2003 Toyota Highlander Reviews, Ratings, Prices - Consumer Reports
The Highlander was the first car-based, mid-sized SUV in its price range. The refined and effortless powertrain is combined with a supple ride and easy access. These serve to enhance the spacious, quiet, and comfortable interior to make Highlander a pleasant vehicle for everyday driving. Emergency handling could be more capable, but it's secure enough overall. In sum, the Highlander is a very good choice.
Alerts
There are 2 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.
Fuel Economy & Emissions
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Greenhouse Gas Greenhouse Gas The Greenhouse Gas Rating represents the amount of carbon dioxide the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
NA
Smog Rating Smog Rating The Smog Rating represents the amount of health-damaging and smog-forming airborne pollutants the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
NA

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
Transmission Minor Transmission Minor Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.
Drive System Drive System Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS and ESC standard. Side and head protection air bags standard from 2007. FCW and AEB standard from 2017.
Road Test

The Highlander was the first car-based, mid-sized SUV in its price range. The refined and effortless powertrain is combined with a supple ride and easy access. These serve to enhance the spacious, quiet, and comfortable interior to make Highlander a pleasant vehicle for everyday driving. Emergency handling could be more capable, but it's secure enough overall. In sum, the Highlander is a very good choice.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
AWD, Front
Warranty
Coverage varies among versions of this vehicle

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
4-door SUV
Transmissions Available
  • 4-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 2.4-liter 4 (160 hp)
  • 3-liter V6 (220 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2003 Toyota Highlander owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

"Had to replace my catalytic converter several times since last engine rebuild"

Greg E., CA (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"vacuum system of fuel tank has failed"

Mark F., ON (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Needed catalitic converter replaced"

Anonymous, NJ (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"It took two or three visits to the Toyota dealership to finally get the "check engine" light to go off"

Wayne A., UT (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"lon dash came on....Toyota wanter to chane to cannister for estimated $800. Went to an outside mechanic and he corrected to problem for $60. After running tests it was determined there was a leak in the system. Was a line left of the cannister"

Anonymous, FL (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Warning lights come on. Dealer tracks it down to sensor, not actually the emission control device itself"

H L., NC (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"evap canaster sensor failure $ 800.00"

Everton R., FL (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"catalytic converter failed at 90,000 and again at 140,000"

Donald B., CT (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"needed new catalytic converter"

Craig R., VT (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Fuel vapor canister filled up, causing blowback when filling"

Anonymous, NC (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Dash indicates "Check Engine". A replacement gas cap fixed it a few years ago"

Michael B., NV (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"We had to replace the catalytic converter. Dealer thought that there may have been premature failure because my wife did not drive the car very many miles especially not at turnpike speeds and this may have caused excessive heat"

Anonymous, MO (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Check engine light wouldn't go out. Codes indicated catalytic converter. Catalic converter. It's a high time engine. Was successfully replaced. All work done by dealer. We are planning to go to 250,000 miles."

Luanne C., CA (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Replaced at cost of $1000 Califoria model"

Anonymous, TN (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"I had a very small vacuum leak, in a tiny connection hose under the valve cover. I had a smoke leak detection process done at a independent shop, but ended up at a Toyota Dealership to be smoke tested again to find the small emission system leak. The leak caused a "check engine" light which prevented a car registration inspection, so it had to be found and fixed."

Anonymous, TX (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)
Fuel cap

"Fuel cap sometimes does not fit tight and allows engine light for emission system to come on and then must be reset... Purchased a new cap but still have this occasional problem"

Beth W., AZ (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Replaced for the 4th time"

Anonymous, CO (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Check engine light comes on sporadically. Mechanic says code number is a nuisance and he encounters it frequently and rarely finds an actual problem"

Sue K., OH (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"loose gas cap caused engine light to come on. reinstalled cap and reset light"

Anonymous, MD (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Have replaced 2x"

Anonymous, TN (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Fuel gauge/sender

"Broken hose"

Roger D., NC (2003 Toyota Highlander 3.0-L V6)
Fuel pump

"All seal on the gas tank deteriorated requiring complete replacement of the tank, fuel pump and all lines."

Anonymous, IL (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"sticking plunger would not allow sensor to open and close appropriately. Also had hose problems--most emission system hoses had deteriorated over 16 year life of vehicle and required replacing"

Gene C., CA (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"defective"

Mark F., ON (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Two O2 sensors failed requiring replacement"

Anonymous, TX (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"The o2 sensor on the exhaust pipe went bad and caused a leak in the exhaust pipe. The sensor its self is over 400 dollars. Not cool! Of course the warranty that we have doesn't cover electrical components. It affects other systems and causes really bad gas mileage. Also of note is the radiator. It is leaking again, this will be our 5th new one that will be installed"

Anonymous, WI (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Three sensors had to be replaced to pass California smog test"

Anonymous, TN (2003 Toyota Highlander 3.0-L V6)

"O2 sensors triggered code in the car computer"

Leon W., NJ (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"I have replaced three of the four O2 sensors over the past 4 years. The fourth sensor (downstream) triggered a check engine code about six months ago, but I have chosen to not replace it yet. The cost of this sensor part (~$180) is outrageous."

David C., IL (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Dashboard lights would not go off. Told to replace the O2 sensor."

Anonymous, TN (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"had steady red check engine light -diagnosed as oxygen sensor- $250 to replace"

Anonymous, MA (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Replaced two O2 sensors."

Robert L., IL (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Sensor kept going off."

