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Toyota Highlander Maintenance and Repair



  • krb1krb1 Posts: 15
    I have 2008 Toyota Highlander Ltd. The roof failed after about 2 years of ownership. I have hardly ever used the roof - up to that point maybe less than 10 times. I purchased the car used and so maybe the previous owner used the sunroof more often, but I could not believe that it failed so quickly. I had a similar problem. The roof did not want to close. When I pressed slide to close it popped up and vice versa. I took it to the dealership and they confirmed that the cable is no good and needs replacement. The price they quoted was $700. I refuse to spend so much money on the roof, especially since it must have defective since the beginning. I begged them if there was anything they could do for me. Eventually, they fixed it free of charge, but I have not used the roof since fearing that I will run into problems again. Also, ever since the repair I have noticed raindrops alongside the rubber seal every time it rains.

    I guess your quote is right on. Good luck.
  • I have owned 5 toyotas and currently have 3. All with moon roofs and never had a problem. The Highlander "Limited" is supposed to be the grand daddy of them. Guess not. I didn't drive it much in the winter (other cars) and the brakes rusted (that was truly my fault.) With a all wheel drive, you really have to drive it regularly. I've asked a question on site and we'll see. They gave somebody directions on how to pull the headliner down and replace the cable/track for $100 in parts. That I can do.

    Thanks again.
  • I have a 2002 hl and both rear windows will not go down. When I push the button on the driver's door, or on the rear door (either one) I hear a click, but nothing. It sounds just like when a window is up all the way and you click it to go up. It is the main control, or is the window stuck, as there are message boards which discuss that the window channel on these cars are also a problem. thanks, rr70
  • scott228scott228 Posts: 2
    edited August 2011
    I own a 2003 Highlander Limited AWD with approximately 93,000 miles. Last September I started getting a chattering sound which appeared to come from the middle or rear portion of the car when accelerating from a stop. It was almost as if the ABS was engaging when pulling away from a dead stop. It didn't happen all the time and only lasted a few seconds. I took it into the Toyota dealer and was told it was the ABS sensors which had rusted and had to be replaced. Fast forward to last week when the chattering reappeared. I took it back into the dealer and they replaced the ABS sensors but the sound continued. Now they are saying it is the anti-skid computer which I assume is the ECU that is faulty and must be totally replaced at a cost of over $2000. When asked if this is common, the Toyota shop said no and had replaced very few if any. Should I get a second opinion? Is there anyway to test this part to determine if it is indeed faulty? Could it be anything else? Anyone know if this is a part subject to any recalls? Appreciate any advice you can provide.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    " there anyway to test..?"


    Disable the VSC/trac system by disconnecting the MAF/IAT module while the engine is idling. The engine will probably die, reconnect the module, restart the engine and now you will have a CEL & VSC/Trac diagnostic indication for a few drive cycles.

    If the sound continues during that period it is NOT the VSC/Trac ECU.

    VSC/Trac = anti-skid.
  • dansa2dansa2 Posts: 26
    2011 Highlander receiver/trailer hitch new from Toyota $450 uninstalled. Hitch hidden behind bumper. Saw after market and what appears to be OEM hitchs online, $250. Has anyone purchased after market hitch and where?
  • Does the 2011 HL 6 cyl have a transmission dipstick and tranny drain plug? I was told that the 2011 camry 4 cy has no dipstick and the salesmen said there was no drain plug.

    thanks, rr70
  • wwest,

    Thanks for the info. I'll give it a try and see what happens. One thing I forgot to mention and was wondering if it would make a difference. None of the dash warning lights for the ABS appear to come on when this occurs.
  • soco4soco4 Posts: 9
    We have a 2002 V-6 AWD Highlander with 67,000 miles. Problem: from closed throttle (especially, it seems, when stopped), the throttle does not open smoothly and in a linear manner. Instead, more and more pressure on the acc. pedal needs to be applied in an effort to get going, then it feels that something gives way and the car lurches forward. It's difficult to get precise bits of acceleration, as when pulling into the garage. I suspect that the throttle plate has worn a groove into its housing. Has anyone encountered a similar problem? Thanks for your help.
  • luckysevenluckyseven Posts: 134
    Most likely you need to clean throttle body from dirt build up. You can do it yourself.

