2004 Toyota Highlander Reliability - Consumer Reports
The well-rounded Toyota Highlander has always been one of our top-rated SUVs. For the 2004 model year, the Highlander received a larger V6 engine and a small third-row seat capable of accommodating two children in a pinch. This Highlander was quicker, returned better fuel economy and handled more securely than the version we tested in 2001. The ride is very comfortable and the quiet interior has impressive fit and finish.
Alerts
There are 5 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Reliability

We expect the 2022 Highlander will be much more reliable than the average new car. This prediction is based on data from 2020 and 2021 models. Select the used car model year to see reported issues with those similar past models.

Overall Reliability
Most Common Trouble Spots
Common Trouble Spot
Common Trouble Spot
The 2004 Toyota Highlander has been recalled 5 times by NHTSA. View Recalls
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Overall Reliability Verdict
POTENTIAL TROUBLE SPOTS
Engine Major
Engine Minor
Engine Cooling
Transmission Major
Transmission Minor
Drive System
Fuel System
Electric System
Climate System
Suspension
Brakes
Exhaust
Paint/Trim
Body Integrity
Body Hardware
Power Equipment
In-car Electronics
Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey for over 300,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2021 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system. NA 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.

Learn more about car Reliability.

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2004 Toyota Highlander owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Brakes

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

What Owners Say

Antilock system (ABS)

"play in rear wheel bearing caused speed sensor signal to malfunction.Replaced, also rotors, brake pads, discs. Separately: windows freezing open: Mechanic figured out why windows would not close - water in door bottom from clogged sun roof channels caused motor to not work. Drained channels."

Anonymous, (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"I think the ABS had something to do with the brake failure but I'm not certain"

Jacqueline R., OR (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Replaced pump and computer. Very Expensive!"

Anonymous, ON (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Right rear speed sensor failure caused by ice in connector at sensor caused ABS caution light. Once connector cleaned, problem did not return"

Anonymous, WI (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)
Calipers

"Front left caliper froze causing heating and vibration"

Anonymous, (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Rusted and frozen. Expensive to replace"

Anonymous, NY (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Frozen caliper was rubbing on the disc causing the wheel rim to get very hot. It was repaired to my satisfaction"

Anonymous, IL (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"caliper freezing up"

Anonymous, OH (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Front caliper hung up"

Anonymous, MO (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Front right and both rear calipers have been replaced"

Anonymous, MN (2004 Toyota Highlander 3.3-L V6)

"Repaced Caliper because was sticking due to corrosion. Changed both calipers because garage recommended that procedure"

Anonymous, PA (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Two of the calipers would not retract, resulting in premature break ware, poor breaking and over heating which appears to have contributed to a wheel bearing failure"

Anonymous, CT (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"both rear calipers frozen and had to be replaced"

Anonymous, MI (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"One of the front calipers froze"

Anonymous, NY (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"The Calipers keep rusting and locking up because of vehicle being parked outside in the winter"

Anonymous, IL (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"A rear caliper seized. Caused excessive wear and warping of front rotors. Had to replace all 4 rotors and pads and rear caliper. $1150.00 at private mechanic. Would have been more at the dealer"

Anonymous, PA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Sometimes the vehicle sits for a month and two calipers froze up from rust"

David B., PA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"scouring on brakes required replacement"

Anonymous, OH (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"They froze on two wheels. The dealer wouldn't rebuild them but insisted on replacing them at a very heafty cost"

Brent H., NJ (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"frozen caliper"

Anonymous, NY (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"FROZEN CALIPER"

Robert A., NY (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"brakes wore out sooner than expected, causing premature need for caliper repair"

Anonymous, MI (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Calipers were freezing up on two wheels"

Anonymous, WI (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Needed to be replace both rear calipers, rotors and pads"

Anonymous, WI (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"The passenger side caliper would not release fully and dragged on the rotor. The heat on the wheel was the clue that it had a problem"

George H., MI (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Rear brake calipers seized again, one of the few recurring problems on this vehicle"

Anonymous, BC (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"rear caliper on passenger side siezed it was not oem"

Roger T., ON (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Right rear caliper piston sticking caused premature brake pad wear"

Anonymous, FL (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Rear calipers seized"

Anonymous, MI (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)
Master cylinder

"Brakes were very spongy, master cylinder needed to be replaced."

Anonymous, HI (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Power booster failed diagnosed by having to repeatedly add brake fluid"

Anonymous, NY (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Replaced master cylinder and vacuum booster to solve braking problem"

Clifford M., TN (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)
Normal routine brake wear

"It had been a long time (maybe 40K miles) since I had had to replace the brake pads."

Anonymous, VA (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Car has been very reliable. Only routine maintenance."

