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Toyota Highlander Tires and Wheels

gasman1gasman1 Posts: 321
The original equipment (OEM) tires on the Highlander are just as cheap/bad as other OEM vehicle tires. I had Michelin Cross Terrains installed on my previous Highlanders. They were great! My current Highlander has Goodyear Fortera TRIPLE Tred tires.
These are the BEST tires that I've ever owned. Quiet, very responsive, and have preformed great in rain and snow. They're also a 60K mile tire. Expensive, but well worth the money.


  • Toyota is notorious for putting cheap tires on Toyotas. My last two had tires that wore out in 25k. And when I had them replaced At American Tire Co. the tires lasted 60K+.

    So tell me did you replace the tires when they were new?

    Usually I am not up to that, buying 2 sets of tires when I get a new vehicle.

    Do you get any trade in value when trading in near new tires?
  • middleageguymiddleageguy Chicago areaPosts: 42
    My Highlander had OEM Toyos. They wore down at 25,000 and lost almost all traction. Replaced them with Michelin Cross Terrains and they are terrific. Also, considered purchasing the Goodyear Tripletreads. Both are great tires and in same price range.
  • Thanks for the tire recommendations and I will consider those when my wheels get down to the nubin. It sure would be nice if when buying a new vehicle you had some options as to which tires are on it.

    I do remember olden days when I bought a Toyota (80s) there would be several manufacturers/types of tires on the available new Toyotas. And I would make that a requirement before I signed on the bottom line. i.e. I want that car but with those tires.........................
  • gasman1gasman1 Posts: 321
    I began trading-in my OEM tires more than 20 years ago. I normally get $45 to $50 per tire in trade. I once took $35 per Uniroyal tire on a 1998 GMC Sonoma. Here are my reasons for trading in OEM tires within the first few hundred miles of ownership.

    a. Take any tire rebates plus the OEM trade-in discount.
    b. Get a premium tire that provides exceeds "more than minimum" requirements.
    c. Get the road hazard, free rotations, life-time balance on a 60K to 80K mile tire.
    d. Provide the safest, most comfortable ride possible.

    Edmunds and Tirerack are excellent sources of info on which tires are best. It's amazing how different the same vehicle will perform on different tires. Look at that small tire patch that contacts the pavement (or lack of pavement due to rain, snow, mud, etc...).

    How's it go? You can pay me now or you can pay me later. IMO - A few hundred dollar investment in premium quality tires is well worth the safety and improved ride. :)
  • I usually do something similar to what you do when replacing tires but I have waited until the tires wore out.
    Which usally doesn't take too long what with the cheap tires that come on the new vehicles.

    It is too bad that you can't get the dealer to put on the tires you want when you pay 30k or so for a new vehicle.
  • grahampetersgrahampeters AustraliaPosts: 1,786

    I replaced the origican TOYO tryes on my Luger a few weeks ago. I was never happy with thier performance, particuallry lateral stability on turns. The Stability Contorl warning chime would often warn of slippage, een at very low cornering speeds, such as in car park ramps.

    I researched and fitted Yokohama Gelonder G051 which are a good comrpomise for primarily bitumen use with small off road component. Substantially beeter performance all around but very noticable in improved lateral stability.

    No change in noise characterisics or other downside that I can see. Cost about AUD1040 (about USD 780) to replace all four tyres.

    One thing to check with the Highlander (Kluger) is all four wheels shoulod be aligned at the same time. They can slip out of alignment if vehicel has been used on rough surfcaes for lengthy periods.


  • I bought the Highlander new and have been very pleased except for a high speed (70 to 80 mph) rumble in the drive train. It is not constant but has a definite rhythm. Dealer could not detect. Balanced and rotated tires and no relief. Very pronounced when driven in extreme cold -10 degrees and does not get better. Is it tires, awd torque binding or what? Has done it since new and has 18,000 on it now. Any thought?
  • gasman1gasman1 Posts: 321
    a. What tires do you have on it? Cheap OEM (Toyo, Bridgestone, Goodyear) tires could have a poor effect...

    b. Did you have it undercoated? if so, check to see if any undercoat is on the drive shaft. It seems that an un-balance drive sahft would cause issue prior to 70-MPH, but who really knows.

    c. If no undercoat, it could be a slight imbalance to drive shaft or or other drive assemblies...

    I wish I could help more.
  • It has Bridgestone tires. I did not have it undercoated. I am with you that it may be drive shaft. What irks me is that dealership checked it and could not sense rumble and therefore no warranty issue so I have to pay for diagnosis. Never owned a new Toyota so was astonished to have to pay for this. I am tempted to do new tires. What brand do you suggest?
  • gasman1gasman1 Posts: 321
    I've always preferred the best Michelins. However, I currently have Goodyear Forterra Triple Tred tires and they're the best tire that I've ever owned. Many people are having good luck with Yokohama's Geolander tire.

