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Toyota Highlander Maintenance and Repair



  • mdhuttonmdhutton Posts: 195
    Make sure you're giving out correct info. This was originally posted by nimrod99 on the Timing Belt/Chain thread:

    link title

    The gas V6, beginning in 2008, has a CHAIN, not a belt (Hybrids still have a belt). Religiously following the factory-recommended maintenance schedule is always your best bet.
  • mdhutton, please get your facts straight. I was talking about a 2004 Highlander responding to messege #4340 by edh, who asked the question about a 2004 Highlander. The information that I gave is 100% correct. We were not talking about a 2008 model.
  • mdhuttonmdhutton Posts: 195
    I understood what you were replying to, E.D. Thanks for your concern and have a nice weekend.
  • herzogtum71herzogtum71 Posts: 470
    I guess I have 2 questions at this point:

    (1) If a timing chain lasts for the life of the vehicle, why are they offering vehicles with timing belts that have to be replaced? In other words, what is the advantage of a belt over the chain?

    (2) In 1994 when I bought a Corolla wagon, the Toyota dealer was bragging that their engines -- unlike some of their competitors' engines -- were non-interference and that the engine wouldn't be permanently damaged if the timing belt broke. So what is the advantage to offering vehicles in this day and age with an interference engine?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    1. Quiet.
    2. VVT-i, more critical valve timing. FE in '94 was..??
  • bikeman3bikeman3 Posts: 85
    belt is much more quiet chain progressively gets louder after changing belt car seems like new
  • jrfierojrfiero Posts: 123
    I have a Check Engine Light (CEL) issue, so I've been looking for info. Advance Auto Parts in the DC area will let anyone use their scan tool - you hand them your license, they hand you the scanner. I have codes P1130 and P1135. Today I found a great website, It has a lot to say about O2 sensors and diagnostics.
    Oh, and I did check for a loose gas cap and disconnected vacuum hoses!
    Does anyone know what codes the gas cap and the vacuum hoses cause?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    An 1130 code just cost me $265 to DIY replace the bank 1 sensor 1 AFR oxygen sensor. 1135 along with 1130 indicates that the heater (used to preheat) inside the AFR oxygen sensor is open or shorted.

    Carson Toyota online will give the best price ~$165.
  • jrfierojrfiero Posts: 123
    Thanks, that's just where I was headed this morning (Bank 1 Sensor 1). How much of a job was it, and did you need a special O2 sensor socket or can you get it with an open-end? Did you test it first, or just go by the codes?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I reset the code twice by disconnecting the battery and this last time via a code reader. Now that I have actually purchased a replacement the last reset seems to be holding.


    I will use an open-end wrench if it should come to that.
  • herzogtum71herzogtum71 Posts: 470
    Thanks for the reply, but I must admit I don't know off hand what the VVT-i and FE abbreviations stand for.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    VVT-i = Variable Valve Timing w/Intelligence

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • jrfierojrfiero Posts: 123
    Sorry about the blank message 4354. I started to write up my O2 sensor replacement saga, but decided to wait til I'm done. Don't know why the message was posted.
    Recap - Check Engine Light on, codes P1130 and P1135, best bet new Bank1 Sensor 1 required.
    Some initial thoughts -
    The rear (Bank1) O2 sensor and its connector are easy to see and reach from under the car. BUT, you can only reach the connector with one hand - IMHO it takes two hands to disconnect. Maybe there's a trick or a special tool. I practiced on the front (Bank2) connector and that wasn't easy with two hands. You can also reach the Bank1 connector from above the engine, but again with only one hand. When my new sensor arrives Wednesday (from RockAuto, genuine Denso replacement with connector, $144 shipped) I'm going to try two people, me from above squeezing the release on the connector with someone from below pulling the male end out.
    You can get a 22mm open end wrench on the rear O2 sensor, but at a bad angle. With the wires disconnected I think there will be a better angle with a box end wrench. That's what I did on the front sensor, when I had the bright idea to swap them to see what it did to the diagnostic codes. That plan didn't work for two reasons - I can't get the rear connector apart, and when I loosened the front sensor, it became progressively harder to unscrew, so I decided to tighten it back up, which it didn't want to do. I hope I have it tight enough now, with back and forth effort and Kroil (the oil that creeps).
    More later, and I have pics.
  • Note on replacing the O2 sensors:
    Unscrew O2 sensors carefully, if they start to get tight when unscrewing them, spray some penetrating oil on the exposed threads and screw it back in a little and work the sensor back and forth a few times to work the oil into the threads. Apply oil as often as needed. It should loosen and eventually come out. Before putting a used or new O2 sensor back in, coat the threads with a small amount of Neverseize compound (available at auto parts stores). Put the Neverseize carefully only on the threads, do not contaminate the sensor with the compound. This will help in the future, in case you should have to remove it again.
    Good Luck,
    E.D. ISF
  • Hi everyone,