Claudia S., NY (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"CHECK ENGINE LIGHT STAYED ON + SKID CONTROL; LIGHT"

Anonymous, OH (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Spent $1000 on o2 sensor and fuel line sensor for California model"

Michael S., TN (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"engine code for o2 sensor. Purchased sensor and replaced it myself"

Anonymous, MN (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Had to replace O2 sensor module"

Anonymous, TN (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"engine light keeps coming on. problem diagnosed as sensor. expensive to fix"

Anonymous, MA (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"check engine light was on O2 sensor replaced"

R A., VT (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"A Mass Airflow Sensor failed"

Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"The check engine light came on, and the dealership indicated the O2 sensor was the problem. This is the first time I've ever had a problem with a sensor in this vehicle"

Richard E., FL (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"replaced oxygen sensor"

Anonymous, PA (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Check engine light"

Anonymous, TX (2003 Toyota Highlander 3.0-L V6)

"Have replaced 2 of 3 sensors in 2 years. Check engine light now on - possible problem with 3rd sensor"

Hughes C., NC (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Dashboard lights come on indicating trouble. Dealer investigates, resets sensors. Last time it was an expensive sensor in the gas tank"

H L., NC (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Random failure of various sensors"

Anonymous, TN (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Had to have them replaced"

Anonymous, IL (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Failed O2 sensor"

Anonymous, MD (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"My check engine kept lighting up. It was diagnosed and repaired. A couple months later the light came on again. Replaced more sensors. A couple months later the light came on. Work performed on the spark plugs and wires. About 3 months later the ligh"

Anonymous, MO (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"I've replaced the O2 sensor 3 times but the CEL keeps coming on saying the same O2 sensor very frustrating"

Herbert C., NY (2003 Toyota Highlander 3.0-L V6)

"B1/S1 02 sensor went bad"

William S., CA (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Needed replacement; cost seemed high. Used independent mechanic, whom I consider reliable"

Anonymous, NJ (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Sensors have been a problem since about 60K. Last one was the catalytic converter.It was expensive and most likely not needed, except to keep that engine light off"

Anonymous, VA (2003 Toyota Highlander 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"O2 sensor after being replaced less than 12 months ago by the dealer"

Anonymous, NC (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Constant problem since 2007"

Anonymous, NY (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Oxygen sensors failed and needed to be replaced to meet state requirement"

Todd L., TX (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"both sensors failed in the space of 6 months"

Anonymous, ON (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Had to replace at last 3 sensors"

Anonymous, NJ (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Both sensors went bad a required considerable time and money to diagnose and repair"

James B., MI (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"sensor failure turned on check engine light and disabled the VSC system"

Anonymous, MD (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"The car fails to start on first try. After a few tries, it idles high enough to remain started. The check light code indicated that the air-fuel ratio sensors had failed; however, starting is still a problem"

Anonymous, FL (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"There are two O2 sensors. Sensors replaced three times. Engine light kept coming on until they were both changed at the same time"

Anonymous, NY (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Replaced two O2 sensors. Very expensive ($820 for non-Toyota parts). One sensor failed 3 years ago. Was advised to keep driving with only a slight impact on gas mileage. When the second sensor went this year engine experienced stuttering and lack of"

Anonymous, ON (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Engine light kept coming on, abnormal signal levels from the catalytic converter. This took numerous trips to figure out what exactly was the issue in spite of the car being looked at and hooked up."

Anonymous, OR (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"The ESC and engine check light are on. This has happen with both Highlander and Avalon requiring that fuel line canister be replaced (expensive). This is second time for each vehicle. Mechanic indicated that this is common problem for Toyotas."

Robert L., IL (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"air fuel sensor caused vehicle to get only 5 miles per gallon and also caused vehicle to shake when it hit 50 mph"

Anonymous, WI (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Check engine light came on and code indicated the rear bank oxygen sensor located after the catalytic converter had failed. The replacement solved the problem."

Anonymous, MN (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

"AC was not working. Air was warm not cold. It needed to be replaced"

Rose M., DE (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"I had to replace it. No longer cooled"

Linda M., CA (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Had to be replaced after 16 years of use"

Kenneth K., GA (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"A/C compressor failed and had to be replaced"

Anonymous, MA (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"would not cool, freon was added, it worked OK"

Ed C., SC (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"some times air conditioner doesnt turn on. have to repeatedly push on button to get it to work"

James F., NJ (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Compressor is noisy and in the process of going out"

Anonymous, TX (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Air conditioning is not working."

Anonymous, NY (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Had compressor replaced"

Kenneth K., GA (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Automatic climate control

"Intermittent air conditioning"

Anonymous, FL (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Heat dial does not work"

Anonymous, IN (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"The unit clicks when engine is running. I sounds like the servo motor in the ventilation system. Also when you adjust the temperature gauge, it will all of a sudden throw out hot air as if it is on high heat. It does this whether the A/C is on or jus"

Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Climate control knob malfunctioning; will jump to cold when set to warm"

Ronald S., CO (2003 Toyota Highlander)

"Heat stopped working, blowing cold air. Problem is the ribbon wire from the temperature control knob to the electronic board behind the switch breaks. This is caused from the knob loosening breaking the wire. This is a manufacturing flault"

Anonymous, ON (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"the dial does not rotate properly so cool air one minute, and heat the next. I can jiggle knob and find climate I want. To replace dashboard unit is $998.Otherwise, love the car, Dependable"

Anonymous, MI (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"AC has not worked well. Entire system uses freon like crazy. Entire Climate control system now has to be replaced just after replacing compressor and another recharge of system"

Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"I would get hot air while the air conditioning was on due to a faulty temperature dial"

Mike E., IL (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Replaced HVAC control head and knob/face sticker"

Anonymous, TX (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"the knob to control the temperature was broken, unable to control the temperature"

Anonymous, NY (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Temperature control knob only works part of the time. There is a faulty connection in it that is a known defect"

Dustin H., OK (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Have to find the right setting for the ac or heat to work properly. Was told I needed service on the electrical panel? about 3 yrs ago. But it is still working."

Anonymous, GA (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Would not get heat until temperature gauge turned to 85"

J G., NY (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Could not control interior temperature due to a bad activator."

Anonymous, NV (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Control relay for air distribution doors needed to be replaced."

Anonymous, (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Unable to adjust temperature setting. Dial intermittently quit working over a couple of years. Then one day was unable to adjust temp at all. A relative took panel out, soldered wires back to the dial and it works perfectly now."

Anonymous, (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Blower (fan) motor

"temp set did not function"

Anthony M., CA (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Switch broken"

Anonymous, NJ (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"noise"

John C., VA (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Condenser

"Air conditioning was not working consistently -sometimes blew cold for a while then changed to warm air, then back to cold. Sometimes no cold at all, but considering the car had 174,338 miles, some issues are to be expected"

Anonymous, FL (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"A/C got very weak on a warm trip from Ohio to Georgia with the mother-in-law onboard. It was fortunate that the dealer had a condenser in stock."

