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Toyota Highlander Maintenance and Repair



  • jim70jim70 Posts: 27
    Okay, I have been test driving the Highlanders more and I noticed something. The cars I have driven are all the V6, but there is something I noticed that applies to the AWD and not the FWD model. If I slow way down to just a few MPH and take my foot off the gas pedal and am coasting, like going over a speed bump, when I reapply the accelerator the car does indeed respond immediately, but there is a slight jerk or kick as the transmission seems to catch hold of the wheels and begin to accelerate. This only happens at very slow speed, only when I have taken my foot off of the accelerator entirely, and only on the AWD.

    Is this a normal characteristic of a AWD drive car? It is not dangerous or even really bothersome, but definitely different than other cars I have driven. And I don't remember noticing it with the Pilot, but as I understand it the Pilot runs FWD most of the time. I just did not know if this was normal for AWD Highlanders, or AWD cars in general. I don't have much experience with AWD drive cars.

    Thanks in advance for any info.
  • tourguidetourguide Posts: 190
    I've noticed this same thing in my 05 too. I don't think there is anything wrong, I think it is just a querk of the Toyota AWD drivetrain. Nothing to worry about.
  • highlhighl Posts: 28
    I recently noticed a small superficial hole in windshield of my HL. I think it must have been due to some splinters flying off the road. I had to drive on roads which was under construction for a week. Though the hole can not be spotted easily but one can feel it during windshield cleaning. Is there any way i can get rid of it?

  • desertguydesertguy Posts: 730
    Go to your auto parts store and get a windshield repair kit. They are around $10 and I have used them two different times and they work great. It is the same method the pros use only on a smaller scale. Just follow the directions.
  • junepugjunepug Posts: 161
    How about the folks who have a short driveway and insist on getting the mail from the box while sitting in a running vehicle. I have always parked my car in the garage and walked to the mailbox. If everyone would do this, think of the gasoline we would save.
  • spencer327spencer327 Posts: 106
    It should be noted that DRLs are only on in the headlamps. In most states you must still turn on your lights when rainy. Unless you have auto headlamps assuming your lights including taillamps are on at dusk is wrong , you have no taillamps only brake lights.
    Also any competent electrical tech can eliminate DRLs, in some cases itis as easy as removing a relay.The fact that people think their lights are on because they have DRLs is probably worse than not having DRLs.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    But I had one hell of a time figuring out how to disable the DRLs on the 2000 GS300. Circuitry intermeshed with too many other functions.
  • gkggkg Posts: 5
    We finally had some rain in Ohio for the first time since I bought my 05 Highlander. I notice now that every time I open any of the 4 doors after a heavy rain, there is a good 1/3 cup of water that flows to my driveway. Normally, I would just have called this water runoff, but the water seems to be coming from the little holes which are IN the door (hole between the layers of sheet metal that are in the door). Is this expected or is there a flaw with the weather-stripping? I guess, I am curious about what would happen if the car were parked for a long time in heavy rains or if a particular door were not opened..would the water just build up inside the door?

    Also, I have spotted a problem with thin weather-stripping on the trunk, just above the trunk latch. Basically, a good half inch of it has come loose from the body. Before I take it to the dealer, does anyone know what the repair entails? Fixing, Replacement?
  • havokhavok Posts: 18
    I have the standard 2004 non-JBL CD/Radio. Reception is excellent as it pulls down radio signals my Alpine 9833 cannot get in my Accord!
  • Hi all. I recently bought a new 05' and i've noticed that when you drive up the mountains, the speed decreases. Im not sure if that's normal or not. i even put my overdrive on too with some heavy pressure on the accelerator, is this good for my engine? speaking of overdrive. I also noticed that the manual mentioned that one should turned on their overdrive at all times to conserve fuel. I'm used to driving cars that doesn't need to use overdrive except when going uphill. I was wondering if anyone knows if it is neccessary to drive with the overdrive button on everytime and if it is really safe to drive on heavy traffic.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Overdrive should ALWAYS be OFF when towing heavier loads and/or driving up a steep or long incline.

    Heavy pressure on the accelerator will ALWAYS take you out of O/D.

    O/D is designed to have the engine turn very low RPMs, low torque range, to reduce the frictional and pumping losses and thereby increase fuel economy. You can damage your transmission by remaining in O/D during long periods wherein the engine is producing reasonably high levels of torque.
  • highlhighl Posts: 28
    Thank you. I will try that.
  • jrfierojrfiero Posts: 123
    "I was wondering if anyone knows if it is neccessary to drive with the overdrive button on everytime and if it is really safe to drive on heavy traffic."

    Overdrive is ON by default - when you push the button and the dash light comes on, you have turned OD OFF.
  • loucapriloucapri Posts: 214
    Agreed with the others

    If you don't tow, just leave it 'ON'
    If your car has trouble going up hill (feel like no power) you're probably right that your car has no (or not enough) power, that's normal. Compare yourself running on a level track to a incline hill. You need to run harder in order to keep yourself going.

