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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There's an extremely popular forum on Reddit called "today I learned" (abbreviated TIL). If you haven't seen it you should check it out at reddit dot com /r/todayilearned/ It's a place where people post interesting things they recently learned across a limitless breadth of topics.

Every time I come across some new interesting feature with our Sienna I think that such a thread would be interesting to share here. Granted, if you've read the 500 pages of manuals you presumably already know all these things :) but not all of us have (or will) rtfm so this is the Spark Notes version. Cool and maybe non-obvious things that you've been delighted to discover about your van. I'll start off with a couple of my own and hope others will share as well. When you come across something you didn't already know, maybe give it a like.

So the first one for me was probably when we learned that the recessed ridge on the driver's and passenger's door handles is a lock button. The first few days I was using the remote to lock the car but once I discovered that button that's mostly what I use! Very cool!

49061
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The next one for me I just learned in the last hour (so a true TIL) and inspired me to actually write these down. I can't recall if this has been a thing on any other cars I've driven but tonight I noticed that a slight press up or down on the turn signal lever generates a brief 6 flashes left or right with no need to turn it off. Making a turn of course the turn signal turns off when you're done with your turn but a lane change generally requires activating and deactivating the turn signal. But for a quick change where you don't feel the need for a lengthy notification period this gives you a few seconds of flashing that ends automatically. Handy!
 

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Alright, one more and then I'll give someone else a turn. I was mildly disappointed that the Sienna side mirrors don't tilt down when I go in reverse, say backing into a parking space. My Lexus does that -- both side mirrors reorient themselves to be able to view the curb.
This weekend I was playing around with it and realized that they do do this, but only when the wide view mirror adjustment knob is turned to control the left or right side mirror (doesn't matter which). Once I had mine adjusted my instinct is to leave the adjustment knob in the center position so I don't accidentally adjust them, but that "lock" seems to also lock them in place in reverse (essentially disabling the reverse tilt-down function.
Not sure I love that fact, but I am glad to have the tilt-down feature back.
 

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Alright, one more and then I'll give someone else a turn. I was mildly disappointed that the Sienna side mirrors don't tilt down when I go in reverse, say backing into a parking space. My Lexus does that -- both side mirrors reorient themselves to be able to view the curb.
This weekend I was playing around with it and realized that they do do this, but only when the wide view mirror adjustment knob is turned to control the left or right side mirror (doesn't matter which). Once I had mine adjusted my instinct is to leave the adjustment knob in the center position so I don't accidentally adjust them, but that "lock" seems to also lock them in place in reverse (essentially disabling the reverse tilt-down function.
Not sure I love that fact, but I am glad to have the tilt-down feature back.
Vehicle-To Vehicle Distance Control Mode:
(1) If the system has to apply the brakes to maintain distance, the brake lights come on.
(2) If the vehicle ahead stops your vehicle will also stop. After the vehicle ahead starts off you must press "RES" or the accelerator to resume follow-up cruising.
 

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1. For Sienna, and also for all other vehicles with Lane maintenance with steering assist, either turn it off in construction areas or areas with confusing lane markings, or get in to habit of holding the steering wheel tight all the time. I generally loosely hang on to steering wheel with one hand at 6'o clock. While driving thru a construction area, my single lane was diverted with traffic cones in to middle turn lane. Our car thought I was getting out of my lane and tried steering back in to the current lane almost hitting traffic cones. That gave me quite a moment. I am not saying it is car's fault, but old habits need new perspectives with new technologies!

2. Squirrels can be people too : This almost feels like made up, but I am not kidding. I was driving in slower neighborhood with 10-15MPH. I happened to notice a squirrel making some quick short movements underneath a parked car 2-3 cars ahead of me on the right. Next thing I know, the RED BRAKE pedestrian alert was on the screen. Had I not noticed the squirrel out of the corner of my eyes, I would have thought ours came standard a Ghost Sensor!

3. If you find your Fuel Door frozen solid, or not opening for any reason, the emergency release of it is in the rear-driver-sidewall. Here is a picture for those who don't have a Spare Wheel. I suppose it be in the same place for those who have a spare wheel, but they will need to pull out the spare wheel first.

I had my fuel door frozen solid on my first fill up. Not knowing which way it is hinged, towards front or back, it made it little bit more guessing game for me on how to gently pry it open.