    Best of luck!
  • I am looking to lower my 06 Highlander 1-2". It is a 4wd hybrid. Does anyone know where I can find springs for this application?
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    Lowering the suspension might make you liable for a voided warranty. Be careful. :)
  • "Lower your Highlander 1-2"? Out of curiosity what is the purpose of that? It would almost seem invisible to the untrained eye? And your ride would suffer accordingly IMHO.
  • I want the vehicle to be lower to the ground to improve cornering speeds, and hopefully increase the MPG.

    Any ideas where to find lowering kits for these cars?
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    Why not just buy a Maxima?

    The kits are sold on automotive sites. Try someplace like or their magazine, they are usually advertised in the back pages.
  • Lower the the ground to improve cornering speeds? It almost sounds like you are driving the wrong vehicle for high cornering speeds.

    On a side note, if you were driving slower in general you wouldn't need to worry so much about speeds in corners. And you would get even better gas mileage driving slower.

    Personally I have never known anyone to "lower" a Highlander. Usually people buy Highlanders because they like being higher up in the air for visibility etc.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,457
    One of the competing SUVs, the Saturn Vue, offers a "Red Line Performance Package" that features a lowered, sport-tuned suspension. I don't recall seeing anything like this in the TRD line for the Highlanders but looking in the ads in the back of the car mags as suggested would be a good place to start. And check out for sources.
  • I am now convinced the problem is the tires. Tire dealer I use said Yokohama's won't work on Highlander-only Coopers or Bridgestone. He doesn't sell Goodyear or Michelins so will check other dealers. Just put Geolanders on my truck and they are GREAT in snow and on ice. Highly recommend them. Thanks again for advice!!!
  • Did you ever get any decent answers to your question? I have an 88k Highlander that will probably need new struts soon. I'd like to drop it 1 or 2". I don't need the clearance and the lowered ride height would help the handling, not that I race around in the thing. But, it would be safer and less prone to roll-overs. It'd look kind of cool too.
  • I recently did a brake job on my 03, 85k-mile Highlander. I replaced the front rotors with Brembo rotors and replaced all the brake pads with PBR Delux (Australia) brake pads. In the process I discovered that the rr slider was totally frozen. The RR brake was barely working. I replaced the slider and feed things up. The brakes work MUCH better now and I think most of the improvement is from the PBR pads. I'm still having a problem, though.
    After driving for a while I find that my LR brake rotor is hotter than my RR. If I drive a long time, not using my brake at all, the RL rotor is still warm. I pulled the calper and all is well with the slider. The PBR pads seemed very tight in the braket, so I filed them down on the ends and side of the tabs to losen them. This helped but the rotor is still warm. The pads are still pretty tight in the fixed part of the caliper. Does anyone know how lose the pads should be? I always thought they should be rather lose. What I don't understand is that the RR pads are just a tight as the left. Why would the left side brakes be dragging and not the right?
  • I use a battery charger for my camera on an inveter in my Highlander. I'd like to be able to leave it on while the car is shut off to charge the batteries. Has anyone made a conversion to allow the cigarette lighter to be always powered-on? (BTW, I tried using two keys, one in the ignition and one to lock the car, so that I could leave the ignition on and secure the vehicle. You know, there is no way you can do this!)
  • my001my001 Posts: 17
    Looking for OEM tire replacement and recommanded with Toyo Open Country H/T tires. Any thought or better tires?
  • tumwetumwe Posts: 7
    Replaced my OEM tires after only 60k on the clock, the Goodyear Integritys are a very poor choice for this vehicle IMO. Replaced with Michelin LTX MS. Drove like a new car, great in snow and light duty off pavement travels.
  • I disagree. 60k miles on a set of tires is VERY GOOD. Can't beat that with a stick.
  • tumwetumwe Posts: 7
    My mistake I meant kilometres not miles. The OEM rubber were thin skinned, with a soft mushy ride. They had a tendency to pick up nails screws ect. too easily, I changed more flats in those 2 years than all other years combined. It got to the point where we could clear the luggage, retrieve the spare, jack up the car, change the tire, reload and be on our way in 20 minutes and not wake two sleeping kids.
  • my001my001 Posts: 17
    Thanks, trade in ($100 total) for Michellin LTX M/S ($128 each). I am going to Death Valley and not feel comfortable with the original Toyo tires.
  • ft20ft20 Posts: 15
    I replaced with Yokohama Geolander HTS and have been very impressed with reduction in road noise and ride quality. So far 10K on the tires and they look brand new. Also, relatively inexpensive at tirerack.
  • my001my001 Posts: 17
    Yokohama Geolander HTS looks great and much cheaper than my Mechelin LTX, which is also excellent. One thing I do not like my mechelin is, tires are very soft, and look like the air pressure is too low all the time.
  • grahampetersgrahampeters AustraliaPosts: 1,786

    I have now run about 10000km on the Geolanders and am impressed. Slight increase in road noise over standard Toyo but dramatically improved grip, both on road and off. handling is much improved under slippery conditions.

