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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: 52,462
    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.
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