    How to
  • Will there be a difference if I have the dealer-installed cross-bars removed from my brand new 2011 Toyota Highlander 4WD Limited? I thought I hear a distinctive gush of wind at highway speeds since I took delivery of the vehicle. So I thought maybe the removal of the cross-bars will make the wind noise disappear.
    Turns out that the cross-bars cannot be removed easily. Better if the dealer removes it.

    I don't intend them use them and if I do, I'd like to use the Thule brand instead.

    Let me know what you think.

  • Vehicle info: 2011 Toyota Highlander 4WD with Navigation. Nav DVD disc version 10.1

    Have you ever used the Navigation bypass to allow for DEST input by passenger while the vehicle is moving?
  • phrosutphrosut Posts: 122
    Those crossbars adjust easily. I moved both of mine as far back as they would go and the wind noise disappeared.

  • That's what the dealer in Massachusetts where I bought my '04 had done. All of the Highlanders on the lot had the crossbars together at the rear of the vehicle. They said it was to minimize wind noise.
  • phrosutphrosut Posts: 122
    Something I should have mentioned in my previous post about these bars:

    The bolts that hold them in place can be removed easily and quickly. I learned this from other HL owners that have had theirs stolen, and when I moved my bars back I replaced those stock bolts (that are made to turn by hand) with regular bolts that'd take a wrench. I still have the stock ones should I ever need them.

  • btacbtac Posts: 4
    08 Highlander Ltd (gas, 62K): Discovered water on floor after IRENE blew through PA in late August. Took it to the dealer and they blew out the AC drain line as possible solution.

    Drove 2 hours through driving rain a couple of days ago and just discovered carpet in front is saturated on both sides again.

    Anyone have experience with this before I send it to Toyota to tear my car a part looking for the source??

    Thanks in advance.
  • grahampetersgrahampeters AustraliaPosts: 1,582

    Usual reason for this is water overflowing from the air intake area. The inlet grill between the windscreen and bonnet can accumulate dirt and fine leaves which clog the drains in this area. Water that should normally drain through these outlets then enters the care through the passages intended for air flow.

    If you can get under the car, there should be a small rubber hose on each side, draining down from the chamber. If you have a compressed air hose, you can jet this backward and clear the lines. Alliteratively you can make up a small hose (I made one from 4mm irrigation hose connected to a hose fitting) and feed this up with a water jet to flush out the line.

    As routine maintenance, make sure the grill between the bonnet and windscreen is kept clear of leaf litter, especially if you regularly park under trees.


  • I bought my Highlander brand new in 2005. It now has 75k miles.The original battery is still in it made by Panasonic. Should I replace it or just keep on using it. I had some battery tests done and they all show that it is still fine. I don't think I can find this same battery, but if i can I will stick with this same one. Any other battery recommendations?
  • OEM white Panasonic batteries really good but really hard to come by unless you get one in a new car,. Battery that you have close to the end of it's life but still might last for another year or two. I'd keep an eye on it and if any low battery symptoms develop replace it immediately. You can also get it tested every few months at any auto parts store. If you you want to play safe then get it replaced before winter season. There is a lot of replacement battery choices, it's an endless topic on it's own . I like Costco batteries, they are not very expensive and perform well.
  • I was able to get nine years from my OEM Panasonic battery in my 2001 Highlander. When it began to fail, it was during the summer and thus was more convenient than during the winter. No luck locating a replacement Panasonic battery, although I would have paid more for one. Consumer Reports highly rated WalMart batteries, so that is what I purchased and installed.
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