Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

2000 Toyota Sienna CE van with likely transmission blow out

I was driving up hill last night and the van lost power competely. The car did not die out but I could not get it to move. After it cooled down for 20 minutes or so I was able to move it another half block up hill out of the intersection I was obstructing. It then failed again. I was able to shift it into ‘L’ to move it to the side. I had it towed home. This morning the battery is not completely dead but the car won’t turn over. Sound like the transmission?

“The van lost power completely” is quite a bit too vague for anyone to tell you whether this was the transmission or not.

When the van wouldn’t move what, exactly, what the engine doing? Was it just revving up really high and acting like you had it park or neutral? Or was the engine sort of bogging down?

Did warning lights, such as the check engine light appear on the dashboard? Did you look at what the temperature gauge was doing?

Did you check the transmission fluid and note its level, smell, and color? Did you check any other fluids?

At this point you have anything from a bad transmission to a bad battery. So you need to get a little more descriptive.

The engine was revving and was acting like it was in park or neutral…not bogging down.
The check engine light is on. I did not look at the temperature guage.
The transmission fluid level was okay but dirty, and there was an odor. Oil okay. That is all I checked.
After the car cooled, say twenty minutes, I was able to move it on up the hill a half block out of the intersection I was obstructing, where it happened again. I was then able to shift it into 'L" to pull it to the side. Today the engine will not start up but the battery is not completely dead.

This Sienna is eleven years old. How many times has the transmission fluid been replaced?

How many miles on this van?

The transmission may or may not be bad, but it’s unlikely the transmission has anything to do with the engine not starting.

Sounds like two problems: dirty transmission fluid is consistent with your initial problem - which sounds like slippage. You may need expensive trans repair/replacement. I second the comments about fluid changes.

The other problem, can’t start due to low battery. Did you leave any accessories on after leaving the car?

The transmission fluid has not been changed as often as it should. Perhaps only a handful of times. It has 123K on it.

Thank you.