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I also noticed the same understeer with my HH '08. I don't have this problem when driving on the same roads & highways with my Bimmer or Ford Escape or Mazda MPV. So I know its not the roads :) I think its an issue with Toyota cars because I had the same problem with my '89 Camry. BTW, I also have the Toyo tires with the HH.
First things first, make sure the tires are at 33-34psi COLD. Also, see if the behavior is different when it is not so windy.
 

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I run my tires at the recommended 33 psi. After getting off of the highway they are running +2 psi per tire (except for the spare).

As for which is which? Each tire has its own sensor so it CAN tell the changes in tire pressure. The TPMS is there to provide early notification that a tire is deflating (slow leak or puncture....or?) -- and is not exactly "spot on" so to speak .. anyway, you can determine which is which (if you just really need to know) by letting the air out of each tire and looking at the TPMS for the pressure to change. ONLY do this is you have an air compressor handy and BE SURE to air them all back up again before travelling :)

I purchased an accurate tire pressure gauge and keep it in my car at all times. I check my tire pressures regularly. I found that the TPMS and my gauge were not exactly the same. I trust MY tire pressure gauge and use the TPMS to alert me in case there is a change in the tire pressure of one of the 5 tires.
 

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Please forgive me for being "inquisitive" -- but do you have that many flats that you need to winch up/down your spare tire so often? I realize that this isn't your point, but as I said .. I'm inquisitive?

To your point, if this is an issue that was not present prior to the installation of the rear hitch, I would take it back to the dealer if you think that there is a problem with the installation. I too have the Toyota rear hitch (although mine is factory installed). I must admit that I have not had any occasion to winch the spare up/down.
 

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I had only one flat and that was before the rear hitch install. The other two times I winched it down was after the install when I checked it out and then after I showed my buddy the problem. And yes I will go back to the dealer about this problem.
 

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I had only one flat and that was before the rear hitch install. The other two times I winched it down was after the install when I checked it out and then after I showed my buddy the problem. And yes I will go back to the dealer about this problem.

I have the OEM Toyota hitch installed. This hitch has no problem with spare tire clearance as it was designed by Toyota. I remove the spare every 5000 miles to use it in the tire rotation.

The aftermarket hitch that your dealer installed is much less expensive but doesn't fit as well, as you have found out. You may want to negotiate with the dealer to install the OEM Toyota Hitch if the hitch interference bothers you.
 

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Have the dealer check the wheel alignment. My Highlander wandered similarly at highway speeds and the alignment was way off.
 

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08 Highlander Hybrid
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Tire Issue - Help Needed

I have a 2008 Highlander Hybrid Limited with about 8500 miles. Today I noticed some very strange issues with my OEM tires. These are the Toyo A20 245/55/R19.

The only way I can describe this is flaking or cracking of the tires. This seems to be happening on the outer and inner tread, not the center tread or the side wall of the tire.

I have a couple of questions on this as I have not seen this before:

1 – Is this normal for this tire?
2 - Is it safe to drive on these tires?
3 – If this is not normal, are these tires defective? Will the tire warranty cover the repair here?

I have included a picture to show the damage.

Thanks in advance for any insight here.

Prospero


 

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08 Highlander Hybrid
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This is happening on all four tires.

The tires have been rotated once at the 5000 mile maintenance.

Thanks

Prospero
 

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2008 Highlander Base
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I think you're situation is excessive tire scrub, which affects all four wheels inside and out. Take it in for an alignment as soon as possible. Besides being a gas eater it also is pretty nasty on tire wear...as you're already aware. There's no danger associated with it. One thing of note, though, and that is I'd have the alignment done somewhere other than where you had the tires rotated. Any mechanic worth his salt should have seen that wear when rotating and recommended an alignment. Let us know how it turns out. Oh, one more thing. When you do get an alignment make sure to always request the readout, that way if there are any issues within the warranty period of the work (usually 60-90 days) you have proof regarding what work was performed on the previous alignment.

:thumbsup:

TrailDust
 

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YES the 08 Highlander Hybrid is a POS in snow!

I grew up driving in snow, I enjoyed the challenge of taking vehicles that do not drive well in snow, like a Mazda Miata, I have never been stuck.

