Last post on Nov 07, 2013 at 7:33 AM
You are in the Toyota Highlander
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Toyota Highlander, SUV
#2881 of 5330 2001 Highlander - burned while parked
Jul 30, 2005 (10:46 pm)
On July 4, 2005, we were in a restaurant about 10 minutes when somebody came in screaming "Anybody with a green SUV with a camper hitched to it, your car is on fire!".
The insurance appraiser told us later that he suspects it was an electrical fire, but his job description did not include investigating why it happened. So we called Toyota Canada. They have yet to return our call.
Meanwhile, we bought another 2005 Highlander. Call us optimists, more like blind loyalists. Everyone in our family drives Toyota. Both our cars are Toyotas.
Anybody heard of a Toyota Highlander going up in flames? The insurance appraiser told us that he has seen many trucks burn, mostly Fords. This is the first time he has seen a Toyota burn. Anybody heard of Highlanders going up in flames while parked?
#2882 of 5330 Re: 2001 Highlander - burned while parked [ceciliad]
Jul 31, 2005 (3:30 am)
Never heard of a Highlander fire for any reason.
There were a few reports a couple of years ago of fires in one or two Siennas but after investigation, the cause was determined to be unrelated to mechanical or electrical deficiencies.
Be cautious in relying on comments by an insurance company official. Insurance adjusters aren't qualified nor mandated to assess causes of fires. Their job is only to determine extent of damage and subsequent action by their company.
Normally in an unusual situation like this one, the fire dept. attending must investigate and determine cause. I'm surprised that you didn't get any feedback from them. In our country (Canada) this would be almost automatic in cases like that.
The fire could have resulted from any number of factors. Spontanious combustion in an on board garbage bag is one. Debris packed around the catalytic converter in the exhaust system is another. Smokers cause many fires when they throw cigarette butts out windows. Debris in the engine compartment is another common cause. Yet another, previous damage to the vehicle may have resulted in an electrical anomaly. Even a ham handed oil change person could have inadvertently dislodged an electrical wire when doing the oil change--it happens.
Don't limit your choices to only one possibility. There are many besides the more common ones I mentioned..
The fact that you were camping at some point when this incident occurred is an indication of where the cause may lie. I would start looking at that.
#2883 of 5330 Re: Engine will not idle when warm [hawkeye70]
Jul 31, 2005 (7:10 am)
Did replacing the "Idle Valve Assembly" and gasket correct your low idle/stall problem???
I am having the same problem and the dealer doesn't have a clue.
#2884 of 5330 Re: Engine will not idle when warm [n2advnture]
Jul 31, 2005 (9:37 am)
If you unplug the battery for about ten minutes the engine ECU will need to relearn the proper duty cycle for the idle air bepass solenoid and that may help.
Jul 31, 2005 (2:34 pm)
Can I echo Bill's comments above on the probable cause of fire. I am an Insurance Adjuster (happilly not motor vehicles) and am often intrigued by the divergence between initial conception of cause when one first sees a fire and the ultimate cause after investigation.
Before coming to a conclusion, you need to think about the usage before the incident, any modifications made to the vehicle and any odd behaviour before the incident. The fact that the fire started when the vehicle was not in use, but had presumably been used a short time before, tends to point to a non-electrical cause.
There are various heat shields around exhaust components. If, at any stage, the vehicle has been used off bitumen, these can accumuate debris, or can pick up stray bits of cardboad or plastiic. It's very instructive to look under a vehicle after driving through a hay field and see just how much litter accumulates under there.
It might seem weird but some mud actually has enough flammable material in it, that once dried, can catch alight. this is a particualr problem in open pit coal mines where coal dust mud cakes onto the exhaust, dries and then ignites.
In order to analyse it a little more, think about the point where the fire originated. Oddly, this will often have a clear burn mark around it, with less soot apparent in the immediate vicinity
If underbody, the prospects of it being electrical are remote. If in the engine bay, you need also to think of possible fuel fire.
If under the hood (bonnet for me) was the vehicle fitted wit appropriate transmission and oil cooling consistent wih the load that was towed.
If electrical, think about what modifications had been made and what appliances were in use. For example, was there an accessory fridge runnning in the car or camper and if so, had it been properly wired in with appropriate fuses.
I haven't heard of another Highlander fire. I can tell you about a few BMW's that have gone that way though, including one on my commute home last week. I wouldn't be put off buying another one.
#2886 of 5330 Re: 4-Cyl. Vibration/Noise at Warm Idle [n2advnture]
Aug 01, 2005 (1:16 pm)
back from dealer:
they checked "throttle body" , for carbon deposit or something.
They cant find anything, according to them it's a minor issue.
My theory is after break in , piston moves further, which makes engine
vibrate more, and these vibration are transmitted to steering wheel, break pedal.
And if you are stopped for longer duration , sometimes because of resonance
you feel it more.
But there were absolutely no vibration in the new highlander which I compared
against in the dealer.
#2887 of 5330 Re: 4-Cyl. Vibration/Noise at Warm Idle [jasuja2000]
Aug 02, 2005 (6:59 am)
If you search in this form under "vibration" or "vibrating" you will find some past discussion on the issue. A number of people commented about the steering wheel vibrating, maybe more of an issue in the 6-cyl. On my 2004 4-cyl the steering wheel never vibrates, but the wire radio antenna sometimes will be vibrating like crazy when I am stopped in traffic or at traffic lights. Other times it is peacefully still. (It has been this way since the beginning, and I remember noticing this also on another 4-cyl. that I test drove.) I'm not particularly bothered by this behavior since it doesn't affect performance and since I can't feel any vibration even when I see the antenna moving. But if anyone discovers that it is a correctable problem, please report it here.
#2888 of 5330 Poor FM radio reception
Aug 02, 2005 (1:15 pm)
We just purchased a 2005 Highlander. Although we are thrilled with the vehicle, the poor FM radio reception is a disappointment. We live in a somewhat rural area on the fringes of the Portland, OR metropolitan area. The two Fords we own with factory radios have no problem pulling weak FM stations in that the HL cannot even find. Has anyone else noticed this problem? When we are in the city it works fine. I'm wondering if the radio is defective or if we should just punt and buy an aftermarket unit.
#2889 of 5330 Re: 4-Cyl. Vibration/Noise at Warm Idle [herzogtum71]
Aug 02, 2005 (7:09 pm)
"...maybe more of an issue in the 6-cyl. On my 2004 4-cyl the steering wheel never vibrates..."
I have a V6 and is smooth as silk when idling; I think the vibration is a distinct problem only affecting a few HLs...
#2890 of 5330 Re: Poor FM radio reception [kwschumm]
Aug 02, 2005 (7:21 pm)
At least a couple of others on these boards have noticed this as well, so its endemic to all HLs. Probably getting an aftermarket unit is the most straight-forward solution, though I hate the idea of replacing an otherwise good radio with one of those flashy aftermarket units that look like they belong in a Las Vegas Casino...