Anonymous, GA (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"System failed to cool. We were told it was the condencer or the compressor"

Anonymous, TX (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Had to replace it due to leak"

Anonymous, TX (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"It developed a leak in the condenser core and needed to be replaced Your engine options for the 4 cly is incorrect. The 2.4 is the only 4 cylinder offered in the Highlander and Camry in 2003. Not the 2.3 that you offer as the option"

Anonymous, WI (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Total failure on onset of Florida driving vacation in Sept. Not pleasant, but due to the age of the car acceptable. It cost 1,300 to fix all of the climate control at non-dealership mechanics"

Anonymous, GA (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Cold air works better now"

Anonymous, NC (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Crack caused loss of refrigerant"

Anonymous, NC (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Electrical failure

"A wire attaching the circuit board for the heating, AC, and fan was defective. Quoted $1000 to repair. Discovered this was a frequent defect. Found cottage industry repairing/replacing this items"

C W., CA (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Stopped cooling"

J G., CA (2003 Toyota Highlander 3.0-L V6)

"System that controls Air Conditioning went out. Cost $700 to fix. Then the compressor went bad"

Anonymous, GA (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Evaporator

"after 11 years first service of the ac system, over $1100 repair"

Anonymous, NY (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)
Heater system

"Blows heat all the time, can not turn it off"

Anonymous, ID (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"temperature control dial is broken. Would cost $800 plus to repair"

Anonymous, IN (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Some time the heat will not work"

Anonymous, GA (2003 Toyota Highlander 3.0-L V6)

"Temperature setting switch does not function properly"

Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Heat only works on one temperature. "hotter than hell". Same for air conditioning. "cold as ice""

Arnell H., IN (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Heat is sporadic when using the temperature control. Need to jiggle the control to make the heat work"

Anonymous, WI (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"The dial for regulating the heat does not make proper contact and the heat goes on and off. I have to fiddle with the dial to get it just right to get any heat"

Kosuke V., VA (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Electrical failure with heating/cooling system. Defaults to heat most of the time making it very uncomfortable in warm weather"

Sandra B., NS (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"The controls for the heating system failed and would have cost hundreds to repair. Dealer jury-rigged a repair, but it still does not work correctly. Heat on cooling"

Anonymous, ME (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Heating and cooling became intermittent and ultimately quit heating totally"

Anonymous, OK (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"The heating system is not working and will cost close to $1000 to fix. But I do not consider the failure of the system as a fault in the vehicle but due to age"

Catherine C., OH (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Wires connecting heater to control had broken contact."

Anonymous, VA (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"The knob that controls the temperature (hot/cold) malfunctions. The part is very, very expensive to replace. The aftermarket options do not work."

Anonymous, NJ (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"The control for heat or cool doesn't work right without moving it until heat or cool starts working."

Anonymous, TX (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Refrigerant leaks

"Vehicle has a slow leak in the refrigerant system. Usually responds to just topping it off with a canister of fluid"

Patrick D., WI (2003 Toyota Highlander 3.0-L V6)

"Had a unfindable refrigerant leak for several years which meant topping off refrigerant twice a year. When compressor needed to be changed, the new one blew open the small leak & new condenser was necessary"

Anonymous, FL (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Refrigerant completely leaked out so the air conditioner failed to work."

Anonymous, MD (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"when my car stopped blowing cold air in 5/2014, the Toyota dealership said it was a small leak and added coolant with a dye. When there was no more cold air in Jan of 2015, I returned to Toyota and they said I needed a new compressor and condenser. A"

Deborah B., CA (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"A/C required a recharge"

Anonymous, MA (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"The condenser developed a leak"

Anonymous, WI (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"We've noticed what looks like antifreeze on the floor of our garage. No warning lights have come on. We were planning on having the issue addressed when we have our oil changed next"

Andrew S., OH (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Have been chasing malfunctioning A/C system for several repair trips. First, Compressor replacement, then one by one lines and fittings replaced due to refrigerant leaking after each repair. Once one is fixed, another new leak is diagnosed. Expensive as it is (has been), this vehicle IS approaching 250000 miles, so it is easy to accommodate."

Anonymous, CO (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"The a/c would not cool the car, Freon would leak out of the system. Three times the system was charged before the leak was discovered behind the dashboard."

Anonymous, GA (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Catalytic converter

"Had to be re-welded on - has stayed on now for 2 years"

Tom B., OH (2003 Toyota Highlander)

"I have had to replace all the sensors which adds no value but keeps the engine light on if you do not. Pain in the butt"

Anonymous, OH (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"pipes rusted out, had to replace"

Anonymous, NJ (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"had to have 2/3 of them replaced due to malfunction and engine light engagement"

Anonymous, IL (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Check engine light on. $1,000 to correct"

Larry M., NC (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"It needs to be replaced at a cost of $1000"

John Z., IN (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"The exhaust pipe rusted. In order to replace this pipe the catalytic converter needed to also be replaced even though it was still functional"

David-Rita T., WI (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Engine light came on, the code indicated possible catalytic converter problem"

Anonymous, RI (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"All of the catalytic converters had to be replaced"

Anonymous, IL (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Have ignored the problem"

Anonymous, KY (2003 Toyota Highlander 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Needed replacement"

Anonymous, WA (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Engine light kept coming on. When they did engine scan it indicated problem with sensors. They suggested blowing the exhaust system out before looking at other major repairs. The oxygen sensor had been replaced once already. This procedure worked and have had no problems with the oxygen sensor or engine light since."

Anonymous, MO (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"The catalytic converter doesn't work and needs to be replaced although the vehicle is still driveable."

Anonymous, TX (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Check engine light came on. Took to garage to have checked. Inflow valve had to be replaved."

Anonymous, SC (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Exhaust leaks

"Not sure where the problem is as I have done nothing to remedy it"

Rodger H., CO (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Unclear exhaust problem for years. Fixes seem temporary. Probably cannot fix without replacing everything. I think there are multiple leaks. Runs, passes inspection but check engine light almost always on"

Anonymous, ME (2003 Toyota Highlander Base)

"Full exhaust replacement."

Anonymous, NB (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Leaks were above state limit. Required repair in order to pass state inspection requirement."

