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Toyota Highlander Maintenance and Repair

Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
Please post any problems and possible solutions you have experienced with your Highlander.

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  • robsfhlrobsfhl Posts: 12
    Thanks to all fellow highlander owners for the informative postings which were very influential in making my decision to purchase our silver limited 6 cyl 4wd. After 2100 miles I have only one complaint - city mileage. We live in a residential neighbor hood in San Francisco with few hills but lots of stop. We have been getting between 14 and 15 mpg in town. Just curious to know how others are doing in this regard and if anyone has any suggestions.
  • spali1spali1 Posts: 11
    robsfhl - My V6 @wd is getting 18-19.2 MPG in the city and I have under 1500 miles on it
  • awchan13awchan13 Posts: 44
    We live in the Santa Clara area, and we've been getting 17.4 MPG with a little over 2k miles on the car.
  • robsfhlrobsfhl Posts: 12
    Thanks to spali1 and awchan13 for your responses. Still trying to figure out what I can do to get better mileage. I have been used 87 and 89 octane gas with no difference. I wonder if premium would make any difference.
  • I'm in the Miami, FL area (heavy traffic) and I'm at 2200+ miles and still getting an average of 16-17 mpg. I was using regular and switched to premium the last two tanks, with no difference in performance, just more $ per tank (LOL). By the way: 2WD V6.

  • dean2sm1dean2sm1 Posts: 34
    See my post under Highlander. More to come.
  • srbosrbo Posts: 1
    I just purchased a limited toyota highlander and like it alot except for one thing; there is an annoying click from around the top of my rear doors near the roof. When it is bad, I can get three to four clicks in a period of about twenty seconds. Fortunately, they usually go away after a minute or two. These things are pretty loud and quite annoying. Anybody got this problem? Sounds funny but it's true.
  • gwkisergwkiser Posts: 326
    Srbo, I've got a slight and randomly occurring click coming from the back also. With the help of my brother-in-law, he was able to narrow it down to the rear wing. A slight push up or down on it to simulate a strong wind or air flow generates a minor clicking sound, almost like the two or three plastic inserts in the cargo area might be rattling (our first suspicion). Don't know if this IS the same noise you're speaking about but it IS the source of our "clickity-clack". I'm adding this to the list for the dealer to fix. Good luck. BTW, our HL is a V6 2wd Limited.
  • gwkisergwkiser Posts: 326
    Really....No difference in performance when going up to premium???? Maybe it's a difference in formulas between you there and me here, but I had been reading all the discussion on pros and cons of u/g to premium, so I "fed" our V6 2WD HL with a tank of premium and DEFINITELY sensed an improvement in performance. OK, OK, so it didn't magically turn into a Ferrari or anything, but it did seem peppier. Gas mileage held about the same.

    So I did some quick math. Making the assumptions that we would put 16,000 miles per year, ONLY get 16 mpg average (very conservative assumptions) and that the difference in $ between the regular 87 octane and premium 92 octane would remain at 20 cents or less per gallon, then we would be spending $200 more per year for the premium. That's less that $4.00 per week. For me, I enjoy the "pep" and am willing to try this test a little longer to make sure that what I THINK I feel is indeed reality. Just my "20 cents" worth.
  • gunga64gunga64 Posts: 271
    Don't waste your dough on premium gas, it doesnt matter
  • dean2sm1dean2sm1 Posts: 34
    See post #2672 under Highlander
  • lynnl999lynnl999 Posts: 1
    The owner's manual says you are supposed to be able to remove the radio antenna by turning it counterclockwise. I can't budge the thing! This is a problem as I'd like to take it to a car wash. Anyone had a similar experience, and any ideas?

  • gwkisergwkiser Posts: 326
    Srbo (and others), I was able to remove the rear wing and used a silicon based lubricant (NOT CEMENT) around all the rubber gaskets/washers and then reinstalled the wing. Bingo! No more rear noise. Hope this helps. Oh, btw, access to 3 mounting bolts is easy....just remove the 3 round rubber grommets on the underside of the gate near the hinge areas. You'll have to persuade (very carefully) the 4th mount upward on the left side. It's a tapered snap-in plasic plug and receptical. Don't forget to lubricate both halves of this also.
  • brad_22brad_22 Posts: 154
    I don't know about removing the antenna, but the car wash shouldn't hurt it. Most nowadays are touch-free, anyway. Usually I scrub my HL by hand, but there was no damage of any kind when I put it through an auto-wash. Except for dried soap streaks. : )
  • lie2davelie2dave Posts: 1
    We have a Silver 4 Cyl Highlander all wheel drive, with rear spoiler, floor and cargo mats, console, color matched mud guards, roof rack and preferred package, keyless entry, etc, purchased in Pasco, WA for a flat $25k. Window was $27,376.00.

    So far so good, but the roof rack for us is purely ornamental. Does anyone know how remove the cross bars on the roof rack?

    The Dealer we bought it from said they would "try" but I chose not to take that chance. They were installed at the factory, but there has to be way to remove them. We would like to remove them to reduce the wind noise.

