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

15657596162174

Comments

  • Sorry about the repetition...but I don't want to loose this thread. There are too many of us having this problem to let it go...and we are getting new members everyday that might not be aware.

    So file a complaint if you are experiencing the hesitation problem with the '04 Highlander here;
    http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/

    Click on "secure submissions" and fill out the simple form. When you get towards the end of filling out the form, you'll be asked the component. Click/highlight "POWER TRAIN:AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION." Some have posted under "VEHICLE SPEED CONTROL:ACCELERATOR PEDAL" so file where you want. There are (8) complaints under PT: Auto Trans and (2) under VSC:Accel Pedal at present posting.

    Thanks!
  • wainwain Posts: 479
    My new 04 Highlander 2 wd has a slight but noticeable wear pattern developing on the front tires at 4000 miles. the pattern is only on the most outside tread section on each front tire (the tire sections on the center or on the inside - facing the engine -do not have this wear pattern). neither do the rear wheels.

    If you stand next to the say drivers side front tire, and face the car, and run your hand across the top of the tire going from front of the car toward the rear of the car you feel sharp edges on the front edges of the tire segments in the outside tread section. If you run your hand the other way, across the top of the tire from rear going toward the front you do not feel anything.

    whats causing this?

    I see it/feel it on a lot of other cars/suvs.

    is it :
    a normal
    b excessive front toe in?
    c something else?
  • kadskads Posts: 27
    Why resign to "live with it"? It's not a "feature" that increases your safety or a buyer will pay for when you sell it.

    Just like the oil sludge problem, Toyota is taking advantage of their customers.

    They need to get some corporate integrity and do the right thing instead of pinching those dollars and converting them to yen back in JAPAN.
  • Wain, I've seen that many times and it could be caused by under-inflation, sharp cornering and or poor alignment.
    I'd rotate the tires, fill to 3-5psi above the rating (cold) and have the alignment checked.

    Here's a description of common tire wear problems.
    Excessive Toe;

    Excessive toe-in/positive toe results in outside edge wear of the tire. Excessive toe-out/negative toe results in inside edge wear of the tire. Toe is easily adjusted on most vehicle steer axles.
    Excessive Camber;

    Excessive positive camber: smooth wear patterns on the outer half of the tire tread. Excessive negative camber: smooth wear patterns on the inner half of the tire tread.

    Excessive Caster; Caster is the angle of steering axis tilt when viewed from the side and while it does not affect wear, it does affect the vehicle's handling and tendency to track straight down the road.
  • After reading my message again, I guess it does sound like I am resigned to live with it, but that is not really the case. I cannot ALWAYS reproduce the problem. In fact, the last two days have been without incident. I travel a lot and when I am not in a rental, my work is 3 miles away. so the HL doesn't really see a lot of road time. I really just need to make the time to get it to the dealer.

    I do not think this is a penny pinching issue. I have access to some biG tiMe transmission experts (no names, please) and they seem to think it might be a software or accelerometer problem. That is not a difficult or expensive fix. It would be to Toyota's advantage to fix it if they knew how. I think they might not know what the problem is.
  • fvpfvp Posts: 147
    I'm lucky in that I don't have any of the problems discussed here [hesitation, brake issues] on our '03 V6 4WD.
    My problem is a rattle in the dash and/or steering column. I had this fixed once about a year ago by replacing the steering box and it's hardware. Now a rattle in the dash caused the dealer to call Toyota and they reported many complaints of a dash rattle that's cured by replacing the nozzle assembly under the cowl.
    They are going to do it next week and I'll let you know if it works.
  • "nozzle assembly under the cowl."

    fvp what is that????????????
  • As I had indicated, I went to the dealer. They drove it and said "they all do that" "It's operating as designed". He did acknowledged the "behavior" of the trans when he drove it. Then, he pulled around a brand new Limited and we drove that ... sure enough ... hesitation on upshift, abrupt downshifts, releasing downshifts into stopped traffic, shuddering trans as it's deciding what to do.

     For those who are not experiencing these safety and reliability problems, it's puzzling. Maybe Toyota's got different revisions of SW out there and some tranmissions actually work. Count yourself lucky.

