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2008 Highlander Base
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
For new and old members alike, the following are links to earlier threads or documents that address the most common DIY maintenance issues or modifications for the 2008+ Highlander. Also included are additional, commonly requested information sources. When looking through this thread, if you don't see the issue you're looking for it may be included in the Common Problems & Solution sticky thread, so make sure to visit there too. If there are modifications or information you think should be considered for inclusion then PM me with the document, photos, or thread name and link. Thanks, and don't forget to check back occasionally for updates to this thread.

*** AN IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to time and, most especially, issues with file hosting services, bad links are being discovered more often in forum threads. Please note that the DIY sticky and the Common Problems & Solutions stickies will always be well maintained, and so you should seldom find any broken links in them. Regardless, if you do discover a broken link please note the file name of the hosted file, and then click (or copy and paste into a new browser window) the following link -- -- to navigate to a Mediafire folder that hosts virtually all past 2nd Gen Highlander forum documents. As you can well imagine, it is pretty much impossible for staff to search out every past thread and rectify bad links, and so hosting the documents in one location so that you can still download the file you want from there is the best option. Thank you for your understanding as the staff members here at Toyota Nation do our best to bring you a great online experience. Thank you! ***

Maintenance -- Checking and Changing the Oil and Transmission Fluid:

AMSOIL Online Product Application Guide: Need to know how much oil or fluid it will take when working on your Highlander? This excellent reference will give you that information and more, such as wiper blade part numbers or filter information. Check it out!
Online Toyota Maintenance Guide: Have you lost your owners manual or would just like to check on your vehicle's required maintenance information? This scheduled maintenance guide is a fast way to check it out.
Factory service manuals, where can I buy them? There are many out there, but here's a good one Faxon Auto Literature that you can purchase FSMs from online.
Oil - What types does Toyota recommend for your Highlander.
Oil Change Information For Hybrid Owners & A Link To Pictorial Step-By-Step Instructions For Hybrid Owners
Oil Filter Chart For All Toyota Models
Oil Change, How To Perform One &
Oil Change, DIY
Oil Maintenance Reminder (How To Reset It)
Transmission Filter Replacement and Full Fluid Replacement(U151E/U151F, V6 Equipped Highlanders)
Transmission Fluid (How To Check It)
Transmission Fluid Drain/Fill
Transmission Fluid Drain/Fill (for a hybrid, as performed on the similar Lexus RX400h)

More Maintenance Items:

Alignment Specifications
Battery Group Size Chart
Brake Fluid Replacement-Flush
Brake Pad & Rotor Change....(video link on page 2, reply #18 , that details changing brake pads on a 2008)
Brake Pad Replacement - Front Pads
Cabin Air Filter Replacement & Video of Replacement
Coolant Change Information and Thermostat Replacement
Customizable Electronic Features & Techstream Customizable Features
Dead Battery? - Possible Systems that need to be Re-Initialized (Windows, Tailgate, Moon roof, Compass)
E-Brake (Parking Brake): How To Adjust It
Front Bumper Cover Removal
Front CV Axle Replacement
Intermediate Steering Shaft Replacement
MAF Cleaning
Oil Cooler Hose Replacement With Metal Line
Oil Line Replacement of the 2GR-FE Rear Bank VVT-I
Plugging Your Vehicle's Tire: A Quick How-To Guide
Power Steering Fluid, I Can't Find It In The Engine Bay Or Owners Manual!
Rear Bumper Cover Removal
Rear Hub Replacement AWD only, for hybrid and non-hybrid models
Rear Wiper Blade Removal Procedure
Rear Wiper Shaft Removal
Reference Information For Belt, Hose, Or Hydraulic Work (in particular, see "Popular Topics")
Replace Window Mount Clips - Out of Alignment Window
Reprogram Non-Smart Key Remotes using Techstream
Serpentine Belt Replacement DIY
Spark Plug Removal Information
Spark Plugs Replacement on the 3.5L 2GR-FE V6
Sunroof Weatherseal Replacement
Suspension Strut Replacement: Front & Rear
Tail Light Assembly Removal (simplified instructions) & Taillight Assembly Removal (detailed instructions with many pictures)
Throttle Body Cleaning
TPMS Repair Flashing Light With TechStream / Sensor Replacement
TPMS Reset Button (How To Reset)
TPMS Sensor Information
Transfer Case Oil And Differential Oil Change.....provided by klossfam...thanks, buddy!
V6 Water Pump Replacement

