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Man, I thought 18,600 miles on a 7 month old car was a lot. I do rideshare on the side and the van is used only for rideshare. If this was my only car, it would have almost 25k already. Either way, Toyotas ain't what they used to be. My 2010 cost me $8500 in 18 months and tried me for another $2500 before I gave up, so I extended my bumper-bumper warranty to 5 years/150,000 miles. Powertrain is lifetime, standard from the dealer.

I do not work on my own things because 1) I suck at it. I cross thread everything. 2) I lack the tools 3) I'm about as patient as a German Shepherd who just cornered an intruder. 4) I suck at it. Was unable to drain out a radiator petcock and do my own coolant flush. 5) I don't have much time in my busy life. 6) Everyone who has knowledge refuses to teach me. 7) I suck at it. Lots of broken bolts.

The dealer will have a fun time replacing my shocks and bearings under warranty, and after warranty is up; they will be left to make as much racket as they want until the van gets traded if I don't like the price.

As far as parts go, that bearing only made it one year. How much worse could aftermarket be if original equipment is THAT bad. Just a thought. Perhaps it is a fluke. First model year and maybe whoever installed it at the factory wasn't properly trained. I deliberately waited for a 2022 to hopefully bypass these types of production "kinks".
There was a time when I clocked 40K+ miles/year, most of which were business, so I went through leased company vehicles (usually they tell you to turn it in at 75K) in less than 2 years :). After much rationalization effort I managed to reduce this to 24K/year business and 12K/year private, but with the Sienna we practically stopped using my dear wife's car, because we like the comfort and the utility of the minivan - so it's up to 38K miles a year now.

As for the quality, yes, I have a suspicion that the reliability and longevity of the "Western" brands peaked in the 1990's-2,000's and then started sliding downhill. The 2021 Sienna feels kind of "soft", in the same way Hyundais did 20 years ago. All kinds of things start quitting on you randomly after the bumper-to-bumper warranty runs out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
I hope you run the math for whatever delivery service your doing as it looks like you'll get 2-3 years before you need a new van. Or $15k a year in vehicle expenses. (Tires, oil changes, maintenance, etc.)
yes, and this won't just run for 3 years, it will run for 5 or more. I got my last van to 468000, and it still runs, and is still in my driveway as a backup, its just a full sized cargo van and way too expensive to keep running at the current prices of gas. it would cost me about $110 a day in gas, which isn't sustainable at the daily rate I make. it comes out to around $25000 in fuel for running it during the high prices for the year. the Sienna will cost me around 11000 for the full year, which is less than half the fuel costs. I also have not put hardly anything cost wise into maintenance except oil changes, and fluid changes, which amount to about $1000 for the year total, which is 10000 less than it cost per year to keep my cargo van on the road. I literally budgeted $1000 a month for the cargo van upkeep in parts, though it usually came in the form of a couple of large expenses per year, like the transfer case was $2200, and the rear axle rebuilt was $1500, and the trans had started to die, but hadn't quite had it before I parked it, though I have a second one sitting built and ready in the garage, but that was an up front expense of $3400.

I do all my own work, and have a fully kitted garage minus a lift, which should be fixed next year. I plan on needing a new van every 5 years, which is why I took a 5 year loan on this, and plan on it having zero resale value when im done with it.

yes, the numbers work. this van saves me about 20k alone in pure expenses, and then overall the running expenses are about 1/2 or less.
 

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yes, and this won't just run for 3 years, it will run for 5 or more. I got my last van to 468000, and it still runs, and is still in my driveway as a backup, its just a full sized cargo van and way too expensive to keep running at the current prices of gas. it would cost me about $110 a day in gas, which isn't sustainable at the daily rate I make. it comes out to around $25000 in fuel for running it during the high prices for the year. the Sienna will cost me around 11000 for the full year, which is less than half the fuel costs. I also have not put hardly anything cost wise into maintenance except oil changes, and fluid changes, which amount to about $1000 for the year total, which is 10000 less than it cost per year to keep my cargo van on the road. I literally budgeted $1000 a month for the cargo van upkeep in parts, though it usually came in the form of a couple of large expenses per year, like the transfer case was $2200, and the rear axle rebuilt was $1500, and the trans had started to die, but hadn't quite had it before I parked it, though I have a second one sitting built and ready in the garage, but that was an up front expense of $3400.

