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2004 Sienna CE 97k miles
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
took the van on a longer drive yesterday (from LA to Santa Barbara) since I took ownership of it. had to climb uphill several times along the way. Seems it lacks power on the climb (2k rpm going at 60 mph), lot of cars just flew by me, be it 4 cyl sedans or 6 cyl suv's. is this your experience? On flat road, it can go at 80 mph easily, shifting is smooth especially after the recent ATF D & F.

Also, it feels slow going from a dead stop, much slower than my Mazda 5 and CRV. i guess that's just how a minivan is?
 

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2014 Sienna LE
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V6. I wasn't gunning it.
That's your answer. Just push the pedal more to go the speed you want. Once the engine is warm (temp gauge is in the middle where it stops after it heats up from cold), don't be afraid to push the pedal to the floor, if needed/wanted, you won't damage anything. You shouldn't need full pedal to maintain speed uphill either. Your 3ME-FE has 240 HP, but that full horsepower isn't reached until between 5500-6000 RPM. At 2000 RPM, the engine is only putting out ~85 HP, a mere fraction of what it can put out.

More HP = more speed & more acceleration. Just push the pedal to the point to get your desired speed and acceleration. You need more power to maintain speed on an uphill than you do on a level surface.

My 2GR-FE engine in my 2014 is slightly more powerful (270 HP vs your 240 HP). Yes, on level ground you don't need much power. I drive gently most of the time, you can see in this data I took from my van on the 17th that the throttle position needed to maintain 60 MPH was about 25%, barely above the idle throttle position of ~17%. There's plenty of power available, you just need to request it by pressing that pedal more.
 

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Old Sienna
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Lugging an engine is hard on it. More common on a standard transmission, an automatic usually down shifts. Next time use the cruise control going up a hill, feel what the gas pedal does, assuming it still uses a cable, and watch what the tachometer reads. Then mimic what happens when not using the cruise control. If it stays in top gear something's wrong.
 

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2014 Sienna LE
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Although I drive gently most of the time, there’s not a vehicle I haven’t owned that I haven’t floored the throttle on, wether from occasion impatience, just for fun, or most often to get up to traffic speed on an on-ramp (if not behind someone who is not making an effort to get up to speed before merging :mad:).

Happens most often on my motorcycle, for fun, cause 100 HP on a 500 lb vehicle with my 180 ass is just so much FUN to accelerate on. HP/weight ratio of 0.15. The Sienna has a HP/weigh ratio of 0.058, or about 1/3rd the acceleration. With the redline of 11,000 RPM on my motorcycle, I can accelerate from a dead stop to 60 MPH in a couple blinks, in first gear, then let off the throttle and shift from 1st to 5th before continuing to cruise at 60 MPH. So fun! 😁

2nd gear will take me past 90 MPH.You’ll never guess which vehicle I’ve gotten the most speeding tickets on… 👀
 

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2004 Sienna CE 97k miles
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Lugging an engine is hard on it. More common on a standard transmission, an automatic usually down shifts. Next time use the cruise control going up a hill, feel what the gas pedal does, assuming it still uses a cable, and watch what the tachometer reads. Then mimic what happens when not using the cruise control. If it stays in top gear something's wrong.
had to look up engine lugging on YT, :). It's automatic, so was I lugging it unknowingly?
Also, I dont see a cruise control button, so I guess it's not available? It's the CE trim.
I guess I'll floor it next time and see what happens.
 

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2006 LE
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Push the button in to arm and should see "cruise control"lit on instrument panel. Push down to set. After setting, each push either direction changes the speed 1mph. To cancel apply brakes, sure you knew that. Cancel also by pulling lever up (towards you). Resume will go to last speed set, that was cancelled.
 
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2014 Sienna LE
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I guess I'll floor it next time and see what happens.
To be clear, you don’t need to floor it. I was just asking if you had to clarify if you weren’t asking enough from the engine vs a true mechanical problem. Looks like everything is good, so just press the pedal more than you did previously, you don’t have to floor it (unless you want to).
 

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Mazda 5 weight: 3,457 lbs.
Honda CRV weight: 3,497 to 3,635 lbs
Toyota Sienna weight: 4,120 to 4,365 lbs.

You got a 500-1000 extra pounds there. If you had the van loaded down, that adds even more weight, obviously. At highway speeds, there is also the aerodynamic efficiencies of driving a large box to consider too. Plus, if you were maintaining speed on the climb, the van did exactly what it was supposed to do. Everyone else passing you was just punching the pedal to the floor, causing their transmissions to kick down.
 

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You don’t need cruise control for the transmission to downshift. Can you even lug an engine with a modern automatic?

Unless your baseline is high end BMWs. The Sienna isn’t slow or gutless. The engine will easily get you in trouble.

If you stab the pedal from a full stop, it will spin the front wheels or at least one of them. With a seasoned driver, Sienna 0-60 is under 8sec. Mazda5 and ‘05 CR-V are over 8sec. It might not feel quicker but it should be with only the driver aboard.

How’s your mpg? Calculated, not displayed if your CE has a trip computer.

Sixto
‘04 LE FWD 203K miles
 

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2014 Sienna LE
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Can you even lug an engine with a modern automatic?
I've had some automatics borderline lug, if you happen to be right at the edge of a shift, usually going uphill, and keep it there without pressing the gas pedal more. Seems to be a more modern thing, as new cars have multiple gears and aggressively target low RPMs.

Obviously if you press the pedal a little more it upshifts and all is good. And it's not quite the same as being in a stick shift at the low end of the RPM range and slamming the pedal to the floor without downshifting first. But it's definitely reminiscent of it.

Actually, as I write this, I wonder if this is why some people, perhaps the OP, think their vehicle may be underpowered. You hit this "edge" of a shift, the pedal feels like it's not responding quite right because it doesn't have enough power at the low RPMs, the engine is starting to sound different from the load at low RPMs. So if they don't realize this is a transient condition that will go away if they just press the pedal a bit more to get the car to downshift, they may think the car is at the "limit" and so not press the pedal more.
 

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2009 Sienna LE
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A lot of subjectivity in this thread. I agree that the V6 minivan should be faster than your other two 4-cylinder cars. I was amazed at the power increase when I moved from a 2005 4-cylinder Camry to a 2009 V6 Sienna. Then again, these are all different brands (Toyota, Honda, Mazda), so pedal response differences could play a factor, as others have mentioned.

Here's an idea. If OP does a pedal to the floor 0-60 run and posts the result in seconds, that would give a ballpark idea of if there might be a power issue.
 

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Actually, as I write this, I wonder if this is why some people, perhaps the OP, think their vehicle may be underpowered. You hit this "edge" of a shift, the pedal feels like it's not responding quite right because it doesn't have enough power at the low RPMs, the engine is starting to sound different from the load at low RPMs. So if they don't realize this is a transient condition that will go away if they just press the pedal a bit more to get the car to downshift, they may think the car is at the "limit" and so not press the pedal more.
Wow, good thoughts. I could definitely see someone having that train of thought, maybe even subconsciously.
 
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