Anonymous, CO (2004 Toyota Highlander 3.3-L V6)

"pads and rotors were worn"

Charles D., NY (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Slight leak in transfer case"

Paul S., NM (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"It was state inspection time and the pad thickness was below state requirement after almost 60000 miles of driving"

Anonymous, PA (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Front breaks and pads were replaced last Fall. My son did the work"

Anonymous, MI (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"At 104000 miles I had brake repair to pads and rotors at a cost of $450 by an independent mechanic rather than a brake specialty shop cost of $850"

Joe B., FL (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Not a problem, just replaced brake pads and rotors after 65000 miles"

Anonymous, KS (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Braking was soft,sound of metal on metal was noticed,took longer than normal to stop"

Willie M., LA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Did a 100,000 mile major maintenance- belts, cooling system, all hoses, flush transmission system, plugs and cleaned all fuel injection system"

Anonymous, MO (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"The brakes needed replacement at the expected number of miles. Not a problem"

Anonymous, MA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"brakes wore out sooner than expected since the previous dealer brake check up, causing the calipers/rotors to wear out prematurely, thereby needing more extensive repair work"

Anonymous, MI (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Replaced brakes"

Anonymous, MI (2004 Toyota Highlander 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Caliper mounting moved pad on only one side resulting in uneven wear of the outside pads. Required resurfacing of disk and new caliper mounting apparatus"

Rod S., WA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Needed rotors turned"

Anonymous, GA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"I just had normal replacement of the brake pads and rotors"

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Sorry usual wear"

Robert L., ON (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)
Parking brake

"It was stuck due to corrosion"

Gregory R., WI (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"The parking brake froze and I had difficulty backing up. I still don't know why this happened. After $800+, the problem was fixed. Ouch"

Karen E., MA (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Froze in place, needed replacement"

Anonymous, NY (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)
Premature brake wear

"The disk rusts out every year"

Anonymous, (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Live on cCape Cod on sand road with many puddles and sea salt atmosphere"

Anonymous, MA (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"had to change the brake calipers, brake fluid leak on to the wheel, and the brake pads are wearing out faster than the original pads"

Kwong L., MD (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Frozen caliper even though brakes were redone only 8,000 miles ago. Too expensive to repair was $900+ to repair"

Ruth C., MA (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Unusually uneven wear"

Anonymous, WI (2004 Toyota Highlander 3.3-L V6)

"Road salt buildup on brake pads and rotor - excessive rusting over winter season"

Anonymous, WI (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Three Total break replacements in 120,000 miles. Seems excessive"

Anonymous, MA (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)
Pulsation or vibration

"brakes serviced twice - still giving vibration issues. Has new everything, too"

Anonymous, GA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"It makes lots of noise when you first start out. The sound gets quieter as you go, but never goes away."

Anonymous, VA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"The caliper slides were frozen on all 4 wheels. Two had to be cut off and replaced and the other 2 were loosed up. Had to replace pads, rotors on a. 4 wheels. This began at about 100,000 miles and the car was relegated to little use except in the winter when all wheel drive was preferred to the other car."

Anonymous, MN (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)
Regular brake failure

"worn brakes"

Anonymous, GA (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"It was just a regular brake replacement due to normal wear. The yearly inspection noticed that it had worn brake linings."

G K., NY (2004 Toyota Highlander 3.3-L V6)

"I'm not sure but the brakes failed to catch causing an accident. Our mechanic told us it was a break failure but I don't know the details"

Jacqueline R., OR (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)
Rotors

"Because of winter weather the rotors need to be replaced because of the Calipers rusting and locking up"

Anonymous, IL (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"rust from lack of use"

David B., PA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Replaced more often than normal"

Anonymous, WI (2004 Toyota Highlander 3.3-L V6)

"Te shop told me that I need to replace the rotor and pad. No9 symptoms of rotor problem"

Anonymous, MN (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Rusting is a continuous problem"

Anonymous, MA (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)
Squeaking

"Same as before."

Anonymous, VA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"when backing up there was squeaking, changed the back rotor and pads"

Kwong L., MD (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Brakes were squeaking when we bought the car used. Got new brakes. Still squeaked. Replaced again, still squeaks especially when wet. Garage assures me they are okay"

Anonymous, KY (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited)

"It squeaks when backup and brake"

Anonymous, MN (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

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 compressor replaced twice over 16 year life of vehicle. AC clutch most recent failure."

Anonymous, NJ (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"the compressor seized"

Anonymous, MA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Bearing went out which caused belt to break. The car battery could not charge."

Anonymous, TX (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Stopped working"

Henry D., TX (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"no cold air only hot."

Ed S., CA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Intermittent cooling, needs a new compressor according to the shop"

Anonymous, ON (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"I have to put new refrigerant each year"

Anonymous, NY (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Air can all of a sudden start blowing hot even with air conditioning on. I must jiggle hot/cold button back and forth to get it back to cold"

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"we were shown a switch that can be turned to heat or cool under the hood. Also only have cold air if gauge is tuned to very bottom of range. This has been going on 3yrs. Still cools still heats. So not eager to spend the money for repair"

Linda G., FL (2004 Toyota Highlander)

"HAD TO REPLACE COMPRESSOR & CONDENSER"

Anonymous, VA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"On occasion our A/C will blow hot air, we found the issue on line but Toyota doesn't have any recalls on it"

Cindy T., CA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)
Automatic climate control

"temp control was eratic. Replaced."

Anonymous, GA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"The temperature control panel stopped working. The panel was replaced for about $1100"

Anonymous, (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"The climate control system has been a problem in this car for several years now. The issue is that I can not get the temperature knob to be responsive when I try to change the temperature setting and when I try to change the level of fan. This is a problem for both heating and cooling. Now it has advanced to not turning on the air conditioner at all. I was told by my local mechanic that this is a very expensive thing to replace. Sorry this is happening. Even though I am almost to 200,000 miles, this control should be still working. Toyotas are supposed to last to at least 300,000!"

