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Toyota Highlander Maintenance and Repair



  • herzogtum71herzogtum71 Posts: 470
    I have an '04 4-cylinder Highlander. While driving I don't hear any unusual noise, but a week ago I heard a high-pitched squeeling noise or whirring noise when my daughter opened the front passenger door when I dropped her off at her job. I rolled down the driver's window and even opened the driver's door a bit, but didn't hear anything.

    This morning I heard it again when I dropped off my daughter, and when I got home I left the engine running and got out. Once I stepped out of the car I could hear it. It's hard to pinpoint, but it seems to me that the noise is coming from the passenger side of the engine compartment where there are two belts, one higher and one lower.

    I'm due for 15,000 mile service in the next week or two. Does this noise sound familiar to any 4-cylinder owners? Does anyone know the purpose of these belts? (Alternator? A/C?) I'd like to be able to say more than just ask the service technician if he hears the noise, too. Thanks. Any input is appreciated.
  • edhedh Posts: 246
    My 04 highlander has the manual air conditioner. The heat / cold dial is a large round one on the dash.
    When its on "full cold" (counterclockwise i think) I still get a little heating, that is, outside air is like 10 degrees warmer when it comes out the vents..
    Is this dial mis adjusted?
    is the dial a water control valve or is it a air control (damper door0 valve??

    Anyone know?
  • typesixtypesix Posts: 320
    Others have stated that it's a damper that modulates the heat. Outside air will be slightly warmer as a result until that area is cooled down enough from incoming air, but will still be higher than outside, but maybe not as high as 10 degrees.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    So the hot water heat exchanger inside the climate control plenum will always be at ~180F and the radiant heat therefrom will ALWAYS result in the incoming air being warmed slightly.

    You can purchase a Ford motor driven fuel tank selector valve and install it inline with the hose and turn off the flow in A/C mode.
  • bm2bm2 Posts: 1
    Make sure the meter is showing ODO xxxx miles instead of Trip A or Trip B. Turn the key to the Lock pos. press the meter reset switch, turn to the On pos. while holding the reset switch 3-5 secs.
  • edhedh Posts: 246
    or a shut off valve in the line to the heater core - any idea what its inside diameter is? Turn it off in may , on in October where I live.
    I had a firebird with no hot water valve - put a brass water valve in it.
  • samovarsamovar Posts: 4
    Just brought home 2005 V6 AWD Limited purchased for invoice +$300 - $750 rebate. Two questions already on the ride home:

    1) The defrost wires on the two rear side windows are different: one side has vertical wires covering only half the window, the other side has horizontal wires. Is that normal? Why the asymmetry?

    2) Moonroof controls don't seem to operate per the manual. I have to hold down in either direction to open/close/tilt, and it moves so fast it's hard to know exactly when the roof is closed and sealed. The manual indicates that if you push the switch it should open or return to full closed position automatically and that you actually need to give it a little push to stop in a part open position. How is it supposed to work?

  • jbolltjbollt Posts: 734
    those wires are the antenna for the defroster in the back SIDE windows

    read the manual again for the "normalization" procedure for the moonroof..takes only about 30 seconds to get it so it works as you want.
  • samovarsamovar Posts: 4
    Thanks. Great vehicle.
  • jbolltjbollt Posts: 734
    I have a new 05 Limited, and this is my first vehicle with automatic climate control. I have a question for those of you that have this sysytem in your Limited. Why does the recirc come on every time I turn the car on when I have the A/C off? The outside temp is in the middle 60s, and I have the temp control set to 65 (the lowest) to just get fresh air coming in from the outside. If I push the recirc button to "off" (to get fresh outside air) the next time I start the car, it sets it back to recirc again. Why? It's not a big deal to push it to get fresh again, (I read an earlier post describing this as well) but I wonder why it does this when the automatic setting is set to off? I guess the AUTO function doesn't really turn off?

    I can understand when I have AUTO on and ask for A/C, the recirc comes on, at a higher fan speed at first, then, as the interior of the car cools off, the fan speed lowers, and the recirc turns off. But when the A/C is off, and the recirc comes on, (and never does turn off by itself as it does in the A/C AUTO mode) the car can never cool down with interior warmer air recirculated. The manual seems lacking in it's discussion of this feature.

