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Toyota Highlander Maintenance and Repair



  • I have 05 HL with 103K miles and it is starting to thump whenever it decelerates. Is it the transmission? Also, what is the difference between a service and a maintenance?

  • 05highlander0505highlander05 Posts: 89
    edited March 2012
    After the pulley recall was performed by my dealership recently my car has had some new problems I've never had before. It takes a much longer time for the engine to start/crank over when I have it parked for a long period of time.  I also hear some type of clunking sound coming from the engine at times while the engine is trying to start.

    Any ideas of what I should check or do?
  • presam44presam44 Posts: 1
    Hey Everyone,

    I have a 2005 highlander and when I am going over 60 my car starts to sway really bad. I tap my brake and it decreases.

    The dealership is saying that the rear axle carriage assembly needs to be replaced and that will cost about 1500 in just parts- I do not know if the dealership is just taking advantage of my lack of knowledge.

    Does anyone have the same problem or do you know of a cheaper solution

  • moonlight293moonlight293 ILPosts: 23
    Is the swaying motion a recent event or has it always been that way?
  • On the last oil change my dealer recommended that I change the timing belt. I am noticing that it's taking longer and longer for the engine to turn over so I assume it's the timing belt. Should I do it now or wait until 90k as the manual states?
  • took my 04 highlander fwd 54,600 miles in for Va. state inspection at the toyota dealer, it passed, however they wanted to show me problems they found. ball joint leaking on dr side only $320.00 with the alignment, said it was'nt leaking to the point to prevent car from passing the inspection also the rear valve cover gasket is leaking they failed to give me a printout price, p steering fluid is black they also want to flush the p brake fluid @ $114.95 each. nothen eles wrong mechanicly except the side of the dr leather seat at seat control is split in several places was told by dealer and the uphulstery shop this is common problem with this leather seat as toyota used a thin vinal in this area $275.00 to to repair with thicker vinal. is vehecle at the point where things are starting to go bad and need replacing has anyone eles had simuler problems? see several 2013 are being redesigned thinking about going new aswell comments please thanks to all
  • I recently bought a new V6 Highlander Limited FWD. Car was manufactured Jan 2012 in Princeton, IN. On my way home from the dealer I noticed that while going around a corner in either direction at low speed, the steering or front suspension would make a sudden clunk or popping noise. This happens inconsistently on an average of 1 occurrence out of every about 10 times you go around a corner. It can happen at any speed below 30 mph at any steering angle in either direction. I also noticed after driving through a heavy rain storm that the clunk noise disappeared for a few days. Took the car back to the dealer and they replaced the intermediate shaft with around 500 miles on the odo. The steering was smooth thereafter for about 250 miles and the exact same clunking ghost returned. I am very disappointed that steering parts on my brand new expensive Toyota was already replaced and I still have a problem with it. Toyota Corporate CS referred me to the dealer to resolve. I do not want to return my car to the dealer as a test dummy and have them replacing parts until they find the faulty part by accident.

    Has anyone experienced the same issue or know about a TSB for this issue? I would greatly appreciate any feedback. I am sure there must be more HL out their that rolled off the same assembly line around the same time with the same issue.

    Thank you!
  • fiosfios Posts: 1
    I have the same issue. steering pops when turning - mostly when making right turns. intermediate shaft was replaced. the popping frequency reduced. it pops more often when its cold outside. There was a TSB for the previous years but i havent seen any for this year.
    I hear that some had to replace the whole steering box cause thats where the popping is coming from. if they cant fix it, use the lemon law. im thinking about it.

    my car was built in indiana.
  • mailmanronmailmanron Posts: 9
    I'm starting to hear a thump, thump sound from the rear of my 09 Highlander Limited V6 front wheel drive with 30,000 miles. Can't see anything wrong with the tires. Surely the rear wheel bearings can't be going out...can they??
  • rhodnettrhodnett Posts: 1
    I have the same car and the same problem, plus mine won't hold a true straight path without constantly jiggering the steering wheel to stay in the center of straight lanes.
  • j06j06 Posts: 90
    2006 HL @ 65,000 miles

    I used to change oil every 3K miles. At 45K the rep said the interval was changed to 5K. From receipts I found they used 5W-30. This is the information I got from parts “ Two type of oils.. Regular and Synth. Regular need change every 2K-3K & Synth 5K-7K. He said since my HL interval is 5K, the dealer is using Synthetic. I would like to change the oil by myself. Few questions

    What kind of Oil I should use? Is it okay to use conventional?

    Any problem using 5W-20 instead of 5W-30?

    Do the dealers change filter with every oil change? do they really change oil & filer for price of $20-25 ?

    Thank You.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    do they really change oil & filer for price of $20-25 ?

    Plenty do.

    Just be careful of the upsell and get another opinion if they find something else that needs attention "while they are in there".
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    What kind of Oil I should use? Is it okay to use conventional?

    Conventional oil works fine, that's what I use. There's a whole other discussion on synthetic vs. conventional oil.

    Any problem using 5W-20 instead of 5W-30?

    The correct weight oil should be listed in your owner's manual as well as on the cap where you put the oil in.

    Do the dealers change filter with every oil change? do they really change oil & filer for price of $20-25 ?