    Most impressive is the offroad performance. I took my Kluger into very steep mountain country with serious rock scrambles on some trails. No slip and perfect control throoughout.

    No obvious wear yet.


  • mtairyordgemtairyordge Posts: 144
    LEts see if we can get this out of the way upfront:
    The Goodyears are a piece of Cow Dung...I wouldn't put them on. They are not well made and just don't last.

    The Yokie are stiffer sidewalls better handling and cornering, but are you really driving the HL as a sports car?

    The Michelin's are the best in my not so humble opinion. Current set is at 55K miles and I will be replacing them for summer driving season next week. Sure they cost a bit more but quality always wins out, especially when the family is in the car.
  • gasman1gasman1 Posts: 321
    Unless, you're talking the OEM Goodyear tires, I disagree with your non-humble opinion. (You're entitled to that opinion. :) ) The OEM tires that come on the HL are JUNK! It doesn't matter the brand name. You need to replace them ASAP so you can have a better and safer riding tire that will last 60-70K miles. Why didn't Toyota fit the HL with premium quality tires? It must be a $ thing, but not good business IMO.

    I haven't experienced the Yoko's, but read on these boards that people are happy with them. Having owned Michelin Cross terrain tires on a 2001 HL for 55K miles and a 2002 Tundra for 30K miles, I have the following comment. They're much better than OEM, but aren't good enough. They begin quiet, but begin to get noisy around 25K miles.

    A top rated tire at Tire Rack is the Goodyear Triple Tread (Forterra Triple Tread on SUV and Assurance Triple Tread on cars). The GY Triple Tread tires on my 2006 HL have about 15K miles. They are the best tires that I've ever owned. Great snow/rain traction, braking, smooth ride, and quiet on the highway. (However, there is some road/tire noise at speeds below 40MPH.) I have them on the HL, the G6, and will soon replace the Michelin Hydro Edge tires on our 4WD Matrix. My neighbor has them on his Avalon and his 4Runner and he also shares my experience with these tires.

    I don't switch tires over summer/winter so the miles I mentioned are true miles for each tire brand. (Also, I don't work for or have any financial interest in Goodyear.)
  • blufz1blufz1 Posts: 2,045
    Agree w/gasman. I have the assurance comfort tread on my v6 Honda Accord and they are MUCH smoother,quieter than the oem Michelins. Always check the tirerack surveys to get info re a tire before you buy.
  • my001my001 Posts: 17
    Based on the review, Forterra Triple Tread is very good. I noticed the thread has a direction and therefore how do you rotate tires or it simply does not matter?
  • gasman1gasman1 Posts: 321
    They rotate between front and rear on the same side of the vehicle. Another great thing about switching out the OEM tires is that tire rotations on these tires are free. You can also spend a few extra $$$ per tire to get the lifetime balance and road hazard. It's about $4 per tire, as I recall. The rotations help increase the life of the tire and provide more even wear.
  • mcswinemcswine Posts: 30
    I replaced the crappy Goodyear "Integrity's" on my '03 Highlander with the Triple Treds and the difference is remarkable. I will agree with Gasman that these tires are the best I've ever owned.
  • gasman1gasman1 Posts: 321
    Goodyear owes me for spreading the good word about these tires. :shades: Glad they worked for you!
  • I replaced the original tires which were Toyo's at 23k miles because the tread wear indicator showed up on all the tires. That shows Toyo quality sucks. I bought 4 new Goodyear Integrity's tires at Sam's Club for my 2005 Toyota Highlander and I noticed they don't have any much road noise and they handle alot better.
    I went to Sam's Club last week and they balanced the tires twice now since I bought the tires from them 2 months ago, but I still get the steering wheel vibration especially at 70-75. Sam's Club says that the rim is to blame, not the tire because the rim is defective and when that the problem is from normal everyday driving and hitting pot holes, etc..... My old tires didn't have any steering wheel vibration issues at highway speeds at all though. Should I go back to them a 3rd time and ask for a manager or go to the dealer to have them check everything out?
  • mdchachimdchachi Posts: 275
    How have these tires affected your gas mileage? My mechanic claims I need new tires on my 04 HL Limited even though I only have 52,000 miles on them. It's only the treads near the side that have less depth than Lincoln's head on a penny. The treads in the middle are fine!

    Anyway the OE tires -- Michelin Energy LX4 -- claim to be better for mileage. I've never had any problems so I'd be inclined to get the same tires if I hadn't stumbled across this thread. The price appears to be the same between the two. So, anyway, any comments regarding gas mileage & Fortera?

