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g35zuniga said:
I have a 2006 AWD limited, according to the brochure and some discussions here, I have the tow package as standard equipment. Based on the first pictures however my sienna doesn't look anything like what is shown. Do i for sure have the package?
Specifically what pictures are we talking about? The very first post of this thread has photos showing identifying characteristics of a Sienna with the towing preparation package for a Sienna with the 2GR-FE (3.5L) engine, which is used starting in 2007. No 2006 Sienna engine - with or without the towing package - will look quite like this because a 2006 has the entirely different 3MZ-FE (3.3L) engine. The 2006 towing preparation package does not involve engine changes.
 

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Re: Sienna Gen-II Towing Capacity.

I am looking at buying a 08 or newer Sienna and have read the tow prep pkg and towing posts. Seems most dealers / sales people don't know the tow prep pkg was an option beginning on 08 vs std (per Sienna brochures)in 04-07.

SO, my question: What do I look for on the van to confirm that the vehicle infact had the oil cooler for the tow prep since this is the key thing to look for. If you happen to have a picture that would be great. If not tell me where to look in the engine compartment / on the engine to confirm it has the oil cooler.
 

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Re: Sienna Gen-II Towing Capacity.

Well basically how do I tell I have the tow package for 2006?
Your '06 has the 3.3L engine, and, as far as I know, all the Siennas with the 3.3L engine were rated to tow 3500 pounds.


SO, my question: What do I look for on the van to confirm that the vehicle infact had the oil cooler for the tow prep since this is the key thing to look for.
I don't know how visible it is, but, as I understand it, the "towing prep package" for the 3.5L engine is not a transmission cooler, it is an engine oil cooler, and can NOT be retro-fitted after the vehicle is made. I have no experience with the 3.5L engine, so have no idea just how much extra cooling it might need while towing.

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Re: Sienna Gen-II Towing Capacity.

I am looking at buying a 08 or newer Sienna and have read the tow prep pkg and towing posts. Seems most dealers / sales people don't know the tow prep pkg was an option beginning on 08 vs std (per Sienna brochures)in 04-07.

SO, my question: What do I look for on the van to confirm that the vehicle infact had the oil cooler for the tow prep since this is the key thing to look for. If you happen to have a picture that would be great. If not tell me where to look in the engine compartment / on the engine to confirm it has the oil cooler.
Here we have the problem of a thread with over 100 posts... you need to read through it (not just the last page) to find information which has already been presented. The very first post was edited to include some of these pictures, where where originally presented through the discussion, such as in post #30, post #46, and post #90.
 

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Re: Sienna Gen-II Towing Capacity.

I'm new here and to Sienna vans. I can understand the need for an oil cooler for a high rev'ing engine but a van towing 3500 lbs at 2000-3000 rpms doesn't seem to be critically in need of an engine oil cooler. Use a quality synthetic motor oil. Why? Synthetic oil holds up to heat and shear forces better than Dino juice. That's why you might need an oil cooler to prevent oil breakdown under load. Using quality oil negates the need for a cooler. Certainly cheaper than $2100 for a retrofit. So long as the cooling system is in good shape, the oil should stay cool. Heck, it has 6qts of oil to transfer heat.

Definately put on a transmission cooler. A quality plate design cooler like the B&M 70264 model is affordable and easy to install DIY. I plan to put one in this weekend and post a thread with pics. also your biggest culprit to transmission failure is dirty fluid. Sadly Toyota doesn't believe in filters, just strainers. Look into a magnefine inline filter. Keep the crud out of valves and passages and the trans will last a long time. the same for the power steering fluid. There's no filter either. Once I get around to tracing the PS plumbing, I'll install a cooler and filter there as well. I have already flushed the PS fluid but would feel better with the other additions considering the long trips well be taking in it.
 

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Sorry, Dr., but I disagree. The enemy here is heat, and while a synthetic (uniform molecular strings) will hold up better, there is limited data available to say by how much or for how long. You may be aware that Toyota engines have an unfortunate history of premature oil degradation. It is believed that the more complex passageways and routing to such features as oil pressure operated variable valve timing and the like subject small, isolated quantities of oil to high heat and shear loading, resulting in minute damage to the fluid itself. Over time, this results in reduced protection, sludge formation, coking, etc.

You may be aware of the VVTi hose replacement program initiated some 2-3 years ago. Are you aware that there have been numerous reports of the new design / new materials replacement hoses are also failing? Oil contaminated with blowby gases and heated to high temps are degrading even the new hose stock. And where do you think that partially dissolved hose material is ending up? Toyota now builds these engines with all steel lines, but the evidence is clear that heat remains a problem. No matter how good the cooling system is working, you cannot adequately control the oil temperature in isolated regions unless you address the cooling of the oil itself.

Professionally, I've had some issues with Toyota's response to problems and the thoroughness of their engineering evaluations. Accusations of cutting corners and incomplete reliability testing seems to be well founded. But in this case, I think they are on the right track. If Toyota recommends that a supplemental cooler be used for serious towing, accept the fact that some team of engineers have actually explored the issue and made an informed recommendation. That they eliminated the standard oil cooler in 2008 thereby sinking the basic tow limit to a measly 1200 lbs is, to me, a shameful act of cost cutting, but accept that we are stuck with it.

