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Toyota Highlander Maintenance and Repair



  • dmoyerdmoyer Posts: 27
    with a web search of =UTF-8&fr=moz2
    I came up with the answer at =UTF-8&fr=moz2 which I did not know existed, which tells me something, I've had little or no maintenance outside routine preventative stuff over the last 98,000 miles. Did have the front rotors replaced at 65K by a Toyota dealer; not sure why they were warped, except maybe my better half had a panic stop that I not aware of!!
  • 2001 Toyota Highlander - instrument panel lights for clock, AC, air intake won't light up. When heater-defogger is turned on, hot air blows out air conditioning vents, but no warm air comes out windshield vents. Makes for very dangerous driving conditions in cold, wet weather.
  • doug28doug28 Posts: 30
    Nightmare continues,

    How do you idle a hybrid to remove "bad gas"? Dealer admits that is tricky.

    I complained to service manager but he was unsympathetic. He told me "just notify your insurance company that is what insurance is for". But don't give them too many details about how it happened.

    When I notified insurance company they were confused about were the engine blew up. Why at dealer two days later?

    Here's a surprise.

    Service manager tells me that with all the fancy equipment if they dont get a signal they must go to symptom diagnostic. This means they scratch their head and guess what might be wrong and try to fix it. If it doesn't work try something else. I am surprised that there is not a engine diagnostic tester out their that can tell when an injector is stuck open & shorted out. They admit "bad gas" was probably not the problem and may not charge me the $300.00 for that one.

    My expected out of pocket on this one will be between $2,000 and $3,000.

    My insurance company will have to pay an additional $11,000.

    Anybody want a mint condition hybrid with a blown engine?

  • tomdtomd Posts: 87
    My '07 V6 has been very slow to warm up, especially in the cold weather since day one. I'm not talking really cold out. Just in the 30's. It literally takes twice as long to warm-up as my wife's 3.0L V6 Mazda Tribute. I'm going by how long it takes the temp guage to get up to normal. Does this seem right? I've had people tell me that if something was wrong with the thermostat, there would be a check engine light. I can't believe that the computer looks at how long it takes to warm up as long as it get up to normal operating temp. Can anyone speak to this? Would it be worth having Toyota change the thermostat anyway? I've noticed a 2 to 3 mpg drop in mileage in the cold weather and I think some of it may be due to the richer mixture until the engine warms up.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Oops, sorry...

    I let myself get misled by post 4198 into thinking this was the hybrid thread.

    Be that as it may....

    Assuming the hybrid does not have a conventional mechanical thermostat but an electric pump/motor to circulate coolant using a "thermometer" as a control sensor the pump probably runs full time in order to not allow engine HOT spots.

    The electric pump/sensor system is used so you can still have heat with the engine shut down.

    And remember that even with the engine running at/near idle or even at a higher cruise level RPM the ICE need not consume as much fuel as the Mazda since the electrics might be/are contributing a large amount of the torque at a given RPM/load factor.

    Lower fuel consumption = less engine block heat.

    The conventional thermostat has a small bypass opening for this purpose.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Where are you and how much would you be asking...??

    I have often searched ebay salvage for a RX400h or HH that I could rebuild and convert the engine to miller cycle to see just how much the FE would improve.
  • ft20ft20 Posts: 15
    I have a 2005 V6, AWD. I bought the car used with just 10000 miles on it. I have maintained it according to the owner's manual and have not abuse it in any shape or form. During an oil change at 62000 miles, the mechanic told me that there is a transmission fluid leak. I did some research on my own and found out that there is a TSB out for the transmission fluid leak on this model/vin. I can forward a copy of the TSB if anyone wishes to have it. If you read the bulletin, it becomes quite clear that the there is a faulty transmission seal that is prone to failure and Toyota has recently change the seal. They are essentially hoping that no one will have this problem and even if they do, it would be outside the warranty period, as in my case! To make the long story short, took the car back to the dealer, they looked at it and sure enough is the seal that is mentioned in the TSB that has failed. The dealer quoted me a price of $1300 to have it fixed. The repair would have been covered under the 60K power train warranty but since my car now has 63K, I am basically SOL. I just called Toyota last night to ask for their assistance but not getting my hopes up. I think it is unfair for a company to know about a problem and not stand behind their product. I will keep you posted on what I hear back from Toyota.

    In the mean time, if your 2004-2006 highlander is under 60K, please check for this leak problem. Beware
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    This "clockspring" is a ribbon of wires connecting a fixed electrical point(s) on one end to a rotating electrical contact(s) on the opposite end. The ribbon is wrapped around the stearing shaft several times to allow enough "play" in the moving end.
  • phrosutphrosut Posts: 122
    I was sitting in my '03 HL Ltd the other day waiting for a co-worker and listening to the radio. Expecting her to arrive shortly, I turned the key off but still just sat in the car waiting. After a few minutes, the car made a short beep and the doors locked.

