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3rd Generation (2011+) Discussion area for the third generation Toyota Sienna.

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Old 03-10-2011, 10:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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add roof rails to a base Sienna?

Hello,
I would have purchased a 2011 Sienna fwd base I4 or V6 by now if I could get just one option, roof rails. It's a similar story to my purchasing a base model Tacoma V6 double cab a few years ago and a rear slider was not available as an option at any price. I know why Toyota does this... the next model up commonly on the lot, without special ordering and loosing bargaining power, is $3-4k more. I've contacted a couple of dealers and it seems the roof is even different from the LE and does not accept the Toyota roof rails. Apparently the LE has a threaded insert that accepts bolts from the side rails. The base model does not. It does not seem efficient to me to manufacture 2 different roof panels for one minivan, but this, according to Toyota, is how it is. And there are no fits currently from Yakima or Thule. This stair stepping retail model is really frustrating. To get rails on a Sienna, one has to pay nearly 30K (msrp). Sure, it comes with lots of bells and whistles, but I really don't need or want most of em. I just want a simple well made minivan with a roof rack. Anyone out there with a Sienna base model have a roof rack?? I would sure appreciate your experiences.

Thanks

Tim

Last edited by redogs; 03-10-2011 at 10:59 PM.
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Old 03-11-2011, 11:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Turns out, if you find a dealer who wants to sell a Sienna bad enough, they will order the parts and install the Sienna side rails and since it's dealer install, it'll be covered under warranty. I had dealers quote $1500-2000 for factory roof rails, almost certainly in an attempt to up sell to an LE. But, persistence pays. I found a dealer who will install factory roof rails for $355 on a base V6 Sienna. The Sienna, by the way, is selling for $500 under invoice...

Tim
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Old 03-12-2011, 05:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Tim! I am so happy to hear you had success with the roof rails. Could you give me more info so that I could try to do the same through my dealer? I too went with the base model and I really want that roof rack! Thanks, Dande
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Old 03-13-2011, 11:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Dande,

I don't have much information yet. The parts are on order. I do think the original info I got about there being two different roof panels was b.s. It made no sense at the time, but the parts guy claimed to be looking at a diagram or something.

I would suggest calling a few parts/service departments, unless you have a good relationship with a salesperson who can make the inquiry for you. I'm guessing, in my case, the price for the parts and installation were 'reasonable' because they wanted to make the sale. In my experience, the dealership doesn't give anything away after the buyer and vehicle have left the lot.

I have seen the roof rails for the Sienna for sale on the web. If a dealer isn't willing to help, you might consider buying the parts from Toyota or elsewhere and finding a mechanic to help with the install.

I'll follow up when the side rails are installed.

By the way, any idea how to turn off door mode on the interior lights? When I open one of the doors, all 7 interior overhead lights turn on. I can't find a master switch.

Thanks

Tim

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Old 03-14-2011, 11:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Redogs, Congrats on the van. thats a good deal plus the roof rack.
What website did you find the racks for the sienna? Most online toyota dealers are expensive. They price the rails alone for 3++ a piece plus the cost of all the necessary hardwares.

Im in the same dilema as you, Dande. Im trying to find roof rails and crooss bars for my base.
So far searches leads me "proline racks" just google it that way. The dynasport or aventura brands on the oermanently roof racks category.
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:33 AM   #6 (permalink)
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here's one I found. It's an OEM copy, with cross bars, for $230:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/2011-...-/350443989977

I've got a friend who is a mechanic for Toyota, he has helped me install a roof rack in the past on a vehicle with no other fitment. In this case it involved removing the headliner, drilling and bolting through the roof. There are other options that don't require removing (or dropping partially) the headliner. The are threaded inserts that work similarly to rivets, install from the outside and compress to hold in place. I'm not sure which option the dealer is going to use on my van. I'll let you know. Good luck

Tim

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Old 03-15-2011, 03:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Ok thanks for the link.how come that don't come up when i search. Sad thing is that they are still on back order.
Let me know how they do it. Thanks
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Old 03-16-2011, 02:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I have been getting the run around from my dealership on the roof rails for months. Of course they wanted to make the sale last May and told me it wouldn't be a problem to get the rails added! I am hoping I can use your example to get them to finally help me out. I did see the rails on ebay, but will be on back order for awhile. I also was concerned about purchasing them and then having difficulty installing. I had also been told it may not be possibledue to a different roof?!

Sorry I am no help on the interior lights, I can see how that would be a problem. I did have luck on ebay getting the center console that was missing from the base model...it was perfect. Very nice to have the extra storage and cup holders. Hope the roof rails work out for you, I will be anxious to hear!
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Old 03-26-2011, 02:18 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I've got some bad news regarding the roof rails. I didn't get factory roof rails installed on my base Sienna. I WAS promised (in writing, that's the beauty of an internet sale) Toyota rails; what I got was not even an approximation. I have no idea what brand of rails were installed, because I only took one look at them, gave em a tug, and when I saw the sheet metal flexing, I was fit to be tied. The good new is, our family has a new van.

