Toyota Sienna Forum - siennachat.com banner

1 - 20 of 34 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

I have a 2011 Sienna V6 LE FWD. I was looking to buy a tent trailer and started reading all the confusion on the forum regarding the towing package. I visited the local dealer here in Edmonton, Alberta with the same questions as many of you and here's the story i received. Can someone with more knowledge let me know if the dealer's story make sense.

First, i talked to the service department and my experience mimics other people's thoughts, they are useless. They showed me some kind of spec sheet showing all the 2011 Sienna's delivered to Canada have the towing package but it seemed like the V4 ones had the package as well. I asked for a mechanic to show me the transmission coolant and they said they would charge me 1/2 hour shop time to lift the van on the hoist. Pathetic. They couldn't/wouldn't provide me any specific information on my van using my VIN number.

Then i went over to the parts department and asked them similar questions. They said that the transmission cooler is part of the radiator and not a separate part. Something along that line anyways. There were two people and the 2nd guy was a higher up (lack of a better word) parts manager who seemed to understand my questions and had answers. They printed some info for me that i have attached. The first page shows the radiator assembly (i think). The 2nd page shows what is available for the 2011 Sienna in general as a replacement radiator. The 3rd page shows the replacement radiator when they enter my vehicle's VIN number and filter the search.

So basically, that 3rd page shows (or at least what they are telling me) that to replace the radiator i have you need the one where the usage is "2GRFE..GSL30;2GRFE..GSL35..LE,XLE:TOWING PACKAGE FOR 3500LBS.

Does this confirm that my vehicle has the towing package? If anyone has any comments about what i was told, it would be greatly appreciated. Don't mean to beat the topic to death but it seems many people have questions so why not post another experience. Thanks in advance.
 

Attachments

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,022 Posts
The transmission cooler is INSIDE the radiator. And checking the transmission fluid is easiest done on a lift. So those parts are indeed true.

You are thinking of the Engine Oil Cooler. The assembly on a 2011 is very similar to this:

46799
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
OK so basically the dealership was giving me information about something that has nothing to do with the towing package itself? It is the oil cooler that i am looking for to ensure that my van can tow 3500 lbs?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,022 Posts
Yes and no.... It's complicated, and the data is misleading.

The 'main' element in the Tow Package is the Engine Oil Cooler. However, if you go thru the fine print there is talk about a higher capacity radiator with possibly a larger transmission oil cooler within. Some say ALL North America vans get the big radiator, so say otherwise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
OK so maybe a fair point to say is that they're telling me that i have the higher capacity radiator and that's about it.

I have attached a couple of pictures below but based on your pics it seems like i would need to insert my phone inside to get a glimpse of what you are trying to show me or even take a picture from underneath?

46801


46802
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
585 Posts
I have a 2011 FWD. As far as I know it is 500lbs TW and 3500lbs Towing. Very confusing. I think you are good to go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
OK based on fibber2's photos i have attached some more photos (what a pain) of my vehicle and it appears i have an engine cooler? Any thoughts/comments? It looks like a match but i'm not a mechanic by any means.

46803


46804


46805
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
586 Posts
Yes, that is the oil cooler.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,022 Posts
Yep, you've got the oil cooler. The white sheathed lines going off to the right carry engine coolant to that drum to remove excess heat from the oil.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,975 Posts
And since your have a 2011 LE on which the tow prep package was optional, you should be able to see it on the options list if you look up the VIN at Vehicle Specification | Toyota Owners

In model years and on trims (LE, XLE, etc.) in which the tow prep package is standard, it does not show on the Vehicle Specification lookup since only optional features show on it.

The tow prep package apparently was fairly rare on 2011 Sienna LE sold in the U.S. although maybe it was more common on Canadian market models. I once looked up the VIN's for every 2011 and 2012 Sienna LE that I found on an online service (e.g. eBay, cars.com) and found very few with the tow prep package.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,022 Posts
Oh, and at this time I should add the following warning! IIRC, 2011 was the last year that the oil cooler had hybrid steel / rubber hoses between the heat exchanger and the filter area.

46806


On the left is the Original Equipment hybrid system, and on the right is the updated replacement part. The rubber fails, and can quickly destroy your engine. Toyota issued service bulletins and warranty extensions to cover the replacement, but I think they have all timed out now (10 years). If you still have the hybrid assembly (and I think I see that in your upper set of pictures), now is the time to change it!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
And since your have a 2011 LE on which the tow prep package was optional, you should be able to see it on the options list if you look up the VIN at Vehicle Specification | Toyota Owners
...
Thanks for the link to check options via the VIN. It seems that my '04 LE has the tow prep package. The following is shown:
Tow Prep Package Includes: Heavy Duty Radiator,Fan,150 amp Alt & Power Steering Oil Cooler Engine Immobilizer