    I mentioned this to my wife (her car) and she confirmed "don't ever leave the keys in the car, sometimes it'll lock itself".

    Last night we get home and are unloading some things from the HL. A couple of doors were open. The car started the long beep, like you are trying to lock it with remote but a door is open. First time it's happened like this (and we've owned the car since Oct '02). I closed the doors and the long beep stopped. Opened the doors again to finish unloading and after a few minutes, got the long beep again. Finished unloading, closed the doors and went into the house. I specifically DID NOT lock the doors. I DID watch to see that the dome lights went out since I had gotten those "open door" long beeps. I've always been concerned about killing the battery because the dome lights didn't turn off (like if a door wasn't all the way closed. I'd rather they turn off when the door closes rather than waiting a minute or so, because by then we are out of sight of the car and wouldn't know if the dome light remained on all night.)

    This morning all the doors were locked.

    Anybody have any ideas of what is happening, or what has changed?

    WWest? You are pretty familiar with the programming of these things. Did we inadvertently do something? Or is something in the computer hardware or software failing (we still have the extended warranty)?

  • This is interesting, I have a 04 6 cyl AWD with 64,000. How can I get the TSB? or find out what VIN no's are affected. Thanks
  • ft20ft20 Posts: 15
    Drivetrain - Fluid Leaks From Transfer Case Vent


    '04 - '06 Highlander (AWD) & Sienna (AWD)

    June 11, 2007
    Some 2004 - 2006 model year AWD (4WD) Highlander or Sienna vehicles may display a transmission fluid or gear oil leak from a vent on the right side of the transfer case. The leak is from the transfer RH (right-hand) bearing retainer No. 2 oil seal. Production improvements have been implemented to prevent this condition from occurring. Follow the repair procedure below to replace the RH bearing retainer No. 2 oil seal assembly.

    Applicable Vehicles
    2004 - 2006 model year Highlander (AWD) and Sienna (AWD) vehicles produced BEFORE the Production Change Effective VINs shown below.

    2AZ-FE (4 cyl) JTEHD21A*60043493
    3MA-FE (6 Cyl) JTE*P21A*60167377

    Hope this helps.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Other than the possibility that a key button got pressed in your pocket (has happened to me.) I don't have any ideas.
  • phrosutphrosut Posts: 122
    I know that the key on the fob WASN'T depressed on at least two of the three instances I just had happen because the keys were in my hand and not my pocket and I wasn't pushing any buttons. That the fob was accidentally pushed while in my pocket was the first guess I had that evening at home, so I pulled it out of my pocket and then a few minutes later got the same beep. Then locked sometime after that when the keys were hanging in the house.

    It COULD be a malfunctioning fob, I suppose. We have another and if this happens again I'll switch fobs.

    STRANGE to say the least but if that's the only problem I have with this car, and so far it is, provided it's actually a problem and not just some programming that decided to change parameters, it only requires we don't ever leave the keys in the car. We shouldn't do that anyway.

  • I have no idea if this affects it or would have anything to do with it...ever replaced the battery(ies) in the key fob(s)? Do they need to be? Only reason I thought of it is I've discovered some cordless phone handsets, when the battery's crapping out, can start randomly 911.
    Regards, BGood
  • phrosutphrosut Posts: 122
    thanks, webgood!

    NO. Never changed to fob battery. For another car, one even went through the wash cycle. Didn't give them a thought and waited 'til they ceased to function.

    Gonna change the battery this week. Whatta good idea. Dang battery is 5 years old and has been used daily.

  • Maybe your keyfob wasn't depressed, but was your wife's? In her purse? This happened to me once.. was driving down a highway and the (panic) alarm kept going off (very startling to say the least)... had to pull off and figure it out.. turned out to be the keyfob in her purse.... :)

    Just a thought!
  • phrosutphrosut Posts: 122
    Thanks for the tip toyseeker.

    The first time it happened (while I was just sitting in the car) my wife was 40 miles away tho.

  • I have a 2002 V6 model and I was told yesterday there is a leak similar to yours, and I was told to cost $1200 to fix it. I got 70500 miles.

