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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I remember there were numerous questions and discussions about towing capacity of Sienna, Generation II.
A summary of those discussions are presented below. It is based on Sienna's electronic brochures and recollections of other members, who read those disussions, spoke to dealers and made their purchases.

Towing capacity

Model year . . .U.S.A . . . Canada . . .
2004-20073500lb3500lb/1587 kg
2008-20091200lb3500lb/1587 kg


In the U.S., your 2008+ Sienna needs a tow prep package to tow up to 3500lb. The tow prep package includes an additional engine oil cooler, which is shown in the attachment.

Inspect your engine and if you do not find the parts highlighted in the attachment, your Sienna does not have the tow prep package, which allows towing more than 1200 lb.

If you have any questions, I hope that knowledgeable members will find this site soon and will give you an answer...

EDIT1: this post was corrected to address comments in posts 1 and 2.
EDIT2: puctures from the original discussion were found and added.
EDIT3: "additional info" for Canadian owners is provided here.

EDIT4: amended topic to include model years for clarity
BY: topspy/Mod-Squad
 

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Re: Sienna Gen-II Towing Capacity.

This info was VERY helpful in my search for the right Sienna.

Oddly enough, based on reading those same threads, and based on my inquiring with dealers, it appears that in '07 ALL U.S. Sienna had the extra oil cooler, but in '08 and '09 a VERY LIMITED number were distributed in the U.S., even though someone posted that in Canada they all have it, even in those later years.

(sorry the Siennaclub forum was shut down, otherwise I'd post links, but of course you could just see 'em for yourself...anyway...)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Re: Sienna Gen-II Towing Capacity.

Thank you for your comments. I will check all the references that you provided. If needed, I will edit the first post so that we would have correct information about 2007 for future reference.

EDIT1: the original post was corrected to address your comments. Does it look Ok now?
 

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Re: Sienna Gen-II Towing Capacity.

I did a huge amount of research before we purchased our gently used 2006 Sienna XLE.

I was able to find and download the sales brochures for the 2005-2008 maodel years here.
http://www.toyotacertified.com/request.html#

I did notice that in 2005, 2006 and 2007, the Tow Prep is standard. 2008, it is not. We actually looked at 2009 models as possibility, but they could only find a single XLE in the 5 state area with a tow prep package. I called 3 dealers to inquire about tthe cost of adding it aftermarket, and thye all said not to do it, and if I really wanted it, the cost was probably $2,000+, yikes!
 

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Re: Sienna Gen-II Towing Capacity.

This topic should probably be a sticky.

I had the same problem when we were shopping. Could only find four 2008 LE vans with tow package in entire SE region. Ended up buying an end-of-year '07 to make sure we got the tow package and the equipment we wanted (or more accurately, didn't have what we didn't want).
 

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Re: Sienna Gen-II Towing Capacity.

Can someone please clarify. In the brochures it says a 2008 gets a heavy duty radiator, heavy duty fan, 150 amp alternator and power steering oil cooler. Yet you mention an oil cooler only and I've seen others mention of a transmission fluid cooler.

Am I missing something? Apologies if this was answered previously.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Re: Sienna Gen-II Towing Capacity.

tomn3 said:
... In the brochures it says a 2008 gets a heavy duty radiator, heavy duty fan, 150 amp alternator and power steering oil cooler.
Yes, all 2008 models get this equipment, therefore, all models are allowed to tow (up to 1200 lb)

tomn3 said:
Yet you mention an oil cooler only and I've seen others mention of a transmission fluid cooler.
If you want to tow more than 1200 lb (up to 3500lb), you need only one additional piece of equipment - an engine oil cooler.

As to confusion with trans cooler, it probably comes from discussions about first generation Sienna...
 

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Re: Sienna Gen-II Towing Capacity.

tomn3 said:
Can someone please clarify. In the brochures it says a 2008 gets a heavy duty radiator, heavy duty fan, 150 amp alternator and power steering oil cooler. Yet you mention an oil cooler only and I've seen others mention of a transmission fluid cooler.

Am I missing something? Apologies if this was answered previously.

Thanks
The 2008 brochure is wrong. Those items have been standard equipment on the Sienna since 2004. There was a large amount of confusion in 2008 because the tow package became optional, but all of those components were still included on every single Sienna produced. After months of investigation it came out that the only item included in the 2008+ tow package was an engine oil cooler.

Auxiliary transmission oil coolers are typically found in many vehicles' tow packages, and was the main component in the 1998-2003 Sienna's tow package. Beginning in 2004, the Sienna included a very good transmission oil cooler incorporated into the radiator. Some people towing at or over the 3500 pound limit of the Sienna have chosen to add an additional transmission oil cooler, which is probably still a good idea if towing at or above the Sienna's limit.
 

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Re: Sienna Gen-II Towing Capacity.

