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Toyota Highlander Maintenance and Repair



  • Then the next step for me, usually, is to head to the dealer for some new snaps. ;)
  • Let me know your address and I'll send you a carload so you can snap with confidence...
  • There a several postings about the drive shaft bolts and the need to re-torque them every so often.

    Can someone tell me exactly which bolts are being referred to? Are they the ones half-way down the propeller shaft or the ones where the propellor shaft connects to the differential or somewhere/something else?

    I have read they are to be torqued to 54 ft-lbs, but what and where they are is my problem.


    Clive Rock
  • Desertguy

    Thanks for your kind offer. I live in Vancouver, Canada so I think the postage would be expensive.


    Clive Rock
  • I just went to the parts store to get a oil filter and oil to change the oil in my 2006 Toyota Highlander 4 cyl. The part store worker said that I must not have a 2006 that it must be a 2005 because they only make an oil filter for a 2006 4 cyl hybrid. So I went out and got the paper work to prove to him it was a 2006 and he said that a lot of people have come in there with the same problem. He called someone on the phone and they also said the same thing. He said Toyota is selling the left over 2005's as 2006's, that in October at the factory they sticker the remaining 2005's as 2006's and he also said he heard there was a lawsuit out because of it. He still says I don't have a 2006, I have a 2005 and gave me a 2005 oil filter. Has anyone else with a 2006 Highlander had this problem or heard of such a thing?
  • lgjavalgjava Posts: 48
    When you open the driver's side door, there's a label on the doorframe chassis. What's the date of manufacture? In any case it doesn't seem like they added anything between '05 and '06.
  • lgjavalgjava Posts: 48
    some states have free vin number checks. Take down your number from the front dashboard, do a google search for vin checks in your state, and see what it says. It will tell you at least what year car you have.

    For example, a vin check says my car is an '03 toyota highlander. The vin number doesn't tell me that I bought a v6, or a limited, or an awd.
  • I never heard anything like this ever and suspect the parts store guy is the confused one. He may have his facts mixed up as the 2006 hybrid is not available in a 4 cyl.
  • lgjavalgjava Posts: 48
    It looks as though the oil filter for both '05 and '06 in both the 2.4 and 3.3l stayed the same on the highlander. You can look it up on the Fram filter site. Maybe the guy at the parts store confused the year or the highlander with another vehicle?
  • rp850rp850 Posts: 3
    I have had a similar issue. I believe I've found the culprit and solved the problem. At first I thought it was the seat buckles too and had the dealer replace them. That was not it. What I found on my own was that it is the seat back support springs. If you remove the back cover to the seat (it pops off), you'll see the metal frame of the seat that supports the cushions. There are basically clips/joints that hold the springs together. What happens is that the clips become a little loose and cause the springs to shift slightly under stress which in turn causes the creaking noise. If you secure those mounting points like I did, I believe you will have solved the problem. I'm not sure why the problem manifests itself only when the seat belts are worn but I had the same symptoms as you did too. Perhaps the connection of the belts is putting just enough stress on the entire seat assembly for this to happen. Hope this helps and let me know if you have any other questions.
  • rp850rp850 Posts: 3
    I have a set on my 2002HL. Great tires and night and day difference over the Goodyear Integrity which in my opinion were terrible.
  • rp850rp850 Posts: 3
    I've had my steering column replaced as well after the original one developed rattling type noises. You could actully feel some slight play in the column if you moved it around from under the dash. I literally had to demonstrate this to the dealer for them to finally relent and have it replaced. No TSB that I'm aware of.
  • rdrrrdrr Posts: 20
    I had what I thought was a 1987 Ford. When I needed electrical parts I would look up the parts for a 1987 and found they were nothing like my car had. I figured out that parts for the 1986 fitted my 1987. I bought the car :mad: new at the end of previous year model, October. I think they put a 1987 vin etc on a 1987 at the factory. Should have nailed Ford for the switch. Never bought a Ford again and never will.
  • I have a 2005 Highlander that just reached 5k miles. We just noticed that when we hit certain speeds there is is vibration coming from the sunroof (open & closed) and when certain windows are down, your ear drums are affected (like when you reach a certain altitude). Has anyone had any problems like ours? We have taken the car to the dealership and their solution is to place a wind deflector on the sunroof and charge us for it.
  • The druming sound when the sunroof and front windows are down has been well documented on this board. This happens in many cars, sedans as well as SUVs. There is no real remedy as it is due to the configuration of the car, air volume, etc. I purchased the sunroof air deflector and installed it myself. It was easy to install. I would say that it reduced the druming by at least 75%. There is still a little but it is bearable.
  • Hi. I have an '03 Highlander and the same problems you mentioned above...although I don't have standing water on the floor. However, I have an additional problem which hopefully won't happen with yours. This fall, my heater wasn't working and I brought it to Toyota. They said it appeared as though water was spilled on the dash which shorted out the circuit board, which in turn killed the motor that controls the door that allows hot air into the car. Knowing that I haven't spilled water on the dash, I was confused by this problem. Yesterday, I reached for a notebook that was laying on the floor in the compartment beneath the gearshift and it was soaked with water. I am planning on taking it to Toyota for them to look at it AGAIN! I am assuming there is a leak somewhere that caused this and am concerned b/c my warranty ran out just before this problem occurred and the parts alone cost $700. Did you have any additional problems?
  • Hi. I have a leak problem...mine seems to coming in to the dash. It has caused my circuit board to short and burned out the motor that allows for hot or cold air to enter the car. I was wondering if you resolved your issue? And if so, how?
  • jmp0jmp0 Posts: 1
    Hello, Folks and A Happy New Year to You and Yours!

