles on my 2000 Sienna.

    No squeaks, rattles, groans, buzzes, clicks, clacks, clunks or other assorted "bad" noises. No smoke, leaks, drips or other assorted problems.

    Quiet as church on Sunday and a bunch more comfortable.

  • jasdmwjasdmw Posts: 118
    I have the same sound. Starts about 3000 KM after a cleanup. Goes away whenever I have someone remove the brake drum(s) and clean out the brake dust accumulating in the drum. Doesn't really bother me much. But Mr. Dardson, I suggest you buy something else. Sounds like you picked the wrong vehicle for you needs. 10 months and 17000KM into ownership and I gotta say, this is one great van!
  • jeproxjeprox Posts: 466
    NO vehicle is 100% perfect! not even rolls royce or mercedes benz! if you want reliable transportation with no sludge, no squeals, no squeaks, no rattles, groans, etc., etc. try WALKING!

    as far as your brakes are concerned, the squeak or squeal that you have is your brake dust! i have it too. nothing u can do about it! most sienna have it. u can try to remove your drums every 6months or so and blow out the brake dust. i do this once in the summer and once in the winter. easy job to do when i swap summer/winter tires. mine is 1999 model with 52,000+kms. it has some minor squeaks - no big deal to me. i'd rather have the squeaks than drive my old caravan with the engine re-built twice in less than 80,000kms!

    if you don't like your sienna - sell it!
  • .
    I just wanted to mention that I noticed the brake squeak for a couple of weeks during the summer. It has since gone away without doing anything.

    I live in the Pacific NW and we get quite a bit of rain. Could it be possible that the moisture and water keep the drums wet and keep it from squeaking? All I know is it squeaked and now it doesn't.

    We have a 2001 Sienna with 15,000 miles and it's been quite as a mouse. No Rattles and No Squeaks other than the one time I mentioned.

    In fact, the car is as quite as a mouse most of the time, I think that is one of the reasons ANY little noise bothers Sienna owners. I can hear a marble rolling on the floor - it is so quite.

    Something else interesting that we experienced happened a few months ago when we drove down one of our dirt roads across our property with both sliding doors open for about 5 miles.. we noticed one of the doors rattling a few days later. What we finally found was that mud had splashed up inside the tracks and caused the door to not seal properly. It took a couple of good washings to get all of the dirt out (even though you couldn't see it). Once we did, it has been back to it's normal quite self. ..quite enough to fall asleep while driving!
  • jeproxjeprox Posts: 466
    i'm guessing u live somewhere in washington or oregon.
    where i live - we get lots and lots of rain but that doesnt stop my brakes from squeaking or sqealing.
    my guess is that because the brake dust builds up inside your drum and sometimes the dust will shift - so sometimes u get the sound, sometimes u dont.
  • jeproxjeprox Posts: 466
    has anyone bought and installed a hitch? is the hitch an exact fit, no drilling required type of hitch? what brand?

    i'm just thinking of installing a hitch. from what i understand, they are all bolt-on for sienna.
  • dardson1dardson1 Posts: 696
    but a car with 12k miles SHOULD NOT HAVE THE BRAKES SQUEAKING! Brake dust?????? Nothing else I've owned has a brake squeak due to brake dust. Nothing else I've owned in the past 30 years required me to remove the wheel/drum/etc to clean the brake dust outta the wheel. Furthermore, I've never had a car I was afraid to drive more than 3k miles for fear of sludge. Toyota has a BIG problem and I, for one, plan to lose this thing ASAP. Good luck to the rest of you!
  • smfransmfran Posts: 432
    We have approximately 20,000 miles on our 2000 Sienna LE and are very happy. People can't forget that a car/van is an assembly of parts that gets "bumped" around pretty good in its normal use. Of course there are going to be certain sounds that emanate from it. Also, not only Sienna brakes squeak. My 2000 Pontiac Bonneville does. All my previous cars did. BIG DEAL! If the dealer or brake shop you trust checks the brakes and states that they are fine, live with it like everyone else does.
  • sgergensgergen Posts: 155
    Yep, with all of the low financing and cash-back deals now is *really* the time to trade-in. Get ready to take a financial beating.

    You're really going to trade in or sell a Sienna over brake-dust and a sludge rumor? Incredible...

    Best of luck, we'll miss ya.

  • dardson1dardson1 Posts: 696

    just take a quick look at this site under the Sienna heading......judge for yourself whether the sludge issue is anything to be concerned about.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Don't believe everything you read. If you know your Edmunds history, you will see that there are several people hanging out at the site you linked to who have been banned from Edmunds. Its the same group of people that have infected several topics here.
  • ghandaghanda Posts: 2
    I too have had the whistling noise since day one, It has always aggravated me espeacially when pulling into the garage, I too took it it 3 times for this and dealer said it was normal,, Anyway, spouse took it in last week again, they must of been in a good mood, they replaced the altenator, and now the noise is gone. The van sounds like a Camry, We really enjoy the van 28,000 miles on it now Ave MPG is 19, Still think it is a little small.
    If you have the whisitling, demand the alternator to be replaced.
  • jasdmwjasdmw Posts: 118
    I installed a Hidden Hitch, class 3 last summer. We use it to carry our bikes around on. Bought one of those 4 bike carriers @ Cdn Tire. Hitch fits like a glove. Comes with 6 bolts, replaces the 6 on the chassis. Took all of 20 minutes to install. Didn't do the electrics, though. This hitch is mostly hidden, only the box and plate for tow chains shows.
  • jeproxjeprox Posts: 466
    thanks for the hitch info. i've seen them on sale at canadian tire. i'll look into it.
  • jeproxjeprox Posts: 466
    better get rid of your sienna now if you are worried and go for the dodge caravan or maybe the gmc safari or ford windstar!

    goodluck and as the saying goes... "regret always comes in the end and never in the beginning".
  • jeproxjeprox Posts: 466
    this has nothing to do with a sienna but i just thought it's funny so i'm posting it.

    i went with my friend to a toyota dealer over the weekend to look at the toyota highlander. he currently owns a 1992 previa 4wd with over 165,000kms on it. he asked how much if he wanted to trade it in, dealer wants to give him C$7000. sales guy showed us a deal he did where a 1998 dodge caravan with much lower mileage and traded for only C$4000!!
  • dardson1dardson1 Posts: 696
    after driving a 92Explorer, a 94 Jeep GC, a 96 Tahoe, and a 98 Expedition, I made the move to a very PC 01 Sienna XLE which was right up there price-wise with all four (33.5k). I have heard nothing for years but what perfect vehicles are made my Toyota. Mine rattles, squeaks, groans, thumps, whines, and buzzes. The leather seats sounded like 2 balloons rubbing together 'til I used a leather treatment. There are no interior lights for the window switches (except the driver's), overhead garage door buttons, or glove box. The hood is held up by a rod and no light under there as with my last 4 cars. The tires are cheap Firestones. If I had bought a $23k CE which has all the good stuff about a Sienna, I'd probably think I had a heck of car (great engine/powertrain). I suggest this is a good value in the base versions and out of it's league trying to compete with other cars in the mid 30's. Toyota needs to do so more home work if they're gonna step up to the plate and offer a mid $30's vehicle.
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