Toyota Highlander Accessories and Modifications

mkstringmkstring Member Posts: 53
I inquired to as to getting chrome nerf bars for our HL (my wife's short), and they replaid that availability will be the end of April. Makes sense considering the vehicle went on sale in Feb.

And, I'm going to look at the idea of remote-on fog lamps for our base model (posting the the discussion group). Hopefully I can find ones that fit in the bumper where those stupid looking grills are.


  • stevesr1stevesr1 Member Posts: 28
    I read that you have successfully made this modification to your '01 Highlander. I am going to do the same to mine and have a few questions.

    1. I take ir that the plastic trim around the shift lever needs to be replaced. I looked at an '03 this past week and these trim pieces are different shapes. BTW, I have a Limited with the woodgrain trim.

    2. Are the holes aready in the floor of the cabin for the mounting brackets for the console? I am assuming that these are weld-nuts and not sheet metal screws.

    3. After removing the extra mounting brackets on the side of the driver's seat did you have to fashion new ones to mount the new side cover?

    4. Could I trouble you to send me a complete list of parts required for the modification? I will be mail ordering my parts and would like to get it right the first time! Copies of your packing lists would suffice. My e-mail address is:

    slund347 "AT" ieee "DOT" org <-- Some assembly required!

    Please send me an e-mail and I'll send you the rest of my contact information.


  • aoertelaoertel Member Posts: 1
    Did I read something about consoles being available? I didn't think I wanted one, but this is my only gripe with the HL. There is no place for my "stuff" (cell phone, wallet, etc.)

    This is a great vehicle. People don't believe me when I tell them it was less than the 4Runner.
  • mkstringmkstring Member Posts: 53
    I believe they're an option. I'm guessing it's a port-installed one though. you might hunt through the regular discussion list.

    We liked the HL becuase it did NOT have one. I'm not too worried about my cell phone - better not to talk and drive anyway :).
  • dean2sm1dean2sm1 Member Posts: 34
    Have option of taking a new HL, V6,4wd, with towing prep(radiator, tran cooler, etc.), but for some reason, no hitch. Told factory doesn't have enough hitches for demand, and told local parts dept. can't get hitches, because Toyota unable to get add-on harness that works. Those tried have been blowing fuses, etc., etc. In contact with "Hidden Hitch", very nice guy, who says HL has standard 12V system, and a power isolation converter, readily available, will work. After market hitch itself looks fine. Anybody know about the electrical question? Thanks dean2sm1
  • mghattasmghattas Member Posts: 2
    Consoles are available. The Toyota code for consoles is SK. The center console is like any other console with two cupholders. MSRP $199.
  • dniehusdniehus Member Posts: 83
    Yes, an HL console is available. I have preferenced an HL, including the console. I want the center storage and can't deal with cupholders on the floor. Who came up with that absurd design?! That's an accident waiting to happen. HOWEVER, have you actually seen a console? I wouldn't say it's "just like" other SUV consoles. It's incredibly small. It barely comes up to the top of the seat cushion. But I think it's big enough to hold CD's and other "junk". The Japanese version of the HL ("Kruger") has a continuous console (i.e., the protrusion from the dash which has the shifter continues right through to the back of the front seats like "normal" consoles). There has been talk about trying to get a Japanese version of the console but since it appears to be unibody, I'm not sure how that would be feasible.

    Anyone have more definitive information?
  • ddimatteoddimatteo Member Posts: 4
    I was told that I/N will have an air filter in a couple of cons. Does anyone know of a substitute sized I/N filter? Anyone do anything yet to their highlander like change springs (lower) or performance mod?
  • dpaolinodpaolino Member Posts: 2
    I've been told by my sales rep that the HL fog lights are the same size as the 2001 Grand Am fogs, and they can be put in. I have not looked into it, but I know that you can get those for much cheaper than the HL fogs. Would be interested to know what anyone finds out.
  • ycr1ycr1 Member Posts: 17
    I'm interested in purchasing fog lights for my HL. I was told by dealer that the HL fog lights are not available to purchase separately yet. Have you been told that the HL fog lights are available? If so what's the price. Thanks.
  • osoriobosoriob Member Posts: 44
    Yes the fog lights are available from toyota ($280 lights only) and you better stick with the original ones because the opening for mounting the lights after you remove the round covers is very unusual, and there is no other way to support any other kind of light, unless you custom make some kind of bracket.
    I also installed a remote controlled relay that works with the HOMELINK system.
    Check post #23 @ MEET THE MEMBERS
  • gtalaveragtalavera Member Posts: 15
    osoriob, where can i get the remote lighting system by rally. I'm ignorant when it comes to this. so you can turn it off and on by the homelink system with out any wire harness.Is there a wire that goes to the battery for power from the lights? can anybody install this with direction. how difficult is it to place the fog lights in the bumper. thanks for your info.
  • ycr1ycr1 Member Posts: 17
    Where is the dealer located who is selling the fog lights for $280? My dealer is still telling me that fog lights are not available to be purchased separately for the highlander yet. Thanks.
  • osoriobosoriob Member Posts: 44
    I bought my remote control kit a the local pep-boys store.

