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Toyota Highlander Maintenance and Repair



  • bpIIIbpIII Posts: 1
    Yes, my hl has wind deflectors and it does not correct the problem, not in the least! The only solution is to roll down the front windows. The further you roll down the front windows, the better it gets. This is obviously a design flaw with this vehicle. Toyota should look into the possibility of creating some sort of vent system in the back cargo area to allow the cabin pressure to escape. Sorry I couldn't help any further.

  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    You just replied to a post that is over 7 years old! LOL.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Better late than never. And anyone Googling the issue will find a handy answer. So thanks, BP!
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    For my '01 F/awd RX300 it wasn't really a problem until Oxford came along. Oxford is our dog who insists on having his head hanging out the rear window. I added two louvered vents from a Toyota Sequoia in the left and right rear quarter panel area.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Good name, although with my Southern upbringing, I'd probably nickname him Oxpatch. :D
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    That Lemon Ice box pie statement should have told me your were southern. I was born in Tyronza AR, did some of my teenage years in Memphis.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Next we'll be talking about Britling's Cafeteria next to Goldsmith's. Happy Birthday Elvis.

    I don't guess they make too many pink Highlanders.

    If anyone knows how to sync phones in a Highlander, there's an old Question in Edmunds Answers that needs putting to bed.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    I don't guess they make too many pink Highlanders.

    Not unless Mary Kay used Highlanders for the tax write off. :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Goldsmith's...Isn't that where Stella Stevens worked..

    Was at Humes, 8th -10th grade.

    Worked at Gerbers just down the street from Goldsmiths.

    How did pink Highlanders come up..??
  • In my 01 Highlander V6 AWD, I believe I've traced a coolant leak to the "front" of the engine. There is a round plastic or rubber seal, maybe two inches in diameter, held in place with two nuts attached to studs coming through the edges of the seal, from inside the engine. This is located to the left of the oil filter, just slightly higher than the oil filter. I don't know the purpose of this rubber seal nor what is behind it.

    There is a slow and occasional but regular drip of coolant that appears on the floor of the garage.

    Has anyone else ever encountered this, and/or does anyone know what this rubber seal is for? It's not particularly easy to get to as it is behind the exhaust manifold, and I'm thinking I'd rather take it to the dealer than attempt to fix it myself.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Elvis gave his mother Gladys a pink Caddy. :shades:

    Retropia, the only coolant leak post in here that I see deals with a small leak near the throttle body (link).
  • Thanks, I think I've determined from researching at another forum that the seal in question is called an "engine block coolant passage plate" which is used as a mounting location for an optional engine block heater (not certain about that last part) and that leaks here are not uncommon.

    It sounds like it might even be something I can fix myself.
  • It's time to replace the plugs in our 04' Highlander.
    Has anyone done this? I'd like to know how involved it is. Does the intake manifold need to be removed to get at the rear bank of plugs? They look difficult to get at.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Interesting - my last few cars have all had block heaters but they were installed where the freeze plugs are. A plate would make it easier to install one of those gizmos.
  • I found the exact same seal with a metal plate over it held by two studs and nuts, that you described, on the engine of my 04 V6 Highlander. Mine is not leaking yet, but it is good to know about it, so I can keep an eye on it. It looks like it would not be difficult to replace, it would require draining the coolant from the engine, removing the seal, installing a new seal, and refill the engine with coolant.
  • I am also faced with the spark plug changing job in another 7,000 miles, my 04 V6 Highlander should reach 120,000 miles this summer, which is when they are scheduled to be changed. I took a good look at it this weekend, and it appears to me that the only way to have enough room to remove and change the spark plugs is to remove the upper intake manifold. The engine is running so perfectly smooth now, that you can't even tell that the engine is running while idling at a traffic light. Being that is is so much work to change the spark plugs, I'm thinking that I won't change the spark plugs until they actually need changing.
  • Yes, I was able to fix it. Someone on another board posted detailed instructions on how to install the optional engine coolant heater on a Highlander Hybrid, and his photos helped me to figure out what to do.

    As you suggested, I first drained coolant from a petcock located to the right of the oiil filter. I used an old section of garden hose to catch the excess coolant.

    The hardest part is that the plate is located under the exhaust manifold and there isn't much space to maneuver, even with my skinny wrists. You have to work your arm in between the exhaust manifold and electric fan housing. It would have been better if I could have removed the manifold or fan housing, but I was concerned that I might mess it up putting it back together, so I just worked the best I could within the narrow space.

