hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
52,980 miles

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2001 Toyota Highlander fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2001 Toyota Highlander Owner Comments

problem #1

Oct 312006

Highlander 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,980 miles


Wife complained of intermittent gas smell in 2001 Toyota Highlander, V-6/AWD, for 2-3 weeks. I checked it more than once for leaking under hood and under front of engine; could not find source. On 10/27/06 I started car for 2-3 minutes to position in front of garage to install front brake pads. Shut off and started to jack when I noticed gas drips on cement, coming from above front differential and dripping down & off still fairly cool exhaust pipe rear bank of V-6. started engine again, checked for leaks; nothing detected. Told my wife it was intermittent, I finally saw leak evidence & for her to take to dealer to find the leak; it was enough to be dangerous. She didn't get in on Monday 10/30/06 & was going to drop off on way home 10/31/06 when smell got very bad and it didn't run well. She barely got it to dealer and service writer told her to turn it off immediately when he smelled so much gasoline leakage. Dealer found fuel "dampener" leaking & replaced at 52,980 miles. I asked for possession of failed part; damper- P/N 233270-62011. It fits in my closed hand, cost $97 & they said it would take a lot of work to replace. Charge was $426 but was lowered to $310 when wife reminded them that they better have saved the removed part as I wanted the failed part to examine. With failed part, I checked where it was located and that I could have replaced it myself, without removing anything to get at damper, within 10 minutes. Checked for price & availability of part with another local Toyota dealer; parts man said "ah, the old gasoline smell in the cabin problem." Said he sells them fairly regularly. List was only $80 -$85, I could get over-the-counter for $65 (part probably only $10 to make). May be root-cause of ODI #10089800 report of engine catching-on-fire while driving. Surprised there haven't been reports of more fires on Highlanders and Camry which this engine/drivetrain is common with. Actual failure rate & fire risk should be evaluated by Toyota.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

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