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Toyota Highlander Maintenance and Repair



  • gartmacdgartmacd Posts: 27
    See my post 3673. It's not uncommon for MAF to get dirtied up at 30,000 miles, if the vehicle is operated in polluted environments--which is not uncommon in many areas of North America.
    You could ask the dealer to just clean it. Just don't be too quick to blame Toyota for this problem. It's common to all makes.
  • mcmmcm Posts: 11
    i had the exact same thing. for me it was the "mass air flow sensor" -- might be the same thing as the A/F sensor -- and those numbers sound right. $390 seems a bit steep though. mine is an '01 with 55k miles.
  • mcmmcm Posts: 11
    thanks gartmacd -- i live in wash, dc so i agree that our air quality isnt the greatest. unfortunately, whatever electronics are inside the part, per the dealer, were not working so any cleaning would have been no use. ugh.

    they more worrysome piece was that the VSC light was on so played it safe and paid them.

    looks like it a common problem given a few of the other recent posts..
  • Lets face it, dealer service departments are an unscrupulous lot. When new/used car sales are slow, dealership owners will often lean on service to 'carry' it through a slow month. Standard tactics include telling Mr. and Mrs. Jones that their Highlander's radiator fluid looks dirty and that they need new brakes. On one visit to Sunrise Toyota in Oakdale, NY, it was like watching a Wall Street boiler room as multiple 'service advisors' advised customers that they needed urgent replacement of radiator fluid and brakes. What are the odds of that? . Take a few moments to inform yourself on Highlander systems by reading an automotive encyclopedia. If it feels like your dealer is feeding you a line of bs-he is. Find an independent shop or purchase the Highlander Shop Service Manual and perform the work yourself with the aid of a auto-savvy friend or relative. Service depts do not have your best interest at heart.
  • chinaboychinaboy Posts: 3
    No, I didn't! I asked about this at Toyota and a good service
    shop. Both said that did not need to be done. In fact, the new rotors have large 2" diameter hole in the center.

    Toyota and brake shop said "beat the crap out of them 'til they pop off"...glad I didn't.

    What is involved about this axle/grease cap? And can I install the new rotors that won't be locked in place because of the large hole in the center of the rotor? Any help appreciated.
    And thanx!
  • landdriverlanddriver Posts: 607
    It's been ~4 years since I've worked on the calipers/rotors on my '01 HL and thus almost forgot everything so this post may be somewhat useless.

    My vague recollection is once the wheel and calipers are removed the rotor simply lifts right off. (I also have a vague recollection that you have to remove a cotter pin and unscrew an axle nut in the center of the rotor but think I'm getting confused with another vehicle I used to own.) Also make sure you are pulling on the rotor itself and not on the stationary shroud encompassing the rotor. If I'm not getting mistaken with my other vehicle there is a threaded hole in the rotor that you can drive a screw in to force the rotor off; I may have had to do this when removing the rotors from my HL.

    (One thing I do remember is the HL does not have a dust cap covering the center hole of the rotor. I was somewhat surprised as this was the first vehicle I owned that didn't have one; was almost thinking of trying to purchase a set of dust caps that would fit my HL.)
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Just looked up HL front axle in and there is very definitely a nut holding the brake rotor on the front axle.
  • desertguydesertguy Posts: 730
    You have the website transposed. It's:
  • dtgrosdtgros Posts: 2
    Did you ever resolve this problem?

    My 2001 Highlander is doing the exact same thing. Local city use, no oil consumed. On a round trip from Louisiana to Chicago, we burned 5 quarts of oil.
  • All,
    I have a 2006 HL base, V6 4WD just purchased new last month. At highway speeds with the windows rolled up, I can hear a high pitched whine that sounds as if something such as a window is not sealed properly; it sounds like it is in the front area of the interior. It does not sound as though it is mechanical in nature. I let the windows down and up and the whine is still there. I do have the roof rack and hood protector on the vehicle so maybe one of them is causing the whine. Any thoughts?
  • typesixtypesix Posts: 320
    Does the whine vary with car speed or engine speed? Roof rack and nose protector would likely cause whistling, not whining.
  • The whine your hearing is a well known HL oddity going back to the introduction of the HL in 2001. The roof rack crossmembers act as sort of saxophone or flute reeds when air is rushing by them, creating weird harmonics. The fix, at least for me, was to reposition the crossmembers on the rack until the sounds are brought under control. You still may experience noises after repositioning during gusting head or cross-winds and other wind events, but your daily drive should largely be free of that annoying howling.
  • Thanks a bunch; I'll try adjusting the crossmembers.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    some people of other makes/model vehicles have discovered their cross-members for their roof racks installed backwards, i.e. instead of the thicker part as the leading edge towards the front of a vehicle, one or both were pointing towards the rear of the vehicle.

    think of an airplane wing cross-section. the thick part goes towards the front, and the thinner part towards the rear. this is the way to get airflow around the cross-member without "singing" or noise created by the non-smooth flow of air over the member surface.

    definitely try adjusting the location of the cross bars as was mentioned. some people with racks indicate good results if they move the cross-bars to the rear of the rack.

