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2008 Toyota Highlander



  • My dealer ran my VIN and told me I would receive a Recall letter and then call for an appointment for them to shorten the pedal and flash the ECM. Don't know if that includes a new floor mat or not. We have 47000 + miles and have not experienced any of the referenced problems with our car. My VIN does begin with J.
  • ronnronn Posts: 398
    There still seems to be conflicting stories. I have an Highlander08 Limited with a VIN that starts with J, and it is NOT ON THE RECALL LIST.
  • ronnronn Posts: 398
    You need to check with your dealer again. There is no mention of the 08 Highlander being on the recall list.
  • list the 08 Highlander for the floor mat portion of the general recall. See the entire listing in the special section devoted to Toyota. It seems my dealer is correct in providing me the information about the "fix" for the 08 models.
  • Whats the deal with the rear wipers? What is the size? Do all auto parts stores have them? I've been to several and they don't carry them....neither does RainX.
  • My clock shows the accurate time. However when I use the navigation system, my arrival time is one hour ahead (hasn't updated for daylight savings). How do I change? My vehicle is 09 Highlander Limited.
    Thank you!
  • jgantjgant Posts: 10
    I found the Trico, size 12-A for the rear wipers. Also the dealer also carries the correct size inserts. Hope this helps.
  • skf2002skf2002 Posts: 1
    Toyota definitely sacrificed quality for quantity. I purchased a 2008 Toyota Highlander from a dealership in Hackensack NJ. This car had been back to the dealership in the past year more for defects rather than regular services. The final straw was what happened on 12/2/08. While double parked in Manhattan, NY, I had the car in aux mode with the radio on for a few minutes and when I attempted to restart the car, there was no response. I had to have the car towed to the nearest toyota dealership and in order for the tow truck driver to get it on the flat bed, he had to open the gear box to get the car in gear. I had the car towed to a dealership in NY. When I got the car back, it was explained to me that they had to replace the main fuse due to an improper battery boost. However, it couldn't be determined why the car wouldn't start in the first place with the key. Being that there was a history of other problems with this car, I called dealership of purchase, to discuss the options of replacing the car being that I felt that my car had a undiagnosed defect or bringing the car in for a complete diagnostic to determine the cause of why a new car failed to start and to prevent the issue from re-occurring. Long story short, the dealership refused my request.
    The same thing happened again on 1/8/09.the car wouldn't restart. I had it towed to a dealership and toyota's New York Headquarters told the dealership not to give me back the car until they sent their own field technician to check it out. The technician pulled apart the electrical system and found out that there were two alarm systems on the car. the second alarm was tied into the same circuit as the main fuse. I was totally astounded because when I bought the car, I was told by the finance director that there was no alarm system on the car and I agreed to purchase an off the market system from them for $575. The dealership agreed to remove and refund the $575 and reimburse me for towing fees. Well weeks went by and I was notified that if i wanted a refund, I would have to sign a release that absolves the dealership of any liability if there any long term damages. I didn't sign the release and I didn't get my refund.
    In June, I had to take the car back to the dealership because there was a leak which was caused by a clog in the AC drain. The entire cabin floor was saturated. Toyota agreed to replace the carpet in the car( which had to be shipped into the country). I have asked Toyota to replace this car again being that there has been so many problems with it but they refused. They claimed that it isn't their policy to replace cars but they will repair defects under warranty. This has been a learning experience. Within a month, there was another leak, and the interior was soaked again. After 18 months of ownership, I had enough. I was disgusted by the way Toyota addressed my concerns. I traded in the car. I lost a few thousand dollars on the trade but it was worth it. Toyota wasn't concerned about my safety and the reliability of their vehicle. I will never recommend toyota nor will I ever own another Toyota.
  • vtgk7vtgk7 Posts: 17
    OK, so you got rid of the Toyota Highlander....what did you buy next???
  • rzepa1rzepa1 Posts: 55
    My 2008 is developing rust problem. This is mainly in one area, on the back hatch in the cavity where the license plate is located. It is not behind license plate but in the vicinity of . Upon closer inspection, there are multiple pin needle size rust spot and one which drew my attention to the problem, has now radiated to a dime size.

    I took it to Toyota and the manager basically said that this is the dirt getting into clear coat and making its way thru to the metal. He said something about acid/clay bath to get rid off the smaller ones. He said it is especially vsible on lighter colors cars ....which makes sense. If I had black, I would not be able to see it .

    Anyway, my take on the whole thing is that the finish on my car is not adequate and some corners were cut. My 10 year Avalon which is subjected to the same conditions is yet to develop one of these spots. I am not clean fanatic and did not buy a car to wash it every other day.

