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2017 Toyota Highlander and Sienna Transmission Problems

Discussion in 'Tech Help' started by OishiiJPN, Jan 15, 2018.

  1. OishiiJPN

    OishiiJPN Moderator Staff Member

    Hearing reports of the new 8 Speed transmission transmission in the 2017 Highlander and Sienna having issues with whine noise and/or shift (movement) issues. Something possible with the final drive pinion hasn’t been stacked and is coming loose. If you have an issue with your vehicle, please let us know.

  2. David123

    David123 Guest

    I have a 2017 Toyota Sienna. At 5500 miles the transmission started making a banging sound and the car shook as I came to a stop while driving. Dealer informed me transmission needed to be replaced. It took 25 days becasue it was on back-order. Car has been driving ok but I only go the car back about 5 days ago
    Lewis likes this.
  3. Lewis

    Lewis Moderator Staff Member

    Thank you for sharing your story. I’ve seen quite a few of these going bad.
  4. David123

    David123 Guest

    Do you know if any of these affected Sienna minivans have qualified as lemons and been repurchased by Toyota?
    Lewis likes this.
  5. Chad damon

    Chad damon Guest

  6. Chad damon

    Chad damon Guest

    YES! 17 highlander limited platinum, 6 months old with 9500 miles on it transmission failed. Waited weeks for new transmission due to backorder. New trans was installed and was worse than the one that failed. Has been at dealership for over 30 days and is one of 4 sitting there with the same issue. Toyota engineer came in to work on it and found that dealer improperly installed replacement transmission, had to remove and reinstall. Just got it back today and it still is not right, it hesitates when starting from a dead stop and is very sluggish overall compared to what it was originally. Going back to dealer for 4th time tomorrow. Lemon law requirements have been met and I think I’ll be heading that direction.
  7. Leech_Lake

    Leech_Lake New Member

    Our transmission failed at 8,253 Miles while my wife was at a stop light.
    The vehicle was hauled to local Toyota dealer on a flatbed & sat at the dealership for 52 days. We were told by dealer that a "new" transmission was back-ordered from California. After picking up the vehicle I noticed the work order stated part number 30510-48600-84 "REMAN ATM" and "CORE RETURN".
    The day after picking it up I drove the vehicle and excessive power train noise was present. Vehicle went back the the shop & they replaced both front wheel bearings at 8,392 miles and it sat in the shop another 3 days.
    Toyota corporate has been less than helpful & we're currently going through the lemon law process.

    2017 XLE 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 8AT 8 spd transmission)
  8. Ken

    Ken Guest

    2017 Highlander with 7600 miles on it and the whinning noise at 40 mph. Brought to the dealer twice for diagnostics and Toyota says it needs a new tranny but its on back order. More of the same.
  9. Lewis

    Lewis Moderator Staff Member

    None that I have been involved with. It’s disheartening to hear the stories below and sounds like the Technicians performing the repair weren’t the best. Comebacks, as we call them, are very inconvenient for Owners. We will have to wait and see how this plays out. I think Toyota will get a handle on it quick enough.
  10. Danmac

    Danmac Guest

    My '17 Highlander Limited just lost a tranny. high pitch noise - pulled into dealer (glad I was in town)
    Fortunately there was one in Kentucky and is on the way. Sure does disappoint me...only 11K miles
    on it and mostly hiway/freeway miles. It better be right after I get it back! Won't buy another one.
    Lease up in 2 years - bye, bye!
  11. Keven Nguyen

    Keven Nguyen Guest

    2017 Sienna, XLE 5,255 miles.

    I noticed a light whining sound during drive/acceleration about a day or two before the first breakdown. The whining sound comes on and you can hear it faintly with the foot on the gas. You don't need to engage the acceleration, just keep it on there lightly and you'll hear the whine, once you release, the whining goes away.

    I took my first long out of town trip on Friday the 16th. We had no problem on trips closer to home, about 40-50 miles, but this trip was the first longest drive, 126 miles, for two hours. After we got off the freeway at our destination, at the first stop light, the vehicle downshifts and the jerked is felt. From then on, it started to happen more frequently, at every stop light, the downshifting jerks and pulls. Then it started to upshift too early, where the car didn’t have any power, then started slipping and not engaging in 3rd gear. Over the course of the next 30 minutes, all the skipping, jerking, pulling, clunking, every gear change. They were loud, and felt like we were hit by another car from the rear. Finally, it just wouldn’t go forward or backward anymore, then the check engine light came on with other warning lights, we broke down on the side of the freeway.

