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



  • Probably unbalanced, I always recommend General HTC Tires. Better price better ride. Check out tire rack for consumer comments.
    As for the clunking sound check to see if any service bulletins were issued by Toyota, I seem to remember something about that.
    I have an 03 HIGH/ 148K miles
    The Goodyear tires stink, would assume Michelin would be great.

    I have found that calling around on tires works. You can save 30-40 bucks per tire
  • Now let's say I bring it back to get re-balanced and they also check the weights, but I run into the same problem? What's else could it be?

    I also changed the battery recently and my Highlander just barely turned over yesterday. Could it be something like the alternator or it might need a fuel injection cleaning?
  • phrosutphrosut Posts: 122
    When batteries are replaced, it is standard practice to verify the proper charging voltage with (at least) a multimeter.

    If you had the battery replaced and they didn't check, 'bad' on them.

    If you replaced the battery yourself and didn't check, you need to verify that the alternator is working.

    "Barely turning over" has absolutely nothing to do with how clean the injectors might be.

  • Why would it take much longer to start up with a new battery? Other than the fact that i live in WI and its freezing cold.
  • Okay I just got back from the dealership and they tell me that one tire was bad. It had a spin rate of 181 which is one of the worst tires they tested they say. But. The new one has a spin rate of 17. I'm not sure what all this means but what concerns me the most is why they put the bad tire on in the first place. They tell me it coulnt have been avoided. Is this true?
  • We've had a 2012 Highlander SE for a few weeks now. When we first got the car, I wasn't thrilled with the steering. I would have called it mushy and imprecise. But now both I and my wife are concerned. I can can move the wheel back and forth about 1/8 turn at highway speed and still be going in a straight line. Reminds me of a 70s American boat with power steering -- like the 1977 Jeep Wagoneer I once owned. My wife has complained that it seems to "wander" on the highway and doesn't handle that well. I noticed the one test drove before buying had steering that was less responsive than I'd like, but this has me worried. I'm used to driving a BMW -- and this is not even close.

    Anyone else have a similar experience? Do we have a problem -- or is this the normal behavior and just a bad design?

    Not wishing to end up in a feature on 60 Minutes ...
  • grahampetersgrahampeters AustraliaPosts: 1,583

    What you are describing is uncharacteristic. The Kluger/Highlander handling is not exciting, but very predictable. There should be understeer and it should feel a bit "mushy" if you are used to a good handler like a Subaru or BMW. The up side is that there are huge reserves of safety.

    I would suggest that you check tyre pressures precisely using a good (recently calibrated) pressure gauge. You can then try lifting pressure about 2lb above recommended.

    I have found with modern cars that it is vital that you have a four wheel balance and wheel alignment done regularly (about every 10-20,000 km). This dramatically improves handling and reduces tyre wear; I am getting 95,000km from a set.

    Finally, adjust your expectations. If you are used to driving a BMW which has superb handling, go and try a few more routine vehicles. You may find that your tastes have become just a little too refined!




  • bdymentbdyment Posts: 549
    Something is wrong with your steering. There should be no play in the wheel. An eighth of a turn back and forth is definitely a concern. Off to the dealer.
  • luckyseven - I've spent a few hours googling and can't seem to find instructions for water pump swap on a Gen 2 Highlander from the PS wheel well. Nor can I figure out how to PM you on this Edmunds forum (and I'm a techie guy). Any leads in the right direction are appreciated.
  • phrosutphrosut Posts: 122
    I can't help with the procedure but I WOULD suggest that you install a Toyota water pump. I have friends that own auto repair shops and I've been told aftermarket pumps don't last as long as the factory part and can cause timing belt problems if they fail. These shops would normally install aftermarket parts but not for this car.

    One shop had a HL in for repairs after an aftermarket pump failed that they'd installed only a year before.

    I hope you post the directions for wheel well replacement if you find them. I'm nearing 125K on our '03 HL and plan on waterpump and timing belt replacement in the coming months.