    2001 Toyota Highlander, 50k miles, the 'low fluid' light is not on, the front washer squirts fluid but (pump is working in rear, apparently) we aren't getting any washer fluid spraying on the rear window. There evidently is just one (1) resevoir for the windshield washer fluid, in the front. Won't relate my New Year's trip to a Toyota dealer in the area....

    Sooo... anybody got any ideas? My '89 Ford and '93 Windstar each had rear resevoirs.

    Not a happy camper, but what the hey can you do? 8=)

    Any healp most appreciated!


    JMP0 in Chicagoland
  • I have the same exact problem (and no solution). The Toyota service dept. this summer told me that it appeared as though water had gotten spilled on the dash and this shorted out my circuit board which in turn blew the motor that controls the module. Since no water was ever spilled on the dashboard, I wasn't surprised to find water leaking in the plastic tray beneath the console. I am taking it in this week to have the A/C cleaned (as per Toyota's recommendation) but have a feeling that there is a leak...
  • I posted earlier about a unidentified water leak that pools water in the back seat floor boards. The dealer said it was coming from a 3rd party 3 seat that I installed a few months ago. I couldn't see how since there were only 2 holes that were drilled that went to the out side strait under the tire compartment. The dealer wanted me to take the car home for the holiday and they would repair and reseal the holes that I made. They made the mistake of giving me the car back with everything torn out of the auto. Well guess what? :) It's been raining for 4 days now and I found the problem. It's coming from the passenger side rear tail light assembly! I didn't think it was coming form 2 holes with bolts in them strait underneath the car! What pisses me off the most is that they didn't do a good job diagnosing the problem. It took me(actually my 11yr old daughter) 2 minutes to figure it out. We have new carpet on order and due to be installed tomorrow. If I hadn't found it. We would have shelled out over 1000+ bucks only to get wet again! I've bought 4 toyota's in my life. I've loved them all. I've had great service from "Stevens Creek Toyota" for all my services on all my cars. I'm very disappointed is a understatement. To top it off. They gave the Highlander back to my wife without windshield wipers. And did I say it's been raining for 4 days!? I'll let you all know how goes when I talk with the service rep in the morning.. :)
  • lgjavalgjava Posts: 48
    Hey, be grateful it's just a couple windshield wipers! There's a lot worse stuff that can happen right?

    I signed some foot-and-half long documents at a oil change almost a year ago. When the woman put the documents down she gave me the ole' shifty eyes routine. Has anyone ever done that to you? You know, you get that sort of double impression, kind of like two people looking at you. One the person who's supposed to be there, and the other someone who's wondering&asking , "does he know what's going on?," "does he see what I'm doing?"
    That woman's eyes were going right, left, up, down--like some sort of crazy marching band.

