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Toyota Highlander Maintenance and Repair



  • edhedh Posts: 246
    parked at a marina or beachfront or was really from Philly
  • I've got an '03 and zero rust. I've never heard/seen anything on this before. However, I don't live in Florida, just in sunny South Carolina.
  • edhedh Posts: 246
    also zero rust
    was the car a katrina underwater car?
  • Thanks for the responses! I have my concerns about this particular highlander. When I went to look at it, it had already been reduced to just under 18,000. I looked at it yesterday, saw the rust, and left before the salesman could get out of his chair. By the time I got home and posted this message, it had been reduced to 16,000. It seemed too good to be true, and now it just seems like they are desperate to be rid of it. Obviously, I am worried that the rust on the window trim is just the tip of the iceberg.
  • Didn't think about the underwater possibility. Not a katrina car, though. Manufactured in december 2005.
  • Does anyone know the secret to removing the rear wiper blade on the 06 Highlander, in order to install a new one.
  • byumgrbyumgr Posts: 14
    I would image that you could just take out the insert like you can on the '05 Highlander, like I do on mine.
  • edhedh Posts: 246
    our dealer sells only the whole thing. holder and blade, not the arm
    I think the owners manual tell u how to replace
  • roho1roho1 Posts: 318
    '07 HL owner here. I was curious if anyone here knows if the 01-07 first generation Highlanders have had any reports of the uncontrolled acceleration issue or brakes. They are not on the recall list and I have not heard of any problems but that doesn't mean anything.

    What type of throttle does it use? DBW?

    thanks, concerned owner.
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    Owner of an 04 HL here, no recalls so far. And not sure if the accelerator or brake is DBW.
  • I have an 06. Never had a recall or any problem, other than rear brake disks wearing out prematurely. MIne still runs and rides like new after 4 1/2 years and 87K kilometers (54K miles).
  • edhedh Posts: 246
    I have not heard of arly highlander problems.
    Seems toyota has stopped testing of new designs.
    brakes, throttle, back up lights dim, wind noise from doors, weak key fob button springs- put the remote in your pocket - keys push on the buttons, too sensitive- Buick fobs require more and longer pressure.
    They just anint testing the products like they used to.
    And why keep changing the stuff?????
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    The only problem I've had was the flaky temperature control knob that is well documented. Other than that just normal maintenance items. I've got 55K miles on it, bought it new in May 2004, and still have the orginal brakes and battery.

    I think Toyota lost it's focus on quality with the newer recent models.
  • roho1roho1 Posts: 318
    I think Toyota lost it's focus on quality with the newer recent models.

    Agreed, I'm on my 2nd gen 1 HL and have never had any issues with them, no defects or, maintenance problems. They've been the perfect car for me. Sad to say my lease is running out and I don't know what to try and replace it with, nothing out there compares. I was bummed out when the 08 HL came out, too big for me. I may end up just buying it for the residual.
  • phrosutphrosut Posts: 122
    If you've followed these boards for awhile, or read back through the old postings, you'll notice a problem that began when the HL started using "drive by wire" (was that '05?)

    Occasionally, when pulling into the fast lane and 'stepping on it', there was an uncomfortable delay before acceleration began. Quite a few stated it was "scary".

    Now the new acceleration problems in this recall only reinforce those early posts that there were issues with sensors and/or programming and/or the ECM. But no reports of acceleration or braking issues on those earlier models that I've ever seen here.

  • roho1roho1 Posts: 318
    Thanks, I've owned an '03 and an '07 and haven't noticed the issue.

    The only difference to me was in the transmission. The shift points of the '07 5 speed are not to my liking compared to the '03 4 speed. I've learned to live with it but sometimes when you step on it, the trans. downshifts before it accelerates, really maddening.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "..uncomfortable delay..."

    That 1-2 second downshift delay was/is intentionally incorporated into the engine/transaxle ECU firmware.

