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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey there,

I'm looking to buy a Sienna to travel around/sleep in. I've seen a couple 06s nearby and was curious if there are any common issues that I should be aware of going into it. I bought an 01 Corolla years ago and didn't ask this question and ended up with a car that used A LOT of oil.

For what it's worth the one with 150k miles is going for $5,500. The one with 172k miles is going for $4,200 OBO. Both are original owner and supposedly run great.

I appreciate any help I can get. Thanks so much!

Best,
Al
 

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Being in South Florida I have not had any rust issues. The only auto door is the passenger side and fingers crossed it is still going good (2006 LE). No other door isues. No bearing changes yet at 191k miles. Most of the other stuff..yes , steering rack , axles , struts , shocks , control arms and so forth. I do my best to stay on top of things maintenance wise. The van drives like new...seriously!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Being in South Florida I have not had any rust issues. The only auto door is the passenger side and fingers crossed it is still going good (2006 LE). No other door isues. No bearing changes yet at 191k miles. Most of the other stuff..yes , steering rack , axles , struts , shocks , control arms and so forth. I do my best to stay on top of things maintenance wise. The van drives like new...seriously!!!
That's all good information, thank you. Good luck with your Sienna!
 

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Being in South Florida I have not had any rust issues. The only auto door is the passenger side and fingers crossed it is still going good (2006 LE). No other door isues. No bearing changes yet at 191k miles. Most of the other stuff..yes , steering rack , axles , struts , shocks , control arms and so forth. I do my best to stay on top of things maintenance wise. The van drives like new...seriously!!!
Agree with you 100% Paul. My 06 needed all those items at 220K... Was a fun project
 

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In Georgia so no rust issue.
I had the passenger side door stopped working 2 yrs ago. I bought the actuator ( or whatever it's called) and did the work myself. It was not that difficult of a task but took 3+ hours, as I had to figure out each steps as I went. Well, the cheap amazon, $28.00 actuator, went bad again last month and I have another one from Amazon sitting in my garage catching dust. I did not have the time to do it yet. As it's not something needs fixing right away. The manual option still works.
The passenger side front bearing was bad and had a local shop change it $194.00
The rack and pinion needed attention and got quote from few places and they were over $950.00.
My mechanic told me it's not the rack and pinion it's the bushings in the rack and pinion and he replaced them,the car drives like brand new. It cost me $550.00 including alignment. The bushings were less than $80.00.
I do my own brakes, oil and tranny fluid change. I did drain and filled antifreeze once, I did also replace power steering fluid once myself.

Given the age, it's a 2007 Se and I am the first owner, the van drives brand new still.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Look at these videos.
I'm curious if you know about how many hours of labor it would for a skilled mechanic to do coolant plate/knock sensors/valve cover gaskets/spark plugs/pcv valve? And maybe rough price for parts. I'm gonna need to do a valve cover gasket and according to the video it might as well all be done at the same time. Thanks so much!
 

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I'm curious if you know about how many hours of labor it would for a skilled mechanic to do coolant plate/knock sensors/valve cover gaskets/spark plugs/pcv valve? And maybe rough price for parts. I'm gonna need to do a valve cover gasket and according to the video it might as well all be done at the same time. Thanks so much!
Valve cover gasket is probably billed around a 3-hour job for an indie mechanic. Not sure what the flat-rate book (if you bring it to the dealer) says. 6 hours would be my guess, that way, they can give you 20% off and make you feel like you got a deal. If it's DIY and you've never done it before, I'd probably block out a whole weekend (just in case) but you will probably be done in under 4 hours. The biggest issue is if the gasket is brittle and gets stuck with some pieces on the cover and some left behind, you have to painstakingly pick all the little bits off of both sides with something non-marring (plastic) and make sure there's NOTHING left. The gasket is super cheap.

Spark plugs alone, I actually paid to have done (winter and the car wouldn't start) and they set me back almost $700. Since I haven't done it myself on the Sienna, I can't give a time estimate, but I hear 3-6 hours is reasonable, depending on your agility and the size of your hands. Plugs are $10-15/each, so $60-90. Most people advise changing out the back 3 coils with OEM Denso coils at $50/ea. for another $150.

PCV valve is quick and easy and cheap IF you can get your hand/wrench in there. If not, it will take many hours of swearing and frustration. I understand it's much easier when doing the spark plugs, so it would be smart to combine those two. Part is cheap.

I haven't done a knock sensor ever on any vehicle, so I have no idea what's involved here. I know the part is $200ish.

Also no idea on what's required for the "coolant plate."

