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First time any Toyota in the family has failed to start #5355184 02/20/20 08:42 AM
Joined: Oct 2006
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grampi Offline OP
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My wife called me yesterday and said our 2016 Sienna wouldn't start. She got home from work, went into the house for about 10 minutes, then got back in the van and said when she turned the key, there was nothing but a clicking sound. The battery was dead, or too weak to start the engine. The battery is dated 2/17. The vehicle was purchased last April as a certified vehicle, and we have towing on our auto insurance, so I had the vehicle towed to a nearby Toyota dealership. I called them this morning and the vehicle is being looked at right now. I'm guessing there is a problem with the charging system, or I suppose there's a slight chance the battery could be bad, but I've never seen a battery go bad at just 3 years old. Either way, this is the first time any Toyota vehicle in our family has failed to start, and we've had quite a few over the years. I know one incident shouldn't ding my confidence in Toyota, but this is unacceptable for a vehicle this new with less than 30K miles. Luckily, my wife was at home and not out somewhere stranded.

Re: First time any Toyota in the family has failed to start [Re: grampi] #5355187 02/20/20 08:45 AM
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Char Baby Online Content
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Yeah, that's short for any battery but, it could happen especially if your wife(only sayin'!) does a lot of short trips and uses everything in the vehicle. But, IDK either. Have the battery checked as it could be a fluke.


Retired 6 yrs now & lovin' it
-----------------------------------

'80 Firebird FORMULA V8/4bbl-purchased "NEW"
'15 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV
'15 Honda Civic 1.8 LX
Re: First time any Toyota in the family has failed to start [Re: grampi] #5355190 02/20/20 08:48 AM
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supton Offline
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It might have been run down, as mentioned, it seems modern cars don't need "big" batteries to crank like they used to. I almost wonder if they are still so big to act as capacitors for all the load demands, more for the alternator than for starting.

Anyhow. Random stuff happens randomly. For all we know at this time, maybe the cable clamp got loose, or a wire to the starter, or somesuch. Shooting in the dark. Annoying as all get out, I'm sure.


2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 203k, hers
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 158k, ours
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 223k, his
Re: First time any Toyota in the family has failed to start [Re: grampi] #5355209 02/20/20 09:08 AM
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Trav Offline
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I have seen a few batteries fail much sooner than that, one was 3 months old (JC MAX battery Walmart) and dead as a door nail and would not hold a charge, defective.
It happens.


ASE L1, Master. Deutsch Meisterbrief.
Re: First time any Toyota in the family has failed to start [Re: grampi] #5355216 02/20/20 09:20 AM
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diyjake Offline
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I'm sure it just the battery, although 3 years is a short time it can and does happen.

Re: First time any Toyota in the family has failed to start [Re: grampi] #5355217 02/20/20 09:22 AM
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ARCOgraphite Offline
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Could it be the dreaded dome light syndrome ?

One time I parked at Boston-Logan Int'l for a week when i was visiting my Mom in FLA for thanksgiving.

when I got back I went to unlock the door with the fob and .... nothing.

I thought the fob was bad. So I unlocked the driver's door with a key ( how primative!)
And ... No dome lights. Turn the key NOTHING.

I tried to push start it as there are nice downhill ramps in these giant central parking garages
And I got arrested by a port authority cop. ( another funny and long story in itself)

Well I finally got a jump start from a service truck and low and behold the overhead dome light was on.

I guess this car didn't have battery rundown protection.

What happened when I grabbed my suitcase from the back seat, I must have whacked the
"push ON" overhead dome light and, that was that for the battery after a week.
I was near the outside so there was enough light I didnt see it left ON..

Soo, Dome light fiasco. I would assume you have a lot of dome light s in the Sienna.

Next there is the parking light left on syndrome.


Last edited by ARCOgraphite; 02/20/20 09:24 AM.

2019 VW Jetta S 6MT OCI#2 7378mi-MOTUL Specific VW508.00+VW Service Filter; '17 Subaru Crosstrek CVT OC#8 60864mi-Subaru Idemitsu 0W20 + SOA Filter
Re: First time any Toyota in the family has failed to start [Re: grampi] #5355222 02/20/20 09:27 AM
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Farnsworth Offline
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Surprising the tow company didn't jump start it. Dead batteries, wonder how many thousands are dead and the car won't start this morning. Many cars since the 90's tend to discharge the battery even while parked given a long enough time. Clicking is the sound of a weak battery. Car brand doesn't matter.