I do all my own work, and have a fully kitted garage minus a lift, which should be fixed next year. I plan on needing a new van every 5 years, which is why I took a 5 year loan on this, and plan on it having zero resale value when im done with it.

yes, the numbers work. this van saves me about 20k alone in pure expenses, and then overall the running expenses are about 1/2 or less.
I would may be keep a running 500 deposit at dealerships nearby? God forbid anything happens to yours, it may take months to get another one and cost you thousands more in additional expenses? Just my .02.
 

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yes, and this won't just run for 3 years, it will run for 5 or more. I got my last van to 468000, and it still runs, and is still in my driveway as a backup, its just a full sized cargo van and way too expensive to keep running at the current prices of gas. it would cost me about $110 a day in gas, which isn't sustainable at the daily rate I make. it comes out to around $25000 in fuel for running it during the high prices for the year. the Sienna will cost me around 11000 for the full year, which is less than half the fuel costs. I also have not put hardly anything cost wise into maintenance except oil changes, and fluid changes, which amount to about $1000 for the year total, which is 10000 less than it cost per year to keep my cargo van on the road. I literally budgeted $1000 a month for the cargo van upkeep in parts, though it usually came in the form of a couple of large expenses per year, like the transfer case was $2200, and the rear axle rebuilt was $1500, and the trans had started to die, but hadn't quite had it before I parked it, though I have a second one sitting built and ready in the garage, but that was an up front expense of $3400.

I do all my own work, and have a fully kitted garage minus a lift, which should be fixed next year. I plan on needing a new van every 5 years, which is why I took a 5 year loan on this, and plan on it having zero resale value when im done with it.

yes, the numbers work. this van saves me about 20k alone in pure expenses, and then overall the running expenses are about 1/2 or less.
Exactly. Which is the reason I bought mine as well. A lot of things have disappointed me on this van, but for a business decision, nothing else makes sense. Not even close. Before I bought the sienna, I looked into two certified Volvo XC90s, which I loved. My 2012 XC60 has been the best car I've ever had, and the XC90 just adds even more greatness. But it takes premium gas and gets around 25 MPG, which is still incredible for a three-row SUV, but costs several thousand dollars more per year. Sure, comfort and safety mean a lot, but for me it just wasn't quite worth it.
 

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We might “feel” like “Toyota ain’t what it used to be” — but the evidence is still strong that Toyota is superior to its competitors. And since we don’t buy vehicles in a vacuum, relative performance is frankly all that matters.



 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
I would may be keep a running 500 deposit at dealerships nearby? God forbid anything happens to yours, it may take months to get another one and cost you thousands more in additional expenses? Just my .02.
This is why I have a spare cargo van, I still have my old cargo van ready to go at a moment's notice. The cost of renting a vehicle when you go 400 miles per day is absolutely insane. That comes out to about 500 to $600 per week, if you rent it by the month. if something major were to go wrong with this like and engine or motor, it does have a warranty until 125,000 MI, and the battery warranty I bumped to 250,000 miles, and I do keep some cash on hand as well as a fairly High available credit balance if needed for the business.

It would suck going back to the cargo van and spending $110 a day on fuel, but it would just be the cost of fuel then, not the cost of fuel on top of the cost of rental.

As far as spare parts go, I have already purchased some other spare parts in advance, knowing they will fail. This is how I avoid both waiting for parts, and spread the expense out over a larger time period. I already have a Toyota OEM front wheel hub assembly, that I purchased a long with the rear wheel hub assembly, and just like my old cargo van I plan on building up a small inventory of common failed Parts like bushings, bearings, seals, and CV boots. I may also purchase a front and rear CV Axle just to have them as spares.