Anonymous, MD (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"The knobs only work for the heater in the top marked section or in ac in the lower marked section. You either roast or freeze and it causes the defogger not to work keeping the windshield hard to clear."

Anonymous, MD (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

""Replaced A/C Air Mix Motor""

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Total failure of the electronic control unit"

Anonymous, AZ (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"the knob that controls the temperature of the system has failed and if the climate system is turned on the temperature can not be raised or lowered and is stuck at 80 degrees"

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited)

"Simple temperature control is hit-or-miss, with no relationship between the cooler-cool-neutral-warm-hot rotary control detents and the actual results obtained"

Joe H., TX (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"control module failed"

Anonymous, IL (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Heater would not come on for over a year unless I played with the temperature knob. Last summer, the heater would not shut off. Whittier Toyota wanted $1100 to replace it, p & l. New part was $550 on line. Found a repair on eBay for $42+postage"

Diane Z., CA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"It always blows cold air. you cannot adjust the temperature"

Anonymous, FL (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Temperature and fan controls are not operable. Control module costs several hundred dollars to replace"

Anonymous, TN (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"It would switch from heat to AC without warning, regardless of the place on the temperature dial I had selected"

Kristi E., CO (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"A/C fades in and out (goes from cold to hot) periodically. Have tried to have it fixed but no luck"

Anonymous, NV (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"The climate control system requires replacement. during summer months it will intermittently blow how air and in the winter cold air. It requires simply moving the temperature control know to reset. However I needs to be repaced"

Anonymous, IL (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Air conditioner blew lukewarm air"

Mark S., MO (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"both heater and ac have not worked all year, in winter the heat would not come on-just cold air, in summer, only hot air was blown out. The part to replace cost almost 800 (it was a housing for the tubes for airflow-which to me seemed way overpriced"

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Highlander)
Blower (fan) motor

"Fan screeches when vehicle hits bumps or turns. Must be turned off for a while and tried again."

Anonymous, NJ (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Heater no longer blowing"

Anonymous, GA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)
Condenser

"Condenser failures on this vehicle at this age are common. This is a very easy repair that I was able to do as a back yard mechanic in under two hours, including the hour for vacuum evacuation of the system."

Cornelius B., VA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)
Electrical failure

"the temperature control selector failed, requiring an $1100 module replacement"

Anonymous, CT (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Relay had to be replaced on system. A/C and Heat did not work"

Anonymous, WI (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)
Evaporator

"REPLACED DUE TO LEAK"

Anonymous, NY (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)
Heater system

"the heater temp control dial is not working properly. often when selecting warm i get cold air and vice versa. i have since learned that it's a common problem with this model."

Anonymous, MN (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"The the ribbon cable located behind the the heater control panel has become disconnected from the electronics. This is a known problem per research on the 'net. I can most likely fix it myself. The underlying problem causes the temperature to suddenly jump to very hot or no heater at all. One has to take into consideration that this vehicle has 215000 miles on it and the vehicle has been first rate in my opinion."

Gregory A., NY (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Heat control only allows full heat or no heat, nothing in between"

Anonymous, NJ (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"The heater control stopped working. This was a problem in 23 degree weather. It costs about $1300 to fix, as I recall. Inconvenient, but the car has been awesome, otherwise."

Sharon G., WA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"The dial for hot/cold has a coil behind it that needs to be replaced in these cars. My friend experienced the same in his exact same model. If not replaced, the driver will have to forcibly turn the dial back and forth in order for the system to go from hot to cold and vice versa."

Anonymous, MA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"The heater/AC controls, including temperature rheostat and blower controls, began to give intermittent trouble about two years ago. The heat would run for awhile and then cold air would pour out through the ducts. I ordered a refurbished panel control for around $200 and repaired and replaced the faulty unit myself, and it works perfectlly today. This control failure is extremely common to cars of this vintage, and Toyota vehicles are not immune to it. Easy repair if done by oneself."

Thomas T., NC (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"When heating is selected the blower sends out cold air, but sometimes jiggling the knob will make a connection and hot air will be produced"

Anonymous, RI (2004 Toyota Highlander 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Temperature control knob became sufficiently loosened behind the dashboard, that controlling the temperature became impossible. Local, independent mechanic fixed it, charging 1/2 hour labor"

C Y., OR (2004 Toyota Highlander 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Temp adjustment either all on or all off"

Anonymous, NJ (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Heater control does not always work. Nut under dial becomes loose"

Wm L., KY (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Problem is with the temperature gauge knob. Very difficult to,get the heat to come on, can blow cold air if you go over a bump. Unit is very expensive to replace. M"

Ruth C., MA (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Hot/cold dial doesn't work, you have to play with it & move it up & down to get either the correct heat or cold"

Thomas H., CA (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Heater would alternately blow hot and cold air, independent of what temperature setting was dialed in. Finally repaired at dealer - proved to be broken wire to thermostat"

W J., CO (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"difficulty setting comfortable heat setting"

Anonymous, WA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"The heater control stopped working. A conductor ribbon is too short and caused conductors to break. A rebuilt controller was installed. Apparently Toyota was aware of this, but never recalled the controller"

