Last post on Nov 07, 2013 at 7:33 AM
You are in the Toyota Highlander
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Toyota Highlander, SUV
#4577 of 5330 Catalytic Converter Issues - 2001 V4 Highlander
Aug 23, 2009 (10:44 pm)
I have a 2001 V4 with 323,000 plus miles. I am the original owner and it has been a great vehicle for 8 years. However, I continually have a problem with the catalytic converter. My check engine light is on and has been since Nov. 08 with the dealership advising me that it is the catalytic converter ONCE again. This will be the FIFTH converter if and when I have it replaced. I have always had them replaced by the dealership and I am thinking about going elsewhere for not only a lower price, but possibly putting an end to any misrepresentation by Toyota. The first two were replaced when the SUV was 2.5 yrs old at 72,000 miles and under warranty, then again 10 months later when the converter was still under warranty and the third time it went out it was 13 months later and Texas Toyota refused to replace it stating it was now my responsibility due to the number of miles I drove. I wrote a letter to Toyota never receiving a response. I had it replaced after waiting another year and it didn't cause any problems other than running a little sluggish. The fourth one lasted 100K miles (Stewart Toyota put it in). I was told that part of the reason could be the gas cap, but I always make sure it's tight. I do drive about 1000-1100 mimles per week, but five in 8 years seems a little extreme and Toyota's silence is disconcerting. If anyone has any ideas as to why this continues to happen I would appreciate your input.
#4578 of 5330 Re: Catalytic Converter Issues - 2001 V4 Highlander [texasgirl55]
Aug 24, 2009 (4:06 am)
About the only thing that kills a catalytic converter is raw gasoline and oil blow by into the combustion chamber.(I had a CC go bad because of worn out valve guides and oil seals).
I'm not sure about the first one you replaced but it is now obvious that the engine is worn out and you are not getting complete combustion, therefore, unburned gas goes out the exhaust and contaminates the converter. With your type of driving you need to religiously change the oil at more intervals. If you did change it quite often, at least every 5000 miles, it could be heavy acceleration getting up to speed and passing. The new computer engines do a good job of regulating the timing for the best combustion air/fuel/timing (VVT is stamped on the engine cover) but you may have really pushed it hard and more unburned fuel does get to the CC, but I do not know how you drive.
With this type of mileage I'm assuming you do a lot of highway driving, You did real good with this engine especially for a four cylinder. A 4 cylinder works much harder at highway speeds compared to V6. The harder the engine works there is a higher vacuum on the intake stroke that will draw more oil pass the piston rings, gets burned and then passed on to the CC and out the pipe. The highlander is a fairly heavy vehicle for any four cyclinder even though it has good horse power.
If you do not know what all this means take my word and it is time to concieve that it is worn out and ready for the clunker heap or rebuild it. But get a lighter vehicle with a four cyclinder or one with a v6.
#4579 of 5330 Re: power window problem [robinsonm]
Aug 24, 2009 (11:39 am)
Did you ever resolve the problem of your Highlander window going down by itself? My 2002 does that.
#4580 of 5330 Re: Catalytic Converter Issues - 2001 V4 Highlander [worthflorida]
Aug 24, 2009 (3:33 pm)
Thank you for your message. I am taking it to an older mechanic that's had his own shop for 60 years in my town. I spoke with him today and he, like you, is certain that there is a problem either with the engine or an O2 Sensor or some other sensor. He said he could figure out where the problem lies and that would help with getting to the bruxt of the problem so hopefully, that will stop the purchase of so many converters. I do have the oil changed every 5-8000 miles which usually is every 6-8 weeks. I have it changed at the Toyota dealership and they know my car. My mileage is strictly highway miles since I drive 250 miles per day to and from work and I normally keep it between 60-65 miles per hour. Occassionally, I hit 70 mph. The odd thing is it continues to get 24-26 mph even while the check engine light is on. She's been a wonderful car and would like to keep her!
#4581 of 5330 Re: power window problem [bobcatcar]
Aug 26, 2009 (10:17 am)
My 2006 rear windows have BOTH gone off the tracks to the tune of $180 to fix. Any others having this problem?
#4582 of 5330 Re: Catalytic Converter Issues - 2001 V4 Highlander [texasgirl55]
Aug 26, 2009 (9:40 pm)
If you're getting 24-26MPG and don't have to have an emissions check I would just ignore the CEL since the only thing that appears to be wrong is that the converter is too weak to fully clean the exhaust gas.
If I were going to change anything it would be the "front" oxygen sensor because I suspect that with that kind of MPG you're more likely running to lean than any other problem.
#4583 of 5330 Re: Catalytic Converter Issues - 2001 V4 Highlander [wwest]
Aug 27, 2009 (6:45 am)
Sounds like you are driving at the correct speed for this engine. Yes the O2 sensor could be the problem. Less cost than a converter. Since your MPG is very good it does not sound like it is the converter. A bad converter actually gets plugged up and the engine will work very hard because of the high back pressure. A plugged up converter will cause acceleration to be very difficult as the engine fights the back pressure.
At one time on my 2002 Chevy Astro, as I idled or back up my driveway, I would hear a jingling noise and I could never find the source until one day the Check Engine high came on. Corrosion inside the cat. caused it to collapse at around 45,000 miles (80,000 mile warranty) and no cost to me for a replacement. The replacement at nearly 70K miles later, I'm not having any problems.
Please keep us informed.
#4584 of 5330 Re: Catalytic Converter Issues - 2001 V4 Highlander [worthflorida]
Aug 27, 2009 (7:31 am)
I am standing at autozone and they are saying the diagnostics is showing Bank 1 and Bank 2 Catproblems. Is there 2 converters on this SUV?
#4585 of 5330 Re: Catalytic Converter Issues - 2001 V4 Highlander [texasgirl55]
Aug 27, 2009 (10:49 am)
My Haynes manual indicates that there are 3 converters. 2 are attached to exhaust manifold near engine and the 3rd is under the car. Also, your engine is I4, not V4.
#4586 of 5330 Suspect...
Aug 27, 2009 (6:32 pm)
This is a V6...., bank 1 and bank 2.....
In which case that MPG is too good to be true....running VERY lean.