To somebody who doesn't run a delivery service, it sounds stupid to build up a parts store worth of stuff, but when the vehicle is critical for making money, and taking it off the road cost you more than just the repairs, but also the rental and downtime, having spare parts ready to go and be changed at a moment's notice saves a ton of money.

I think somebody else had mentioned tires, they are an expected replacement item. I did purchase a set of snow tires for the Sienna through the winter, I am unsure if I will reuse them because the inside of them got pretty beat up. I then also purchased a new set of tires this spring to take those off, and will likely be finding a second set of rims to mount the snow tires on so I do not have to have them mounted and unmounted every year.

The factory installed tires lasted a grand total of 43,000 mi, and the inner edge of all four of them was completely worn down, even though I had the alignment checked three times within the first 20,000 miles because of the emerging pattern . I was very disappointed, and Toyota refused to honor the tire wear warranty, because the wear pattern had emerged prior to 20k miles. The snow tires fared a bit better because they were extra load tires and had a little more sidewall support so they didn't wear so terribly on the inner Edge. I did end up purchasing a new set of Firestone ft140 is, the OEM spec Tire, put on for the summer just to see how they go, because my original factory tires were not Firestone ft140. They were some kind of Falken.

I wish there were more Tire options in the particular size that the sienna uses, but there really isn't a lot of options. If I could get a tire with more plys, or a better ply structure, like an extra load or a range E load, and not have the tread pattern absolutely destroy my gas mileage, I would. With my cargo van it did not matter what tire I had on there, the mileage was terrible no matter what, so I used Goodyear Wrangler DuraTracs with the 8-ply tires, the range e ones, and I was able to get about 110,000 miles out of each set of tires. Those tires were also $1,200 a set. Tires for the Sienna are significantly cheaper coming in at about $600 a set. This means my yearly Tire expenses will be about equal, because I will have to purchase two sets of tires per year. This is just something you plan on.
 

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This is why I have a spare cargo van, I still have my old cargo van ready to go at a moment's notice. The cost of renting a vehicle when you go 400 miles per day is absolutely insane. That comes out to about 500 to $600 per week, if you rent it by the month. if something major were to go wrong with this like and engine or motor, it does have a warranty until 125,000 MI, and the battery warranty I bumped to 250,000 miles, and I do keep some cash on hand as well as a fairly High available credit balance if needed for the business.

It would suck going back to the cargo van and spending $110 a day on fuel, but it would just be the cost of fuel then, not the cost of fuel on top of the cost of rental.

As far as spare parts go, I have already purchased some other spare parts in advance, knowing they will fail. This is how I avoid both waiting for parts, and spread the expense out over a larger time period. I already have a Toyota OEM front wheel hub assembly, that I purchased a long with the rear wheel hub assembly, and just like my old cargo van I plan on building up a small inventory of common failed Parts like bushings, bearings, seals, and CV boots. I may also purchase a front and rear CV Axle just to have them as spares.

To somebody who doesn't run a delivery service, it sounds stupid to build up a parts store worth of stuff, but when the vehicle is critical for making money, and taking it off the road cost you more than just the repairs, but also the rental and downtime, having spare parts ready to go and be changed at a moment's notice saves a ton of money.

I think somebody else had mentioned tires, they are an expected replacement item. I did purchase a set of snow tires for the Sienna through the winter, I am unsure if I will reuse them because the inside of them got pretty beat up. I then also purchased a new set of tires this spring to take those off, and will likely be finding a second set of rims to mount the snow tires on so I do not have to have them mounted and unmounted every year.

The factory installed tires lasted a grand total of 43,000 mi, and the inner edge of all four of them was completely worn down, even though I had the alignment checked three times within the first 20,000 miles because of the emerging pattern . I was very disappointed, and Toyota refused to honor the tire wear warranty, because the wear pattern had emerged prior to 20k miles. The snow tires fared a bit better because they were extra load tires and had a little more sidewall support so they didn't wear so terribly on the inner Edge. I did end up purchasing a new set of Firestone ft140 is, the OEM spec Tire, put on for the summer just to see how they go, because my original factory tires were not Firestone ft140. They were some kind of Falken.