All this said, if your idea is that you are going to tackle a bunch of stuff all at once or you have a buddy who's a mechanic and is willing to spend a day wrenching on your van with you for pizza and beer or maybe you know a kid down the street who's going for his ASE certification and pays for school by fixing cars in his yard, it's a great plan to combine multiple jobs all at once. If you're planning on taking it to a mechanic, you'll need to find a shop who either just charges hourly or is a sole proprietorship where the owner is also the mechanic. Both are hard to come by these days. Often, they'll quote you the estimate for the sum of each job and you'll have to negotiate the price, knowing where the labor overlap is. If you're paying someone to do all these jobs, I would anticipate spending $2k, (parts and labor) but you might get out of there for under $1k.
 

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Chances are you will need a plenum, 2 intake and a throttle body gasket and perhaps a bypass hose in addition to those parts mentioned by BillG. When I purchased the hose from the dealer the parts guy told me it was a lifetime hose ($17) . I doubted it at the time but when I removed mine (168k miles ) it was still pliable and looked great. Whoever does the coolant plate will need a tube of FIPG ( form in place gasket) . I used Toyotas Seal Packing 103 for oil pan/Camshaft housing. There is a red variant that some folks use as well. So far it seems to be holding well. ( I inspected with a telescopic camera with light). Of concern are the wire to the knock sensors. Mine were not hard to the extent that they were crumbling but some members report degradation especially if there was continual coolant leak in the valley. Replacements can be purchased. I further insulated mine with wire conduits. I also replaced the knock sensors with new ones ( about 15 bucks each from Ebay IIRC ( fakes?) The originals are 50+ dollars from the dealer and I cannot find then in my garage , geez. In any case I have been using premium gas for the added power gain and response. As BillG said its a good 6 hour job, I did this over 2 days taking my time, and honestly it is pretty straight forward if you read and watch videos about the processes. There are tons of videos on youtube and if you plan to tackle this yourself then this is where you would start. Removal of the windshield wipers and drain pan below will help immensely . Let me know if you need torque values. I have personally done all of this on my 06. Here is a video that should cover most if not all that you want to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Valve cover gasket is probably billed around a 3-hour job for an indie mechanic. Not sure what the flat-rate book (if you bring it to the dealer) says. 6 hours would be my guess, that way, they can give you 20% off and make you feel like you got a deal. If it's DIY and you've never done it before, I'd probably block out a whole weekend (just in case) but you will probably be done in under 4 hours. The biggest issue is if the gasket is brittle and gets stuck with some pieces on the cover and some left behind, you have to painstakingly pick all the little bits off of both sides with something non-marring (plastic) and make sure there's NOTHING left. The gasket is super cheap.

Spark plugs alone, I actually paid to have done (winter and the car wouldn't start) and they set me back almost $700. Since I haven't done it myself on the Sienna, I can't give a time estimate, but I hear 3-6 hours is reasonable, depending on your agility and the size of your hands. Plugs are $10-15/each, so $60-90. Most people advise changing out the back 3 coils with OEM Denso coils at $50/ea. for another $150.

PCV valve is quick and easy and cheap IF you can get your hand/wrench in there. If not, it will take many hours of swearing and frustration. I understand it's much easier when doing the spark plugs, so it would be smart to combine those two. Part is cheap.

I haven't done a knock sensor ever on any vehicle, so I have no idea what's involved here. I know the part is $200ish.

Also no idea on what's required for the "coolant plate."

All this said, if your idea is that you are going to tackle a bunch of stuff all at once or you have a buddy who's a mechanic and is willing to spend a day wrenching on your van with you for pizza and beer or maybe you know a kid down the street who's going for his ASE certification and pays for school by fixing cars in his yard, it's a great plan to combine multiple jobs all at once. If you're planning on taking it to a mechanic, you'll need to find a shop who either just charges hourly or is a sole proprietorship where the owner is also the mechanic. Both are hard to come by these days. Often, they'll quote you the estimate for the sum of each job and you'll have to negotiate the price, knowing where the labor overlap is. If you're paying someone to do all these jobs, I would anticipate spending $2k, (parts and labor) but you might get out of there for under $1k.
Wow, thanks so much for the immensely detailed post! I should have mentioned that I'm likely going to take it to a mechanic. Mine charges 40/hour and works out of his garage. I know another guy a few hours away that was charging 25/hour but that was 5 years ago.

My buddy (DIYer to the core) and I did a valve cover gasket on my 01 corolla in about 2 hours but being as I want a lot of things done, I think it might be better to just have them take it all in and pay my dues that way.

I'm also surprised that it was $700 for spark plugs. Is there a reason it's so much? I imagine there hidden pretty good in there or something and maybe it's worth combining this with some of the other jobs.

