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'02 Highlander V6 AWD
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Discussion Starter #1
'02 4WD V6 Highlander - 265,000 kilometres

I have noticed a squeaking noise coming from underneath the car (mostly near the cat shown in the video) - it is getting more loud now I thought I'd make a post asking anyone if they have experienced something similar. I have no CELs, my car has lost no power, and my exhaust currently has no leaks. This noise can only be heard with the window down or when I'm outside of the car.

The noise occurs during the following:

  • Idling
  • Revving
  • Low RPM and from gears 1st to 2nd and sometimes, but not usually faintly from 2nd to 3rd
  • Going over big speed bumps


Link to video:
 

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Check the exhaust hangers. The little fingers that go into the rubber hangers like to rust or break off. I replace mine by putting a muffler clamp on that spot, then a threaded rod coupling onto the extra threads of the exhaust clamp, then a bolt into the coupling which will be your replacement finger.
 

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'02 Highlander V6 AWD
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115 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Check the exhaust hangers. The little fingers that go into the rubber hangers like to rust or break off. I replace mine by putting a muffler clamp on that spot, then a threaded rod coupling onto the extra threads of the exhaust clamp, then a bolt into the coupling which will be your replacement finger.
Thanks, I’ll give it a try! I only replaced the one on the muffler when I got my Magnaflow - but I forgot about the other ones.
 

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2003 Highlander
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685 Posts
Rattly exhaust heat shield. Yup. A clamp will cure it. If it is the one above the drive shaft, repair it . Or remove it and keep the aluminum for future projects. Haya...
 

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'02 Highlander V6 AWD
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Discussion Starter #5
Rattly exhaust heat shield. Yup. A clamp will cure it. If it is the one above the drive shaft, repair it . Or remove it and keep the aluminum for future projects. Haya...
Thanks Haya - I’ll take a look at that too! ??
 

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'02 Highlander V6 AWD
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115 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I figured out the issue. The two rubber hangers that hold the exhaust have rotted and squeak heavily, even if I shake the muffler with my hands. I sprayed silicone lube as a temporary fix - but I will be replacing them.
 
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I think maintaining this sort of stuff is important if you want to keep from replacing major exhaust components. I've been keeping up on mine, making sure everything is supported nicely and so far my entire exhaust system (minus hangers and doughnut gaskets) is still original at 16 years and 273,000 miles. My flange that connects to the y pipe, however, is getting a bit rusty. I'll be looking into cutting the flange out and replacing it soon to avoid it breaking on it's own.
 

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'02 Highlander V6 AWD
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115 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I agree, this has got to be the reason why the original exhaust pipe snapped near the muffler after I got the car a year back. This has been such a learning experience as my first car and I’m glad I almost have everything sorted out! New exhaust rubber hangers have been ordered (the car has 5 in total).

Thankfully the heat shields are all in perfect condition expect for the one near the driveshaft on the right side of the car. The bolt stripped out of the plastic cover and shield and kept spinning. Had to use vice grips on the top of the nut to remove it. I’m using zip ties as a temporary fix - but I’ll figure something permanent out later down the road.
 
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