Jim B., IL (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"The temperature control knob turns OK, but the actual temperature sometimes does not coincide with the position of the knob. ie, when turned to hot, it will blow cool air, and when turned to cool it will blow warm air. Only happens intermittently"

Anonymous, BC (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)
Refrigerant leaks

"Just needed a recharge due to age. No big deal"

Anonymous, (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"REPLACED THE EVAPORATOR DUE TO LEAK"

Anonymous, NY (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Coolant leaked out last fall"

Anonymous, KY (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"A pink liquid leaked from area near drivers front left tire...cost was $8??.00. Used official Toyota part to replace part that had failed"

Anonymous, MI (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"failure of an 0 ring"

Anonymous, MI (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Have been adding stop leak and refrigerant every year for three years"

Brent H., NJ (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"I have had the AC serviced 3 times. It still doesn't get very cool. Also, I can feel the temperature going up and down while it is on"

Joyce W., CA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"slow leak of refrigerant needed to have condenser replaced"

William S., MD (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"a/c wasn't blowing out cold air any longer. Had the dealer replace the refrigerant and a/c is cold now"

Anonymous, GA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-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

Alignment

"The vehicle had to be aligned 3 times in the last year so two good tires wore out in 6 months"

Anonymous, (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Right front tire was out of alignment causing excessive tire ware."

Anonymous, MO (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Alignment was off resulting in power steering issues, tire wear, and a few other minor issues. Fixed and works great now"

Anonymous, MA (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)
Ball joints

"The ball joints just wore out after 11 years of use. I don't consider this a big issue"

Anonymous, MA (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)
Bushings

"Technician wrote "2 front lower arms bushing popped out and bad cracks.. Lots of rot to go through to get out. Replaced""

Anonymous, MA (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"to replace front lower control arms and struts requires removing the engine. Repairs would cost almost half of book value of car"

Walter M., CA (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)
Power steering leaks

"Power steering fluid leaking, told that it needed new pump by a mechanic. When they could not get the part immediately, they just replaced a hose which remedied the problem.We did not return the vehicle for a new pump."

Anonymous, (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Hose had a leak"

Anonymous, CT (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Power steering developed a leak, which I top off with fluid. I don't plan on repairing the leak."

Anonymous, MA (2004 Toyota Highlander 3.3-L V6)

"Power steering hose had problems twice but likely due to alignment problems mechanic said. Fixed now"

Anonymous, MA (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Hose started to leak because of age, some rusting"

Anonymous, ON (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Maintenance facility suggested that the power steering should be flushed. whatever they did in the flushing process caused a leak. my local mechanic was able to fix it with minimal hassle by splicing a new line into the PS. Facility that damaged it was unable to fix and said I would have to go to a dealer"

Anonymous, NY (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Reservoir-to-pump hose developed leak. Considering it had 270k miles, maybe not so bad"

Anonymous, NC (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Tri Mac Toyota of Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia said all I needed to correct the power steering line leak was a new hose on the positive pressure side of the power steering pump. They wanted to charge me over $700.00 for the new Toyota part but I found a new Napa Auto power steering line for $186.00 instead. The problem continued for another 6 weeks while I topped up the power steering fluid every couple of days. I knew I needed a new pump right from the start because of the sound that the power"

Anonymous, NS (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Leaking fluid and expensive to repair"

Mark E., CA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"see prior note"

Robert S., NJ (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Steel line was rusted out"

Bruce M., NY (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"high pressure lower line corroded through"

Anonymous, BC (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Slow leak, replaced the power steering hose"

Anonymous, NJ (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Power steering pumps and hoses

"undetected slow leak in power steering pressure hose weakened power steering pump. Replaced pump, hose"

Anonymous, (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"most problems due to age of vehicle"

Anonymous, MA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Repair facility convinced me to flush the power steering system which caused the hose to leak. My local mechanic did a work around that solved the problem. I will never have the PS flushed again!"

Gregory A., NY (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Power steering pump return line corroded through, had to be replaced"

Anonymous, MN (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Dealership replaced a hydraulic hose on power steering system at a cost of around $1,000 as I recall"

Anonymous, NC (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Lost power steering and had to replace the power steering hose and pipe"

Gerald H., PA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Return hose leak"

Colantonio M., PA (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Tri Mac Toyota in Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia overcharged me when they installed a new Napa Auto part power steering pump"

Anonymous, NS (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"leaking high pressure hose"

Kenneth T., WI (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Fluid leak. Estimate is close to 2K. Have not moved forward yet"

Anonymous, MA (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"A metal hose deteriorated which caused a leak which in turn required a great deal of steering effort. Pep Boys repaired the problem, but it cost over $400.00 to fix. The highlander had less than 40,000 miles on it at the time of repair"

Robert S., NJ (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"pump"

Anonymous, CO (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"LEAKING HOSE OUT OF POWER STEERING PUMP"

Anonymous, OH (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)
Shocks or struts

"Rear shocks wore out"

Anonymous, BC (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"replacement of the rear shock absorbers."

