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2017 Toyota Sienna Limited 7 Passenger. Premium XLE WAGON 3.5L V6 4WD AT
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I found BjTex1010 image from this post and compared it to my own 2017 Sienna XLE Limited Premium AWD and it appears that our Sienna does not have tow package.

Does anyone have towing experience without the tow package in the 2017 Sienna XLE Limited Premium AWD? What are the risks if we tow without the tow package?
Can the tow package be installed aftermarket by a dealer or another mechanic?
 

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I have to say, I would never tow with a front wheel drive minivan. Its not designed for that, even tho the engine can do it, the suspension and steering is not strong enough. That said, I was going to install a tranny cooler but decided against it because I never saw the tranny temp go above 180 even on the hottest day. But you would want to keep it out of OD so the torque convertor stays locked. Knowing this crew, I am going to be bashed for my opinion.
 

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2017 Toyota Sienna Limited 7 Passenger. Premium XLE WAGON 3.5L V6 4WD AT
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Discussion Starter #3
@Drcoffee thanks for your reply. My Sienna is AWD, does that change your opinion?
 

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.even tho the engine can do it, the suspension and steering is not strong enough.
Agreed. Of course, it depends what you mean by "towing", and it depends what you are towing. And no, having AWD does not help the situation.

If you are talking about an occasional tow around town, that's probably not a problem as long as you stay within the weight limits. Remember, it's NEVER about what the engine can do. It's not about going, it's about maintaining control and most importantly, it's about stopping.

If you are planning a psuedo-RV life where you are towing a trailer all across the country..... pick another vehicle.


And yes, a local shop can install everything you need. Make sure to include a transmission cooler. Make sure to include a transmission cooler. Make sure to include a transmission cooler. Make sure to include a transmission cooler.

But please, don't have your local U-Haul do it. I have seen some really scary stuff from them. Find a big RV place that has good reviews.

And make sure to include a transmission cooler.
 

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Make sure to include a transmission cooler. Make sure to include a transmission cooler. Make sure to include a transmission cooler. Make sure to include a transmission cooler.
And make sure to include a transmission cooler.
Do you think you said it enough times? Your signature says you have a gen 2 2006 Sienna LE but you are posting in a generation 3 Sienna (2011-2020) forum. All gen 3 Sienna, both FWD and AWD, have a standard transmission cooler at the bottom of the radiator. The lines running from it to the transmission are easily seen by looking down from the top of the engine compartment.
 

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I suspect it would be difficult to find a modern vehicle with an automatic transmission that does NOT have a built in radiator transmission cooler. They are at least very common, if not nearly universal. Even my old 1996 Ford E350 had one. Interestingly, when I replaced the transmission with a Ford reman, Ford required the addition of TWO more external coolers in order to validate the warranty. That's how important transmission cooling is. They wanted one between the transmission and the radiator, and another one after the radiator, and before the return to the transmission.

The built-in cooler is adequate for normal driving. It is NOT adequate for towing. An external cooler, in addition to the standard built-in cooler, is needed.
 

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The built-in cooler is adequate for normal driving. It is NOT adequate for towing. An external cooler, in addition to the standard built-in cooler, is needed.
It's more than adequate for towing. People, including me, have been towing with gen 3 Sienna for years without any problems at all. I suggest that you stay in your "lane"..
 

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Oh, dear, somebody got his feewings hurt!

It all depends on what you are towing, as I mentioned.
 

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I think we've said enough about the transmission cooler and temperatures anticipated.

So let's get down to some facts and other issues.

What does the OP intend to tow with his 2017 Sienna? Weight of trailer, conditions of towing (flatlands or mountain passes), cool winters or Death Valley in the summer? How far out of spec does he intend to go?

Let's remember that a 2017 XLE AWD lacks what Toyota considers an important component: the Engine Oil heat exchanger. Without that, Toyota's recommended limit is 2,000 lbs, down from 3,500 lbs. Coked oil is a potential concern due to elevated internal heat, resulting in VVTi issues (apparently the smallest passages in the engine and the possibility of clogging).

Can you add an engine oil cooler? A full factory job? No. Overly complex, and requires a different lower engine skirt with ports. But a relatively new solution discussed on this board a few times might offer a solution. https://www.bpadapters.com/
 

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...... I would never tow with a front wheel drive minivan. Its not designed for that, even tho the engine can do it, the suspension and steering is not strong enough....................But you would want to keep it out of OD so the torque convertor stays locked. ...............
Why not? Which Toyota engineer told you that it is not designed to tow? The 8 speed that the OP has in his 2017 Sienna locks the TQ convertor electronically in every gear, but towing a heavy load or a full profile trailer you won't hit 7th & 8th gear anyway. I put it in S mode and 6th gear and let the transmission do the work. Only on very steep inclines I may shift it manual if it becomes necessary as well as on downhill I will keep it in a lower gear to utilize engine braking. Nothing wrong using a Sienna to tow with, have been doing it for over 10 years now with zero problems. Been towing campers for nearly 30 years now with what most people would say are inadequate vehicles.

............ it's about maintaining control and most importantly, it's about stopping. ............ pick another vehicle.
Never understand when people say it is about stopping? This makes no sense as no vehicle manufacturer designs a car, truck, SUV, etc. to have brakes that will stop the GCVWR (Vehicle and trailer together) but designs the brakes on the vehicle to stop the GVWR (vehicle weight capacity) of the vehicle itself. If you are towing a heavy trailer then you should be installing a brake controller that will engage the brakes on the trailer to stop it. Most place have a law that trailers around 3000+ lbs (varies by state in US and province in Canada) have to have brakes as standard. Also I see people say/post they can feel the trailer pushing them when coming to a stop then your brakes controller is not adjusted properly as the trailer should never push the vehicle when you are braking. I know that our trailer never pushes us when coming to a stop including emergency stopping.

.................... The built-in cooler is adequate for normal driving. It is NOT adequate for towing. An external cooler, in addition to the standard built-in cooler, is needed.
We tow heavy with our 2017 (you can search for my posts here on what we tow) and have had zero issues with the 8 speed trans towing now for 3 years. NO extra transmission cooler installed only what comes standard from the factory. Normally for us we do over 60 nights camping plus a 2 to 3 week long trip some where in the US or Canada. Even this year with the COVID thing we have camped for 40 nights so far and 3 more this weekend coming which will be our last for the season.
 

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The steering is not strong enough? That’s the first time I’ve heard that. I think because the US is so litigious, towing limits as found in the owners manual are probably pretty conservative. So if you stay within the limits and tow carefully, you should be fine.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I found BjTex1010 image from this post and compared it to my own 2017 Sienna XLE Limited Premium AWD and it appears that our Sienna does not have tow package.

Does anyone have towing experience without the tow package in the 2017 Sienna XLE Limited Premium AWD? What are the risks if we tow without the tow package?
Can the tow package be installed aftermarket by a dealer or another mechanic?
Hi,
I looked at the link you provided and further down in the discussion it is stated that the tow prep package looks different than the picture you looked at. I also read that 2014 and newer all have a tow prep package that includes the engine oil cooler that someone mentioned. Of course, with any information, maybe have Toyota confirm and show you how to identify the prep package.

I have a 2020 XLE AWD and have only flat towed a small manual car ~2000lbs.At the advice of the Toyota service dept where I bought my car, they said to go after market for the receiver, so I did. I had another company set up a Chevy Spark for flat towing and add the 7 and 4 pin connectors. I would consider towing the Barefoot trailer if it ever makes it to the US, in which case I would add a brake controller.

Take care!
 

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Toyota has changed the standard equipment mix with regards to the Tow Package and specifically the presence/absence of the oil cooler several times over the 10 year run of this model. The only sure way is to look for the heat exchanger assembly on the lower front of the vehicle. For the 2GR-FE engine (2011 - 2016) it was a round canister. For the 2GR-FKS (2017-2020) is square with fins. The position and function is pretty much the same.

In general (and I'm loathe to use that term....), it's found on the FWD vans. It depends on the year and trim for AWD vans.
 

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I found BjTex1010 image from this post and compared it to my own 2017 Sienna XLE Limited Premium AWD and it appears that our Sienna does not have tow package.

Does anyone have towing experience without the tow package in the 2017 Sienna XLE Limited Premium AWD? What are the risks if we tow without the tow package?
Can the tow package be installed aftermarket by a dealer or another mechanic?
I have a 2014 LE and have towed my 3500 lbs. TT (sometimes 3700Lbs) with at least 4 passengers for about 28K miles in total and have had no issues.

I installed all of these components (aftermarket) myself - Progressive brake controller, additional tranny cooler, rear suspension air bags and a scanguage II to monitor ATF temp. I don't have sway bars to keep the tongue weight down (about 300Lbs). Not sure if an AWD model might struggle but I've had no issues towing uphill (up to 8% grade). Never had issues with braking although I do downshift with braking as much as possible and my trailers e-brakes work pretty well.

I change oil every 4-5K miles and do a running ATF flush every 8-10K (this vehicle mostly runs while towing).
 

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And your 2014 LE FWD has an engine oil cooler?
 

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I figured that you did, being FWD of that year. But we need to keep it clear and concise, that when you talk about towing 3700 lbs and state that you had no issues, you were equipped from the factory for towing a 3500 lb load.
 
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