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I purchase a new 2011 Sienna Limited AWD a month ago...and a few days after receiving it, I noticed a clunking noise/feeling in the steering wheel when turning both left and right. It usually happens when making hard turns where I can roll through the turn and not have to stop or slow down significantly (like at a stop sign). Anyway, I took into the dealership and the mechanic said it was a problem with the intermediate steering shaft. They will replace it under the warranty (now waiting for parts). He said he has not heard of the third generation Sienna's having this problem...and I hadn't seen anybody post anything about the problem with 2011/2012's. So thought I'd give 3rd gen owners a head's up.
 

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That is very interesting to hear... I know my 1997 Toyota Camry suffers from this problem, I thought they would have come up with a better solution by now. They did issue a TSB to replace them initially on the Camry but now have superceeded that with a TSB that simply requires it be lubricated. I have not heard of any complaints on this forum on any of the Sienna vans.
 

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I have this problem with my 2009. I'll wait to be almost at the end of the warranty to get it fixed ( 7 months )
 

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I'm resurrecting this older thread. I just turned 80,000 miles on my 2011 LE V6, love this Sienna for it's ride, space, and gas mileage. I have had a few minor issues that I fixed on my own, no big deals though. I test drove a new Honda Odyssey and felt it was smaller inside, had a more complicated dash layout, and the ride seemed mushy and less responsive with less driver input/ feel than the Sienna. My question and reason for bringing this thread back to life is I too have recently experienced this clicking/clunking noise/feel in the steering wheel, though the steering is tight and the van drives straight. My mechanic friend and Toyota both checked out the suspension and said everything is tight and they couldn't duplicate the problem. I feel it regularly, I guess since I have driven this since new I notice everything not normal. After reading this thread and the TSB for a 2004 intermediate shaft clicking, I am pretty much convinced this is the problem. Has anyone else had this issue and fixed it? Does it require replacement of the intermediate shaft or can it just be lubricated, and how is that done? What causes the click/clunk?

Thanks for any info.
 

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I'm resurrecting this older thread. I just turned 80,000 miles on my 2011 LE V6, love this Sienna for it's ride, space, and gas mileage. I have had a few minor issues that I fixed on my own, no big deals though. I test drove a new Honda Odyssey and felt it was smaller inside, had a more complicated dash layout, and the ride seemed mushy and less responsive with less driver input/ feel than the Sienna. My question and reason for bringing this thread back to life is I too have recently experienced this clicking/clunking noise/feel in the steering wheel, though the steering is tight and the van drives straight. My mechanic friend and Toyota both checked out the suspension and said everything is tight and they couldn't duplicate the problem. I feel it regularly, I guess since I have driven this since new I notice everything not normal. After reading this thread and the TSB for a 2004 intermediate shaft clicking, I am pretty much convinced this is the problem. Has anyone else had this issue and fixed it? Does it require replacement of the intermediate shaft or can it just be lubricated, and how is that done? What causes the click/clunk?

Thanks for any info.
I doubt that the 2004 Sienna and a 2011 model year van would have the issue in common. You could always ask to take a Toyota tech on a ride with you until the issue is duplicated.
 

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I occasionally feel this too in my '12 SE. It doesn't do it all the time but it happened more than 3 times since I bought it new end of July 2012.
 

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Part of Toyota's "magic" as a low overhead producer is their proliferation of common parts over a huge number of different vehicles. That we've seen intermediate steering shaft recalls and tech service bulletins show up over the years for the Sienna, Prius, Camry, Corolla, Rav4 and various Lexus models and now complaints with 2011+ models tells me there's still something fundamentally amiss here. How hard can it be to make a little U-joint?

This is the advertising copy from an aftermarket supplier of Toyota compatible shafts: Often on original steering columns, the shafts with the coupler wear out. At first it will usually just make a clicking, or ticking noise when moving the steering wheel. This can usually be felt. If not replaced, over time it can cause not only a loose steering feel, but a dangerous safety concern if the joint separates.
 

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I just had mine replaced.