    The remote operated relay kit comes with a complete wire harness,1- 30amp relay, 1- remote receiver box and two portable transmiters (program them, following the steps on the owners manual)to make them work with the buttons on the visor.

    Yes you have to connect the power lead to the battery to feed power the relay. and find a good chassis ground.
    It took me a good 2 hours two install the kit, make sure you get extra zip-ties because the kit only gives you 3 or 4.
    The fog lights I purchased came from a dealer in the carolinas
    Very good service and prices.
  • highlander4mehighlander4me Member Posts: 1
    Hi, As a new owner of a Highlander what are your thoughts on a paint protection package and extended warranty? thanks
  • ddimatteoddimatteo Member Posts: 4
    So far I've been unable to find the K/N Air filter (the RX-300 filter isn't the same).

    Here's something I've been doing for the cars that I don't change the intake plumbing...
    On my '01 Highlander I've drilled several holes (about 3/8" each) on the "BOTTOM,FIXED PART" of the air box. If you look, Toyota has put a few smaller ones. What this does is allow more air to enter the box on the pre-filtered side. I've noticed just a better "throat" sound on flooring the pedal, intake air sounds less restricted.

    I hope someone develops a cold air induction ram air type tubing for the Highlander. I've seen a difference in my NSX with this set-up.

    Still waiting for word on a lowering spring,strut setup. Maybe that TRD supercharger...??
  • gwkisergwkiser Member Posts: 326
    TRD supercharger????!!!

    Wow....sounds like fun!
  • deerlake7deerlake7 Member Posts: 176
    Has anyone out there replaced the horn on your Highlander? The single note horn it comes with is awful and not very loud when fools driving with cell phones hanging out their ears decide to move over into your lane while they're right next to you.
  • rmsnewcarrmsnewcar Member Posts: 6
    Going shopping for a Highlander. Is there anything you put in that you don't use or is there something you wish you had??? Any help will be appreciated.
  • ddimatteoddimatteo Member Posts: 4
    the VSC option. It allows you to corner with minimal roll and loss of control. At least that's something I've noticed immediately in my Highlander compared to ones without the option. I really didn't need the towing pkg but maybe the cooling system upgrade will come in handy in bumper to bumper traffic this summer. I don't think it weighs that much either. If you have a dark colour I'd also get the acrylic hood deflector
    Hope that helps.
  • osoriobosoriob Member Posts: 44
    Make sure you get the Driver's power seat, it is very comfortable during long drives, also get the fog lights if you can, I had to install mines after I bought the vehicle.Then last but not least I could not live without the V6 Engine.

    P.S Fender flares are a nice touch also, and they will protect your fender wells against door dings, (not available in my area, CA)

    enjoy your shopping, experience.
  • lad4lad4 Member Posts: 1
    In the owners manual it states that there is a harness in the rear of the vehicle to connect the trailer connection. I have searched the rear underside of my Highlander and have not been able to find this connection. Does anybody know where they hide the pig tail harness for trailer lights?
  • road__runnerroad__runner Member Posts: 16
    The connector is located inside the large plastic box under the rear of the vehicle.
    It is a square 4 wire connector which will require the Toyota pigtail to get to a standard
    flat 4 connector. The part is Highlander Wiring Harness 00016-48102 and I ordered
    it from [email protected] - hope to try it out this weekend
  • andrec8513andrec8513 Member Posts: 16
    I will be getting my side step tubes next Tuesday from Waag. Ordered them through Takes about three weeks as Waag makes all tubes to order. Manik is still not shipping their tubes. Hope this helps anyone looking for the tubes. The link is:
  • jfmcneiljfmcneil Member Posts: 1
    Evidently the under car mount for the Highlander is the same as for the Rx300. While Toyota dealers do not yet have hitches, you might try a Lexus dealer or the DA757236~T24594 at for about $150. According to the on-line instructions, installation involves the simple installation of 3 bolts to threaded holes already present in the Highlander chassis.

    This is a class 2 hitch with a 2" square receiver and thus lower rated than the 3500 lbs that the towing-package equipped Highlander can tow. But it should still handle the occasional UHaul trailer and bike rack fine.

    The wiring harness (00016-48102) should complete the package.
  • gwkisergwkiser Member Posts: 326
    Hi there.