Re: First time any Toyota in the family has failed to start [Re: grampi] #5355231 02/20/20 09:35 AM
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E150GT Offline
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Originally Posted by grampi
My wife called me yesterday and said our 2016 Sienna wouldn't start. She got home from work, went into the house for about 10 minutes, then got back in the van and said when she turned the key, there was nothing but a clicking sound. The battery was dead, or too weak to start the engine. The battery is dated 2/17. The vehicle was purchased last April as a certified vehicle, and we have towing on our auto insurance, so I had the vehicle towed to a nearby Toyota dealership. I called them this morning and the vehicle is being looked at right now. I'm guessing there is a problem with the charging system, or I suppose there's a slight chance the battery could be bad, but I've never seen a battery go bad at just 3 years old. Either way, this is the first time any Toyota vehicle in our family has failed to start, and we've had quite a few over the years. I know one incident shouldn't ding my confidence in Toyota, but this is unacceptable for a vehicle this new with less than 30K miles. Luckily, my wife was at home and not out somewhere stranded.

My last 3 cars havent had a battery last past 3 years. they all lasted almost exactly 3 years.


1984 Mercedes-Benz 300SD - 100k
1995 F150 XL 4.9 reg cab 5MT - 251k 5w30
2016 Mazda6 Touring 6MT - 68k 5w30
2006 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.8 40k 5w30
Re: First time any Toyota in the family has failed to start [Re: grampi] #5355232 02/20/20 09:36 AM
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ARCOgraphite Offline
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No Jumper cables around?


2019 VW Jetta S 6MT OCI#2 7378mi-MOTUL Specific VW508.00+VW Service Filter; '17 Subaru Crosstrek CVT OC#8 60864mi-Subaru Idemitsu 0W20 + SOA Filter
Re: First time any Toyota in the family has failed to start [Re: grampi] #5355239 02/20/20 09:40 AM
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diyjake Offline
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You have to remember that most minivans these days have power sliding doors, power lift gates and a lot of features that need power, this doesn't not help with battery life.

Re: First time any Toyota in the family has failed to start [Re: grampi] #5355254 02/20/20 09:56 AM
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Leo99 Offline
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The battery died on my Camry when it was 1 year old. It happens.


Without data you're just another person with an opinion. W. E. Deming

2003 Corolla 250,000 miles (RIP)
2004 Corolla 125,000 miles
2004 Rav4 392,000 miles
2015 Camry 90,000 miles
Re: First time any Toyota in the family has failed to start [Re: grampi] #5355263 02/20/20 10:04 AM
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grampi Offline OP
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I didn't want my wife getting the van jumped in case there was a problem with the charging system, then it may have stranded her somewhere else. The service dept just called me and said there was no problem with the charging system, the battery was just bad. They prorated the charge so the cost of the replacement is $125. I guess I can take back my ill feeling towards Toyota as it was just a bad battery. I am used to batteries lasting 6-7 years, but apparently they can and do go bad after just 3 years...

Re: First time any Toyota in the family has failed to start [Re: grampi] #5355274 02/20/20 10:10 AM
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ARCOgraphite Offline
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That's good news.

Them saying its Prorated is a bit of a joke though -- -that's full price.

But You'ld pay that anywhere with free installation so no money "lost"


2019 VW Jetta S 6MT OCI#2 7378mi-MOTUL Specific VW508.00+VW Service Filter; '17 Subaru Crosstrek CVT OC#8 60864mi-Subaru Idemitsu 0W20 + SOA Filter
Re: First time any Toyota in the family has failed to start [Re: grampi] #5355276 02/20/20 10:11 AM
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mk378 Online Content
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I have had a battery fail suddenly by something inside letting go and becoming open circuit. Very similar situation car was working fine, park it for 10 minutes, come back and it is completely dead. That battery was more than 3 years old but it does show that sudden death can happen as well as the more usual wearout.

Last edited by mk378; 02/20/20 10:11 AM.
Re: First time any Toyota in the family has failed to start [Re: grampi] #5355292 02/20/20 10:32 AM
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doitmyself Offline
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$125 for battery replacement at a dealer is great! They didn't tack on an hour of labor for diagnostics?

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