really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
75,418 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.

2008 Toyota Sienna engine problems

engine problem

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2008 Toyota Sienna Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #28

Jan 042012


  • 61,637 miles


That was around 2012 new year time when I, my wife and my kid visited our friend at atlanta, ga. We drove our van on interstate highway I-75, in the middle of our trip, our van started shaking vigorously. I felt that was from engine, it forced me to stop on the side of I-75. After a while we restarted our van, we could only drive for < 65 miles/hour. Any acceleration resulted in vigorous shaking. After we came home I drove my van to an auto service center, and was checked. It turned out that 3 ignition coils, spark plugs, and manifold gasket had to be replaced. Yesterday (9/10/2015) the same problem happened again.

- Estero, FL, USA

problem #27

Aug 192015


  • 80,000 miles
Car completely stoped without any warning on an extremly busy road. Extremely loud noises are coming from the engine and car will no longer move. Still cluessless on the issue at hand.

- Charles Town, WV, USA

problem #26

May 312014


  • 112,496 miles
Upon exiting the interstate, we began to smell a burning smell and the light for the A/C started flashing and wouldn't turn back on. We drove about a mile thinking that the smell was roadwork, but then we decided to stop and check it under the hood. Once we opened the hood, we were hit with a plume of smoke, and realized there was a pool of oil under the van. We began to look on the internet for causes, where we came across several instances of the oil hose blowing and the vehicle catching fire. We called the dealership the next day to see if there was a recall. They didn't know of one, but stated that they'd fixed several vehicles for the same issue. This is very alarming since the check engine light, oil light, etc didn't even turn on. Had we driven another mile, would the van have caught fire? we have a van full of children, and it's frightening to think that this could have ended much worse.

- Florence, SC, USA

problem #25

Mar 192015

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 89,358 miles


Variable valve timing oil supply line sprang a leak at bend on rubber tubing. Toyota has a new replacement tube, but not paying for tube or labor.

- Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #24

Jan 162015

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 80,200 miles
My wife was driving the minivan with both kids in the car after grocery shopping and picking them up from the preschool. While she was driving into the garage she smelled and saw oil fume coming out of the hood. She thought the car was going to catch fire and grabbed the kids and got out of the van as quickly as she can. I got her call and rushed home from work. It turned out there was a sudden failure of a oil cooling pipe on the engine. All of the engine oil had almost leaked out (there was maybe about quarter of inch showing on the dip stick). After we towed the car to the dealer, we found out the oil had leaked from an engine cooler pipe which was poorly designed and over time it could develop a slow seep leak or in our case failed in a sudden burst and caused the oil to leak out like a running faucet. We were extremely fortunate because it occurred just while she was driving the van in our subdivision. Toyota had an extended warranty for this issue last summer but didn't have a recall for this. If it happened while we were driving on highway and we didn't pay attention to the engine light, the engine may burn or worse it could seize and cause accident. After a little research on the web, I found out there are a lot of people had this same issue. Toyota actually had a recall other models of cars for the same issue several years ago. I wonder why they didn't recall the 2008 Sienna and they should have. I want to report this and hopefully force Toyota to start recall on this issue for all impacted models so others won't have to experience this and avoid potential accidents. Thanks.

- Overland Park, KS, USA

problem #23

Nov 032014


  • 104,000 miles
The vehicle came to a stop at a stop light and the odour of something burning entered the cabin. No lights on the dash appeared and drove to the next parking lot to find a trail of oil behind the vehicle and a pool of oil under the engine. I had the vehicle towed directly to the dealer to find out a 'pin hole' was found in the oil cooler hose. This is not the same hose as the vvti that has been recalled already. The dealer informed me it's like the two other rubber hoses carrying oil on the engine but has not been recalled. The cost to have it replaced with a steel line is $429 cdn. This van was purchased new in 2009 and brought into manitoba, Canada from the us.

- Lockport (Manitoba, Canada), ND, USA

problem #22

Oct 012014

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles


Toyota known defective timing chain gasket. Leaking oil.

- Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #21

Jul 092014

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 123,000 miles
Upon exiting freeway in butte, mt, and slowing done for red light at bottom of ramp, heard tapping noise coming from engine. Drove one block to gas station, and while pumping gas, noticed large quantity of engine oil puddling under the engine. Had vehicle towed to Toyota dealer, who determined that oil cooler hose had ruptured. Fortunately, no apparent engine damage. After some research on Sienna owners' forum, learned that this was a recurring problem on certain Toyota models in certain years, including the 2008 Sienna with tow package like ours, and that Toyota had put out a tsb on this, but apparently had never informed owners. It took 4 days for the replacement hose to arrive, and the repair cost $520. This incident occurred while my family was far from home (silver spring, md) on a cross-country trip and thus forced them to cancel part of vacation and spend extra $$ on hotels and a rental car. But it could have been much worse - the oil could have drained while at speed on the highway, ruining the engine, stranding my family in an isolated area or causing an accident or engine fire and possible injuries. Given that Toyota was aware of the problem, it could have informed us so we could have had the hose replaced before it failed.

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

problem #20

Jun 062014

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
Vvt-I hose broken, rapid oil loss and almost no oil left in engine when problem was spotted. Oil spilled to the belts around the vvt-I hose. When turn steering wheel, noise heard. This is the same issue to the other recalls but not applicable to Toyota Sienna. toyotanews.pressroom.Toyota.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=1906 I was told may cause problem turning the steering wheel, or accident. I was instructed to file the claim to your office. Thanks.

- Estero, FL, USA

problem #19

May 202014


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Sienna. The contact stated that while traveling 25 mph, the check engine light illuminated. The steering wheel became very difficult to control and had to be towed. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and diagnosed that the engine needed to be replaced. The VIN was not provided. The failure and current mileage were 80,000.

- Mechanisville, VA, USA

problem #18

Sep 272013


  • 72,543 miles


The rubber portion of the oil supply hose for the wt-1 actuator failed resulting in a sudden loss of several quarts of oil. This oil was carried along the undercarriage and sprayed a fine mist of oil on the windshields of the cars behind the van. Luckily this occurred close to home at a low speed. If this was on the highway it could have caused sudden reduced visibility for the drivers behind the vehicle and could have led to an accident. I am sorry but using a rubber hose on an oil line is one of the dumbest things I have heard of. Fortunately for us, no one was hurt and no damage was done to the vehicle. I don't understand how this has not turned into a recall. This was a big mistake on Toyota's part.

- Sterling, VA, USA

problem #17

Apr 042014

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
During a recent trip to Alabama from Virginia, our 2008 Toyota Sienna suddenly accelerated while pressing the brake pedal instead of braking. Both times, we were approaching moderately heavy traffic. My wife went to apply the brakes to slow the van. Instead of braking and slowing the vehicle, the van went into full acceleration mode. The transmission downshifted and started applying full throttle. The first time we thought we were going crazy. The second time, both my wife and I watched as her foot applied the brakes and to our amazement, the van started accelerating again! luckily both times, my wife took her foot off the brake pedal and reapplied once the van stopped accelerating and the brakes worked then. I haven't had time to take this into the Toyota dealer yet. We are still under a 30 day warranty with carmax, so I have communication out to them to see how we should handle this situation. I thought this Toyota sudden acceleration story was exaggerated. Now I've experienced it myself.

- Poquoson, VA, USA

problem #16

Mar 282014

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 42,000 miles
My wife was parking our 2008 Toyota Sienna with our 3 young boys in the automobile. She slowly brought the vehicle to a complete stop; never using gas, just covering and tapping lightly on the brake. Once the automobile came to a stop my wife pressed the brake a little more in order to put the vehicle in park. At that moment the vehicle accelerated incredible fast, jumped over an 8 inch concrete parking lot divider and crashed into a tree about 10 - 15 feet from the concrete divider. We are certain that this was a "sudden unintended acceleration" incident caused by some mechanical, electrical, programming or other defect in the '08 Sienna. This was not "driver error"! my wife did not confuse the gas pedal and the brake. This was not caused by a floor mat obstructing the gas pedal. This was caused by some type of a design or component defect. How can w be so certain? my wife and I have parked in this parking spot (located in our apartment complex) hundreds of times. To park in this parking spot you first have to make a left hand turn at a stop sign. This stop sign is about 30 - 40 feet from the parking spot, which requires that you make a sharp right turn. Once you press the accelerator slightly to make the left at the stop sign, you do not use the gas again. You simply tap and cover your brake until you make the right into the parking spot. Our vehicle came to a stop. In fact, upon "stopping" one of our 3 boys removed his seat belt immediately before the vehicle accelerated out of control. I'm asking for assistance from someone within Toyota or the NHTSA with knowledge of this flaw. My wife and kids were "fortunate". but this is a "fatal flaw" and something must be done.