    Thanks for any thoughts and comments.
  • edhedh Posts: 246
    Anyone know about that?

    Do the Lexi cousins have hot water cut off valves?
  • bdymentbdyment Posts: 570
    I had the same concerns concerning the recirc. mode when I purchased my 2004 LTD. In the owner's manual it says to open the windows and turn the fan on high speed to get rid of the hot air in the quickest fashion. Well it doesn't make much sense to have all the windows open and recirc mode on.

    After discussions in this forum and with my dealer--the bottom line is that is just the way it works. It always defaults to the recirc. mode in warmer weather. Not one of Toyota's better ideas. One member of the forum mentioned that he thought the dealer could probably reset the system to default the proper way, but rather than get involved in something that the dealer may make worse, I decided to live with the system.

    When starting the SUV I now seem to automatically just turn the recirc. mode off.
    Sometimes you will find that even if you turn it off, it will go back to recirc. mode a few minutes later. Turn it off a second time and it seems to stay off.
  • herzogtum71herzogtum71 Posts: 470
    I took the Highlander in and convinced a service technician to come out with me and listen while the engine was warm. Amazingly enough, he heard the noise and confirmed that it was the belt. The 4-cylinder engine has one belt that they call a "serpentine belt" that the technician said runs "everything" -- alternator, power steering, air conditioning, etc. The belt was worn after just 16,000 miles, and they replaced it under warranty. The noise is gone, and I am hoping it was just a bad belt from the factory and not something that's going to happen again.
  • jrfierojrfiero Posts: 123
    It could be just the belt, or it could be misaligned pulleys. I have an old Lexus coupe which had a misaligned AC compressor - I had to bring in my own straightedge and show the regional Lexus service rep what was wrong, after several trips to the dealer. When confronted with obvious evidence that any high school student mechanic could have figured out, they had no choice but to fix it. :mad:
    The "Lexus experience" isn't worth two cents.
    Hope yours is just the original belt! :D
    "I took the Highlander in and convinced a service technician to come out with me and listen while the engine was warm. Amazingly enough, he heard the noise and confirmed that it was the belt. The 4-cylinder engine has one belt that they call a "serpentine belt" that the technician said runs "everything" -- alternator, power steering, air conditioning, etc. The belt was worn after just 16,000 miles, and they replaced it under warranty. The noise is gone, and I am hoping it was just a bad belt from the factory and not something that's going to happen again."
  • herzogtum71herzogtum71 Posts: 470
    If the noise returns I guess I can always return to the dealer with a student mechanic and a straightedge :) It always amazes me when service departments are content to fix a problem but show no interest in figuring out why the problem developed in the first place.
  • loucapriloucapri Posts: 214
    the will show interest in figuring out the problem ONLY after they tell you they charge $75.00 per hour to do a diagnostic AND you say OK :cry:
  • phrosutphrosut Posts: 122
    IF the pulleys are all aligned correctly, and the squealing starts up again after warranty, I offer a tip:

    I had squealing belts on the Taurus we traded for this HL. I worked at an auto parts store that sold Gates belts. After frequent replacement of the belts to quiet the noise, I began using Goodyear Gatorback belts sold by our competitors which stopped the noise forevermore. There are sipes in those belts to alleviate noise. Our HL (35,000 miles) has slowly developed what is probably a belt squeal (I don't hear it from in the car, DW hears it when she is getting in). When I've had enough of her request to stop the noise, I'll be putting on one of Goodyear's serpentine belts (or two, haven't even looked yet).

  • edhedh Posts: 246
    The lexus people on the 330 board say lexus has a tsb #nv008-04 that puts on bigger inside rubber door wind seals ( the inside seal where the glass goes thru the door).

    this solves the problem of the glass pulling away from the seal (and letting in road noise) when the window is all the way up

    anyone seen anything on the highlander 04 05 about this (high road noise when window is all the way up???????
    no road noise when window is lowered 1/8 inch
  • sdesde Posts: 42
    Okay, I'm sure I'm being a moron, but I can't find the tire pressure reset button on my '05 HL 4WD Limited. My wife and I both looked at the picture in the manual, and felt around to the left of (and behind) the steering wheel, but we couldn't find it. (Is it possible that it's in a different place in the Limited model?)

