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Toyota Highlander Maintenance and Repair



  • madmommadmom Posts: 1
    I too have had a problem with a squeaking noise which seemed to be coming from the dash. I have likened it to finger nails on a blackboard---most annoying. It isn't in the's the cowl rubbing on the windshield. This is why temperature, speed and wind direction appear to impact the problem. The dealer tried weather stripping on the inside of the cowl which worked for a while but the problem returned gradually. They are now replacing the cowl which (I hope) will permanently resolve the problem.
  • macmacmacmac Posts: 35
    I have a 2001 Highlander. I too thought that the sound came from the dash. Mine squeak came from the rear view mirror. The sound bounces off the wind shield and distributes the sound all over the place.
  • crrnamcrrnam Posts: 2
    After much teeth gnashing and hand-wringing, the service technicians at Toyota Carlsbad in Carlsbad, California, appear to have solved my tire/road noise problem. Fortunately, the fix was a simple one -- improper reinstallation of the splash/engine guard after an oil change at a local area quickie oil change establishment. The technician's comments may be of interest: "Whoever performed last service on vehicle did not reinstall engine guard correctly. It is supposed to go under front bumper skin cover, not over. Installed guard correctly, test drove, and noise is gone."
  • hammersjslhammersjsl Posts: 11
    I've noticed a color problem with the black plastic areas of my dashboard and interior door trim. In areas where the doors have been scoffed up as well as a small spot on the top part of the dash, the color appears to be rubbed off. I've tried cleaning the areas and the marks are still there.
    Does anyone have any suggestions on how to repair/clean these types of marks? Is the color on the vinyl pieces actually painted, and if so, is there some kind of touch-up paint that is available?
    On a quality note, I'm kind of disappointed by this problem. I figured that Toyota would have colored the interior plastic pieces so that they could stand up to reasonable wear.
    Thanks for any suggestions.
  • joandeejoandee Posts: 3
    As soon as the car moves 5-10 feet, a "clicking" noise is heard in the rear somewhere. It sounds very similar to the click one would hear with an automatic door lock. The Dealer does not know what it is. We drove another one and it does the same thing. It only occurs when the car is first started. I have read the other posts about "clicking" noises, but I do not have a sunroof or a spoiler, and it does seem to be coming from "down" in the rear, not the roof.
  • b717b717 Posts: 38
    It is the self test of the ABS system.
  • joandeejoandee Posts: 3
    Thank you very much. You are better than all the service people at the dealer. They "guessed" it had "something to do" with the automatic transmission." They ignored me when I questioned how the noise could be in the rear of a front wheel drive vehicle. Thanks again.
  • robnaorobnao Posts: 29
    I am also very picky when it comes to the looks of my all black HL, but I messed up and washed it when I did not have enough time to dry it. This left water spots (wonderful San Diego hard water) that do not come off. I have tried MOTHERS brand clay bar, it helped, but if you look closely there are still spots. I have yet to try a MCGUIRES product (scratchX, I think) that is supposed to get this stuff off without scratching (clear coat safe), I will post how it works. The instructions state that if this product does not work take the vehicle to a professional detailer. I would never use polish paste or a rubbing compound it will most likely scratch the clear coat.
    As for normal washing, any quality car wash should be safe. Never use dish soap, it is too harsh and it strips the wax. Any quality liquid wax (MOTHERS, MCGUIRES, etc.) should give you good results. I say liquid wax because CONSUMER REPORTS reported liquid wax generally had the least amout of scratching compared to pastes in their tests. They also reported that most waxes start to loose effectiveness after about 1 month, even the ones that claim much more.
    As for the brushless car washes, they should be safe, nothing is actually touching the paint except water. I had no place to wash my HL for the first 2 months I owned it, so I used these several times with no ill effects. I did notice though that after some time there was still a slight dirt film that only a regular hand washing would remove. I would never use one of those roling brush car washes, they can scratch the paint.
    Hope this helps. Happy HLing
  • pdalpsherpdalpsher Posts: 136
    There was some discussion of water spot removal recently on another Board...the waxes, etc no Zaino posts. Sorry I don't have the exact name in front of me. The folks on this board can tell you exactly what you need to know about keeping you HL looking like new.
  • seahskerseahsker Posts: 6
    Thanks for the information on the click noise mine was coming from the front wheel area and ABS would make sense.

    I have trouble with water spots from both the left and right side mirrors. The guys at the car wash dry them off but water seems to be collecting inside the mirror housing. I don't know how you can dry this area when you can't even see it.
  • gwleonggwleong Posts: 36

    I know this issue has been raised before, but I don't recall the solution. I have a 2001 H/L 'non-limited' that has finally developed this rattle. Can anyone provide the solution to this problem?

