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Toyota Highlander Maintenance and Repair



  • jefferjeffer Posts: 31
    Thanks for the recommendation but I've consigned myself to a mid-size vehicle with room for 4, not a pickup. Although I did send for the brochure on the new Subaru B9 Tribeka. Looks cool but the luggage space looks a little small, although no actual specs were given. I'm looking for a minimum of 36 cu ft behind the back seats.
    I must admit I am skeptical as to how many Highlander owners actually use their vehicle for some type of outdoors activities such as camping, kayaking or canoeing.
    So far I'm affraid my suspicisions may be correct. I'm going to post the same question on the 4Runner discussion and hopefully may get a better response.
  • wbs25wbs25 Posts: 5
    Before buying our new FWD 6 cyl. Highlander, one of the service techs described removing a panel at the bottom front to access the oil filter. This panel appears to be p/n 02084-14415. It has about 8-10 10 mm head bolts/screws, which are easy. It also seem to have two round plastic push-in items of some kind.

    Does anyone know how these are removed, so as to be re-installable? or does the dealer just replace them every time?

    Can anyone tell me what, if any instructions are provided in the Service Manual for removing and reinstalling this panel, or performing an oil change?

    And yes, I carefully collect and recycle all used oil at my local Kragen's.
    Thanks much for any help.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I do all the work of removing and installing a new filter from the top front....
  • desertguydesertguy Posts: 730
    Yes, although I can't see the filter on my '04 V6 I can feel it from the top and hence get a filter wrench on it.
  • johnny5johnny5 Posts: 13
    I have a 2004 Highlander Limited and use the Yakima Lowrider rack with 58" crossbars, one pair of Mako saddles and one pair of LandShark saddles for the 2 kayaks that my son and I use to go fishing in CT. I also have the Boatloader accessory which is a bar that mounts inside the crossbar and extends out to the side for providing a support to place one end of the boat while I lift the other end into one set of saddles. You then just walk it into the other set of saddles and then slide and lock the bar back into the corssbar. It allows one person to manage getting the kayak up and down with little fuss. Just take care not to let the end on the ground slide. If it does, then the front of the boat can slide off the Boatloader bar and scratch the daylights out of the side of you car (which is what happened on my old car, not on my highlander).
  • wbs25wbs25 Posts: 5
    Agreed - that is the desirable approach. But how are you avoiding getting burned on that shiny metal plate on the front of the engine? The same tech that suggested going in from the bottom warned me against going in from the top because of burns. Thanks again.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    porcupines make love...

    Carefully.....VERY carefully.
  • phrosutphrosut Posts: 122
    I've changed the filter and oil both ways. I usually remove that panel from the bottom front. It's not difficult to take on and off, and makes accessing the filter very easy.

    This last time I decided to try it from above and had no problems. I DID NOT start the engine before changing oil, therefore had no problem with hot parts burning me.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    is a good idea before an oil change so some of the "debris", small particles, will be held in suspension within the oil you drain.
  • eddieeeddiee Posts: 25
    This sounds like it could be the problem described by many as a "distant siren" noise by several on this board. In my case it would come-and-go, possibly relating to weather conditions where the seal would dry out.

    I had this fixed on my 2002 so it may also be a problem with the 2003.
    They replaced the right inner axle seal, I think.

    Here's a TSB I found that may be it:

    Make : TOYOTA Model : HIGHLANDER Year : 2002
    Service Bulletin Num : 00103 Date of Bulletin: MAY 23, 2003
    NHTSA Item Number: 10002004
  • lmn908lmn908 Posts: 34

    We also have Yakima lowrider with 58" crossbars for our 2 kayaks that we used on our Subaru Forester, but would like to now use on our 2005 Highlander. What do you tie the boats down to in front? The Subaru has front tow hooks but the Highlander does not. Thanks.
  • bobbynybobbyny Posts: 1
    The guy where I park my 2004 Highlander Limited pointed out to me the other day that BOTH of my foglight lenses are cracked. They are fully intact, no pitting, and no discernable damage around them but just all split up and cracked. This seems really odd to me, both at the same time.

