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Hello Fellow Highlander Owners,
Has anyone else ran into this issue, I have 2011 Hybrid Highlander, and my coolant goes down every couple of weeks. This is been happening for over year now. I use to top it off, but if I forget I noticed heat was not working either. I took it to local repair shop, he did pressure test and said there are no leaks. Then I took it to local Toyota Dealership and they also performed few tests and did not find anything. In end they concluded that my head Gasket might have leak and coolant might be leaking through that and going out through exaust. They are quoting me over 4k to get that repaired. Although they are saying once they open they might find something else so this might not fix the issue. Any help would be appreciated. I never had any major accident on this vehicle and I am single owner of this SUV. Appreciate all your help in advance. :cry:
 

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Hello Fellow Highlander Owners,
Has anyone else ran into this issue, I have 2011 Hybrid Highlander, and my coolant goes down every couple of weeks. This is been happening for over year now. I use to top it off, but if I forget I noticed heat was not working either. I took it to local repair shop, he did pressure test and said there are no leaks. Then I took it to local Toyota Dealership and they also performed few tests and did not find anything. In end they concluded that my head Gasket might have leak and coolant might be leaking through that and going out through exaust. They are quoting me over 4k to get that repaired. Although they are saying once they open they might find something else so this might not fix the issue. Any help would be appreciated. I never had any major accident on this vehicle and I am single owner of this SUV. Appreciate all your help in advance. :cry:
Anther test you might try is to apply air pressure (100 to 125 lbs) to each cylinder and watch for bubbles in the radiator, you will have to get the engine to the right position to have the valves closed in that cylinder...all your symptoms do point to a head gasket.
 

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Anther test you might try is to apply air pressure (100 to 125 lbs) to each cylinder and watch for bubbles in the radiator, you will have to get the engine to the right position to have the valves closed in that cylinder...all your symptoms do point to a head gasket.
Thanks, I am trying to avoid big expense but looks like I might have to bite the bullet. I was hoping to see if anyone else had same issue and how did they resolved it.
 

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Have the test done looking for combustion gas in the cooling system. If it's found positive then yes you're looking at head gasket(s). Odd for the 3.3 engine though. They're usually very sturdy unless wrong coolant was used or engine was severely over heated some time. You didn't mention miles but the 3.3 still has a cam belt driven water pump. Water pump leaks rarely show up on pressure testing. But because they're hidden behind the cover they're typically missed. Look kfor traces of red/pink around the weep hole. If weeping a timing belt, water pump and tensioner replacement is in order. Also look for a fine crack on the top of the radiator. I have seen them cause this only when hot and under pressure and be missed under a cold pressure test. I think you have lots to look at before attempting to spend $4k on new head gaskets
 

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Have the test done looking for combustion gas in the cooling system. If it's found positive then yes you're looking at head gasket(s). Odd for the 3.3 engine though. They're usually very sturdy unless wrong coolant was used or engine was severely over heated some time. You didn't mention miles but the 3.3 still has a cam belt driven water pump. Water pump leaks rarely show up on pressure testing. But because they're hidden behind the cover they're typically missed. Look kfor traces of red/pink around the weep hole. If weeping a timing belt, water pump and tensioner replacement is in order. Also look for a fine crack on the top of the radiator. I have seen them cause this only when hot and under pressure and be missed under a cold pressure test. I think you have lots to look at before attempting to spend $4k on new head gaskets
Sorry I should have mentioned that Vehicle has 99k miles now, it is 2011 Hybrid Highlander
 

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Has multiple inspections done by you and/or other to check for coolant leaks? Rear heating cores at common failure points at the connections in many vehicles. It may not leak until HOT!!! So the pressure test may have not been ideal as its not a big leak. How much are you adding each time. I would not go with the rebuild if its running fine otherwise.
 

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OP, if you had leak down and pressure tests done properly, add to that exhaust in coolant test, then your heads are fine. I'd do one last test and check on compression.
If all that points towards normal spec, and no internal leaks, engine drives vehicle nice and easy, you have external leak somewhere. Easiest is expansion canister crack. Loose hoses. Sometimes, coolant drops onto hot components and evaporates or, is blown away with oncoming air flow when driving.
But all that does not mean blown head gasket and lots of $$ to dealer. Internal leak of such nature would have caused erratic engine function. Error codes.
Also, which exactly coolant are you referring to, as you have TWO coolant canisters, one for radiator and one for inverter.
Get large piece of cardboard under the car overnight. Check in the morning for red drops or stains.
Get buddy in the car, stand behind and ask them to step on gas pedal. Is it puffing white smoke with coolant smell out?
What I am saying is at that rate of coolant loss, your engine will not run right if it's internal leak or, you WILL have coolant external leak evidence outside. Heck, do dye test, that WILL show external leaks.
 

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Anther test you might try is to apply air pressure (100 to 125 lbs) to each cylinder and watch for bubbles in the radiator, you will have to get the engine to the right position to have the valves closed in that cylinder...all your symptoms do point to a head gasket.
I have the same issue with my Highlander 2011 hybrid. My coolant leak has been happening for a while, I have not taken to dealer yet until I get my own diagnostic. So my coolant leaks under my exhaust just before the muffler there is rectangular housing and above there is a small manifold connected on top that supply the coolant, one of the screw head came then now leaking through the gasket. See the pictures I attached.
292745
292747
 

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This is most likely same issue that I had, Dealer told me I will need to get my engine rebuilt. I went to another mechanic that I normally use and trust. He looked into it and told me it is not engine. It was exaust manifold leaking, he replaced it and my highlander it golden ever since.

I have the same issue with my Highlander 2011 hybrid. My coolant leak has been happening for a while, I have not taken to dealer yet until I get my own diagnostic. So my coolant leaks under my exhaust just before the muffler there is rectangular housing and above there is a small manifold connected on top that supply the coolant, one of the screw head came then now leaking through the gasket. See the pictures I attached. View attachment 292745 View attachment 292747
 
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