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Toyota Highlander Maintenance and Repair



  • mike368mike368 Posts: 5
    i have a 01 hl 24000 miles .average driving no towing .i treat it well i had an repair shop change the tranny fluid it was very dirty not burnt it took 30 quarts to flush out the fliud using a machine made for tranny fliud changes before it was a nice pink color i used toyota fluid bought at the dealer any ideas the dip stick and the manual say dont change the fliud under normal conditions any one else see this on their hl ? i noticed it by wiping the stick on a clean white cloth .
  • I recently purchased a 2004 Highlander LTD and discovered that I must hold the sun roof close button and then let go when I think it's closed properly or it continues until it flips open from the rear. My manual states we need only press the button once for it to close automatically, but it does not work. I dropped it off at the dealer for service only to have them later tell me that Toyota changed how it closes in the 2004 models and it is no longer automatic as the manual stated. I find this hard to believe. It is impossible to know when it is properly closed and one time water leaked in and stained the roof.
    Can someone please help?
  • I also have a 2001 Highlander V6 4X4. I have 30,000 miles and as preventive maintenance had the automatic transmission fluid changed. The transmission cooler and lines, torque converter, valve body and all internal parts. The vehicle was road tested for engine performance and transmission operation and shift patterns. Everything is fine. My transmission fluid before the fluid change was never dirty. Transmission has always worked well. My Highlander has had perpetual problems with the brake system. Personally I believe that changing the transmission fluid every 30,000 prolongs the life of the transmission. Incidently I have my brake system fluid flushed every year too as preventive maintenance.
  • bobgordonbobgordon Posts: 156
    First of all I want to say it's been a very, VERY long time since I've posted here.
    KarenS was kind enough to help and assist me in getting my last Honda CR-V meet up and running. (Yes Karen, it's been that long) But I've moved on to a new 2004 Highlander Limited and what a difference from a CR-V. Our child decided she need the CR-V for college. :)
    I got an excellent deal on the Highlander and so far, couldn't be happier.
    My question is this. I have the JBL stereo system with 8 speakers. Where are 7 & 8 speakers? I know there are 4 (2 in each of the front doors) and 2 (1 in each of the rear doors) Hmmm, can't seem to find the other 2.
    Thanks folks and it's good to be back!!
  • shebiesshebies Posts: 1
    I've had this problem recently. I noticed that both tires on the drivers side were bald on the inside. I only have 32,000 miles on my 2001 Highlander. The combination of the two could possibly mean that I need an alignment, but I don't believe the tires should have worn so quickly. I thought they'd last me a lot longer. I have had so many other problems, both rear windows, water pouring in on passenger side floor, horrible smell, in addition to the most recent bald tires, vibrating steering wheel, that I traded it in today. Very disappointed in the Highlander! When I had my window problems (twice for each window), I contacted Toyota's headquarters and they totally blew me off.
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    Hey there! Good to see you back in TH. :-)

    Post #950 offers an explanation of speaker location. Put that number in the post search.

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  • mike368mike368 Posts: 5
    what is the cabin air fliter bracket number? thanks!
  • lyoulyou Posts: 1
    The hesitation is indeed a safety issue and I am somewhat glad that I am reading this problem on this site. I thought, perhaps it was just my imagination. My daughter, who is a recently new driver, has experienced this herself and I am frighten that one day, this split second hesitation will cause a major problem for her or for anyone else behind the wheel. Please go on to register your complaint. Please begin a writing campaign to voice your dissatifaction about this problem to managers and go up the line of command to draw attention to this safety issue problem. I will do some more research and will post my findings.
  • We both seem to be at the same point on our vehicles, I just got my 4100 mile oil change. I am pretty sure that the maitenance light is for the 5000 mile maintenance which is simply rotation of tires change oil and oil filter and visual inspection of the brakes. It seems odd that they scheduled an oil change at 4100 and 5000 miles but i think that is the answer to your question.
  • wainwain Posts: 479
    I thought the oil change requirement to maintain the warranty was every 5000 miles or 6 months
    on 04 model
  • You're right, wain. I had mine changed at 4100 only because I planned to do a lot of driving shortly thereafter. Also, I guess I was reluctant to stretch out the interval much more than this since I still remember when manufacturers recommended the first oil change at 1000 miles....
  • wainwain Posts: 479
    toy used to say 7500 which contributed to the sludge isssue
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The letter I got indicated that the sludge issue had nothing to do with the regularity, or not, of oil changes. They said that a small design change was made to the engines to alleviate the problem on future products.
  • wainwain Posts: 479
    some of the 7500 mile people "forgot" to change the oil and in those cases they then had 10k or 14 k oil change intervals!!!!!!.
    thats one reason Toy moved the change interval back to 5 k
  • wainwain Posts: 479
    04 Hl- 2000 miles
    4 times now I have had a loud pop sorta from the upper passenger side front windshield area.
    really a sharp "clack" noise like a rock hitting the windshield. but no rocks and not near any traffic - sounds like something too tight in the windshield frame or maybe even roof rack??

    am I hearing things??
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    And where, other than a dealer wanting your money, did you hear that the recommended oil change interval had been changed to 5k miles??
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    <<And where, other than a dealer wanting your money, did you hear that the recommended oil change interval had been changed to 5k miles??>>

    In the owner's manual of the Tacoma and Highlander I just bought.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Toyota and Lexus changed the engine design to prevent the sludge problem and then advised the owners of the newer vehicles with "fixed" engines to use the 5000 mile oil change interval but never advised the owners of the older problem engines to do so?

