Toyota Highlander Transfer Case Gasket

toyotawondrngtoyotawondrng Member Posts: 2
edited February 2015 in Toyota
Took my 2005 AWD Highlander for 95,000 routine servicing. Was told/shown that there's a leak of the gasket between the transfer case and transmission. Part is about $6, but labor is "around 15 hours, because we have to completely remove the transmission and exhaust system to get to the gasket". Ft Myers FL Toyota's total estimate is $1710 plus sales tax, which I declined. The Owner's manual doesn't show any way to check fluid levels in the transmission or transfer case. Anyone have suggestions? I intend to keep the vehicle for several more years. Thanks.


  • ft20ft20 Member Posts: 15
    Hi. I had the same problem with my 2005 highlander. Apparently this is known issue with highlanders and Lexus RX. Toyota used a cheap gasket which fails under normal use. Mine started doing this at 64000k miles. Dealer refused to cover it under powertrain warranty. There is actually a TSB on this (got one from autodata and posted the number in the transmission problem section for highlander). I ended up writing to Toyota and they only offered to pay for half of the cost, which was about $1800 total. I had it done. But now at 110000K miles it's leaking again. I guess they used the same cheapo gasket! I would recommend checking the fluid level and not wasting your money on the repair unless it is leaking rather profusely.
    hope this helps. I can tell you that because of this and other issues with this car, I am staying away from the brand from now on.
  • bashful1bashful1 Member Posts: 1
    Just picked up my H'lander after replacing the seal for the second time. First was at 57k, second at 75k. Toyota paid the full $1,800 the first time but paid refused to pay anything this time ($815). What? They said the 12,000 warranty on the second one expired and they weren't going to cover it. I'm trading for a GMC or Ford tomorrow morning.
  • rtuppsrtupps Member Posts: 1
    Hello everyone,

    When you folks mention writing to Toyota or contacting them, can you advise on what the address or contact is for this? I was just told that I have a leaking transfer case- yet I never see any fluid on the ground- They also told me I've got a leaking water pump even though I had that replaced two years ago- not sure what's going on here but I'm dubious of this report. Anyone have info to share?
  • toyotawondrngtoyotawondrng Member Posts: 2
    My experience was at Ft Myers Toyota in FL, back when Toyota had all the bad/erroneous press about sudden acceleration, and nobody was buying their cars. The dealership was totally empty on a Saturday. With no car sales, they had to try to get revenue by bogus recommendations for repair work. They even took me into the service area to show me leaking oil at the transfer case. My suspicion is that they placed the oil there before they showed it to me.

    Like you, I put newspapers under the car when I got home, and never saw a drop of oil. To this day, several years after that bogus repair recommendation, I haven't had any work done on the transfer case, and it's still not leaking. Therefore, I conclude that Ft Myers tried to rip me off. I had no contact with Toyota itself.
  • ronpelon66ronpelon66 Member Posts: 1
    I have the same trouble on my 2005 Highlander 84.000 mill, I am agree with ft20 check oil level first, because it is very complicated to fix and new seal no garntee stop leaking
  • harrymillharrymill Member Posts: 1
    On the actual seals themselves are they a rubberized shaft style seal or a regular gasket type?
    I think there are some additives for leak stopping that work on some seals but not others...
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