Anonymous, MA (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"We purchased this car from a second hand dealer--it is like new--BUT we heard some noise, took it to the big Toypta dealer in our area, who replaced much of the exhaust system at considerable cost, but we were told that other repair people would have done a SIMPLER AND CHEAPER JOB"

Anonymous, NY (2003 Toyota Highlander)

"Exhaust pipe leak at connection to cat converter. Was repaired with welding"

R A., VT (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Flex joint coming off of the manifold leaks plus a continuous engine light that when reset appears again after about 1000 miles"

Anonymous, PA (2003 Toyota Highlander 3.0-L V6)

"COST VERY HIGH TO REPAIR"

Joseph S., NJ (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Hole in exhaust by hanger bracket had to be repaired"

Kim F., IL (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"There were 2 major pipe leaks in the exhaust system. One leak was near the catalytic converter and a second leak was at an O2 sensor"

Mike E., IL (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Hanger on muffler broke that require a repair and currently experiencing a leak in the front manifold area"

Larry W., MD (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"bracket welded on resonator rusted,was not stainless as the pipe and resonator"

Anonymous, WV (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"The exhaust leaked, and I got it fixed"

Anonymous, MA (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Pipe leak where there is a rigid support near the catalytic converter. The repair shop said this is very common on the Highlander and Lexus."

Anonymous, IN (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"There was a leak where a small amount of rust had damaged a pipe that was easily repaired."

Anonymous, (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"fumes in cabin and noise"

Anonymous, NJ (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"My exhaust system has served me well. Most of the problems are due to age. All of the exhaust system except muffler are original."

Anonymous, OH (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"I told you about the exhaust pipes. That's it."

Anonymous, NY (2003 Toyota Highlander Unsure Unsure)
Exhaust manifold

"A section of exhaust that ties the motor exhaust to the muffler system is estimated to be $600 parts and labor."

Anonymous, GA (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Began making noise and had the complete manifold replaced at Midas"

Kevin G., PA (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Muffler

"Needed new muffler"

Anonymous, MN (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"due to rust had to replace pipes, muffler, etc."

Anonymous, ON (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"under car rust is a big problem in our area in Maine due to winter road treatment. This has been a recurring problem with the 2003 Highlander since we moved here in 2009. It seems more susceptible compared with other vehicles ... but may be related to its age."

Anonymous, ME (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"The muffler and the system had to be replaced, but I attribute this to the age of the vehicle"

Anonymous, NY (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Pipes

"A connector joining the rear pipe to the middle pipe rusted out"

Gene G., IL (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Rusted exhaust pipes required repair. I found a small, independent muffler shop that only charged $200 to cut-out several rusted sections and and weld new pipe."

David C., IL (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"replaced due to rust"

Anonymous, ON (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Noisy exhaust leaks"

Anonymous, MI (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"pipe joints rusted causing exhaust gas leak."

Anonymous, MA (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Problems mainly due to corrosion. Had to replace several pipes and sensors for over $1,500"

Anonymous, IL (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"A major pipe after the catalytic converter rotted out. It cost $1200 to replace.I had the dealer install OEM parts"

Anonymous, MI (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"I had the exhaust pipe welded at Midas at dealers recommendation"

Timothy V., MA (2003 Toyota Highlander 3.0-L V6)

"The exhaust system when it is needed to be replaced can be very costly also"

Sam C., MA (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"A long exhaust pipe had a rust hole in it. The price for the pipe alone was over $1000. Outrageous in my opinion. My local mechanic welded a plate over the hole to repair it."

Theodore F., CT (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"An exhaust pipe became leaky and exhaust got louder."

Anonymous, IL (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Car is ancient but in excellent shape but needed repair to exhaust pipes--which we stupidly let Toyota experts do--local repair man would have done it at half the price."

Anonymous, NY (2003 Toyota Highlander Unsure Unsure)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Antilock system (ABS)

"The ABS comes on (malfunctions) when it should not be on , example on dry roads. went to the Toyota Dealer to have it repaired and was told that they could fix it unless it was malfuncting all the time. Having the ABS malfuncting all the time increases the stopping distance of the brakes for the car to safety stop, therfore I removed the fuse for the ABS as this will stop the car in a shorter distance"

R T., ON (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"experience pre-antilock senor on one wheel, took over 3 week's for my repair shop to id the source of the noise and the sensor causing the noise, undr $600 repair"

Anonymous, NY (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"ABS "engages" when braking normally"

Anonymous, MI (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"The antilock brakes failed completely, that is no antilock brake action whatsoever, but the regular brakes worked perfectly. My biggest complaint was that it cost $2,500 to replace the antilock brake components on a 13 year old car"

J H., MD (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Was making a noise when braking. Needed cleaning near sensors. Was not an expensive repair"

Donald B., VA (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"sensors have gone bad"

Anonymous, MD (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Broken gear on front axle causing chatter and engaging ABS"

Wayne Z., NH (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Check Engine, ABS, VHS lights on."

Herman R., HI (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"The sensor for the ABS failed and was too costly to diagnose to repair"

Anonymous, NY (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Calipers

"I should have more miles on the brake systems"

Anonymous, NJ (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Front calipers and rotors were replaced the previous year. Had to replace the rear calipers and rotors this last year."

Jeffrey H., IN (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"During routine maintenance, a problem with the brakes, including the calipers, was identified. I'd consider this to be normal wear and tear associated with an old car with high mileage."

Richard E., FL (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"replaced both rear calipers along with rear rotors rear pads parking brake shoes and both parking brake cables"

Anonymous, PA (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"1 of my rear calipers froze. The dealership was unable to unfreeze (loosen) it"

Anonymous, TX (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Rear calipers were stuck"

Anonymous, WI (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Pin in rear right caliper broke in half"

Larry W., MD (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Toyota poorly designed the anti rattle clips to secure the front brake pads. The clip can get bent as well as the self adhesive not hold due to the heat, causing the clip to come out of position resulting in the brake pads rattling on bumpy roads"

Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"They would completely stick and would not release"

Anonymous, WI (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"First the front calipers failed and then the rear calipers failed"

Anonymous, IN (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Calipers seized up causing brake pads to over heat."

Anonymous, (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)
Master cylinder

"we had to replace the complete brakes after 70000"

Anonymous, NJ (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Master cylinder started leaking severely, leading to risk of brake failure. Towed to repair shop. Cost of about $450 to replace with rebuilt unit."

