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Toyota Highlander Maintenance and Repair



  • Could be number of reasons: winter blend of gas, too few miles on the car, driving in stop and go city traffic... Try to be easy on the gas pedal, no jack rabbit starts and abrupt stops.
  • Your engine still has to break in. Expect 18-20 city. 20-23 highway.
    Thats what my 2002 Limited with the 6 cylinder gets.
  • ronnronn Posts: 398
    My 08 Limited 4wd has close to 600 miles, and is getting around 17 MPG in city driving, with start and stop alot. I am pleased as it is up in MPG from last month, so yours should improve as well. As in another post, go easy on the gas pedal, with no abrupt stops. After the break in period, it should do better.
    Enjoy !
  • My problem started with the right rear window going down on it's own. Took it to the local dealership and they told me it was a Master Control Relay and ordered a new one ($600). Installed the new relay, problem was resolve for one week and the window started going down on its own. I found out that if I kept the windows locked this would not occur. Took it back to the dealership and they replaced the relay.
    Fixed the problem for about a month. Now the flashers will activate on their own and the remote lock will not work. Removed the flasher fuse, stopped the flasher and remote lock will work. Put the fuse back in and after about 10 minutes the flashers activate on their own and remote lock will not work.

    Anyone else ever have this problem?
  • bikeman3bikeman3 Posts: 85
    03 Highlander V6 what would be a reasonable price for changing the belt parts and labor? Any help would be appreciated :)
  • I bought an 04 Highlander Limited V6 on Feb 09 2008, and it's a great car so far! I got a great deal, partly because it had a lot of highway miles on it (101,020 miles), and the timing belt has not been changed yet. No problem on the timing belt, a bought a belt for $30 and I can put it in myself. The carfax reported 2 previous owners, no wrecks, and no issues. The car is very neat and clean, it has new tires, mag wheels, loaded, and everything works. There were a few minor scratches on the bumper covers that I touched up with some touch up paint, looks great now. I negotiated a great deal, only $11,367.92 plus $732.08 tax plus $200.00 tag and transfer fee, for a total of only $12,300.00 out the door!
    My gas milage seems to run about 18-19 around town.
    The five speed automatic transmission shifts perfectly all the time. I had been concerned about that because there were messeges in the past where owners stated that there were some problems or issues with the shifting, but mine seems to have "learned" perfectly well how and when to shift.
    I am supposing that when I change the timing belt, I should also change the water pump. The Dealer wants $130.52 for a new water pump, and Discount Auto Parts wants $66.00 for a new water pump. I am wondering if is ok to buy the cheaper water pump or do I need to buy the Dealer water pump? Has anyone here had any experience on this issue?
    E.D. in Sunny Florida
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Methinks for $30 you bought a replacement serpentine belt, not an actual timing belt.
  • webgoodwebgood Posts: 95
    First-off, I'm not an expert or mechanic, just a very satisfied '04 HL and long-time Toyota owner. From the knowledgeable and honest Toyota mechanics (as well as non-Toyota ones) I have talked to over the years, it makes good preventative sense to have the water pump replaced when doing the timing belt. They have to remove it anyway to get to the belt and it's relatively cheap insurance against this wearable part to have it all done at the same time because the labor is the biggest part of the cost. And, I don't go cheap (I can afford to I guess); if the factory part goes bad (discounting normal wear/tear), I can look my Toyota guy right in the eye and he makes it right. Regards, BGood
  • jemmich1jemmich1 Posts: 5
    At the same time you do a timing belt, also may be good to replace camshaft and crankcase oil seals. They usually begin to seep oil as they harden with age.
    Also, have the timing belt idler pulleys checked. Depending on mileage, their internal bearings dry out and wear. With a new belt, pump, seals and pulleys, you can button that area up for a long rest.
  • webgoodwebgood Posts: 95
    Thanks jemmich, and agreed. I completely forgot to mention those items since with my past services they just came as a recommended package. ;)
  • Thank you so much. After reading your suggestion we went to look and exactly behind the air filter was the disconnected hose. I simply reattached it, disconnected the ground on the battery, pushed the brakes for 15 seconds, reconnected the battery, started the car, and perfection!