    Anyone else seeing problems in this area ?
  • luck11luck11 Posts: 425
    You're not the only one. Although my 09 is rust free, I know of another that has rust coming from under the HIGHLANDER trim on the hatch, even though he had his HL rustproofed.

    What the dealer may be talking about is rail dust. During shipping contaminants, such as rail dust (yes bits of metal from cars being delivered by rail) embed themselves in the surface of the paint, and if left, will start to rust. How to get rid of them, is to use a clay bar, which is available from most auto shops, or online retailers. Section at a time, spray the paint surface with a special solution (I just use my auto soap diluted with water in a spray bottle), and, rub the clay and voila. I do this will all my vehicles, at least one per year. Paint is left as smooth as a baby's bottom. Also, every new vehicle, I tell the dealer NOT to prep the don't polish or wax or anything. First thing I do is take it home, wash, clay, wash, polish, wax.

    So, if in fact this is a rail dust problem, the clay may be the solution for the pin size spots. You may also want to look closely at the rest of your vehicle. Often just running your fingers over the paint is a good test...if you feel even the slightest of bumps or roughness, you need to "clean" the paint. if it is perfectly smooth, then probably not an issue.

    It seems to me you have a bigger problem with the dime sized one, unless the rust is simply a blemish on the paint surface and not actually rusted metal. If the former, clay may get rid of the source (presuming it hasn't penetrated through the paint to the metal), and perhaps the blemish, or polish will do the trick. If the latter, then sounds like you need some body work and paint, which on a 2 yr old vehicle, really sucks.

    All this said, I have some doubts though, because rail dust and contaminents are most promient on the horizontal surfaces. I guess its possible to get them on the hatch, but I have never seen it on my vehicles.

    Hope this helps.
  • rzepa1rzepa1 Posts: 55
    thanks a lot. Feel little better knowing I am not the only one. The manager mentioned to me that there was a lots of salt the season before on the road etc. I think it is all B.S. Same as the brake situation now, Toyota is pushing dealers to give round-around B.S. answers and 5 years from now they will have a recall as more people start seeing this problem.

    I do not believe in rust-proofing etc. Since early 1990s cars I owned, none of them had rust problem early on. Later some may developed due to rock and other accidental damage which I can understand.

    I think you are on to something with the dust theory. From what I am seeing, cars when shipped have the protective plastic screen "glued" to them on all the horizontal and major vertical surfaces. My bet is that they do not put anyting in the hatch area. I will look close next time I see semi with new cars driving buy.

    I guess I know what I will be doing this weekend ...
  • hlanderhlander Posts: 31

    I got the letter from Toyota about safety recall concerned of " 2008 Through Certain 2010 Model Year Highlander Hybrid Vehicles Potential Floor Mat Interference with Accelerator Pedal Safety Recall Campaign".
  • squeedosqueedo Posts: 3
    I just had the recall completed. The dealership did not pick up on the front end noises. When in drive or pull out. I have a loud noise in the right front end and a slight noise on the left front end when turning. My husband thinks it is the ball joints. My highlander is an 08 with 44,000 miles. Has anyone had any front end issues with their 08-2010?
  • vtgk7vtgk7 Posts: 17
    Last week I had my 4 recalls done on my 08 Highlander.
    1) 3rd seat seat belts
    2) Oil cooler line replaced
    3) Brake pedal shortened due to floormat problem
    4) Bolt replaced on chrome tailpipe extension
  • dowlingdcdowlingdc Posts: 7
    So I am not alone - somehow that's comforting. The nightmare on my 2008 Highlander has to do with the panic alarm. Goes off for no reason - repeatedly. Can't tell you how many times people have said "do you have the tan Highlander? Do you know your lights are flashing?" UGH!!!! Brought it to the dealer several times, and even called and filed a claim with headquarters (no follow up from that at all). I eventually had the hood latch replaced which solved the problem for a few weeks but came back in full force. Ended up disconnecting the panic horn so that at least I don't have to hear it. Thank goodness I leased it rather than bought - I cannot wait to give it back in 6 months when the lease is up. Same thing - I won't ever get another Toyota as I'm completely disgusted with the lack of customer service. One of their service techs actually yelled at me when I brought it back after the latch replacement. Jerk! I too have gotten 2 or 3 recall notices - they can fix the damn thing on their own time when I turn it back in. Buh-bye!!!
  • knwpskknwpsk Posts: 8

    I had the same problem with my 2008 HL -- the alarm kept going off randomly while parked and turned off. (It was inevitably in the middle of my son's soccer games!) Toyota couldn't diagnose it. One day on a whim, I looked under the hood and noticed some small rubber plugs near the front frame (close to me), and two of them had come out of the frame and were laying loose near the holes where they belong. The plugs are supposed to dampen the contact between the hood and the frame. I reseated the two loose plugs, and closed the hood... and NEVER had the alarm go off again.

