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'11 Limited FWD
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213 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This unit needs to come with some very simple instructions, but it doesn't. The purchaser is then left to surf the web and read about the frustrations endured by other purchasers in the course of finding out how much or how little is needed to install this, which is totally unnecessary. Here's the scoop.

The CMHCXAO module is generic. iDataStart (from the same company that brings you the iDataLink Maestro line of radio and steering wheel control integration products) has several models specific to one brand or a few brands, but this is the generic one so it doesn't come with any car-specific firmware installed. You need to do this before you install it by installing and using Weblink Desktop, but contrary to popular belief this does not require an ancient Windows PC running IE7. There are versions of Weblink Desktop for Mac as well.

Even the ADS-THR-TL7 Y-harness is somewhat generic. It's for Toyota and Lexus, but it spans many models which are not wired alike so there are parts of this harness which are not used on our Siennas. There are no instructions for the Y-harness; they are in the model-specific installation sheet.

1) Go to https://www.weblinkupdater.com/weblinkdesktop/en and download the app for your system. Create an account and then select your van and desired options and then flash your module.

2) Go to https://www.idatalink.com/support and drill down to your van so you can see the installation sheet. For my 2011 PTS it was this page.

3) Remove the interior trim. Pry up the driver's doorsill trim, remove the forward curved piece, then remove the two 10mm screws and pull the lower dash trim away (it will still be connected by some wires and cables; no need to fully remove). Turn the steering wheel to expose the phillips head screws that hold the lower steering wheel trim on and pull the lower steering wheel trim off. I also removed the panel with the mirror controls to improve visibility; it just pulls away.

4) Install connectors VS1 and VS2 at the steering lock.
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6) Install connectors VS3 and VS4 at the middle position of the body ECM.
Computer hardware Electrical wiring Personal computer Cable Electrical supply


7) Join the harnesses and the module per the diagram and you are done with the physical installation. That's it. Two connection locations in the car (steering lock, body ECM), connect the two harnesses together, three plugs into the module. Then you proceed with the initial programming per the installation sheet and provided it works, you tidy up and reinstall the trim. Mine worked right away.

Note: The instruction sheet shows the hood switch as a separate wire but it is not needed; the Sienna already has a hood switch in the latch and the iDataStart sees that switch. Also you can add an extra wire which lets you leave the car running securely in a parking lot, but I did not do that.

By far, the most time-consuming part was figuring out how to start. Because the module and harness are generic, it's not practical to ship them with instructions for the 2011 PTS Sienna. I get that, but it doesn't have to be as hard as they make it. A simple slip of paper with the two URLs would have saved me an hour, easily.
 

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Great write up! Hopefully this will help others get this installed. Thanks for taking the time 馃槉
 

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Nice write-up.

Why install the hood switch? Isn't the van is already wired with a hood sensor that is connected to the hood latch
 

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'11 Limited FWD
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213 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Maybe it is! If true, I didn't know that. I'd be happy to be able to remove that kind of junky switch. I looked for a pin switch but I'll inspect the latch (unless someone simply knows the answer, hint hint).
 

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2014 Sienna Limited; 2015 Avalon XLE, 2013 Prius Five
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63 Posts
So with the van locked, what key fob do you use to remotely start the van? What is the approximate range of the key fob? After using your remote start feature, how do you unlock the door? When you open the door, does the engine die?
I have been looking for a remote start system that works with a Sienna PTS key that does NOT kill the engine when you open the door. I have been told that this is NOT possible on a PTS key, but you CAN get it done on a regular key start van. I anxiously await your reply. And thanx 1,000,000 for your write-up.
TIM.
 

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'11 Limited FWD
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213 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
With the van locked, I press the lock button on the Smart Key three times and the van starts. Being the normal OEM key fob, I assume the range is whatever the range is for normal locking and unlocking. I don't know what that range is. And to open the door I simply grab the handle and open the door, because it is after all the Smart Key system, and yes the engine shuts off.

I can understand wanting it to stay running, and iDataStart has the name for that concept, but to me it's simply not a dealbreaker.
 

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2014 Sienna Limited; 2015 Avalon XLE, 2013 Prius Five
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63 Posts
Thanks 1,000,000 Anton for your reply. Through my own research, I did find a few companies that offered remote start for PTS Sienna's, but they ALL included the engine-kill feature. While I do not want that feature, it is becoming apparent that I may not have any option. DRAT and curses....
 

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'11 Limited FWD
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
@sbihue you are totally correct about the hood switch, I just disconnected the one I installed and it still works perfectly: the car starts with the hood closed and does not start with the hood open. I will remove the switch and edit my initial post to reflect this.
 
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