2003 Toyota Sienna XLE AWD from North America - Comments

3rd Feb 2005, 14:47

We have experienced similar issues. We purchased our Sienna AWD in July of 2003. We had to replace 1st set of tires at 1 year and 18K miles. Second set is now showing "choppy" wear at 10K. We have rotated every 5K and had several alignments done. Help, we can't afford this. Anyone have any suggestions.

4th Feb 2005, 20:05

We hit a pothole with our 2004 Toyota Sienna AWD and blew out the sidewall of the Bridgestone run-flat tire. No sidewall means no running flat. No spare tire and no replacement tire readily available means you are renting a car until you can have a replacement shipped in, 3 days in our case. Then you also have to come up with the $296 for the replacement tire. Ridiculous! It gets even better... When my local tire dealer saw the tire, he pointed out the almost exposed steel belts and recommended replacement of all 4 tires even though they only had 15,000 miles on them. He also gave us another option, replace the stock 17" wheels with 16" wheels. This would give us a much larger choice of better and less expensive tires. The only problem with this option he claimed was that the tire low air pressure sensor would have to be re-calibrated. Does anyone know of any other problems with switching to 16" wheels and normal tires?

4th Feb 2005, 22:15

I have a 2004 Sienna AWD that is four months old and with 3500 miles. I have had the misfortune of having two seperate flat tire issues with the "run flat tires" from Dunlap. The first flat took until the sixth day to get a replacement tire from the dealer. The second and current incident has taken seven days so far and still no tire. It's absurd for Toyota to "compromise" and put a product on the road with no spare tire and no replacement tires available. I called Toyota in California at their customer service Dept. and their solution was for me to "purchase a run flat tire to keep handy in the garage"!? There should be some type of class action against either Toyota and/or Dunlap for this debacle.

12th Feb 2005, 23:28

I purchased a 2004 Toyota AWD Sienna about 7 months ago. Nice 5 speed automatic transmission. I also like the shifter which makes it easy to downshift when driving in the mountains.

The dealer did not inform me that the car was not equipped with a spare tire. I found out when I got home. I pursued the issue and the dealer installed a spare tire kit free of charge. The spare tire kit goes in the back of the car where the larger portion of the rear seat folds down. It looks just like the larger section is folded in to the rear, except the seat is actually still upright. This means I cannot fold down the larger half of the rear seat with the spare tire kit installed.

Like others that have posted, buyers should be aware that run-flat tires are hard to come by. Where I live (rural Colorado), most folk put on winter tires for the season. After some searching I found a run flat Bridgestone - Blizzack. Not great, but pretty good. No problems with tread wear.

My suggestion to anyone who wants the AWD model is to forget the run-flats, get the spare tire kit, 16 inch rims and normal tires. You will lose the ability to fold down half of the rear seat, but the reality is that Toyota is the only care dealer making an AWD model anymore (to my knowledge).

13th Feb 2005, 12:48

Thank you for the comments. We just had the misfortune of the transmission in our (6yr old, 100K miles) AWD Grand Caravan needing to be replaced, and found out that the repair was more than half the value of the vehicle. Thus, we're shopping for a new one. The Sienna LE AWD was immediately our first choice.

However, when I noticed the run flat tires and lack of spare in the glossy, I got worried. The 2005 comes with Bridgestone B380 RFTs. I checked at my dealership, and they list the B380s for $280 each, with a $60 mounting fee. Tirerack has them for $209, but there will still be a higher than normal mounting fee. Several comments at Tirerack claim only a 15000 mile treadlife for the B380 on the Sienna. For us, that would be new set of tires in 11 months. The comments above just confirm my opinion.

Although the glossy says there is a dealer-installed aftermarket spare tire, the dealership says they don't have that to install. I suspected it would go in the 60% side of the rear well, and I'm glad to see that confirmed. However, that now removes a large amount of storage.

At this point, my wife is against getting the AWD, and even if I get replacement tires and a spare/hub, I'm going to spend $600 above the cost of the vehicle just to make it 'safe'. We've had flat tires on long trips before, so I couldn't imagine getting stuck with a large tire bill just for a nail in the road. One nice thing about the (old) Grand Caravan is that we had a full-sized spare.

So, we're now only considering the Odyssey EX and the Sienna LE (with option #5 or 6), which are nearly equivalent in feature and price.

2nd Mar 2005, 23:10

Sure sounds like a vehicle problem that Toyota should solve. With my 2004 Sienna XLE Limited, I am having exactly the problems described above - rapid wearing on the side of the tire despite accurate inflation and regular rotation. It is hard to find replacement tires and they are extra expensive both to buy and to install.

Sure means that I won't be getting a Toyota next time if this is how they treat their customers. I heard Lexus - another division of Toyota - just replaced all the tires on new LS430's AND gave the owners a few hundred dollars to help compensate them for all their troubles. Now THAT is the way to handle this kind of problem!

12th Mar 2005, 18:55

I also have a 2004 Toyota Sienna where my front tires were absolutely shot at 22,000 miles. My dealer stepped up and lined me up with a Good year dealer that agree to put on new tires at reduced cost. I put on the top of the line Good Year tires with 80,000 mile tread guarantee. After 10,000 miles, my new, very expensive Good Year tires are wearing on the sides, just like the last ones. Toyota has a serious problem that I fear might cause safety issues. I'm going back to the dealer, and I'm going to explore my legal options.

16th Mar 2005, 12:56

We have a 2004 AWD XLE Sienna and all 4 of the run flat tires had to be replaced at about 36,000 km. When I complained, I was told by Toyota Canada that they do not warranty the tires, but when I purchased the car, no one advised me that with this vehicle I would be facing an additional expense almost yearly to replace these pricey tires. In fact, the run flat option was stressed by the salesman as a great feature to give us extra room (no spare to carry). We have 3 small kids and no room for a spare when we travel. I do not feel I was sold the car I thought I was buying. A class action may result, in my opinion.

8th Oct 2005, 12:37

I have a 2004 Sienna with Run Flat tires. It is bald with 19000 miles!!! Toyota dealer and Dunlop deals gave the usual tire rotation, alignment as the reason. I have my fair shares of tire experience over the years. This is purely horrendous considering a tire cost $275. And it will never pass 20,000 miles.

I am contacting Class Action Law Suite lawyer and see what can be done about this. Outrageous!

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