4th Feb 2011, 15:45

2005 Toyota Sienna LE.

Replaced original brakes at 45,000 miles due to wear and pulsation/vibration when braking. Work done at Car-X, all 4 rotors turned, new semi metallic pads all around.

10,000 miles later, vibration/ pulsation back. Took back to Car-X and they wanted to replace all my rotors to honor their warranty on the pads. Took to an independent mechanic. He said it looked like my rotors had never been turned and were now warped. He replaced front rotors and pads with Raybestos rotors and semi-metallic pads (the best I could get for it - U.S. made). He said the rears were warped a little also, but were OK, since the fronts do most of the braking.

10,000 miles later, and the vibration/ pulsation is back. I took it back to him and he said the rotors and pads on the front were burnt up and the rotors were warped again. He said Raybestos wouldn't honor the warranty since the rotors were burnt up and they said it was due to abuse! He says it looks like my wife rides the brake, but I know she doesn't. Besides, how did she get 45K on the OEM set, then only 10K each on two replacement sets?

Something else is wrong with the brake system, not just the way the van is driven! In the mean time, I've spent ~ $800 on three brake jobs in the last 18 months!

10th Mar 2011, 14:07

Just to add to the comments, I have owned from new a Sienna 2004. I have put in 4 sets of brake pads + original (all original from Toyota), and it now looks like I need a 5th set. I am getting around 15K per set. Something is differently wrong with the wear on the Sienna. I now have to replace the rotors.

26th Jan 2012, 20:29

I have solved the problem. If you have drums, upgrade the wheel cylinder with a 2000 4runner. There is a slight mod that needs to be done. The housing and the bolts are the same. The part that contacts the shoe is bigger and longer, so the tips of the shoe needs to be cut back some so the cylinder will fit. The factory wheel cylinder size is 7/8, the bigger one is 15/16. The van now brakes more evenly. Hope this helps. If you have any questions, email me at tintwerx@gmail.com.

23rd Jun 2012, 17:52

I own a 2001 Sienna. I am sitting in a store for the first time to replace the pads and rotors. The mileage is 130k!

There are definitely some problems with the later year models!

7th Apr 2013, 20:07

I own 2007 Sienna LE, and I changed the front brakes myself after 92 000 miles. I purchased after market ceramic pads at price of $100.00 a set, and it took me about half an hour per wheel. Don't be afraid, it's a very simple job.

8th Apr 2013, 17:51

Replacing disc brake pads is so easy I can't imagine paying a shop to do it. My wife can change a set of brake pads on two wheels in half an hour.

2nd May 2013, 19:58

My 2003 Sienna does not eat brakes, period. I just finished replacing rotors and pads for the second time at 148,000 miles.

It is the driver who overuses the brake that causes the fast wearing. Treat the brake pedal as the thing that increases gas consumption and causes early brake failure. Every time you brake, you are wasting momentum. It takes discipline to do this, but it can be done. I learned how to stay off of it, and I get 27 highway and 21 in town. Inflate the tires to 42#, max 44#.

My last car was a 98 4Runner, and I finally did a brake job at 120,000 miles.

4th Aug 2014, 14:28

Just in case after four years you still can't get that drum off, there are two threaded holes on the face of the drum. Put a bolt in each, turn one a half, then turn the other a half, repeat. It will pop (loud) off.

7th Sep 2015, 23:30

Just in case you're still tearing up brake pads and rotors, try changing out all your brake fluid with new brake fluid. Also sometimes brake lines can deteriorate or become clogged, not allowing the calipers to relax when you release your brake pedal. Both are inexpensive and can make a big difference.

3rd Oct 2015, 03:02

I also have a Sienna 2002; I believe it's your mechanic that needs to be replaced also! I have had done two front and back brake repairs in the last fourteen years. I hope it helps!

4th Nov 2016, 07:03

I have done brake jobs on my '03 Sienna, and when I used after market pads/shoes, they cause the brakes to squeak and grab. When I buy them from a Toyota dealer, smooth as silk.

My '95 Tacoma is a different story and can use any aftermarket pads and shoes.

4th Nov 2016, 20:55

Put the best ones on you can find. Saves time and hassle later changing more often.

4th Nov 2016, 22:59

The 2003 Toyota Sienna was one of the best vans ever made. If you can find a good to mint condition one... buy it. After 2003, Toyota started having problems with their vans, but they did get better later. The Japanese car makers were making some great vans and cars at this time. The 2003 Toyota Sienna was a great, cheap to own people mover, and reliable too.

28th Jan 2017, 23:04

Hi, I don't know if you still have your Toyota Sienna, but I was so relieved to read your post. I have had to change my brakes and tires on my 2006 Sienna way more than usual for any vehicle. And, I kept saying to anyone that would listen it has to be a design flaw in the van! I knew I was right. So happy to read your post, however sad that our vans have had to have more the average maintenance.