    I will need to remember this each time the air filter is changed as this hose will be disconnected.
  • garygary Posts: 39
    :confuse: I've seen several postings to solve this problem, but mine is somewhat different. I have a 2001 HL 'non-limited'. I have a steering wheel creak that is coming from just behind the steering wheel. Other postings have suggested lubricating the steering column at the firewall with silicone spray. But mine is in a different area.
    Can someone provide a link or previous message with a solution?
    The noise is louder when cold, then is less noticeable when warm.
    Thanks in advance!! :confuse:
  • bikeman3bikeman3 Posts: 85
    Ther was a service bulletin in June of 2004 Toyota fixed mine out of warranty but I had to pay for labor Check with your dealer see if there is anything you can do
  • bikeman3bikeman3 Posts: 85
    Gary I was in a hurry on previous post: My Highlander is a 2003 Non LTD I had complained about my squeak on 2 separate occasions bfore I took it to the Toyota dealer for the 3rd time. Labor was about $60 or so and Toyota supplied a new steering shaft. Talk to the service manager not the adviser But it definitely fixed the problem. Check recall notices around June of 04. I had well over 36k miles at time of service. Hope this helps. I love this forum ;)
  • webgoodwebgood Posts: 95
    Go to the top of this column where it says "Search This Discussion", type in 'steering', 2.6 seconds later you've got all 200 entries on it to sift through.
  • jprout65jprout65 Posts: 2
    My wife is leasing a 2008 Highlander and she just brought it in for the first oil change. She called my in amazement that it would cost $70! I called the service department and they told me it was because it needed "special Toyota oil" and they do a 21-point inspection plus a tire rotation. Does everyone need to bring it to the dealer every 5K miles or 6-months? I've never heard of "special oil" - Is this a joke?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    No, no joke.

    Your dealer, more likely than otherwise, uses recycled/reclaimed/re-refined oil purchased in bulk.

    But college tuition for his kids is extremely expensive these days.
  • bikeman3bikeman3 Posts: 85
    Get your oil changed where u want look for deals on tire rotation
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    Oil change and tire rotation for each of my 3 Toyota vehicles is about $55 at the dealer.
  • jprout65jprout65 Posts: 2
    What about this "Special Toyota Oil", do they put that in your vehicle exclusively?
  • herzogtum71herzogtum71 Posts: 470
    I think last time I had just an oil & filter change at the dealer it was just over $30.00. At least in my area they don't want to charge too much more than the independents. You can buy their 'special oil' at any auto supply store and change it yourself if you are so inclined.
  • toyotagaltoyotagal Posts: 215
    My first oil change at our local Toyota Dealer was $29.95 plus tax. And included "replacing engine oil, replacing filter, replace plug gasket, adjust air pressure and check other fluids". Which is called "Basic Service" and includes 17 visual inspections.

    They also have what is called "Premium Service" which is $79.06 plus tax which includes "perform engine oil flush" and "install premium engine treatment".
  • I have an 05 highlander, recently the drivers door and only the drivers door, will not lock or unlock with the remote. I believe it is an actuator and was wondering has anybody incurred the cost of replacing this part? And what kind of labor is involved...
  • bikeman3bikeman3 Posts: 85
    I own a 03 jeep liberty with the same problem and it cost $217-230 That should give u some idea. I also own a 03 Highlander and that is how I got your post Good luck
  • james82james82 Posts: 2
    My 82 year old mother took her 2005 highlander in for a 30k mile service. the total bill was $790.76! I think she got ripped off by Bev Smith Toyota in Ft Pierce Florida. In addition to normal service they flushed the brake,transmission and power steering fluids! They called her and said the fluids looked dirty and should be changed? Does this seem excessive?
  • webgoodwebgood Posts: 95
    I'll venture a few guesses here:
    #1. It's in Florida; take the price for the same service as here in the midwest and double it.
    #2. Your mom's a female and 82 YOA; they 'saw her coming' on both age and gender, and gave her the full monte.
    #3. She probably went into the service department, was asked what needed to be done, and trustingly told them something on the order of, "Just do what you normally do/should be done/what you think needs done."

    The Toyota 'recommended' 30,000 mile service items "to be inspected and/or replaced" are all listed in the service book that came with the vehicle, and it's quite a list indeed. Early on, I had some service writers at my dealership try to pull the 'here's the list we need to do' approach when I brought my vehicles in for service, particularly at significant intervals (15K, 30K). They've learned that I specify exactly and only what I want done, i.e. LOF (lube,oil and filter), rotate tires, change engine coolant. Anything else beyond what they find in their '25-point inspection', they need my oral approval before doing.
    Dealerships make their money from the service departments and some of them really push the limits. It's up to the customer to keep a leash on them. Regards, BGood
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    You can go to the Edmunds Maintenance Guide and see what the 30k service costs in your area.

    And you could then take that info to the dealer and request an adjustment, assuming they were high and did things that Toyota doesn't recommend.

    I'm sure Florida has a consumer protection agency too....
  • bikeman3bikeman3 Posts: 85
    dealer will always try to provide necessary and near necessary mtce. I think it was excessive but she won't have to have it done again. Next time look on this site for guidance. I hate it when they tell me something looks dirty. I tell them to put in their notes that I don't fall for their crap so next time I'm in they know better.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Yes, Mom got ripped off. At 30K, that car needed virtually nothing more than an oil change, and honestly, the car will do fine NEVER having a power steering or brake fluid flush. So, yes, without a doubt, they saw her coming and ripped her off, and you should report them to everyone from the State Attorney General down to the Better Business Bureau.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Edmunds' Dealer Ratings and Reviews would be another good place to warn the world about the shenanigans of this dealer.
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