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Toyota Highlander Maintenance and Repair



  • Hello Fellow Highlander Owners-

    I am a 2x Highlander owner and I am having problems with my 2006 Highlander with a rear end thudding noise when I am at highway speeds and turning to the right at highway speeds. I have 75,000 miles on my SUV, they have replaced the following and nothing has resolved the problem: rear end spindles and bushings, rear sway bar bushings, rear sway bar links. I am up to over $700 with no solution of the problem. Any thoughts out there?
  • shagnatshagnat Posts: 78
    I think I'd have a little word of prayer with my dealer. You've spent a decent amount of $$ and for what? You've got nothing to show for it except receipts for work done that didn't work??!!
  • yohohikryohohikr Posts: 4
  • phrosutphrosut Posts: 122
    "... word of prayer with the dealer..." ??

    Have YOU been diagnosing this problem yourself and then TELLING the dealer what needs to be replaced?

    I worked enough years in the auto repair industry to know that if someone came in and told us what to repair/replace, we did it no matter whether or not it fixed the problem. If it didn't fix the problem, not our fault... totally the customer's responsibility.

    If someone came in and said "this is the symptom I have, can you fix it?" then it was up to us to PROPERLY diagnose the problem, give an estimate, then when authorized, fix it. If we made a mistake diagnosing the problem, any incorrect repairs were our problem, not the customers.

    Have the rules changed?

  • ualdepualdep Posts: 3
    Wheel Bearing ! The symptoms are increased noise/ roar while turning. I'm sure what a "thudding" noise is, though;
  • shagnatshagnat Posts: 78
    Whoa horse (Phil). Nobody said anything about the customer diagnosing his own problem. He said all this was done by the dealer........ no mention of him TELLING the dealer what to replace. Don't know where you got it from but perhaps you need to go back and read it again.

    Also, replacing parts just because the customer asked for them to be replaced knowing it won't fix a problem would not be doing the customer a favor. Perhaps they received wrong information somewhere and just thought they really knew what would fix the problem.

    Anyway, being as high strung and misinformed as you are, I hope you're not longer in the automobile repair business. You'd be doing all customers at your service center a big favor. Shame on you for not being more HELPFUL to your customers and informing them they're mistaken about what would or would not fix a problem.

    However, if a customer is totally convienced they know what they're talking about and still insist on replacing parts even though you knew it wouldn't fix anything, then I would agree with you, otherwise, I'm glad I've never had you for a service advisor.
  • phrosutphrosut Posts: 122
    edited May 2010
    Actually I was trying to be polite and tell the OP that if he's spent that much money and the dealer was the one that "diagnosed" the problem, I would be demanding some resolution from that dealer.

    I also wanted the OP to understand how most, if not all, auto repair businesses operate with regards to someone coming in and saying "change this".

    Sorry I'm so misinformed and high strung for your likes.

  • beachfish2beachfish2 Richmond VAPosts: 177
    You politely asked a question or two. I don't know what shagnat is going on about with the insults and bad attitude.

    And no, the rules haven't changed about dealing with a service department. Since I started driving in '66, if you say do it, they'll do it and bill you for it without a second thought.

