Broken Button

Last week, one of the 3 garage door buttons in our 2008 Toyota Sienna broke.  The button snapped while being pressed and is now floating in the socket.  The cost of repairing the broken button is around $500 - hardly worth fixing. 

I am almost embarrassed to admit this, but it has taken me several hours and 2 trips to Home Depot to reprogram a different button so that it works with our LiftMaster (aka Chamberlain) garage door opener.  In case I ever need to do this again, or on the off chance there are others in cyberspace with the same problem, here is the solution:

Clearing the Memory

  • If you have existing codes loaded into your Sienna's garage door console that need to be erased, you need to hold down the first and third buttons for about 20 seconds until the indicator light flashes.  In my case, I was able to play with the broken button to find when it gave off a signal.  At this time, I pressed the third button and was able to clear the memory. 

Buy a New Garage Remote Control

Unfortunately, the Sienna can't be synched directly with the LiftMaster.  You will need a new clicker to synch with the overhead unit, which can then be used to reprogram your van.  At the outset, I didn't recognize that this was a 2 step process. 

Dip Switch

  • Purchase a clicker that is compatible with Chamberlain.  The first one that I bought was an older model that had DIP switches that required programming.  Apparently, these will only work for garage door openers that were manufactured before 2003.  This turned out to be a huge time suck.  DON'T buy a remote that contains these switches.
  • I purchased the model shown below from Home Depot, and am now realizing that the Amazon version was $15 less at the time that I write this.
Chamberlain/LiftMaster/Craftsman 953EV 3-Button Garage Door Remote
Amazon Price: $39.99 $4.99 Buy Now
(price as of Nov 4, 2016)

Programming the Clicker

  • Enter the program mode on the new remote by pressing the small button on the back until the red light (on the front) turns on and remains steady.
  • Press the "learn" button on the overhead unit.
  • Within 30 seconds, press the button on the clicker that you are trying to program for 2 seconds.  Repeat until the light on the overhead unit flashes.
  • Once that happens, your remote is programmed.
  • Press any other button to exit "programming mode" on the clicker.

Programming your Sienna

  • If the memory has been cleared, simply press the button that you want to program in your van and, while holding the clicker about 2 inches away, press the correct button.
  • The van's indicator light will change from a slow blink to a fast blink.  At this point, you can release both buttons.  The van is now 'primed' to accept the signal from the LiftMaster.
  • Press the "learn" button on the overhead unit.
  • Within 30 seconds, press the button in the van TWICE for about 2 seconds each time.  The first time, you will see the lights flash on the overhead unit.  The second time, the garage door will open.
  • Congratulate yourself - you are done!