2001 4cyl Highlander, transmission fluid flush - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
1st Generation (2001-2007) Forum dedicated to the discussion of 1st generation Toyota Highlanders.

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#1 Old 10-13-2006, 11:55 AM
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2001 4cyl Highlander, transmission fluid flush

Its the 2wd Version. My mom got it with 112k kms on it. Now it has 194k km. Ive been bothering since she got it to make sure the transmission fluid is changed regularly (the car before was a 2003 Galant and because of lack of transmission fluid change or flush the car had to have a new tranny by 100k kms.)

So now she got it changed/flushed today, it was very dirty...... also the 82k km we put on it were about 70% highway, in the last year. Would the tranny be ok, or is it very iffy? (The Galants transmission went shortly after we got it flushed when it was dirty). Basically I want to know if I should start saving up to help pay for a new tranny lol I really hope not, (we dont have much disposable income)
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#2 Old 10-13-2006, 12:22 PM
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^^ if its all highway, then your tranny doesn't undergo gear changes as much as if it were city driven. You reach the high gears and your pretty much there.

However, if your that worried about your transmission, i'd suggest you get a hayden 404 trans-cooler. That's the model i'm saving up for myself.
Quick question: how do you think your 4cyl highlander performs, does it feel underpowered? do you like it...(i'm asking cus we could be buying one in 2007 and wanted to know from someone who owns it.)

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#3 Old 10-13-2006, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhbhatia
^^ if its all highway, then your tranny doesn't undergo gear changes as much as if it were city driven. You reach the high gears and your pretty much there.

However, if your that worried about your transmission, i'd suggest you get a hayden 404 trans-cooler. That's the model i'm saving up for myself.
Quick question: how do you think your 4cyl highlander performs, does it feel underpowered? do you like it...(i'm asking cus we could be buying one in 2007 and wanted to know from someone who owns it.)
No complaints at all on the 4cyl for our needs, doesnt feel underpowered, I was actually very surprised when we went to test drive it. At first we were going after the 6cyl model and then the salesman suggested looking at the 4cyl as well, we took it out after the 6cyl and didnt had no complaints. Its gets up to speed nicely no need to rev really hard (has a very decent power-torque band) so my mom went with the 4cyl model and hasnt looked back since.
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#4 Old 11-04-2006, 07:10 AM
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transmission flush experience

I drive an 05 Highlander 4 cylinder with 32000 miles on it. A few weeks ago I was feeling a slight hesitation when moving from a complete stop. It happened when the trans shifts from first to second gear. It was so "slight" that I thought it was my imagination. I thought about taking it in for service but it went away. "Of course it must have been my imagination"? Anyhow, it happened again with a little more authority. So I immediately went under the car and noticed an "oil type" stain on the transmission. It wasn't a drip, just a stain. I couldn't believe it. I purchased this HL new in April 05. I love this car! I went to the Toyota service department. They checked it out and noticed what I had been noticing. Mind you, I check my fluids often. I am considered "Transmission Paranoid" after an experience with a Ford Taurus. The service guy said my fluid was burned and that I would need a flush and he would have to reset the computer so the tranny could learn my driving habits all over again, all at a price of 214.00. Also, the stain was from a leaking "porous gasket", which was under warranty. I was not happy. He said my fluid should have been changed twice already with 32000 miles on the car. He said I should be changing my fluid every 15000 miles. Of course the owners manual says to inspect @ 30,000, and 60,000. I contacted the Toyota main office in Torrance, California. I got no help from them. I was told because of the environment that I live in I should follow the dealers recommended service advice and not the owners manual. What environment? I was informed that the owners manual was only a guide and owners must take into account driving conditions, etc. True, but it should specify for the transmission just as it does for towing, and driving on dusty roads, etc. How am I supposed to know this? I'm no mechanic. I'm a regular person who buys a car and expects it to work properly, and to be informed by the manufacturer of any and all addendums to it's maintenance.
Sorry to run with this people, but be careful about following your owners manual word for word.

Lionel

P.S. The car runs fine, and it is not under-powered as a 4 cylinder.

