Last post on Jul 18, 2007 at 10:32 AM
You are in the Toyota Sienna
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Toyota Sienna, Van
#1494 of 3687 New Sludged Engine
Jan 13, 2002 (10:15 am)
This is my first -- and probably last -- post about my sludged 2001 toyota sienna engine.
My engine sludged after 10200 miles and 10 months. I had changed the oil at 5000 miles. I did not even know what sludge meant until my oil light came on after a 500 mile trip.... and I started checking the web.
Sure enough, looking into the oil fill area I can see a lake of black 'ointment' that I can stick my finger into. The car runs, but puffs smoke.
There seem to be a lot of 'Japan Inc' defenders on the sites rebutting the possibility that there is a problem with the Sienna engine. They often take the position that owners cause this problem themselves by not changing oil every 3000 miles, rather than the 7500 miles recommended by Toyota manuals.
Actually, I'm the type that does 3000 mi changes. But when I took delivery I was specifically told (unprompted) NOT to change the oil early, since they were filled with a special break-in oil that should be used for at least 5000 miles. Maybe this was gratuitous post-sales hype (or it may be the basis of the Toyota-Pennzoil suit) but it was presented very emphatically.
Now that I have a ruined engine, I recall an occasion when the car was only a few months old when my wife was driving off and I saw a puff of oil smoke. The car was so new I sort of just dismissed it.
Based on my experience and what I read here, Toyota has a big problem on its its hands and it's defensive posture is serving loyal customers poorly.
The preponderance of data and my personal experience leave me convinced that the Company Men who frequent edmonds and this site trashing complaint makers may be misleading other Sienna owners that do not YET have sludged engines.
Taking their advice and changing oil on these engines twice as often as the manual suggests may simply postpone the problem until the warranty miles are over, thus lowering the complaint profile.
Since this engine is sludge prone I'm dumping my Sienna with an early trade for a non-Toyota and advise anyone who can afford it to do the same now, before it sludges and you lose $6000.
Be aware, however, that the trade-value of your Sienna has already been affected by this problem, and dealers are carefully inspecting these cars before accepting them, if they accept them at all.
Well, since this is my last Toyota, I may as well lodge a complete complaint and include info on my two prior Toyotas.
1999 Sienna van. Transmission failed suddenly on trip 400 miles from home at 34000 miles. Dealer quizzed me about recommended 30000 mi maintenance, and I showed him the receipt of the transmission fluid service at 30000 miles. After his obligotory defamation of jiffy lube, and a rental car and a return visit to the area a week later, I drove off with my new transmission. Two days later, after driving home, the transmission failed and my local dealer replaced it with ANOTHER new one. Seems the other dealer forgot to put the plug in. So much for dissing jiffy lube (but see below)
1988 Camry. Transmission failed the first year and was replaced under warranty. They called with a quality survey the next day. I said we were happy with the repair and the service. They asked me if I was displeased with any aspect of the service. I said well, since you asked, I wish they had called me to let me know the status of the repair, since they had a few days delay in getting a part, but no big deal. Two days later my wife gets a call from the 'service' tech saying he was called into his bosses office and reprimanded and was shown a copy of our 'complaint' . He told my wife never to do that again or he 'would come over and take care of her' (exact quote). Since we were moving to a different city within a few days and had been threatened by this nutso employee, we dropped it. However, we had an oil change at jiffy lube a day later and the tech pulled us over to show us that there was NO transmission fluid in our week old transmission. Saved by the luck of an oil change at jiffy lube (not they are perfect) -- of course we dared not tell Toyota.
(note... I will crosspost this to other sites)
Jan 13, 2002 (10:26 am)
just wondering here - anyone with a canadian model sienna w/sludge problem or even a camry?
all the sludge problems i read seems to be on u.s. models.
#1496 of 3687 Just bought Sienna...
Jan 13, 2002 (10:23 pm)
Just bought Sienna 2002 CE in central VA. Never had Toyota before. Two of my colleagues own Siennas. One has 60.000+ and the other one approx. 30.000 miles on it and I haven't heard from their owners anything similar to those horror stories about sludge etc. I read on this forum. Personally, I am not a big fan of Toyota, as well as Japanese car industry at all but we need space of minivan because we have three small children and Sienna seemed best choice. In the part of the world I come from, I owned one Mercedes and VW Golf I with 54 hp Diesel engine. It is 21 years old now and is still operated by my brother in law. Nothing can come even close to German cars. It is much more than just transportation from point A to point B. It is pleasure. However, in the US German cars are beyond my financial capability. I wish I could buy VW Eurovan with manual transmission and Diesel Engine and not a piece of kitchen appliance on wheels with all kinds of power stuff. Anyway, what I want to say is that some people have no clue how to treat new car. First 1000 miles are critical for the rest of the life of engine. Never put excess load on cold engine, accelerate slowly, never drive faster then 50 mph, never tow anything and change oil after 1000 miles no matter what manuals or dealers say and you wont have sludge or anything like that.
Jan 14, 2002 (7:01 pm)
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.
#1498 of 3687 the site I mention in the above post
Jan 14, 2002 (7:04 pm)
check this out...www.minivanreview.com/MiniVans/
#1499 of 3687 rubber stops
Jan 22, 2002 (4:43 pm)
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.
#1500 of 3687 Re: rubber stops
Jan 23, 2002 (7:31 am)
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.
Jan 23, 2002 (8:03 am)
thanks, will try the rubber band approach.
if all else fails, i'm sticking a piece of tape over the hole!!
#1502 of 3687 whistle noise on 1999 Sienna
Jan 23, 2002 (2:44 pm)
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
#1503 of 3687 re:whistle
Jan 23, 2002 (4:47 pm)
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.