    You may also want to check out the Bageco site:

    Our HL has the tow prep package (primarily for the cooling system enhancements) and haven't decided if I'm going to get a hitch. Of all those I have found, I like the looks of the round tube hitch the best, assuming that their illustration is indeed the hitch you get. just my thoughts...

  • road__runnerroad__runner Member Posts: 16
    There are photos of the Hidden Hitch posted over on Yahoo (ordered mine from Bageco)

    check the photo section at :

    Installed mine myself and the hiring harness works great - did some towing this weekend
  • thx_roborthx_robor Member Posts: 2
    For 2001, the Lexus RX300 is available with optional High-Intensity Discharge (HID) Headlamps. Does anyone know if this system can be fitted to the Highlander? I would think the unit would be an easy fit. Is this something I could get the Toyota dealer to include and install? Is there any crossover between the Toyota/Lexus distribution systems? Thanks.
  • yuhooyuhoo Member Posts: 1
    Hello, this is my first time joining an actual car club. I am looking into a brush guard for the HL...anyone know if there is one out there? Another thing is I was also told the fog lights can only come on the Limited ones from my dealer. I happen to neogiate and got a limited 4x2 for about the same as a regular one. I paid 27,895 with dealer fees. Also , my dealer told me that Lexus is having a fit about the center console so they are not making them available for the HL anymore. Can someone else verify this info? Enjoy the HL and keep on truckin'
  • mkstringmkstring Member Posts: 53
    As for the fog lights - look in other posts around here - someone got a remote-controlled system that mounts in the holes that wasn't the ones from Toyota.

    The word on the center console is they are port installed, on back order and they might be able to be installed be dealers once they come in. The only to tell may be time, and I'm not holding my breath (nor do I want one - hehe).

    not sure what brush guards are...
  • elizasmomelizasmom Member Posts: 8
    I'd like to be able to place my baby's car seat in the center, but there is no tether anchor point in that position. The car seat came with a special bolt to be used in these situations. It requires drilling through the metal in the trunk. Have any of you done this? Please explain how and where you drilled. What are those of you with kids doing about car seats in this vehicle if you want them in the center?
  • cooltruckscooltrucks Member Posts: 12
    For anyone needing a quick-and-easy internal bike carrier solution for the Toyota Highlander, I decided to look around at various no-drill options and found the Nissan Xterra Internal Bike Carrier' to be a simple yet effective product.

    The bike carrier is manufactured for Nissan by Yakima (must be an exclusive contract).

    The carrier comes with both short and long straps which fasten to the existing cargo tie down points, front and rear (i.e. no drilling, etc.), locking the support bar in place (straps pull equally from opposing tie down rings), and holds up to 2 bikes securely by gripping/locking the front fork (skewer type mechanism). A third very long strap laces through the tie down points and then though the frame or rear stays in order to keep the bike from potentially pivoting around the front fork skewer.

    I purchased the optional wheel fork so that, once you release the front wheel from your road/mountain bike, you have a convenient place to keep the wheel from becoming damaged or bouncing around inside the cargo area.

    I searched the web for best prices.

    "With optional wheel forks, this accessory bike rack keeps two bikes secured inside the cabin, safe from low branches, tailgating guppies and anyone with bike envy." (
  • brad_22brad_22 Member Posts: 154
    Hopefully you guys can tell me where I can get the following:
    1. After-market fog lights
    2. Brush guard (haven't seen any websites with HL configs)
    3. Fender Flares

    Also, ANDREC8513, do you have any pics of your sidesteps?
  • andrec8513andrec8513 Member Posts: 16
    I have been super busy, and it has been raining almost straight for the last week and a half. I dont want to post a picture of a dirty HL. Now that would be a shame. Hopefully, I will get to it this weekend. There are some pictures over at the Yahoo club of another HL with them. the url is:

    But you need to register to see photos first. Let me know if you find fender flares that dont require you to remove the mudguards. Happy Hling...!

  • brad_22brad_22 Member Posts: 154
    I like that look with the side tubes. Did you install them yourself? Any difficulty?

    Also, all the HL's w/ fender flares that I've seen don't have the mudguards.
  • hialeahmariahialeahmaria Member Posts: 45
    HL's either come with the mudguards or fender flares. I thought it'd be nice to have both, but unfortunately, I only have the flares. Seems like the mudguards would protect better, however, the flares are basically cosmetic.

    I thought about the side steps, but I noticed that in getting in and out 1) you really don't need them 2) they rub the back of your leg and may get your pants or skirt dirty if they aren't completely clean. They do look nice, but I'm glad I opted out of them.
  • bluestonev6awdbluestonev6awd Member Posts: 4
    The bluestone highlander you saw at the yahoo site with the black side tubes is mine. They were purchased locally and manufactured by WAAG out of Los Angeles. I did the install myself...about one hour total. The instruction sheet was from a Lexus RX300 which included a handwritten addition of 2 self-tapping screws and flat washers, but with no further instructions for those additional parts. Only problem I had was figuring out where the 2 screws went...however, once I popped off all the rubber caps on the frame rails, I had my answer: the inboard mounting hole on each front bracket has a solid metal wall under the, drill a quick pilot hole, hold up the bracket and install a self-tapping screw, and you're all set. FYI-since it took some time to figure it out, the first side took 45 minutes, the second took 15. All in all a great product so far.

