Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Toyota Highlander Maintenance and Repair



  • tsotsitsotsi Posts: 98
    It occurred to me that none of the postings on this forum say anything about how to remove the climate control panel. Trying to figure out how to remove items when you can't see any screws or bolts always drives me crazy. On the Highlander you have to remove the climate control panel bezel (or surround) to see the bolts that hold it in place. The best instructions I have seen on removing the bezel are on this website:
  • I own a 2002 Highlander V6 4x2.
    A minor but annoying problem started recently. When turning a steering wheel, especially when a vehicle is moving slowly, I hear this
    very annoying squeaking noise from steering wheel area. It's hard to
    describe the actual sound, but to me it's very annoying!

    I've searched Highlander Maintenance & Repair Archive and found a
    solution! And it's very easy!

    Go to any auto parts store and buy a SILICONE SPRAY. I was able to
    find one for less than $4.00 for 12oz. can. If you look under dash near
    steering wheel is located, you will find a shaft joining to the floor of a
    vehicle. All you have to do is spray around the shaft and rubber area,
    where shaft is joining the floor. You might need a flashlight for a easier
    view. This chemical-smell is kind of strong, by the way.

    There are thousands of these Highlanders out there and I am sure this
    problem must have occured to many of them.

    Now, my wife is very happy and annoying noise is gone! :)
  • That squeaking noise is the front brake pad indicator telling you your brake pads need to be replaced :surprise:
  • keymastr,

    I am not a mechanic, but I know what brake pad indicator sounds like,
    when brake pads need to be replaced.

    This noise I described is From Inside The Vehicle-Around Steering
    Wheel. Trust me.

    Thanks for trying to help. :)
  • ocq35man,
    Thanks for the idea. I know EXACTLY what noise you are talking about. Drives me nuts! I will give it a shot. I alredy have the spray...
  • byumgrbyumgr Posts: 14
    On the 2005 Highlander Limited, is there a serviceable differential and if so, how often should it be serviced?
  • lmacmillmacmil Posts: 1,756
    Had the oil changed in my 2004 4WD V6 yesterday. When I paid, the service writer noted that the tranny fluid is starting to discolor and suggested I have it replaced at my next oil change. The vehicle is 4 years old but only had 31,000 miles on it. It did see a lot of short trips in the years my wife was working less than 3 miles from home.

    I believe the owner's manual service interval for transmission service is 100,000 miles. I would have probably done it at 50K. Could the fluid need replacing at 30K miles or is this just the typical service department trying to drum up business?
  • lmacmillmacmil Posts: 1,756
    The owner's manual should tell you.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    The owner's manual should tell you.

    That may be inconvenient if one does not actually possess an owner's manual. Perhaps you could tell us what yours' says about it? :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Actually, it could be either. If in fact, the fluid is changing color substantially, there could be an internal problem that needs looking at. If the fluid smells burned, you definitely have a problem, the fluid should be changed, but you may have early failure in your future. If in fact, the service interval is 100,000 on it, then the only way you should need to service it sooner, is if it's under severe operating conditions, stop- & go driving, excessive shifting due to mountainous driving daily, or towing.

    Now, the service advisor could be trying to drum up business - certainly not unheard of, and the fluid will naturally change color as it gets dirty anyway. There is the possibility though, that he's got your best interests at heart, and is trying to prevent early failure. Get another opinion, or service it. It NEVER hurts to change oil or fluids.
  • lmacmillmacmil Posts: 1,756
    "That may be inconvenient if one does not actually possess an owner's manual. Perhaps you could tell us what yours' says about it?"

    The manual/maintenance schedule is also available online at The only thing it says about differential oil is to inspect it every 12,000 miles or so. There is no scheduled change in the first 100,000 miles. I didn't go beyond that. :P
  • I looked at my Maintenance Manual for my 07 Highlander. And this correct. There is no maintenance other than a "check" for the first 100K. In fact I coud not see any scheduled maintenance for changing the differential oil ever. Unless you had a tow vehicle or drove in sand etc.
  • tsotsitsotsi Posts: 98
    Actually, the owner's manual doesn't tell you. Toyota has, for some unfathomable reason, not put maintenance intervals in the Highlander owner's manual. They provided a separate book called a "Scheduled Maintenance Guide." And it is not specific for Highlanders -- it is for "SUVs and Trucks."

    Considering the number of Highlanders Toyota sells, I don't think it is asking too much for a vehicle-specific maintenance guide. Much as I like my Highlander I have to say that Honda does (or at least used to do) a much better job on manuals. A Honda station wagon I bought in '94 was specific not only for the Accord, but for the wagon.

    To me, this is just another example of the poor management that seems to pervade most manufacturers. Now that low-volume publishing is so easy and cheap -- supermarkets produce store-specific advertising in color -- it is had to understand why car makers, along with appliance manufacturers, refuse to provide their customers with item-specific manuals.
  • lmacmillmacmil Posts: 1,756
    The maintenance guide is pretty clear to me. The schedule applies to all SUVs/trucks and exceptions for specific vehicles are noted at each mileage interval plus for severe service or towing applications.

    There's a reason Toyota is the most profitable automaker and it's because they economize where it makes sense. A "one size fits all" maintenance schedule is one place it does.
  • just got a 2005 w/ 29K miles. Anyone know if there is a requirement for any scheduled maintenance to keep warranty in force. no manuals came with it, but dealer said it was under warrnty for 60k miles. tnx
  • tsotsitsotsi Posts: 98
    Toyota has a good website that gives the maintenance schedule for Highlanders. It is:
  • I have a 2004 Toyota Highlander AWD. At 44,000 miles I had some kind of electrical problem where the tire gauge light and SRL light came on, and I could not use the automatic door lock switch. I took it to the dealership and there was some kind of short in the wires. After much debate they fixed the problem. I had the extended warranty, and there was no charge. I am now at 50,000 miles and the problem is back. The service department is telling me that water is getting in at a junction box on the left panel and there is evidence of corrosion.They keep asking me if the car was in a flood or accident. I assured them it was not. They were able to connect and reconnect the wires and eliminate the problem for now. They also applied a sealer. They told me if it happens again they would replace the junction box under warranty. Does anyone else have this problem? Any comments ?
  • lgjavalgjava Posts: 48
    They asked YOU if the car was in a flood?! That's a hot one! Well, anyway they repaired it. I can't understand how you'd get corrosion, but still the gaskets aren't all that great on the windows and such. No electrical stuff here, but then how many colors is my car? Or better still, how many cars is my car??
  • I have a 08 HL Limited 4WD with only 200 miles on it so far. I have been getting 14-15 MPG as well. I am hoping that the mileage will go up as well. I got rid of a gorgeous Lexus GX 470 that guzzled gas, but this vehicle doesn't seen to do that much better so far.
Sign In or Register to comment.