    Been so long since I was on here last, testament to how good our Highlander has been to us. However......brakes have been an issue and now the ABS is acting up.
    Very occasionally, when coming to a medium gentle stop, the ABS will kick in when there is absolutely no need. I checked all mechanical brake parts and all OK. Checked tyre pressures and did a small correction. There are no warning lights at all. If you have enough speed left, a quick lift off the brake and back on again will clear the fault. Otherwise, braking is as normal, soft and lazy unless you activate the brake assist, then it stands on its nose :P Any ideas ?
  • jrfierojrfiero Posts: 123
    I finished the O2 Sensor job, and thought I'd put it all here in one message.
    Recap - Check Engine Light on, codes P1130 and P1135, best bet new Bank1 Sensor 1 required.
    The rear (Bank1) O2 sensor and its connector are easy to see and reach from under the car. BUT, you can only reach the connector with one hand - IMHO it takes two hands to disconnect. Maybe there's a trick or a special tool. I practiced on the front (Bank2) connector and that wasn't easy with two hands. You can also reach the Bank1 connector from above the engine, but again with only one hand. Two people made it a quick job, pressing the connector latch from above and removing the male end from below.
    For the inexperienced, O2 sensors are in the exhaust manifolds, which heat up quickly and cool down slowly. Plan on leaving the car for a couple hours to cool after it is driven last.
    I bought the new sensor from, genuine Denso replacement with connector, $144 shipped to VA.
    You can get a 22mm open end wrench on the rear O2 sensor, but at a bad angle. With the wires disconnected you can slip a box end wrench over the connector and wire and get a better angle, but it's still not very good, because a nearby exhaust flange gets in the way. I'm using a combination wrench that has a straight handle on the open end, and an angled handle on the box end. A true box end wrench with a dropped end might be perfect. As it was I had very little angle of rotation available, but enough with using both the open end and box end.
    Once I broke loose the sensor (took a hammer on the wrench), the rear O2 sensor spun right out by hand, as opposed to the front sensor, which became progressively harder to unscrew when I was checking it. As electricdesign said in 4358, if that happens, patiently work the sensor back and forth with penetrating oil. My new sensor came with a packet of antiseize compound, which I applied to the threads sparingly, careful to not get it on the sensor itself.
    The connector goes back together easily with one hand, since the female part is attached to a stable base, you can just push in the male end.
    I cleared the codes with a borrowed scanner, and so far, no lights or codes. With the old sensor, cleared codes would reappear within a minute.
    A relatively simple repair, much cheaper than what people on this forum have reportedly paid.
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    Thanks a whole bunch for posting your experience. I REALLY appreciate it. I paid the dealer to replace an O2 sensor on my 04 Tacoma truck with 39K miles to the tune of $380. A friend of mine paid a dealer $350 to do the O2 sensor on his 04 4Runner with 67K miles. My wife drives an 04 4 cyl. Highlander with 38K miles and I plan to do the O2 sensor myself when (not if) it goes. Toyota quality, grrrrrrr.
  • jrfierojrfiero Posts: 123
    You're welcome Mikefm58.

    A thing or two I forgot to mention.
    At least in my "Complete: ..." message I didn't say I have a 2001 V6 Ltd.
    I've read on this list and somewhere else that the V6 HLs have four O2 sensors - I can only find three - two precat (Bank1 and Bank2 Sensor1) and one post-cat right before the muffler.

    If you look on the various parts websites you'll see numerous O2 sensors which supposedly fit the precat locations. Some have connectors, others (universal fit) have just wires and you have to splice on the Toyota connector - they're much cheaper. Well, I'm cheap but I don't like the idea of having spliced wires on the O2 sensors, right near the exhaust manifolds, so I sprung for a genuine replacement.

    Toyota calls this sensor an Air Fuel Ratio (AFR) sensor rather than an O2 sensor (not to be confused with an Air Flow or Mass Air Flow sensor, completely different). I suspect an AFR sensor and an O2 sensor are the same thing, in fact there's a previous message that says so. A local parts store told me they're different, and that only a Denso would work correctly, that a Bosch wouldn't work. I'm skeptical of that advice, but I went ahead and bought a Denso anyway.

    Oh, and if you have the tools, two people and a cool engine, and the sensor comes right out, it's a 15 minute job.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I think the difference is that the O2 sensor used for AFR must be (pre-)heated electrically whereas the one downstream does not. Some Toyota and Lexus models use the same one in both positions but without the rear one having an "active" conenction to the heater portion.
  • Bump, No one has ever seen this problem before ? My local dealer has not and rightly said there would be little chance of finding it until it gets worse.
    BTW, forgot to say its a 2002 V6 limited with 80K miles.