Michael G., UT (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Normal routine brake wear

"Replaced front brake pads 35000 miles and75000 miles."

Anonymous, NY (2003 Toyota Highlander 3.0-L V6)

"Worn brake pads and warped rotor"

Gene G., IL (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"just normal repair"

Anonymous, IL (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited)

"brake pad wear, normal"

Anonymous, GA (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Brakes had become seized and it was causing vibration and decreased mileage"

Anonymous, MO (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Front brake pad replacement"

Anonymous, CO (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"I've only replaced my brake pad's and one rotor in the last 12yrs....You won't hear me complain I think thats fantastic"

Tom M., GA (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"I had to replace brake pads and rotors"

Tom R., MD (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"I took it in to have the brakes checked because I thought it was time to have them checked. They replaced the rotors and pads."

Anonymous, IL (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Overall the car has been great. Brakes wearing out have been the only consistent repair issue, but it's nothing unusual since we use this car primarily around town"

Anonymous, SC (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"I am not a mechanic so I am not sure as to how to explain. Step on the brakes and they pulse."

Anonymous, (2003 Toyota Highlander Unsure 3.0-L V6)

"This was just a simple brake replacement due to wear."

Anonymous, SC (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Parking brake

"All components of the parking brake system have rotten or seized. This includes both parking brake mechanisms on both rear wheels and 3 cables. I had to replace all of it."

Anonymous, ON (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"needed to be adjusted"

Anonymous, NJ (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Parking brake components replaced due to corrosion."

Anonymous, ON (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)
Pulsation or vibration

"pulsation when brakes applied at high speeed"

Leon W., NJ (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Regular brake failure

"Routine"

Anonymous, NV (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Rotors

"Seems that I'm always having to machine or replace the rotors"

James M., GA (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"wore out"

David S., IL (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Our car's steering wheel shakes above 65MPH. Our garage said this was the rotors. They took care of the rotors, as well as a complete brake job. $3,300 worth of work. The car still shakes"

Anonymous, VA (2003 Toyota Highlander 3.0-L V6)

"vibration occurred when braking at high speeds, front rotors had to be turned"

Anonymous, GA (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Think there was a crack or something loose"

Anonymous, NY (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Tend to get rusty and reduce braking performance"

George S., MO (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Squeaking

"taken care of with the brake issue"

Anonymous, NY (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Pre mature brake system failure without warning"

Wayne Z., NH (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"I had brake service which was performed approximately 8 months before when I begin to hear noise again. This included other things which I was told was involved in the wheel needing repair. The cost was quite a bit and the time taken for repair came now during the pandemic. Not good."

Anonymous, (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Not sure if it was Toyota or mechanic. But it seems after my husband had brakes replaced they never seemed the same. Squeaks chronically, grinds sometimes. Great car though. May have has soneone botchvreplacement."

Anonymous, (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Ball joints

"This was wear related and had funny noises when I ran over bumps"

Anonymous, TX (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)
Bushings

"Car would not pass state car inspection. Had to replace all suspension bushings"

Nancy H., PA (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Control arm bushing was quite rusted"

Malcolm B., NB (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Replaced two control arms below the engine and the "dog bone" engine support bar above the engine that helps prevent the forward/backward motion of the engine"

Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Front bushings replaced along with control arms."

Anonymous, NV (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Power steering leaks

"Corrosion leakage in lines"

Anonymous, ON (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"power steering line leaks under the reservoir. Need to keep the reservoir filled to avoid power steering pump failing."

Anonymous, WV (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Power steering pumps and hoses

"Hose to power steering pump failed. Inexpensive fix but annoying because squeaking and ltemporary loss of use of vehicle"

Anonymous, ON (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Shocks or struts

"Left rear gave out"

Rosemarie M., ON (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Too much play in struts resulting in cupped tires. Replaced struts (cost $2,000) and tires. Car handles like new. This car is the best purchase I've ever made"

David C., CA (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"I had to replace both rear shocks"

C W., CA (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Replacement of original struts"

Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"replaced the struts"

Lee G., CA (2003 Toyota Highlander 3.0-L V6)

"I have a wheelchair lift mounted on the back of my Highlander and it has been there since 2004 and survived one rear-end collision in 2005. I really feel that the vehicle has done extremely well considering all the weight it has had to bare. I real"

Tom M., GA (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Metallic noise from rear of vehicle when driving over bumps. Inspection revealed failure of rear struts."

Dave G., FL (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Hey! They just wore out! It was time to replace the shocks and springs and struts. Done. Still a great vehicle, and I'm keeping it."

Anonymous, FL (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Wear related and had funny noises when I hit bumps on the road. Ran for about 2 mos before I took it in for service. My independent garage is tremendous"

Anonymous, TX (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Noticed a sound that increased into a knocking sound. Most noticeable when turning, uneven pavement, etc."

Anonymous, (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Rear struts leak. Deemed safe to drive with no repair. Expensive to fix. 17 yr old car. Decided to take no action."

Anonymous, AZ (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Springs or torsion bars

"During routine maintenance, a problem with the springs was identified and I asked the dealer to fix it. I think the reason for this was the age of and number of miles on the car."

Richard E., FL (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

"rack and pinion unit leaking/failed. Had to replace"

Anonymous, IL (2003 Toyota Highlander 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Had to replace the rack and pinion steering. Leaks at the boots and in the hose"

Anonymous, TX (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Dealer recommended replacing front control arms and bushing."

Anonymous, NV (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Steering wheel vibration

"When driving over 50 miles per hour the car felt unstable"

J G., NY (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Tire wear is uneven

"Severe cupping of tire tread caused by worn struts and shocks. Car has 165000 hard miles on it"

David C., CA (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Wheel balance

"right front wheel has a shake at around the 50 to 55 mph range - balance has been checked - ok - believe issue has to do with major work done on the vehicle - oil pan seal was leaking requiring the front wheels and engine to be 'rearranged' to repair"

Anonymous, NE (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Wheel bearings

"Rear wheel bearings have to be changed. They are noisy"

Nancy H., PA (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Both Wheel bearings on passenger side wore out. This is the 2nd time they've been replaced. The first was about 105,000 miles and the 2nd was at 205,000 miles."

