Last post on Jul 18, 2007 at 10:32 AM
You are in the Toyota Sienna
What is this discussion about?
Toyota Sienna, Van
Sep 16, 2003 (3:49 pm)
"The sludge problem I've been reading about here concerns me however, so I will be taking my van back to Toyota on a regular basis for oil changes"
Indeed. Problem solved.
Sludge is an issue if the van isn't maintained correctly. If you buy it (nearly) new, don't worry about a thing. I believe these engines are more prone to sludging than, say, a GM 350 V8, but it's really not a problem for people who take care of their cars. Old cast-iron pushrod engines just stand up to abuse better.
And I'm not even a big fan of Toyota; too boring. But, since I've got no time for "interesting" cars right now, I did put some money where my mouth is:
1998 Sienna LE, 86k miles
2003 Sienna CE, 7k miles
No sludge, and 3-5k oil changes, depending. My dealer does them for <$20, but in the 20 minutes it takes me to drive there, I've done it myself... I DO keep all my receipts, though.
Good luck, and worry about something else, like the environment or the economy (Thank you, George!),
East Lansing, MI
#2643 of 3687 Transmission problem on 99 Sienna??
Sep 21, 2003 (4:14 pm)
We've got a 99 Sienna with 91,000 miles. Meticulously maintained according to the maintenance schedule with all work done by the dealer. We're beginning to see transmission fluid leaking. Was wondering if anyone who has had transmission problems saw this symptom.
Sep 22, 2003 (5:16 pm)
2 years ago I purchased my 2001 sienna and have been driving around quite uneventfully until this morning. You see after having 2 oil changes in the last 6 weeks my car was running funny again, checked the oil and lo and behold - none. I immediately took the car to Toyota where they told me I had sludge. I had heard of this before and some of the awful things that have been said could happen to the engine because of it. I bought this minivan because I have 3 children who are always in it, and I figured with it's safety record and just being a Toyota (I have had 2 other Toyotas)that my family would be safe. the dealer said that they would clean the engine, at no expense to me, but that it was not covered under warranty, which begs the question why do it?. I am half afraid to take this vehicle back as the problem has not been fixed just bandaged. I also wanted to state very strongly that this car has had oil changes every 3-5k so to say that this problem occurs only in vehicles that are not well maintained is unfair and untrue - future buyers beware this is a real problem.
#2645 of 3687 Sludge Policy
Sep 23, 2003 (4:59 am)
Your vehicle may not have been covered under warranty, but it should have been covered under the sludge policy that Toyota started last year. It is for several models of Toyotas, including the Sienna. It is for 8 years from original purchase date and is for unlimited miles. It is to repair your engine should you develop sludge if you have provided a reasonable level of maintenance. I heard that Toyota was looking for proof of one oil change per year before fixing for sludge.
There was extensive discussion of this issue on this site. Do a search for Toyota Sludge using the search feature of this forum and find one that is for Toyota Engine Sludge Customer Response (or similar title). BTW, you should have received a letter about this policy because Toyota said that they mailed it to 3.3 million owners with the subject engines over a year ago.
Sep 23, 2003 (5:23 pm)
I don't understand.
"[..] been driving around quite uneventfully until this morning."
"You see after having 2 oil changes in the last 6 weeks my car was running funny again."
So it wasn't uneventful; the car had been "running funny", and a guess was that two oil changes might help.
"[..] checked the oil and lo and behold - none."
I'm assuming that it's being burned, not leaking out. Is that one of the symptoms of sludge? Doesn't it have to be pretty bad before it gets to the state of losing ~2 qt in a few weeks?
"I also wanted to state very strongly that this car has had oil changes every 3-5k"
Where do you get you oil changes done? Toyota dealership? Jiffy lube? Home? I have heard many people talk about how they changed the oil and then developed sludge, but I have NEVER seen anybody who could pony up receipts. I read posts from 2 people over the years whom I chose to believe, because of what they wrote and how they wrote it. I believe this to be exceedingly rare.
So let me ask you this: Did you keep receipts? Could you scan them for us to see? Just so we have one case of sludge AND proper, proven maintenance? I mean no disrespect, but I would really like to see just one person with proof of maintenance.
FWIW, I do think these engines are much more sensitive than pushrod GM V-6s, but that's just an opinion... I change at 3-5k, depending, I change the PCV every 30k, I do it myself, and I sure keep all receipts...
'03 Sienna 7k
'98 Sienna 86k
#2647 of 3687 '04 Sienna Motor Start-up noise
Sep 24, 2003 (4:17 am)
I was wondering if anyone has experienced a squeak noise in the engine at start-up after the the motor has stayed off for about 5 hours?
The van only has 2,000 miles. The dealer has replaced both belts, but the noise is still there. I wonder if it could be one or more of the idler pulleys or starter. The dealer wants to keep the van overnight and hear the noise, in order to better diagnose. The approach makes sense and is usually logical, but the noise is so short lasting that I'm not sure that the approach will help. Does anyone know of a diagnostic method for pinpointing problems with these support pulleys or starter?
#2648 of 3687 Power Door Problems 2000 Sienna LE
Oct 07, 2003 (11:48 am)
We bought a used 2000 Sienna LE. We thought it was a good thing that it had a power door.
After 3 months with it we are having problems. We took it to the dealer today. They gave us an $1800 estimate. Motor, cables, and computer unit need to be replaced. We have no warranty and the dealer is not willing to be responsible for fixing it at their cost.
I am wondering what our next steps are. Has anybody had any luck taking something like this up with Toyota (maybe a district rep or something.) This problem is a known one and there have been several service bulletins on these doors. (If only I had known.)If so what are the steps for doing this request.
Just looking for advice and experience.
P.S. If you reference other post please include the name of the discussion. I can't seem to find some of the posts people are referencing.
Oct 09, 2003 (7:10 am)
You can search an individual discussion by entering key words in "Search this Discussion". That may be helpful for you.
#2650 of 3687 power door problems
Oct 10, 2003 (6:09 am)
I doubt you will get anywhere.Our power window started acting up-sometimes it wouldn't close.Cost us $ 600 to fix on our 2000 XLE.No warranty coverage.
Once the 3/35 warranty is up your on your own.Can't say that I blame them thats why they sell extended warranties.
#2651 of 3687 Toyota Sludge Problems
Oct 12, 2003 (6:31 am)
I just want to let everyone know about a product that has worked for me. It is called AutoRX and I have bought this stuff to treat my sludge problem. I do not get any money from this recommendation. I had an appointment with the dealer who told me that I needed to jump through hoops to get this fixed. So I did some research online and found this stuff and reviews at bobistheoilguy.com. I tried it and had an oil analysis done afterward and now I am free of sludge. Based upon the test results, I am now using Schaeffers oil and adding lube control to the oil every 1,000 miles to prevent sludge and extend my oil changes. I decided to go this route instead of fighting with the dealer. About two years ago I was told I had sludge and just disregarded the mechanics words thinking he was trying to rip me off. Since then I have realized that I did indeed have sludge and did two treatments of autorx. I spent a little over $100 for these treatments and now I have peace of mind that I will drive this van another 100,000 miles (it currently has 110,000). I just want to let others know there is another alternative that may help them. If I had to do it over again, I would do an oil analysis before treatment and then one after treatment to compare the differences. I did notice while doing the autorx treatment, little black specks on the dipstick. I also found out you don't want to do a standard oil flush since big chunks can become dislodged and ruin your engine. From what I understand autorx removes the sludge slowly.