2008 highlander tow prep or not?? - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
Highlander 2nd Generation (2008-2013) Forum dedicated to the discussion of 2nd generation Toyota Highlanders.

 
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post #1 of 6 Old 05-28-2019, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
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2008 highlander tow prep or not??

Here is the story.... I bought a used 2008 highlander V6 Sports AWD few year ago and it came with a really rusty aftermarket Valley hitch and I replaced the rusty hitch right away with a new Westin one to tow my little boat (about 1500 #). Long story short, the boat got bigger and trip got longer so I ordered an transmission cooler to keep the fluid temp in check. I never bother to check if I have tow prep HL or not until today....in the process of routing the hose to new tranny cooler I spotted the factory cooler 😑. Do I have the tow package or not on my HL since it doesn't come with the factory hitch? I try to locate the oil cooler but can't really tell if there's one or not. My new tow weight is about 3000lb so I am thinking about returning the big cooler I got and order a small one to put it inline with the factory cooler. What do you guys think?
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post #2 of 6 Old 05-29-2019, 02:01 AM
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Originally Posted by pllq View Post
Here is the story.... I bought a used 2008 highlander V6 Sports AWD few year ago and it came with a really rusty aftermarket Valley hitch and I replaced the rusty hitch right away with a new Westin one to tow my little boat (about 1500 #). Long story short, the boat got bigger and trip got longer so I ordered an transmission cooler to keep the fluid temp in check. I never bother to check if I have tow prep HL or not until today....in the process of routing the hose to new tranny cooler I spotted the factory cooler 😑. Do I have the tow package or not on my HL since it doesn't come with the factory hitch? I try to locate the oil cooler but can't really tell if there's one or not. My new tow weight is about 3000lb so I am thinking about returning the big cooler I got and order a small one to put it inline with the factory cooler. What do you guys think?
Read this.
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.toy...3famp=1?espv=1
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post #3 of 6 Old 05-29-2019, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by pllq View Post
Here is the story.... I bought a used 2008 highlander V6 Sports AWD few year ago and it came with a really rusty aftermarket Valley hitch and I replaced the rusty hitch right away with a new Westin one to tow my little boat (about 1500 #). Long story short, the boat got bigger and trip got longer so I ordered an transmission cooler to keep the fluid temp in check. I never bother to check if I have tow prep HL or not until today....in the process of routing the hose to new tranny cooler I spotted the factory cooler 😑. Do I have the tow package or not on my HL since it doesn't come with the factory hitch? I try to locate the oil cooler but can't really tell if there's one or not. My new tow weight is about 3000lb so I am thinking about returning the big cooler I got and order a small one to put it inline with the factory cooler. What do you guys think?

Per Soulsurvives' link, the easiest way to tell is if there is an open space next to the driver's side fog lamp. If there is, you have the TPP. One thing you want to check is the hose to that supplemental cooler behind the fog lamp. If its metal, its been replaced, if its rubber, replace it ASAP. Mine got a pinhole leak about 3 weeks ago and I lost 3 quarts of oil in a very short period of time, not to mention the mess on the undercarriage. I even had an oil coating on the rear liftgate (because we were traveling at highway speeds and somehow the oil vaporized and condensed on the rear liftgate) that I had to go and wash off since even the heavy rains we had wouldn't clean it (my wife was jealous because she wanted me to wash her car, too, had to tell here that all I was cleaning was the rear liftgate to get the oily mess off ). If you are unsure or are not confident on whether the oil line was replaced or not, then take the TSB to the dealer and ask them to confirm and if it has not been changed to change it.



Again, that's assuming you have the TPP.



Paul

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post #4 of 6 Old 05-29-2019, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you Soulsurives for the link and Paul for your input on replacing the rubber line. I checked earlier this morning and I do have the tranny cooler so I guess my HL is tow prep 😊. HeyPaul is the rubber hose going to the radiator from the transmission cooler the one you had problem with?
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post #5 of 6 Old 05-29-2019, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by pllq View Post
Thank you Soulsurives for the link and Paul for your input on replacing the rubber line. I checked earlier this morning and I do have the tranny cooler so I guess my HL is tow prep 😊. HeyPaul is the rubber hose going to the radiator from the transmission cooler the one you had problem with?

No, its the little radiator located behind the fog lamp. I didn't do the work myself, my wife and I were out running errands when I thought there was an issue with the transmission because the engine sounded like it was rev'ing higher than normal, but it turned out to be the valve train tapping and making noise due to low oil. I wasn't sure how bad the leak was, so I pulled over and called our roadside service for a tow. Had I known it was only a pinhole leak, I would have walked over to the nearby grocery store and bought oil and drove it to the repair shop myself since we had an issue with an unprofessional tow truck operator who showed up first, but I'm getting off track. Anyway, although I have done one oil change on the HL myself, I have yet to remove the undercarriage plastic splash covers to even see the oil cooler. The oil cooler in question is for engine oil, the transmission fluid cooler appears to be similar to the one on my 2001 Camry in that it is built into the radiator, from what I could see, but then I haven't investigated it very far so I'm not entirely sure its not a separate cooler. The oil cooler in question appears to be a miniature radiator that is separate from the main radiator and like I said, it is for engine oil and not transmission fluid, and a leak in the rubber hose (if you still have one on yours) will result in losing engine oil and not tranny fluid. From what I understand, the rubber breaks down on the oil cooler because of its location near the exhaust header or piping. When I replaced the radiator on my Camry, I replaced the coolant hoses and always intended to go back and replace the rubber tranny hoses, but never did. Never had an issue with tranny fluid leaks even though the hoses were marginal, IMHO, I ended up riding around without changing the hoses for another 3 years. I would imagine that the tranny cooler lines are similarly robust on the HL, but that's not to say don't change them if they look to be in bad shape.

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post #6 of 6 Old 05-29-2019, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
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Got it Paul and thank you for all your help!!
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