What exactly is the Engine Immobilizer? The dealer had installed an alarm on the vehicle - would that be it? Or is there another alarm that was preinstalled?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,975 Posts
Thanks for the link to check options via the VIN. It seems that my '04 LE has the tow prep package. The following is shown:
Tow Prep Package Includes: Heavy Duty Radiator,Fan,150 amp Alt & Power Steering Oil Cooler Engine Immobilizer

What exactly is the Engine Immobilizer? The dealer had installed an alarm on the vehicle - would that be it? Or is there another alarm that was preinstalled?
I found the following with Google:

What is engine immobilizer system Toyota?
The engine immobilizer is a state-of-the-art anti-theft system. When you insert your key into the ignition switch or bring a Smart Key fob into the vehicle, the key transmits an electronic code to the vehicle. ... If you lose a key or Smart Key fob, your Toyota dealership can help.


The VIN lookup shows only factory and port installed optional features.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Geezer1 thanks for the link but this site unfortunately only works for US residents. After you enter the VIN it asks you to locate a dealership with a Zip Code not a Postal Code (Canada). Basically you can't get the vehicle's history because you are stuck at this step.

The only info i could find using my VIN was this:
Model: 2011 Sienna
Driver Type: 2WD
Grade: SIENNA LE V6 8-PASS 6A
Transmission: AUTOMATIC
Exterior: Alpine White(040)
Selling Dealer:
Interior: Cloth
Preferred Dealer: None Selected
Engine:
Date of First Use: April 14, 2011

At the "Port or Factory Installed Equipment" and "Standard Installation Equipment" sections, nothing is listed.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,022 Posts
Thanks for the link to check options via the VIN. It seems that my '04 LE has the tow prep package. The following is shown:
Tow Prep Package Includes: Heavy Duty Radiator,Fan,150 amp Alt & Power Steering Oil Cooler Engine Immobilizer

What exactly is the Engine Immobilizer? The dealer had installed an alarm on the vehicle - would that be it? Or is there another alarm that was preinstalled?
Remember that your 2004 (2004-2006) Gen-II van had the earlier 3.3L engine, and that mill never came with an external engine oil cooler.

I'm also surprised to hear that Engine Immobilizer is listed as part of a package. I was under the impression that ALL Gen-II (2004-2010) vans had chipped keys.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,022 Posts
Geezer1 thanks for the link but this site unfortunately only works for US residents. After you enter the VIN it asks you to locate a dealership with a Zip Code not a Postal Code (Canada). Basically you can't get the vehicle's history because you are stuck at this step.
I wonder what would happen if you spoofed it by entering a US border town zip code?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,975 Posts
I wonder what would happen if you spoofed it by entering a US border town zip code?
I don't think the zip code is a factor on the Toyota VIN lookup. It likely determines the user's location by their IP address similar to what this forum appears to do when it displays the user's country flag by their member name.

It's possible and even common for someone who lives outside the U.S. to spoof a U.S. IP address by using a VPN (virtual private network) that has a front facing U.S. IP address. My sister uses a commercial service that does it.

Edit: I should have read the reply from LO 044. Maybe entering a U.S. zip will work. The VIN lookup site doesn't ask me for a ZIP but maybe my zip or a U.S. zip got previously stored in a cookie.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Well i entered a US Zip Code (thaks Walla Walla, WA) but there isn't much more information on the site. Definitely nothing on the tow package or oil cooler issues. There are a bunch of manuals to download. The only thing listed under recalls is the Takata Airbag Recall which we had taken care of up here in Canada as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
fibber2 just to clarify, in the pictures below i believe these are the two sheathed/ribbed hoses you are talking about? Is it literally the hoses that need to be replaced only? The oil cooler is fine? I saw some videos discussions about the o-ring on the oil cooler failing and spewing oil?

Also this video
seems to literally describe the step by step replacement of these hoses and the guy even uses the all metal replacement. Can anyone confirm? I'm not comfortable doing this myself so i'll probably go to a trusted mechanic who i have. BTW the dealership i went to (i did not purchase the vehicle here but it is closer to my home) claimed i had an oil leak a year ago and wanted to charge me $3,000 to fix. Then i went to the trusted mechanic and he said they're lying to you. So i'm hesitant to get this fixed at Toyota. Any reason why i should go to a Toyota mechanic?

Also i kind of mentioned in the 2nd picture about this hopefully being grease. It's quite black and smeary but hey since i'm asking a world of questions.

Anyways here's the pics:
46811


46813
 

Attachments

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,022 Posts
In the initial dark pictures I saw the transition from bright to dark, and assumed that was black rubber. Instead, it looks like oil/grime covered corrugated steel. Wipe it down and be sure, but from these photos it looks like you do have the latest (all-steel) assembly.
 
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
Top