Last post on Nov 22, 2009 at 11:05 AM
You are in the Toyota Highlander Hybrid Maintenance & Repair
What is this discussion about?
Toyota Highlander Hybrid, Steering, Suspension, SUV
Aug 28, 2008 (9:21 pm)
Wow, good thing you all are safe when your steering system malfunctioned. Thanks for sharing this problem and sorry it did not work out for you all.
I will be sure to post any problem we encounter in our '06. It is approaching 47K miles now. We are in southern SF Bay Area and just got hit by another heat wave, local temperature at our site was 109 today. It is normal for Summer to be in the mid-90's to low 100's in our neck of the woods. We also drive I-5 a lot and it can be baking in smoggy foul air at 100+ while the coast is blanketed by cool clean foggy air. So far, so good; knock on wood!
Aug 29, 2008 (5:47 am)
I really have some questions about temperature with the problem. As with the first poster there really did not seem to be any warning signs - just instant failure.
I do have to say that the local Toyota dealership could not have been nicer and were very accommodating on the trade in etc.
Would I consider a future hybrid - YES. Unfortunately the finances just did not work out for one this go around. Since the RAV4 grew up we almost have the same interior space as we did with the Highlander (which now has grown up more).
#11 of 28 Re: 2006 Highland Hybrid/Lexus RX400h power steering failures [lcarr8522]
Sep 11, 2008 (11:52 pm)
Just experienced the same problem on our '06 HH. It is actually still in the shop. It has around 64K on it. It hadn't been driven in about a week (husband's vehicle he's deployed and I'm trying to keep miles off the 'good' vehicle) and sat in the GA heat. I actually was lucky, in a sense, that I was at the dealership having just brought in it for an oil change. They rang me up, I got in the HH, and backed out and no power steering. I promptly pulled back into the garage. They have been fixing mine as a "good will" measure. Right now (as far as I know) they have replaced the mother board and are now replacing the whole power steering assembly. The cost the guy said was up to 3000, but no cost to me (yet). Hopefully it's working correctly when I get it back.
Has anyone had all the repairs and are still driving? If so are you experiencing any further problems? I would love to trade it in (as I'm not to trusting of it right now) but it's the limited with bells and whistles and no way could we afford to get a different vehicle right now.
I grew up with Toyota's and this is the first problem I've ever experienced besides the normal wear and tare. The garage that is fixing it has been great, thus far.
#12 of 28 Re: 2006 Highland Hybrid/Lexus RX400h power steering failures [nodak701]
Sep 13, 2008 (12:07 pm)
I'm the person who started this email string. I had the repairs and have driven it pretty much everyday since then and have had no other problems. I, too, have the Limited and I really enjoy the car, I'm just frustrated that Toyota doesn't stand behind their product with so many reports of the same problem.
#13 of 28 Re: 2006 Highland Hybrid/Lexus RX400h power steering failures [cdptrap]
Dec 24, 2008 (9:03 am)
24 Dec 08: Yesterday as I was backing out of a parking spot at the local walmart the power steering went out. I pulled into another spot and lifted the hood to check the fluid in the power steering, being a former mechanic that was logical. When I did not find the pump I called the Toyota Dealer here in Daytona Beach. They told me there isn't a pump that it is all electric and to bring it in. They were open until 7 pm. They took a look at my 2006 Highlander Hybrid Limited and within 1 hour gave me a camry as a loaner. The dealership will not be open again until Friday. Prior to the hard steering in the parking lot there was not much of a warning. I was able to drive the car home and then to the shop, probably a total of 10 miles. The vehicle has 66,350 miles on it. No other problems with the vehicle.
#14 of 28 Re: 2006 Highland Hybrid/Lexus RX400h power steering failures [bmckee219]
Dec 26, 2008 (9:37 am)
I was told that there are 7 computers involved with the power steering. You were fortunate that you did not get the violent shaking that we had with our Highlander - I would not have been able to control the car (my partner was driving).