Assuming I paid to have all of this work done ($40/hr), I guess I might get out of there for about $1k. Do you still agree?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Chances are you will need a plenum, 2 intake and a throttle body gasket and perhaps a bypass hose in addition to those parts mentioned by BillG. When I purchased the hose from the dealer the parts guy told me it was a lifetime hose ($17) . I doubted it at the time but when I removed mine (168k miles ) it was still pliable and looked great. Whoever does the coolant plate will need a tube of FIPG ( form in place gasket) . I used Toyotas Seal Packing 103 for oil pan/Camshaft housing. There is a red variant that some folks use as well. So far it seems to be holding well. ( I inspected with a telescopic camera with light). Of concern are the wire to the knock sensors. Mine were not hard to the extent that they were crumbling but some members report degradation especially if there was continual coolant leak in the valley. Replacements can be purchased. I further insulated mine with wire conduits. I also replaced the knock sensors with new ones ( about 15 bucks each from Ebay IIRC ( fakes?) The originals are 50+ dollars from the dealer and I cannot find then in my garage , geez. In any case I have been using premium gas for the added power gain and response. As BillG said its a good 6 hour job, I did this over 2 days taking my time, and honestly it is pretty straight forward if you read and watch videos about the processes. There are tons of videos on youtube and if you plan to tackle this yourself then this is where you would start. Removal of the windshield wipers and drain pan below will help immensely . Let me know if you need torque values. I have personally done all of this on my 06. Here is a video that should cover most if not all that you want to do.
Hey Paul, thanks for supplementing Bill's post. Your comment and the video are very helpful and informative!
 

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Wow, thanks so much for the immensely detailed post! I should have mentioned that I'm likely going to take it to a mechanic. Mine charges 40/hour and works out of his garage. I know another guy a few hours away that was charging 25/hour but that was 5 years ago.

My buddy (DIYer to the core) and I did a valve cover gasket on my 01 corolla in about 2 hours but being as I want a lot of things done, I think it might be better to just have them take it all in and pay my dues that way.

I'm also surprised that it was $700 for spark plugs. Is there a reason it's so much? I imagine there hidden pretty good in there or something and maybe it's worth combining this with some of the other jobs.

Assuming I paid to have all of this work done ($40/hr), I guess I might get out of there for about $1k. Do you still agree?
You are insanely lucky!!! Here, the dealers are just shy of $200/hr. and most of the independent shops are up in the $85-115/hr. The main reason plugs are so much is that the van is a V-6 mounted transversely. The back 3 plugs are right against the firewall. I imagine for people that work on Siennas all day, every day, changing plugs can probably be done in 3-4 hours. But I believe I recall someone posting that the Toyota flat rate is 6 hours labor. Most mechanics around here give an estimate for the flat rate estimate times their labor rate plus retail cost for parts. Then, when you go to pay, they say something like, "We got it done quicker so we saved you a bit of money." If they get it done in half the book estimate and pay wholesale price for the parts, that discount can still be hefty for you AND net them an exceptional profit.
 

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My buddy (DIYer to the core)
Thats awesome to have someone who you trust and is very very reasonable at that!. I cannot emphasize enough that when he removes the intake to put duct tape over the ports. There was one member here who was not cautious enough and something fell inside and whatever it was caused a lot of damage. Just saying.
If this is your friends first time tackling this it would not hurt to look at the video to get an overall picture.
And by the way. There is one bracket back there which supports the intake manifold ( more to the passenger side) which is a PITA . I believe it is 14mm nut/bolt and I found the trick to this bolt is from under the vehicle looking up. It is best to undo the 10mm ( IIRC) which allows the bracket to wiggle a bit for alignment when buttoning things back up. Keep us posted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You are insanely lucky!!! Here, the dealers are just shy of $200/hr. and most of the independent shops are up in the $85-115/hr. The main reason plugs are so much is that the van is a V-6 mounted transversely. The back 3 plugs are right against the firewall. I imagine for people that work on Siennas all day, every day, changing plugs can probably be done in 3-4 hours. But I believe I recall someone posting that the Toyota flat rate is 6 hours labor. Most mechanics around here give an estimate for the flat rate estimate times their labor rate plus retail cost for parts. Then, when you go to pay, they say something like, "We got it done quicker so we saved you a bit of money." If they get it done in half the book estimate and pay wholesale price for the parts, that discount can still be hefty for you AND net them an exceptional profit.
Yeah, I've definitely paid my fair share of large mechanic bills on the road. Being home has it's advantages. Thanks for all your help, I really appreciate it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thats awesome to have someone who you trust and is very very reasonable at that!. I cannot emphasize enough that when he removes the intake to put duct tape over the ports. There was one member here who was not cautious enough and something fell inside and whatever it was caused a lot of damage. Just saying.
If this is your friends first time tackling this it would not hurt to look at the video to get an overall picture.
And by the way. There is one bracket back there which supports the intake manifold ( more to the passenger side) which is a PITA . I believe it is 14mm nut/bolt and I found the trick to this bolt is from under the vehicle looking up. It is best to undo the 10mm ( IIRC) which allows the bracket to wiggle a bit for alignment when buttoning things back up. Keep us posted.
Unfortunately my DIY friend is out in California and I'm back in Ohio. That being said, I have a reliable mechanic that should be able to get things done. I appreciate the insight regarding the intake manifold bracket issue. Thanks again for all your help!
 
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