    Yep she was giving me that look that tells ya something's up somewhere--those shifty eyes. Well that woman put down 3 long documents to sign for an oil change. And I'm thinking, "well, this is an oil change, and you sign things, right? On top of one of the papers that I'm signing is a piece of paper on top of the other papers, sort of hiding what's underneath, and the papers are pulled inside that plastic window that they have at dealerships, so I can't really see what I'm signing. So-- doh--I sign these long papers and walk out--fine, fine, fine print and all!

    And as I'm driving off I'm thinking, "hey wait one little second here." "I just went to an oil change and signed papers that look like something out of a real estate deal?" ROFL!!!

    Well, anyway, I probably signed my life away, my soul, my dog's sole, my cat's sole, and any other souls of any extent creatures living with me (for eternity.)Heck I could imagine there's an ant living out back that will have problems with HIS soul from these papers.

    The whole thing reminded me of that scene from "the Devil and Daniel Webster", ya know the one where the Devil comes after Daniel--right smack down the chimney.
    "time for your soul 17th Century dude!"

    yep, be glad it's just some windshield wipers!!
  • barrakbarrak Posts: 8
    I tried to review the Engine Hesitation forum, but it seems to have devolved into a big flame war and has since been closed. I am not looking to start any kind of argument here. I simply have a question concerning my HL and the experiences (hopefully solutions) of others.

    I have a 2005 HL with the 4cyl engine that, overall, I have been pretty happy with. The one issue that I'm having a lot of problems with, though, is hesitation from the transmission going from 1st to 2nd gear. (It is not engine hesitation since the RPMs increase almost immediately.) I'm also experiencing some hesitation as it decelerates from 2nd into 1st.

    Has anyone else experienced this? Would the flash that I've read about cure this problem?

    As I said, I'm happy with the car but I really want this issue to be cleared up. Thanks in advance!
  • edhedh Posts: 246
    compared to other cars my 04 Hil has really dim back up lights

    is there any cure?
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    did you get a copy of each document you signed?
  • lgjavalgjava Posts: 48
    of course not, that's why I remember it! Sort of like the difference between night and day, or dark and light, you always remember the difference between a document filled with print, and one that is empty.

    In fact, I always save everything and make copies of everything. So the lack of a simple receipt bothered me later.
    And then too, when I signed those documents someone appeared behind me. And what happens when someone is standing behind you in a line? What would you do? You sign the stuff to be polite. But strangely that person didn't seem to be a customer! And you know, before I signed everything and off to my left and sitting talking to each other was a "customer" and his "service tech."

    The service tech was carefully telling the customer about his service. It was all so polite and wonderful. And what do you do when you go to a place and everyone is polite and wonderful? You sign things. Because you're
    (con)fident. That's why they call it a con game!!!
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I remove the driver's side bulb, smash the glass, carefully drill the remaining "socket" out clean, solder in a 50 watt 12 volt halogen landscape bulb, pour epoxy into the socket and then install my "new" BRIGHT backup light in the original socket.
  • I had that problem in winter a couple of times with a Nissan that had only a single reservoir in front. When the sun hit the car, the rear spritzer started to work again. It turned out that the place that did my oil changes filled the reservoir basically with water in the warmer months and used the true antifreeze solution only in winter. So the solution in my reservoir would freeze in the tube that ran just under the roof of the car.
  • mallonmallon Posts: 1
    I have a similar problem except it is my heat that is the problem. I was told that the relay cord was wet and that I must have spilled coffee on the dash. I did not spill anything on the dash and suspect a leak. I have had problems with the heat on and off for over a year and when I would bring it in the heat would work and Toyota could not diagnose the problem.

    Now that the heat does not work at all they have decided the relay cord got wet and it is costly to fix..
  • I am not sure if this is normal, but after looking around I don't think it is. I just got my 2006 V6 HL and out the outside of both of the rear doors, on the bottom right, there is a triangular patch that is of course color painted to match the car.

    What is this patch covering??? Is this normal?
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