    Today I opened a case with Toyota. They'll have the regional guy call me next. I indicated:
    -safety issue: hesitation in trans when accelerating
    -safety issue: downshifting abruptness releases into stopped traffic
    -reliability issue: the combination of the above in normal driving conditions causes trans to "shudder" at times.

    I will absolutely file a complaint with the nhtsa as recommended. Thanks for persisting in this. I'm just wondering if I should go through the Toyota chain first or not.

    Interestingly, I read a number of posts by the same individual who goes to lengths to "explain" or "justify" this transmission's operation as not unusual, or some kind of continuing effort to implement VSC safety features .... safety features???? Makes you wonder.

    We are now looking for a used car for my son. I'm sure I don't want him behind the wheel of this car, especially as a newer driver. We drove a number of Taurus', Sebrings and Stratus', Malibus and Impalas'. NONE of them drive crude and unsafe as does my new 2004 Highlander.

    If you're considering a Toyota - DON'T DO IT - they are starting to push crap out the door.
  • Daytimer, glad to hear you opened a case!
    As far as following the Toyota chain, by all means. Thats the way to do it.
    As the saying goes, "take it to the top."

    I'm convinced that Toyota WILL have to do something about this. They (Toyota) has too much at stake by just letting this very serious issue slip by...and the consumer won't let that happen.

    BTW, Taurus is a good auto as is Honda if you are looking for a vehicle for a first time driver.
    Good luck!
  • fvpfvp Posts: 147
    I have no idea what they are referring to - it has something to do with the washer nozzles located behind the dash and under the "cowl".
    My receipt says: Part number: 55950-48020 nozzle assy. defr. They had to order it with delivery on Tuesday.
    I don't think that's the answer, but my dealer claims that Toyota has had many complaints regarding this part and that's where they plan on starting. I have not read many reports on this board about dash and/or steering column rattles so perhaps it's isolated to my unit. It took 4 days to find a bad steering box that caused a rattle last year.
    Sounds like a long shot but who knows?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Explain, yes, justify, absolutely not.

    I personally think anyone stupid enough to purchse a FWD vehicle has a perfect right to encounter all the hazards thereof without any interference whatsoever.

    No, really, I think the automotive industry is going to far to coddle us and in the process there are taking all the fun away.
  • In addition to being stuck with Toyota's transmission screw up, we paid too much for it. Toyota's profit was $10.24 BILLION in fy2003, more than GM, Ford, and Daimler-Chrysler combined!

    At Toyota and Lexus dealers, and the Edmunds Town Hall website, owners frequently complain of hesitation and surging in 2004 models (Camry, Highlander, Sienna, ES330 and RX330). Yet, Toyota claims there is no defect, and no safety problem with the transaxle and drive by wire throttle/software system—this is “normal” performance because all their cars do it.

    Based on the NHTSA database of 2004 owner reports:
    • There are 13 reports of accidents with property damage, personal injury and one death related to the transmission/throttle system. (7 times the equivalent Ford and Honda accident rate!).
    • Owners of V6 models (Sienna, ES330 and RX330) are 15 times more likely than Ford and Honda owners to file a hesitation/surging complaint—Could it be because a) they have more problems b) Toyota refuses to acknowledge (or fix) the problem and c) it’s NHTSA’s job to step in when a manufacturer won’t voluntarily correct their safety defects?
    • The majority of V6 Toyota owners filing a hesitation/surging complaint state the car is unsafe. (Of the significantly fewer transmission complaints from Ford and Honda owners, none reported it as a safety hazard!)
  • Reporting a problem as a safety hazard (whether it is or not)is one way to get NHTSA's attention and the complainants know it.
  • Sorry folks but when I see this on the "back burner", I just need to resurface it....plus I'm Scottish so I'm not giving up. :)

    I don't want to loose this thread. There are too many of us having this problem to let it go...and we are getting new members everyday that might not be aware. Hey, maybe this will get it resolved!!!

    So file a complaint if you are experiencing the hesitation problem with the '04 Highlander here;
    http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/

    Click on "secure submissions" and fill out the simple form. When you get towards the end of filling out the form, you'll be asked the component. Click/highlight "POWER TRAIN:AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION." Some have posted under "VEHICLE SPEED CONTROL:ACCELERATOR PEDAL" so file where you want. There are (8) complaints under PT: Auto Trans and (2) under VSC:Accel Pedal at present posting. As of 9/23/04 that is.