    Please help...

  • jbolltjbollt Posts: 734 you have this condition on more than one door? My 2003 had it only on the driver's door. I just bought a 2005 HL limited (so now I have 2 Highlanders). The 2005 does not have this condition, and none of the 2005s that I looked at prior to selecting the one I bought had it either. What year is yours, sorry I forget.
  • jbolltjbollt Posts: 734
    SDE. I also had trouble finding this reset button, but it IS there! The easiest way to find it is from outside the car, with the driver's door open, get on your knees, and look to the right of the hood release lever, first is the computer connection, and to the right of that, is the reset button. Once you know where it is, you won't need to find it this way anymore! It is in not represented in the manual very well.

  • jbolltjbollt Posts: 734
    bdyment: thanks for your input. I agree that it is weird, and MAY ask the dealer to reset it if they can. It seems that the air intake part of the automatic system is not being controlled manually. Additionally, I would think it should stay set where it was when the vehile was turned off, especially if in the manual mode.

    Anyone else have this experience? When starting the car, the recirc air comes on when the A/C is off as well as the automatic being off? Perhaps that would help us decide if it is designed that way, or ours needs to be reset.

  • sdesde Posts: 42

    Thanks very much for the info! I'll try it.

  • mtrialsmmtrialsm Posts: 159
    I have wind noise from right rear window from new. With 8k miles i just haven't
    had time to take in in for a fix.
  • edhedh Posts: 246
    Both front doors on my 04 have it really loud at 50 or above.

    has anyone had it fixed and if yes how was it fixed?
    no sense going to the dealer (my dealer is not very good) if there is not a factory notice on it..
    lexus people have the same noise problem.

    It is caused in the last 1/4 inch with window going up as the bottom inside of the glass pulls away from the INSIDE rubber door seal (the one where you would put your elbow if the window was down.)
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    All climate control systems designed by Denso have several design flaws, recirc "on" automatically, ALWAYS, when you first start up is actually a relatively minor one. But regretably it is inherent in almost all vehicles of asian manufacture since they almost all use Denso.

    Common sense would indicate that the best way to initially cool the car down when the inside it hotter than the outside and the demand is for cooling the best thing to do is to quickly, as QUICKLY as possible, move the cabin atmosphere OUT! It seems to me that it might even be wise to leave the system in FRESH mode until the interior surfaces, not just the air, have also cooled somewhat.

    Then it would be appropriate to switch to recirc mode.
  • desertguydesertguy Posts: 730
    I don't know about "common sense" but most all manufactures, particularly American ones say to cool the car down quickly, use the recirculation setting. It has been that way since airconditioning became a standard accessory.
  • jbolltjbollt Posts: 734 may have misunderstood my issue is that it goes to recirculate when the A/C is OFF! It might be 80 in the car from sitting in the sun, but only 65 outside, with the A/C OFF, the recirc comes on, and it will never cool down... without using the A/C. Not terribly efficient.

    As a side note, you apparently live in the desert from your Edmunds name. I also do, and you probably agree that it can be 140 degrees in the car after sitting in the sun in the summer. Why make the A/C work hard and take longer to cool that heated air? The outside air, even if 100 degrees, is easier to cool than the 140 degree air inside. I usually put it in fresh mode, with the back windows open a few inches to push out that super heated air first, then, as the interior cools down, switch to recirc, and close the windows. This is how I have always done it with manual A/C. Now that I have a "smart" automatic climate control, I will see how it does on it's own. Won't be long, it's 91 here today! Sheesh! Not ready for summer yet!
  • samovarsamovar Posts: 4
    So with our 4-year old daughter in a booster seat in the 3d row, her head is above the headrest in the down position. However, the only headrest "up" position is far above her head. Any suggestions to deal with this problem?
  • desertguydesertguy Posts: 730
    jbollt: No, I understand what you are saying. I'm just repeating what the manufacturers put in the manual. I'm not talking about the automatic climate control units.

    I live in the Phoenix area. We know what hot is don't we? I would never buy a black car living here but they continue to be popular. When I first moved here you almost never saw a black car. If a used one was on a dealers lot it was assumed that it was a car from "back east" and probably had salt damage too. :-)
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