Does this sound like a bad transmission to you?


Asked by Apr 28, 2014 at 10:26 PM about the 2007 Toyota Sienna LE

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I want to describe the problem and get opinions on whether the diagnosis fits. Our van is a 2007 Toyota Sienna.

We were out of town and 4 hours away from home this past weekend. My wife was driving the van Sunday morning and came back to the hotel to pick up my daughter and me. She pulled up to the hotel and tried to put the van in Park but it wouldn't come out of drive. It would shift into the lower drive ranges but would not go into Neutral, Reverse, or Park. A guy there at the hotel told her turn the engine off. She did. After that it would not start.

When I got to it I thought it had something to do with the "park lock" circuit. I checked the fuses in that circuit and they were all OK. I tried holding in the bypass button and it didn't change anything. I took out the start relay and tried to start the van by bypassing the safety mechanisms but it wouldn't even try to start. We had it towed to a dealership close by - we couldn't leave it where it was and the dealership was the only place open on a Sunday.

The dealership called today and said that they were able to get it started. They said the van would not go into reverse and would go forward in drive but would start slipping at about 5mph. They told us that it needs a replacement transmission and the bill is $4500.

To me, the symptoms that I saw don't point to a transmission problem. It just doesn't add up for me. My question is, do the symptoms match the diagnosis that we've been given?


8 Answers


Sounds like more of a linkage problem and the dealership is trying to take advantage of you.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

If you're home now and can just show up at the dealership, do it. I have a feeling from what you described your Toyota's transmission will suddenly cure it's self. Do a Google search on the dealership where your car is now. Look for reviews. See if there is a patternt. In any event, get a seconds opinion. I smell a rat.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Petey W.

you took your car in as a "no start" and they say they were able to start it some how, without saying what the problem is? and then say you need a transmission? sounds like a neutral safety switch aka PRNDL switch aka range selection switch or the shifter cable. either way it sounds to shady, id take it to a independant shop for a second opinion. no explaination of why it didnt start? dosnt make sense to me.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Thanks BohoMark and Petey. I'm thinking along the same lines. It just doesn't add up - not in my experience. I had almost exactly the same thing happen with a Hyundai Sonata and the problem was a park lock switch at the break pedal. There is something else going on with this one but I don't think it is a bad transmission.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
LaN'atsha Andrews

I have a 2000 Toyota Sienna it starts up but will not go in drive or reverse

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
LaN'atsha Andrews

Someone hit the front end of my car and now my 2000 Toyota Sienna will not go in reverse or drive and it is leaking oil

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Gina Sanchez

Genewesley hello, What was the problem? Same thing happening wwithmy 2006 sienna, i stopped top drop off my children, shifted to parking and it never shifted. I was able to bring it home, but right now my sienna is not turning on, because is not on parking.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Thank for the posts above. I have essentially the same problem with my Toyota Sienna 2008 LE. dash indicate D or 4, knob can be shifted to all 8 positions, car can not start becuase it sees the car in D mode. Went to my mechanic, he changed shift cable connectors, parts run about 30 dollars, labor 2 hrs at 130 dollars. Total $161, fixed.

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