passenger sliding door problems - Page 3 - Toyota Sienna Forum -
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #31 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-01-2014, 11:35 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 2
Re: passenger sliding door problems

Just replied in an other post. Gonna try here. I have a power sliding door that is pretty much inoperable now. Looks like the cable that runs along the track outside is frayed and damaged. It has not yet snapped though. I'm not sure how it all works and haven't really taken a look, but if someone could offer me any suggestions that'd be great. I'm gonna take a closer look at it tomorrow during the day. Thanks in advance.
evan06 is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #32 of 39 (permalink) Old 08-19-2015, 02:09 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 1
Exclamation Re: passenger sliding door problems

We have a 2005 LE Sienna. First the automatic sliding door cable broke. We then used it as a manual door. Now it will not open at all. In addition, we are now having issues with the other sliding door that is manual. Most of the time it will not open which is a huge safety issue. Anyone in the back of the van would not be able to exit the vehicle in an accident. I cannot believe there hasn't been a recall on the sliding doors. I guess they spent too much money on the Toyota brake issues a few years back...
vsmith is offline  
post #33 of 39 (permalink) Old 07-07-2016, 08:15 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 251
Re: passenger sliding door problems

I've only had my 2000 Sienna CE for 8 months. When I got it I was surprised how nicely the sliding doors worked but in the last few months noticed that both sides had begun to require some effort to open them from the outside. My gut feeling is that, if l let them get worse, it would be easy to imagine snapping off a door handle.

So today I pulled off the sliding door panels and lubricated everything that moved with Tri-Flow. When I find something that moves, I'll spray it while moving it. I try to tilt things that move and often you can feel high points that you actually can round off. To make sure the door seals aren't sticking (I don't think they were) I used some Armor All type stuff on the rubber. I also sprayed the door's small wheels and tracks, everything I could think of that might make the door slide better. The main culprit, I think, was the mechanism under the door panel where the cables all attach. The sliding doors suffer from the "way too many parts" syndrome seen elsewhere in these vehicles.

The doors seem way better than before. They pop out and you don't have to pull hard on them. I always suspected that power windows were like this too - they get dry and then you ask the motor to do something way past what it was designed to do.

This video was helpful in removing the door panels:

Tri-Flow is unique stuff, it doesn't turn into a sludge and attract dirt like WD40 does. It's the only stuff I'd use for lock cylinders too or parts like in the sliding doors.

Last edited by iRt; 07-07-2016 at 08:26 PM.
iRt is offline  
post #34 of 39 (permalink) Old 07-13-2016, 02:38 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 251
Re: passenger sliding door problems

Three days after I posted the previous post, the driver's sliding door handle broke off. Then later that day the passenger's side sliding door handle broke off.


One of my philosophies when buying cars is "never buy a vehicle that wasn't used as a cop car or fleet vehicle". While you'd have trouble getting a police force to trade in their Crown Vics for Siennas, they were used a lot as taxis. Because of that, there's a lure for illegal foreign factories to produce "known-to-break" parts and the Sienna's door handles for sure belong in that category. So I ordered a pair of replacement handles in the right color and with shipping the price was $27.96 for the two (see pic). They may be garbage like the originals but there is a 5 year warranty so we'll see how it goes.
Attached Images
File Type: png DOOR HANDLE.png (331.6 KB, 8 views)
iRt is offline  
post #35 of 39 (permalink) Old 07-16-2016, 09:05 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 251
door handle monkey business

I installed the two sliding door handles (see pic in previous post) I got for $28. Compared to the originals, they look a bit rough - some of the edges are a bit sharp, not quite as nice as the factory ones but overall they're fine. The paint is not bad, doesn't match the car exactly (they're brighter) but I'm comparing it to 17 year old paint so I wouldn't expect it to match exactly.

They came with new gaskets. In the first attached pic, the closer gasket is the new one. Compared to the original (farther away in pic), the new one is like floppy rubber. The original is stiffer, more like thin ABS, although I don't know how much time has changed it. They both have small holes that go on small posts on the inside of the handle. The new one was awkward - I got one hole over a post and when I got the second one on the first one fell off. It felt like it would be a pain to get on correctly... so I used the old gaskets.

My 2000 Sienna has 140k mi and no doubt the cable had stretched some, so I put an electrical tie (see red tie in second pic) as shown and it causes the cable to engage the mechanism "sooner". The pic is of the passenger's side and I did the driver's side like this too. That's a quick and dirty solution that I'm sure could be improved upon but has some obvious advantages over buying a new one from the dealer. There's probably a slicker way of doing that with something that stayed in place better or would wear less but it could also be that it's actually ok. The door handle requires less force to operate now.

Another thing: yes, of course Toyota wasn't having a good day when they decided to make the door handles out of plastic. But another factor is that the door handle doesn't operate intuitively. That is, when someone looks at it would be easy to think that you pull it straight out, or that the whole thing lifts up. To make it even odder, each side operates oppositely - the passenger side hinges on the left and the front tilts out, whereas the driver's side hinges on the right and tilts out on the front. So each side requires a different muscular motion. That, combined with a cable that on most cars is a metal rod and the plastic handle are likely the causes for all this door handle monkey business.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg GASKETS.jpg (426.3 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg ELECTRICAL TIE.jpg (301.8 KB, 12 views)
pjksr02 likes this.

Last edited by iRt; 07-16-2016 at 09:08 PM.
iRt is offline  
post #36 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-13-2016, 05:53 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 6
Re: passenger sliding door problems

Getting into the door is the above pictured 10mm head/Phillips screw in the drink cup. The rest of the drink retainer lifts up at the bottom. The door panel is all pop fasteners. Plastic body tools do far less damage to paint than metal.
The vapor barrier is valuable, treat it gently when pulling away for access to the inside of the door handle. Two 10mm head screws, IIRC. One under a plastic cap in the door jamb? (Might be confusing with the driver door, I was in both recently.) Then it releases from the door. TAKE PICS before removing any cables. I got the handle in correct color off ebay, ~$20. Same fragile plastic. For what it's worth, caution All van users that getting physical with the door handle can mean climbing in other doors, and major hassles if something is inside that doesn't want to come out other ways.
dudleyssienna is offline  
post #37 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-13-2016, 08:23 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 251
Re: passenger sliding door problems

Today I noticed that if you open the driver's side sliding door with your right hand and the passenger's side sliding door with your left hand the handles are less likely to break.

Yanking real hard without thinking on the passenger's side sliding door with your right hand is asking for trouble.
iRt is offline  
post #38 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-27-2016, 10:15 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 65
Re: passenger sliding door problems

My 2002 has had this problem for years. The left sliding door can only be opened from inside. We have been using it like this for years and looks like everybody gets used to it. I may want to spend sometime during a weekend to fix it.
tjzsm is offline  
post #39 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-28-2016, 03:48 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 21
Re: passenger sliding door problems

I just got on the forum to follow up the the same issue that I posted in regards to my door yesterday.
In the photo that you very kindly provided can you high light what you fixed or epoxy'ed please.
Great info.
wayne lea is offline  

door, passenger, problems, sliding

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Toyota Sienna Forum - forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome