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I've got a FWD sienna xle with 233,000 miles and I've had for about a month or so and paid $2600 for it. ( I put $1267 last month to have someone put a timing belt, water pump, tensioner, and 2 roller bearings timing belt, 2 drive belts and new anti freeze in it.) Anyway, I bought the transmission Filter ,Gasket and O ring today. Its a WIX brand kit. I bought the fluid at O'Riellys ,its their fluid and I'm not to sure its the best to use so I might take it back and buy Toyota Original fluid at the stealership. I bought a new inch/ pound torque wrench 3/8th drive today to keep the right specs on it all. I need a crush washer, O ring for the dipstick tube, anyway. Besides their price for the fluid is $6.25 a quart , where as O'Riellys was $ 7.99. They did price match it though. So, I have a Rubber Gasket that WIX supplied in their kit. I don't know weather or not to use 'Permatex transmission gasket' maker on it or not. Some people say No ,you don't need any at all. Some say use it on the pan side only. Some say if it's a coated (FEL_PRO)with some kind of sealer already you don't need to and if you do it will create a leak. So, I tried to find out if it is coated but couldn't find that out. Watched a bunch of videos of the job. At least 2 of them said not to use any sealer if its rubber and might just do that. Who knows, its a guessing game, totally frustrating. Some say to use Lock -Tite on the all the bolts, so the fluid won't leak through them, not sure about that either. Well, I have time its snowing like 3 inches right now here in lower Michigan. Suppose to warm up to 45* by next Tuesday so that may be the pan and filter day. It's going to be an outside job on concrete.
 

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As much as I hate to say this i would use the toyota fluid. The gasket maker i have never used on a trans pan, but might if i could not
stop a leak. I would try first without. If a chunk of that gets into the valve body you will have big problems.
I have never used loctite on any bolts either, I think you will see after the pan is off the threads are either blind or drilled through
to the outside. The toyota fluid is cheaper then ? i remember it being like 8.99 a quart. Was it the toyota atf ws ?
I think the ws is what is recomended for a 2008. The other type is " T-IV " but that is for 2004 and earlier i believe.
 

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Before you recommend a flush, or AGAINST a flush, define what you mean.

  1. A "flush" can mean disconnecting cooling lines and using an external pump to run new fluid into the transmission to flush out the old fluid.
  2. A "flush" can mean disconnecting cooling lines and using the running engine to turn the internal pump to run new fluid into the transmission to flush out the old fluid.
The first type can cause problems. Some of these machines use fairly high pressure to make things happen quickly, and these can dislodge particles, and bad things follow that. This is exactly why "flush" is a bad word to some people.

The second kind is what you should do, regardless of your mileage. It will not hurt your transmission. Clean fluid will not hurt your transmission.

If it would, you should never do a drain and fill, either.

Don't believe in ANY "sealed" transmission. Change your fluid. The EPA doesn't care about your car's longevity.
 

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Great advice about the transmission flush. Disconnecting a cooler line is the best way to completely remove old fluid. It’s a myth that changing transmission fluid and replacing it with new fluid will hurt the transmission.I have used the transmission cooler lines to change transmission fluid and three Ford E3 50 vans, one Subaru outback wagon. I have never had an issue due to flushing the transmission through the cooler lines. It should be done every 30,000 miles.
 

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As much as I hate to say this i would use the toyota fluid. The gasket maker i have never used on a trans pan, but might if i could not
stop a leak. I would try first without. If a chunk of that gets into the valve body you will have big problems.
I have never used loctite on any bolts either, I think you will see after the pan is off the threads are either blind or drilled through
to the outside. The toyota fluid is cheaper then ? i remember it being like 8.99 a quart. Was it the toyota atf ws ?
I think the ws is what is recomended for a 2008. The other type is " T-IV " but that is for 2004 and earlier i believe.
I took back the O'Reillys fluid and went to a Toyota dealership and bought the recommended ATF 1-V for a 2006 , for $6.25 a quart. While there I got the 'O' ring for the dipstick tube for $2.00. I think I'll pass on the loctite too. I'm going to try the rubber gasket without any sealer. I just need a long slightly bent boxed end 10 mm wrench though for those 3 hard to get bolts. There's not much room there. I'm thinking maybe the motor mounts are worn down allowing it to drop some ( Just guessing though). I might have to unbolt the mounts and jack it up some, who knows. So, anyway the temps supposed to warm up Monday to 45 and its go day. Finally got it all together. Did all the you- tube research and sienna chat helped. I might post again about this if it helps my shifting situation out. If it doesn't I'll drive it till it stops and take it from there. Maybe have it rebuilt, maybe buy a donor, maybe buy a Toyota rebuilt, its hard to say. It's to old to put a lot into at 235,000 now. I guess I'd spend $2,000 or less to fix it. I only put 7-8,000 miles a year on a vehicle now . Will it make it to 300,000? Who knows.
 

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Great advice about the transmission flush. Disconnecting a cooler line is the best way to completely remove old fluid. It’s a myth that changing transmission fluid and replacing it with new fluid will hurt the transmission.I have used the transmission cooler lines to change transmission fluid and three Ford E3 50 vans, one Subaru outback wagon. I have never had an issue due to flushing the transmission through the cooler lines. It should be done every 30,000 miles.
I'm on a Ford truck forum, and there is a member there who is a retired Ford transmission engineer. This is exactly the procedure he recommends.
 

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@BlueRidgeMark. Are you referring to Mark Kovalsky? LOL! I have been using his flush for nearly 7 years. Another gentleman figured out a better way to flush the TorqueShift tranny on the diesel trucks by dropping the pan and filter. Mark K said his way would not work on that tranny as the torque convertor blocks flow until the fluid is heated-it's opened by a thermostat. The only way to do his method is with hot tranny fluid. I stuck a flexible plastic hose leading to the torque convertor to a bucket of tranny fluid and the pump did all the work. No dumping fluid until the pan filled up.

All those BS myths about the tranny going bad after the flush is a myth. If the tranny goes after the flush, then it was gone before the flush. My Honda transmission went out after I flushed it. However, it was giving me problems 2 years before the flush. I rebuilt the transmission computer. Next, I sent the transmission computer in for rebuilding because I thought I soldered it bad. It still gave me problems. I replaced the speed sensor. Still worked only in 2 gears. I flushed the tranny as I had nothing to lose but time and money. I replaced the shift solenoids and it ran for about a day and finally died.

Any more suggestions for buying a good used Sienna van? My kids are almost grown up and I want to downsize after we go on our annual month-long family van camping trip. My wife needs a daily driver to replace the 1991 Honda with the bad tranny.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the Ford E350 vans. We are on our 3rd. They are huge and fun to camp in. The E350 is a truck. It's so well made. I sold an E350 PowerStroke Diesel last year with 823,000 miles on it! It ran beautifully with the exception of rhythmic chirp that made me nervous as I thought it was a bad lifter. The buyer did not think so. He bought a well-maintained machine and I used the money to buy an E350 gasoline van.
 

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We bought ours from the original owner last summer @ 205k miles, IIRC. He was a maintenance freak - changed all filters and fluids by the book. We even got spares of every filter that exists. (Yes, even cabin air!)

Since then, I have replaced the steering rack, front axles, strut assemblies, sway bar links. Search on my user name here and you can find my threads on those issues.

I've also repalcd the tires, but we knew the tires were due when we bought it. I absolutely LOVE my new Kumho tires on that thing! They handle well, perform very well in rain and light snow (haven't had theim in heavy snowor ice yet). The only downside is that they sing a bit, but for the performance, that's easy to live with.

The driver's door sometimes makes a SPROING sound when close it. It really sounds cheesy! But it's not a functional problem.

The back up lights are pathetic. However, I live in the country, and it's country dark here. City folks don't know what that's like. They are probably just fine for city use. I'm going to mount an off-road light under the back bumper as a back-up light. I did that on my Ford van and it made a world of difference. I have a few of them laying around.

When it's idling, if I'm out of the vehicle, I can hear a slight knocking. Sounds like an engine mount needs to be replaced. Bleh.

I also need to have the timing belt replaced. It's original. I'm not going to try to push it to 300k, though I've heard they are fine that long. Factory says 90k.

The cruise control is pathetic on downhills. Does very well otherwise.

I have a rear interior light that broke, and now the only way to turn it off is to use the master switch on the dash. It's one of those "press the lense" type switches, and it does not appear to be repairable. I'll get around to replacing it one of these days.

Other than all that, we love it. It handles surprisingly well for a mini-van. It's very comfortable to drive. If I hit the lottery, we'd probably buy a new one.
 

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Thanks for the details. We are in the hunt. I think it's best to purchase knowing a lot about the vans.
I was in the hunt 3 months ago. I researched it a lot to. My interest in Toyota products started when I found Scotty Kilmer on you tube. He absolutely proved just how reliable and long lasting they are. He convinced me of that. So, I kept looking into them. The more I read the more I wanted one. I decided on a van because I have always had one. I can't say I know much about them so far but I'm learning. Blue ridge bought his with 205,000 miles and I bought mine with 233,000 miles so whats that tell you. After really looking at mine I said , This is really a well thought out design. The parts last a lot longer and every detail is meant to make the part last. It's like they want it to be the best it can be. Sure its more complicated than I like but that's just more of a challenge to be a better mechanic and think through things. I still think Toyota makes the best average man vehicle for the money. Is it going to cost me more to replace parts and maintain everything? I think so, compared to the 2000 chevy cavalier or 1999 ford windstar I use to own. Some things like just changing out the thermostat requires a whole lot of work and its just not easy and changing out the plugs on the rear bank is another pain. Having to machine press a wheel bearing on, is more time consuming. All those possible parts like sensors, vvt valves, and all the high tech stuff going bad on you could run into some serious money along the way. But still it may be worth if. I'll know in a few years. It couldn't be much worse than my ol chevy. At least I feel like I have a good foundation to build and invest in. The rust is very little and the bodys in good shape. I might be looking at replacing all those things blue ridge did but its one thing at a time, here a little and there a little. It still beats a car payment. I'd rather have American made but they would have to come out with a vehicle as good or better that what Toyota does first. I really want a 64 chevy impala 283 with a power glide transmission with low miles. To me that would be as simple as it gets and would suit me.
 

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I have an '08 AWD Limited.
Some issues on mine that required repair:
  • R wheel bearing
  • Water pump @ 62,000 (?); seems like I am getting that clicking noise from the engine bay again (@108k now)
  • grinding noise from below the van (torque converter?; transmission?) while in Neutral
  • worn out rear diff bearing
  • oil cooler line (leaked oil all over the driveway 2 years ago; new part is all metal vs. metal rubber lines in original)
  • eats through tires; finally went with SUV Michelin Defenders; lasts a little longer, but maybe 40k.
  • radio/NAV went out (known issue; $400 repair); replaced with Kenwood DVD/Android Auto (link to cell)
  • Did Transmission fluid flush at dealer around 55k.
  • Did own Transmission full fluid flush around 106k (drained pan; replaced transmission filter; filled 5 qts per dipstick; drained transmission fluid from radiator cooling return line (2 qts at a time; total 7 additional qts used): 12 qts total.
  • added Magnafine filter to radiator cooling return line for transmission fluid
Otherwise, it has been reliable.
 
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