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Toyota Highlander Maintenance and Repair



  • aoakleyaoakley Posts: 1
    I have codes p0141 p0420 and p0430. Can you tell me the best/cheapest fix for these just to pass inspection? I don't want to dump a ton into it since it has 167k miles.
  • jrfierojrfiero Posts: 123
    Oops, sorry for my misinterpretation.
    Wwest makes a good point - are your u-joints really going bad? Do you notice any noise or vibration? When you grab the shaft and rotate it can you see any sloppiness in the joints?
    If you're sure they're worn, I like your newer used idea. Can't help with how hard it is to replace.

  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    The easiest thing to do would be to take the vehicle to your local Auto Zone or Advanced Discount Auto shop and have them run the codes. They'll do it for free and tell you the likely cause of each code.
  • eenglish99eenglish99 Posts: 25
    After the initial visit I thought that they were talking about the rear of the three drive shafts and I crawled under tried twisting it and didn't feel any play. When I went back to get an inspection sticker I asked them to show me the problem when it was on the lift. Twisting the front shaft did show some play, which I assume was in the u-joints, although it wasn't terrible.

    What makes me more suspicious that this is a more common problem is that the initial visit was to replace the PCV valve (which I had read here might help with the oil consumption problem) and to get an error code cleared. I wouldn't expect that checking the drive shafts would be part of the "free 20 point inspection" unless it was becoming a more common problem.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    edited July 2011
    There is ALWAYS a bit of play, to the level that one can easily feel/detect, but mostly due to the slop/slack in the front, PTO, ring and pinion matchup, or/and the rear diff'l ring and pinion.

    Apply the e-brake, put the car in drive on a lift to "take up" the slack in the gears, and now try to detect any play.

    I have seen no indication anywhere on the internet that any part of the rear driveline is subject to premature failure plus those components are almost never under any stress, simply along for the ride, marketing "AWD" "ride"

    Marketing might refer to your HL as "AWD" but to me it remains a simple ONE-WHEEL drive vehicle, three fully open diff'l, front, center, and rear.
  • luckysevenluckyseven Posts: 134
    Marketing might refer to your HL as "AWD" but to me it remains a simple ONE-WHEEL drive vehicle, three fully open diff'l, front, center, and rear.

    Is it why you never attempted to drive a HL but prefer bashing it all the time?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I drive, since new, a 2001 F/awd RX300. My RX300 has the exact same drive train configuration as the HL except you may not have the non-functional VC.

    Three simple open diff'ls with TC activation to enforce/enable some semblance of AWD functionality as a last resort, once the front tires have already lost traction.
  • luckysevenluckyseven Posts: 134
    edited July 2011
    I don't understand how your experience with driving 11 years old RX300 or any other of the vehicles you've been driven through your lifetime has anything to do with your constant bashing of current HL AWD. Your vehicle doesn't have neither traction control nor stability control like HL does, and if you're are not satisfied with it get something modern. We have actual HL owners feedback here biosmonkey, "Advice about 2011 Highlander and AWD" #1, 27 Nov 2010 10:51 am and it is nothing but positive.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    edited July 2011
    The real problem, actually, is that my '01 F/awd RX300 DOES have TC and VSC.

    '01 was the first year of that implementation, along with HID, on the RX.

    That's why Lexus and Toyota was able to drop the formulation of the viscous fluid in the VC to the point of non-functionality. With TC there is NEVER any opportunity of VC activity anyway so why make it functional.

    Which is why the RX330 series, and maybe the RX350, along with likely your HL, doesn't have VC at all. Why have it in the drive line if it never gets to function.

    The '99 & 00 F/awd RX300's had a more functional VC and an optional LSD. But the "Camry" transaxle proved to be not robust enough for those features so something had to "give".
  • luckysevenluckyseven Posts: 134
    edited July 2011
    I really don't care about having LSD in my HL since it performs fine under severe weather conditions without it. Real life experiences provided here prove that your homegrown Toyota AWD conspiracy theories pretty baseless.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "...don't care about having LSD.."

