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Toyota Highlander Maintenance and Repair



  • I'm coming up on 80k miles and wanted to get an idea of what maintenance needs to be performed. I don't prefer dealer packages because you pay them to just "check" things. Can anyone give me a guide to follow and what fluids should be changed at certain intervals for every 30,60,90k?

  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,013
    edited January 2012
    The Edmunds Car Maintenance Guide will tell you what Toyota recommends be done and when. Same info that's in the owner's manual.

    Dealers like to up-sell stuff. You may decide you need some of those "extra" services, but you're right. You should tell the service writer what you want done, not ask for a "90,000 mile service".

    Confessions From the Dealership Service Department

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  • Can someone provide me with a guide to what they have followed for their Highlander's with high mileage? I would just like to know what others have been following over the years as far as when they changed fluids, what type of fluids were changed, etc....

    If you look at this below for my HL it still shows that you have to pay the dealer to "check" things which I do not want to do. I figure they already do at oil changes, why give them more money to look around. odelYearId=100503866&styleId=100413879&engCode=6VNAG3.3&transCode=AUTOMATIC&mile- age=90000&zip=53072
  • j06j06 Posts: 90
    edited January 2012
    How much is to change the rear break caliper, pads for 2006 Highlander,.. parts + labor...

    My dealer is asking for $700 including tax
  • I recently purchased a used 2009 Toyota Highlander limited with 26000 miles. I currently have 27600 miles on it. I called local toyota dealership here in Plano, TX for a quote on getting the 30000-mile recommended service and was quoted $540. Recommended service at this mile include oil and filter change, air filter change, carbin filter change (dealer sells for about $17.00), then a bunch of check this and check that. Is $540.00 about right for this service?
    I called another foreign car repair shop and was quoted $181. I asked what they check and they repeated everything on the toyota's manual for 30000 mile service. Is there something to gain by paying extra to have this service done at toyota?
    Toyota service guy even told me they flush coolant or brake fluid but that service is not recommended at 30000 miles. Can somebody with 2nd generation H/L give me their opinion on this? I want to save money but also want things done right. The other repair shop have ACE or something certified technicians and have been around for over 25yrs.
  • shagnatshagnat Posts: 78
    Do not even bother. I've never had one of those "checks" done on my 2002 Highlander Limited with 75K miles and all is good.

    IF you feel the need to get those items checked, go to a AAA auto service center and have an oil/filter change along with tire rotation and they will check everything else for free. Be prepared to have the cabin filter replaced (it is a tad of work to get to it) as 30K on that filter is more than enough.
    Save your money from your Toyota dealer (mine wanted over $700 for the same service) and spend it on something worthwhile.
  • Never go to a dealer and have them do a "check-up". Go to your owner's manual and look at what it suggests at be done at certain mileage. Go to the dealer and ask for an oil change and for that item to be checked. They check the other stuff anyway! Also if they tell you to do other things like flush steering, change transmission fluid, etc. press them with questions. And pull out your manual to see if that procedure is EVER recommended. For example, when I asked lots of questions, I found that I'm really not going to do any damage to my steering if I don't change the fluid until I start to get some "symptoms" which has never happened. I have an 04 with 160,000 miles. And when I pressed on the transmission fluid (which I have had to have changed so I do watch it), it was "discolored" but not "dirty" (needs changing). So my dealer won't lie to me as far as I know but they will lead you to think you need things you don't unless you question them.
    I have a girlfriend that for years continued to go to her dealer for her Outback and every time ended up with $500 bills. So it's okay to go to the dealer so you actually do get some of their "expertise" for your vehicle but just ask only for what you want and ask lots of questions for anything else recommended.
    BTW: only Goodyear tires last on my Highlander (originally came on it). I made the mistake of letting Goodyear do other work and I was lied to regularly (example: told me I needed brakes changed when they were normal levels and two years later still are okay. They rotate my tires, period)
  • Thanks for your advice. You guys confirmed what others have told me: be suspicious of unwanted services the dealer recommends and always go by what is recommended on the manual.
    I've seen some "oil and filter" change coupons that includes checking these other components for free.
    my H/L came with Bridgestone tires which i intend to change soon. Thanks again.
  • I guess what I'm looking for is a maintenance schedule someone has followed on their HL. Someone who has alot of miles and didn't follow the dealer maintenance packages. How does one know when to replace certain fluids, what intervals. If I have the dealer check invaded on what the manual says they will always say change it which is what I'm afraid of. I would like to know how many miles I should definitely change certain fluids.
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    I don't understand your post. Read and understand your owner's manual, grow a pair, and then TELL the dealer what to do and what not to do. This isn't rocket science. All of the information you're seeking is right in your owner's manual.
  • Any car properly maintained -- wheels / steering in alignment, tires in good condition and balanced -- should go straight when you (briefly) take your hands off the wheel. It should not pull to the right or left. You're under warranty -- so if you have the option locally I'd say take it to a different dealer. And probably never go again to the one who said it's "normal". If another one calls it "normal" -- then escalate. Find out who the regional sales and/or service managers are and contact them (preferably both). The situation you have is not only irritating -- it's potentially dangerous.

    As an aside, I'm not happy with the steering of our 2012, because I think it's imprecise (I call it 'mushy'). My other cars are German -- BMW and Porsche, so I'm used to a tight feel of the road. Even though they are 10 and 25 years old respectively. I haven't talked to the dealer yet about it -- thinking I'm likely to get the 'it's normal' response. I want to get a chance to drive another 2012 and see if it steers the same. (You might see if your dealer will let you drive a demo -- to compare to yours). But a month ago I had an instance where it was pulling to the right at high speed on the freeway. Only lasted maybe for 5 - 10 miles, then went back to what I consider 'normal' -- that is, staying in a straight line when I release the wheel.
  • The manual really doesn't give me a clear idea on when certain fluids absolutely have to be changed by . I also heard that there is no reason at all to change the transfer case oil and differential because they are sealed units. So that leaves the coolant, transmission, power steering
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    Hmmmm, my owner's manual is perfectly clear on the items you mentioned.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Electric power stearing will always feel slightly "mushy" when compared to the "solidness" of hydraulically "boosted" power stearing. But FE wise, the electric takes the prize by a wide margin.
  • What air filter & cabin air filter is the best one to use? I tried Fram filters about 8,000 mikes ago, but the air still smells funky when I turn on the heat to blow towards the windshield.

    Should I stick with genuine toyota filters?
  • j06j06 Posts: 90
    This is what I did with my 06 HL.

    oil & filter, tire rotation every 5,000 miles.

    Air Filter, Cabin Filter, Transmission fluid, coolant service every 30,000 miles..

    right now my HL @60,000 miles.. If it reaches 100K without major issues I will think abt changing timing belt.
  • What about transfer case and differential? I read since those are sealed units they never need to be changed.
  • Have an 03 V6, replaced timing belt and water pump at 105K, at a Toyota store and they had a good deal. Free rental car to boot. Shop around for the best price.
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