Yellow Gas Machine Motor vehicle Plastic
 

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Alright, one more and then I'll give someone else a turn. I was mildly disappointed that the Sienna side mirrors don't tilt down when I go in reverse, say backing into a parking space. My Lexus does that -- both side mirrors reorient themselves to be able to view the curb.
This weekend I was playing around with it and realized that they do do this, but only when the wide view mirror adjustment knob is turned to control the left or right side mirror (doesn't matter which). Once I had mine adjusted my instinct is to leave the adjustment knob in the center position so I don't accidentally adjust them, but that "lock" seems to also lock them in place in reverse (essentially disabling the reverse tilt-down function.
Not sure I love that fact, but I am glad to have the tilt-down feature back.
What model do you have? I have a XSE with tech and it doesn’t do this.
 

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I have one more.

Hang on to your steering wheel tight on curves, especially on interstates. Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA) does over-corrections and followed by corrections and causes pretty scary wobbles. It works pretty good on straight lines though.
 

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I have one more.

Hang on to your steering wheel tight on curves, especially on interstates. Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA) does over-corrections and followed by corrections and causes pretty scary wobbles. It works pretty good on straight lines though.
It is also scary on a straight two lane road when it seems to consistently veer to the left just as a semi is approaching from the opposite direction. Does everyone's wheel constantly wobble as it tries to keep in the center of the lane, or is there something wrong with mine? I find it very disconcerting.
 

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Alright, one more and then I'll give someone else a turn. I was mildly disappointed that the Sienna side mirrors don't tilt down when I go in reverse, say backing into a parking space. My Lexus does that -- both side mirrors reorient themselves to be able to view the curb.
This weekend I was playing around with it and realized that they do do this, but only when the wide view mirror adjustment knob is turned to control the left or right side mirror (doesn't matter which). Once I had mine adjusted my instinct is to leave the adjustment knob in the center position so I don't accidentally adjust them, but that "lock" seems to also lock them in place in reverse (essentially disabling the reverse tilt-down function.
Not sure I love that fact, but I am glad to have the tilt-down feature back.
I tried everything I could to see if I could lock myself out of the Sienna with the fob inside. In every case, it refused to lock the doors. I even tried it with the fob just inside the rear hatch and pressed the close button on the hatch twice to simultaneously close the hatch and lock the doors, but it refused. The only way I can see that you could possibly lock yourself out would be to press the hatch button twice to lock the doors and then throw the fob in as it is coming down.
 

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It is also scary on a straight two lane road when it seems to consistently veer to the left just as a semi is approaching from the opposite direction. Does everyone's wheel constantly wobble as it tries to keep in the center of the lane, or is there something wrong with mine? I find it very disconcerting.
Yes that's how it works. It's unsettling at first and I barely trusted it. Now I trust it 90 percent of the time. I just did a 1200 mile trip from Florida to Texas and there were times when I went several hours with nothing but a guiding hand on the wheel. Only had to take over once or twice aside from changing lanes.

Once you learn to trust the system in the right conditions it becomes less unnerving. Just takes some practice and learning what it responds well to and where it needs a little help from you.

The drive using LTA and DRCC was really easy. Even where traffic slows to stop and go due to constructions was a breeze since the car will slow and stop itself and then start again. Normally I pull my hair out during stop and go, but with this van I felt like I could fall asleep in the stop and go. It was so much less stressful.
 

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I tried everything I could to see if I could lock myself out of the Sienna with the fob inside. In every case, it refused to lock the doors. I even tried it with the fob just inside the rear hatch and pressed the close button on the hatch twice to simultaneously close the hatch and lock the doors, but it refused. The only way I can see that you could possibly lock yourself out would be to press the hatch button twice to lock the doors and then throw the fob in as it is coming down.
The doors have to be closed and the door locked from the inside. You can use the manual key in the keyhole to do it believe. The only other way to do it without using the manual key (or two keys) is to leave the fob inside the car, close all the doors but keep a window open. Press the power door lock key inside the car on the door to lock the doors (fob is inside), then pull the automatic window switch and yank your arm back out thru the window.
 

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Yes that's how it works. It's unsettling at first and I barely trusted it. Now I trust it 90 percent of the time. I just did a 1200 mile trip from Florida to Texas and there were times when I went several hours with nothing but a guiding hand on the wheel. Only had to take over once or twice aside from changing lanes.

Once you learn to trust the system in the right conditions it becomes less unnerving. Just takes some practice and learning what it responds well to and where it needs a little help from you.

The drive using LTA and DRCC was really easy. Even where traffic slows to stop and go due to constructions was a breeze since the car will slow and stop itself and then start again. Normally I pull my hair out during stop and go, but with this van I felt like I could fall asleep in the stop and go. It was so much less stressful.
Reminds me of another TIL.

It can change lanes itself too. Just give the signal. It will automatically proceed to the next lane, left or right, with DRCC.
 
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