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Discussion Starter #1
I have had the Highlander for five years. A year ago I was sitting at a fast food restaurant waiting in line when smoke started to flow out of the front of the engine then it was pulled into the cab. I pulled a side and called for a tow. The garage that I was using tried to duplicate the issue and could not find where the oil was coming from for most of the day, trying to get it to repeat the problem. Eventually they said that it was a cam seal, and suggested a price to repair. Shocked at the sticker price I drove it home and bought another commuter vehicle thinking that if this happens again at any time the vehicle may just go to the great junk yard in the sky.

Here is my question nearly 8 months later, I had another garage take a look at it and there opinion was to keep driving it adding oil when needed. But also said it was a cam seal as well. The quotes from both garages were 1800- 2200 dollars with a crazy amount of labor being 95 percent of the cost. I have done my research and found out that the 2008 V6 has many recalls, and a tendency to have this oil leak issue.

1. Are the two garage's going for the most likely answer?
2. 197,000 Miles seems low to ditch the vehicle, is it worth fixing?
3. Did I over react by buying another used vehicle, can this be fixed for under 1000?
 

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I've never used it myself, but you may want to try a product called at-205 re-seal. If you're already at the point of deciding between the proper repair or ditching the car, a $10 additive is worth a shot. Scotty Kilmer speaks highly of the product.
 

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Hey TripleAech - Thank you for the tip. Additives I do think help. I remember Slick-50 back in the day as well, and used it for a while during my junker years.
 

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Camshaft seal? Hahahahaha

Switch to high mileage oil

Avoid the ATP reseal...its equivalent to the ol' trick of using brake fluid to seal an engine or PSF. IMO, it can be too aggressive and cause other issues.

My '08 didnt have too many recalls and I havent seen this so-called tendency on higher mileage 2gr's.

Front cover leak? Nothing in a bottle can fix failed FIPG. Scrub the leak area clean and work some rtv onto and over it, or pay the bill.

Valve cover leak? Easy enough to change.

Camshaft seal? Hahahahaha. Post a picture of the leak location.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
292769


The smoke came from mid engine at the timing belt location, passenger side. I believe the timing chain is located there as well. The price quoted was 2k.
 

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Cant see anything

Verify vvt lines are good

Degrease engine and locate leak... Take picture of leak
 

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Had the oil cooler hose go spontaneously on our 08 a year ago at about 160,000 miles. Choice was junk it or put in a replacement engine. We were a bit on the fence, but wife loves that car and all other factors considered, it was in very good condition. We went with a 40k mile doner motor for $6500 out the door. Been running like new since then and I know we will not have the VVT or oil cooler leaks since those have been addressed already! I think under normal conditions these engines will last for well over 350k miles, so i’d Spend the $1-2k if that is in fact the confirmed diagnosis.
 

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Well, this past Tuesday I said goodbye to my 11 Highlander Base AWD at 179,215 miles. My check engine and VSC light came on. I took it to a reputable mechanic shop who diagnosed the issue as a non functioning catalytic converter. Total cost to replace was $1188.00. It was $1300.00 but i had a coupon. :) I decided with how much i drive (35k) per year, i was not going to put that money into the vehicle. It also has terrible gas mileage. I thought about using a "CAT Cleaner" bottle to see if it would clear the code/lights, but then i thought against it because that would just be a temporary band aid and not fix the problem. Somehow, on the way to look/buy for a new vehicle, the lights came off and i got $6500 for my trade in! Talk about holding resale value! I traded it in for a 19 Maxima. They are selling it for $8460 and it doesn't appear the light came on. But this is an example of buyer beware because its just a matter of time before the lights come back on and someone who just bought this vehicle will be left with a very expensive repair! Although i traded in my Highlander, i'm still a Toyota fan as i still have a 14 4Runner limited. Best of luck to all with your Highlanders! It treated my family and i well.
:cry: lol
 

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Boy are you going to be sorry with that Nissan CVT. Those things trash about 80k and cost nearly a house to fix. Nice driving cars but after 80k it's a total crap shoot. Quality is gone since they merged with Renault, and Mitsushitti
 

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:oops:
Boy are you going to be sorry with that Nissan CVT. Those things trash about 80k and cost nearly a house to fix. Nice driving cars but after 80k it's a total crap shoot. Quality is gone since they merged with Renault, and Mitsushitti
I only drove the Highlander for one year. Before that it was my wife's. I traded in my 10 Maxima SV with 224k miles on it with no problems with the CVT so she could get a 4 Runner Limited.. I did however go through 10 wheel bearings. Yes i wrote that correctly. 10 wheel bearings......
:oops:
 

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If you went through that many wheel bearings there was another issue. Bad chassis grounds are known to eat wheel bearings for lunch BTW. Been around enough Nissan and Mitsushitti CVTs to know what your experience was is an aberration. They typically begin turning to toast around 80k. That's more the norm than the exception. Learned what cars held up and what didn't after being in the rental business. Worst of them. Most anything from Chrysler (Fix It Again Tony), Nissan, Mitsuhitti, Mazda and GM distantly followed by Kia/Hyundai. People would take Toyotas out and beat the living crap out of them and they never broke.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Cant see anything

Verify vvt lines are good

Degrease engine and locate leak... Take picture of leak
[/QUOTE

UPDATE:

I did use the STP oil treatment, and it didn't work ultimately. I was driving to the grocery store and smelled a good deal of "garage smell" in the cab so I turned around and came home. Left the engine running and and lifted the hood. It was like noon at Burger king in there. Sure enough smoking like it did before.

Looks like the cam leak or timing cover leak will be 2K according to two local shops. I am strapped being single with two car payment, double insurance and double the license and property tax each year. A rock and a hard place.

197K, needs struts, new compressor and now for sure the oil leak fixed.

Big question the local shop said it would be 2700 before its running right w/o AC. Damn!
I bought a 2010 Rav4 and have run it for a year and to be honest there is no comparison with the ride of the Highlander. Ying/Yang

The oil leak and struts fixed. How long do engines last after this kind of oil leak?

David
Ashland, VA
 

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Discussion Starter #14
UPDATE:

I did use the STP oil treatment, and it didn't work ultimately. I was driving to the grocery store and smelled a good deal of "garage smell" in the cab so I turned around and came home. Left the engine running and and lifted the hood. It was like noon at Burger king in there. Sure enough smoking like it did before.

Looks like the cam leak or timing cover leak will be 2K according to two local shops. I am strapped being single with two car payment, double insurance and double the license and property tax each year. A rock and a hard place.

197K, needs struts, new compressor and now for sure the oil leak fixed.

Big question the local shop said it would be 2700 before its running right w/o AC. Damn!
I bought a 2010 Rav4 and have run it for a year and to be honest there is no comparison with the ride of the Highlander. Ying/Yang

The oil leak and struts fixed. How long do engines last after this kind of oil leak?

David
Ashland, VA
 
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