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Toyota Highlander Maintenance and Repair



  • Will there be a difference if I have the dealer-installed cross-bars removed from my brand new 2011 Toyota Highlander 4WD Limited? I thought I hear a distinctive gush of wind at highway speeds since I took delivery of the vehicle. So I thought maybe the removal of the cross-bars will make the wind noise disappear.
    Turns out that the cross-bars cannot be removed easily. Better if the dealer removes it.

    I don't intend them use them and if I do, I'd like to use the Thule brand instead.

    Let me know what you think.

  • Vehicle info: 2011 Toyota Highlander 4WD with Navigation. Nav DVD disc version 10.1

    Have you ever used the Navigation bypass to allow for DEST input by passenger while the vehicle is moving?
  • phrosutphrosut Posts: 122
    Those crossbars adjust easily. I moved both of mine as far back as they would go and the wind noise disappeared.

  • That's what the dealer in Massachusetts where I bought my '04 had done. All of the Highlanders on the lot had the crossbars together at the rear of the vehicle. They said it was to minimize wind noise.
  • phrosutphrosut Posts: 122
    Something I should have mentioned in my previous post about these bars:

    The bolts that hold them in place can be removed easily and quickly. I learned this from other HL owners that have had theirs stolen, and when I moved my bars back I replaced those stock bolts (that are made to turn by hand) with regular bolts that'd take a wrench. I still have the stock ones should I ever need them.

  • btacbtac Posts: 4
    08 Highlander Ltd (gas, 62K): Discovered water on floor after IRENE blew through PA in late August. Took it to the dealer and they blew out the AC drain line as possible solution.

    Drove 2 hours through driving rain a couple of days ago and just discovered carpet in front is saturated on both sides again.

    Anyone have experience with this before I send it to Toyota to tear my car a part looking for the source??

    Thanks in advance.
  • grahampetersgrahampeters AustraliaPosts: 1,785

    Usual reason for this is water overflowing from the air intake area. The inlet grill between the windscreen and bonnet can accumulate dirt and fine leaves which clog the drains in this area. Water that should normally drain through these outlets then enters the care through the passages intended for air flow.

    If you can get under the car, there should be a small rubber hose on each side, draining down from the chamber. If you have a compressed air hose, you can jet this backward and clear the lines. Alliteratively you can make up a small hose (I made one from 4mm irrigation hose connected to a hose fitting) and feed this up with a water jet to flush out the line.

    As routine maintenance, make sure the grill between the bonnet and windscreen is kept clear of leaf litter, especially if you regularly park under trees.


  • I bought my Highlander brand new in 2005. It now has 75k miles.The original battery is still in it made by Panasonic. Should I replace it or just keep on using it. I had some battery tests done and they all show that it is still fine. I don't think I can find this same battery, but if i can I will stick with this same one. Any other battery recommendations?
  • OEM white Panasonic batteries really good but really hard to come by unless you get one in a new car,. Battery that you have close to the end of it's life but still might last for another year or two. I'd keep an eye on it and if any low battery symptoms develop replace it immediately. You can also get it tested every few months at any auto parts store. If you you want to play safe then get it replaced before winter season. There is a lot of replacement battery choices, it's an endless topic on it's own . I like Costco batteries, they are not very expensive and perform well.
  • I was able to get nine years from my OEM Panasonic battery in my 2001 Highlander. When it began to fail, it was during the summer and thus was more convenient than during the winter. No luck locating a replacement Panasonic battery, although I would have paid more for one. Consumer Reports highly rated WalMart batteries, so that is what I purchased and installed.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    I've heard that Johnson Controls makes all the batteries for Walmart. And there's really on two major manufacturers in the US anyway (the other brand name escapes me - Optima?).
  • You are referring to the Kirkland Signature brand?
  • My Toyota dealer said for $100 they would replace and install a
    new TRUStart battery. How are these batteries?
  • I need to replace my tires before winter. I live in Milwaukee so I need all season. It's between the general grabbers or the Michelin ms/2 which are pricey , but great. Any suggestions?
  • The silver plastic piece around the instrument panel by the speedometer tends to rattle while driving. I press on it and it goes away. Any way to try and fix this?
  • grahampetersgrahampeters AustraliaPosts: 1,785

    You may find the easiest way is to get a small dab of blutac and push it between the rattling parts. It only need so be a tiny bit.