Interior Modifications:

3rd Row Replacement - How to fit split fold 2011-2013 3rd row into 2008-2010 models
Audio & Misc Upgrades
Auto-Dimming Mirror With Compass
Base Audio System Frequency Response and JBL Audio System Signal EQ Altering
Constant "On" 12V Outlet Modification
Dashboard: How To Remove It
Dashcam Installation
Door Panels: How To Remove Them
Driver Door LED Underglow for Window/Lock Switches
Fog Light Install Wiring
Gentex Mirror Install on a Highlander Base & Gentex Mirror: Alternate DIY
Headrest DVD Install
Heated Seat Controller Replacement
JBL Non-Navi to Aftermarket Navi Conversion and Upgrade
JBL Non-Nav to OEM JBL Nav Conversion
JBL System Specs (with pictures).....thanks to sweeneyp for another great write-up!
Keyless Entry & Start (Aftermarket) Install
Nav Hardware Hack For 2008 Highlander Limited
Nav Override Install Thanks to DaMaDo for the write-up!
Nav Override Install - Beat Sonic Aftermarket Unit
Non-Nav Bluetooth Volume Settings & How To Adjust Bluetooth Microphone Volume (Non-Nav).....Credit goes to rykohl for supplying this TSB.
Radio install on a 2013 Highlander - including how to rewire the back up camera
Radio & Subwoofer Installation (DIY) For 2009 Highlander (excellent photo documentation)
Radar Detectors & Mountings
Radar Hardwire Install Without Auto-Dimming Mirror
RS3200 Plus/GBS Alarm Install In A 2010 Limited
Sirius/XM Satellite Radio Installation
Smart Key: How to Register One to your Car
Sound Deadening in Interior (Mass Loaded Vinyl) Installation
Sound System Mod: Adding Tweeters To The "A" Pillar.....A big thanks to bingo883 for posting up this mod with pics!
Speaker (Aftermarket) Install in Base Highlander
XM Install Instructions (for 2009 model year only)......Credit goes to naders for providing us with this document...thanks!
USB Port and Aux in Modications - wiring a usb and 3.5mm cable to the back to use with aftermarket radios.
USB Port, Moving to Another Location, thanks Vandy 94!
3rd Row Seat Replacement With Cargo Storage Bin by greynolds
3rd Row Seat Removal Instructions & 3rd Row Seat Swap With Photos!
3rd Row Seat Removal On A 2013 (including modification suggestions)
Vanity Mirror Bulb: How To Change It

Exterior Modifications:

Adding 2010+ 4Runner LED Turn Signals to Side Mirrors
Aftermarket Crossbars
Backup Camera Install read here and here
Back-Up Camera Installation #2
Changing Out OEM Horn
Customize the Smart Key - Set to unlock all doors when the driver handle is touched
External Light Replacement
Fog Light Install (aftermarket projector fogs) - With Photos
Fog Light Install (OE or OEM fogs) - into a Base HL that is pre-wired from the factory
Fog Light Install - OEM style
Grill Modification - DIY - Creating custom mesh grill (Satoshi Grill) - 2008-2010 models
Grill Modification - Installing mesh on the backside of a 2011-2013 Highlander grill
Ham Radio NMO Install - in a 2010 Highlander
Headlight Assembly Removal Instructions
Headlight Retrofit: 2008 Morimoto Mini D2S Projector Headlights......sweeneyp did an awesome job on this one!
Hella 500 Light Install Behind Front Grille
HID Headlights: How And Where To Mount Your Ballast
K&N Filter Installation (Engine Air Filter Install)......Thanks to Cashmachine for the great DIY!
Moonroof Adjustment
Mud Guards & OEM Install Directions for 2008-2010 Highlander
Projector Led/Halo Headlights Installed With Pics Thanks to sanf for the write-up!
Rear Suspension: Coil SumoSpring Install
Rear Wiper Hanging Below Horizontal at Rest? Here is a fix.
Replace Glass Hatch Button in Tailgate
Reverse Light/Rear Light Modification by JMSinMD
Running Board Installation Instructions - Generic & Running Board Installation Instructions - Supplemental
Running Board Discussion Thread With Pictures
Running Board Installation (OEM) for 2008 Highlander ......Many thanks to aguevarra for this excellent write-up!
Side Mirror Foot Light Replacement.....thanks to Sky1111 for providing us this DIY!
Tailgate Hinge Replacement
Transmission Cooler Installs: Install 1 & Install 2