Hi, I have a Sienna 2006 CE Canadian model. It's not clear to me about the engine oil cooler. Does my Sienna has, if it has this, then how it will be activated (i have not done any towing yet, but planning a boat), automatic or some wiring needed. Any info and suggestion is welcome. Thanks.
UV
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Re: Sienna Gen-II Towing Capacity.

ultraviolet said:
Hi, I have a Sienna 2006 CE Canadian model. It's not clear to me about the engine oil cooler. Does my Sienna has, if it has this, then how it will be activated (i have not done any towing yet, but planning a boat), automatic or some wiring needed. Any info and suggestion is welcome. Thanks.
UV
1. All Canadian models still have 3500 lb towing package (Note to future readers: currently, info is available about [up to] 2009 MY).
2. In 2006, all Siennas had 3500 lb towing package in the U.S. and in Canada, ....well, and in Mexico!
 

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Re: Sienna Gen-II Towing Capacity.

Greetings to all! I'm a newbie, so be kind. I have been reading about the towing lbs that my 2008 Sienna will be able to pull. First off, I have not taken a look to see if I have the tow prep package. I will assume I don't. If that is the case, the oil cooler that I have been reading about, is this Tranny oil cooler or Crank case oil cooler that will be needed? Is that all is needed? I have been preping myself to take my 4 boys Motorcycling in Va. I have three M/C's,looking for one more. I was looking into a trailer and hitch when I discovered this web site. My Vehicle is still under warranty. Please give me all the info everyone has here before I go any further, even if it seems trival. Thanks Dennis
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Re: Sienna Gen-II Towing Capacity.

FZ1RIDER said:
... If that is the case, the oil cooler that I have been reading about, is this Tranny oil cooler or Crank case oil cooler that will be needed? Is that all is needed? ...
Sienna Gen-II needs an additional engine oil cooler, not trans cooler.
Look here for details:

http://siennachat.com/forum/index.php/topic,116.0.html

As to after market oil cooler, here is a picture of one:




Look for details here Oil Cooler Install

http://www.automotivearticles.com/Oil_Cooler_Install.shtml
 

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Re: Sienna Gen-II Towing Capacity.

Has any body ever put a engine oil cooler on a 08 Sienna?. I have been researching the net for 4 plus hours, can't find one, can't even find what one really looks like for the Sienna. Need some help, getting frustrated that I bought a vehicle that can barely pull the passengers around without frying the motor. Thanks
 

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Re: Sienna Gen-II Towing Capacity.

I checked with Toyota today and they stated we do not recommend towing with the 08 version, but if you wanted the oil cooler added, if should of been done at the factory. HUH??????????????????????????????. Again, has anyone ever seen a Oil engine cooler that fits a 08 Sienna?. If I put a Tranny cooler on there is that going to be sufficent? My mechanic said a Tranny cooler should be sufficent. Looking for some help.
 

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Re: Sienna Gen-II Towing Capacity.

This is INSANE!

I thought I had narrowed it down to a Sienna CE for my new tow vehicle. I start trying to "build" it on their web site, but it won't let me unless I start with the XLE, which I have no need for. This is in NY state. I try a couple of states within a 2 hour flight, and sure enough, when I plug in a Chicago zip code, it lets me add towing to a CE. Great. Trouble is, the first dealer I call there starts jerking me around, and won't give me any specifics about anything over the phone. I'm ready to sign a contract and fly out to pick the stupid thing up, but no dice. Last thing I need is to spend the time, money, and effort to fly to Chi only to have them try to jack me.

So I try two local dealers. One says it can't be done, and is a bit of a jerk. The other says, we'll order you one any way you want it. Seems to know what he's talking about. Says it includes trans cooler, etc.

I call Toyota's customer service number, and they confirm that I can't get this in NY, and that I should try a neighboring state. (Great marketing!) She tells me the tow package has an oil cooler, 150 amp alternator, larger radiator, and power steering cooler. (I can't fathom why a towing vehicle's power steering fluid gets dangerously hot, but what do I know?) No receiver or wiring harness.

So I start looking a little closer to home: Pennsylvania. Looks like some dealers have CEs with tow packages for a couple hundred $$, indicating they only include receivers and wiring harness. Hmm. That's the exact opposite of what Toyota told me. What gives? Is this some cheap dealer add-on or something?

I start thinking maybe it's all a lot of hooey, and maybe the receiver/wiring is all the towing package is, everything else being included on every Sienna, as has been suggested here. Maybe I have my hitch guy add just a hitch and wiring to any cheap CE, and I'm good to go. I go see my local dealer who was originally cooperative, and ask if I can see the actual spec for what the tow package includes. He goes in back, comes back and says it includes larger alternator, battery, oil cooler, and maybe something else, I forget, power steering? Problem is, he said I can order it, but there is no guarantee I'll ever get it. Suggests I go out of state to buy one.

I call Toyota again, explain my confusion, ask to talk to someone very familiar with the options specifications. First person is no help, transfers me to some "expert". I want to know that if I purchase a Sienna with the tow package, how do I know if it is the actual factory engine modifications and not just a receiver/ wiring from the dealer. She first tells me there is absolutely nothing they do to modify the Sienna to tow, but if you buy the tow package, they rate it at 3500#. I tell her this makes no sense, and completely contradicts what her colleague told me a couple days ago, as far as the package including oil cooler, 150 amp alternator, larger radiator, and power steering cooler. She says her colleague must have been less familiar with the towing packages than she was. I still am a bit skeptical, and she puts me on hold for a while, and comes back to say that it includes an oil cooler. Maybe if she put me on hold again she'd come back and add the power steering cooler!

