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Discussion Starter #1
Morning everyone. I have lurked here for a while, but since I have had little issues with my 2011 Sienna XLE AWD have not had much of a reason to post.

Well that has changed, a bit. Now have roughly 52,000 miles on it, with regular maintenance per manf instructions (actually change out the oil a bit more frequently than 10K because that freaks me out a bit.)

Starting over the weekend my husband noticed a whirring noise while driving that is louder in the rear. It sounds like a wind up toy... It is somewhat variable with speed, and is only there while moving. The noise is the loudest between 35-50 mph, but probably there at higher speeds, just drowned out by the highway noise.

I have not seen a decrease in my MPG, and no noticeable pulling in the wheel or change in responsiveness. Breaks seem fine, not spongey or making any noise (although they are original). I have done the old feel the wheels for heat and all four seem about the same, no hot wheel that I can find. Also no smell...

So I am starting out with my trusted garage first, I want to rule out breaks or wheel bearing. But if those check out clean, I am afraid I will be going to the dealer to have the rear AWD unit checked.

Anyone else have an issue with this? It was perfectly silent up till about two days ago... right around 52,000K... Please share if you have!

I have it at the garage now, and will post updates in case someone else finds this helpful.

Thank you.

Carrie
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Well my local mechanic states it is in the powertrain... Not wheel related. Boo. Now I need to make an appointment with my dealer.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well have my answer. The dealer service department called. It is a bearing in the rear differential coupler. He informed me that they have had to change out a couple of these, and that Toyota re-designed this part. And I need to bring it back so they can replace it with the re-designed part.

So beware!!!! I caught this at 52K. Don't know what would have happened if it was 60001. If you hear a whistling noise in the rear of your AWD Sienna... get it checked out sooner than later!
 

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Hi there. I also have this same problem on my 2011 Sienna AWD but mine is long past warranty. Do you have any idea how much it would cost to get this done? I took mine to my dealer in Toronto & they said it is a "bearing" but I did not need to worry about it if I was considering trading in the van. I was considering fixing it as I may keep mine for awhile as 2015 appears to be only cosmetic changes inside.
 

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Our 2011 AWD Sienna also developed the "whirring noise" and this was diagnosed as the electro-magnetic decoupled sub-assembly for the rear differential. We don't use a dealer shop and the part was $1,600 - total bill $1,900. This is in Wyoming with a trustworthy local mechanic who always tries to save us money when possible. Even he had sticker shock and said we should save the receipt because he had never heard of this and thought eventually Toyota may create a reimbursement opportunity for what is clearly a freak failure. Anyone know of such an opportunity?
 

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I have a new to me 2011 AWD Sienna LE that has this whirring noise. Will this lead top the eventual demise of the rear differential? Is this a DIY project or suck it up and take it to the dealer? Any input would be appreciated.
 

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Any more to add to this thread? My 2011 Limited AWD just started that whirring sound as well.Trying to figure out best route
 

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Any more to add to this thread? My 2011 Limited AWD just started that whirring sound as well.Trying to figure out best route
no doubt it's the rear diff coupler.. Caught ours at 60185 miles and Toyota stood behind it under warranty , get it checked! How many miles you have?
 

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no doubt it's the rear diff coupler.. Caught ours at 60185 miles and Toyota stood behind it under warranty , get it checked! How many miles you have?
104,xxx unfortunately so its going to be on my dime. :crying::crying::crying::crying::crying::crying::crying:
 

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I also have tried to determine what this (winding sound) is while going down the highway. Your post have shined a light on what I think is an unfortunate problem for some GEN3 Sienna owners. I hope my extended warranty covers the fix.
Thanks ::
 

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Just bought a used 2011 AWD Sienna which is under 60000.
Unfortunately I am not in the USA but in Nigeria.
There isn't any form of warranty protection here as there is no official American Spec dealer or rep over here.
 

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I have the same problem with my '11. I decided to bite the bullet and buy the whole coupling from the dealer. Came to around $1200 incl. tax (Canadian) and includes a "protector" they called it which they couldnt show or tell me what its for. Im guessing its a new skid plate. It was another $180. Anyone heard of them selling this so called "protector" with the coupling before? If it is just a skid plate and dont need it the parts guy said i can return it.
 

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Just last week end 12/10/16 I replace the carrier Assy P# 41110-45011 (The new version, came from
Yark Toyota, 1377 Conant Street Maumee, OH, 43537 US 866-984-9658 [email protected]
for $800 and got it on line. wt =35lbs) in my wife's Toyota Sienna 2011 AWD (60k Miles) The skid plate that was on the old unit was fine, still looked like new and was very easily installed on the new one. Unless yours is damaged I have no idea why someone wants to sell you a new one... My local mechanic offered to put the replacement carrier Assy in for me for $150 @ 2hrs work. I ended up doing it myself. 3Hrs work and yes I mechanical skills. Note the carrier Assy is shipped with NO OIL. Use 0.6 quart of AMSOIL Severe Gear SAE 75W-90 Synthetic Extreme Pressure Lubricant. While you are under there change the front differential oil too. ( use same oil, 0.9 quart ) Change both again after another 80-100K miles. Oil cost me $44 for 2 Quarts. Good Luck!
 

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JCR9307 - thanks for the part #. You replaced the carrier Assy. Is this the part that others are taking apart to replace the coupler bearing? Or is this a whole different thing?
 

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Hi all, Just experienced this same problem with my 2012 Sienna AWD. Our local dealer diagnosed it as a failure of the Viscous Coupler. Parts cost: $1700 Labor Cost: $400. Trying to decide what to do!! We have 71,000 miles so no warranty protection for us! Rats! Any advice?!? We are SO BUMMED.
 

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Danger69; Im pretty sure he's talking about just the carrier(rear differential). The coupling bolts onto the front of the differential
 

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Just developed this problem in my 2011 AWD Sienna. It has just under 80,000 on it. I assume that's out of warranty, but I don't even remember what the powertrain warranty is anymore.

It must be a widespread problem, since my repair guy checked all his usual sources and found no used ones available. One place told him they had sold 21 of them (I think he said in the past year?). We're not exactly a huge metropolis around here, so that's a lot.

Someone posted that Toyota has redesigned the part. I'm glad you mentioned that. It makes me think maybe we are barking up the wrong tree by looking for used ones.
 

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good day. I had the whirring noise on the rear coupler of my sienna 2011. It was repaired by a remote Toyota Dealer here in Canada for under 400$ parts and labor! From what I understand, there are 2 bearings inside the coupler one that can't be replaced and one that can. Most of the time its the one that can be replaced that goes bad (common on RAV 4 apparently ) My local dealer was asking near 1800$ for the complete job including a new plate.
DO YOUR HOMEWORK. before spending the big money.
 
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