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Toyota Highlander Maintenance and Repair



  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    it's possible that you deeply discharged the battery, and must now use an externally powered charger to bring it back (hopefully) to a usable state where the alternator can keep it at a good charge level.

    visit this site and scroll down till you find the question "Q. Can I use my alternator to recharge a discharged battery":

    here's an Edmund's link that also indicates an external charger is required (and also warns not to charge a frozen battery):

    and another site:

    you get the point. good luck.
  • phrosutphrosut Posts: 122
    We have had a "buzzing" sound in our '03 HL Ltd that has been getting increasingly worse over the last few months. Originally, it only would occur going down our unpaved 1/4 mile long driveway. This last week it would occur anytime and anywhere, lasting a few seconds or more.

    The source was mysterious. From the driver seat, it sounded like it was coming from the front. Sitting in the passenger seat, sounded like from the rear. It made a sound like an exhaust heat shield vibrating against the floor from underneath.

    Found the source last night and wanted to share: one bolt was missing from a roof-rack crossbar (that attaches it to the side rails). Tightening the other eleven finger bolts (VERY tight, as they weren't really loose) made the noise disappear.

    Now we either need to buy a bolt from Toyota or remove the crossbars altogether, as we can't anticipate EVER putting anything in the roof rack. Anybody else removed those bars?

    Hopefully, someone else with the "buzz" will save time and aggravation by seeing this post.

  • Bought a set prior to taking the 2004 HL ltd. on a drive from the Chicago area up to Toronto... First of all they were a big step up from the OEM goodyear Integrity tires I had. They wore out at 20k...

    The Alenza's are have delivered a smooth ride and handle very well in the rain... I had the opportunity to try them out in the snow last week. While they performed okay, they far from perfect. The performance was okay in the snow but I am staring to think that their snow handling capabilities may be a bit over exagerated... But overall I am happy with... I may get them siped, to help with the snow traction...
  • I bought a replacement bolt for the roofrack from the dealership a couple of years ago -- can't remember how much it was, but a bit more than I expected (maybe ~$8-$12?).

    There are a few posts on how to remove the roofrack plastic endcaps so you can slide the cross-members off -- search the various HL boards. (I removed the endcaps once -- I think it involved lifting up with a knife taped to prevent nicks and scratches on one side while pressing hard near one of the ends on the other side -- a loud snap ensued leading me to initially fear I had cracked it, but that's just how they snap off (but check the posts first); I'd recommend just buying the replacement bolt! :) )
  • cino72cino72 Posts: 10
    I assume no one has any idea or can this only be done by the stealership?

  • Had this TSB applied to my 05 HL yesterday - it did the trick.
    I had the problem with hunting at slow acceleration between 1-2 since I bought it new in June of this year. Dealer said put 5k miles on it, the Tranny "learns". It never did. It never got any better but it was also inconsistent. Brought it in yesterday with 4800 miles. They test drove it agreed I had the issue, applied the ECM change, drove it said fixed. I've put about 50 miles on it since late yesterday - works for me. Good luck. I know of at least one 05 Sienna has the same issue (and it could be since I believe these are all Camry platform vehicles).
  • junepugjunepug Posts: 161
    test, been having a problem posting on other message boards.
  • Good to hear it has helped your problem. After reading various forums I have decided to hold off since I will be getting rid of the HL this year. I lived with this slush pump this long, I will go a little longer.
  • rblelandrbleland Posts: 312
    user777's comments are right on. It's not a battery problem, it's a user problem. Leaving the door ajar totally drained the battery and just getting it jump started and then relying on the alternator does NOT bring the battery back to the useable charged area. Follow user777's advice and get the battery fully recharged. If that doesn't fix it, you may have to get a new battery.
  • My 2002 Highlander was in an accident about 9 months ago and they had to replace the oxygen sensor. Ever since then I've gotten about 250 miles per tank of gas as compare to the average 300 miles per tank before the accident. So now I'm losing approx. $10 per tank of gas. I just took the car in today and they kept it to run tests and they just called to tell me everything checks out that the sensors are doing what they're supposed to do.

    But something is obviously wrong and they're basically saying go pound salt. They can do a fuel injection cleaning for $100, but should I gamble that? They even said it might not work.