Marc C., QC (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Routine wear. Leaking"

J H., FL (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Driver felt vibrations front L side. L front strut leaking and R front strut worn. Replaced both front struts"

Anonymous, MA (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Strut mounts had to be replaced. Waited until struts were ready to be replaced. $2000.00 repair"

Anonymous, OK (2004 Toyota Highlander 3.3-L V6)

"SHOCKS/STRUTS WERE WORN. REPLACED AT A SHOP AND ALL IS WELL"

Anonymous, CO (2004 Toyota Highlander 3.3-L V6)

"Front struts wore out and had to be replaced"

Anonymous, ON (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"see comments regarding lower control arm replacement"

Walter M., CA (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"struts needed replacing due to high mileage and normal wear"

Don H., MT (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Cost to replace was about $2400"

Myron W., MD (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Rear suspension finish. Hitting the bottom often"

Marc C., QC (2004 Toyota Highlander 3.3-L V6)
Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

"Steering shaft was replaced due to looseness and play."

Anonymous, TX (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Car was drivable but needed a $500 part in the steering column."

Anonymous, PA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"After 200,000 + miles the lower control arms and ball joints need replacing. I attribute this to normal wear and tear"

Anonymous, NY (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Problem was discovered by dealer and rplaced"

R T., ON (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"A steering knuckle was worn/damaged and needed to be replaced"

Anonymous, PE (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"The steering problem caused over $3000 in repair cost, a huge investment for a car at this milage and age. It was already about 8 months ago, but I recall there was something about the balls in the steering system and to replace it was needed. Agai"

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Highlander)
Wheel bearings

"Left rear wheel bearing was howling and needed replacing. Very expensive"

Timothy O., WI (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"I heard a constant rubbibg or grinding. I suspected a wheel bearing or perhaps break pads rubbing on disc"

Anonymous, MA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Hub failure"

Anonymous, AZ (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Failed left and right rear wheel bearings"

Anonymous, UT (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-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

"After routine accessory belt replacement the belt squealed on startup shortly after. Returned for adjustment but problem returned. Returned again for different brand belt. Mechanic neglected to reinstall lower engine cowl and right wheel splash guard"

Anonymous, FL (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)
Engine computer

"needed to repair, car wouldn't start. My mechanic soldered a loose wire and that fixed it"

Anonymous, NC (2004 Toyota Highlander Unsure 3.3-L V6)

"The one problem I find in all new cars is that the Check Engine lights comes on over very simple things that do not always mean a major repair is in order. Most of the time, it has just meant that I did not have the gas cap screwed in properly. That said, it is annoying to have it come on so frequently and have to go and get it checked out. Toyota needs to develop more specific light messages so that user knows when it is a serious engine matter vs. something else."

Anonymous, MD (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Engine light keeps on coming on. Toyota dealer and local repair facility can't target the problem. Various sensors were switched out but light still comes on now and then"

Anonymous, MD (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"fault lights kept coming on, had computer module replaced, did not correct problems,"

Anonymous, IL (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)
Engine knock or ping

"Engine knock sensor failed and was replaced."

Anonymous, MN (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"it was a timing problem. I took the opportunity to replace the timing belt as a precautionary measure."

C L., LA (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)
Engine mounts

"CRACKED ENGINE MOUNT"

Edward F., CA (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Oil leaks

"needs gasket sealer"

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Minor oil leaks. I have to put a quart of oil in every one to two thousand miles."

Anonymous, IL (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Valve cover gaskets we’re leaking oil, but the full high-mileage service, which focuses on replacing the timing belt, but also replaces other parts, fixed this issue."

Cornelius B., VA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Valve cover gaskets are leaking"

Anonymous, TN (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Replaced gaskets that were licking"

Walter M., CA (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Two oil leaks that were caught in time to repair. Major cost that I was not expecting."

Anonymous, KY (2004 Toyota Highlander)

"It's burning / leaking oil at a pretty consistent rate. Apparently, this is not unusual for high mileage vehicles."

Alissa M., CA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"There was an engine oil leak that was dripping onto the engine and burning off as the vehicle was being used. The leak was confined to the engine area and did not make it to the ground/driveway."

Anonymous, NC (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Valve cover leaks. Other leaks"

Anonymous, TN (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"front axle case gasket leaked"

Anonymous, NY (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Will need new oil plan and head gaskets"

Anonymous, UT (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Valve cover leak"

Anonymous, TN (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Gaskets were leaking oil due to age and being dried out. Can't remember if it was head or valve cover gaskets"

Anonymous, GA (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Replaced oil pan gasket"

Carolyn M., TN (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

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)

"the charcoal canister part of the emission system failed."

Mary W., MI (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Catalytic converters (2) and 02 sensor"

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Very expensive replacing 2 catalytic converters and O2 sensors"

Mark E., CA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"had to replace the catalytic converter, which I considered too expensive"

Anonymous, NC (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"The catalytic converter was replaced"

Anonymous, NC (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Had to replace cat converters. Very expensive. $1500+"

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)
Fuel cap

"Engine check lights came on - diagnosed as the fuel cap. $40 total"

Anonymous, NC (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)
Fuel gauge/sender

"the gauge would slightly fluctuate up and down, telling me I was out of gas, when I still had a quarter of gas left"

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Fuel injection system

"it was an expensive repair!"

