I drive a 99 Ford Windstar mini-van and am looking to purchase a new or up
to 2 years old mini-van. I would like to hear from Toyota mini-van owners
their likes, or dislikes, about Toyota mini-vans. Any particular problem
areas, such as the Windstar manifold problem (OBD-II P0171 and P0174 codes)
and intermittent ABS light, with Toyota mini-vans?
Thanks for your time and information.
We have an '01 and it has been perfectly reliable. We know, oh, at least 6
other families with the same van and they have had no problems whatsoever.
It's squeak- and rattle-free at 66K miles and the engine remains very, very
quiet in operation. There are no whirring, ticking, grinding, clanging or
other noises from under thood until the A/C compressor clutch engages or the
radiator fans start up. A friends' brand-new Chrysler van makes much more
There are persistent rumors of sludge buildup in the earlier 3.0L V6 engines
but I don't know anyone who has such a problem. Conclusion: change your oil
and filter regularly and don't worry about it.
Test-drive one. If the new ones are anything like the '01's, I think you'll
be impressed with the power. That's primarily why we bought ours, I was so
surprised at how lively it was getting away from a stoplight. I'd
test-driven a few other vans and then went to look at the Toyota. I was
thinking I'd probably get a Chrysler at the time but the Toyota interior was
very nice. Then the light turned green ahead and, when I hit the gas, we
rocketed away. Right then, I told my wife, "we're buying this one."
Three things could stand improvement on the '01s...
- They have more understeer than I like (OK for a minivan, I suppose).
- Traction on snow could be improved.
- I don't get a lot of wear out of tires; I'm on my second set and I haven't
got a lot of tread left.
All three of these things could be result of my poor tire choices, though,
as the other people I know with these vans seem to be perfectly happy with
their handling, snow performance and tire wear. It could also be the way I
drive but I haven't had tire wear issues on most of my other cars (well - I
had trouble with tire wear on my previous mini-van - maybe it's the way I
The three things I like best are:
- The power.
- The very quiet ride. You don't have to crank the stereo way up to hear it
over wind and road noise at 70mph. Of course, this can be a bad thing, I
once found I was doing 90 in a 70 zone when I wasn't intending to speed at
all. I now use the cruise control religiously.
- The pleasant, comfy interior.
It's a nice cruiser for long trips; we usually put in 2400+ miles on driving
vacations once or twice a year. Everybody in the family likes this car for
Oh, the fourth thing I like: I'm on my original brake pads, front and rear,
with something like 50% left in the front.
Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com
I bought a used 2000 Sienna with 72K miles a year and a half ago. It
now has 100K miles and is still in great condition. It has good power,
quiet ride, decent ergonomics, and excellent reliability. The one
thing I am dissapointed about is the gas mileage. I get around 18-19
MPG all around and 23 MPG on the highway. I expected more than that,
but I have not changed any plugs yet.
A friend was complaining that he only gets 13 ~ 14 MPG in suburban driving
in his Windstar. His wife like the Windstar, although the friend was not to
happy about the $2,500 they have spent in the last 2 years for repairs for
something in the dashboard, a no-start condition, power door actuator, fuel
pump, and now the AC needs a new compressor. Other than the need for those
repairs and the poor fuel mileage, they have been happy with the van.
Another friend has a GMC Astro, they are also getting around 13 ~ 14 MPG in
suburban driving. AFAIK, it has not needed any repairs other than visits to
the body shop.
I guess I shouldn't feel so bad about the 13 ~ 14 MPG we get around town in
our Sequoia :-)
"Ray O" <rokigawaATtristarassociatesDOTcom> wrote in message
I get 17 in town and 25 on the road in my Windstar. The Ford 3.8 engine has
a history of problems; two of which I mentioned in my original post and a
head gasket problem. Thankfully, I have not yet experienced the head gasket
Saw your same note to the Honda newsgroup.
I own a Toyota Sienna and prefer it over the Honda minivan (but I like
the Accord better than the Camry so I'm not a Toyota bigot).
IMHO, the Sienna features better comfort features whereas the Odyssey
features better handling. Since I don't drive a minivan as I do my
sports car I'm not too concerned about handling (although with a tire
upgrade the Sienna does fine). The layout of both vans is good (but
somewhat different) so your preference will determine which is best for
you. Used Odysseys, more than a couple of years old, have suspect
transmissions. Unless Honda has recently upgrade their brakes, you will
find Sienna brakes are more durable and provide very good performance
when matched with decent tires.
After your Windstar a new Sienna will seem luxury-quiet. For 2007 I
believe Toyota will use their very powerful but economical 3.5L engine
in the Sienna. Siennas are available with all wheel drive if you care
to pay extra for that feature.
