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Toyota Highlander Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning



  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I hope that $1,000 was covered under warranty, otherwise YOU have more likely than otherwise just been HAD.
  • slowcarslowcar Posts: 66
    Problem fixed. It wasn't the condensor. The line was vacummed, checked for leak. Refill with freon plus die for leak check and it works now, cold on both side. Probably there was small leak some where and the line might have some air in there.

    Damage = $200.
  • pbylerpbyler Posts: 2
    A/C seems to change to a tepid temperature during long trips. We were out of town 3 times in the last 3 months, and the A/C did this continually. Took to the dealer and they "changed the filter" before our last trip. Still happened, though.

    Would the 2004 Highland "fix" work for my 2009? Or should I print those instructions out and take them with me to the dealership?

  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    Is your vehicle still on warranty? If so, just take it in.
  • pbylerpbyler Posts: 2
    Do you think that the service department would do anything different? Should I point out the "obvious", that it still doesn't work after their filter change? My husband seems to think that there must be something in the "fix-it book" that should address this problem. What do you think?
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    Your problem is a difficult one for the dealer to diagnose because you've said it only happens on long trips. I'd agree with your husband, let them do their job, but be firm about it with them.
  • sthaisthai Posts: 1
    Hi! I recently replaced my blower motor, after replacing it I found that the blower motor works only in one speed(High) so after some search on the net found that the problem is something to do with the Blower Motor resistor. I bought the part from Toyota and replaced it. All the speed started working for about 5 mins after that the the resistor got too hot and melted the solder on it. Can someone please shed some light on why the Resistor got too hot.....? Thankyou
  • Hello to all;

    I have lost control of my temperature rotary control( I have a "auto" unit) like so many others I talked to the dealer who told me the standard deal $1000 buck and you are good as looked on Edmunds and after reading so many posts I called the regional and the 800 numbers and got the same runaround....not enough complaints....So here I am with the front trim piece off the hvac/radio and see 6 bolts for the whole unit plus 4 screws for what looks to be the hvac unit....Those screws are not budging but the 6 10mm bolts are ready to once the unit is out what next....are there a couple connectors???? Any help would be most appreciated...Joe
  • what year/model highlander do you have?
  • Ref to #135....It's a 2002 Limited
  • grahampetersgrahampeters AustraliaPosts: 1,783

    Here is the link with excellent images, showing how to fix. The simple fix is to check if the nuts around the shafts for fan and heat control are secure (that was my problem - if the rotary knobs seem to wobble, that is a fair guess). Try tightening these first and if they don't work, go for the whole fix detailed in the attached link. The soldering is supposed to be very fiddly so may need to find an electronic geek friend to do this and check that there is no shorting between tracks e/


  • It's a defect and I could not repair and paid the $1000 to fix. But then I sent a detailed letter to Toyota 3 months ago. I had complete diagrams and included details that this problem will happen on every Highlander over time. The connecting wires are so tight that the movement of the knob causes slight right and left movement of the switch. Over time the wires snap off.
    WRITE Toyota! At some point they will owe a bunch of people alot of money!
  • gvwgvw Posts: 2
    Have a 2002 Highlander. I get heat on the driver side of vehicle but not the passenger side . What is this an indication of? Thanks in advance for your advice.
  • rld66rld66 Posts: 1
    Many thanks to Devalcourt for his excellent instructions. Just repaired my son's heat/ac control on his 2006 Highlander Limited for only a $75 charge by my TV repairman for disassembling the control box and repairing and soldering the broken cable wires (he replaced them with longer wires). One caution: it is easy to drop the socket for the 10 mm bolts down in the console...also the bolts themselves! I lost a socket down in the console and never was able to find or retrieve it. But it seems to be causing no problems...not even a rattle! Use a good socket that snaps on the driver - I was using a cheapo that did not snap on. Also use a piece of double stick tape placed over the end of the socket and push the bolt head into it. By the way the Toyota dealer wanted about $1000 to repair it - $800 for the board and $200 labor. Look on if you need a used board.
  • sungsoonsungsoon Posts: 1
    edited April 2011
    I wrote to Toyota about this issue and their response is, after your warranty expires, TOUGH-S--T!!
    They also said that they don't consider all these posts worth their time and effort, they will only act on issues brought up by their dealership service departments. So, if you had the problem, and fixed it without taking it to the dealer, the issue will never be addressed.
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    edited April 2011
    Typical corporate arrogance, DENY DENY DENY. I had the same experience with a new 06 Tundra that had 3 tires that were out of round when I bought the vehicle.

    I doubt they would issue a recall since A/C and heater controls are not safety issues. Toyota has become no better and no worse than other car companies. They really don't care.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    A/C and heater controls CAN be a safety issue, windshield defrost/demist/defog mode.
  • bison88bison88 Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 Highlander. Manual A/C controls. Currently, I am experiencing a situation that the A/C quits at low speed or idling at a stop. I am tipped off that the A/C is "off" when the green indicator light on the A/C button starts flashing.