    Thanks!
  • wbaywbay Posts: 34
    Ah! There's the rub. Coddling the consumer. But what they're really doing is trying to insulate themselves from lawyers.

    I agree. If I buy a car that is more likely to roll over than another, so be it. Trying to engineer a driver out of a rollover accident by having the car stall at a critical moment is asinine. It's like trying to prevent Humpty Dumpty from falling off the wall by booby trapping his ladder so he falls off the ladder rather than the wall.

    Engineers being driven by lawyers...next we'll have cars that refuse to start because we might get into an accident. "What's that?" "Oh that's my $32,000 Highlander paperweight. It doesn't drive, but it makes a heck of a decoration, don't you think?"

    By the way, someone mentioned that using snow mode and turning off the overdrive helped the hesitation issue. I tried it, and for me it did not help.
  • Wain, you can check my posts on this issue noted at same point as you found it. I had the same problems which are secondary to excessive "toe-in" settings from the factory. The howl from the tread became so loud we could not converse among passengers. I asked dealer to check, but my wife didn't request readings from the allignment equipment. Afterward they said nearly all four wheels were out of spec. This adjustment helped a little, but problem continued. A few months later I requested, at my own expense, readjustment of toe, and while the settings were "in spec", they are excessive when they result in "cupping" and noise. I asked the mechanic to take fronts down to "0 degrees" toe, which he resisted, but I told him I was paying for it and was aware this could affect handling. The tires are now wearing evenly and less noise, and handling is not affected whatsoever. So unless you want that nuisance forever, you'd best consider my approach as nothing else worked.
  • hlendgame, my dealer told me the rear end clunking was caused by defective struts. Mind you these are manifesting at 13,000 miles! They had to special order the replacements and will fix free under warranty. Yet, Toyota seems to be cutting corners, or their suppliers are. I've had at least a dozen Toyotas, all of the bought new, and never had any problem at all until this 04 AWD HL V6. I'm beginning to think Toyota is slipping on quality. Even my tires were wearing down at alarming rate, see other posts.
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    I've got a 2004 HL and it has been flawless, much better than I expected. I even paid close attention to the items discussed here, and it's fine. This is my first Toyota, been a Honda man for the last 5 yrs. I've owned an Odyssey, Accord, and a CRV. None have been without reported problems from others, Odyssey - brakes & hesitation, Acord - tranny, CRV - fires after 1st oil change.
  • Thanks for the info. I have only heard it a couple times and I always have the radio cranked, so I am never really sure I heard something. I have a really steep drive, so I will be sure to pay attention when coming/going.
  • After another frustrating drive home today, I finally filed an official complaint with the NHTSA. I can't say that the hesitation/surging problem has been a true 'hazard' for me (yet), but it has sure made driving my brand new $32,000 vehicle unpleasant. Only 59 payments to go!
        Maybe if enough of us make our voices heard, Toyota will come up with some sort of fix.... And you're right about new members- I've seen a handful of new HL's in town lately. Maybe a few of these new owners will have the same problem.
  • Can anyone explain what the "ETC/Snow" button to the right of the shifter does? And how it differs from the "Trac" traction control that is always on unless you push the button below and to the right of the ignition key?

    Mine is an '04 FWD 4-cylinder model. I found an explanation for when to turn off the traction control in the owner's manual, but no explanation of "ETC/Snow" even in the section on winter driving. The illustration of the dashboard and the indicator lights refers to "ETC/Snow" as "Snow Mode."

    Does it maybe lock out first gear so you start moving in second?
  • junepugjunepug Posts: 161
    Yes, It does lock out first gear and starts the car in second. It works like a standard shift when you are caught in snow or ice and wanted more traction.
  • That's what it felt like when I tried Snow Mode.
  • edhedh Posts: 246
    4000 miles, rotated drivers side tires (will do other side next day or two).
    today now tire pressure warning lite is on.
    called dealer
    service manager (who was new) said it can be a problem
    "push the lite reset button on the dash, if that does not work remove the wheels and rotate them 180 degrees on the hub. He said it took them 2 hours to fix one.