    Except for the brake job I tried to get the dealer to do on an '06 Avalon before I sold it to a woman at work. They said it didn't need it and the original brakes were just fine. Go figure, 46k miles. It passed state inspection.
  • jmaharajjmaharaj Posts: 3
    I have the same "cuck" sound when turning the steering wheel. been there for a while. not sure if this is something serious and needs to be looked at. Hilander 2005 Limited Edition. Started at about 40k miles. I only have 52K miles. Not sure if this would be covered under 7 year 100K warranty. Thanks. Jack
  • abby1313abby1313 Posts: 20
    Did you change your tires to a "softer", higher performance tire about the time the clunk started? I think that's what it was on my 2004 Highlander Limited, and those tires only lasted 20,000. I think when I turned sharply, the tires just sort of "rolled over" onto the outside edge of the tire.
  • bdymentbdyment Posts: 570
    Toyota is well aware of this problem. It is internal to the steering column and it will only get worse. I would think it would be covered under your extended warranty.
  • jmaharajjmaharaj Posts: 3
    Is there a phone number available so I can contact toyota or I have to take the SUV to the dealer. Thanks. Jack
  • bdymentbdyment Posts: 570
    You should go to the dealer. They will have to assess the situation and determine for sure if it is a warranty item..
  • Hello, Did you ever have your valve covers and PCV valve replaced and this resolved the oil consumption? I also have this issue with my 2002 Highlander and only with highway driving. I'm consuming 2 qts of oil in 300 highway miles.
  • I have a 2003 Highlander with 82,000 miles. I just replaced the back valve cover gasket and now have a bad main seal and a leak in the water pump is leaking. Has anyone else had these problems?? It sure doesn't seem right at this mileage.
  • jrfierojrfiero Posts: 123
    See also 4858. No one has responded about whether the PCV valve solves the problem.
    I hope it does! It's an easy replacement, a $6 part, 15 minutes. It's in the rear head cover (that's what Toyota calls it - we call it a valve cover) on the passenger side, takes a 19mm wrench. Not much room to move, but enough. The spring clamp moves with finger pressure, you might need a screwdriver to loosen the hose.
    I haven't done any highway miles since I replaced mine, we'll see.
  • kenabrkenabr Posts: 9
    My Highlander, on a trip out west was using a quart every 200-250 miles when I drove over 70mph. Speed limits in these states are 75mph. If I held the speed at 70 or less the oil loss dropped sustantially. When I suggested to my service dept. that I felt that the PCV valve was bad I don't think they beleaved me. At the 100k service tune up the PCV was replaced and the problem was solved.
  • Wow that is amazing that it is the PCV valve. I have a similar problem only at HWY speeds > 70-75 mph with oil consumption on my 2002 Highlander. I have a couple questions: Do you know if that was the original PCV valve"> (i.e, never been replaced before)? And do you know the details on what is happening to that oil when the pcv valve isn't working? Did you check the hose that connects the PCV valve to the air intake manifold to see if it was coated with oil? Just wondering if the oil was being sucked through the PCV valve up into the intake manifold which eventually gets burned in the cyclinder combustion. Thanks!
  • Have you driven any HWY miles yet to see if the PCV valve has fixed your excessive oil consumption problem? Let me know if it does. I'd be VERY interested. In #4875, this did fix his oil consumption problem. Thanks!
  • jrfierojrfiero Posts: 123
    I haven't driven any highway miles since replacing the PCV. I have a trip planned in August, and I'll be paying careful attention.
    I'll let everyone know after that trip.
    I did read 4875, and was happy to see it.

  • dahandahan Posts: 2
    I have a 2003 highlander. Its Check Engine Light came on recently. I had the code scanned and it reported P0441, P0442, P0446.

    Many messages on the web suspected it was caused by a hose knocked off. I found a loose hose from the case of air filter.

    The rubber hose (about 1/2 inch wide and and a foot long), which comes out of the air filter case at the top of the driver-windshield direction (right below many wire-looking tubes), is connected to nothing.

    And there is an upward metal tube, located right below the rubber hose, with an upward opening.

    I think I should connect the free rubber hose to the metal tube by covering the metal tube with the rubber hose.

    Am I doing the right thing?

    Thanks a lot.
  • bikeman3bikeman3 Posts: 85
    My 03 did the same thing. i recconnected the hoses and relocked the air filter housing which had popped open., It took about 3 weeks for the CEL to go away.
  • phrosutphrosut Posts: 122
    Yes, connect that hose to the pipe. It usually pulls off when the air filter is changed but takes a few hundred miles before it turns on the CEL and/or the VSC lights.

    If you want the CEL to go away faster, disconnect the battery for a few minutes then reconnect.

    I usually pencil down the station numbers in the radio memory rather than have to figure them all out again.

  • bikeman3bikeman3 Posts: 85
    If you disconnect the battery and live in PA, the emissions test will show that you did it and will not test your car until it is reset thru normal driving or by a mechanic
  • dahandahan Posts: 2
    Thank you, bikeman3 and Phil. A few days passed, at least the CEL has not come back yet.
  • I am the original owner of my "05 highlander V6. I now have 60k miles on it and recently took it to my dealer for an oil change. They tell me the rear brake pads have about 2mm left and the front have 44mm left and that I should replace them asap. They would also machine the rotors.

    My only concern is should i they machine the rotors wouldn't that damage the pads quicker meaning I wouldn't get 60k miles off of them as I did originally?

    Is it a better idea to replace pads/rotors at the same time vs replacing the pads again at another 30k miles because the machined rotors are damaging them?

    Is there anywhere someone could recommend that I go to get a free estimate because maybe the dealer is taking me for a ride....but maybe not..

  • shagnatshagnat Posts: 78
    This doesn't smell quite right to me. I assume on the front you mean 4mm and not 44mm, right? :)

    Anyway, you should not have to turn the rotors. I have never had my rotors turned on any of my previous 4 Toyotas, nor on my -03 Highlander that currently has 75K on it.

    I'd definitely call BS on your dealer unless he's willing to pull the wheels and lets you feel the rotors yourself. Minor differences (ridges etc) don't need to be machined flat. However, if there is quite a bit of difference, you be the judge, between parts of the rotors, then yes, I'd have those turned, but, I cannot see why the rotors would have large differences (ridges) in them.

    Keep us posted on your findings.
  • correct 4mm, so do you feel there is no reason to have the rotors resurfaced? should I just have the pads changed? When do rotors have the get replaced completely?
  • Should I stick to Genuine Toyota brakes pads? Has anyone had luck with something different/less expensive?
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