    The car was towed to Stevens Creek Toyota for an overnight drop off. It took the dealer several days to get direction from Toyota on how to fix the problem, and a software update was performed on the Transmission ECU and a software update on throttle body.

    I came back to town the following week to pick up the vehicle, it seems to be fine for all the short drive in town. However, after that long drive from San Jose back to Sacramento, as soon as we make the first exit to stop light, a ‘clunk’ downshift as the vehicle was slowing down for a stop. It was from 2nd down to 1st gear. This ‘clunk’ and harsh jerk was happening here and there, not every single stop like before. I drove the vehicle straight to Maita Toyota dealer in Sacramento, I just don’t want to deal with breaking down on the street again. The dealer looked at the car and said it’s fine.

    To summarize all this up:

    - 2017 Sienna 5,255 miles

    - The bad shifting/clunking/skipping gear/missing gear seems to happen after a long drive 1.5-2hrs, after the transmission gets hot.

    - First sign of problem is whining noise

    - Second sign of problem is downshift into first gear, when coming to a stop.

    - 3rd and continued sign of problem is more downshifts and upshift felt and noise

    - After a few more lights of the continued sign, get ready to pull to the side and call for tow.

    Contact me at nguyenkeven@gmail.com if you need the service ticket number.
    Lewis likes this.
  12. Lewis

    Lewis Moderator Staff Member

    Thank you for sharing your story. If anyone can get this transmission whine noise on video and upload it, that would be great. This way, other Toyota owners can learn what to listen for.

    edit-- Ok, I see that Oishii added a video to the top. o_O
  13. Highlander19

    Highlander19 Guest

    Same situation here. Noise was intermittent, brought it in and they couldn’t hear the noise or find an issue. Now it is consistent so brought it back. They said the noise is coming from the front differential and the only fix is to replace the transmission. Hoping it is fixed properly and this is an isolated incident
  14. AWThomas

    AWThomas Guest

    Had the transmission in my brand new 2017 Sienna XLE replaced at 14,000 miles! A “computer glitch” got it stuck in two gears. Scary experience as there was no warning before the vehicle just came to a stop.
  15. truckmsl

    truckmsl New Member

    Hi guys. Looks like I'm joining the whiney highlander club. 2017 with 4900 miles started intermittent whining last week. No shift problems yet. Took it to the dealer and couldn't make it whine. Next day - louder than Shiite. I'll be following this one.
  16. Oldrcap

    Oldrcap Guest

    My 2017 Highlander whines like the video. I have 14k miles now but it started awhile back. Dealer told me noise was transmission differential and ordered a new transmission.

    Does anyone know if Toyota had identified and fixed the problem?
  17. Tom P

    Tom P Guest

    My local dealer is Longo Toyota, the largest Toyota store in the country. Talked to the shop foreman and they have not had any transmission replacements as of today.

    Does anyone know if the problem is in AWD, FWD or both?
  18. JimY

    JimY Guest

    Just lost transmission on my 2017 Highlander XLE With AWD. I was approaching intersection and it either downshifted or I started to accelerate and felt shudder and then all gears were same as neutral. No warning light or check engine light and mechanic says no codes recorded on computer. I’m on va action in Palm Springs and they don’t know when they will get it fixed. It had been a great car too.
  19. Keven

    Keven New Member

    continued from post #11...

    It's been about 3 weeks since then, the noise is loud and clear, and is always there from 15mph to 80mph. I took it in to the dealer, requested to have a technician to go with me for a test drive to point out the whine. The whine was confirmed and documented, submitted to Toyota Corp for a fix/solution which they approved for a transmission replacement. So, yea, a new transmission for me at 6,200 miles.
    On a side note, I'm driving another 2017 Sienna as a loaner, at 25k miles, and it drives smoothly, no noises, and smooth shiftings.
  20. Oldrcap

    Oldrcap Guest

    Follow up..........brought in on Monday and picked up on Thursday. So far seems good. I believe it was a remanufactured unit they installed. They also did a computer flash that has been out for a while for smoother shifting.

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