    "To protect the drive train".
  • My last 3 cars, 1995 Buick w/supercharger, 03 Highlander, and 08 Hyundai Azera all have this dreaded and potentially unsafe "lag" whenever flooring the accelerator.
  • I dont recall being annoyed by any lag when passing with my V6 2005, and I have a heavy foot. But what does annoy me very much is slowing for a stop sign, then without coming to a full stop, I accelerate, then it downshifts, producing an annoying lurch. My parents' 4 cyl 2002 HL doesn't do that at all, it's smooth. I have always thought this to be a poor engineering problem.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "slowing for a stop sign.."


    All the Toyota/etc FWD and F/awd vehicles, possibly other marques as well, especially those of asian origin that are more likely to use the same transaxle and firmware source, have this "flaw".

    As you slow below 10 mph the transaxle will upshift in order to alleviate the potential for loss of directional control caused by too much inadvertent/unintentional engine compression braking should the roadbed happen to be slippery. It will then NOT shift into 1st gear (from 3rd...4th??) until you come to a final FULL stop....UNLESS you decide to accelerate in the interim, resulting in that annoying lurch.

    You will have this same effect as you slow below about 35mph and the trnasaxle upshifts to lower the level of engine compression braking.

    Your parents' 4 cyl probably doesn't have enough engine compression braking to be of concern in this matter.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "..when passing.."

    The 1-2 second downshift delay/hesitation only occurs subsequent to, quickly following. an upshift. If for some reason the transaxle has begun an upshift sequence (2 seconds) or having just completed one (1 second) the DBW system will be used to delay rising engine torque, ignoring the gas pedal position, until the transaxle full completes the now required downshift.
  • phrosutphrosut Posts: 122
    Not that I could afford otherwise, but this conversation just reinforces my plan to keep our '03 HL and not trade for newer...

    I had over 200,000 miles on the Taurus that we traded for this Highlander. Figuring if I could get that many on a Ford, I fully anticipated clocking 300,000 on a Toyota, but now may start aiming for the half-million mark!

  • I'm keeping my 03 HL also. Only 60K at present and NO issues at all.
  • Thanks, wwest, for this explanation. Life gets more and more complicated as we try to provide better and better products/services. It's a great car!!
  • ohmygoshohmygosh Posts: 66
    I just purchased a new 2010 Highlander Limited AWD. Can anyone tell me about driving in the 'S' gear which is adjacent to the 'D' on the shifter. I accidently put it in this gear and drove about 30 miles @ 70mph before I realized I wasn't in DRIVE. Is this okay, and under what conditions would you use this gear. Any feedback would be appreciated.
  • mdhuttonmdhutton Posts: 195
    You use the "S" setting to manually change gears 1-5. Whatever gear you're in (while in "D") will be maintained upon the change to "S," but any gear changes while in "S" are up to you.

    Presumably, you were already at 70mph when you bumped your shifter to "S," in which case you were in 5th gear. Perhaps a bit of a sacrifice on mileage, but not much else.

    However, if you drove for 30 miles @ 70mph in 4th or even worse, 3rd gear, I'd be worried you put a lot of unnecessary revs on the motor. In 2nd or 1st, you would have blown it up, so I'm sure that wasn't the case.
  • shagnatshagnat Posts: 78
    The "S" gear is for taking off on "Snow". It's actually 2nd gear. It will then shift throughout the range of gears (after 2nd) just as if you started in "Drive". Check your manual, it will verify this. It has absolutely nothing with manual shifting of gears. You're fine, no damage done at all.
  • jrfierojrfiero Posts: 123
    Just a slight clarification (if it wasn't clear).
    In S you start off in second gear rather than first. 2nd has less torque multiplication than first, so you're less likely to spin your tires.
    Earlier models had a Snow Mode button near the base of the shifter.
  • mdhuttonmdhutton Posts: 195
    Then why does my manual say differently and my vehicle behave differently than what you describe? There is a "snow mode" button at the bottom of the shifter next to the DAC "downhill assist" button.
  • jrfierojrfiero Posts: 123
    Well, then, at least my bad for my entry 4795.
    I just assumed the S you were talking about had replaced the snow mode.
    I'll shut up now.
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