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Excessive Tire Wear 2004 Toyota Sienna

Hi All,

Our 2004 Toyota Sienna eats tires for breakfast! The last pair lasted less than 20,000 miles. The previous pair lasted 30,000 miles so the problem seems to be getting worse. Both front tires wear heavily on the outside. We have had front end alignments which have not corrected the problem. The van does not pull at all when coasting on flat pavement and does not pull when applying the brakes. We presently have 121k miles and are at a loss what to do. Our solution right now is to install the least expensive tires we can find.

Any suggestions as to possible mechanical problems?

Regards, Ed

Excessive wear on the outside of the front tires points to too much positive camber or too much toe-in.

Either the alignments are not done correctly (unusual for multiple alignments) or there is a suspension wear problem that someone is not diagnosing before doing the alignment. Someone could be setting the thing to specs but if there’s slop in the suspension those specs will vary by the second.
At 121k miles tie rods or tie rod ends come to mind.

Did you get printouts of the alignment specs? If so, you might look over the camber and toe specs and post them for discussion.

We have a 1999 Sienna. City driving, with all the turns, front wheel drive and braking are done primarily with the front tires (unless you have all wheel drive). Rotate the tires front to back and you’ll get more wear out of them.

We have 2 front wheel drive cars. Tire rotation and the quality of the tire have a big impact on how long they last. You can also change your driving habits to avoid accelerating in the turns, jackrabbit starts and sudden stops. Drive like a minivan mom with a carload of kids :-).

Are they run-flat tires or high-performance tires? both are notorious for short life.

Inexpensive tires are also prone to wear out faster than higher quality tires.

I’d consult another alignment shop.

When the outside edges get halfway worn have the tires flipped over on the rims to move the worn part to the inside.

These are not run-flat tires. Thanks for the suggestion. Another alignment shop seems to be the best point of action right now.

I like this suggestion of the new alignment does not work. I’ll pick up a tire wear gauge and track the wear every 2 weeks.

I See That Toyota (December, 2006) Issued A TSB For 04 - 06 Sienna Vehicles For Wheel Alignment Specifications.

Makes me wonder why they did . . . (Why just 04 -06 Siennnas) ? Were there problems ?

It indicates that its purpose is to put all the specs in one document, but advises using the specs in the bulletin instead of the ones in the alignment equipment if there’s a discrepency.

I’d see if my alignment technician can access the Toyota Technical Service Bulletin and compare information just to be sure the correct specifications are being used.

I’d also consider whether or not this is one of those situations where a Toyota Dealer might be a logical choice.