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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently purchased a 2006 Sienna CE. When I bought it the ABS, brake, and TPMS lights were on on the dash. I've driven it around 500 miles or so and have found surprisingly few issues for a vehicle with 209k on the odometer. Today I had something odd happen-the check engine light came on and all of the other lights went out. I have driven it a bit and shut it off/started it a few times and the CEL has stayed on but the 3 other lights are sometimes on sometimes not. They sometimes come on when I start up and sometimes after driving a bit. I can deal with these lights being on and fixing the causes but the lights being always on and now acting odd since the CEL came on is confusing me. One more question-is there a way to pull CEL codes in these vans without a code reader? In my Caravan I can fiddle with the key and it will flash codes on the odometer. Thanks in advance!
 

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Any auto parts store will read the codes for free. Take pictures of the code reader screens so you get all the info.
 

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Most cars did away with the readout of codes through key sequences or button presses and just have the standard code reader port under the dash. Any auto parts store or a $30 reader will give you whatever information you want for codes. Some of the ABS features and things like air bag light reset are only available on the more expensive code tools. When the ABS/brake/TPMS lights all come on either you have low tires, never properly calibrated your TPMS system, have a bad sensor or, in some cases, have a totally messed up suspension which needs a major overhaul ASAP.

The CEL might indicate something that supersedes the other lights or it might just be coincidence that the other lights go out or it might be an indication of something like an electrical short or you might have actually found a bug in the '06 engine control computer code. However, you DO have a CEL, which means you DO have a code. Personally, I would get that code read today AND diagnose the other lights ASAP. The only way to know if it's safe to keep driving or if you're doing more damage to the van is if you know what the problem is. It might be as simple as a loose gas cap, or, it might be an indication that you are about to have a serious vehicle failure which will send your car to the scrapper. The only way to know for sure is to get the codes.
 

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And just like that, the day after answering the question, my brake and ABS lights came on solid with a blinking TPMS light. The internet strongly suggests wheel speed sensors.
 

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How will you tell which is the bad one? Looks like you will have to test for a resistance value. There are a couple videos on youtube about this. One user had a scan tool which pin pointed the bad one. Looks like an easy enough R&R.
 
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How will you tell which is the bad one? Looks like you will have to test for a resistance value. There are a couple videos on youtube about this. One user had a scan tool which pin pointed the bad one. Looks like an easy enough R&R.
I saw that. One forum said, "Check the ABS codes in your scan tool." Well, my scan tool has NO ABS codes (and no codes at all, considering this was 2 days after my safety/emissions test). I'm thinking maybe the mechanic might have knocked a sensor loose or created an intermittent short on a wire when checking the brake thickness. It could also be coincidence, since they are original to the car though. It looks like the procedure is to jumper something and/or test resistance. I didn't look too closely, as the lights went out when I turned the car off (and came back on when I hit some bumpy road). I haven't checked the price, but I might just replace them all if they aren't too pricey. I like having new things and, if past experience is a prediction of future performance, when one goes, they all start going.
 

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How will you tell which is the bad one? Looks like you will have to test for a resistance value. There are a couple videos on youtube about this. One user had a scan tool which pin pointed the bad one. Looks like an easy enough R&R.
UPDATE: I don't need to replace all of them. I poked my head under the front of the car to see if I could see anything obvious and saw the plastic clip for the sensor hanging loose and the actual sensor up and over the rotor, jammed into the caliper. So I guess that makes diagnostics easy. Seems to call into question the value/thoroughness of the safety inspection for the vehicle, though.
 

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he plastic clip for the sensor hanging loose and the actual sensor up and over the rotor, jammed into the caliper
That was easy enough though It makes me wonder how it all ended up the way it did. Did you drive over some debris?
 

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That was easy enough though It makes me wonder how it all ended up the way it did. Did you drive over some debris?
Honestly, I suspect it happened a couple years ago when I did my front suspension. At that time, finishing the final steps, the half-shaft fell apart and pieces went rolling everywhere. No amount of work would free the carrier bearing, so I had it towed to a shop. I'm betting it was not secured at that time and was loose but functional. Rhode Island roads being what they are, it was just the right sequence/series of bumps with just the right combination of breaking which pulled it up and over. New sensor gets here in the next day or two and then I pull the wheel and figure out if my rotor is destroyed or if it's just stuck in the top of the caliper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Soo-finally took the van to a garage to get a thorough inspection done to find out what all is going on with it. The verdict on the CEL was an evap. leak which they took care of for me for a total of $89.95. The TPMS/ABS/Brake light issue, according to them, is being caused by all 4 TPMS sensors being missing. This confused me a little bit as the lights are not always on and I would think that if they were all just not there that the lights would be constant. I had it out running some errands today and not a light to be seen the entire time. They have been back off and on since I had it at the garage. Any thoughts?
 

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Soo-finally took the van to a garage to get a thorough inspection done to find out what all is going on with it. The verdict on the CEL was an evap. leak which they took care of for me for a total of $89.95. The TPMS/ABS/Brake light issue, according to them, is being caused by all 4 TPMS sensors being missing. This confused me a little bit as the lights are not always on and I would think that if they were all just not there that the lights would be constant. I had it out running some errands today and not a light to be seen the entire time. They have been back off and on since I had it at the garage. Any thoughts?
Glad you got your CEL fixed for so little money! It's often either something super cheap or something super expensive. Side note, if they fixed your EVAP code for under $100, it was probably a vacuum leak. More might follow in other spots.