David M., GA (2004 Toyota Highlander 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Fuel pump

"Had to replace two times in the last two years"

Anonymous, (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"Replaced one of three"

Roy D., SC (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Check engine, VSC and TracOff lights came on. After spending several hundred dollars and not getting it fixed, I found if I worked with the gas cap I could get them off. Sometimes they would come on after hitting a bump. Usually, they went off after fueling up, but not always and not always if I fiddled with it between fill-ups. Sometimes on their own they turned off."

Joyce W., CA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Had to replace upper half of air box and sensor. Something broke off. Failed emission test"

W M., CA (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"after the injectors were replaced, AAA needed three separate days to get the sensors correct. (check engine light ket coming on)"

David M., GA (2004 Toyota Highlander 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"both sensors failed due to old age; replaced by dealer non-warranty"

Anonymous, VA (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"The car is starting to trigger the check engine light more often"

Charles B., TN (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Check engine light comes on. Had it checked and was told there is either a vacuum leak or the purge valve needs replacing. Quoted cost of $1100"

Anonymous, LA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Engine light. Oxygen sensors had failed. Took some investigation work from garage to find out which ones. Cost $1000+ to replace"

Stefan V., CA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"O2 sensor failure caused emissions failure"

Anonymous, GA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"replaced faulty sensor"

Anonymous, OR (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Paint/Trim

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

What Owners Say

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"Paint has faded and chipped. I do drive on gravel roads The paint did have issues even when car was new but Toyota wouldn't address the issue."

Anonymous, MT (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Psint on the front grill started to peel 6 years after I bought it. The roof is completely bubbled and peeling and oxidized now. It has not been repaired as it is going to be thousands of dollars. This car seems to rust where paint is chipped more than any other vehicle I have known."

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"chipping on hood and on top."

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Had to repaint the entire vehicle due to peeling clear coat on every panel. Color - Red. Location - south east."

Cornelius B., VA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Paint is fading, chalking, and peeling."

Anonymous, HI (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"fading, chalking, cracking, and peeling"

Anonymous, HI (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Clear coat flaking off"

Curtis M., AL (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Clear coat one one side and section on roof has "crazed". Not sure why this occurred but rest of paint seems good for age/mileage of vehicle"

Anonymous, TX (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"CLEAR COAT FAILING"

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Gel coat peeling on rear hatch"

Ralph M., CA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Clear coat peeled on hood and roof with paint fading"

Wiley T., NM (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"hood paint is chipping and rusting in spots"

Anonymous, LA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Clear coat is lifting"

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"the clear coat has started to peel in large areas. This is not unexpected from a dark red paint in a southern climate"

Cornelius B., NC (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"I have been getting yellow rust cracking marks up on the hood of the car, and on the roof of the car where the backseat doors are, as they have already gone through the primer and paint. I also have regular oxidation that has occurred"

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Rust

"The finish in the wheel well had become cracked and broken and rust was showing through on the body of the car."

Anonymous, BC (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Rust at bottom back of driver's door and on corresponding rocker panel"

Anonymous, ON (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Several areas where the paint has failed, either chipped or worn out and rust has appeared"

Anonymous, BC (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"There were many stone chips and minor scratches that needed to be repaired before the rust spread. Not the fault of the car manufacturer, but still costly"

Anonymous, PE (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-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)

"I have had issues with my rear lights several times over the years of owning this vehicle. It is not the bulb, it is the harness. Currently the rear brake light is out on one side and I am deciding whether or not to replace the harness once again!"

Karen E., MA (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Keep having problems with passenger side brake light going out. Keep replacing bulbs, but it keeps going out. Pretty sure there is a short somewhere, but have been unable to find it. Multiple times in the shop. Multiple dollars and time spent."

Anonymous, KY (2004 Toyota Highlander)

"right rear brake light will not work. Bulbs were changed & Light assembly was Checked. Mechanic said it was in the vehicle wiring system"

Anonymous, AR (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"right rear tail light is out. Always the same tail light goes out for the life of this car"

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"We can't believe you can't replace the rear side marker lights without disassembling much of the rear body including the bumper cover, bumper, interior floor"

Anonymous, VA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Headlights

"Plastic headlight lenses become hazy after awhile. They should be glass."

John S., NJ (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Premature headlight bulb failure, single light only."

Thomas T., NC (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)
Interior lights

"Dash lights not working"

R H., WA (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)
Keyless entry

"The solenoid that operated the driver side lock mechanism stopped working in 2019. We replaced it in October and now 6 months later it is failing intermittently again."

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Driver side mechanism to open or close by remote no longer will work. All other doors will work with remote key. Have to lock by hand and unlock by key for driver side only"

Morris T., SD (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)
Tire pressure monitor

"Gave warning light, but pressures OK. Was reset, but has come back on"

R H., WA (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Stopped working - always show tire warning. Has been reset twice, but soon malfunctions. Just haven't gotten around to having it fixed. Rarely drive the car so don't remember"

R H., WA (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Regardless of tire pressure, warning light continually comes on"

Dennis R., NJ (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Have had the monitor reset 2 times and it keeps coming back on"

Anonymous, VA (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)
Warning lights

"Electrical system isn't working for the second time that I've had it. Front bumper is coming off-only held together with plastic clips apparently. Dashboard warning indicators always on. Back windows won't come down due to some electrical problem again."