    Our mileage is about 21 all around driving. Have not gone on an extended trip yet. Have not had any problems. We love the vehicle.
  • dan1555dan1555 Posts: 9
    yes I have also found that there is definetly an increase in performance when you use premium gas. Since I don't pay for my own gas, I have no problem using premium :)
  • robsfhlrobsfhl Posts: 12
    We have been experiencing problems with the AT release button (the button you press with your thumb to engage the automatic transmission). It occasionally has been locking up so that a great amount of pressure is needed to depress it. We brought it in to the dealer and it of course worked perfectly. The technician pushed it in about 50 times in row with no problem and said he couldn't find anything wrong. He told us that if the problem happens again to bring it back and that we would have to leave it in the shop for two days. Has anybody else had this problem or have an idea as to what could be causing this?
  • awchan13awchan13 Posts: 44
    I've noticed a clicking also, but it seems to be coming from the sunroof. It happens a lot with it tilted or closed. If I push on the sunroof, I can sometimes recreate the noise. Anybody have the same problem? Almost sounds like springs or wires snapping.
  • kmorgan7kmorgan7 Posts: 2
    I must say, premium gas is the way to go. Just this past weekend I drove from Sacramento to L.A. and made about 305 miles on a full tank of gas. But when I switch over to premium and the mileage increased to 340 miles on a full tank. That is impressive. Even during city driving there has been a significant increase. Performance....what can I say? Excellent!
  • gpaquettegpaquette Posts: 2
    On June 1st, we bought a 2001 Toyota Highlander Limited from Bernardi Toyota, Framingham, MA. Had the best experience with a car dealership that we have ever had. We got a wonderful deal on a great vehicle.

    I really have only one complaint at this point and hope someone has an answer before I have to visit the dealership. We are getting a plastic sounding clicking noise which seems to eminate from the passenger side, back seat area. At first I thought it was the sunroof because the first time I heard it was when I had the sunroof open for the first time. Then I thought it might be the seatbelts, but I've played with those and can't get the noise to occur when I'm fooling around. Help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated before I head to the dealership.

    Secondly, I am looking for a site for aftermarket conoles that will fit the Highlander. I am not interested in the Toyota one as it makes no sense to me to have to keep the lid open when I'm using the cupholders.
  • octothorpeoctothorpe Posts: 11
    gpaquette, I think I saw some earlier posts where people heard clicking noises that you described and diagnosed it as coming from the rear spoiler. Does your highlander have one per chance?

    BTW, thanks also for the reference about Bernadi Toyota in Framingham. I'm also shopping in Massachusetts and will look into them. Is there someone you can recommend over there?
  • gpaquettegpaquette Posts: 2
    octothorpe, thanks for the spoiler info, we'll give it a try.

    We first dealt with David Khan, Internet Guide for Bernardi, as I contacted them first through an email. His response was very quick. The next person was John Vanella in sales who helped us through the process, which was quick,and to the point. My husband & I agonized over the the decision to go to the Limited version. John was patient and allowed us space with no pressure. We didn't get any pressure when we walked into Finance to complete the transaction! We purchased our vehicle at 8:30PM on a Thurs. evening and picked it up at 5:30 the next day. They even had to complete an emblem 'gold package' we wanted installed when we picked up the car. They were amazing. Good luck, as I stated before we love the choice we made and it happened to start on our list at #3 of potential purchases. Right now we're getting 21 on highway and about 19 around for gas mileage. Now if I could get rid of that clicking.......
  • anthony921anthony921 Posts: 40
    I just picked up my HL on June 13th. I love it!! The ride and sheer feeling of quality are very apparent. I traded in a 1998 Sienna for the HL and my wife has a 2001 Rav 4. My question is this; on the HL I notice it takes considerably more pressure on the brake pedal to stop it unlike the Sienna or the RAV. Has anyone else found this to be true on their HL? Even when applying the parking brake, it goes down very far. I realize that the HL has four wheel disc but not sure if this normal. Any help in this area would be welcome!
  • gwkisergwkiser Posts: 326
    gpaquette, please scroll up and look at posts #9 and #14 on this board. I was able to solve my "clicking noise". Good luck.
  • vikoovikoo Posts: 4
    I bought a new HL V6 4x4 recently. I noticed that after driving for a couple of miles when the engine heats up, the temperature gauge needle goes up to the middle marking (between the min and max.) I previously owned a Honda Accord (4 cyl) and the temp. meter needle would be always below the half marking no matter how long I drove non-stop.
    Is my HL getting overheated or is it typical for all V6s? Any comments?
  • alsopalsop Posts: 38
    I also recently switched from a Honda Accord 4 cyl to my HL V-6, although mine is FWD; and, I have noticed the same thing you have, Vikoo - my Accord temp gauge would always be way low no matter what, and my HL goes up to about half. Hopefully, either someone can answer your question inquiring if this is typical or not for all the V-6s, or at least others will hopefully do a posting saying their's also goes to about half. But, so far I am surmising the gauge just goes a little higher in the Highlander verses the Accord and other cars. Hopefully, we'll see other postings saying the same thing!
  • shl72953shl72953 Posts: 53
    Ditto the comments by alsop.
  • brad_22brad_22 Posts: 154
    Nothing is wrong with the engines. The temp reading is normal around the middle.
  • toyotawalttoyotawalt Posts: 15
    An old Toyota hand here. All three of the Toyotas I've owned have had similar gauges. They go up halfway at normal temps, and then they stay there. It startled me too, at first.

  • goldstongoldston Posts: 110
    Has anyone else had problems setting the home link garage door opener?

    We have a "genie" door opener with a rolling code and is about 5 years old. I know the "learn" button works due to that I had to replace a lost remote opener. I followed the instructions from both manuals (genie & highlander) and had got zip....

    Just wondering if anyone else had a simular problem before I ask the dealership to check the home link to see if it's functioning and feel like an idiot when they tell me it must just me... :-))

    Thanks for any thoughts or ideas.
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