Last edited by lionelp; 11-04-2006 at 07:12 AM.
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#5 Old 11-06-2006, 10:11 AM
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Lionel - I service the exact same vehicle for my sister-in-law. Drained the trans fluid yesterday w31k miles and the fluid was dark. 3.5 quarts and it was an easy refill with T-IV.
A torx 55 socket and a ratchet, 10 second job, let it drain for an hour, replace the bolt and you're good to go.
Don't know what Toyota says should be the service interval. Easy job for you to do if it is every 15000 miles. Plenty of ground clearance and access.
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#6 Old 11-20-2006, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lionelp
Mind you, I check my fluids often. I am considered "Transmission Paranoid" after an experience with a Ford Taurus. The service guy said my fluid was burned and that I would need a flush and he would have to reset the computer so the tranny could learn my driving habits all over again, all at a price of 214.00.
Like the mythbusters say, i refute your reality and substitude it with my own.

I'm a tranny paranooid dude like yourself. I've get nervious when the color changes from red to marnoon. I've yet to have it burn or go dark on me (in any of our cars). I think if you truly gauged your transmission fluid's you would have noted a change in colors from red to maroon. Marnoon to me signals time to keep a constant eye on the tranny fluid. Burnt is beyong maroon....I think you better pay attention to the colors as well.

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#7 Old 02-04-2007, 05:23 PM
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2005 Highlander Transmission Replaced !!

This is an update to my post dated 11-4-2006. If you read my post I was having shifting problems. So these problems started again. I brought the vehicle back to my dealer on Friday Jan. 26, 2007. The service tech stated that there was a new computer program available for my car and that he would down load it off of the internet and install into the car, and that it would take about an hour. One hour goes by. I then was informed that I would need a "new" transmission because other people are apparently having the same issues. A new tranny was ordered and I was allowed to drive the car home and bring it back on Tuesday. The car is now fixed at a tune of $4446.00. So, if you guys are having problems bring it in, and good luck to you.

Lionel
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#8 Old 02-05-2007, 10:46 AM
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Yikes.
Warranty?
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#9 Old 02-05-2007, 12:04 PM
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Dude the dealer ripped you off, there is a 60K mile power-train warranty. Hopefully you were under this 60K mark. Otherwise, balls to you for forking up $5G on a tranny!

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#10 Old 02-25-2007, 03:12 PM
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Yes it was still under warranty, and I didn't pay a dime. I also asked for a refund on the fluid flush that was done in November. I got that back after a week. So far the car shifts smoothly and runs great! I will be taking it in just to check it from time to time. It was important that Toyota stood by their product, as any car can have a problem no matter what the make. In the future I would probably buy another one.
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#11 Old 02-28-2010, 09:19 PM
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Ive got an 05 4cylinder 2wd as well. I just hit 33k miles today. Much of it city driving.

I think I will take it to the dealer for a flush and ask about the software update.

Anyone else had this done?
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#12 Old 03-09-2010, 12:13 PM
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Again, for everybody on this site, Do drain/ filter change/ fills on the tranny. Flushing causes more problems than good. Read this from Amsoil:
http://www.amsoil.com/lit/filter_man_council01.pdf

Many of us and, I in particulular have been following tranny failures, and most happen shortly after a flush. The valve body gets chunks thrown in it and the tranny fails to work......

I currently have over 75 owners emails with failures on the RX300 (same tranny) I had one myself after meticulously maintaining it every 30k miles from new....Your highlanders have improvements inside over the early RX300 but from every site I am on the flushes cause problems on high mileage transmissions. If your fluid is brown and burnt, drain it, replace the filter and then after a couple of weeks do a drain and fill without the filter and your fluid will come back bright cherry.

Last edited by lenore; 03-09-2010 at 12:16 PM.
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#13 Old 03-09-2010, 12:38 PM
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I've posted a link in the DIY sticky, sub-heading Maintenance Issues, to the document you quoted Lenore. In future we can refer members asking about transmission flushes to the sticky. Thanks again.

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#14 Old 03-09-2010, 12:43 PM
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Your very welcome....I pursue this with a lot of knowledge even to the point of tracking complaints with the NHTSB for the tranny failure....I also have tried to discover the weaknesses of the tranny.. The early 140 e and f tranny had a substandard aluminum planetary gear assembly which was replaced with a steel carrier and adition gear support......
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#15 Old 06-29-2010, 03:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lenore View Post
Your very welcome....I pursue this with a lot of knowledge even to the point of tracking complaints with the NHTSB for the tranny failure....I also have tried to discover the weaknesses of the tranny.. The early 140 e and f tranny had a substandard aluminum planetary gear assembly which was replaced with a steel carrier and adition gear support......

...interesting..
and in which model year was that substitution implemented???

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