    Good, because that's one of the functions of TC, "simulation" of a mechanical LSD using differential braking.
  • luckysevenluckyseven Posts: 134
    edited July 2011
    "...don't care about having LSD.."

    Good, because that's one of the functions of TC, "simulation" of a mechanical LSD using differential braking.

    You exactly right here, and it would be completely useless in 2gen HL AWD implementation. Can you put this non issue to rest? You've been spreading baseless rumors for years and even were banned from other Toyota forums for misleading info. Just stop.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The truth will out....

    Why do you think most of these F/awd implementations have a "TC off" mode...??

    Can you imagine having to unlock the "center diff'l" of a fully functional F/awd system such as the SH-AWD in order to go up and going initially or even worse to get unstuck from a mudhole or snowdrift.


    Why not put just a little more trust in the owner/driver..??

    Have a TC mode wherein the braking still provides re-apportionment of torque but with no engine dethrottling. There could even be a "time-out" function, if the driver continues to abuse the engine, revving too high with the brakes "hammering", the system could quickly convert back into the engine dethrottling mode, or even full TC off mode.

    Oh, sorry, sometimes I forget that these are patently UNSAFE base FWD systems and front wheelspin MUST be abated with the utmost urgency to preven loss of directional control.

    Good idea, thought, anyway.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    edited July 2011
    " would be completely useless in 2gen.."

    You misunderstand, it is the "2gen" that uses to TC to implement a "virtual" LSD.

    Besides which there are several mechanical LSD versions that are much more desireable, less intrusive, and with more functionality, than one using the braking approach. But it's rather difficult to put those on the front of a base FWD vehicle without creating a serious level of knuckle-busting torque stear.
  • luckysevenluckyseven Posts: 134
    edited July 2011
    How can you compare SH-AWD here when it is used on vehicles that cost almost twice as much as a HL? I'm trying to tell you that you are wrong with your homegrown theories that trying to prove that HL AWD somehow deficient or even dangerous to drive. HL AWD is perfectly suitable for what it is designed. Would I pay extra $5K for SH-AWD in a HL - the answer is NO. You can improve many things in any vehicle but in this case if improvement comes with major price increase or with FUE sacrifice then it is completely unnecessary. HL already has very efficient AWD system and no one cares if your theories and your technical mambo jumbo agree with it or not. Read about actual owner's experience here I know it is out of the question but you might want actually try driving a HL. So far all you have just theories.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    edited July 2011
    Let's get back to maintenance and repair please so the owners can solve real problems instead of getting sidetracked with uncommon theories that aren't yet recognized by any automotive safety organization in the real world. There are other sites on the net for dissecting the minutia of how best to deliver traction to a car's wheels that are beyond the scope of the AWD v 4WD discussions we host here.
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    minutia?? Awww, I had to Google that to find what that meant. But you spelled it wrong, it's minutiae, :shades:.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    edited July 2011
    Bummer - stupid Chrome nor Edmunds' spell checker picked that up. IESpell in Internet Explorer would have caught that. Guess it's acceptable as the plural.

    Didn't Arthur Treacher drive a Minutia? :P
  • jpfjpf Posts: 496
    Sometimes wacky electrical gremlins are caused simply by a weak battery. It messes up the vehicle's computer. You may want to have a load test done on the battery. Good luck.
  • Anybody got any good news on this problem. My 2004 Limited Edition roof failed open. I can hear the plastic grind, tried the disconnect battery. Also am trying body shops as they do repair interiors/etc. and probably can put the cable/track in easily. Cost is still rising though. One place quoted me $600. Maybe I should take it. Part they say is $350.
    Thanks - new to the forum.
  • krb1krb1 Posts: 15
    I have 2008 Toyota Highlander Ltd. The roof failed after about 2 years of ownership. I have hardly ever used the roof - up to that point maybe less than 10 times. I purchased the car used and so maybe the previous owner used the sunroof more often, but I could not believe that it failed so quickly. I had a similar problem. The roof did not want to close. When I pressed slide to close it popped up and vice versa. I took it to the dealership and they confirmed that the cable is no good and needs replacement. The price they quoted was $700. I refuse to spend so much money on the roof, especially since it must have defective since the beginning. I begged them if there was anything they could do for me. Eventually, they fixed it free of charge, but I have not used the roof since fearing that I will run into problems again. Also, ever since the repair I have noticed raindrops alongside the rubber seal every time it rains.