    They really don't stick out very far from the rocker area, so it's a nice clean looking install. I don't use them too much for entry/exit...but they are great to stand on when washing/waxing the highlander :)

    We also do some brook fishing far back in the woods from time to time...the property we own is accessible only by a somewhat overgrown road through a forest. With our other trucks (Toyota, of course), we found that one could stand on the running boards while another person drove slowly up the road...when you come to a branch/fallen tree/etc...that needs to be cleared from the roadway, simply hop off/hop back on. It sure beats getting in and out of the truck over and over.
  • brad_22brad_22 Member Posts: 154
    Thanks for the install tips...I'll have to print out that message when I attach the steps (ordered them last week). They should make retrieving my snowboards from the roof rack a little easier!
  • brad_22brad_22 Member Posts: 154
    Just received the side tubes this morning...can't wait to get off work and install them. Hopefully one of my friends has a drill...

    Also, I talked to one of the reps at WAAG and she said they're working on a brush guard and tail-light guards for the HL. They should be available in a month. It'll be interesting to see how they look.
  • bluestonev6awdbluestonev6awd Member Posts: 4
    One point I forgot to mention...there was not enough "ground clearance" for my drill/bit to fit under the HL. Therefore, I simply drove the HL onto a set of ramps used for changing oil, etc... Good Luck with the install.
  • brad_22brad_22 Member Posts: 154
    Yeah, I discovered that last night. : ) Luckily all it needed was to go up a couple inches - the jack handled that just fine.

    The installation was a little tougher than I imagined due to the install on the driver's side. And I'm not proud to admit that I lost one of the t-screws inside the frame somewhere. That caused a lot of swearing. But so far no rattle.
    However, after almost 2 hours of crawling on asphalt, it looks terrific. The bright anodized steps really go well with the silver of the HL. My neighbors came by to admire the steps, and to crack jokes like "how many computer engineers does it take to work on a SUV?" (Answer: three....but one guy was just handing us tools).
    After I give the entire thing a wash this weekend, I'll try to post some pics.
  • goalie1goalie1 Member Posts: 3
    Hi folks---thanks for your helpful info. Has anyone found a source for a rubber cargo area mat with raised lip edges to fit the highlander? Thanks!
  • goldstongoldston Member Posts: 110
    I talked with the Toyota parts department today and they're telling me that Toyota has not yet come out with a wind deflector for the moon roof on my highlander, but they believe that they might be available through some other auto accessory company.

    Anyone seen this item for a highlander out there?

    Thanks you any information.

    Best Regards,
  • tfuzztfuzz Member Posts: 93
    Here is one source for the deflector:

  • goldstongoldston Member Posts: 110
    Just what I was looking for.

  • hialeahmariahialeahmaria Member Posts: 45
    I have mine from the dealer. Perhaps it's a port installed option?
  • goldstongoldston Member Posts: 110
    The parts dept. at the dealership that I've purchase my Highlander from is not showing any Toyota Wind Deflector for the sun-roof yet.

    Is your wind deflector a after-market product?

    If's is a Toyota product do you have the part number listed on any paper work that you could give me.

    Best Regards,
  • twobowmon1twobowmon1 Member Posts: 1
    Eliza's Mom,
    We had the same problem. We didn't drill a new hole. Our Highlander has the tonneau cover for the wagon area. The cover has clips in the back of the seat, including one in the center. We removed the center cover clip from the back of the seat and replaced it with a child car seat tether bolt. Worked like a charm. Good luck!
    Alyse Peterson
    [email protected]
  • hialeahmariahialeahmaria Member Posts: 45
    Sorry I took so long to reply. Haven't been on line for a few days. I'm looking at my HL window sticker and it's listed under "Distributor's Installed Options": CF1 Sunroof Wind Deflector @ $109.00 Hope this helps, let me know.
  • goldstongoldston Member Posts: 110
    I'll contact my dealership and pass on your information about the Sunroof Wind Deflector.

    Best Regards,
  • alsopalsop Member Posts: 38
    Philip (goldston), and All, if you are interested in checking out, they have a Highlander wind deflector for $68. FYI, they list the dealer price as $75. also has some other items for the Highlander. Here is the link to the Highlander items on their Web site: I have not dealt with them, so I cannot comment on them, however here is the link if interested! I may buy the deflector from them some time in the future. /Ron
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