You want to take a chance and tow an 1800 lb jet ski? Take all due precautions, but accept the risk of what could happen in the long run. Suggest that people pull a 3500 lb load? Sorry, but no thanks.

(I'll get off my soap box now....)
 

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I am a bit confused. As much as I have read, I am starting to think I need to sell my 2009 Sienna, because it can barely tow my family of 6, let alone add a friend In there.
So I can only have a total of 1200 lb of everything combined?
So forget luggage etc, can not take a trip with it?
I am very frustrated, I wanted to be able to tow a pop up, but it seems my family alone is barely making the cut.
Would anyone verify please?
It seems ridiculous, that I have this incredible van that I can barely haul passengers around in. I certainly can not afford $2000 to have the engine cooler added. My husband is quite handy, but I watched the video on installing one, And it is way out of his league.
Thank you in advance,
michelle
 

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I don't know if this helps much, but just to clarify your statement regarding the 1200 lbs. of everything combined. You are correct that without the engine oil cooler, 1200 lbs. is your tow limit, how much weight can be pulled behind the Sienna. A small pop-up could fall into this amount. Your passengers and luggage etc. inside the Sienna is a separate measurement called payload and doesn’t take away from the available tow rating, as long as you’re not exceeding the payload. A quick search I did stated your payload is between 1,145 to 1,395 lbs. depending on which trim level you have, more factory installed equipment equals more weight and take away from available payload. The capacities for your specific vehicle should be on a plate on your door jam and in your owner’s manual.

 

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I am a bit confused. As much as I have read, I am starting to think I need to sell my 2009 Sienna, because it can barely tow my family of 6, let alone add a friend In there.
So I can only have a total of 1200 lb of everything combined?
So forget luggage etc, can not take a trip with it?
I am very frustrated, I wanted to be able to tow a pop up, but it seems my family alone is barely making the cut.
Would anyone verify please?
It seems ridiculous, that I have this incredible van that I can barely haul passengers around in. I certainly can not afford $2000 to have the engine cooler added. My husband is quite handy, but I watched the video on installing one, And it is way out of his league.
Thank you in advance,
michelle
I needed a good laugh. Thank you.

^^ what he said. Its how much you are dragging behind your van, not including the van contents. You can bring your family along so long as they arent in the pop-up camper you are pulling. That is always a good threat though for the misbehaving children.
"Shut up or I put you the camper"
 

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Thank you for the answer. So many terms and numbers being thrown around I thought it was the total the van could pull with the van load included.
I understand now, I just can not pull much of a pop up, but I am glad I can at least take trips in my van with my family and luggage :)
Glad I could make someone laugh ?
I sure wish I had known before my purchase. I have the LE with Several optional features..though, from pictures, I am quite sure I do not have the tow package.
Again thank you for your answer,
Michelle
 

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Just for the record, a front wheel drive vehicle isnt the best choice for towing. Braking, steering and powering all on the front wheels that are mearly supported by an articulating suspension. If you do decide to tow with the van, plan on replacing the lower ball joints frequently. The lower ball joints really arent meant to endure that much force. In fact, they are kind of wimpy if you were to look at them. Thats why rear wheel drive is best. The drive line is well supported from the engine all the way back to the rear axle and you arent asking the front wheels to pull double duty. I have personally owned more than 40 cars, vans and trucks in my life and I have repaired them all myself. My last Nissan minivan needed new ball joints every 30,000 miles. On my Sienna, I just replaced the lower ball joints at 95,000 miles and it has never towed anything. BTW if you hear a groan sound from the front end when you go over speed bumps or when you turn into your driveway, it could well be your ball joints.
 

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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

Hello, i don't mean to be a bother, but I am new to this site. I have a 2011 sienna xle, awd v6. I remember the sticker saying it was rated at 3500 with towing prep. I am looking to get a pop up soon, and I was double checking towing capacities. I have received a bunch of different answers from this chat site and Toyota themselves. I was told by Toyota my vin came with dauel fans, HD alternator, trans cooler. Now, after looking at the engine, I don't see any trans cooler. Just the radiator and A/C condenser. I can only think they meant it has an internal trans cooler.

so I will add an external trans cooler, the electric brake, air lift In rear springs, 7 point pigtail onto my existing 4 flat. Now, I saw your pics. And thanks for those. I was getting very frustrated. But I see all the items in your pics in my engine, So can I assume I do have the oil exchange and am rated for 3500lbs. Sorry again for the long answer/question. Let me know thanks..
 

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*IF* you can see the top of the round engine oil to water heat exchanger peaking out from under the front exhaust manifold, then YES, you have a tow package equipped 2011 Sienna. That ups your towing capacity from (I believe it's 1500 lbs for a 2011, up from 1200 lbs for the 2010) to a full 3500 lbs. That is pretty much the only component that Toyota includes in the tow package, but it's a pretty expensive component as it also means changes to the bottom end of the engine - about $1000 in parts. Everything else is 'tow rated' already - trans cooler internal to the radiator, 150 amp alt, fans, double core radiator, etc.

That said, further insurance by adding an aftermarket transmission oil cooler is always a good idea.
 
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