#15 of 28 Re: 2006 Highland Hybrid/Lexus RX400h power steering failures [upstateny5]
Dec 26, 2008 (12:32 pm)
There is ONLY one "computer" directly involved in controlling the electric power stearing. It reads the output of the synchro's at each end of the stearing torque tube and therefrom controls the level and direction of the power assist.
The only other control input, indirect input, would be the VSC ECU telling the electric power stearing to not provide "aid", stearing assist, if your own stearing wheel input might exacerbate the current YAW situation.
#16 of 28 Re: 2006 Highland Hybrid/Lexus RX400h power steering failures [upstateny5]
Dec 26, 2008 (12:40 pm)
There are posts here and there on the internet indicating that the torque tube can be "over-twisted" temporarily or in at least one case permanently. Over-twisting puts the synchro outputs out of phase and that apparently results in the electric power stearing actually providing power assist in intermittent opposition to your own stearing wheel inputs.
The one permanent torque tube over-twist resulted in HARD manual forces being applied to the stearing wheel with the electric system having previously failed and the need arose requiring a HARD stearing application.
So be careful just how HARD you force the stearing wheel if you have electric power stearing assist.
#17 of 28 2006 HH Steering Rack
Feb 09, 2009 (10:57 am)
Just to let you all know, had interesting experience this past Friday 2/6/09. As I have said elsewhere went to Phoenix AZ area to look at 2006HH with hopes to buy it and gracefully retire my 1993 Toyota Camry wagon w/ 220K miles. Just chicken enough to call on a friend to drive me there in his new BMW convertible and follow me back -- just in case.
For sale at $19K was one owner, apparently gently used, 3-1/2 yr old 2006HH Ltd with 50K mi on odo. Car had 50KMi service just done at Toytoa and new battery installed.
I prearranged a used-car inspection service at another Toyota dealer in Mesa, AZ -- about a 15 mile city street and freeway drive -- so I could see how the car drove and have it inspected by a stranger to the seller. Noted that steering feel was exceedingly light. Car went where pointed, but just no feedback from the road. Not at all Tyota-like.
To make story short, arrived at 10:30am for scheduled appointment and met my service writer who didn't know me from Adam, at a company I had never been to before (Earnhardt Toyota) and at one I would likely never visit again since it sat 400 miles from home.
First thing he did was check vin, mumble something about a steering recall, check the computer and tell me that Toyota has a recall on steering rack on certain HH and this one was included in that recall. Estimated 6hr labor and Toyota was supposedly footing a $1500 labor bill plus parts and part of the recall was a complete alignment when work was done.
He said that now they had their hands on the car, it couldn't leave without the work being completed, and the old removed steering mechanism had to be destroyed so it didn't make it to the used part market.
In response to my comment I had to go back to Las Vegas that afternoon, he had a rush service started -- supposedly two Toyota Master Mechanics to work on the car -- and 2 1/2 hrs later I had the car back, newly aligned and they even completed the used-car inspection I originally ordered.
Greatest service experience I have had from a Toyota dealership in I don't know when.
If you live near Phoenix AZ (Mesa) I don't thinkyou'll go wrong at Earnhardt Toyota.
Drove back to Las Vegas that afternoon over a combination of Freeway, and two to four lane country roads at speeds ranging from 35 to 80 and at the end of the 351 mile trip, averaged 28mpg paying no particular attention to whether I was using the hybrid technology to its optimum or not.
I think I made a great choice.
#18 of 28 Re: 2006 HH Steering Rack [charlesp]
Feb 09, 2009 (5:25 pm)
Wow! That is the first time I've heard anything about any kind of recall on the 2006 HH. I'll go back to digging some more. I still have my repair paperwork so maybe I'll see what I can do about getting some kind of refund. I know that's probably a pipe dream but I suppose it never hurts to try.
I'm glad it all worked out for you. Enjoy your HH. Other than this one expensive issue I've thoroughly enjoyed mine.