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Toyota Highlander Maintenance and Repair



  • I called both Toyota dealers in wanted & 1,100 and the other wanted $ 875...for the same work...ludicrous !!! I called the shop I normally have do my LOF and minor repairs. They will do the job, including new belts, water pump, the works, for $ 760. I was hoping to keep it under $ 600, but I need it done, so I am going to spend the $$$ to do it. Again, with the lower block only having 48,000 miles on it, new tires, front brakes have done less than
    15,000 miles ago, I will spend the $$$ and hope to get another 3 - 4 years out of my then, it will have around 135,000 miles on it, but some parts of the engine will have 83,000 miles. Does this sound like a reasonable game plan ????
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 70,273
    Well... if a timing belt is due, it's a necessary expense.. No point in not doing it... Especially if you plan on keeping the vehicle for three to four more years..


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  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    You've done your research, and well done I'd say. $1100, LOL at that one, he's probably got a boat payment coming up. And you'll probably get more than 135K miles.
  • kosyjonkosyjon Posts: 1
    edited February 2011
    anyone have any experience with toyota's reimbursement policy-2004HL had brake master cylinder work done done 11/09 at outside shop (out of Warranty)-- read about recall 11/10- called toyousa and sent in all required document- now they want to have it replaced with toyo parts before they will continue with "review " for reimbursement -- anyone had reimbursement in this situation or am I out of my fix expense before recall thanks
  • I'm not sure that policy is legal. They can't void a warranty because you use non-Toyota parts as long as the replacement parts meet industry standards. Does anyone know how to find out what laws apply from an independent source? Toyousa isn't exactly non-partial.
  • Once in a while, my car have a hard start on cold weather, any suggestions?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    edited March 2011
    Turn over more slightly slower than normal and then start...

    Mechanical tolerances are tighter, more FRICTION, the colder it gets. So battery state and charge level becomes more and more critical the colder it gets. Electronic systems, engine/transaxle ECU controls, do not work well, sometimes not at all, at the low battery starting voltages, maybe less than 8-9 volts, you often get in cold weather during cranking.

    Oh, HOW cold, Cut Bank MT. COLD..?
  • mjhaifmjhaif Posts: 1
    Just had the timing belt (tensioner and water pump) changed (93,000 miles) on my 2001 Highlander (V-6). Now I have a fluid (oil I think) leak. I haven't taken it back to the repair shop yet. Any ideas/guesses as to what went wrong?
    Appreciation for all replies.
  • 05highlander0505highlander05 Posts: 89
    edited March 2011
    Since having my front and rear pads replaced last fall my front brakes continue to squeal when I initially drive my highlander for the first minute or 2. The dealer said it was due to the snow, ice and road sand this past winter. However, I continue to have the problem, where I want to duck down when pulling out of my companies parking lot.

    The squeal does go away, after the first few stops (braking). It is also more evident if I had rained while the car had been parked.

    Any advice on how to approach my dealer again.

    The original pads were changed at 60k miles and the old brakes never squealed. ">link title
  • I just spent $60 to fill up 2005 Highlander V6 with 60k miles on it. I put about 12k miles on it per year. Is it worth switching to a Prius? I live in WI
  • mrgrld1mrgrld1 Posts: 1
    Yes, they didn't do a good job of sanding down the old disc. It may be also they didn't put back the sqealer/noise clip back probably. I would always ask for a ceramic brake pads because they don't make noise and does not give out brake dust. In other words, insist on ceramic pads only! They might cost a bit more but worth it especially if you have an older disc. Good luck
  • the dealer told me they installed ceramic pads though.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 70,273
    12K mi./yr divided by 18 MPG X $3.59/gal. = $2393 = $199.41/mo.
    12K mi./yr divided by 40 MPG X 3.59/gal. = $1077 = $89.75/mo..

    You'll save $110/mo. on gas at current prices....

    Probably $15K to trade up? Can't pay for that on $1320 a year...


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  • So just stay with my gas guzzling Highlander?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 70,273
    Well.. I wouldn't swap out just to save on gas...

    If you are ready for a new car, then gas mileage might be high on your list..

    It's almost always cheaper to keep what you have.... I don't know your situation, but some people like Highlanders for their utility and AWD.. You have to decide what's important to you...

    Good luck!


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  • Great info, thx
    Plus I only have 70k original miles in 6 yrs
  • mdhuttonmdhutton Posts: 195
    You're not comparing apples with apples. Your math is correct on annual fuel cost, but you're discussing two completely different vehicles -- the SUV Highlander versus the Hybrid Prius.

    Since the Prius isn't offered with a gasoline engine, you've got to compare similar vehicles that are offered in both versions.... which the HL is. Using BASE prices, consider the following:

    2011 Highlander Gas Base model MSRP = $27,540
    2011 Highlander Hybrid model MSRP = $37,490

    A $9950 price difference. We'll get back to this in a minute.

    You also need to run your math on the HL's EPA ratings for fuel economy:

    2011 Highlander Gas Base Model = 20/25
    2011 Highlander Hybrid Model = 28/28

    Which becomes:

    12K per year divided by 20 MPG x $3.59/gal = $179.50/mo
    12K per year divided by 28 MPG x $3.59/gal = $128.21/mo

    A "savings" of only $51.29 per month, so you would need to keep the vehicle for 194 months (about 16 years) just to BREAK EVEN, let alone SAVE any money.

    Tree-huggers who will claim that you can't put a "price" on the greener footprint you'll leave on the environment need not reply.

    I burn gas and I'm damn proud of it.
  • Great point. Love it!!
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    Tree-huggers who will claim that you can't put a "price" on the greener footprint you'll leave on the environment need not reply.

