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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I will be handing over my 05 Sienna to my mechanic next week to do a timing belt/water pump install. I am at 109k miles and was advised, on and off the forum, to consider doing the radiator soon as well. To my knowledge nothing is leaking but I will be going on a multi-month, multi-thousand mile road trip and thought it might be better to get it done before hitting the road. (I also have access to a very reasonably priced master mechanic next door)

I also thought that since the coolant will be drained maybe it makes sense to just buy all the coolant I need and have both jobs done. What do y'all think about this?

Thanks for reading this. Have a great day!
 

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That's a good plan, so you have one less thing to worry about during the trip. Being a 2005 you guys have all aluminum radiators whereas the 2007 plus don't have that option. Also you might as well replace the thermostat and the hoses while your dropping the coolant, then you will be good for a while.

I just replaced my radiator at 200k and it was not leaking too but I felt better knowing that I wouldn't be left stranded in the middle of nowhere.
 

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Ah, yes, if you are doing a multi-month, multi-thousand mile road trip, I would definitely get the radiator replaced at the same time as the timing belt/water pump.

I think I mentioned it on your other thread, but be sure to use quality parts with whatever you are replacing. Use OEM radiator hoses only. The radiator you can buy the Denso brand off Rock Auto. Since you are doing the radiator, I think you should get the thermostat done at the same time. OEM or Aisin for the thermostat.

I think you had received recommendations to use the Aisin timing belt kit on your other thread, but they seem to be in very short supply at the moment. If you're unable to source one, whatever you do, don't use an aftermarket water pump. For an important job like the timing belt, if you can't source the Aisin kit, you might want to spend a little extra and get OEM parts. If you choose to use another branded kit, like Dayco, Continental, or Gates, their belts should be OK but I would still strongly advise that you buy an OEM water pump separately to go along with the aftermarket kit.

Make sure you get the coolant refilled with the correct coolant, also. I forget if 2005 uses Toyota Red or Toyota Pink (I think it's Pink), but there are plenty of aftermarket equivalent coolants that will work also. Don't use a generic all makes and models green coolant - use the Toyota formula. Zerex Asian Red is one, Pentofrost (A3?) is another.
 
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When '04 - '05 radiators fail they usually develop a small leak between the finned core and the aluminum side tank. You'll see pink, crusty stuff as shown in the picture below. They're not catastrophic leaks. I would get a whiff of antifreeze after driving my van when I walked around the front of it which led me to finding the leak. It wasn't using any appreciable amount of coolant and I drove it for probably ten thousand miles before I replaced the radiator with a Denso.
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I miss the days when you just replaced maintenance items (oil, plugs, air filter, etc.) in a 30-60 minute annual tune up, often in the spring with a wash/wax of the exterior and a vacuum of the interior. Now, instead of just buying snacks and getting AAA maps, we have to replace radiators for a simple road trip. Related side note, I'm at 140k miles on an '06 and did a 1600 mile trip back in April and will be doing a 500 mile trip tomorrow and have no concerns about the original radiator on the van. I might have the tiniest of leaks (added about a pint of coolant since April), but nothing indicating imminent failure.

If you opt to do the radiator, thermostat, and water pump, you'll probably need more than the "slightly more than 1 gallon" of coolant for the refill job after a water pump. You'll have drained most of the 3.5 gallon capacity from the car. Also, to that end, make sure you follow the full procedure for the bleeding of air from the system. It seems like about 70% of the people who post questions/comments about doing a job on the cooling system are back here a week later with overheating issues and occasional first-time posters are on here with overheating issues after doing a cooling system job.
 

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Playing devil's advocate, Bill, I don't miss the days when spark plugs had to be changed annually. When I changed the original plugs on my then 13-year-old, 145K van, they were barely worn. I don't mind trading that annual, one-hour job for a Saturday afternoon every 10 years.
 

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I think it’s VERY premature to change the radiator at 110k miles as preventative maintenance. That’s kind of ridiculous to consider, IMHO. Do change the coolant if it hasn’t been done before.

-Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That's a good plan, so you have one less thing to worry about during the trip. Being a 2005 you guys have all aluminum radiators whereas the 2007 plus don't have that option. Also you might as well replace the thermostat and the hoses while your dropping the coolant, then you will be good for a while.

I just replaced my radiator at 200k and it was not leaking too but I felt better knowing that I wouldn't be left stranded in the middle of nowhere.
Are the 07+ equipped with a better radiator? I thought they switched the radiator after '04
 

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I don't think it's premature. I had the plastic radiator top tank crack on my '01 Camry at 17 years and 88K. The same happened on my other '01 Camry at 13 years and 120K, and the exact same happened on a relative's '04 Sienna at 12 years and 120K. From my experience, radiator lifespan gets pretty unpredictable from this point forward.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Ah, yes, if you are doing a multi-month, multi-thousand mile road trip, I would definitely get the radiator replaced at the same time as the timing belt/water pump.

I think I mentioned it on your other thread, but be sure to use quality parts with whatever you are replacing. Use OEM radiator hoses only. The radiator you can buy the Denso brand off Rock Auto. Since you are doing the radiator, I think you should get the thermostat done at the same time. OEM or Aisin for the thermostat.

I think you had received recommendations to use the Aisin timing belt kit on your other thread, but they seem to be in very short supply at the moment. If you're unable to source one, whatever you do, don't use an aftermarket water pump. For an important job like the timing belt, if you can't source the Aisin kit, you might want to spend a little extra and get OEM parts. If you choose to use another branded kit, like Dayco, Continental, or Gates, their belts should be OK but I would still strongly advise that you buy an OEM water pump separately to go along with the aftermarket kit.

Make sure you get the coolant refilled with the correct coolant, also. I forget if 2005 uses Toyota Red or Toyota Pink (I think it's Pink), but there are plenty of aftermarket equivalent coolants that will work also. Don't use a generic all makes and models green coolant - use the Toyota formula. Zerex Asian Red is one, Pentofrost (A3?) is another.
Thanks for all the info. I was able to find all the parts I need for the timing belt repair minus the coolant I forgot about-- D'oh!!!

Rockauto has an AISIN tstat and gasket and they also carry the denso radiator you and others have recommended. I imagine since these are AISIN and Denso, they should be good to go. I've also read that I should get a lower radiator bracket assembly. According to the link for the part, it doesn't fit my '05 LE. I'm not sure if that's a system error or what? Last question: Do you usually change your radiator cap out when changing the radiator?

Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I miss the days when you just replaced maintenance items (oil, plugs, air filter, etc.) in a 30-60 minute annual tune up, often in the spring with a wash/wax of the exterior and a vacuum of the interior. Now, instead of just buying snacks and getting AAA maps, we have to replace radiators for a simple road trip. Related side note, I'm at 140k miles on an '06 and did a 1600 mile trip back in April and will be doing a 500 mile trip tomorrow and have no concerns about the original radiator on the van. I might have the tiniest of leaks (added about a pint of coolant since April), but nothing indicating imminent failure.

If you opt to do the radiator, thermostat, and water pump, you'll probably need more than the "slightly more than 1 gallon" of coolant for the refill job after a water pump. You'll have drained most of the 3.5 gallon capacity from the car. Also, to that end, make sure you follow the full procedure for the bleeding of air from the system. It seems like about 70% of the people who post questions/comments about doing a job on the cooling system are back here a week later with overheating issues and occasional first-time posters are on here with overheating issues after doing a cooling system job.
Yeah, I may be doing it a bit prematurely. I guess my thoughts with the radiator is that it's sort of an Achilles heal with the 2nd gen and like others have said, the age of the vehicle is also a factor. I'm still debating...

Should I follow the full procedure of bleeding air from the system even if I'm just having the water pump replaced?
 

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Are the 07+ equipped with a better radiator? I thought they switched the radiator after '04
I think '04 and '05 are the same. '06 is a one-year only part.

Should I follow the full procedure of bleeding air from the system even if I'm just having the water pump replaced?
Yes, but it's not a big deal. I just filled it, drove it over the next few days, and topped the coolant off every day. All the air was gone after the third day.
 

