Howdy, Stranger!

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

Toyota Sienna Engine Problems



  • gobubbagobubba Posts: 2
    edited October 2012
    Good discussion!
    Here is my my view on Toyota's piston slap issues. They should be up front and tell potential customers about the "normal" operation of their engines.... They will develop piston slap which causes the engine to sound like a diesel for the first 10-12 minutes of driving (from a cold soak engine temp). They should also let them know that if one of their engines does not develop piston slap.... then it is considered "abnormal". If the customer still wants to purchase the vehicle, that is their choice.
    My wife and I have personally owned 14 different cars from 6 different manufactures (including a 1993 tercel), none of which had any audible piston slap whatsoever. I am not counting the 2008 certified preowned Highlander that we kept for one tank of gas and then forced the dealer to buy back due to piston slap.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,780
    No doubt if that Highlander was a V6 model, it had the same 2GR-FE engine as in your Sienna.

    I cannot argue with you on this, as I really agree. Piston slap is one of those universal dirty little secrets that nobody wants to acknowledge or openly discuss. I'd love to see a manufacturer issue a TSB that fully describes it, and what the 'limits of acceptable' noise level and duration is. They may exist, but I've not seen one. But yes, it seems to be the 'new normal'.

    In my opinion, 10-12 minutes seems like a long time. As I said, both my 2002 Outback and our 2008 Sienna sound pretty bad for a few minutes, but you can hear it fade away as the engine(s) warm and smooth out.
  • What octane fuel have you been running? I recently had all that fixed I hope. But prior to that, I either disconnect the battery or take it to an auto part store to reset the light. The light will stay off as long as I run high octane fuel with no ethanol.
  • GM addressed the reason for piston slap in the 1990's and I believe Subaru did as well. It was mainly for fuel economy. Engines designed with piston slap have short skirt pistons generally and the pistons are considerably smaller than the engine bore they operate in until the engine warms up. As the engine warms, the pistons expand and make a near perfect match with the cylinder bore. Engines develop piston slap at different mileages and that is due to many factors, non of which are to be concerned with. As for manufacturers placing a warning or notice in owners manuals about piston slap; probably won't happen. An owner with rod knock or other engine noise might be under the impression the noise is normal if the owners manual said that loud cold engine noises are normal, making the manufacturer liable. Most manufacturers are going this way for fuel efficiency so now more people are aware of it and are concerned with the slapping noise. It's a little frustrating at first to listen to but you get used to it. My slapping engines have 97,000 mi, 248,000 mi, and 153,000 mi. No effects on longevity! Happy driving!
  • Just wanted to add that my father and brother have several LS1 powered camaros and corvettes. All have piston slap and some go away once the engine is warm and some continue slapping the whole time the engine is running. I don't understand how that is but some of their cars are going on 15 years old with over 150,000 miles and still run like the day they rolled off the line. My aluminum gm v6 engines, my 2.2 ecotec, and my silverados all have it. It is a mystery for sure.
  • Regarding sludge, the only thing I've noticed is in my oil fill cap I see some slight reddish brown pasty gel. The engine probably burns about 1/2 to 1 quart per 5000 mi. So, just to be on the safe side, I've just started adding a dose of Seafoam(r) additive to the crankcase to keep the internals clean. The gel is not as noticeable as it was before.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I would try using synthetic oil and/or shortening the oil change interval.
  • ummix3ummix3 Posts: 2
    I've had my 2008 Sienna LE since for five years now. Always had it maintained at the dealer around my way. I've got 107,000 miles on it, and recently had the VSC, TRAC Off and the check engine lights come on. Took it to the dealer and they mentioend that there is a a service bulletin for this problem: TSB0094-09.

    They want to charge over $5,400 to fix this problem. I don't understand it. I've paid $close to $31,000 for this car the past five years. If I've done everything right, then why should I have to pay this large an amount to fix something that Toyota knew was a problem.

    I've opened up a case with Toyota, and hoping they will help. I'm already in the market for a new car, but if the new Toyota's are built in a way that you have to have a major repair done on them after 107,000 miles, then they are just not worth it.
  • rwolf1rwolf1 Posts: 1
    I took my 2012 Sienna in for a fluid leak. To my surprise it was an oil leak coming from the top part of the engine. They decided to replace the block and the two cylinder heads due to oil leak between the head and the block. They reported that the leak may have been caused by potential damage during engine assembly.

    Has anybody else had problems with oil leaks like this? Especially on a Sienna with such low mileage. Should I be concerned with having them replace the block and cylinder heads and re-using all of the other parts from the original engine. they put in a new crankshaft and pistons. However, they reused the valves and other parts.

    I feel like I own a new vehicle with a rebuilt engine!!! Should I be concerned that they have gone into the engine this deep? I have a concern that they have done so much work under the hood that there will more chances for problems in the future. We are the type of people to buy and hold our cars. We currently have a 12 year old Sienna.

    Concerned Toyota owner...
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Only 2GR rebuild I've seen here...

    Ask for a 100k warranty on the powertrain. Seems reasonable to me.

    A friend got a new trans on her Ford and they did that for her (for free).
  • I got a 2011 Toyota Sienna SE and had an engine leak at 15,000 and they tried to fix it twice but did not. They just ordered me a new block.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I guess thats good, keep us posted?
  • I agree with you, Toyota just does not care, I have had the same problem from Toyota that they just say that is the way it is. Mine is a problem of piston slap. They still sell lots of cars so its a matter of getting the word out that their product is not as good as it was in the past and their customer service is a customer diservice. Good luck with your problem and for me too, my Toyota Sienna 2010 is the last Toyota I buy and so far I have dicouraged
    6 friends to buy another make.
  • Yes I have the same problem.
    I have a 2010 Sienna and it now has 75,000 miles on it. At 5,000 miles it developed this noice of loud clicking when engine is cold. Toyota Headquarters USA says its Piston Slap and that it is normal. In other words if its normal then they must design it to be this way. The designers of Toyota do not seem very bright to me if you make a engine with Piston slap problems. This is the last Toyota I buy.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,780
    Guys, I'm not a great fan of Toyota (as ateixeira will attest to!), but here's the deal.

    I find the oil leaks and engine failures from either blown VVTi lines or the tow package oil cooler to be an unacceptable situation. ACM (polyacrylate) was not a wise choice for oil contaminated with blowby gases and acids. Depending on the application and timing, the switch to either fluorinated rubber or all steel was the right thing to do. However, knowing it was a flawed move, the warranty against failure and engine damage should have been extended. Talking to people with blown engines at 75k miles just stinks.

    Piston slap? No big deal, IMHO. The 2GR-FE engine is a prime example of a modern, high specific output mill utilizing short piston skirts, and piston slap is unfortunately part of the package. If it goes away in 5-8 minutes of driving, it not destructive. It's just noise. If it doesn't go away once the engine heats up, then I'd agree, keep on them. Both my Sienna and my Subaru clatter richly for the first few minutes. It is the new normal.
  • hello my name is jeannette and i am going trough the same situation as you and my van has only 66,xxx.xx on it and i got the warranty that will expired in 7/20015 but they don't want to cover it. they said my van got like that because the oil change was never done on it. about the service bulletin where can i find out about it and can you please let me know if they helped you or not. thanks
Sign In or Register to comment.