    LMAO, good one. This topic was beat to death the last time gas prices hit $4 a gallon, and it was proven many times over that it does not make financial sense to trade out a gas guzzling SUV for something like a Prius.

    Now if you really WANT a new car, then it makes all the sense in the world and can easily be justified, :).
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Maybe someone can refresh my memory - the last go-round did the national average price of regular actually top $4? Probably did in Hawaii (it's already averaging $4.14 now), and maybe California.

    Meanwhile, the price of oil has topped $105 a barrel. (CNN)
  • slade1slade1 Posts: 1
    My water pump went bad in my engine...............How do I know this? My antifreeze is on my driveway and a mechanic looked at. The car is just 3 years with 70k miles. The labor hours are 11 hours. The estimates I received are $3,200 to $1,147.04, Toyota came in at $1,350. I bought the car because Toyota had such a great reputation for the longevity of it's automobiles. I feel screwed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I cannot afford this while still paying for the car and wonder what else is going to come down the road.

    I've already spent close to a $1k on new tires since the tires went bad at 33k miles. The rear brakes squeak in the rain. At this point I have to get the car running. But the cost of this repair is unrealistic and how much more??
  • Thanks for your honesty.
  • luckysevenluckyseven Posts: 134
    edited March 2011
    Water pump recently went on my 2009 Camry with only 30K and was replaced under the warranty. I read on another board about leaky HL pump, looks like this becoming a common issue.. If you handy enough it is possible to replace HL water pump from a right wheel well area with some arm twisting. I think new pump shouldn't be more then $100. If you PM me I'll send you a link or you can google it. I understand your frustration but you got 70K miles of old pump, would be better if it leaked before drive-train warranty expired.
  • I need a wheel alignment it better to do it after I install new tires or does it matter?
  • tsotsitsotsi Posts: 98
    I had a similar experience with the serpentine belt tensioner on my Highlander. At 60,000 miles the belt failed, leaving me stranded -- no power steering, generator or cooling. The black rubber marks on the tensioner pulley led me and the dealer to the conclusion that the tensioner had a bad bearing, causing the belt to fail.

    Unfortunately, the cost for replacing the tensioner, water pump (might just as well while doing the tensioner) and belt was over $900. Looking at the bill, I guess they charged me for replacing the belt three times using the flat-rate book -- tensioner includes belt replacement, water pump replacement includes belt replacement and then, of course actually replacing the belt.

    I find my local dealer totally untrustworthy. The salesmen who claim to be maintenance advisers have been telling me for over 25,000 miles that my brakes are totally worn out (I looked at them myself and they are not). I tightened the nut on the temperature control myself rather than waiting for the wires to break so the dealer could charge over $700 for a whole new unit. I would think that after years of that nut coming loose on thousands of Highlanders, the so-called maintenance advisors would have made checking it part of the service.

    So I would have to score Toyota about average for reliability and blame the dealer for making it seem worse than it actually is. If I had relied on the dealer for all of my maintenance I would be out over $1000 more. He got me on the tensioner because the car wouldn't move and I needed it right away, but I have learned something from his actions when I needed him. I feel sorry for Toyota buyers who don't know much about cars and rely on the dealers. I remember seeing some women (I am not being sexist, I just didn't see any men) crying on the way to the cashier -- they came in for an oil change and went away over $1,000 poorer. They believed the service advisor.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 70,273
    Immediately after you install the new tires...


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  • mrs1964mrs1964 Posts: 8
    I would be interested in learning what you find to be the cause of the leak. Did the mechanic cause the problem when the timing belt/water pump was changed?
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    edited March 2011
    So I would have to score Toyota about average for reliability and blame the dealer for making it seem worse than it actually is. If I had relied on the dealer for all of my maintenance I would be out over $1000 more.

    Toyota service advisors in general from my experience are some of the worst rip-offs I've seen. True story here, my wife's best friend took her 4-Runner in for an oil & filter change and rotate tires, vehicle was about 3 yrs old and about 38K miles, so it was just off warranty. The service advisor advises to have the tranny fluid changed, says it looks brown.

    Well I just happened to have my wife's Highlander in for an oil change as well, so she asked me about it. I told the advisor to bring the vehicle out with the techie who he said recommended it and I want to check the tranny fluid myself. Umm, he's working on another vehicle at the moment. OK I'll wait. Umm, he went to lunch. OK I'll wait. Umm, he left for the day with a personal issue.

    We told him to just do the oil & filter and tire rotation. We got home and I checked the tranny fluid and showed her it was still bright pink. My friend was literally stunned that these people do that. I told her this is a very common trick, especially with a female and it can get as bad as when you challenge them and they bring the vehicle out to check the tranny fluid, I've heard of them even pulling the engine oil dipstick out to show that it is brown.

    This is why I do not let any dealer touch my vehicles except for a warranty claim. Any maintenance I can't or don't want to do, I have a local independent shop that I trust do the work.
  • toledo73toledo73 Posts: 131
    My 2010 HL has been serviced by the dealer since I bought it. First 2 were free, and the 15K was 59 bucks. My service station couldn't beat that price. Been very satisfied. The owners manual indicates that a tranny fluid inspection is required at 30K miles. I was not aware that the fluid she go brown before you replace. I do not allow the engine oil to go black before it is replaced. I do it every 5K as recommended by owner's manual. The tranny fluid service is under 100 bucks. I'll spend the 100 rather than the 2-3K to replace tranny, regardless of color.
  • shagnatshagnat Posts: 78
    I let my dealer do all my work. Thank goodness I own a Toyota and have had NO repairs necessary to my '03 Highlander Limited.
    He does a good job, keeps all the records for me (I'm terrible at keeping records) and can tell at a glance the last time my cabin air filter was changed, the engine air filter was changed, IF I need to have my coolant replaced, in addition to the tranny fluid issue.
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