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definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
31,785 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Toyota Sienna engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Toyota Sienna Owner Comments

problem #9

Jan 112006

Sienna 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles


My 2002 Sienna was diagnosed with oil sludge at 73,000 miles. Dealer says it cannot replace engine at their cost without receipts to prove oil changes. Since we did the changes ourselves we have no receipts.

- Silverton, OR, USA

problem #8

Sep 282005

Sienna 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 39,523 miles
I have 2002 Toyota Sienna. The car was perfect until after 30K miles. We first noticed the car occasionally had difficulty of starting during warm weather or warm engine condition. Then the situation got worst, the no starting got more often. We even got stuck in the freeway and busy street because we stopped the car and had a lot of difficulty to get the car started again. The situation could be dangerous in a traffic busy location. I have two friend who have Sienna and they both had the similar problems with their Sienna. The usual symptom of the problem: The car takes more cracking to start and then its RPM immediately drops to 400-200rpm and then the engine dies; some times pushing on the accelerator would help raising the RPM and got the car really started; at some other times, the engine would not start at all until the engineer cools down and/or the weather cools down; today, it happened again in an outdoor parking lot. I am still trying to get it started.

- Redwood City, CA, USA

problem #7

Jan 012004

Sienna 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles
My 2002 Sienna has 26,000 miles on it and has a loud engine knocking when accelerating at certain speeds. It has been doing it for about the last 6000 miles. At 20,000 miles, scott clarkes Toyota in charlotte told me to use a better grade gasoline, with no results. At 24,000 miles, they told me I have spark knock and need to drive the car at higher speeds more often. (I drive mostly in the city). Reading the other complaints about sludge, I think this is related, since they told me my oil was sludgey too. I think this problem needs to be investigated and recalled.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #6

Oct 132004

Sienna 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,542 miles


Told by Toyota dealer that my three yr old 2002 Toyota Sienna with 47,542 miles needs a new engine due to sludge/gelling of engine oil.

- Double Oak, TX, USA

problem #5

Jul 032004

Sienna 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles
Engine oil sludge forming in camshaft carrier and under oil filler cap after only 35K miles! I bought this Sienna brand new for $32000 and perform maintenance religiously, changing oil & filter every 4000 - 5000. Yet, last week on a routine oil change I noticed black gritty deposits caked underneath the oil filler cap! it was about 2-4 mm thick; I could scrape it with my fingernails and it felt like hardened sugar. I could see the black deposits well into the cam carrier. I found out that many other Toyota owners are experiencing this sludge problem! this is obviously a design flaw in the 3.0L V6 engines causing the oil to sludge; Toyota should issue a recall on these engines!

- Apple Valley, CA, USA

problem #4

Jun 272003

(reported on)


  • miles
The oil light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer on 5/28/2003 and it was determined that there was sludge in the engine and it had to be replaced. The vehicle would not function with the current engine.

- Hemet, CA, USA

problem #3

Jan 292003


  • miles


Toyota Sienna engine fire. The consumer inquired when the results of the fire investigation would be published.

- Uknown, DC, USA

problem #2

Mar 032003


  • 50,000 miles
The engine locked up.

- Henderson, KY, USA

problem #1

Nov 202002

Sienna 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,000 miles
I own a 2002 Toyota Sienna. The vehicle was purchased new from magic Toyota in edmonds wa. The van has 20000 miles on it and is now in need of a new engine. I have had it serviced but apparently the Toyota engines have an oil sludge build up problem which destroys the engine if it occurs. Toyota is uncertain at this juncture if they are going to repair the engine which is still under warranty. I had it serviced on 11/20/02 at magic Toyota. Four weeks later the engine is dead lined with blue smoke, poor compression, and a knock. I have recently read that Toyota engines from 2000 on were having this problem. I am also understanding that the state of Idaho and possibly California are formulating a class action lawsuit on this issue. Toyota is claiming that it is an owner maintenance issue not a defect. I request to file an official complaint against Toyota in reference to this engine defect. They are not standing good for it. An engine with 20,000 miles on it should not be dead lined.

- Lynnwood, WA, USA

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