  • gasman1gasman1 Posts: 321
    I had them installed the first day I had the HL, so I can't really compare how they impacted my MPG. I have a 2WD v-6 and got 24MPG on a 450 mile highway trip yesterday. So, they may hit me for 1 or 2 MPG, but (to me) the safety, traction, and handling positively offset this potential negative.
  • my001my001 Posts: 17
    They rotate between front and rear on the same side of the vehicle. Another great thing about switching out the OEM tires is that tire rotations on these tires are free. You can also spend a few extra $$$ per tire to get the lifetime balance and road hazard. It's about $4 per tire, as I recall. The rotations help increase the life of the tire and provide more even wear.
    Ok. How about spare tire, should it be left or right?
  • gasman1gasman1 Posts: 321
    Suggest you call and ask the tire dealership. My spare is the original and I don't rotate it. Please share what they have to say.
  • I rotated all five origianl Goodyear Integrity tires on my '03 4-cylinder Highlander and got an amazing 55,000 miles on them before I replaced them. Even then they had some tread left but were not so good in rain. (Never were!)

    I replaced them with Yokohama Geolandars which now have 40,000 miles on them. I've only rotated the four tires, not the spare on this set. They still have lots of tread left and will probably go another 20,000 miles. Interestingly, I did see about a 2mpg drop in fuel mileage with the Yokos; something that Consumer Reports and others noted. I guess it does make a difference. The Yokos are good tires. Excellent in the rain and fair in the snow.

    My $0.02.
  • jossjoss Posts: 2
    All the info about the tires on a new car being undesirable. Is it possible to "make" the dealership replace the tires before you buy? I can't imagine buying a new car and immediately replacing the tires!...probably couldn't afford it anyway! The care I am wanting to trade in needs new tires...I figured that I would be able to avoid buying new ones! What do you think...could that be a deal breaker?
  • sy2005hlsy2005hl Posts: 1
    I am interested to know that you had to replace your tires at 23K miles. My 2005 Highlander has only 13K miles but the tread wear indicator already showed up on the front tires. I went to the Toyo tire dealer to maintain my car and was told that I need to replace these tires as early as possible. I asked about warranty and was told that there is no warranty on tires. I am wondering when you replaced your tires, had you contacted Toyo about the tire warranty?
    Or anybody else knows about the warranty program on Toyo tire.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,457
    Tires are ordinarily covered by their own warranty, even on new cars. So I don't know why your Toyo tire dealer said there wasn't any warranty. With that few miles, it may be worth it to pursue replacements under warranty if the pro rata restrictions aren't too onerous. Maybe contact the distributor or company via their web page?
  • nosdivadnosdivad Posts: 14
    i have 20,000 on my GOODYEAR INTEGRITY 04 HL 4 wheel drive limited. i had no problem until i had them rotated. now there is irritating hum from front tires when speed reaches 25 and above. i took vehicle back to dealer where all maitenance is performed and was told that when rotation is done the front tires are "cupped" because rear tires remain straight and the front move . i was advised that over time the tires will "wear in" and the noise will disappear. i asked if the the noise would disappear if the the tires were rotated back as they were before rotation. the response was ,"no it will be worst." Is that information correct? i don't want to purchase new tires unless i just have to.
    i do have access to sam's and costco warehouse clubs..
    maybe i shouldn,t have tires rotated in the future if "cupping" may become a problem???? i do want as smooth a ride as is possible.
  • gasman1gasman1 Posts: 321
    I've "heard" that you can "work the cupping out" by leaving them on the front, but that could take several thousand miles. IMO, moving them back to the rear may make them more cupped. Someone with more knowledge will need to reply to the cupping question. However, to extend the life of your tires --- rotate them every 5-6K miles.
  • jospherjospher Posts: 3
    I have a 2006 Highlander for 1 1/2 years with 14,000 miles and the dealership toyo tires are shot. Even wear throughout all 4, nearly at the tread mark of tires. I would work a deal for a new vehicle and then tell them only if you change tire for whichever you want or else no deal and I leave. I would guess they would agree. It cannot cost them much more if any to change tires to make a deal.If I knew about these pathetic tires they put on, they would either change them or I would not be driving a Highlander. Good luck and let me know how you make out.
  • nosdivadnosdivad Posts: 14
    thanks much for the information
  • nosdivadnosdivad Posts: 14
    thank you. i may leave them on for a while. or i may have to research to find a tire that will not result in that problem. i may check out sam's or costco clubs to see if they have tire that will not result in that problem. i am also thinking that in the future that i may not rotate tires at all. i know that rotation supposely prolongs life of tires. on the other hand: even though tires may wear prematurely i may break even because i would not be paying for rotation every 4/5000 miles. any thoughs/ suggestions?
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