23rd Nov 2006, 07:38

The Sienna has very serious engine problems no matter how often the oil is changed. To imagine Toyota is number 1 and won't admit this is a shame. No other purchase of a Toyota will be made ever. Toyota seems to be worse in many areas than other manufacturers.

10th Mar 2008, 10:30

I have a 1998 Toyota Sienna XLE, 90,000+ miles, which interestingly only had problems after it was out of warranty, and after an oil change at a local dealership. Yes, I am suspicious that the mechanics were tinkering with my Sienna and causing problems so I would have to bring it back to have something fixed, but I had no way to prove it.

Our 1998 Sienna has been amazingly reliable since I stopped taking it to the dealership for oil changes and it has always been our favorite vehicle. We currently own 2 other vehicles, but we just don't want to sell it because it is so reliable! When I read about others having so many problems with their Siennas, I am astounded.

24th Feb 2009, 22:03

I also have a 98 Sienna XLE, but with over 200,000 miles (I'm the second owner) and thankfully (knocking on wood), no sludge problems. Really, the only problem I've had is the outside sliding door handle recently broke, but I guess that's to be expected with 200,000 miles. Oh, and I had to replace the alternator at about 198K miles. But other than that, nothing. No engine sludge, no smoke. But I do have to add about a quart of oil between changes, but again, that's expected for 200K miles. I'm very satisfied with the van.

16th Aug 2010, 18:44

We have owned (10+ years) a 98 Sienna CE with 145K+ miles. It runs great - no problems. I've the changed oil myself every 3K-4K miles - no sludge either.

14th Sep 2011, 04:25

People don't seem to understand what different grades of oil are for. Anything with 100K miles on it should be getting thicker oil than the original recommendation. If manual says 5W30, go to 10W40 or even 20W50 in hot weather. Also, when down a quart, add ATF for a bit & then change the oil, it's high detergent & will clean out "sludge", but I wouldn't add ATF to 5W30, you'd be getting a bit thin.

14th Sep 2011, 18:04

Comment 10:30 caught my eye. Although no fan of Toyota (none of our imports came close to the quality of any of our domestics), I do feel that it is highly likely that the dealership did indeed sabotage the vehicle or scare the owner into unnecessary repairs. That is a very common practice at all shops and dealerships. People will take cars in with 90% of their brake pads remaining, and be scared into brake jobs. When I see ridiculous brake pad replacement intervals of 30,000 miles or less, I know someone got taken. My car currently has 100,000 miles on the original brake pads, and is easily good for another 15-20,000 miles on the front pads, and 50,000 on the rear pads.

Mt neighbor is, like me, an excellent mechanic. He took his truck in for servicing, and discovered that they had deliberately loosened some hoses. He knows because he had just tightened those very hoses. Needless to say, that dealership will never again get any business from him or anyone he knows. I took my V-8 Mustang in to have the A/C serviced, and a week later discovered that it, too, had been sabotaged. Luckily I was also able to easily repair the deliberate damage done at no cost. I, too, will never take another vehicle to that shop... EVER. I warn all my friends not to do business with that shop.

If car owners would bother to educate themselves a bit on car repairs, they could save themselves a small fortune. It takes less than 10 minutes to remove a wheel and check your brake pads yourself. It's also easy to determine if you're being taken on other repairs. Just buy a good manual, such as Hayne's for your particular car. They are about $15 at Auto Zone. I buy one for every car we own as soon as it is out of warranty.