  • Problem is it's hard for me to exactly know where it's making the rattling noise in the dash.
  • Yes, I was referring to Kirkland Signature brand. You can buy more expensive battery if you want but you'll see no difference.
  • I have a 2004 Toyota Highlander with 93,000 miles. It has been a nice car to drive but very expensive to maintain and repair. I have replaced 7 wheel bearings and the drive shaft to the rear end because of bearings. I owned a Ford previously with 189,000 miles and never had to replace a bearing. Whats up with Toyota?
  • Replaced my 2001 Highlander OEM battery in 2009 with an Everstart South from Walmart. Got a great deal and have had no issues since.
  • tsotsitsotsi Posts: 98
    My 05 Highlander had a bad bearing on the serpentine belt tensioner, causing the belt to fail at only 65,000 miles. Getting a new tensioner, water pump (it was leaking a little) and belt cost more than $800. I imagine the bearings come from the lowest bidder, saving Toyota a little money and costing the owner a lot.

    On the other hand, I was sure I had a front wheel bearing going out because of a loud howling noise coming from the front end. Fortunately, I took the car to a private mechanic who took the time to put the Highlander on a lift and spin the front wheels a various speeds -- a method he said would determine whether it was a bearing or not. Turned out the bearings were fine, but Yokohama tires with quite a lot of tread left had become incredibly loud. It seems that Highlanders don't do a very good job of isolating drivers from tire noise. I wonder if all 7 of the wheel bearings that were replaced on your car were really bad.
  • Thanks for the info, worked for me... I cut the wire off the old sensor and used an airhammer to knock the terminal connector off pretty easily. I was then able to slip a 22mm deep socket onto the sensor with a breaker bar removal was simple. I was having problems getting any movement with the combination wrench.
  • Go with the Grabbers. I just put on my wife's MDX and they seem very nice. Michelins are expensive and can blow easy if you rub a curb.
  • I have a 02 Highlander 6 AWD with 89,000 miles. I have babied it and used synthetic oil since breakin. I had not noticed any unusual oil consumption until recently and noticed that the dealer had switched to 0W20 Toyota synthetic oil. I have been using 1 qt / 1,000 miles which, although it is listed as "normal" in the manual I had never experienced before. I just switched to 5W30 (the weight from the manual) Mobil 1 High Mileage and also changed the PCV valve (as some had mentioned this might be related to unusual oil consumption). The PCV valve seemed to move freely . Since the change I have used about 1 quart for 1,800 miles which is a lot better. I have not noticed any blue smoke puffs at startup like I had before. I don't know why the dealer switched to 0W20, which may be the weight for new vehicles but not for mine.
    So since my oil consumption is a lot better I'm sticking with the 5W30 Mobil 1 High Mileage. I'm not sure which was the major contributor, switch from 0W20 to 5W30, switch to Mobil 1 High Mileage or the PCV valve.
  • I also have an 02 hl. where is the pcv valve and can you buy it at a local parts store.

    by the way, i have 113000 and no repairs, other than the rear windows don't work. no unusual oil usage. changed oil and fillter every 3k miles or 3 month since new. thanks.rr70
  • Just got the Grabbers for 125 each installed in Pittsburgh. I hav ethem on a Jeep and my son has em on his Ford Escape in Cleveland. I love them
  • jrfierojrfiero Posts: 123
    Please see posts 4858, 4874, and 4964 in this forum.
    To add to 4964, I have taken numerous 1000+ mile round trips since replacing the PCV valve and have experienced no oil consumption between oil changes.
  • To: roadrunner70
    The PCV valve is in the back on the top on the left as you look from front to back. I had the dealer do it and it was not too expensive. Not sure if you can get it at a parts store.
  • Sorry this is not the place for this note..but this is my first post and I was wondering how to private message. I actually had a question for Phil regarding the extended warranty. My question is how do I verify the Toyota Care warranty is legit over the phone. I am planning to buy an Avalon soon. So was wondering about this.


  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 70,693
    We don't have a private message feature... You can just ask right here in the forums (just like you did). All of the members can benefit from the conversation.



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