really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
125,000 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. install repair kit (1 reports)
  2. replace engine (1 reports)
2004 Toyota Highlander engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Toyota Highlander Owner Comments

problem #2

Sep 042015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 147,000 miles


I bought a Highlander because of all the good reviews I saw. I found a used one in good shape, no rust. Five month later, it started losing coolant but there was no visible puddle. It never overheated so I was sure it was a small leak. Soon it started blowing coolant out of the overflow tank all over the engine. I brought it to the garage to be told it was a blown head gasket and that they wouldn't touch it and had to go to a dealer. I found a garage who would fix it but they were unable to repair it because the head bolt was stripped. They ended up having to find a replacement engine with low mileage. It runs well so far but afraid of what's going to happen when this engine gets up higher mileage. Toyota is aware of this problem and it is not nice of them to not have a recall or repair for this.

- , Sandisfield, MA, USA

problem #1

Mar 182014

Highlander SUV 2.4L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles

Highlander with 103,000 miles, otherwise running well, began to overheat on the Interstate. Coolant low ? but refilled and drove home. Continued loosing coolant while driving locally. Topped it up and took it to the shop. Reported blown head gasket. Took it to another shop for that work. Discovered that head gasket was Ok, but 3 or 4 of the bolts on the head were stripped, allowing coolant to escape (and get into the block?) when under pressure. Repair kit available and ordered (steel bolts in aluminum engine led to the problem, threads filling with aluminum). Several identical problems noted here. Repair kit availability signifies that there must be more like these out there. Followed suggestion of another reporter and filed a complaint with nhtsa at


Waiting for response.

- , Woodbridge, VA, USA

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