I wish there were more Tire options in the particular size that the sienna uses, but there really isn't a lot of options. If I could get a tire with more plys, or a better ply structure, like an extra load or a range E load, and not have the tread pattern absolutely destroy my gas mileage, I would. With my cargo van it did not matter what tire I had on there, the mileage was terrible no matter what, so I used Goodyear Wrangler DuraTracs with the 8-ply tires, the range e ones, and I was able to get about 110,000 miles out of each set of tires. Those tires were also $1,200 a set. Tires for the Sienna are significantly cheaper coming in at about $600 a set. This means my yearly Tire expenses will be about equal, because I will have to purchase two sets of tires per year. This is just something you plan on.
Nice.

Speaking for myself, I would may be get lazy and just park another barebone Sienna and rotate them. Extra insurance might not be a lot and early payments on second car could possibly pay itself, including peace of mind.

Btw, somehow I have a feeling that you're a former fleet manager in witness protection as a delivery driver :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: :cool:.
 

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We might “feel” like “Toyota ain’t what it used to be” — but the evidence is still strong that Toyota is superior to its competitors. And since we don’t buy vehicles in a vacuum, relative performance is frankly all that matters.
Toyota lags behind there as well. Particularly in the infotainment screen department. They build vehicles that are competent and reliable, but not class leading. The Sienna would not be my first choice if I didn't drive so much. The Odyssey is faster, has a quieter engine, has better seats IMHO, has better heat, and better sound/infotainment. That said, in terms of reliability, Toyota is worlds better then anything made by GM, FCA (now Stellantis or something), and Nissan. The first reason I bought the Sienna is for fuel economy. The second reason that I bought it was that it uses a Camry hybrid drivetrain which has been in service in the New York City taxi fleet since 2017 and has a major failure rate of approximately 0.2%, which is pretty darn reliable. The third is how incredibly tight the turn circle is. This was a very welcome surprise, as it's tighter than my much shorter Volvo XC60's. I also like the visibility and that the mirrors are low and aft, as opposed to high and forward.

No car sold today from any brand will be as good or reliable as one sold new 15 years ago. The reason for that is all the technology they're cramming into them. When you don't have parking proximity sensors, they don't fail. Same goes with power doors and tailgate, blind spot monitors, forward collision warning, rear cross traffic detection, not to mention all the modules and computers that control these things. The more features and electronic gizmos you cram into a car, the higher the likelihood that something will fail. With a toyota, you can pretty much rest assured that the powertrain will go forever. But just like every other brand that uses the exact same equipment (because Toyota cannot possibly design, engineer, and build all of their own safety equipment. They buy it off the shelf) that stuff is prone to failure. Extended warranties are more important now than they have ever been. But that doesn't mean you should buy one when they call you for the 53rd time. 🙄 If it's not a manufacturers warranty, it is NOT a warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Nice.

Speaking for myself, I would may be get lazy and just park another barebone Sienna and rotate them. Extra insurance might not be a lot and early payments on second car could possibly pay itself, including peace of mind.

Btw, somehow I have a feeling that you're a former fleet manager in witness protection as a delivery driver :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: :cool:.
lol, "extra insurance can't be that much". my commercial policy is $3700 a year, down from $5500 last year. each vehicle doubles the policy premium, each driver adds $500 a year minimum, even if I only have 1 vehicle to drive. extra insurance is indeed that much. Insurance companies know that if you are using the vehicle to make money, you can pay more for a premium, and will pay more because if you don't have the right insurance, you are not covered in an accident. my premium went down because I started calling around to get quotes for other companies. I have not had an accident or a wildlife incident in over 550000 miles doing this delivery service, but also in over 10 years of driving for personal.

nope, not a former fleet manager, just some guy who works on his cars and can be smart enough to know that shits gonna break and I have to plan far ahead for it so I don't go broke renting. I would probably be fine as a fleet manager though, but I would likely go nuts from an accounting department that refuses to plan ahead. Its easier to swap a part on a weekend myself when I have said part in hand. one of my next purchases will be a more advanced scan tool, so I can actually get some real data from the van, since my simple OBD2 scanner no longer cuts it. those things are like $4000 for a half way decent one that can access MFG only programming options(like smart key proximity unlock, door lock/unlock behavior, ect). I will also be rebuilding my garage and putting in a 2 post lift with a 12 foot high so I don't have to work on the ground or my back anymore, im getting far too old for that.
 

