2000 Sienna Whirring Sound

I have this new problem with a 2000 Sienna I purchased as a pre owned with warranty on Oct 13.
Just last week I noticed a Whirring sound right after I start the car,
and also even if I don't crank the engine. I can hear the sound even when I just put the key on the on position. I took it down to Toyota as soon as I started hearing the sound. He said the sound was normal, and that it was just my starter winding down. I questioned it, but they said they couldn't fix what wasn't broken. At that time we did not experiment with turning the key in just the on position to hear it.
Does anyone know what this sound could be related to, and if in fact it is normal?
The sound was not there for the first two weeks when we purchased the car, it only suddenly appeared about a week ago. The whirring sound can be felt in the steering wheel, and on the pedals if I lightly rest my foot on them but don't actually depress them. The sound is coming from the left side of the engine I believe.
Also,... if it is the starter winding down, why do I hear it when I only put the key in the on position?
Thanks,
Juliet
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Lorakai, 10/28/2006,1:24:06 PM, wrote:

My 2000 Sienna has a sound when I put it in the ON position also. I wouldn't call it a whirring sound but more like Whoomp sound. It's almost like a vacuum pump or something activating itself.
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That sounds about right,.. thanks for checking through your own Sienna. I would say the sound is like a whoooooom.
So if your hearing it, it mightbe normal then,.. what do you think?
J
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Lorakai, 10/28/2006,1:50:56 PM, wrote:

It's certainly a strange "normal" -- wouldn't you say?
I've had the van a year and a half and it hasn't had any problems. My only complaint is its bad gas mileage.
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ABS does a self-check on key on. you can hear this on some cars, could just be that you didn't notice it for the first few weeks. T
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It is difficult to identify a sound without actually hearing it, but if it lasts about 3 to 5 seconds, then you may be hearing the antilock brake (ABS) actuator and pump doing a self-check. When the ignition is turned on, it powers up and cycles, and during the first 10 feet or so of vehicle movement, the ABS computer is looking for equal signals from each of the wheel speed sensors. If one or more of the sensors does not give the same signal or no signal, then the ABS check light will come on.
If you want to confirm if you are hearing the ABS actuator, set the parking brake, open the hood, and being very careful to keep away from moving parts like belts and fans, put your hand on the ABS actuator while someone switches the ignition to the on position without starting the engine. You should be able to feel it vibrate a little. ABS actuator location varies from vehicle to vehicle, in Toyotas, it is usually a silver cube about 6 ~8 inches per side with a bunch of steel tubing sticking out. BTW, if you have traction control, the ABS actuator also controls that function as well.
--

Ray O
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