  • I've got a 2012 Highlander Limited V6 that steers crazy. I've been driving a Cadillac SRX . I have terrible torque steer to the right on this vehicle and no matter what speed I'm traveling have to push down to the left on the steering wheel to keep it from going to the right. If I punch it the torgue steer,(pull to the right), is unbelievably bad. I am so disappointed. Dealer says it's normal.I say BS. Have you or anyone else experienced the "Hard" pull to the right when accelerating?
  • bdymentbdyment Posts: 549
    It is time to see someone in higher authority at your dealer. Whoever told you that your steering is normal is 100% wrong. If you can't get satisfaction take your Highlander to another dealer.
  • luckysevenluckyseven Posts: 134
    edited January 2012
    luckyseven - I've spent a few hours googling and can't seem to find instructions for water pump swap on a Gen 2 Highlander from the PS wheel well. Nor can I figure out how to PM you on this Edmunds forum (and I'm a techie guy). Any leads in the right direction are appreciated.

    Hint: Try going on toyotanation highlander forum, there was a poster who replaced the water pump by himself and he posted a short write up.
  • rutrut Posts: 5
    I know this is a really old post but my 02 highlander has also just started with the rubber burning smell. Did you discover what was causing it?

  • jrfierojrfiero Posts: 123
    edited January 2012
    Well, dang.
    Anyone have any experience with a Check Engine Light (CEL) and DTC P0174?
    Hauling up through the mountains of western Maryland in the snow, and "bling!" a CEL and VSC light. Grumble.
    Took an unplanned exit and found a place to stop to do a quick flashlight check (did I mention it was night?) and couldn't see anything.
    Decided to ignore it and continue the weekend, which happened to have the HL parked all weekend, then the ~150 mile trip home today. Seems to run fine, although the dash info says I only got 18 mpg on the highway. Something I'd expect if the computer couldn't figure out how to remedy a lean condition.
    My scanner reveals a DTC P0174, a generic code for a lean condition, bank 2. Generic meaning it is a code required by the feds on all cars which have to have the OBDII system on board, which is just about everything since '96. So its not a Toyota-specific code and its explanation is not specific.
    I initially thought, oh well, I need another O2 sensor (replaced bank 1 years ago, see post 4360). However, research shows many things could contribute to a P0174 - vacuum leak, Mass Airflow Sensor (MAF), O2 sensor, etc. If it were a MAF I would expect to get codes from both banks (P0171 and P0174), and I only have a code for bank 2. Fyi, bank 2 is the front row of cylinders on the V6.

    Has anyone had a P0174, and if so, what was the diagnosis/repair?

  • I just took my 2002 Toyota Highlander in for a front brakes have about 43,000 miles on them...I thought sure they'd need to be replaced. But my shop said the rotors are a little rough, but not bad enough to replace...and the brakes have between 30% and 40% of the pads remaining. Now, my rear brakes have been replaced twice in the last 50,000 miles.

    How can this be???? This is an AWD front brakes last that much longer ???
  • Boat payment!

    No, I'm not sure why you'd have different wear on the back than on the front. My 2001 Highlander is also AWD with the V6. I replaced all of my original pads, front and back, last summer at 80,000 miles. And then, only because the brake material on the inner pad on the right front wheel had disintegrated, which I'm told sometimes happens when they get old. All of the remaining 7 pads still had at least 1/8" of material on them; the wear sensors hadn't begun squawking.

    When your mechanic replaced your rear brake pads, twice, did you get the old parts back? If so, do you remember how much brake material was left on them?

    If indeed the rear brake pads needed replacing, I would think a reputable shop would have suggested further diagnosis to find out why they were wearing out faster than the front. Based on my experience and what I've heard from others here, the brakes should be wearing more-or-less evenly front to back.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Toyota seems to be having, historically, problems of overheating the new electric power steering system. Overheats and then drops back into derating mode, less stearing effort help.


    May have reduced the "normal" power assist level to alleviate the above instances.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "..I replaced.."


    "..inner pad on the right..."

    Very common problem, caused by a stuck or sticking caliper slide pin, replace and/or FULLY lubricate.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    " the snow..."

    Did you happen to notice the Trac system or VSC activating?? More than once or twice..?

    On the RX or HL without DBW engine dethrottling during a trac or VSC event is accomplisheded via EFI fuel starvation. No way to close the throttle plate so the HOT oxygen sensors see PURE oxygen for brief period(s). That appears to somehow have an adverse impact on those sensors for some period after and a CEL is not altogether unusual.

    Generally clears within a few drive cycles.

    I have had instances of dirty MAF/IAT sensors throwing a diagnostic of only one lean bank. So I would first clean the MAF/IAT sensor elements.
Sign In or Register to comment.