    I read the owners manual - a complicated system.
    I re set it and re initialized it but do not know if it "took" - tho lite is out - manual says u have to drive an hour.

    design of this seems very non toyota,as it violates the KISS (simple) rule

    anyone heard of this rotate the wheel on the hub fix? is that bad info?
  • I am having similar issues with my 04 2 wd 6 cyl. The dealer says it's the tires being underinflated, the tire dealer says its out of alignment. Toyota checked the alignment and it is off by 200 of 1%. I feel sure it is not the alignment. Car is at dealer now....am waiting for a call as to the resolution. Mine has 19,000 miles on it...I have always taken to the dealer to be serviced. If it was out of alignment, should they not have noticed by now? Will repost what dealer offers as a solution.
  • edhedh Posts: 246
    I don't think dealers do anything about alignment unless you are having a problem.

    In the 60s pontiac and probably all of GM had different alignment specs depending on who was paying ie warranty specs were wider than customer paying specs (these were in the factory manual.
  • My wife got a '04 Highlander Limited six months ago and we both love this vehicle and until now have had no problems.
    Maybe I have more a question than a problem regarding the tire pressure sensors. Friday night she parked the HL after a trip. Saturday she drove <.2 mile and realized she had a flat tire (passenger rear). While I filled the flat tire I saw sidewall wear that indicated that it had been driven flat for more than the drive down our street. I filled the tire and limped to a nearby tire store. The pressure warning light never went on. The tire shop was kind enough to put on the full size spare (which is a real tire on a real aluminum rim...I like that) as the tire was ruined, and suggested we take this up with the Toyota dealer. My wife took the HL to the Toyota dealer today and was told that the sensor does not work in the event of sudden pressure loss, and does not work until the vehicle is moving at 9mph. It was a slow/moderate leak and the warning light never went on.
    I'm not going to lose any sleep over the cost of replacing the tire but am disappointed that what seemed like a nice feature only works in very selective situations.
    I am considering pursuing this with Toyota but would like the groups input to see if I have a case or am just ignorant about this system.
    Thanks for your input!
  • My wife got a '04 Highlander Limited six months ago and we both love this vehicle and until now have had no problems.
    Maybe I have more a question than a problem regarding the tire pressure sensors. Friday night she parked the HL after a trip. Saturday she drove <.2 mile and realized she had a flat tire (passenger rear). While I filled the flat tire I saw sidewall wear that indicated that it had been driven flat for more than the drive down our street. I filled the tire and limped to a nearby tire store. The pressure warning light never went on. The tire shop was kind enough to put on the full size spare (which is a real tire on a real aluminum rim...I like that) as the tire was ruined, and suggested we take this up with the Toyota dealer. My wife took the HL to the Toyota dealer today and was told that the sensor does not work in the event of sudden pressure loss, and does not work until the vehicle is moving at 9mph. It was a slow/moderate leak and the warning light never went on.
    I'm not going to lose any sleep over the cost of replacing the tire but am disappointed that what seemed like a nice feature only works in very selective situations.
    I am considering pursuing this with Toyota but would like the groups input to see if I have a case or am just ignorant about this system.
    Thanks for your input!
  • The "Low Tire Inflation" system used on the Highlander uses the ABS wheel sensors to "count" the wheel revolutions. If the computer determins that one wheel is turning faster than the other three it probibly means the tire pressure is low resulting in a shorter rolling radius of that tire, which results in more revolutions per mile than the other wheels. If the system reacted too fast it would turn on the warning light when the vehicle turned a corner or a wheel slipped on ice. It does not actually measure the PSI pressure in each tire (as my brothers Cadillac does). It may not be perfect but it's a low cost method to provide important safety information.
  • You are so right. I have a 2004 HL 4 cyl w/4 speed auto transmission. It is only 3 months old with just 1,800 miles on it and from day one has intermittently downshifted from 3rd to 2nd with a harsh "clunk" sound when approaching a stop. The dealer has replaced the transmission with no improvement. The "clunk" appears to be transaxle backlash which the dealer claims is normal. I have owned many Toyotas incl a 2002 Camry LE 4 cyl/automatic which does NOT clunk or have harsh downshifts. This HL transmission & fly-by-wire design is a LEMON.
Sign In or Register to comment.