    It could be a wiring issue, the truck has been crashed heavily twice :cry: Once in the front and another time T boned. I wonder if the wiring going down that side now has an issue.
    Anyone have full schematics or know where to find them ?
  • You might want to search the discussion for other makes. A friend of mine once talked about an ABS situation similar to what you describe. I believe it was with Subaru, and it had something to do with braking over potholes and/or water puddles. This was a long time ago, though, and it's pretty foggy in my memory.
  • 8beny88beny8 Posts: 1
    I need help to determine location of Oxygen Sensor 1 for Bank 2 (P0141) and Sensor 2 for Bank 2 (P0161). I saw the forum mentioned there are only two sensors but when I opened the hood there are for sensors (two for each sides, driver sides and passenger sides). I believe there are two heater sensors and two oxygen sensors. I requested the dealer to fax me the diagram, it shows three instead of four.
  • jrfierojrfiero Posts: 123
    I just replaced the brake pads on all four wheels of my 2001 V6 Ltd with just over 68K miles. None was down to the squealers, but the fronts were close, less than 3mm. The rears were only slightly less worn.
    It couldn't be any easier to change the pads on this car. I had a little trouble with the dust boot on one piston not wanting to go back into the caliper with the piston, but other than that it was a cinch.
  • jrfierojrfiero Posts: 123
    While I was replacing my brake pads, I noticed the boots on both rear shocks/struts are torn and useless.
    1) is this a big deal?
    2) I suspect its a major operation to replace them, removing the springs and all. Does anyone have any experience with such things?

    The other thing I noticed while replacing the brake pads is that Nitrile gloves from Home Depot are junk. They tear with the slightest provocation. Nitriles are supposed to be tougher than your basic latex gloves, but these aren't. Buy 'em somewhere else.
  • Forget those thin nitrile gloves, they are too flimsy. I use a good pair of CLOTH GLOVES with the Nitrile covering that covers the fingers and inside of the palm of the glove, these are tough and last a long time, available at any auto parts store. The brand I bought was "Workwear", but I am sure most any brand of the same type gloves would be good. I have used mine for a year on many tough jobs, including doing an engine rebuild, several brake jobs and general servicing, and I throw them in the washing machine to clean them. Great gloves, they have made doing my mechanical work much easier and cleaner.
    E.D. ISF
  • seadoo2seadoo2 Posts: 1
    I have the same problem and the same Toyota Highlander 2002.
    Did you ever find out the problem and solution?

    I have gotten several codes off the ecu scan and I am not sure what they will require to resolve the problem. The codes are:
    P0440 EVAP Emisison Control Malfunction

    P0441 EVAP Emission Control System Purge flow fault

    P0446 EVAP Emission Control Vent Circuit Malfunction
  • I became bad enough that a trip to the dealer was in order. They diagnosed bad ABS sensor signal from the right rear. They wanted to replace the sensor at a cost of $525...checked online and found the price to be under $200. Ordered and replaced and still the same.
    I do see that the teeth on the hub are not totally clean, so how does one get to them to clean properly ?
  • I have an 02 HL V6 AWD 90K miles. Always serviced at dealer with shorter than recommended intervals. Hopefully someone can help with this problem.

    Last Spring CEL comes on. Check oil, level is low. Add oil. Continue checking oil and note continued consumption. Discussed with dealer and they top off oil and I bring back twice. After 500 miles oil is 1 quart low. Next time after 900 miles oil is almost 2 quarts low. Dealer agrees oil comsumption problem.

    Also, have intermittent exhaust smoke on startup.

    I'm aware of and have the paperwork for the oil sludge settlement of which my HL is covered. Make my case to the dealer that blue smoke and oil consumption is covered under this settlement. They remove valve cover ($125) and say no sludge problem therefore not covered under the settlement. Dealer says must be something else. SA tells me $5K to rebuild engine if that is the problem.

    I call number on settlement paperwork (Toyota corporate), give them details. They have dealer SA call me back and say they need to again remove the valve cover to determine the problem (another $125). He says that they may have to do some type of pressure test, doesn't give cost. He also says that if problem is valve guide the cost is all mine. If the problem is bad rings, Toyota will share in the cost, whatever that means.

    If anyone can provide any input/advice on this topic it would be greatly appreciated. I know very little about engines.

    Also, I read on post on Edmunds that indicated that a clogged PCV valve could cause excessive oil consumption. That's apparently a $10 item. Can anyone verify if this could be the problem.

    Does anyone know the cost to repair valve guides or the cost to repair bad rings?

    thanks in advance for any solutions!!
  • I have read through most of the noise complaints on this 2007 HL with 16K miles and have not seen this one!

    At about 20 mph and again at 40 mph a noise that I can only describe as a continual hardly audible 'whoop,whoop,whoop' begins and lasts until I pass through each range. Most noticeable when climbing a moderate to steep grade.

    I thought about the tires (just replaced with Costco's BFG Touring) - but noticed that when I take my foot of the gas pedal, the noise stops. This has to be in the drive train somewhere.

    Any ideas what it is - and how do I reference this problem to my dealer/service repair?
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