    Another option would be to uninstall them (if convenient) until they are actually needed.
  • Just received a card from my dealer informing me of a recall on my 2005 Highlander. There was no detail on the card, but I found this recall info online:

    I'm assuming this is the recall since it's from July 13th.

    I apologize if this was posted earlier - just did a quick check under "recall" and didn't see it.

  • I remember seeing a posting about this as a sort of advance warning a couple of weeks before my recall notice (2004 Highlander) arrived in the mail. I received the notice July 31, and they took care of replacing the clips that could fail and interfere with the gas pedal when they did 30K service on my vehicle a few days later. If you take the car in for just the recall work, my technician said you need to allow just a half hour.
  • off subject from your radio problem, but could you please tell me if the NAV system in your hybrid has a more enhanced power usage display than what is standard on the HHL w/out the NAV?
  • nomorebenznomorebenz Posts: 109
    Without a doubt, yes.
  • Thanks,
    Sounds like it is much better.

    I have read that the version in the Prius is a newer generation (4th in the Highlander vs 5th in the Prius - better graphics). Any insight into the truth in that, or are they confusing the DVD versions (4.2 vs 5.1)?
  • nomorebenznomorebenz Posts: 109
    Before we stray anymore off the topic of the forum, take a look at the forum for the HH Nav!make=Toyota&model=Highlander%2- 0Hybrid&ed_makeindex=.f0e0a33
    Yes, the Prius and Camry have different head units with better resolution and more features.
  • I have an '04 Highlander that had the exact same problem. While my solution was unpleasant, it was (and my apologies to you) under warranty. I waited six months for parts to fix the problem, so even if you do cough it up, be prepared to wait. I was informed that the problem was uncommon, and parts (especially the motor) had to be constructed upon request. If your VIN indicates that yours was a Japanese-made Highlander you get to wait forever with a broken one (and don't knock the duct tape.. I've been that route)for parts. Which parts, you ask? I can almost promise that you will need to replace both the motor and the tracks. Highlander rooftops don't enjoy the shape of the tracks that house the unit, and the motor (making that 'Little Engine That Could' noise, will eventually stop working and burn out, as the tracks are bent and the motor is not strong enough. The good news is that once the new unit is in, the motor and wiring is arranged so you no longer have to hold down the button to open it. It becomes automatic. Small price to pay.
  • desertguydesertguy Posts: 730
    I also have an '04 Highlander and I have never had to hold down the button to open or close the sunroof. One push is all it takes.
  • tixtix Posts: 27
    Did you have to pay any of the repair, or was it all under warranty? I still haven't decided if it is worth fixing, because the sunroof was a $900 extra feature and they want to charge $1,400 to fix it. They did tell me that I have to replace both the motor and tracks, so you are right on the money with that. I wrote to Toyota and I am very surprised that I have not hear one word back from them. I was expecting at least an acknowledgment. Maybe other sunroofs are going to start going bad and there will be a recall (I can dream can't I?) Thanks for at least letting me know that I am not alone. I have my fingers crossed something will come of this.
  • socnissocnis Posts: 7
    I just got a 2004 highlander, besides the steering wheel clunking and loose problem that others mentioned a lot, I also feel something loose underneath the driver side floor when I step on the gas, especially if i start from still position, is there some mechanical part that could be loose there or is there some liquid thing down there? anybody having similar experience?
  • edhedh Posts: 246
    probably all the same source
    bad u joint in the lower steering shaft
    mine made that noise/feeling when backing up from parked
  • master1master1 Posts: 340
    There was just a recall on some Highlanders for a plastic piece near the gas pedal.
  • socnissocnis Posts: 7
    for my HL, the loose part seems to be underneath the floor halfway between the brake/gas pedals and the drive seat, I couldn't see anything from under the car. where exactly does noise come from in yours?
  • socnissocnis Posts: 7
    I read about that recall, is that plastic piece above the pedal or under? did you take yours to the dealer for fix?
  • yenchyyenchy Posts: 1
    I have only just joined and noticed yours and others posts re hesitation - I live in Aust and have top of line AWD 2004. It has done 86,000K (about 51600M) It has always done two things - The famous hesitation and %$#@$# pinging. I have tried everything but car is still under warranty and to be honest I don't think the dealer wants to know about it - I am also suspicious of any resetting done by a dealer - I don't want to lose the performance 0-100 7.9secods
    I notice people are talking about higher RON fuel - I have been running mine on 98 octane for a long time now - love the performance lift it gives but does nothing for my two probs.
    What do you all think would happen if I asked dealer to re-set ECU - Car was originally set up to run on 91RON which is our standard - I certainly don't want to go back there.

  • mckeownmckeown Posts: 165
    The Recall replaces 2 black fasteners on the console extension to the right of the gas pedal. On my wifes, the interior is gray. So these are 2 black fasteners on the top of that gray part just to the right of the gas pedal.
    Her's were not loose, but they were replaced anyhow. I guess others rest their foot against this plastic piece and cause pressure on these plastic 'pop-on' fasteners to the point that they come loose or out. Then the top of that plastic extension can fall down and keep the pedal depressed after the driver removes their foot.
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