    I suspect, strongly, that you're somehow misreading your owner's manual.

    BTW the recommended oil change interval for my 01 Porsche C4 remains at 15,000 miles.
  • wainwain Posts: 479
    my salesman gave us this thin blue pamplet by Toyota, has an 05 2004t smg part number that has the required mtn schedules in it.

    5k for oil/ 6 months

    DEALER want you to change at 3500 just per their sticker but i will use 5k.
    saleman said 5 k was THE REQUIREMENT

    re 15k on the porsche - maybe thats syn oil. that car prob depreciates more in the 1st year than my hl cost

    what are you guys who say thats not it, using?
  • desertguydesertguy Posts: 730
    Well I'm not "misreading" my owners literature. The Passport to Service booklet that came with my car ('04 V6 Lmtd) says 5K miles or 6 months. The booklet apparently is for all Toyota products since it has schedules for cars and another for trucks/suvs. Printing date is 7/03. IMO, it is all BS anyway. When the manufacturers offer free maintenance for the first three years, it suddenly becomes 10K miles between changes. My Jaguar XType has the 10K requirement as does the Lincoln LS and many others. If the mfgrs are paying for the oil changes, it is okay to go 10K. Yeah right.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Back in about 95 Bellevue Lexus came up with an OFFICIAL factory scheduled maintenance recommendation.

    It was Bogus.

    Look at what your owners manual says, that will be the OFFICIAL factory recommendations.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Toyota dealers are removing the factory manual that has the recommeded maintenance procedures and inserting their own in its place.
  • wainwain Posts: 479
    my manual was printed (rev 11 03)

    some of the long change intervals are due to using synthetic oil
  • desertguydesertguy Posts: 730
    The Passport to Service is part of the owners manual. It is not a dealer handout. They have taken all maintenance references and placed them in a separate booklet. Same with all warranty info. This booklet also has the place for the dealer to stamp & record each service. With my 1990 Celica, this info and dealer stamp area was part of the manual. Not so anymore. No reference toward service intervals at all in the regular handbook.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    why would they advise new owners with "fixed" engines to change the oil more often and not advise, somehow, the owners with sludge prone engines?
  • wainwain Posts: 479
    I thought they did - do a search in edmunds - maybe this thread - someone posted the notice/letter Toyota sent out. I think it jacke the reccommended oil change freq back from the 7500 mile number. Maybe thats where all the 5k numbers in the present maintenance schedules come from. many many of the sludge problems were with people who complied with the 7500 number. some but very very few if youchanged every 3 , 4 or 5000 miles
  • lgjavalgjava Posts: 48
    I read some early posts on this board about Highlanders that had problems steering to the left. I had that exact problem. After the dealer balanced the wheels, the car now steers-left,right,left--the car has no true steer--it slowly wanders back and forth. This requires a lot of patience. I wondered if one of the tires was damaged (or maybe two.) Or maybe this might be alignment. I wouldn't like to drive very far with this problem, though. I jumped in my brother's Volvo 850, and its steering (by comparison) is like a train on rails. I'm very concerned about this latest problem (a very petty concern as compared to other graver concerns with this new car.)
  • ... in manual was 7500 miles for an '87 Corolla (aka Chevy Nova) I used to own, but the dealer's recommended oil change interval was half that. The same 3750 interval was recommended by various dealers for my '94 Corolla and also for the '03 Matrix.

    I asked why the dealer suddenly was recommending a 5000 interval for the '04 Highlander, and the only explanation was that Toyota was trying to stretch out the intervals. I suspect the main reason is the factory indicator light that goes on at 5000 miles.

    Personally I doubt that it makes any difference in most cases whether you get your oil changed at 3000, 5000 miles, or even at 7500 miles. But if something goes wrong that is even remotely related to your engine, you can expect the service department to blame you for waiting too long between oil changes.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I still have my copy and I remember seeing/reading the one posted here. Mine doesn't say anything about changing the interval only that ignoring the recommedations can lead to failure. Strange as it may seem it appears that the engine warranty is extended to cover the sludge issue uncondtionally.

    Reading between the lines would seem to indicate that the sludge formation has more to do with engine mis-design than following, or not, the recommeded (7500 for mine, 01 RX300) oil change schedule.
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