Anonymous, ID (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Replacing this month, front left"

Anonymous, UT (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

"Roof leaks when it rains, probably the sun roof."

Marcia B., FL (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"occasional leak in moonroof"

Anonymous, AL (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"leak at rear between head and block"

Anonymous, OH (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"replaced two water pumps"

Alan N., AZ (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"It was only by luck that the garage machNIC FOUND OUT THE ISSUE ... finally fixed but the passenger always got wet in the rain"

Anonymous, NJ (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"water leak associated with water pump failing"

Anonymous, TX (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"water leaks into cabin from roof rack mount"

Everton R., FL (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"water leak around trunk lift glass. Seems to be approx. 12" top left side of window"

Anonymous, OK (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"The radiator was leaking water. Radiator had corroded and needed replacing ~$1000. This is not unusual in a car that is 17 years old and has gone 210000 miles."

Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Seals and/or weather-stripping

"The rear hatch door whistles when the window is open"

Michael B., NV (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Squeaks or rattles

"The rear end of my car is making a rubbing/grinding noise and has been for months. I took it to a repair shop and they indicated it was nothing. The noise has gotten worse. I don't know if it is a safety issue. Terribly noisy"

Leann T., OR (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Very noisy"

Anonymous, KY (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"There is a squeak when the steering wheel is turned,"

Anonymous, NM (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Rattles under the dashboard"

Anonymous, FL (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Bad struts, took over a year to locate problem"

Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Highlander 3.0-L V6)

"just noisy wind and road noise"

Anonymous, IN (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Belt was wrong tension"

Anonymous, AR (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Spare tire was loose"

Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Universal Joint Squeaking"

Rafael A., FL (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"The car's just old at this point, the engine mounts are broken and everything inside rattles"

Anonymous, AL (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Some bracket in the rear underneath broke and was replaced."

Anonymous, IN (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"It sounds like the rear end of the car might fall apart. I have had it looked at and the cost of repair is prohibitive given a 15 year old car with 180000 miles on it. It has squeeked/rattled for quite some time."

Leann T., OR (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"There is a squeek when the steering wheel is turned"

Anonymous, NM (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Basically needs new struts and fan belt. also exhaust is loud."

Anonymous, (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Noise seems to come from the front air vent. Sounds like a squirrel running on a wheel."

Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Wind noise

"Wind/road noise has always been an issue with this vehicle but seems to be getting worse"

Anonymous, NH (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"This is another manufacturing fault, at highway speeds with the rear windows open a very large wind noise is heard, therefore you must drive with them closed. With them down the noise sounds like there is a major issue with the drive train"

Anonymous, ON (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Exterior lights (other than headlights)

"two rear taillight bulbs would continually change from working to not working - taken to Toyota dealership five times to fix - determined a bad light socket was the problem"

Anonymous, NE (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"The right backup light burned out and required replacement"

Clarence C., CA (2003 Toyota Highlander 3.0-L V6)

"Left Brake Ligt"

Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Highlander 3.0-L V6)

"replace tail light"

James M., MA (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Brake lights kept shorting out due to faulty sockets"

Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Right brake light kept shorting out. Replaced bulb about five times. Works fine now."

Anonymous, NV (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"The taillights have problems--repeatedly failing--which I've seen online is fairly common. Toyota should not have such an issue."

Anonymous, (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Headlights

"Right front went out"

Anonymous, AZ (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Headlights did not prove adequate distance coverage because (1) the covers turned yellowish blocking some beams and (2) original equipment obsolete. Owner replaced covers and lights with aftermarket LEDs. Huge improvement in headlight coverage."

Anonymous, WA (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"The right headlight burned out and required replacement"

Clarence C., CA (2003 Toyota Highlander 3.0-L V6)

"the covers over the headlights have glazed over, affecting their brightness. Very poor visibility"

Anonymous, BC (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"The headlights burn at least 2x per year"

Anonymous, NJ (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Interior lights

"Replaced fuse for interior lighting package under hood"

William G., NC (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"The interior roof light in my car has seldom worked. I have had it checked several times, light changed, and still no resolution. It will work for a short while and then stop coming on"

Leann T., OR (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"The interior lights have never worked adequately. The dome light stopped working, had it repaired, and stopped working again. I've given up."

Leann T., OR (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Won't work on door opening"

Anonymous, AR (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Very temperamental. The interior light (one that comes on when the doors are open) does not come on. Work initially, then off for a period of time, came back on, now off for several months"

Leann T., OR (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Interior lights that are supposed to come on when the door is opened have seldom worked. I have had them, repaired, without resolution."

Leann T., OR (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"overhead light keeps going out and I left the reading light on which drained the battery so car would not start."

Anonymous, TX (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Keyless entry

"the power door locks would continually click on and off while the car was started and shortly after the engine was shut off. the doors would randomly lock and unlock"

Anonymous, NY (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"remote no longer locks or unlocks driver's door"

Anonymous, (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Warning lights

"failed sensors"

Anonymous, TX (2003 Toyota Highlander 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Every time gas was put in car, check engine light would come on. Stated it was "air" in gas line"

Linda L., PA (2003 Toyota Highlander 3.0-L V6)

"check engine light.....O2 sensor"

Anonymous, NC (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

"I had to have my front bumper replaced as it was nearly falling off the car"

Deborah B., CA (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"rear fender covers loose, holding clips gone and plastic fender hood cracked - can't take car through car wash. Dealer says car too old, cannot fix problem"

Anonymous, TX (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Has been fixed numerous times and still comes undone"

Anonymous, TX (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Loose interior trim or moldings

"The driver's side sun shade flops down and blocks the driver's view of the road. This is a known problem with Toyota but the manufacturer will not cover the replacement of this item"

Gilbert P., TX (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"Over the past 2 years the paint has begun to chip and peel in cm various parts of the car, mainly the roof and the hood"

Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Highlander 3.0-L V6)

"Paint peeling much more than similar cars. Car is parked outside"

J A., CA (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Clear coat peeling off. Paint good"

Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"On each of my 2003 Toyota Highlanders, the clear coat is peeling off. I found this is typical for 2003 Highlanders with metallic paint"

C W., CA (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"On each of my 2003 Toyota Highlanders, the clear coat is peeling off. I found this is typical for 2003 Highlanders with metallic paint"

C W., CA (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"The paint clear coat does not hold up in the Tucson AZ sun and is pealing off in large areas on the roof and engine hood....Will require repainting"

Beth W., AZ (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Paint has faded or eroded off the hood and top of the car. Base paint still remains, but no color paint"

William T., AZ (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Clear coat is fading and chipping away, Toyota will not cover"

William S., CA (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"paint is peeling on the passenger side outside mirror"

Anonymous, IN (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Peeling"

Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"paint faded, chipping and now pwwling"

Anonymous, TX (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Paint peeling from top and hood. Starting to peel in door area"

Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Paint is cracking in many places."