Today I took our 08 HH into the snow, we turned on a downhill road with about 5 inches of snow on it. While slowing down the traction control system shut the power off to the wheels and I was unable to control the car and it slowly slid into a snow bank.

Once I was stuck in the bank, the reverse (trying to go up hill) would not engage, the tires may turn a little and then all the power shut off.

I was able to clear the snow from the tires, get it moving forward with a little power and the second the traction control kicked in the car power shut down and it slid back into the bank.

I ended up having to take my floor mats out of the car and used them for each wheel and slowly inched it forward out of the snow bank and onto the hill.

The this is a pile of sh*t in the snow, a 2WD Miata is better than this huge POS boat.

BUYERS: Do not buy these if you want to drive in the snow or tow something heavy that needs to be backed up.
 

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GREAT in the snow!!!

I'm not sure what the OP is talking about.

My rating of the HyHi in the snow is a solid "8" (first experience so I won't give it a "10")

I live in Kentucky and we just got the mother of all storms and over two days received 11.5 inches on snow. I made it to work BOTH days with NO PROBLEM. I wasn't running any races so I drove at a "reasonable" speed for the conditions.

I was admittedly a little "concerned" after reading the issues, concerns and warnings that are posted in this thread - but the HyHi performed absolutly FLAWLESS. Too add to this, the streets in my subdivison are NOT plowed - so I had ~18" FROZEN ruts to nagivate through and around this morning - again with NO issue.

Just my actual, personal experience!
 

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2008 HiHy
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Chains anyone?

I bought a set of chains for my front wheels (08 HiHY) but have not tried them yet. Has anyone got experience with chains? I'm planning to go to Tahoe next weekend.

v
 

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Some of these posts had me very nervous... but:

We still took our '09 Highlander Hybrid to Tahoe over President's Day Weekend. Locals will know there was a lot of snow that weekend. We did not have any problems and did not use chains.

Heading back down the pass, there were maybe only 3 times that the dash indicator light briefly flickered when it was losing traction at about 30-45mph - but it was totally manageable and we passed numerous other vehicles completely spun out - including one upside down.

It may just be me, but one other thing we noticed is that the "coast" speed of the Highlander Hybrid is slower than a normal SUV. When we took our last SUV down the hill, it had less friction and would gain speed pretty quickly - and thus require frequent braking. With the HiHybrid, we didn't have to brake that much - likely because even the coasting charges the battery a little and has to generate friction to do that. Not a negative at all, but was interesting.
 

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1994 Corolla DX
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Im curious, if you pulled a fuse for the abs system, would the trac disable? You would get a light but most vehicle traction systems use the abs sensors to detect wheel spin. If the system was disabled, the trac control may not come on and then you may be able to use power and allow wheel spin until the fuse was put back (limp mode of sorts)
NB: I offer no guarantee with this advice if a check engine light stays to be cleared by the dealer
 

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The HH has an integrated safety system called VDIM and disabling any part of it by removing a fuse is not a good idea. As someone suggested earlier, the way to not lose traction is to use dedicated winter tires and there are many that can do the job or just use chains, if possible.

My suggestion, in keeping with others here, is to use snow tires if necessary, use chains if necessary. Or, check your stock tires. My '06 HH came with a set of Goodyear Integrity that were horrible for our area. The tires may be the problem and not the car. Even a fully loaded low-range capable 4x4 such as the HUMMER cannot do anything in lo4 if tires are no good for a given condition.

Please know that regardless of how powerful or how sophisticated a car, it is the contact-patch that counts in the end. If you lose contact for whatever reason, nothing works. There has been quite a lot of misperception about ABS, Traction Control and so on. People used to assume that ABS meant shorter stopping distance and they even deliberately modulate by stepping gently on their ABS-capable brakes resulting in crashes. There are people who assume that Traction Control meant better traction and promptly got themselves in deep trouble by sliding into ditches, getting stuck in mud tracks or just plan hydroplaning and skidding off a normal wet highway. There are also people who got two snow tires only and left the other two trying to save cash and they end up fishtailing in slippery icy condition.

If your tires do not perform well for your specific conditions, nothing else will work. Before thinking of tinkering with the car by disabling safety systems, please please please check your tires and please get all FOUR of the same type. The extra few hundred bucks up front will save you a LOT of pain later.

Good luck!
 
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