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2008 Highlander Ltd
2021 RAV4 Prime XSE
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Here is the official scoop: Toyota TIS says flat out the engine needs to come out at the tune of 11 hours. Even Toyota corporate follows this declaration. At 74k they were willing to pay half of the repair which was quoted at $1300 from 3 different dealers. I was not about to pay even $650 to replace a water pump that I got in town for $50 brand new. I did the job on my '08 Limited Highlander 2GRFE V6 in less than half the time Toyota quoted (around 4hours). Knowing how to tackle it now I am sure I could even save more time if I had to do it again. It was actually fairly easy just time consuming since there are 16 bolts on the water pump alone AFTER you get to it.

Obviously I should never have had to replace the water pump at 74k. Mine wasnt even leaking, the bearing was totally shot and was screaming. Toyota stepped up a little and agreed to pay for half after the warranty was up. Regardless, the time they quote is completely WRONG and you will still overpay even if Toyota covers half. FYI, Toyota will ONLY reimburse if you get it done at the dealer under their time estimates.

None of this has anything to do with maintenance. It was a bad bearing, just like the one in my front wheel.
That 11 hours is a crazy spec, that's for sure...Having mine done Wednesday and the Toyota dealer (that actually has a competent, experienced crew) says that if I drop off at 7:30am, they'll be done by 1-2pm. So obviously, even if they charge back 9-11 hours to Toyota, they must be doing it in 3-4 hours real time...Bottom line - This shouldn't be happening - the soonest I've ever replaced a water pump previously was on a 1995 Mazda Millenia at 81,000 miles...I've never had a Honda/Acura pump go bad, regardless of mileage...Good thing it's covered or there would be hell to pay at Toyota.
 

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It'll suck when the warranty expires and your pump fails. A couple gallons of antifreeze is certainly cheaper than the water pump job on the 3.5L. You are lucky if it fails under warranty.

And, if you truly think that the antifreeze is good for as long as Toyota claims, install an antifreeze filter. Inspect the media after a couple hundred miles.
Easy way to remove the casting debris is with a simple drain/refill since not everyone wants to install a coolant filter.

I'm not living in the 1950's. I just have a higher understanding of what machines require. My expectations are a little higher than Toyota's marketing/sales dept.
 

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2008 Highlander Ltd
2021 RAV4 Prime XSE
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123 Posts
It'll suck when the warranty expires and your pump fails. A couple gallons of antifreeze is certainly cheaper than the water pump job on the 3.5L. You are lucky if it fails under warranty.

And, if you truly think that the antifreeze is good for as long as Toyota claims, install an antifreeze filter. Inspect the media after a couple hundred miles.
Easy way to remove the casting debris is with a simple drain/refill since not everyone wants to install a coolant filter.

I'm not living in the 1950's. I just have a higher understanding of what machines require. My expectations are a little higher than Toyota's marketing/sales dept.
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deadrx7conv - If you really owned a RX7, you got plenty of practice adding and changing fluids...I have no confidence in Toyota period - on that we agree. However, the expectations should be that you can follow a manufacturers SEVERE schedule...

Since you are obsessed with maintenance - here is what I have done with great care & attention to our 2008 Highlander since we bought it new in April 2008:

  • Oil & filter change with Mobil 1 or Castrol Syntec 5W30 every 5,000 miles
  • 5-wheel tire rotations every 5,000 miles (New Toyo H/Ts at 15K after the OEM A20s crapped the bed)
  • Cabin filter, Air filter replacement plus brake caliper slide lube every 15,000 miles
  • Transfer Case and Rear Diff fluid change at 30,000 (switch to Mobil 1 75W90 Syn)

I hope you RECYCLED all your owner's manuals when you threw them away...Please provide realistic and constructive content. I'm asking politely.
 

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Resident Nutcase
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12,217 Posts
so OP had his water pump fail at 74k miles, well I'm sitting at the dealership right now at 73500 miles and have a bad pump as well. Klossfam wasn't kidding when he said labor is a huge cost. Total $818.37 (294.78 for part, 421.95 for labor (tech said 5-6 hours of work)). Gotta call my local Toyota specialty garage and see how much they charge....this seems too early for a water pump to fail :headbang:
 

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Premium Member
2008 Highlander Base
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35,702 Posts
Lifetimes of water pumps vary by a wide margin, but 70K+ is too early for me. Sorry to hear about that, Sweeney....
 

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I had an 07 Rav4 with a V6, and the water pump went out at 59000 miles. Thank goodness it was still covered under warranty, because the replacement cost was well over 800.00 dollars just 2 years ago.
 

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Catanzaro
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196 Posts
I am so glad that I purchased a 7 year/125,000 mile platinum warranty from Toyota on the 2012 Toyota Highlander.With today's vehicles IMO having an extended warranty is a smart move. I also like the idea of buying a warranty after 100,000 miles. There are warranty companies that cover you for 5 years and almost to 200,000 miles for only a few dollars.