    Thanks in advance!!

  • bikerjohnbikerjohn Posts: 52
    I'm bringing in my 2002 Highlander for its first full service next month. Does anyone know if there is a TSB to fix the sunroof popping noises?
    I read about the problem on this site last year before I bought mine, and sure enough, I have the same problem.

    Other annoyances I want to have them fixed are the rattling glove box, creaking drivers seat belt latch and a vibration/buzzing sound coming from the accessory plug cap. The last one took me a long time to find. When I leave the cap off, the noise is gone.

    I also want them to check the wind/road noise. When driving above 50 MPH, it is louder then I think it should be. I'll have them check door seals & the splash engine guard mentioned in post 223.

    If anyone knows of fixes for any of these things, please let me know before I attempt to get the dealer to fix. Thanks
  • goldstongoldston Posts: 110

    I fixed the rattle in my 2001 H/L by using little rubber pads with adhesive backing that you buy at home depot to the glove box door. It seems that the latch in not quite holding the door tight as it should be and you get a slight rattle. I also had to do the same fix to my wife's 2002 H/L.

    I hope this helps.

    Best Regards, Philip
  • tmc1417tmc1417 Posts: 11
    Last week I had my 01 HL in for its 15,000 mi service and had a list of things for them to fix including the all too common glove box rattle, sunroof clicking and the wind noise while driving in strong crosswinds. They fixed the rattle and clicking without any questions..but when it came to the wind noise they said they could not reproduce it (I had given them the TSB # on it and the fix I had gotten off this board..and OH how they hate it when you do this...they give you THE look like how dare you know anything.) I asked how they thought they could reproduce the noise and they said to bring it in when the winds are gusting over 40 miles an hour and they would take it out and see. Like I can plan ahead for that! Any suggestions from those who have got this fixed without having the service dept reproduce the noise themselves?
  • b717b717 Posts: 38
    I got the same runaround from the service dept.
    The bulletin states the seals will be replaced upon customer report, it does not require the tech to witness the symptom. As long as the VIN number is within the range of VIN's identified
    on the bulletin they are authorized to change the door seals. The wording is very clear and after pointing this out, they went ahead and changed mine in April and the cure works vey well. Good luck.
  • sin21856sin21856 Posts: 14
    Arg! My engine light went on again for no particular reason, while I was on a road trip this weekend. I brought the HL to the dealer earlier this month and they said it was a faulty ECU and replaced it, now it's on again. Anyone have any wild guesses as to why the light would turn on? I've driven the HL under normal driving conditions, have about 22K miles on a 2k1 Limited model...this is the 3rd time the light has come on since I got it. I've made sure to check the gas cap and other suggestions that have been posted before...this problem just seems very random and has me a bit worried that something might be terribly wrong with the engine. Well, I'm taking it back to the dealer tommorow at 7am (wohoo!) so they can take a look at it, again. Can anyone provide me more info regarding the crosswind noise and the TSB regarding that problem? Where can i get info about about the TSB, such as the VIN numbers affected? I figured that if I'm there then I might as well have them look at that too cause the noise does get noticebly loud on the freeway. Are they suppose to inform us somehow of these fixes? If not, how do I get informed of any fixes to existing problems that I might just regard as normal, not knowing any better. Thanks for the help!
  • cmunizcmuniz Posts: 604
    On another car I had, a bad spark plug set the light off. Also, it might be an O2 sensor or other pollution control device. The code should tell the dealer what it is, unless some electrical problem is ruining your ECU. Those are my guesses.
  • pasqualpasqual Posts: 22
    Has anyone located an aftermarket maintenance manual for the Highlander. Factory manual's price is out of this world.
  • ash732ash732 Posts: 5
    I recently bought a 2002 HL Limited. When I asked the delaer what is the ideal "schedule" to break in the engine, he told me drive only up to 55 mph for the first 1500 miles. He said it would help in the long run. It will take me at least 6 to 8 months to break in the car this way (I only drive it on weekends). How have some of you driven (what is ideal) ?

  • cmunizcmuniz Posts: 604
    Although you shouldn't drive over 55 mph for long periods of time, I believe you can exceed it from time to time w/o any problems. The most important thing is to vary the speed a lot and don't come to any sudden stops if you can avoid it. Driving it in a variety of conditions is ideal.Most break in periods are 1,000 miles, not 1,500 but I don't remember what the manual says.
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