Anonymous, (2004 Toyota Highlander Unsure Unsure)

"A "check" with unidentifiable symbol comes on periodically which Toyota service says nothing is wrong"

Gail D., OR (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Wiper motor or washer

"Had to replace wiper motor. Other problem is the sunroof motor died and is too expensive to repair"

Richard L., CO (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

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

"Moon roof almost impossible to close leak tight. Condensate drain from a/c system ends up on floor infant of front passenger"

Anonymous, MA (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"A seal around the back door failed to keep a lot of water from entering the area below the floor. This was not noticed right away and it resulted in a very large bill for time and labor."

Anonymous, (2004 Toyota Highlander Unsure 3.3-L V6)

"Water pump was leaking and needed to be replaced. While they were in there, timing belt was replaced even though it had already been done a few years ago"

Anonymous, VA (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"new radiator"

Anonymous, CO (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Front driver and passenger carpets get wet when running the A/C unit, or the defroster. Have not been able to determine why, but have read a few internet posts regarding blocked A/C condenser drain hoses"

Anonymous, BC (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)
Seals and/or weather-stripping

"air leak"

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Highlander 3.3-L V6)

"Gasket around driver side worn and torn"

Carolyn M., TN (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Squeaks or rattles

"Screaming noise when driving between 40 and 55 mph. Probably transmission. Decide not worth fixing."

Anonymous, MD (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Noise seems to be coming from right rear area. Only notice at low speed over irregular surfaces"

Anonymous, AR (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Squeaks coming from rear suspension when I turn corners"

Anonymous, NY (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)
Wind noise

"wind noise coming around window glass and also door seals."

Anonymous, TN (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"the inside of the car does not reduce road noise very much"

Anonymous, UT (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"wind noise seems to be getting more noticeable"

Anonymous, FL (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"this car is very noisy from wind and road noise. has been since purchase. My only true complaint since has been @ 28,000 miles. Even mentioned by passenger who drive a civic which is even closer to the road"

Linda G., FL (2004 Toyota Highlander)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Catalytic converter

"The first issue was that I had to replace the oxygen sensor, which apparently wears out in this model and year of Toyota. After it was done, I noticed the check engine light did not go off. I went to my mechanic and he stated it was not because he put in the oxygen sensor wrong; the computer was now saying I needed a catalytic converter. Went to Pep Boys and they said maybe; maybe I needed to use a fuel cleaner. Tried that, but check engine/VSC light is still on. However, I have not had any problems. Both my mechanic and Pep Boys stated that catalytic converters are not essential. Does not sound right. Can not tell if this is a real problem or not. Dealers are not trustworthy. So far, I have not replaced it and it has been at least three months since the problem first was identified. Will be very interested in what other CR members say about the converter problem."

Anonymous, MD (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"y engine light was on."

Anonymous, BC (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"The catalytic converters are built into the exhaust headers requiring partial removal of the engine to replace. This is an unnecessary design resulting in an exorbitant repair bill ($2600 at the dealer) Most other manufacturers have separate converters that can easily be replaced for a few hundred dollars."

Cornelius B., VA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"I had to replace 2 catalytic converters costing $675 each for a total of $1350. Too expensive"

Mark E., CA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"THE CONVERTOR HAS BEEN GOING BAD FOR 3 YEARS. HAD SYSTEM PUT ON COMPUTOR. I HAVEN'T HAD THE MONEY TO REPLACE. PUTS OFF ODER. GAS MILEAGE CONTINUES TO DROP. CAR IS SLOWER"

Anonymous, VA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Because of the mileage, it was time to replace it"

John M., BC (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"seal between manifold and converter failed"

Roger T., ON (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"The mechanic told us about the issue during routine inspection. We noticed no problems. Had to get repaired to pass safety inspection"

Mark S., MO (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)
Exhaust leaks

"hose needed to be replaced"

Anonymous, MO (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"I had to replace a exhaust seal"

Anonymous, MD (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)
Loose/rattling heat shield

"I needed to have the shield replaced"

Anonymous, MD (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-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

CD player

"CD player eats CDs. WIll not release or play."

Anonymous, KY (2004 Toyota Highlander)

"A CD got stuck in the player and won't release. We have not been able to get it out!"

Natalie B., NC (2004 Toyota Highlander)

"The car has a cd changer and the problem was they weren't lining up correctly with the laser in order to play. Also they wouldn't eject because the mechanism wouldn't raise the disc enough to be pushed through the loading/unloading slot"

Gary Z., PA (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)
Display screen difficult to see

"LED screen for climate control hard to see or is burned out"

Anonymous, CO (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Could not control temperature and could not read screen"

Andrew G., TN (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"GPS system get me wrong direction too open"

Anonymous, NJ (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)
Radio

"Control knob not always responsive"

Anonymous, (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"The radio itself works fine other than the volume control discussed previously"

Anonymous, TX (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"digital display faded to blank screen"

Anonymous, BC (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"The volume control does not always work. Sometimes when you try to turn the sound down it actually goes up"

Anonymous, FL (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)
Voice control commands

"The tadio works properly; however, the volume control goes up and down properly for a range up from zero the goes down for a distance on the scale then goes back up. This isn't a significant problem but is a strange on that one wouldn't expect"

Anonymous, TX (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-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

"I was driving along and the Check Engine/VSC light came on. Went to my usual mechanic and I think he said he had to replace a cylinder head or some part related to the engine. It was $250.00 for the part and repair. He showed me the part: it was a white, funnel-shaped piece with what appeared to be a black gasket on top. The repair worked for about 24 hours and then the Check Engine/VSC light came back on again. I gave it a few days to re-cycle (sometimes I have experienced that it takes a day or so for the Check Engine light to go off). Went back to the mechanic and he said that the computer now says I need a catalytic converter. So I am suspect. Even though this guy has done many repairs for me in the past on different cars I have owned and I have always found him to be capable and honest, I am concerned that the converter would suddenly go out after his repair. This causes me to think I need a second opinion on the catalytic converter statement he made and need to see if he just installed the cylinder incorrectly."