I've got about 180,000 miles on my '98 Sienna and just recently had to
put some repair dollars into it when an O2 sensor went up (I elected to
replace all 3). Had to replace a sliding door latch (hold-open feature
failed) a few years ago. Few other repairs, just routine maintenance
(had to replace the bulb - a freebie from my dealer - for the center
brake light yesterday). Best family utility vehicle I've ever owned. I
will probably buy another when I retire this one; perhaps at 230K
miles. Replacement would be certain if the new Sienna weren't quite so
big, I prefer the smaller size of the original Sienna.
I should have thought to include mileage.
We typically get 16-19 around town, 24-25 at interstate speeds (for me
that's 70-74) with A/C on.
TeraNews will add a little ad below, here. The "free" account cost 4 bucks
and service has been poor, many of my recent posts have been dropped with no
Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com
All of the replies so far have been relatively positive, so let me add
my opinion on the other side of the coin.
I like the ride, I get the mileage posted (25 and 20) except in the
winter (02 Sienna XLE), most everything works flawlessly. But my
rotors warped at 20K (and we do not do a lot of stop and go driving or
hard braking) and although the rotors themselves were covered under
warranty, the dealer pulled a fast one and I wound up paying for a
complete brake job ($550) when only the pads should have been charged
to me and the rest to Toyota. Both oxygen sensors (2 of 3) went out at
around 55K, $230 each for the parts. Another dealer tried to hit me up
for another $500 to replace the manifold, claiming the O2 sensor was
siezed. My service station removed the "siezed" sensor, cleaned the
threads and put the new one on for $50 labor. A recent replacement of
two plastic panels (rt. sliding door and piece in front of rear tire)
over $700, no metal body work required. The original tires
(Bridgestones, IIRC) were crap and the minivan slid on wet pavement.
Problem fixed when I put on Michelin Harmony tires at 30K. The selling
dealer charged Toyota to repair a tranny leak at 25K. Funny, there was
never a drop of any oil or tranny fluid on my concrete driveway where
the minivan is parked every day.
Unless you use a bra, there is no way to keep the front hood from
getting dinged. (Which reminds me that the clip that holds the hood
support rod in place has broken twice because it is inflexible in cold
weather. It is now jerry-rigged with a home-made clip) But I guess
the front hood dinging is a problem with any vehicle that has a hood
that slants down to the bumper.
Would I buy another Toyota? No. Because parts are too expensive, and
I can't find an honest Toyota dealer in the MD suburbs of DC. But then
again, I'd never touch a Ford :>)
And I might add that Lena's problems appear to be mostly related to the
dealer she chose - and possibly her driving style - rather than inherent to
the vehicle itself.
Oxygen sensors are a service item, requiring periodic replacement. I can't
address the condition of her brakes nor the necessity of any work required
but brakes are a service item as well. Warped rotors could be a design flaw
and I've heard a lot of complaints in this regard with Toyotas in general,
but I've never experienced this with my Tacoma (also rumored to have this
flaw). The problem could also be in part due to driving style and
conditions (eg driving through a puddle while the rotors are hot). Likewise
tires, and 30K is about right for OEM so her traction problems might have
been due to simple wear, possibly exacerbated by her driving style.
Again - and before she flies off the handle at me - I have no way of knowing
what her driving style is nor whether it was a factor in the problems she's
had. For all I know she's the World's Best - but viewed strictly from the
standpoint of possible causes for the mechanical problems she's described it
must be considered as a possibility.
I'm not exactly sure how a slanting hood causes dings to appear so I can't
address that. The only experience I've had with hood damage is when I ran
into a crackhead a few months ago and that would have damaged the hood
regardless of its angle.
It's probably safe to say that genuine factory OEM parts are more expensive
than ditto for Ford. It's also probably safe to say that you will be buying
them less frequently than with your Ford.
Dealers (plural). Screwed by the selling dealer, another dealer tried
to rip me off on the manifold thing. The third Toyota dealer in this
area has such a bad reputation, I wouldn't even try them.
> and possibly her driving style
You have absolutely no idea what my driving style is, do you?
It is obvious that you are so imbued with Toyotas, that you cannot
accept the fact that others may think the vehicle is less than perfect.
At 52K miles? Two within a month? A defect, IMO.
Of which you know nothing.
You don't know a damn thing about my driving style; why do you keep on
harping on it? Can't you accept the fact that the OEM tires were
garbage? I stated that the Michelins fixed the slipping problem.
Then your whole post is a supposition. Accept the fact that Toyotas
are not perfect.
Then don't. Crap flies up from the road all the time. On a truck like
yours, it hits the grille and causes little or no damage. On a vehicle
with a slanted hood, the stones and debris hits the paint on the hood
and causes dings.
