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Toyota Highlander Maintenance and Repair



  • jjsjjs Posts: 18
    I want to replace front brake pads and disk rotors on my 2001 HL myself. Is there anything I should be aware? I changed brakes on Toyota Avalon few times before and was wondering if HL has similar break assembly. I also want to change rear break pad and rotors. Please post if you have any information. Thanks
  • jjsjjs Posts: 18
    Does anyone know how to replace sunvisor? I need to replace one on the driver side on my 2001 HL. It does not hold position. Thanks
  • anyone know if the awd or 4x4 systems of the highlanders need to be serviced? if so what intervals?
  • Removed both the front and rear calipers and rotors on my '01 -- was a few years ago so I don't remember the specifics and it was the first time I ever messed around with breaks on any vehicle but it seemed straight forward, so if you've done it on the Avalon my guess is you won't have any problems on the HL. Identical procedure for front and rear breaks if memory serves correctly, though the calipers and rotors are somewhat different shapes and sizes on front vs rear. Good luck! :)
  • barrakbarrak Posts: 8
    Frogg, I'm having this exact problem with my 2005 4-cyl HL. I had originally described it as hesitation, which is partially correct, but slipping seems to fit a little better. With mine, though, it occurs when the vehicle is shifting from 2nd to 3rd. It seems as though the car is searching for the gear before it actually engages.

    If you find a solution or get any info from the dealership, I would appreciate a heads up. I will do the same when I'm able to get this in to my dealer.
  • jjsjjs Posts: 18
    Did you bleed the system before and/or after you replaced brakes?
  • I actually didn't replace the breaks; I removed the calipers and rotors to have them painted as part of a customization. I did indeed bleed the break fluid. Can't remember whether you'd need to bleed the system when replacing the break pads but my guess is you shouldn't.
  • Thank you.
    I shared your suggestion with my Dealer today.
  • I bought a new '05 Toyota Highlander a few month ago. All was going great but about 2 wks. ago I noticed a ticking sound underneath the SUV when I'm idle and when I turn off the car. I just got the oil changed (I'm at just under 5,000 miles) and it didn't help. The service guy told me this sound is normal - it's just the engine cooling off. Is this normal? And is there anything I can do to stop it? It's worrying me. I would expect a brand new car not to have any weird noises and since it hasn't been doing it the whole time, it seems to me like there is a problem.
  • hylynerhylyner Posts: 216
    Normal cooling down and accompanying metal shrinkage of exhaust components. Not a problem. Your service guy is telling the truth. It's normal.
  • Does it get worse in the winter/colder temperatures? Because I didn't notice it as much over the summer. Does it go away after the "break-in" period?
  • Yes, during the winter or colder months, you will notice it more due to the temperature extremes.
    Does it go away? Probably not but you will get used to it over time. :P
    It's nothing to worry about as mentioned above.
    Some vehicles are more noticeable than others so enjoy your HL!
  • Thanks for the input. You put my mind at ease. :blush:
  • I have a 2001 Toyota Highlander that has been leaking oil. Just diagnosed as "rear main oil seal" needs to be replaced. Has anyone else had this problem? 74,000 miles, no major repairs to date.

    Thanks. :(
  • i think i've seen something like that in my '04 prius. it seems that there's a hesitation and power drop if you're accelerating pretty hard around a corner and one of the front tires hits a low-traction spot like water or gravel, and starts to spin. i think the VSC concludes that something's wrong and tries to make the front tires turn at equal speeds, which means braking one or de-throttling the whole front end. when the tire grabs pavement again, all's well.

    doing a fast on-ramp once, at a speed which _I_ thought was the max the car could do, the a beeper inside the car went off, going beep -- beep -- beep! until the curve straightened out. it took it as an impending-slide warning, or a "you're at maximum yaw for this speed, dummy" signal. at the least, i think i learned one of the limits of the car's handling: a little higher than my own!

    raleigh, nc.
  • Just to let you know, I have the exact same problem. Not critical, but very annoying. Toyota tech knew exactly what the problem was after sitting in car for 30 secs and playing with steering wheel, he has seen a few of them he said. Could not get the part (Shaft Assy 45220-48150) because they where on backorder. Parts guy said that they might be having a lot of failures with this part as it was difficult to get. I bought the car with 38,400 miles even though I thought there was a minor problem with the steering. Brought the highlander to the dealer ASAP and had the problem diagnosed. I immediately called Toyota customer service and they pretty much said too bad and that it would not be covered even though the car was only 20 months old and 2K over the warranty. I found it strange that this type of part would fail in such a short period of time and am betting that this is a re-occuring problem as evidenced by the discussion with the tech and parts guy. If anyone gets any info on a TSB or recall being available, please post.