    Simpily step on the gas harder (your car will downshift it to the lower gear) and the OD will be disable (for a while) until your car is able to maintain the proper speed. So, you should leave it 'ON' in general (just like the manual says)
  • thank you all for your help. this has been really helpful.
  • spencer327spencer327 Posts: 106
    Disabling DRLs on 2004 HL is as easy as disconnecting one wire. This removes the series connection of the headlamps. All other functions remain the same.
  • I just had to write you because I have had all the same problems as you. I have had leather splitting which the dealership felt wasn't their responsibility. I have had a glovebox rattle that is driving me nuts and I previously owned two Accords, which I never had one problem with.
  • landdriverlanddriver Posts: 607
    The HL glovebox rattle problem was a very prevalent problem with HLs as there was much discussion relating to it on this board back in the '01-'02 timeframe; it's a known problem and there's a TSB for this, so the dealer should be able to fix it under warranty (or you can do what they do and install self-adhesive felt pads to either side of the glovebox door opening which should prevent the glovebox door from rattling). (Haven't heard anything about it in recent years so I had assumed it had been fixed on more recent model year HLs.)

    (It's just a coincidence that both you and tommyg12 owned two Accords and didn't have any significant problems with them, then purchased HLs that had significant problems.)

    I think this is a great forum to post both positive experiences with the HL as well as hear from the few of us who have had significant problems with the HL -- both perspectives give us the opportunity to more accurately evaluate the HL and possibly share solutions to the problems.

    (Boy, will tommyg12 be surprised to receive a reply to his post from 2 years ago!)
  • I just test drove an 2005 limited with the JBL/6cd changer with diversity antenna. To check sound we turned on a local classical station at 90.7 FM. Very poor reception and very poor sound as a result. We also test drove a 2006 hybrid which had no such apparent reception problem. So from the posts this seems to be a frequent issue, but not universal. Anyone had any luck with the dealership actually identifying the problem and fixing it satisfactorly? Nice to advertise a premium JBL seterio system and have it fail in basic fm reception. -mrhowland
  • desertguydesertguy Posts: 730
    My JBL has worked perfectly from day one on my '04. The reception is as good as any I have had. There must be defect or some kind in the test vehicle you drove.
  • rav4urav4u Posts: 21
    The RAV4 has the radio reception defect. The only fix I saw was at where someone rerouted the antennae to the roof. I think they said it had something to do with interference from the engine and the way the antennae is set up on the side. Someone still had the problem despite changing to an aftermarket stereo.
  • When I get my Highlander Limited AWD up above 40mph and lower the second row windows there is an immediate wind tunnel effect with a rise in air pressure and humming noise that actually hurts the ears. The local dealer didn't believe it until a mechanic took it for a test drive and found out for himself. He took a new Limited off the lot and drove it and it did the same thing. He called the Toyota HQ in California and they had no suggestions. We called Toyota HQ in California and complained and were given a case number. They are looking into and will call us. Maybe. This is a major problem if you have passengers in the second row seats who want to let in a little fresh air and you keep the front windows closed. Not good.
  • mdchachimdchachi Posts: 275
    I've also noticed the problem. Crack one of the front windows open enough until the problem goes away or direct more fresh air from the air vents to the back seat so they won't need to open their windows. Not much else you can do.
  • rblelandrbleland Posts: 312
    This is not a new problem. All SUVs do it to some extent or another. Jeeps are bad for it. Do as suggested above and learn to live with it. It is NOT particular to Toyotas.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    This is a direct result of the fact that most cars are today very well sealed and insulated. My 68 & 72 Ford station wagons would do that unless I lowered the back, tailgate, window slightly.
  • I think it's normal. I get the same thing after I wash mine. Open the rear doors and a stream of water flows out of the rearmost drain hole in the bottom of the door. That what the drain holes are for. However, it is a little strange that the water drains only when I open the door. Guess driving the vehicle would do the same thing.
  • phrosutphrosut Posts: 122
    I've never had that happen after a wash or a rain on our '01. (or any other car, for that matter) Something is blocking those drain holes until the door is opened. I'm guessing it must be the weather stripping. As you all have described the situation, if you have enough rain and/or washes and don't ever open the rear doors, they would fill with water to the point of wetting (and ruining) the door panels? That can't be right, can it?

    Did they use a thicker weatherstip on later models without changing the location of the drain holes? Careful and close inspection should verify whether or not this is the cause. I'm not in a rust belt state so I'd likely drill some new drain holes where they wouldn't be blocked.

    Could this be a problem caused by a redesign of the door/weatherstrip after the recall to fix the child-proof lock levers hitting when the doors were shut hard?

  • I've had the oil changed. Now, how do I turn off the maintenance required light?
  • Thanks. That did the trick.
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