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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Now that I've paid a small fortune to repair the broken cable on my 2019 XLE I'd like to extend the life of the cables and motors on both sliding doors. My question is does operating the doors in manual mode put less of a load on the cable? Watching the power door open and close I see a slight tug on the cable when the motor engages. In manual mode my kids will be slamming the door open and closed but I'm not sure the cable is affected. Any opinions on this?
 

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'07 XLE FWD, '18 XLE AWD
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It thought it was unusual that yours needed cable replacement being a '19. I've had no cables broken on a '12 over a period of 9 years/150K miles. On my beater '07, the cables broke after 11 years and 200K miles.

When I bought my '18 used last summer, the sliding doors were fairly stiff to open/close manually (to the point that they can hold themselves in position on a slight incline), and made disconcerting squeaks when power-operated. I found that the rollers on both the bottom and top tracks had absolutely no grease or lubrication. They were stuck and not spinning when doors were in motion. They were being pulled along with the door. So instead of helping to reduce friction and starting torque on the motor and cables, they did the opposite and put a lot of strain on the cables.

I used both silicone spray and white lithium grease to liberally lubricate those rollers and the tracks, cleaning up an excess. Made a huge difference. I also used silicone spray on the cables (same one I use for my garage door springs and cables.)

Long story short, I don't think operating the doors manually vs. power-operated will have increase the life of the cables. Rather it's the lubrication of the rollers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It thought it was unusual that yours needed cable replacement being a '19. I've had no cables broken on a '12 over a period of 9 years/150K miles. On my beater '07, the cables broke after 11 years and 200K miles.

When I bought my '18 used last summer, the sliding doors were fairly stiff to open/close manually (to the point that they can hold themselves in position on a slight incline), and made disconcerting squeaks when power-operated. I found that the rollers on both the bottom and top tracks had absolutely no grease or lubrication. They were stuck and not spinning when doors were in motion. They were being pulled along with the door. So instead of helping to reduce friction and starting torque on the motor and cables, they did the opposite and put a lot of strain on the cables.

I used both silicone spray and white lithium grease to liberally lubricate those rollers and the tracks, cleaning up an excess. Made a huge difference. I also used silicone spray on the cables (same one I use for my garage door springs and cables.)

Long story short, I don't think operating the doors manually vs. power-operated will have increase the life of the cables. Rather it's the lubrication of the rollers.

Thanks for the input. I've lubricated the cables, rollers and tracks with lithium grease, and springs and gas door lockout with silicon lubricant. Was just wondering how to prevent/ensure future failures.
 

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'07 XLE FWD, '18 XLE AWD
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My kids (when they were younger) used to love to open the sliding door, jump in, then close the door from the inside while the doors were still opening. That was dangerous (one got caught in the door -- oooh yeah I'm sure it was more scary than painful), but kids are not made of sugar cubes and they lived to tell. I was more concerned about the strain that sudden reversal without coming to a complete stop put on the cables!
 

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2020 Sienna LE
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184 Posts
When we had our 06 and it was maybe 18 months old one day the right door wouldnt close. It was snowing bad but the tracks were clean, so were the cables, nothing would make the door close no matter how hard I tried. Our 6 month old son was sitting in the seat getting a face full of snow, sleet and blowing cold wind at the time and we were miles from home, so I put my foot into the door jam and pulled like hell till shit started snapping and forced it closed.
Yes, got a bit of a hard time from the dealer about me breaking it but I said what the hell would you do if you were in the situation I was in. I got a 10 second pause and then they said ok, covered under warranty. Never had another problem with it after that and never had anything go wrong ever with the left side and we had that van for 10 years.
Point of my long winded ramble is you probably had some sort of defective part somewhere and it broke, shit happens, just too bad yours wasnt covered under warranty.
Like piggy said, keep it clean, lubed up and use it the way it was intended, and dont let it get to you.
 

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I would think your repair should be covered. They extended the warranty on these.
 
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