    Yes, always change the filter when you do the oil change. The most important part of the job is to make sure the gasket on the old filter does not stay stuck to the engine. You'll then get the dubious "double gasket" problem where all your oil will eventually leak out. And $20-$25 is actually a pretty good price. To get that here, I'd have to cut coupons.
  • j06j06 Posts: 90
    Thank You.

    I got a coupon for $20.50 with free 20 point inspection. I think the best is to go to the dealer. But only issue is their recommendations… You need new tires, battery, timing belt etc.. :mad:
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The oil change interval for my 2001 Porsche 911 is 15,000 miles.
  • j06j06 Posts: 90
    For 2011 & 2012 its 10K..

    Is it okay to blend synthetic with regular oil? I mean I used synthetic last time and will be using regular oil. Does it harm the engine?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    edited May 2012
    Every oil company FAQ I've ever read said it was okay to mix synthetic and regular oil. Here's Mobile 1's FAQ.
  • j06j06 Posts: 90

    Oil changed at Firestone. There computer was showing 5W-20 for V6 Highlander. I insist to use 5W-30, which was on the oil cap and manual. They use Kendall Synth. Blend … OTD $26 with tax after 25% off on Oil & Filter
  • highland6highland6 Posts: 3
    I have no issue keeping the car in a straight line, it is stable and will keep its line even over rough pavement. The steering clunk is getting better by itself and occurs less frequently lately. Have 4k on the odo now. Its almost like the steering box was not probably greased in the factory and is now finding their way to all the moving parts. I just hope that the noise will completely go away and stay away! I don't think the new intermediate shaft installed by the dealer made any difference.
  • mlopez2mlopez2 Posts: 2
    My 2003 Highlander Limited (v6) needs the 90k service. Any recommendations on a good independent Toyota mechanic in North Orange County CA?

    I want to replace timing belt, trans fluid, coolant fluid and I believe the car needs brakes.

    Thanks in advance,

  • xclf07kxclf07k Posts: 1
    Recently bought the '04 HL with a little under 100K miles on it. It runs extremely smooth and we've had no issues other than a popping sound around the steering column when turning at really low speeds. I read something about a knuckle in the steering column that may have been included in a TSB a few years ago. According to maint records, this was never replaced. Any ideas if this is just a nuisance or something serious?
  • aziazi Posts: 2
    edited July 2012
    HI, first time on this forum! Went on vacation overseas for about a month, came back yesterday! Started my Toyota Highlander 2008 All Wheel Drive, to my horror the Check Engine, VSC and Trac Control Lights are all ON, and wont' turn off. I left the car in pretty normal condition, no one drives it in my absence, what could have gone wrong, this was a preowned car, and though I change oil etc regularly never changed transmission oil, would that be the reason?? But that could be engine related why are the VSC and Trac Control lights ON? I dont want to be taken for a ride by TOYOTA "DEALERS" who would charge outrageous amount for something that would be really simple to handle, kindly share your expertise, a quick response would be ideal Thanks !! Azi
  • jrfierojrfiero Posts: 123
    The VSC and Trac Control lights always come on when the CEL comes on. Don't know if that means they aren't working or not. I think WWEST may have explained it once. Or twice!

    Many parts stores will lend you a code reader, which plugs in under the dash and has straightforward instructions. That will give you a code, and some readers will tell you what the code means. If you get only a code, you can look it up online to see what's up.

    No way for us to diagnose it, but it isn't the transmission fluid.

  • djr24djr24 Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 toyota highlander that has a vibration when I start to decelerate and the air conditioner is on. When the air is off it doesn't happen
  • allen59allen59 Posts: 1
    My dealer charged $1300 to change a pair of rear break caliper and pads for my 2006 Highlander V6, parts and labor, of course!
  • I paid about $ 550 to have this work on my rear brakes, plus new rotors installed, at an independant repair shop on my 2006. I also just had the front brakes done again at the same place for about $375 (no new calipers).
    This seems to be a real weakness on the Highlander.
  • edhedh Posts: 246
    south carolina private garage that uses toyota oem parts
    new oem pads all around,
    2 new front rotors Japanese made but not oem
  • aziazi Posts: 2
    Hi, looks like my Toyota Highlander is error prone, its the second time in 2 months where for no reason known to me, yet another warning light went ON, that is, the Airbag warning light in the odometer!! It goes off every time I switch off the engine, but comes on, after a little while! Could any of the owners who have had a similar experience give me a quick inexpensive solution, please do not refer me to a dealer, as I have seen solutions as easy as sticking paper clip into the srs plug and after a series of turn on and off of the ignition, the light goes off! Saw it on the youtube, unfortunately it was for Honda and Acura cars only, wonder if there is a similar solution to my Highlander 2008, any one please share experience, thanks.. Azi
  • edhedh Posts: 246
    find a private mechanic who has a scanner.
  • jrfierojrfiero Posts: 123
    Well, I've sold my 2001 Highlander.

    Since this is the discussion in which I posted most frequently, thought I'd say goodbye here.
    wwest, et al, thanks for all the info. I'll point the new owner here.
    Hopefully some of my past posts will come in handy for others.

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