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I have a 2004 Toyota Sienna CE. I bought the car used about six or seven years ago. Early on we had problems with the rear sliding doors. These are NOT the automatic sliding doors. The problem we have always had is that they don’t always open when you pull the handle. Either from the inside or the outside we have always had to really yank on the handle to open the door. The driver side handle on the sliding door has broken off. No doubt due to the excessive pulling force required to open the door. Currently the driver side door will open from the inside but you really have to put some effort into it. The passenger side sliding door will not open from either the inside or the outside (the child lock is NOT ENGAGED).

1) Does anybody else have this problem? Has there been a recall? It seems to me that this is a safety concern.

2) Where can I find information on how the latching system is supposed to work? Most of the information I find is regarding automatic doors or manual doors that do not stay open on an incline because the latching system doesn’t keep the door open.
a. How lazy are we that we actually need automatic sliding doors?!

3) How can I get the passenger door to open to perform any repairs?

Thanks in advance.


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you may have bad door latches. Or dirty latches. have you tried to lube them up so see if that would help? most door latches rely on a return spring and catches to keep them in place. the latching mechanism must be able to spin freely on it's axis to allow the part to retract when the handle is releases it. Some latches use metal latches with rubber or plastic liners that can get worn and start to peel away causing drag that makes it hard for the latch to move correctly. Some latches have adjustable rods for the handles that over time may need to be adjusted because use has stretched the linkage out. You are going to have to take the door panel off and look at what is happening to the latch when the door handles are moved. Or take it to a shop and have them look at it for you

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