    I can immediately "restart" the A/C by pressing the A/C button twice. Once to turn off and once to turn back on. Once on, the green indicator light is steady "on". However, as soon as I slow down again, the light begins flashing and the A/C quits.

    If I am traveling at a constant moderate speed, the A/C stays on.

    "Restarting" the A/C always seems to work...but it is a nuisance to have to keep doing it...especially in city driving.

    Also, the temperature with the A/C on seems to be plenty cool.

    Any ideas?

  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    A/C compressor drive belt or clutch slipping.
  • my2gritsmy2grits Posts: 1
    Same here. When the a/c on my '05 Highlander started acting up(and of course the car is out of warranty), I got really nervous. I could see a repair bill in the thousands of dollars. But out of curiosity, I googled to see if there were similar reports of problems with the a/c on Highlanders. Turns out there are more than I would care to know.
    But anyway, I took this posters suggestion of checking the temperature control knob. Was it loose? YEP. Gently remove the knob by pulling the knob away from the panel. OK. Do you see a hex nut on the metal post that the knob attaches too? YES. Is it loose? YEP. Then tighten the nut until it is secure. OK. Re-attach temperature control knob. OK. Test running the a/c by turning on the fan. Is the temperature control accurate? YES!!!!!!
    Thank you so much for posting. I was getting ready to take it in to the mechanic. I can only imagine what they would have diagnosed and charged me for!

    Lesson to this story: Do your research BEFORE resorting to the repair shop. The internet is a wealth of information. Take the least invasive approach first, and if that doesn't provide the results you seek, then proceed to the next step.
  • dex_alaindex_alain Posts: 1
    Highlander 2003 with 267000km, 4 cyl. Whether you put cool air or air condition, while driving it sudently swith to very hot air. Either I take the air condition off and on again or I switch the knob from coolest to warmest and then back to coolest, and everything comes back to normal. Hate to do that, but it's the only way I found. Am I the only one? Any idea to solve the problem? It may appear one , twice or even three times on a run of 50 km.

    Thanks if there is a genius among us !!
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    Read the post just before yours.
  • dcraytordcraytor Posts: 1
    May be late in day for this one, but I had same problem, and pulleed the knob cover off from the dashboard, that controls the temperature. The nut was loose holding the variable switched to the dash, and shorting out below. Tightended nut, put knob back on, works great...Dan
  • oakinskioakinski Posts: 1
    Thank you so much for posting your message . . . I too have an 05 Highlander with the AC issues, just taking the knob off, not even tightening it, I got immediate cold air it was wonderful. Just yesterday I had gone to a mechanic who told me it would be about $700 to replace the panel for the repair, you just saved me $700 and now I have cold air in my car, Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
  • Just drove a 2011 highlander off the lot 5 days ago. Air blows warm for 6-9 minutes after car has been sitting for awhile like in garage overnight. Took it in they found leaking o-ring and filled the freon. Again brand new car 200 miles. Still blows warm- left a baseball game tonight after the car sat for 3 hours. Took a/c 5 minutes to blow cold. It literally blows warm air then seems to kick in. Service mgr tells me it takes the highlanders 5 minutes to cool the cabin. It takes mine 6 minutes to blow cool air. Any similar problems? Considering taking it back. We live in a hot climate and our 18 year old BMW cools better. Help
  • I had the same problem with my 2005 Highlander. Googled it and tons of people had the same issue. If you take it to Toyota they tell you they have to replace the whole board which costs about 1k. In actuality it is just that two of three wires coming to the control button has come undone because they are too short. You need to just have them resolder on the other side and it works like new. Cost me $40.00. I can't remember the site but if you look hard enough you will find it where a guy give you detailed instructions on how to fix it with pictures.
  • Did A/C improve at all after repair? You might want to ask your dealer to let you compare any other new HL cooling with yours, see if any difference. I have a 2008 HL and A/C might take few minutes to cool off if car seats for long time on the sun. I can feel cold air coming from the vents pretty soon though, whole cabin space might take time to cool off if it gets really hot. If you live in hot climate then you should have chosen optional rear A/C when you bought the car.
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    edited September 2011
    I can't remember the site but if you look hard enough you will find it where a guy give you detailed instructions on how to fix it with pictures.

    Here's the site. e/
  • cjr053cjr053 Posts: 2
    The control switch will not move the tempture up or down it's stuck at 65 degree. i check the hex nut and it it time for a new control switch?
  • model year? I have a '05 and initially I had the same problem that was remedied in msg #155. Problem occurred again this winter and it turned out that the "blender door" control is broken. It controls how wide to open the door (underneath the dash) to blend the warm/cool air into the cabin. Right now, I have a stiff wire propping the door wide open to get me thru a Chicago winter. I only get one temperature control HOT or OFF. Not sure if this is your problem, but it's my experience with lack of temperture control.
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