    I stopped by a Toyota dealer and the manager sort of made it seem that he would replace the lenses for me for free. I'm wondering if there might be some sort of design flaw? Suspension issue? REALLY powerful bugs? Car wash? I'm at a loss. Any ideas? Thanks.
  • johnny5johnny5 Posts: 13
    Imn908, I had to look, since I haven't put my boats in the water yet this year :cry: .(next week, vacation and fishing). I open the hood and tie them to the head light bracket which is bolted to the body frame. I then close the hood and take up the slack with a trucker's hitch. . I use a lightweight 'parachute cord' they gave me at the kayak shop. Good Luck.
  • jbolltjbollt Posts: 734
    My 05 Limited climate control always starts in recirc mode when starting the car, it doesn't matter if it is in the AUTO mode or AC or just "unconditioned air." Even if I switch the recirc off, and just have fresh air coming in from the outside, it will go to recirc next time I start the car. I really don't like this. I have mentioned this here before, and some of you have concurred. I have researched this, and it seems that the RX330 also does this, but there is a "c-best" option to have this changed. Does anybody know if the same can be done on the Highlander?

    On a related issue, I had the setting that requires 2 pushes of the remote unlock button to unlock all doors changed by my dealer to one push to unlock all doors, but they didn't know it could be done, until I told them I had read on Edmunds that others had done this. I can probably get them to do this for me on the recirc if I can be certain that it is an option.

    Anybody know for sure, or have access to the info?

  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    My RX300 will also do that, in all modes, if, when I first start it, the interior of the car is significantly warmer than the temperature setpoint. Sorry I can't really say how significant the difference must be.

    If that is not the circumstance in your case it may be that the IAT (internal air temperature) sensor has failed and is somehow indicating a high cabin temperature. In the alternative the solar radiation sensor may have failed indicating a VERY bright sunlight.
  • dmoyerdmoyer Posts: 27
    At 55,000 miles, pulsating front rotors finally got to me, resulting in new front rotors w/labor for $266. Most of those miles are interstate miles, but the last 5 down hill miles of my one day weekly 110 mile commute lately was one long wobble. Toyota dealer also wants to replace the front pads and said the rear rotors have excessive rust rings on the inside of the rotors, thus diminishing breaking area. Another $450 to finish the job. :cry:
    Any comments! described it this way. "Lateral runout or Warpage may be caused by several factors; over tightening the lug nuts (over-torquing), inaccurate lathe setups, and rapid temperature changes during normal driving [very hot brake rotors are subjected to a splash of very cold water multiple times]. The driver feels lateral runout when she/he applies the brakes and feels the brake pedal "pulsate" or "shudder"."
  • loucapriloucapri Posts: 214
    $266 for new front rotors with labor, is it from toyota dealer? 2 rotors?
    They want $249 for front brake jobs (pads and re-surface the rotors)
  • eddieeeddiee Posts: 25
    My 2002 is just starting to get pulsing at 34,000. I baby the brakes so my guess is that the factory rotors are probably crap. I actually consider myself lucky where I had replaced the rotors on a 99 Jeep Grand Cherokee 3 times before 34,000 miles. The calipers on them were really crap.

    When I have mine done I plan to use a name brand after-market brand like Raybestos, Bendix, Wagner, etc rather than the Toyota factory ones.
    Problems with the sticking calipers or sticking pads can also cause warping.
    Whenever I get my tires rotated I make a special point to tell them not to use an impact wrench and use a torque wrench to check them. I just had my tires rotated and will check them with a torque wrench.

    Concerning the front pads, I would it considerate it a good idea to replace the pads when you replace the rotors. If there are grooves or imperfections in the rotors, they will be reflected in the pads and you would probably not have good contact.

    As far as the rears are concerned, a mechanic friend of mine told me that most of the braking is handled by the fronts. When I sold my wife's Camry it still had the original rears at 90,000 and they were going strong. I wouldn't do the rears unless you were having observed problems.
  • sdoellsdoell Posts: 1
    I'm having a similar experience in Indiana with my 2002 Highlander V6. The leak appears to be most prevalent on the passenger side and seems to come from under the dash. Water gets in the floor only. Like you, I can hear water sloshing around; it sounds as if I have a 10-gallon bucket of water in the back floorboard. This has happened twice and no cause can be found. The dealer has checked for sun roof leaks, door leaks, every other possibility, but nothing can be found.

    Both times this happened the car had been left outside in a driving thunderstorm. Usually it is parked in a garage. The dealer tried to replicate the leak last night during a storm here, but this morning the car is dry.

    The dealer is stymied, and so am I. The service adviser suggested I take the car to a body shop or to a place here called The Rain Doctor.

  • thernandezthernandez Posts: 1
    Does anybody knows how to program a remote control for my Highlander 2001 ?
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