Trailer Hitch Modifications and Information:

*** Highlander Towing Capacity & Tow-Prep Package Info/Capacity Specifications ***

Aftermarket Valley Hitch Install &

Factory Tow Hitch Information and Photos
OEM Hitch Installation Directions: 2008-2010 models & 2011+ models
4-Wire Harness Install Info and Photos & OEM 4-Wire Harness Install Directions
7-Wire Trailer Setup & 7-Wire Trailer Wiring Setup (pdf)
7-Wire Trailer Setup (Running wires inside the car)

Technical Information about your Highlander and its systems:

AWD/4WD System: How Does It Work? (Quick Reference Version) An excellent instructional video from Toyota. *Thank you to R00K for the find!
AWD System: Full-Time AWD With A 50/50 Torque Split
Description of TRAC
Description of VSC

Other reference links:

How do I find my VIN?...does my car have a timing belt or chain?...what is my warranty coverage?......those and other questions can be answered at Toyota's FAQ page Click here

Toyota's Technical Information System contains all of the product support information necessary to maintain, diagnose, and repair your Highlander. TIS is offered on a subscription basis, so see the site for more information. Special thanks to summerwind for providing these maintenance links and documents!

Toyota Parts East may not have guaranteed lowest prices, but what their parts site does have is an excellent listing of schematics, part numbers, and pricing when you search for parts. :thumbsup:

AboutAutomobile is a great web site for finding out information on your vehicle, such as TSBs, safety recalls, consumer complaints, and much more! A site worth checking out. Special thanks goes to IBME for recommending this web site.

2010 Highlander Accessories Parts List Please ensure that the part number is correct for your application. Also, this list may not be complete so for any errors or omissions use at your own risk! This is an XLS document, so you'll need Microsoft Word or Office, or OpenOffice to view it. Special thanks to ***01 for compiling the information and providing the document for our use!

ToyoDIY Parts Reference provides parts information for any model of Toyota. It provides helpful, detailed information when ordering parts and is based on searching via your VIN number or frame number.

Free Car Fault Codes Do you have a fault code that you'd like to find out what it means? Here's a free and easy to use web site that offers explanations about fault codes for most vehicles. You can also click on this link to view a list of OBD-II trouble codes.

Vehicle Bolt Pattern and Offset Reference

Tire Size Calculator Great when seeking information for what happens when you change tire size.

Does your vehicle have an interference engine? Click here to check whether your Highlander (or other vehicles) have an interference engine. Just plug in your vehicle information and the "Comments" section in the results will tell you if it's an interference type, plus supply you with other pertinent information regarding replacing your timing belt/chain.

Toyota Guide If you have questions about some of the features on your Highlander then this site can help you with basic features like the key/fob, instruments, or controls. Toyota Guide has video demonstrations and interactive links that can answer some of the questions we owners may have. Please note that you do have to register with this site in order to gain access to its features.

Toyota Reference: A Collection of Vehicle History and Specifications The title says it all. Whether it's your Highlander or other Toyota, this reference provides convenient information that can help with modifications and maintenance. Thanks to scionlife for the site and the link.

TrailDust :thumbsup:
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