Sadhan M., MI (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Clear coat is completely off roof and hood. Sides are beginning to peel."

Anonymous, FL (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)
Rust

"The Vehicle is rusting in a few areas"

Anonymous, WI (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Rust through body to wheel wells."

Anonymous, NB (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"front passenger window frame rusted very rapidly when I had to store my car outside vs in the garage. My brother says it's anodized and probably wasn't anodized properly. The rest of the black matte trim on my car has some rust look to it - but the passenger-side front window is extremely bad compared to everything else, completely rusty."

Mary J., CA (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Several localized rust spots formed. All up near the top of the rear tailgate door"

Sandra B., NS (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Small rust spot on hood"

Anonymous, MD (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Front seat, passenger window frame, black window trim, rusted almost overnight - my brother says it was not properly anodized. None of the other windows Java this issue, but there's a slight rust color deterioration on the black roof rack as well."

Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Accessory belts or pulleys

"Serpinteen belt and timing chain replaced"

Anonymous, PA (2003 Toyota Highlander 3.0-L V6)
Engine computer

"Car's check engine light keeps coming on. My husband has yet to take it in and find out what the problem is"

Anonymous, NC (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"It was actually problems we had with the engine O2 sensors, which have had to be replaced three times now"

Eric B., BC (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Check engine light stays on. Toyota shop found Fuel Air ratio sensor has failed"

Anonymous, OK (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Engine light has been on forever. No fix is available without going to dealer."

Anonymous, TN (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Engine knock or ping

"turned out to be wobble in water pump, leaking, requiring replacement before complete failure"

Anonymous, IN (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Engine mounts

"Car started vibrating when stopping, backing up and idling when in gear"

Dave G., FL (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Oil leaks

"The vehicle was experiencing excessive oil use; a quart ever 300 to 500 miles. Replaced PCV valve and the problem was resolved"

John V., CA (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"It started about 3 years ago and now is so bad I have to re fill it every 6 weeks. buying a new car and will hold only because kid in college needs."

Ellen D., NY (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Engine main seal developed a MINOR nuisance leak (never leaked more than 1 Qt between oil changes. Although a major expense, elected to have it replaced to extend the life of this exceptional vehicle."

Steven S., CO (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Rear engine seal was leaking slightly"

Anonymous, CO (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"CV joint oil leak. Valve cover oil leak"

G C., GA (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Timing cover developed leak, needed new gasket"

Anonymous, WA (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"This was a minor oil leak from the head gasket. After replacement of head gasket, mechanic had trouble seating the head because of the location of one of the bolts."

Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Highlander 3.0-L V6)

"After 220000 miles the main seal has begun to leak. An expensive repair that I am still ruminating over as to how soon (if ever), I will fix it as this is now our second car. Mildly aggravating RE: oil spots where parked (and the environmental impact), but the cost of repair out weighs the fact that it still doesn't leak enough between oil changes to warrant the expense."

Anonymous, CO (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"After to leak detection tests with dye in the oil over a span of 18 months, this minor leak is narrowed down to either a leaking Cam seal or front camshaft seal. Leaks less than a quart between oil changes. Liveable, but expensive to fix on an old car."

Anonymous, TX (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Need new head gaskets. Oil leaks from inside the engine to outside of it onto the ground. I need to keep an eye on the oil level and add more as needed. The problem probably won't be fixed unless the engine head needs to be opened up."

Anonymous, WV (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

CV joint

"Noisy CV joints, not replaceable--the entire drive line (3 connected shafts, needs to be replaced (according to Toyota). Instead I went to a speed shop that replaced the"

Anonymous, FL (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Driveline vibration

"Unable to completely eliminate problem."

Anonymous, ON (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"replaced front and rear driveshafts."

Anonymous, ON (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)
Driveshaft or axle

"The Highlander was brought to our local dealership were I was told that they could not rebuild the drive shaft, only replace it. It would cost $1200 for the part not including labor. I brought the Highlander to another mechanic I use regularly and he was able to have the driveshaft replaced for a cost of, labor included, $282. Not the first time Toyota has quoted me overblown prices for work and recommended work that was not necessary"

Anonymous, MI (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Passenger side rear wheel bearing had to be replaced"

Raymond B., MN (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Wobble of the wheels over 50 miles per hour"

J G., NY (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"became noisy, some vibrations at various speeds. It had a component that was simply worn out. Replaced and it is fine."

Jeannie M., ON (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Drive shaft was rusted nearly through and was unsafe to drive at 130000+-. This is unacceptable"

Anonymous, ME (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"In order to replace the universal joints on the drive shaft when they wear out. You are required to purchase ( 3 new ) drive shafts complete with new universal joints which is a very is costly. I wish the Highlander utilized the one driveshaft like"

Sam C., MA (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Leaking fluid. Cost about 3,000 at dealership to fix it all;"

Anonymous, NC (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Drive shaft had to be replaced. One axle replaced"

Anonymous, ON (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"the main driveshaft was replaced due to vibration several years ago and now had to replace the hanger bearings and 1 yok. It only has 173km."

Anonymous, (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Electrical failure

"short in circuit board behind the dashboard required replacement. Because dashboard had to be removed, it was an expensive repair."