    I think I got this notion from a post somewhere that said if the hood wasn't properly closed, the alarm could trigger... (??). It worked for me. I hope it helps you, or others.
  • praudpraud Posts: 2
    I have a 2008 HL, 59,400 miles. I had a loud noise coming from the front end. The dealership replaced the bearing and hub.

    This fell under the 5 yr 60,000 mile powertrain warranty. The dealership fixed for free. They said normally it would cost about 900 bucks!
  • krb1krb1 Posts: 15
    edited January 2011
    I have lately noticed that the surface of the inside of the car has frequently black specks of dirt (?). It is not dust. I dust the car from time to time, but this is the first time I have noticed these specks. I have the car little over 3 years. I suspect that they get in through the vents. I pushed the "circulate botton" on so the vents would stay closed, but that botton keeps shutting off on it's own - I believe due to the inside temperature.
    I am wondering if anybody else has this problem. I am not quite sure where to look. I have another 1600 miles before my 70,000 mile-service. The filter was (as per the dealership) changed at 60,000 miles. I wonder if the filter is loose or inefficient. I don't do any work on my car, but have the dealership handle it. However, I am starting to think that perhaps they don't always do the work that they say they did.
    I appreciate any feedback/info regarding this issue. Thank you.
    Karolina :sick:
  • luck11luck11 Posts: 425
    Curious, is it like a charcoal soot, plastic, paper etc? Are you sure they are coming from the vents and not from the environment when you open and close your doors/windows?

    If you're sure its from the vents, you may wish to check your cabin filter which is located behind your glove box. I believe the instructions on how to get to it are in your is fairly easy...I replaced my filter this past August and it took 10 minutes. Something may have fallen into your vent from outside and is somehow making its way past the filter. You may be able to vacuum it out. If not, then I would have your dealer or a reputable mechanic check it out to ensure particles are not coming from something breaking down in the vehicles HVAC system.
  • krb1krb1 Posts: 15
    Thank you for responding so quickly. I think it is more like plastic. It does not smudge on the skin, but it is hard to get it off (it's pretty fine). I park in the garage and have the windows shut due to the call weather. When the weather was slowly changing and I had to use heat in the morning but A/C in the afternoon, I smelled a weird, sort of musty smell, but I am not sure if that has anything to do with my current problem.
    I started to study the manual and it does not sound too bad. Of course, I am always worried about breaking a part.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    edited January 2011
    Google for:

    "anti-microbial chemical" evaporator
  • We have had some serious cold weather in the teens and when I went to start my Highlander one morning we had this weird humming in the dash. Sort of like a jet engine revving up before take off. Not that loud obviously but as I turned the heat up or down that controlled how intense the noise was. I am scared to find out how much that will cost to get that fixed. I am guessing some sort of bearing in the fan has gone out???? I have not taken it to the dealership yet as I am waiting to point it out on my next scheduled oil change. Has anybody else had this problem and if so, any idea of cost to repair???? Thanks.
  • molinemoline Posts: 14
    I am also looking for an answer to this. Has anyone found out what the best method is to rotate the tires using a floor jack and jack stands?
  • molinemoline Posts: 14
    The front brake pads on my 2008 Highlander need to be replaced, and I am inclined to do it myself. Has anyone done this, and if so do you have any details, or do I need to buy the shop manual to get torque specs, etc.?

  • vtgk7vtgk7 Posts: 17
    Many Toyota dealers offer tire rotation for $9.99 when you have an oil & filter change for $24.99, so why bother to do this work yourself and damage something.
  • luck11luck11 Posts: 425
    I swap my summer and winter tires, so my rotation schedule rarely corresponds to my oil change schedule. But, given the few miles I put on, I basically rotate every time I swap my winters with summers.
  • krb1krb1 Posts: 15
    Yesterday, while leaving a church parking lot, I put the car in drive and step on the gas little harder as I was on an incline. The car went backwards instead of forward real fast. I was able to stop just before hitting a car behind me. I look down to make sure that the car was in drive and it was. I got really scared and put the car in park while waiting for the driver of the car behind me. She had room to get around me. I waited for her to leave before I attempted to go again. That time I had no problem. One thing that I have noticed prior to this incident that it was somewhat harder to shift from park to reverse. Did anybody experience anything similar to this? Thank you.
  • luckysevenluckyseven Posts: 134
    edited May 2011
    Do you know that you car equipped with hill assist especially to handle situation like you described? Use it next time, when starting from incline.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Doesn't hill "assist" activate automatically...?

    I have understood that should the car roll (backwards, presumption) while in gear but no or light "holding" throttle, and no braking then hill start activates. Certainly seems to catch a lot of owners by surprise at "driveaway" time when pressure is applied to the gas pedal and the system disarms.
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