Anonymous, MD (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)
Engine rebuild or replacement

"waterpump"

Robert B., SC (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Head gasket

"Developed a leak"

Anonymous, CT (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)
Timing belt or chain

"I took the car to a Toyota dealer to have a routine timing belt replacement. They could not remove the belt due to frozen bolts. It broke while driving 7 days later. An independent shop was able to replace it. It runs well but engine valve noise is louder and mileage dropped 1-2 miles per gallon."

Anonymous, IL (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"I had reached the prescribed maintenance interval so I had the timing belt replaced before it broke or jumped one of the cogs."

Rod C., PA (2004 Toyota Highlander 3.3-L V6)

"Tensioning pulley on timing belt started squeaking. Had to have it replaced"

Wm L., KY (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Timing chain had stretched"

Anonymous, VA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"was replaced due to age not mileage. also replaced a leaking water pump"

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"fuel economy dropped 50% after timing belt replacement. Shop claims nothing wrong with their work or engine"

Matthew G., AZ (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-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

Heated or cooled seat controls

"Heat air not working correctly which sometime I have to set up to max heat for get warm air"

Anonymous, NJ (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)
Locks and latches

"The locks on the drivers door will not respond to the remote fob anymore. Have to be opened manually with the key."

Anonymous, BC (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"The locks don't lock on some of the doors when I push the lock button on the key fob"

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)
Sunroof

"Sunroof opened but would not close. Dealer said needed entirely new unit and would be about $2,000. Too expensive for an old car. They put the window back and disconnected the switch"

Wm L., KY (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)
Tailgate, hatch or trunk

"During cold weather our back hatch doesn't stay open and has dropped and hit us in the head"

Cindy T., CA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)
Windows

"Best overall vehicle I have ever owned. Wind noise around doors is disturbing and distracting. Window regulators came loose in two windows, one twice."

Anonymous, TN (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"All except driver's automatic windows have malfunctioned requiring repair of $250-750 each. Not all happened in the past year however."

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Three of four automatic windows have malfunctioned in the past. All required repair or replacement of electric motor or regulator."

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Highlander 3.3-L V6)

"Passenger side window control intermitant"

Ralph M., CA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-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

Differential

"Replaced both r and l rear diff seals by Toyota then then rear shaft failed"

Michael C., PA (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Differential leak gasket replaced. Not sealed properly and leaked all fluid and ruined the differential.Dealer repaired at their cost"

Anonymous, MN (2004 Toyota Highlander 3.3-L V6)
Driveline vibration

"vibration worse over 3 years.Unable to find source of vibration after rear struts replaced"

Anonymous, (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)
Driveshaft or axle

"Leaking fluid from seals."

Anonymous, NY (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"replace front driveshaft after 13 years due to vibration and clunking noise when changing from reverse to drive backing out of driveway, other than that no other mechanical problems in 13 years, excellent car"

Marion B., ON (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Axle was making a noise. Dealer replaced it under an extended warranty"

Anonymous, CO (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)
Electrical failure

"AC sometimes turns to heat. Eventually it will cool again. But it is quite unpredictable. This started after it had 150,000 miles."

Anonymous, AZ (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"There is a short in the electrical system of the car that causes the various dashboard light s to intermittently come on. The blower switch for the climate control needs to be jiggled to connect when fan speed is changed"

Anonymous, (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"The climate control knob quit working and had to be replaced. $1000.00 repair"

Anonymous, OK (2004 Toyota Highlander 3.3-L V6)

Transmission Minor

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

What Owners Say

Rough shifting

"This is an intermittent problem. Have not been able to duplicate it for the dealer. Sometimes shifts hard between 2nd and 3rd or 3rd and 4th while accelerating"

Patrica B., CA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)
Slipping transmission

"Transmission slow in shifting downward when coming to a complete stop"

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Highlander 3.3-L V6)
Transmission leaks

"needs a gasket replacement."

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"The trans needs a casket replaced. There is a minor leak and it doesn't hinder the driving of the car."

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-L V6)

"Transmission fluid leaking"

Anonymous, BC (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"There was a transmission fluid leak. Mechanic patched and doesn't leak anymore"

G K., NY (2004 Toyota Highlander 3.3-L V6)

"I noticed the transmission was loosing fluid after only a few years. I did not ever notice a puddle but eventually got bad enough I had it fixed for about $1,500"

Anonymous, CO (2004 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.3-L V6)

"Found leakage of fluid in garage; mechanic found corrosion and replaced the transmission fluid lines/reservoir"

SUSn S., IA (2004 Toyota Highlander Base 3.3-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