As for the maintenance on the vehicles, I am in agreement with some of the previous posts, but only if you are very handy and can use equiavalent fluids as the Toyota fluids are very expensive. There is really not too much in drain/fill on the coolant, tranny, and rear differential. The brake fluid I do a complete flush in 30 minutes with a kit and $6. There are plenty of equivalent fluids for about a 1/3 of what Toyota charges, you just have to do your research and find the same manufacturer without the Toyota label.

Everyone treats there vehicles differently and if you plan on selling your Highlander privately, the more you spend on maintenance & (please keep good records), the more you will get on the resale and the quicker you will sell the vehicle. The water pump sounds like it is a PIA if I had to do this myself. Good luck to anyone that has to do this on their own.
 

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**replying to a now deleted post**
that's for the 4 cylinder (1AR-FE) there is lots of room in the engine bay to work with that little thing in there. Not so much with the V6's, its first step is "remove engine assembly with trans-axle" (then alternator, idler pulley, belt tensioner assembly, then the water pump pulley, then water inlet housing, and finally the water pump itself.) Needless to say its an ordeal.
 

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Yea I saw that after I posted. I honestly dont think you have to remove the engine to replace the stupid water pump. I bet itll come out with some patience.
 

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You dont have to none of that, can be removed with the engine in the car. If any body need step by step instruction just shoot me a pm
**replying to a now deleted post**
that's for the 4 cylinder (1AR-FE) there is lots of room in the engine bay to work with that little thing in there. Not so much with the V6's, its first step is "remove engine assembly with trans-axle" (then alternator, idler pulley, belt tensioner assembly, then the water pump pulley, then water inlet housing, and finally the water pump itself.) Needless to say its an ordeal.
 

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You dont have to none of that, can be removed with the engine in the car. If any body need step by step instruction just shoot me a pm
well that's good to hear (I was just quoting toyota TIS docs), not fond of having the engine dropped out of my car haha, just doesn't seem like it would drive right afterwords.
 

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Geting ready to do the wp on my 08 at just under 78000 any pointers or special things that you could help me with would be greatly appreciated
 

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AvConsult
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Did you PM littelslim?
 

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Geting ready to do the wp on my 08 at just under 78000 any pointers or special things that you could help me with would be greatly appreciated
I found an even easier way that doesn't even require you opening up the hood.

1. Take it to a trusted mechanic
2. Hand over credit card
3. Drive vehicle home

Tada! :clap:
 

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I changed the WP on my 08 a while back and did not remove the engine.:rolleyes:
Can't remember in detail what had to come off but I do remember some. Removed passenger inner fender liner( key to accessing certain items), accessory belt, pulley, upper engine mount, a s**tload of bolts, thermostat housing, radiator hose and maybe a few other things. It was a pain but not the worst I've ever encountered.
One note, I was able to tweak the A/C line enough to remove one bolt vs removing the line as I read somewhere was necessary.

Another note, when refilling the coolant, make sure the key is on and the heat is on full hot. I got an air pocket the first time I refilled with the key off, I guess the heat control valve will not operate with power off.

Be patient and keep removing things until the WP comes off.

Good luck
 

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Thanks Foreman for the tips - I had my 08 V-6 AWD std H/L in for the door switch recall and on leaving the tech showed me some pink splatter on WP and surrounding area - said I needed WP replace, I declined and said I'd watch it - mine's off warr. and only 40k mi. (very mild splatter, after looking at the TSB) I had not noticed any coolant loss but was concerned. Now 2,000 miles later no change in splatter or coolant level so hoping it was a debris event that solved itself. However now after reading that 08/09 models may have weaker WP's and knowing that my dealer/tech will want the big $$ engine pull, I'd like to be prepared in case it fails and plan to go to an independent mech/tech who likely will not have done a WP replace and would like to be able to give him some guidance - I'm assuming belt and idler should be replaced at the same time - are there any more Tips on doing the replacement in addition to Foreman's above? I've PM'd the OP, and the other person who offered tips seems inactive and no reply to a prior PM - I'll add if any tips come via PM - Thanks
 

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Thanks Foreman for the tips - I had my 08 V-6 AWD std H/L in for the door switch recall and on leaving the tech showed me some pink splatter on WP and surrounding area - said I needed WP replace, I declined and said I'd watch it - mine's off warr. and only 40k mi. (very mild splatter, after looking at the TSB) I had not noticed any coolant loss but was concerned. Now 2,000 miles later no change in splatter or coolant level so hoping it was a debris event that solved itself. However now after reading that 08/09 models may have weaker WP's and knowing that my dealer/tech will want the big $$ engine pull, I'd like to be prepared in case it fails and plan to go to an independent mech/tech who likely will not have done a WP replace and would like to be able to give him some guidance - I'm assuming belt and idler should be replaced at the same time - are there any more Tips on doing the replacement in addition to Foreman's above? I've PM'd the OP, and the other person who offered tips seems inactive and no replay to a prior PM - I'll add if any tips come via PM - Thanks
You're outside of your 5yr/60k power train warranty? Don't forget it's 5 years from date of first use so if you bought your 2008 in December of 2008 it would be good until December 2013. You can always contact Toyota Customer Experience for this info (if it might be applicable).
 
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