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Most SUVs would love to have the reputation the Toyota Highlander has. Find out what breaks on the Toyota Highlander the most and what some folks have done to remedy the issue. While some of the most common Toyota Highlander problems are easy to diagnose, that isn’t always the case. Either way, this sport utility vehicle has been on the market for a long time and has a history of durability.

Find out why the oil line breaks on the Toyota Highlander so much

Looking at some of the Toyota Highlander problems on RepairPal shows fewer issues than the average vehicle. One of the most common issues is a massive oil leak or loss of oil pressure. In some Toyotas, the VVT-i oil line is known to be faulty. This means that oil can leak all over the Highlander’s engine, ground, and undercarriage, causing many issues. If the line ruptures while driving, the low engine oil message and engine oil pressure warning will illuminate. This usually means the vehicle won’t run for too long, so it is best to pull over to avoid further damage.

Toyota eventually recalled the VVT-i oil line, but the replacement part had the same issue. To fix the oil leak, the oil line needs to be replaced. If the oil line ruptures and leaks everywhere, the engine bay and undercarriage must be thoroughly cleaned.

This breaks on the Toyota Highlander years from 2005 through 2013 mostly. The average mileage is between 12,000 and 200,000 miles, which is a pretty big range.

The oxygen sensor breaks on the Toyota Highlander prematurely

Many drivers complain that a failed oxygen sensor is a major headache on the Toyota Highlander. When the oxygen sensor fails, it throws a check engine light on the dashboard. When this happens, the computer cannot get the right air-to-fuel ratio for the engine. Toyota suggests replacing the failed oxygen sensor to fix the problems, which can run between $530 and $600.

Some drivers note that there are other sensors that could cause a similar issue. A Toyota dealership replaced the Mass Air Flow Sensor and the O2 sensor, which did not fix the problem. While a check engine light is annoying, sometimes it did impact the Highlander’s ability to accelerate or maintain speed.

Some people ended up living with the pesky check engine light, but this seems to be one of the more common things that break on the Toyota Highlander.

Some other common problems reported by Highlander drivers

Find out what breaks on the Toyota Highlander
The 2008 Toyota Highlander | Scott Olson/Getty Images

A failed ignition coil can sometimes cause an engine misfire or check engine light. This is more common on older Highlander SUVs from the early 2000s. Even if all of the coils do not fail at once, replacing all the ignition coils at once is a good idea. If not, you may end up back in the shop after not too long.

This Toyota Highlander problem was reported between 80,000 miles; one even had 2,100,000 miles before the issue popped up. Depending on where you get it fixed, this problem could run between $500 and $700.

The good news is that there are many resources out there to keep your Highlander running at its best. Following the maintenance as it is outlined in the owner’s manual is always recommended. Both RepaiPal and the YouTube accounts above also have helpful tips and ways to fix some of the most common Toyota Highlander problems.


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