    It was time to do an oil and filter change anyway, so I drained the oil and removed the oil filter, which did free up some space. (The coolant plate is located just to the left of the oil filter.)

    Then I removed the two nuts and pried loose the metal coolant plate. It pried loose easily, because there wasn't much sealant there. It must have originally been overtightened and/or not enough sealant applied.

    I cleaned the mounting surfaces with a scotch brite pad, then applied a fresh bead of Permatex high-temp silicone to the metal coolant plate, then tightened it according to instructions on the Permatex package.

    So far, it is holding coolant fine and no more leaks.
  • Totally forgot to update this, sorry !!!
    Turned out to be a broken ABS sensor ring on 1 of the rear axles. The Toyota tech could not/ did not guess which one it was so they replaced both, ouch.
    Anyway, all fixed and back to normal.
    Bit of a lemon for a Toyota, 2 problems in 70Km !!!!!!
    Link to original post
  • sdesde Posts: 42
    Oy. My wife left one of the two map lights on in our '05 Highlander Limited, and the battery drained. It jump-started successfully.

    Is there no automatic protection for this? Don't the lights go off automatically after some period of time if the engine is off?

    We also have an '05 Corolla; I have the same question regarding that car and its map light (in case anyone in this forum knows).


  • byumgrbyumgr Posts: 14
    I have a 2005 Highlander Limited 6cyl. with 59,200 miles. I was told that the serpentine drive belt should be replaced. My question is, has anyone had theirs replaced this soon and if so, what was the total cost including labor.
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    I've got an 04 HL 4 cyl with 44K miles, no problems so far. Sounds like your service advisor has a boat payment due.
  • krb1krb1 Posts: 15
    I have purchased a certified 2008 HL 3 months ago with 25,000 miles on it. Since I started using the front heater, a high pitch whistle like sound comes on and lasts anywhere from 30 to 60 seconds. I don't turn the heater on till the engine is warm, but it does not make difference. I even tried to drive with the heater on and then turned off. About ten minutes later I turned it back on and the noise started all over again. I just took the car for 30,000 mile service and asked them to fix the problem. They told me that they changed the air filter which had some debris in it. However, yesterday I tried again and the noise is still there lasting even longer and sounding even louder. Did anybody experience similar issue? What could be the problem? I am going to call the service this morning again. Thanks in advance.
    Karolina :mad:
  • tsotsitsotsi Posts: 98
    Just a wild guess. Could it be a fan bearing?
  • krb1krb1 Posts: 15
    I have posted message #4487 and just wanted to add that I have one more issue. Only when in reverse and only sometimes I hear noise from underneath like something is loose, esp. when I break to slow down. I asked the dealership to check it out along with the heater noise. They checked and said that everything is O.K. and nothing is loose, yet the noise is still there. Perhaps it's time to change the dealership/service. :mad: I am starting to wonder if they know what they are doing.
    The only reason I would hate to do that is services included with the purchase (free oil change, batteries, and tires as long as I own the vehicle). Also, free 30,000 - 60,000 - and 70,000 mile service. :sick:
  • does anyone have any experience replacing the windshield washer reservoir in a 2005 highlander? it is buried pretty deep in the right front of the vehicle. any tips on how and where to remove and replace this would be greatly appreciated....Dave
  • Thanks for the info, just what I wanted to know. Even what tools to use, excellent!
    Now that I know it can be done without removing the intake manifold I will attempt it.
    Probably not for a few months though.
    I will let you know how I make out.
  • rugby65rugby65 Posts: 81
    I have a 2003 HL limited front wheel drive purchased it new. it has 66253 trouble free miles except for one minor glitch and that is the steering.
    From day one the ease of steering it in a parking situation changes one day it will steer without any effort at all and may be like that for several days.
    then it goes back to taking both hands while steering in a shopping parking lot.
    On the high way at high speeds I don't notice it that much--there isn't any pulling to the left or right and no balance problem.

    New tires did improve the ride and noise drastically over the crappy goodyear intregity tires that it came with.

    Now to the point does this model have an electrical component that malfunctions now and then or what?
  • bluenose2bluenose2 Posts: 12
    I have exactly the same situation with my 2006 HL. Same response from my dealer.
  • Hello, I own a 2003 HL and am using the red long life coolant. I need to add a little coolant but don't want to pay Toyota $24 for a container. What brand can I safely add to the red longlife, thanks.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Tap water, basically FREE.
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