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Which 2nd gen year has least problems?

6520 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  mralexsays
I have narrowed down my minivan search to the Sienna for safety ratings and also because of the notorious transmission issue Odyssey's have. So Sienna it is. This is a pretty huge purchase for us and I don't want to be trapped in a money pit of a van (I know, who does?) Any advice y'all can give on what to watch out for and stay away from is greatly appreciated.
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This question seems to come up monthly...

In general, I'd suggest model years 2007+. Many of the problems with the earlier vans were fixed at this point (power door cables come to mind). Plus, the 2007+ vans came standard with stability control and traction control, which was only available on upper trim levels in previous years. Finally, 2007 was the first year of the 3.5 liter engine, which replaced the 3.3 liter engine. The 3.3 was known to sludge if the oil wasn't changed at regular intervals. The 3.3 is also a timing belt engine, which needs to be replaced every 100k miles at $700.
07 still has the bad sliding door cables.... change was made in 08.
Can confirm from personal experience that the cables also fail on the 2008 vans, likely due to corrosion from all the salt on the roads. This can be a DIY project for $220 and 5 hours of time.
Better yet, wipe down your cables periodically, and grease them. Spray a little lube into the take-up system on the door, and keep the tracks and rollers clean and lubed to that the motion forces are kept at a minimum. Do that and you might avoid ever having to change them.
If buying a pre-09, you'll want to make sure the VVT-i Oil Line has been replaced already:

Also applicable to all 2nd gens is the power steering rack leak issue. There are many threads on this issue, but here is one:

(Basically, if you have fluid leaking from the right side steering rack boot, the 'official' fix is a complete steering rack replacement at about $1,500 though some of the threads mention other DIY options that seem to work fine.)

I didn't know about the steering rack leak issue until ours started leaking... Luckily, the extended warranty we bought when we got the van covered it.

Other than the steering rack leak, our 2010 LE that we bought back in 2014 has been great! My one single regret was not going for the XLE since the LE doesn't have the driver side memory feature (our old car had that and it really is a great feature when you have 2 different sized drivers that both drive it a lot.)
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