    This is frustrating. Has this happened to anyone else?
  • Did anyone ever reply? I am having same problem all of a sudden. Roads clear, no ice, but cold - all of a sudden, light is on and it's impossible to drive the car more than 3 mph.
  • We have a 2002 Ltd with 45k miles which has recently developed the same problem that I have noticed a few of you out there have developed. Water in the front and rear floorboards, swishing around when making turns, and mold and mildew smells. We live in Hawaii, so the a/c is always on. While driving around today(sunny and warm for the last week or so) my front passenger said he felt water dripping on his feet. We did have some heavy rains prior to the last week of sun, and although the car is usually garaged, it was outside in the rain for a few days. So, basically it could be either the a/c or the rain. I'm really hoping that it is the a/c hose that has developed a leak, because it sounds like this is a cheaper fix. Does anyone have a definitive answer to this problem? My first time posting, so forgive any transgressions. Thanks, cpnnick
  • petlpetl Posts: 610
    Have your driving habits changed? If this started 9 months ago why did it take so long to complain? This could have been an insurance issue. In Northern climates it isn't unusal for all vehicles to have poor gas mileage (the more temperature dips, the worse it gets, if it applies). Unless the mileage is very high I wouldn't touch the fuel injector cleaning. Good luck.
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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,833
    Also it's not a good idea to charge up a completely dead battery with the alternator---this stresses the alternator and will cause early failure of that component.

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,833
    Got it...good catch, thanks!

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  • typesixtypesix Posts: 320
    Check AC condensate drain hose from cooling coil area, it may be plugged and need to be cleaned.
  • Any advice on where to look for the drain hose? I'm assuming it's somewhere in the center console behind/below the radio rack. I'm beginning to think that may be the problem. We took it for a drive yesterday with the a/c going strong,(no rain) and after sitting for a couple of hours the floorboards were soaked again. Also, there is no water dripping outside under the car like there usually is when we use the a/c. Thanks for any advice and help. cpnnick
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    go to any mechanic and have them put it on a lift if necessary and take an air compressor hose to the drain tube and blow it clean of debris. then you should note a real real large quantity of water draining to the ground.

    besides water in the floorboard area, in some model vehicles, you can hear a sound like water hitting a hot frying pan as you turn corners.

    also, as you turn corners, that's when your passenger (not you) should look at the floor board carpeting for a stream of dripping comming from an overly full evaporator pan.
  • Thanks, I'll do that.
  • Over the weekend, on a 2 hour highway trip each way, the idiot lights on my 04 H/L lit up!! The check tire pressure icon, stability control (VST?) temp, oil, all the idiot lights you normally don't see were on. Vehicle has 42k miles. 1st occurance I kept driving, and arriving at my destination, shut off the car, and a few hours later started without any " false lights" indication. Then the next day on the return trip, it happened again. The last week of driving has been uneventful, so I haven't taken it in to the dealer. I'm thinkin some hinkey voltage thing? Battery terminals are clean. Anyone else seen this phenomena? Can I expect to see some error codes :sick: onthe ECM?
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    yeah, potentially a voltage flakey.

    FWIW: WAG, but i'd probably look at the ground wire from the battery to the chassis, and see if the connection of the wire to the chassis is good. i'd also take a look in the area of the main relay/fuse panel (not sure how accessible)...could be a loose wire / intermittent ground / moisture.

    i don't know how alternators or their voltage regulation works (i guess i need to do some googling), but it's possible your problem ultimately lies there. you might want to post your issue in the Electrical Gremlins forum.

    good luck.
  • It hasn't re-appeared...yet. will check ground connections, and put a meter on the Altenator. Not a bad idea sprying some WD40 on connections too. Thanks for the reply!...
  • Hello All:

    I am new and this is my first post, hopefully in the right section. Anyhow, I've been searching to see if anyone has or knows how to convert the keyless entry into the actual factory alarm. I've seen websites on other Toyota vehicles, but no the '06 Highlander.

  • I bought a used 03 highlander this summer. 21 miles on it. We finally got some rain this week and it's totally flooded in the back floor boards. Like 1 inch full. Mostly on the passenger side, but also on the drivers side too. I brought it into the dealer and they said that we must have left the window open.. :( Well guess what? It rained again and this time I know that the window was not open. :) Flooded again! :cry: What do you suggest?
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    Sit inside, windows up, have someone pour water on it using a hose to see where it leaks then take it back to the dealer.
  • jbolltjbollt Posts: 734
    Does it have a moon roof? Probably has plugged drian tubes. The moon roof has tubes to drain the water off that seeps past the rubber seals around the glass roof. If these get plugged with leaves/debris, the water has no place to go but into the cabin.

    The suggestion to use a hose with someone inside to test is a good one.
  • Is the front carpet soaked at all? We once had a Carolla with a non-functional AC drainage tube that soaked there and the rear. Even in winter the AC is activated when any setting for windshield defroster is in use.
  • I have a 2001 Toyota Highlander (base model).

    Can anybody tell me how to remove the plastic liner on the inside of the back door (tailgate)? I have removed the 'strap' handle bolt, but there must be some tabs or something else.

    The reason I want to get it off is to repair a crack in it by gluing a panel of plastic on the backside.


    Clive Rock
  • Clive:

    Never did it but according to the repair manual there are a bunch of snaps around the periphery of the panel and a couple in the middle -- wrap some masking tape around a large slotted screwdriver and gently pry off the panel.
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