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Thanks for all the info. I was able to find all the parts I need for the timing belt repair minus the coolant I forgot about-- D'oh!!!

Rockauto has an AISIN tstat and gasket and they also carry the denso radiator you and others have recommended. I imagine since these are AISIN and Denso, they should be good to go. I've also read that I should get a lower radiator bracket assembly. According to the link for the part, it doesn't fit my '05 LE. I'm not sure if that's a system error or what? Last question: Do you usually change your radiator cap out when changing the radiator?

Thanks again!
Hmm, not too sure about the lower radiator bracket assembly. I've never actually owned a 2nd gen Sienna myself.

Denso and Aisin parts - you're good to go. Both are OEM suppliers to Toyota (and I think Toyota partially owns both of them). I totally forgot about the thermostat gasket - I think you do need to buy them separately - good catch.

I've actually never changed a radiator cap. Both my 20 year old Camrys are on their original radiator caps. They both look and function just fine. I've heard of cheap aftermarket caps breaking, and I figure the OE cap is decent quality. They rarely fail catastrophically, in the rare chance that they break, I believe it's relatively easy to fish the old part out of the radiator, and the radiator is designed so that debris stays in the top tank. If you ever start experiencing unexplained coolant loss, an aged cap could be a reason for that. On the other hand, the new radiator cap is only a few bucks, so if it gives you piece of mind, it wouldn't be a bad idea to replace it. I think the OE one probably will last a bit longer, though, so if you are going to replace it, get another OE one - no point replacing it with a cheap one when the old one was fine.
 

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My '04 didn't need any bracket assemblies but it's a Colorado van and has little rust. Your mechanic will have to find out once s/he gets the radiator out.

Your '05 can have one of two radiators: w/tow package or without. The easiest way to ID what you have is the core thickness. W/tow the core is ~7/8" (0.87") thick; w/o tow is ~5/8" (0.625") thick.
 

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DEFINITELY! I was on a cross-country drive with my 2009.
Radiator problem, lost all my coolant, ended up sitting on the
side of hot highway in Arkansas a long ways between exits.

Absolutely wish I had spent a few bucks to replace it back home, cheaper
than night of hotel plus Arkansas mechanics knowing full well they
could charge what they wanted because I was a "foreigner".
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
My '04 didn't need any bracket assemblies but it's a Colorado van and has little rust. Your mechanic will have to find out once s/he gets the radiator out.

Your '05 can have one of two radiators: w/tow package or without. The easiest way to ID what you have is the core thickness. W/tow the core is ~7/8" (0.87") thick; w/o tow is ~5/8" (0.625") thick.
Yeah, I have almost no rust on mine either fortunately. Thanks for the info on the w and w/o tow details!
 

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With my 06 , I replaced my radiator at 130k miles and I drove for quite a bit not knowing where it was leaking. I kept losing coolant topping up every now and again. The engine never overheated. It wasn't till I decided to look further that I noted a slight streak of coolant coming from a crack just under the upper hose. It was hard to see just looking into the engine bay and I used a mirror to find the leak. The reason the engine never overheated was that the crack was high up in the radiator that there was always enough coolant to keep the van going. When it comes to making a decision regarding any kind of preemptive maintenance one has to consider ones comfort level and also what travel plans are in the future. Driving close to home and having available resources vs being on a road trip thousands of miles away are two different scenarios. My van has 193k miles now and soon I will bite the bullet and opt for oem axles. I am tired of the high speed vibrations and premature boot failures. I am considering changing out the front bearings as well even though I realize that I can drive a while with a bad one. BUT I don't want a failure on my next road trip , its a 50/50 given the mileage / age and history and my time and labor is free not to mention the peace of mind it gives me.
 

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Are the 07+ equipped with a better radiator? I thought they switched the radiator after '04
2007+ they switched to plastic ends. I can't complain because I got 200k out of mine. I like the all aluminum construction on the 2005 better but I guess they still fail.

I would get a new radiator cap.
 
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