Anonymous, TX (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Transfer case

"Oil leak from the output shaft transfer case seal. Maintenance could be budgeted for and planned. Work completed within estimate of money and time. No recurrence"

Anonymous, VT (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Cylinder head

"Leaked and had to be replaced"

Stanley J., CA (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"One of the bearing was irregularly worn, causing an oil leak and damage to the camshaft. Required a new head and cam with unanticipated downtime. The used car dealer was very responsive and responsible, working with me to achieve a mutually accepta"

Anonymous, VT (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)
Engine rebuild or replacement

"Had to replace engine due to a overheating that made the engine split open with a failure of bolts holding the engine together and had to replace engine several times due to incompetent work"

Greg E., CA (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Had to put in a new engine. Heat and AC does not work"

Anonymous, VA (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Engine was sludged, due to poor maintenance"

Anonymous, DC (2003 Toyota Highlander 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Sludge build up in valve covers resulting in severe smoking from exhaust"

Anonymous, GA (2003 Toyota Highlander 3.0-L V6)

"The St. Louis dealer said during a tune up at I-10 Toyota In California a spark plug was not tightened properly, came loose and chewed up the head and block.and claimed it was not repairable, Recommended a new engine which I had installed. Reliabil"

John M., MO (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Head gasket

"I guess this is a common problem with the 2AZ-FE engine. The head bolts pull out of the engine block requiring either a new/used engine or inserts installed in the block"

Jeff H., OR (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"The antifreeze was leaking out of the head gasket and so the head had to be replaced-apparently a common problem in this engine,major rebuild. This caused the overheating. One good thing-the A/C shuts down in the event of overheating to save the engi"

John B., NJ (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Scheduled timing belt replacement

"It was due and on a 13 year old car I was not willing to wait this it broke"

J H., MD (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"No problem - just changed belt & water pump. It was an expense"

Anonymous, BC (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Timing belt or chain

"The timing belt did not fail, I changed it as a precaution as per the dealers advice. It was very expensive to change."

Anonymous, ON (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Had to be replaced"

Kenneth K., GA (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Backup or other camera/sensors

"unable to see haw close to car backing in to"

Skipp S., MN (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)
CD player

"CD player/radio held 6 CD's and one would not eject. Dealer was not helpful and stated they don't make this anymore and it could not be repaired"

James C., NC (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"CD player quit and had to replace the whole radio assembly"

Anonymous, OH (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Player no longer ejects CDs, there are 4 now stuck in the unusable carousel. Estimate for repair was very expensive (would have been a replace with a factory rebuilt equivalent), we decided to just leave it broke since AM/FM still works"

Anonymous, MI (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Failed! $400-$500 replacement cost. Didn't do it!"

John L., ME (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Never worked, was out of warranty when first tried to play a CD"

Arthur H., MA (2003 Toyota Highlander 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"CD would not come out of player"

James C., NC (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Display screen difficult to see

"no driving lines"

Skipp S., MN (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)
Display screen goes blank

"Heat and air screen would go blank and had to be replaced by the dealer it was a defect in design and dealer would not do anything to help me. very expensive to replace"

James C., NC (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Rear entertainment system (e.g., DVD player, rear screen)

"CD player froze with a disc inside. Had to replace the entire radio/CD player."

Anonymous, NV (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Gear selector or linkage

"Weird thing. The plastic cover on the positive battery terminal broke off and fell in the exact place to cause the shifter to to get stuck in between neutral and drive"

Anonymous, IN (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Transmission would lock in Park (had to be towed to dealer) and other times would be locked out of Park. Wife was afraid to drive this car because of intermittent severe problems with the gear selector. Toyota dealer was not able to find or fix thi"

David S., MN (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Gear selector cable broke and had to be replaced at a cost of app. 600.00 $"

Neil M., QC (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Slipping transmission

"reverse gear slips"

Anonymous, ON (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)
Transmission leaks

"Main drive seal leak. Very expensive to fix"

G C., GA (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"The rear seal had to be replaced. They had to drop the transmission to do this. They said it was because of the brutal winter we had 2013-2014"

Anonymous, IL (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"we think this is from a cracked seal"

Ellen D., NY (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Their were leaks that involved a rear seal. In the process of fixing that other problems regarding a gear were discovered and fixed."

Anonymous, MI (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Doors or sliding doors

"The doors to the car, with the exception of the gate to the back compartment, have never stayed open. They close by themselves."

Leann T., OR (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Locks and latches

"Sometimes it would fail to lock all doors"

Anonymous, OH (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Tailgate, hatch or trunk

"The tailgate doesn't quite rise to the top like it used to, unless I push it up there - and I've banged my head a number of times, because I'm nearly 6 feet tall, and it's just enough lower that I hit it if I'm not paying attention."

Mary J., CA (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Hatchback no longer opens to max height without my giving it an extra shove. I'm 5'11" tall, and have knocked my head into the edge of the hatch numerous times as I start to put something in. It will stay at max height, but won't rise to it by itself repeatably."

Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Windows

"Motor for 1 of 4 windows gave out approximately 4 years ago, costs about $300 to replace. 2 more windows motors also went out in the last 2 years. Have 1 working window left"

Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Highlander 3.0-L V6)

"Power Windows are constantly going out. Toyota states it must replace entire window system approx 1200.00. Additionally makes it uncomfortable when ac goes out routinely. Sunroof leaks routinely, Toyota has attempted several times to repair it but"

Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Failure"

Anonymous, NY (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Battery (not hybrid or electric)

"Battery was dead, needed replacement."

Sadhan M., MI (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Battery cables

"Acid corroded"

John V., CA (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"cable severely corroded and broke"

Dave G., FL (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Coil

"Two coils failed but i replaced them all since the car was in the shop and figured the others would go soon"

John B., NJ (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Spark plugs or wires failure

"the spark plugs failed at 122,00 miles 2 of them and then I replaced all of them so no more down time"

Ed Y., CA (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

Antifreeze leaks

"leak at the rear of cylender head"

Anonymous, OH (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Water pump

"water pump began to leak at seals. Required replacement before complete failure"

Anonymous, IN (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Had to be replaced"

Kenneth K., GA (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"At 160,000 miles, mechanic noticed slight water leak that was immediately evaporating. Replaced cooling sustem pump. Belt started slipping so tensioner was replaced."

Luanne C., CA (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

"Had a "BRAND NEW FROM TOYOTA" replacement transmission at the tune of $3,800. Ouch, but worth it as the Highlander is a good running automobile"

Kevin G., PA (2003 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"One of the main gears failed in the transmission. Required a complete rebuild of the transmission-about $3500"

William T., AZ (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"No problems with the rebuild. Only problem with the original transmission, requiring a rebuilt unit"

Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
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