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Toyota Repair/2007 Highlander


QUESTION: I have a 2007 Highlander with 50,000 miles. I only put on 3000-4000 miles per year on it now. Besides oil changes every 6 months, the only fluid changes done has been  transmission fluid at 43K miles. I have also replaced the engine and cabin filters at 43K. I want to maintain the car but not spend money unnecessarily. The service guide says front and rear diff fluid should be changed if the vehicle is used for towing, "inspect" the fluid otherwise. I never use it for towing or off road. Dealer has told me in the past to replace the diff fluid, it is "dirty". I have declined so far. I am due for another oil change shortly and would like your opinion on what services are advisable.  Also, what about a timing belt? The truck is 9 years old but has only 50K miles. Should I have that done or can it wait based on the low mileage? Thanks!

ANSWER: Hello, I would recommend having the differential fluid changed due to the age of the vehicle I think it's a good idea, I assume it is a V6 since the 4 cylinder has no timing belt but uses a chain drive cam conficguration. Have it a t least looked at, for any signs of wear or cracks, again due to the age not miles, toyota recommends changing the belt at 90,000 miles or 8 years, I believe that there is nothing to worry about as far as the timing belt goes but just have it looked at. have the drive belt inspected for wear.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: One following please: the dealer also recommended a transfer fluid change. Would you agree  with that?

Absolutely, it's relarively inexpensive and worth the peace of mind, I have an 2007 fj cruiser and change my transfer case and differential oils every 60,000 miles regardless of what the factory recommends, even I was surprised the last time I changed the differential fluid how dark and discolored it was. Keep in mind the manufacturers today strive more more and more "maintenance free" vehicles and lifetime transmission fluids,  to keep operating costs down and with extended warranty periods, guess I'm kind of old school that way.
Kind regards.  

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Ted Ritter


I have more than 28 years experience as toyota technician, I will be able to answer most questions related to the Toyota product line up to the present year models,I am located in the US but welcome questions from other regions of the world. When asking a question please provide specific information: year,model, engine,transmission information. Provide as much information as possible including a brief repair history if possible. I have been a volunteer here for more ten years an have answered over 16,000 questions helping Toyota owners with their problems and save thousands of dollars without any compensation, some of my answers are published on many other websites including google and various automotive forums. DONATIONS ARE VERY MUCH APPRECIATED, IF YOU HAVE RECIEVED HELPFUL INFORMATION PLEASE MAKE A DONATION. AS OF TODAY (JULY 22, 2014) ALL REQUESTED GRAPHICS, ILLUSTRATIONS, DIAGRAMS, PHOTOS, WILL REQUIRE THE MINUMUM DONATION UP FRONT.


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