Another supposition. Unsubstantiated. But you really want the OP to
buy a Toyota, don't you. So say whatever you want.
(rolls eyes) Happy with the car you owned before the Sienna, were you?
Been wrenching for very long? Do you, in short, have a clue about the
mechanical issues you experienced?
It's pretty clear that you have reading comprehension difficulties, I might
Thankful he's not a mechanic for that Harpy
I purchased a new 06 Sienna a month ago after seriously considering the
Honda and Chrysler/Dodge. I've had the Chrysler/Plymouth Voyager as my
last two vans. I still think the Chrysler mini has a better interior
design, but the Honda & Toyota are clearly superior in terms of
reliability and resale value (Chrysler sucks). The prices of comparably
equipped models were really very close (Honda was a little higher), so I
went with the Sienna. The Chrysler clearly has the largest stow space,
and the Toyota has about 5" more than the Honda.
We drove the new Sienna on a 3000 mile trip and mileage was 24.8 usually
driving about 75mph. The manual hints that you might need plus fuel in
the Sienna, but after 3000 mile using regular, I can't see why. The
ride is quite (more so than my Chrysler was), handling is average plus,
and it has plenty of power. I've had no issues yet, but didn't expect
any. After 3000 miles the oil is still pretty clear. And, no more
lugging seats in and out to carry our tandem bike!!
I had pretty good luck using Consumer Reports price data and playing
five dealers against each other when negotiating.
Arthur (buying a new car is worse than going to the dentists) Hass
Ford Driver wrote:
Net - is actual US$ or something of value that you pay - everything
else is BS - or pure profit to dealer.
Net +tax+licence = what you pay or the actual loan amount.
Net + government fees= "
Many ( correction - most) people are so beaten around that they don't
even know what the actual NET purchase price was!
I offered check or credit card - full amount. In spite of this it
took these monkeys a full three hours of BS to complete the ORDEAL.
They had even faxed me their NET price and total before I even went to
that den of BS. THERE WAS NOTHING TO TALK ABOUT - and I told them so.
And I am one that made a living arguing environmental issues to public
officials, on behalf of clients, for a living! Car dealers are the
Perhaps they finally thought I had made them an offer they could not
Then you are not including destination - $605. I don't think you can
get around that.
I paid $22,500 which included about $500 in options, and $750 for tax &
tags. I figured I paid about $900 over cost, which was within the range
I was willing to accept. I suppose I could have found a lower price out
in east overshoe, but the difference would not have been worth the time
I'd have to spend.
MO full name wrote:
1k was well worth three hours of my time since I'm retired.
Destination IS a BS fee. To hell with "all the names for profit" and
other baby talk - that is all the dealer problems and not yours. Net
+ gov fees= my total cost period.
What 500 option did you get? If I may ask.
Whoooo there - that was all standard with the CE sold in Calif!
The Stockholm syndrome at work. The captor gets the prisoner to
identify with him. You really are a prisoner - you have no
All the dealers use precisely the same sleazy conduct, smoke and
mirrors and the public just love it - or else things would change.
These are all good things that public love and are willing to put up
with just like, war, tax exempt institutions, crime and drugs, illegal
immigration and lawlessness.
First they will say or do anything to get you in to their lot. Then
when you get tired and are ready to buy - you are shuffled between
about three managers or VPs (The big cheese will likely drop in to
gladhand you also) (the guy with the boots and hose outside cleaning
cars is at least a VP of something) that are furiously 'pounding'
calculators and forms. Then they want you to start signing pieces of
paper, per policy, or required etc. When they got to that stage with
me I threw the paper back and said: "Do all you damn paperwork first
an put it in a single pile for me to consider and sign if acceptable
or appropriate - be prepared to give me a complete and correct copy of
everything I sign. And by the way I know this is the stage where
somebody will claim there is an error that will cost me XXX$ more -
and you are counting on me being a nice guy etc. and accept the
additional charge just to get the F### out of there."
I told them do the right thing NOW I have things to do and places to
YOU SIMPLY NEED TO MATCH THE NUMBERS IN YOUR FAX - PERIOD - or
else." DO IT NOW! DO IT NOW! DO IT NOW!
That seemed to finally work. No wonder the first guy did not want to
send me a fax <grin>. I was gang ringing exactly at 8am when they
opened to confirm that their ad was correct and the car was in stock
and if they delivered. No dealer has ever gone below the LOW NET
special no matter what you say - in my experience in So Cal. To get
best price you have to accept precisely what they have (except the
None have beat my price in four months - including my dealer. I had
actually expected to pay about 1k for purchasing before the end of the
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