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Toyota Highlander Maintenance and Repair



  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Back in about 95 Bellevue Lexus came up with an OFFICIAL factory scheduled maintenance recommendation.

    It was Bogus.

    Look at what your owners manual says, that will be the OFFICIAL factory recommendations.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Toyota dealers are removing the factory manual that has the recommeded maintenance procedures and inserting their own in its place.
  • wainwain Posts: 479
    my manual was printed (rev 11 03)

    some of the long change intervals are due to using synthetic oil
  • desertguydesertguy Posts: 730
    The Passport to Service is part of the owners manual. It is not a dealer handout. They have taken all maintenance references and placed them in a separate booklet. Same with all warranty info. This booklet also has the place for the dealer to stamp & record each service. With my 1990 Celica, this info and dealer stamp area was part of the manual. Not so anymore. No reference toward service intervals at all in the regular handbook.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    why would they advise new owners with "fixed" engines to change the oil more often and not advise, somehow, the owners with sludge prone engines?
  • wainwain Posts: 479
    I thought they did - do a search in edmunds - maybe this thread - someone posted the notice/letter Toyota sent out. I think it jacke the reccommended oil change freq back from the 7500 mile number. Maybe thats where all the 5k numbers in the present maintenance schedules come from. many many of the sludge problems were with people who complied with the 7500 number. some but very very few if youchanged every 3 , 4 or 5000 miles
  • lgjavalgjava Posts: 48
    I read some early posts on this board about Highlanders that had problems steering to the left. I had that exact problem. After the dealer balanced the wheels, the car now steers-left,right,left--the car has no true steer--it slowly wanders back and forth. This requires a lot of patience. I wondered if one of the tires was damaged (or maybe two.) Or maybe this might be alignment. I wouldn't like to drive very far with this problem, though. I jumped in my brother's Volvo 850, and its steering (by comparison) is like a train on rails. I'm very concerned about this latest problem (a very petty concern as compared to other graver concerns with this new car.)
  • ... in manual was 7500 miles for an '87 Corolla (aka Chevy Nova) I used to own, but the dealer's recommended oil change interval was half that. The same 3750 interval was recommended by various dealers for my '94 Corolla and also for the '03 Matrix.

    I asked why the dealer suddenly was recommending a 5000 interval for the '04 Highlander, and the only explanation was that Toyota was trying to stretch out the intervals. I suspect the main reason is the factory indicator light that goes on at 5000 miles.

    Personally I doubt that it makes any difference in most cases whether you get your oil changed at 3000, 5000 miles, or even at 7500 miles. But if something goes wrong that is even remotely related to your engine, you can expect the service department to blame you for waiting too long between oil changes.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I still have my copy and I remember seeing/reading the one posted here. Mine doesn't say anything about changing the interval only that ignoring the recommedations can lead to failure. Strange as it may seem it appears that the engine warranty is extended to cover the sludge issue uncondtionally.

    Reading between the lines would seem to indicate that the sludge formation has more to do with engine mis-design than following, or not, the recommeded (7500 for mine, 01 RX300) oil change schedule.
  • wainwain Posts: 479
    I under stand - but if you go read the sludge topics many many people who changed at 3500 or 4000 or 5k never had a problem. the 7500 change semed to be linked (my opinion) in all the discussions ofsludge. of course some people in the early days presented proof of regular oil changes in one case the repair shop receipts were sequentially numberred (probably by a relative) oops!

    what do you care? - change at 3 4 or 5 k and problem goes away
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    ((I suspect, strongly, that youre somehow misreading your owners manual.))

    Not at all wwest....5K is the interval. It does talk about shorter intervals for vehicles that tow or are in the desert. I like that better then the old "normal" vs. "severe" definitions.
  • litlit Posts: 3
    Just received a toyota OEM hood protector. I would appreciate comments from anyone who has installed one of these. I was suprised the only thing protecting the hood from the metal end clips was a thin urethane pad, which is nothing more than the equivalent of packaging tape. Has anyone had problems with the metal end clips damaging the paint on the hood over time. I already put a small nick in the paint just lining up the metal clips to determine where the urethane pads need to be applied. Any experiences to share would be appreciated. I have held off installing until I am comfortable this urethane "tape" is adequate.
  • desertguydesertguy Posts: 730
    I installed the hood protector a couple months ago with no problems. The urethane pads should do the job. If it is tightened properly it won't move around on the hood and the pad should hold up in the weather. To be honest, I wasn't too concerned as I tend to leave this type of accessory on the vehicle when I sell or trade it.
  • litlit Posts: 3
    Thanks for the reply. Are you happy with the fit (no vibration?), quality and look of the protector. I had one on my previous SUV, but was not sure if it looked right on the Highlander given the Highlander does not have the tough SUV look of others.
  • fvpfvp Posts: 147
    I installed the same hood protector last August and it works great. If installed properly, there will be no vibration or rattling.
    I agree with desertguy - it is on there to stay as it provides good protection for the hood against flying debris. I have a Bluestone HL and the smoke protector looks fine.
    I also have a similar deflector for the sunroof and have had no problems with either product after almost a year.
  • desertguydesertguy Posts: 730
    I also have the sunroof deflector. I mainly wanted it to cut down on the drumming sound when the roof was open at 30-35 MPH. Does a good job of taming the noise. I think the smoke looks great on my Sonora Gold Pearl. As you said, no vibration. The hood protector seems to keep a good percentage of the bugs off my windshield. (or is it just my imagination? :-)
  • jayrjayr Posts: 2
    What's the best way to transport 4 bicycles on a 2003 6 cylinder 4WD Highlander? 2 adult, 2 kid. Long and short distances. I've got the towing prep package (no hitch) if that makes a difference.

  • fvpfvp Posts: 147
    The hood protector does keep bugs off the windshield, however, my main concern was preventing chips on the hood. With the protector installed, there are no chips or marks that I can see. I bought a Sienna van last year and did not install a hood protector - big mistake. There are a number of chips on the hood now that I need to take care of. Granted, the hood has a more severe slope than the HL hood but I think a deflector helps steer small stones away.
    As far as the sunroof deflector, I agree with you - it does a great job of cutting down on wind noise.
  • loucapriloucapri Posts: 214
    You get the towing prep package but no hitch?
    So what's in the package?

    I put my bicycles in a bicycles rack that attach to the hitch. That's the way to go.

    Don't even think about putting your bikes on top of the roof.

    I think you really need to get the hitch.
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