- Heathrow, FL, USA

problem #15

Dec 112013

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 55,253 miles
While driving my vehicle it began to make a strange knocking sound as I accelerated. I had been driving around town for several hours that morning. I pulled over to inspect the engine, and saw some type of fluid on the left side of the engine and wall. I pulled the oil dipstick out and there was no oil on it at all. Completely dry! I had someone bring me some oil and I drove my car up to the repair shop just a short distance away. They discovered that the oil pressure line -valve cover variable timing-on top of motor to right on passenger side had burst. Part of the line is rubber and that part had ruptured and all the oil had blown out of the engine. My oil light did not come on at any time nor did my check engine light. Even after I stopped it did not come on.

- Pensacola, FL, USA

problem #14

Dec 032013


  • 79,000 miles
The rubber in the oil cooling line broke down and drained most of the oil from the engine. From looking at the different boards this seems to be a common problem with this hose. Toyota even re-designed the hose with a metal sleeve because of this.

- Show Low, AZ, USA

problem #13

Sep 182013

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
I had a oil hose in my van get a hole. When it happened it spilled oil all over and in my opinion could have started a fire.the hose is connected to a pipe and the hose cannot be replaced. The whole pipe has to be replaced and I replaced mine. My research revealed this is a fairly common problem and that there is a Toyota service bulletin for this problem but in the bulletin they claim it's for seepage of oil. Obviously Toyota knows this is a problem as the new part I ordered is complete pipe with no hoses. The part number for the pipe is 15767. Is this something that can be further looked into as to why this is not a recall that Toyota should properly fix?

- Youngwood , PA, USA

problem #12

Sep 202013

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 68,000 miles
Van spontaneously began leaking oil. I brought it into the dealer and was told that it was the vvt1 actuator hose. Apparently this was part of a voluntary recall that Toyota started in 2010 and I was never notified! I called Toyota motor corporation and was told that this was in fact a defective hose but because it was not repaired prior to the 3/31/13 deadline that Toyota would not pay for this defective hose to be replaced. I am certain that I was never notified of this voluntary and worry that many other 2008 Sienna owners are unaware of this defective part and hence will not have this repaired. This hose is under pressure and if it goes completely car will spew oil everywhere and seize up! this is a potential fire and safely hazard!!! Toyota is very aware of this problem! in the end my dealer agreed to cover the cost of replacement, but I am forever dismayed at Toyota's lack of concern for their customers! this was part of campaign recall 90K-2gr-fe V6 engine oil hose.

- Bristol , RI, USA

problem #11

Aug 272013


  • 84,320 miles
I was driving down the road and saw smoke rolling out of engine. By the time I pulled over I noticed oil leaking out everywhere. It was the engine oil cooler line and I have since replaced the rubber hose twice and has ruptured two more time since. This is very dangerous. I lost over 12 quarts of oil in the last month.

- New Holland, PA, USA

problem #10

Aug 282013


  • 72,000 miles
After driving vehicle for appx. 15 minutes then parking, then coming back to vehicle 5 minutes later I found a pool of oil under the hood of van and called for tow to the dealership. Rob from the Toyota repair service, claims I had bad luck regarding the oil cooler line rupturing. It will cost me $442 to repair/replace and clean the vehicle. After hearing this I checked online and other vehicle owners are having similar problems with similar vehicles that have a V6 engine with towing package from Toyota. The service person claims its not covered under my warranty. He also claims that it wasn't damaged accidentally neither.

- St. Paul, MN, USA

problem #9

Dec 032012

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 88,923 miles
While driving home the oil line running from the oil cooler on the radiator exploded. Oil was sent over the entire engine compartment and dripped over the road leaving a trail the block left going to my house. The hot oil spraying over the hot engine was a danger to catching the van and the garage it was parked in on fire. This is an extremely dangerous problem that Toyota is aware of yet has not issued a recall for these vehicles. I was lucky that this happened so close to my home.

- Brookings, OR, USA

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