If the lights were off sometimes with no sensors, it's likely that either 1) The system is inaccurately designed/implemented by Toyota and it's a sometimes thing or 2) Someone removed the sensors and rigged something up to circumvent them. If they hacked some resistor in there somewhere or shorted out some wires or whatnot, it's entirely possible that the hack is failing and the sensors, now in place, are still non-functional because of the hack. If the place that did the repair (installing 4 sensors) didn't fix the van fully, though, I would just bring it back to them.
 

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You could go to an auto parts store and have the codes read. Without the codes, the rest of us are just guessing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Are auto parts stores able to read those codes? I thought they just used basic OBDII scanners that just show CEL codes. As far as the TPMS system goes is there a fuse/relay or something I could pull to just kill the lights?

@BillG-I didn't have the garage replace the sensors. They are still missing but the lights are still only on sometimes.
 

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Are auto parts stores able to read those codes? I thought they just used basic OBDII scanners that just show CEL codes.
Good point. My '04 doesn't use TPMS sensors so I'm not knowledgeable about them. My guess is, though, that a tire store will read that TPMS code(s) for free. I'd also guess that at least one of the sensors is transmitting intermittently, resulting in the on again/off again warning light.
 

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My '04 doesn't use TPMS sensors so I'm not knowledgeable about them
So , my understanding is that the early second generation siennas ( up to 06 ,which mine is ) do not have sensors ( active type?) mounted in the tires/rim. The sensors are the passive type located near the wheels/frame and send rotational speeds to the computer . This speed which depends on how inflated or deflated the tires are , in essence the overall diameter/ circumference ? So when there is a deflated tire the computer senses a parameter out of the norm and triggers a TPMS light.
The TPMS/ABS/Brake light issue, according to them, is being caused by all 4 TPMS sensors being missing
Your Sienna being a CE does NOT have ACTIVE sensors in the tires/rims and so for you to be told they are missing is not true. When I first read your post I thought to myself who would remove the wheel sensors , all 4 , that are wired to the wheel hubs? Then I realize the confusion you are probably having.
 
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IDK when Toyota switched from rotational to pressure TPMS.

My '04 uses the ABS sensors compare wheel speed as you said and, I must say, it works pretty well, lighting up after I hit a roofing nail and got a slow leak.

I recall reading that both systems have some sort of reset procedure, the rotational reset to account for different size tires.
 

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I must say, it works pretty well
I quite agree! It worked on the Florida Turnpike for me when I ran over some debris . The TPMS illuminatedfollowed by the dreaded flat tire sound . It was no fun changing a tire with vehicles wizzing by at 70 mph
 

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What Paul R said makes complete and total sense now. Correct, you DON'T have TPMS sensors. You have wheel speed sensors. I believe Gen 1 had 2 sensors on diagonal wheels and gen 2 has 4 wheel sensors. The rear sensors are "skid sensors" which are integral to the hub. Technically, you can purchase new sensors, but you would have to properly glue them onto the hub. As I found out this weekend, the sensors seem to want their wires extremely secure. My front speed sensor was probably not bad, but the clip holding the wire was loose. Of course, I replaced it anyway, since I had it and had the car jacked up and the wheel off. That's 90% of the work for the front sensors. When I took it for a drive, the lights were still on. So, onto the web I went... The ABS codes CAN actually be read through a diagnostic procedure. You have to jumper 2 pins in the ODBII connector and then the ABS light will blink with the code. Well, my van was calling out the REAR LEFT sensor (I changed the front right sensor) so I jacked up the back and took that wheel off. Turns out I have a pretty degraded subframe and the bracket holding the speed sensor wire in place was rusted away. So, I zip tied it to the brake line for now and it seems the light is off. It seems intermittent though, so I won't know if I still have a problem until 2 or 3 more drives.
 

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IIRC, 2007 was the first year of Direct (wheel pressure sensor) based TPMS. Prior to that, pressure differences were mathematically inferred using the wheel speed sensors of the ABS braking system. So in those days, ABS & TPMS lights often came on together as both systems were affected by a brake hardware issue.

The Direct system in our 2008 responded very quickly to a debris slice on I-84 in NY, allowing my wife to get to the shoulder before the tire was completely flat. Saved a wheel and maybe more!
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
What Paul R said makes complete and total sense now. Correct, you DON'T have TPMS sensors. You have wheel speed sensors. I believe Gen 1 had 2 sensors on diagonal wheels and gen 2 has 4 wheel sensors. The rear sensors are "skid sensors" which are integral to the hub. Technically, you can purchase new sensors, but you would have to properly glue them onto the hub. As I found out this weekend, the sensors seem to want their wires extremely secure. My front speed sensor was probably not bad, but the clip holding the wire was loose. Of course, I replaced it anyway, since I had it and had the car jacked up and the wheel off. That's 90% of the work for the front sensors. When I took it for a drive, the lights were still on. So, onto the web I went... The ABS codes CAN actually be read through a diagnostic procedure. You have to jumper 2 pins in the ODBII connector and then the ABS light will blink with the code. Well, my van was calling out the REAR LEFT sensor (I changed the front right sensor) so I jacked up the back and took that wheel off. Turns out I have a pretty degraded subframe and the bracket holding the speed sensor wire in place was rusted away. So, I zip tied it to the brake line for now and it seems the light is off. It seems intermittent though, so I won't know if I still have a problem until 2 or 3 more drives.
That would be extremely helpful. Which 2 pins do you have to jumper? Also-what did you use to do it? Would a paper clip work? Thank you very much for all of the info you have already given.
 
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