definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
41,955 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.

1998 Toyota Sienna engine problems

engine problem

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1998 Toyota Sienna Owner Comments

problem #5

Dec 152002


  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles


Engine oil sludge: My Sienna was finally fixed by Toyota Canada after I made numerous complaints about the dealership (jim pattison Toyota) that refused to repair the vehicle. The whole engine was overhauled by a different dealership. I was really happy the way they handled the case. I just received a memo from Toyota yesterday that Sienna between 1998-2000 have problems with the transmission. They have extended the warranty on transmission for these particular vehicles to 8 yrs or 100,000 miles.

- Surrey, UN, USA

problem #4

May 152003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,000 miles
My car's engine failed at 20,000 miles. The dealer said it was due to sludge, based on my not changing the oil often enough. I had changed the oil every 6000 miles, not every 3000 miles. The dealer, jim coleman Toyota of bethesda md stated that I was at fault and that Toyota would do nothing for me. First coleman flushed the engine, at a cost of 1000. When this repair only held for 2000 miles or so, I was told I needed to replace my engine. I did so at ernie's, a top-rated repair shop in bethesda (consumer check list)at a cost of 5600, considerably less than Toyota's price of 7500. I have faithfully changed my oil since that time on or before the 3000 mile mark. The engine has again failed due to sludge build-up!!! I am now expecting that Toyota will replace the engine at no cost to me, but I am concerned that there will be some catch to this...

- Bethesda, MD, USA

problem #3

Mar 152003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,342 miles
Had sludge in the engine. Engine lost oil and smoke coming out the tail pipe. They rebuilt my engine for free. Saying that I did not change oil frequent enough. I have proof and did change every 4-5000 miles but not with the Toyota dealership. My concern is that what did they change to make sure this doesn\\'t happen again. They could not promise me it wouldn\\'t even if I changed the oil every 3000 miles

- Lithonia, GA, USA

problem #2

Jan 152000


  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,431 miles
Engine had to be replaced due to oil sludge, oil changes were made made promptly.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #1

Jul 012002


  • miles
Fax fm george a. stouffer (nc) request that Toyota cover the cost of a new engine for this 1998 Toyota Sienna due to an "oil gel" problem. White smoke had come from the tail pipe. The service dealer diagnosed that Toyota labeled an "oil gel problem" and told the consumer that the engine would be cleaned under warranty. The problem recurred and destroyed the engine. Toyota should be responsible for the payment under the same provisions as before. (they refused the request) the request for assistance was denied, because the manufacturer stated the consumer did not properly maintain the vehicle, however the consumer had proof that the vehicle was well maintained, once that proof was sent, the manufacturer claimed the warranty only covered one single repair, but the original repair never fixed the design flaw, but only cleaned out the oil gel.

- Chapel Hill, NC, USA

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