  • ft20ft20 Posts: 15
    I'm sure that there are a lot of other ppl out there with the same problem. I contacted the customer assistance number. They reportedly "investigated" the issue and determined that they will not help me fix the problem. The reason that was given to me was that I did not have all the service done at the dealer. This is the same dealer (Ourisman Chantilly Toyota, Chantilly VA) that one occasion did not properly tighten the oil filter during an oil change, causing 1/2 of the engine oil to leak out of the car in a span of 2 days!

    I have subsequently contacted the corporate office by mail. I would suggest you do the same. If I do not hear anything back from them, I will post my message at every site I can possibly find to expose this rip-off.
  • I have a 2001 HL. My temperature control "brain" in the dashboard went out (common problem in 2001 HL). Dealer estimate to replace the brain was $800. I found the part online from a Toyota dealer in Virginia for $400 and replaced it myself. Another possibility is servo switch at hot air/cold air door beneath dashboard in center of vehicle. May not be responding to hot/cold dial in temperature contol cluster in dashboard.

  • I would like to remove the firewall side V6 spark plugs. It looks as though the intake manifold and throttle assembly must be removed first unless there is a way to tip the engine forward or another approach. Can anyone give a clue?
  • tsotsitsotsi Posts: 98
    I am grateful for those of you who wrote in, describing the potential problem with the Highlander heat control. Today, the heat control knob started to feel loose so I removed the knob and tightened the nut holding the rheostat before the wires got stressed and broke. I also put a drop of Loctite on the threads, hoping it would keep the nut from working loose again.

    I would like to send a strong message to Toyota that this kind of lousy design and quality control is going to lose them customers. My Highlander is only three years old, with about 27,000 miles -- in other words, just past guarantee. If it hadn't been for this forum I might not have realized how serious a problem the loose knob could turn in to.

    For those of you who might have the same problem: if your heat control knob suddenly starts feeling shaky, just pull the plastic knob straight off. You will see the flat nut right behind the knob. I wouldn't tighten it too much for fear of breaking something . . . that is why I carefully put a little Loctite on the threads. The nut takes an 11 mm wrench, by the way.

    Thanks again for this forum and all the useful information on it.
  • phrosutphrosut Posts: 122
    This "auto-locking" feature was happening more frequently since my original post, typically every 2 or 3 days.

    I changed the fob battery per one answer to my original post. It's been almost 2 weeks and the car hasn't "auto-locked" since the battery change.

    I'll post if it comes back but it's appearing that a weak fob battery was the cause. Thanks all.

  • Has anyone purchased an updated DVD? Do you have to use Toyota's, or can you get them from 3rd party suppliers like Garmin, Tom-Tom or such?

  • Hello, I have a 2004 2WD 3.3 Highlander with 80K miles on it. Have been very happy, still have original brakes, put new tires on at 72K miles. No problems...until 2 weeks ago as going through a drive through and made a sharp turn got a whinning noise. Fisrt thought low PS fluid but checked and no. Also didn't change pitch with stop to stop steering wheel turn. 2 days later, battery light came on. and car wouldn't start. OK, time for a new battery. Installed new battery, checked for charging, only 12.2volts. Whining still there...suspect Alternator too. Ordered from Toyota,($330) installed (me), everything fine for almost 2 weeks. Yesterday on expressway all idiot lights lit up. Drove to destination about 1 hour. Checked charging, everything looked good. During local driving, idiot lights lites were normal (off) but when I got on the expressway they again came back on. Suspect internal regulator not doing its job and overcharging system? I saw this once before in Nov 2003 at 42K miles, but problem went away.
    Any alternator/regulator input would be helpful. BTW the bearing in the old Alternator felt "gritty" when spun, was probably the reason the battery took a crap. :confuse:
  • My Toyota just started intermitting blowing cold air when my heat is on. Sometimes it will blow hot for sometime and then just go cold and then warm back up again? Any Ideas what the problem could be.
  • meg3meg3 Posts: 3
    Hi There,
    I have an 04 Highlander....Underneath the front there is a plastic piece that covers the undercarriage of the car. At some point, I went up onto something and the plastic cracked. It is now interfering with my tire when I take a hard turn. I suppose I should take it to the dealership , but expect to be charged a mint...ideas???thanks
  • tsotsitsotsi Posts: 98
    I see a posting directing you to tundra solutions. Good idea, but I would guess your heat control rheostat was loose for a long time before the wires fatigued (if that is actually what happened). I strongly recommend that all Highlander owners check the heat control to see if it feels as solidly mounted as the other two switches. If it seems really loose, pull off the knob -- it just pulls straight off -- and tighten the nut underneath.

    The whole trouble and expense of repairing the problem can be avoided by just tightening that nut, a 5 minute job. Even after reading the postings on this forum I was surprised to find mine was loose. Believe me -- it is worth checking.
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