    I guess your quote is right on. Good luck.
  • I have owned 5 toyotas and currently have 3. All with moon roofs and never had a problem. The Highlander "Limited" is supposed to be the grand daddy of them. Guess not. I didn't drive it much in the winter (other cars) and the brakes rusted (that was truly my fault.) With a all wheel drive, you really have to drive it regularly. I've asked a question on site and we'll see. They gave somebody directions on how to pull the headliner down and replace the cable/track for $100 in parts. That I can do.

    Thanks again.
  • I have a 2002 hl and both rear windows will not go down. When I push the button on the driver's door, or on the rear door (either one) I hear a click, but nothing. It sounds just like when a window is up all the way and you click it to go up. It is the main control, or is the window stuck, as there are message boards which discuss that the window channel on these cars are also a problem. thanks, rr70
  • scott228scott228 Posts: 2
    edited August 2011
    I own a 2003 Highlander Limited AWD with approximately 93,000 miles. Last September I started getting a chattering sound which appeared to come from the middle or rear portion of the car when accelerating from a stop. It was almost as if the ABS was engaging when pulling away from a dead stop. It didn't happen all the time and only lasted a few seconds. I took it into the Toyota dealer and was told it was the ABS sensors which had rusted and had to be replaced. Fast forward to last week when the chattering reappeared. I took it back into the dealer and they replaced the ABS sensors but the sound continued. Now they are saying it is the anti-skid computer which I assume is the ECU that is faulty and must be totally replaced at a cost of over $2000. When asked if this is common, the Toyota shop said no and had replaced very few if any. Should I get a second opinion? Is there anyway to test this part to determine if it is indeed faulty? Could it be anything else? Anyone know if this is a part subject to any recalls? Appreciate any advice you can provide.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    " there anyway to test..?"


    Disable the VSC/trac system by disconnecting the MAF/IAT module while the engine is idling. The engine will probably die, reconnect the module, restart the engine and now you will have a CEL & VSC/Trac diagnostic indication for a few drive cycles.

    If the sound continues during that period it is NOT the VSC/Trac ECU.

    VSC/Trac = anti-skid.
  • dansa2dansa2 Posts: 28
    2011 Highlander receiver/trailer hitch new from Toyota $450 uninstalled. Hitch hidden behind bumper. Saw after market and what appears to be OEM hitchs online, $250. Has anyone purchased after market hitch and where?
  • Does the 2011 HL 6 cyl have a transmission dipstick and tranny drain plug? I was told that the 2011 camry 4 cy has no dipstick and the salesmen said there was no drain plug.

    thanks, rr70
  • wwest,

    Thanks for the info. I'll give it a try and see what happens. One thing I forgot to mention and was wondering if it would make a difference. None of the dash warning lights for the ABS appear to come on when this occurs.
  • soco4soco4 Posts: 9
    We have a 2002 V-6 AWD Highlander with 67,000 miles. Problem: from closed throttle (especially, it seems, when stopped), the throttle does not open smoothly and in a linear manner. Instead, more and more pressure on the acc. pedal needs to be applied in an effort to get going, then it feels that something gives way and the car lurches forward. It's difficult to get precise bits of acceleration, as when pulling into the garage. I suspect that the throttle plate has worn a groove into its housing. Has anyone encountered a similar problem? Thanks for your help.
  • luckysevenluckyseven Posts: 134
    Most likely you need to clean throttle body from dirt build up. You can do it yourself.

    How to
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