They replaced the STEERING INTERMEDIATE SHAFT.
WO 1418 (I guess WO stands for work order).

It will get worse/noticeable over time so you'll need to go with a tech to reproduce the sound.
Try to have the tech drive slow around 25 mph'ish, make a left turn and then right turn or vice versa. That's how it works for mine.
 

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I rest my case....
 

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I own a 2011 Sianna with 58k miles, and am experiencing the same issue. Does anyone know if the repair is covered under the 60k powertrain warranty, and if not what it would cost to fix.

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I just had mine replaced.

They replaced the STEERING INTERMEDIATE SHAFT.
WO 1418 (I guess WO stands for work order).

It will get worse/noticeable over time so you'll need to go with a tech to reproduce the sound.
Try to have the tech drive slow around 25 mph'ish, make a left turn and then right turn or vice versa. That's how it works for mine.
 

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thanx for the info. i have 2011 Sienna SE with 50K miles now and i've recently noticed the same problem. I had it scheduled to take a look at it. I will post an update.
 

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I have 2011 Sienna SE and at around 48k miles i started feeling the clucking when starting off from left or right stop. now at 51k, it's a little more. after reading here and there on the net, i am convinced that it is intermediate steering shaft issue. I took the car to the local X-Toyota/Lexus specialist and he test drove the car for a bit and immediate says the same thing it's the intermediate steering shaft issue. It can be fixed with warranty according to him. So i am taking it to the dealer tomorrow, and i'll see what they have to say about that.

Couple of weeks ago, when i dropped my car off for a oil change, i told them to check the intermediate steering shaft check, they said the noise is coming from the sliding door. dumb ass mechanic thinks i am dumber than him. lol.. Gosh I wonder if there is any honest mechanic out there at the dealer....
 

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I thought the same. The steering is tight but when the wheel is turned during left or right turn for a stop and then when you accelerate you feel the clunking/knocking feel on your steering. It's intermediate steering shaft issue I think. I shall find out the detail when i take it to the dealer again. They were BSing me last time that it's the sliding door. just one more try before i tell the whole world about dishonest assessment. lol
 

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I thought the same. The steering is tight but when the wheel is turned during left or right turn for a stop and then when you accelerate you feel the clunking/knocking feel on your steering. It's intermediate steering shaft issue I think. I shall find out the detail when i take it to the dealer again. They were BSing me last time that it's the sliding door. just one more try before i tell the whole world about dishonest assessment. lol
You don't have a smart Service Advisor.

Either ask for another one or go to Elmore toyota here on Beach Blvd where I took mine.

Ask for Andrew or anyone else and they're familiar with this problem. Have them look it up in their computer since there's a TSB on it.
 

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Thanx so much for the info. When my wife took the car to the tustin dealer and ask to check it and they say the noise is coming from the sliding door and they say $450 to take apart. Amazing how noise can come out if sliding door is closed and not moving while I feel the knocking on the steering handle. I think the mechanic is a crook or the service guy us trying to rip customer off. I am so mad they are wasting my time. I am going lets see if they say the same if I go there. lol
 

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You don't have a smart Service Advisor.

Either ask for another one or go to Elmore toyota here on Beach Blvd where I took mine.

Ask for Andrew or anyone else and they're familiar with this problem. Have them look it up in their computer since there's a TSB on it.
Hey, the local dealer here says warrant doesn't cover. Do you know the warranty period on the intermediate steering shaft?
 

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Hey, the local dealer here says warrant doesn't cover. Do you know the warranty period on the intermediate steering shaft?
Same here, not covered as my time has expired, even though I am under 60K miles. I can get another mechanic to replace the steering shaft, but wanted to know if it must be done, or can it be lubed? I guess it must be replaced to be safe? shame that we as consumers need to replace this item that wears after the 3 year warranty!
 

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I've also been experiencing this issue in my 2011 XLE. I've got just shy of 60k miles on it now. Bought an extended warranty at time of purchase. Just need to find the paperwork... For those who had this repaired, what was the cost?
 
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