I was told the drill holes would be repaired, but there was no way I was going to except a repair on a two week old vehicle - welded, oxidized metal (rust), broken headliner plastic bits, and mismatched pearl paint? No thanks. I told the dealer we wanted a new Sienna.

The dealer began a search for base model and offered to install genuine Toyota rails - which does requires removing the headliner and drilling through the roof. Due to the expense of this option, the dealer offered us a substantial discount on an LE. Which do you think the wife chose? I don't have roof rail or overhead light problems any more....

I do miss the simplicity of the base model. To me, the LE feels more cramped, the power sliding doors are unnecessary, and are an expensive repair waiting to happen. I hope I'm wrong.

Sorry I won't be of any help with the base-model fixes. I think the lack of basic features on the base-sienna is a shame. I'm going to seriously consider other manufacturers the next time we're in the market for a new vehicle.

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Old 03-26-2011, 09:53 AM   #10 (permalink)
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wow. congrats on the new van. no more interior light problems for you. and you could always turn off the auto sliding door, but whats the point on that right, just enjoy it.

As for me, i just settled withe thule fixed point. Just waiting for the parts to come in. And hoping for a good diy install
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Old 03-28-2011, 03:15 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Like bati said, just enjoy the conveniences. A word of advice, if you decide to leave the auto doors on, just pull the handle towards you, but not towards the back like a non motorized door. It will not open and give you a warning beep. You will have to reclose the door to open it again. Or, you can just use the key fob.
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Old 03-30-2011, 10:23 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redogs View Post
By the way, any idea how to turn off door mode on the interior lights? When I open one of the doors, all 7 interior overhead lights turn on. I can't find a master switch.

Thanks

Tim

Tim
Top center button on the roof center console. I'm not sure the real name for it
The button to the right locks the moon roof buttons so the kids can't open and close it if I am not mistaken
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Old 03-31-2011, 01:34 AM   #13 (permalink)
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batibot, Biggoldfish -

Thanks. So far so good. It's the wife's van, but I've driven it some. And It's growing on me, but I lament giving up the base for its easy access to the rear when I need to get to the kids and for the perceived reliability. Perhaps I'm a techno-grouch, but I feel like we've exchanged a vehicle that I know will work, for one I think might fail.

I really like the idea of not getting out of the vehicle to get to the rear seats - on the highway/side of the road, in the rain, or wherever. The console between the the diver an passenger is handy, but is an obstacle, as is the cup holder deal between the 2nd row seats on the 8-passenger. And I doubt I'll really ever use the 8th seat.

The Stereo is much better. Although the bluetooth is a pain - no way to import contacts and no quick pair with phones. I tried to pair a phone while the wife was driving, but it wouldn't let me use the 'setup' button on the dash, rather I was instructed to use speech commands (while in motion). I just wanted to stream pandora from the phone (ok, so I'm not a techno-grouch), and I had to reach over and hit the talk button on the steering wheel while the wife was driving - this is safer?

Factory tint is nice, as are the 2nd and 3rd row sun screens.

I think the power doors work best when using buttons although, I'll take the advice and pull out rather than back. One problem with deactivating the power sliders is the potential for damage to the electronics sensors if the door is slammed too hard, but it's good to know there is an override if/when the mechanism fails.

batibot - let us know how the thule install goes.

Tim

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Old 03-31-2011, 08:06 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by redogs View Post
Although the bluetooth is a pain - no way to import contacts and no quick pair with phones.
Amen to that! Even my TomTom (though it was a top of the line GO 9xx series model) could download my entire phonebook AND text messages as well as call history. I was half-hoping Toyota would have this in their BT system. Not. It doens't even have a fully functioning text-to-speech recognition or vice versa.

Quote:
I tried to pair a phone while the wife was driving, but it wouldn't let me use the 'setup' button on the dash, rather I was instructed to use speech commands (while in motion). I just wanted to stream pandora from the phone (ok, so I'm not a techno-grouch), and I had to reach over and hit the talk button on the steering wheel while the wife was driving - this is safer?
I've used speech while driving to dial, add entry, delete entry, just about every command in the BT system. You could have asked your wife to do it instead of you trying to distract her?

Quote:
Factory tint is nice, as are the 2nd and 3rd row sun screens.
I, actually, don't like them. At least I hope they're replaceable without costing me an arm and a leg. My son tries to play with it when he's bored of whatever DVD he's watching and I swear that thing will get ripped right out one of these days.
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Old 03-31-2011, 08:43 AM   #15 (permalink)
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The screens can be replaced but they are not worth it to replace as they are NOT covered in any warrantee. This came from my "cousin" the toyota salesman.
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