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lol, "extra insurance can't be that much". my commercial policy is $3700 a year, down from $5500 last year. each vehicle doubles the policy premium, each driver adds $500 a year minimum, even if I only have 1 vehicle to drive. extra insurance is indeed that much. Insurance companies know that if you are using the vehicle to make money, you can pay more for a premium, and will pay more because if you don't have the right insurance, you are not covered in an accident. my premium went down because I started calling around to get quotes for other companies. I have not had an accident or a wildlife incident in over 550000 miles doing this delivery service, but also in over 10 years of driving for personal.

nope, not a former fleet manager, just some guy who works on his cars and can be smart enough to know that shits gonna break and I have to plan far ahead for it so I don't go broke renting. I would probably be fine as a fleet manager though, but I would likely go nuts from an accounting department that refuses to plan ahead. Its easier to swap a part on a weekend myself when I have said part in hand. one of my next purchases will be a more advanced scan tool, so I can actually get some real data from the van, since my simple OBD2 scanner no longer cuts it. those things are like $4000 for a half way decent one that can access MFG only programming options(like smart key proximity unlock, door lock/unlock behavior, ect). I will also be rebuilding my garage and putting in a 2 post lift with a 12 foot high so I don't have to work on the ground or my back anymore, im getting far too old for that.
I have a ride for hire endorsement on both vehicles. For both the van and my Volvo, my full premium is $692.13 every 6 months. I have Allstate. If you are a 1099 independent contractor, perhaps you could get away with dropping this. In case of an accident, the burden of proof that the trip was for business would be on the insurer. (as long as you say it was personal) Because under the law, corporations and small businesses are afforded the same rights and protections as individuals, that may be very hard for them to prove indeed.

Another way to save money is through policygenius.com. You may see their ads and whatnot but I've actually used them and would have had great success if I didn't own a short term rental house which is a manufactured 400 sqft tiny home. (Side note: It's damned near impossible to get insurance for such a thing. Even though the materiels used in construction are exactly the same, if it was built indoors and transported to it's resting place, forget about it. Mine even has had the axles removed, and it's been anchored to the ground with a block foundation and secured with 1 inch steel cables in 6 places. Doesn't matter. Short term rentals adds a whole 'nother level of risk that hardly anyone will touch.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
I have a ride for hire endorsement on both vehicles. For both the van and my Volvo, my full premium is $692.13 every 6 months. I have Allstate. If you are a 1099 independent contractor, perhaps you could get away with dropping this. In case of an accident, the burden of proof that the trip was for business would be on the insurer. (as long as you say it was personal) Because under the law, corporations and small businesses are afforded the same rights and protections as individuals, that may be very hard for them to prove indeed.

Another way to save money is through policygenius.com. You may see their ads and whatnot but I've actually used them and would have had great success if I didn't own a short term rental house which is a manufactured 400 sqft tiny home. (Side note: It's damned near impossible to get insurance for such a thing. Even though the materiels used in construction are exactly the same, if it was built indoors and transported to it's resting place, forget about it. Mine even has had the axles removed, and it's been anchored to the ground with a block foundation and secured with 1 inch steel cables in 6 places. Doesn't matter. Short term rentals adds a whole 'nother level of risk that hardly anyone will touch.)
rid for hire doesn't work when you 100% use the vehicle for business only. it works for occasional rideshare and stuff. I know, I checked. My commercial policy also includes personal use, though, my van does not move for anything but work anyways.
 
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