Tow package bad for car?

I am looking for a used Toyota Sienna and I saw one that had all the features I liked. But it also has a tow package which makes me hesitate. How bad is it for a car towing trailers? Would I have to expect a lot more repairs (transmission, engine)? The car has less than 70k miles.

( dodn’t know what Toyota’s towing pack is but…)
I’ve always liked the tow package being there even if I don’t tow.
Heavier springs
Bigger radiator
Transmission cooler
all are beneficial in their existance , then if you do tow your electrical should be there at the ready.

The Sienna should handle all light trailers like boats & wave runners to small box and flat beds.

I’d want to know what kind of towing the previous owner did. How much weight did it pull and how many miles?

You need to know what got towed, how heavy, how often…Without that knowledge, no decent answer can be given…But yes, towing is a negative factor when pricing a used vehicle, especially a light-duty vehicle…

A tow package usually upgrades some of the systems in the car. But seeing a trailer hitch on the back does not necessarily mean that the vehicle has a “tow package”. An aftermarket hitch only would be a red flag, but not necessarily a deal breaker. If used only occasionally for light use, you might use it as a negotiating tool to get a better price.

If the vehicle has a tow package that was never used, it would be a real plus actually. Light use would be a plus as well, but a smaller plus. If you can, find out what was towed and how often. I’d say that if the miles towing are around 10% of the total miles, you’d be at a break even point.

That is if the tow (package) wasnt an add on by the previous owner meaning it possibly has none of the added features of which you speak

The car is offered by a dealer. So I probably wouldn’t get any answers on what was towed and how often.

My memory is a little rusty, but my wife’s 06 Sienna LE came with a towing package standard and was rated for 3500 lbs. Her previous vehicle, a 98 Windstar, had the optional towing package (upgraded radiator, PS and oil coolers, wiring, etc) which raised its towing capacity from 2000 to 3500lbs. Neither vehicle had a hitch though.

Have the dealer run the VIN number and get a list of all options installed. Was the Sienna actually used for towing?

Ed B.

That would depend on the weight of what was being towed and how often it was towed.
The dealer is unlikely to have a clue as to what was ever towed with it.

Even with a tow package, it stands to reason that a vehicle that tows a lot will not be in as good a shape as one that tows nothing. All other things equal of course.

A tow package is good. It means more cooling capacity for the motor and transmission, which is good. What is bad is you don’t know how often the vehicle actually was used for towing, what was towed, and how far?

So, you have a good point and an unknown potentially bad point. I don’t see FWD mini vans as ideal tow vehicles. But if the hitch looks very clean and unused perhaps the vehicle came equipped for towing but the owner didn’t use it as a tow vehicle.

I won’t rule out a vehicle with a tow package. I would look for evidence of towing activity. Are there scratches, dimples, and dings in the rear bumper in the areas around the hitch? Is the paint on the hitch scratched and shows signs of having a receiver inserted and pinned in place? Is the wiring connector “like new” or show evidence of wear? Take a close look at these types of things and see what you can find.

How about you find out just what having the “tow pagkage” option actually means. Does this vehicle also have the actual ball mount on it?

If I were buying a used car, and I didn’t need a tow package, I’d avoid ones that had a tow hitch (package or not), because they could have towed something beyond the weight limits, stressing the transmission in particular. I’d think you could find Siennas without tow hitches.