Last post on May 18, 2013 at 5:41 AM
You are in the Toyota Highlander
What is this discussion about?
Toyota Highlander, SUV
#4736 of 5314 Arlington Toyota
Jan 15, 2010 (4:03 pm)
We have 2001 Highlander and we've just discovered that our dealer is stealing and telling lies... There's lots of issues and not enough room to type it all out but the most pressing one is the rusted rotors, thin pads and non-working calipers in the rear.
My independent mechanic told us the rears are not working at all. Full service (pad and rotor replacement) was done less than two years ago at this dealership (April 2008) and we paid ~$600 for it. I just came back from there and Toyota's service rep said the brakes are working fine (then why are the rotors all rusted out?) but he slipped by saying that the rotors look original until I told him to check service history and then after looking at the vehicle in the back, he confirmed that these are the parts they did indeed install two years ago and everything is perfect now. WTH??? I told him we're going to check part numbers and production dates, so he'd better watch out but he calmly stuck to his guns... Is there a way for anyone to tell if these rotors are from 2001 or 2008? Please help!
#4737 of 5314 Re: Engine oil leak between Eng & Tranny [mrs1964]
Jan 15, 2010 (4:10 pm)
Our dealer in GA charges $279 for timing and drive belts on 2001. The same service is $450 in IL. Add the water pump (it will last 150K max) and it jumps to the $700-$800 range. It costs ~$600 for a pump alone if it starts leaking later if you only do the timing belt now.
#4738 of 5314 Re: Arlington Toyota [cracovian]
Jan 15, 2010 (6:19 pm)
How many miles are on the HL and since the rotors were changed? Most people shave their rotors too thin . You should be able to replace pads w/o changing rotors. Toyota rotors on the front are excellent the rear not so much.The reason dealer want to cut rotors is they make money(labor) and they are afraid you'll come back complaing of sqeaking issues. The squeaks usually will go away with wear with the new pads. Talk to your local mechanic and one other person who can look at your HL and give you honest information. It seems the dealer never replaced the rotors 2 years ago. But as I said the rear rotors on Highlanders aren't as good as the front for some reason. I own a 2003 HL with 120000 miles and have had no problems with brakes, other than normal replacement.
#4739 of 5314 Re: Arlington Toyota [cracovian]
Jan 16, 2010 (9:34 pm)
First of all, brake rotors will form a thin film of rust on the pad "scrub" area virtually overnight if the vehicle is left parked after getting them wet. A few days and a rather serious film of rust will form. If we're speaking of rotor rust other than the pad scrub area then that is perfectly normal for 2 year old rotors.
Drive just a few miles using the brakes fairly often and the pads should quickly polish the rust away within the scrub area.
With most vehicles you might drive with the rear brakes fully non functional for days or even weeks and not notice. Normally the front brakes contribute 70-80% of the braking effort. That's the primary reason rear brake pads and rotors seem substandard in comparison to the fronts.
#4740 of 5314 Re: Engine oil leak between Eng & Tranny [cracovian]
Jan 16, 2010 (9:43 pm)
"..water pump (it will last 150K max)..."
And you know this to be factual information..??
Twenty years ago I would have agreed, but not today.
#4741 of 5314 Re: Arlington Toyota [wwest]
Jan 17, 2010 (6:26 am)
The rotors are rusted away... The car is driven every day. The dealership is miles away, he took off the wheels and there's crud everywhere but he says it's perfect. I already know these guys are thieves; I just wonder if there's a production date on these parts anywhere...
#4742 of 5314 Re: Engine oil leak between Eng & Tranny [wwest]
Jan 17, 2010 (6:28 am)
You've got to be kidding me... I'm glad you would have agreed with me 20 years ago and you have two decades of factual information yourself. Good luck to ya.
#4743 of 5314 Re: Engine oil leak between Eng & Tranny [cracovian]
Jan 17, 2010 (10:36 am)
I've never pretended to have factual information regarding an automotive water pump's usefull life, just life's experience and book learn'n.
#4744 of 5314 Re: Arlington Toyota [cracovian]
Jan 17, 2010 (10:45 am)
Stamped production date might be meaningless since perfectly good new rotors could have been setting on the stock shelf for years and years.
The only working part of your brake rotors is the pad braking "scrub" surface, the rest can be covered with dirt, mud, rust, and it would have no adverse effect. At least once a year I remove my wheels and throughly wash/clean the wheel itself, especially inside the rim, but to my knowledge I have never seen a brake rotor so "cruded" up that it needed my attention.
#4745 of 5314 Toyota is not perfect
Jan 23, 2010 (8:21 pm)
One reason we have this forum is to discuss some of the imperfections in our Highlanders. The fact that they are so good makes it frustrating that the company doesn't fix the imperfections more quickly.
The most frustrating flaw in my Highlander, and apparently many others, is the lack of a lock washer or at least thread locking compound on the heat control knob. I read again and again that people's heat controls stopped working . . . all because the nut came loose. It went on for many years . . . that is unnecessary and stupid.
Also, I think the dim backup light is enough of a flaw to get annoyed about. The reality is that my windows are tinted and that it rains sometime, cutting down the visibility. Brighter backup lights would make my Highlander better. I will check them before buying my next Toyota and see if the dealer can come up with a fix in order to sell me a car.
Then there are Toyota dealers. Toyota should be able to keep them from ripping customers off with their bogus "required repairs" of brakes and the unnecessary service items like flushes and cleaning.
I would be driving a Highlander Hybrid now if Toyota hadn't refused to sell me the base model at the advertised price and hadn't used the hybrid system to improve acceleration instead of fuel economy.
Guess I am writing this in the hope that somebody at Toyota reads it and will do a little better with the things we notice and complain about. The things I have mentioned wouldn't cost anything significant . . . so why weren't they fixed?