  • arlaboda,

    If you could get TSB # from your local Totota dealer where you had that repaired, that would be great. My local dealer insists there is no TSB available for this problem.

  • I'm not sure but this might be it........

    ST004-04 JUN 04 Steering-Steering Column Squeak noise
  • I have a 2001 Highlander with 62,000 miles. I just discovered an oil leak today that is coming from the lowest part of the engine housing on the driver's side of the engine (opposite the belts). I suspect this could be the "rear main oil seal" but I'm not sure. I plan to have it checked ASAP and will let you know the diagnosis.

  • I recently had no heat in my '02 Highlander and took it into the dealer. They found the problem which required replacement of the heat/AC controller for a whopping $800. I am going to call Toyota USA and complain. For a vehicle with only 43K miles this should not happen. Any advice/recommendations on how I can get them to pay up a portion of the bill? Or provide something to compensate? Anyone had any experience with this? Is there even any hope of trying?!?

  • phrosutphrosut Posts: 122
    There were a few posts about this problem with someone else some time back (you'll have to search to find them). As I remember, it was a $900 repair and they got Toyota to pay half. That problem was a major reason I bought the extended warranty.

  • jrhflajrhfla Posts: 13

    Thanks for the feedback. My dealer called today to let me know that the part came in. It only took 12 days assuming they got the right part. The loose steering wheel feeling and constant "clunk" seems to get worse by the week. I guess I'm stuck for $500. I'm anxious to get this fixed. I'll post how the repair goes.

  • ny202ny202 Posts: 2
    Did you ever discover why your Highlander was stalling? Mine stalled three times today (2005 Ltd) and it's headed for the dealer Monday. But I'd like to know what they did, if anything, to solve your propblem. Thanks.
  • raymurraymur Posts: 29
    Hi, I have a 2001 Highlander. I am trying to change the unlock option so that all doors unlock with one press of the unlock button(now only the driver's door unlocks with one press) I have tried a couple of procedures that I have found on the net. They appear to progrma corecctly but the lock option does not change. Is there a procedure that someone is aware of that works with this vehicle?
  • jbolltjbollt Posts: 734
    I had my dealer do it. Something called CBest option (the body computer) The owners manual says it is avail as an option to have one click open all doors..they say to contact your dealer. Mine did at no charge when I had the oil changed. I really like the change..
  • tommyg12tommyg12 Posts: 158
    I had this problem with my '01 Highlander at 38k miles. My repair turned into a nightmare. Was only supposed to take 3 days, but wasn't completed for 9 days. Fortunately I had a new Highlander to drive for this time. Having an AWD version complicates the issue because to drop the tranny, you have to drop the transfer case, rear shaft etc.

    When I went to pickup my HL, there was a big oil puddle on the ground :mad: While I was fussing at the service manager, my wife discovered a new Solara convertible which we were made a very good deal on, so we never took the HL back home.

    Hopefully your tech is more competant than mine was. One problem with your issue that concerns me is that you are 2k miles over the powertrain warranty :cry: I was told that my repair would have been $1,100 if it had been out of warranty. Hopefully you can get some "goodwill" from Toyota. Please let us know how Toyota resolves this.
  • was it the 4 or the 6 cylinder???
  • tommyg12tommyg12 Posts: 158
    The V6. I have a friend that is a Lexus technician. He has seen alot of the 3.0 engines with rear seal leakage. Seems to be a problem with these engines.

    Also, according to my friend an experienced tech can replace the seal in about 1.5 days. Obviously my repair taking 9 days was not typical (probably could have removed and rebuilt an engine in that amount of time).
  • grahampetersgrahampeters AustraliaPosts: 1,783

    You could try the instructions contained in the link below


  • edhedh Posts: 246
    what is the nature of when the clunk happens?
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