This is crazy. I'm not asking anything that complicated. This is the sort of nonsense that if I was getting it from GM, I'd shrug and say, "See? This is why Toyota is killing them!" But it's not GM! I expected Toyota to be run a bit more professionally.

Where can I get solid answers to a couple of really simple questions? I know there are various opinions here, but, no offense, before I risk trashing a very expensive brand new engine or transmission (or power steering pump!), I'd like to have an official document from Toyota.

Any suggestions on who to bug next?

That Ford Flex is looking nicer and nicer. Rated to tow 4500#, with the tow package of course...

Sorry for the rant. Thanks for any suggestions.

David
 

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Re: Sienna Gen-II Towing Capacity.

Dude , I said the same thing! except I already have the damn thing. Makes no sense, I have tried to get some answers here but nothing yet. I'm talking about towing 5 Dirt bikes, 2 CRF 150's,1 klx 125, 1 xr 80r and a CRF 50. By the time I get these on/with the trailer I will be around 1300lbs, not to mention myself and 4 boys, coolers tent and other goodies! I called Toyota,they are straight idiots!! No knowledge and reading from a script. The women I spoke with yesterday wanted me to File a complaint with the customer service department of the dealer I bought it from. What are you ******* STUPID!, Are they going to give me a new van? NOT! In my opinion I have a Van that is worthless!!! It reminds me of a Ducati Motorcycle, high maintenance priced :mad: chick!! Dude Buy something else, don't waste your time.

EDIT: expletive deleted
By: topspy/Mod-Squad
 

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Re: Sienna Gen-II Towing Capacity.

The whole towing thing on the 2007+ siennas is quite rediculous. First of all, they all have the transmission cooler in the radiator. That's a huge step for towing anything. The only "additional" thing in the "towing" package is the oil cooler. Not sure what makes this so important for the 3.5L engine, but NONE of the 2004-2006 Siennas WITH the tow package had an oil cooler. Many other manufacturers as well as other toyotas never put an oil cooler into place with their tow packages.

There is zero difference in the frame, suspension or wiring between a tow equiped Sienna and one without. In either case, you still need to add reciever and wire up the lights, brakes, etc.

I wouldn't worry at all about towing without the oil cooler. Put in a quality synthetic oil and change it and the transmission fluid more frequently and tow up to 3500lbs without issue. I have a 2005 with the 3.3l engine that is rated for 3500lbs. It doesn't have an oil cooler. I'd be far more concerned with transmission fluid temps than any issue with oil. Use the best quality fluids you can afford and just tow your bikes. My trailer weighs 2800lbs without water...



denbsteph said:
Dude , I said the same thing! except I already have the damn thing. Makes no sense, I have tried to get some answers here but nothing yet. I'm talking about towing 5 Dirt bikes, 2 CRF 150's,1 klx 125, 1 xr 80r and a CRF 50. By the time I get these on/with the trailer I will be around 1300lbs, not to mention myself and 4 boys, coolers tent and other goodies! I called Toyota,they are straight idiots!! No knowledge and reading from a script. The women I spoke with yesterday wanted me to File a complaint with the customer service department of the dealer I bought it from. What are you FUCKING STUPID!, Are they going to give me a new van? NOT! In my opinion I have a Van that is worthless!!! It reminds me of a Ducati Motorcycle, high maintenance priced :mad: chick!! Dude Buy something else, don't waste your time.
 

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Re: Sienna Gen-II Towing Capacity.

TCP-

Thanks for the response. What you say makes sense, if in fact it does have a trans cooler. I am probably more concerned about the transmission overheating than the engine, because I think I can baby the engine, but the trans I'm never sure what the heck it's doing.

I trust what you say about all of them having a trans cooler, but is there any way to confirm it? I also wonder how can I verify there is no other difference as Toyota told me, like the bigger radiator, etc?

I appreciate your knowledge about this, and don't doubt you know what you're talking about. But the last thing I want is to have some major problem with, say, the transmission, and trying to explain to Toyota, "But this guy on the internet SAID it was OK!"

I am probably worrying about this WAY too much. Two tow vehicles ago was a Chevy Venture minivan, and the dealer just sent me to the local Uhaul for the "tow package" installation, which was just a cheap looking little trans cooler zip tied to the front of the radiator. That thing towed just fine.

A trans temp gauge might help ease my mind a lot, and maybe an oil temp gauge. What's the consensus on the best auxillary trans cooler? How about an auxillary oil cooler? From the picture of the oil cooler at the beginning of the thread, I couldn't tell what the heck the arrows are pointing to, and I used to know my way around under the hood at least a little bit. The auxillary oil cooler picture looks like a cheap patch job. I wouldn't mind having something more official.

Thanks for the info. Keep it coming!

David
 
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