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Ask Toyotapro Your Own Question

Toyotapro
Toyotapro, ASE master tech
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 9973
Experience:  ASE Certified, 10+ years Lexus and Toyota Certified
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We have a 2004 Highlander with a Navigation system. As you

Customer Question

We have a 2004 Highlander with a Navigation system. As you know, the system operates everything, heat, air, audio, gps, etc. Well, our GPS is having trouble. When we start the car it indicates that the system is not available. If we set the trip information, after about 5-10 minutes it comes back on, operating ok but in the meantime, we have no defroster, heat, etc. Toyota tells us it is $6,000 for a new system but the vehicle is only worth about $14,000. We have 125,000 miles on it and before this have had minimal problems. Is there some way to bypass the system or find an aftermarket product? Bob Laux, Bethel, ME
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Toyota
Expert:  Toyotapro replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for using just answer and sorry to hear of your issues here.

Let me try and give you any information you need here.

First just to clarify here the navigation equipped highlanders verses the non-navigation vehicles are wired completely different behind the dash. So in other words you cannot add or take away navigation by just switching out the units, I usually get this question on the other end where customers are wanting to ADD navigation verses removing and really there is no easy way to do that.

Yes we have seen some issues on the older highlander units. From what you describe this does sound like an internal system malfunction.

A couple options for you to consider here:

1- Have you tried to locate a USED unit? Maybe not the option you want here but that would be the most cost effective solution.

2- Have you researched parts yourself? Ebay may be a good place to check or there are a couple dealers that sell online at wholesale such as www.metrotoyotapartsnow.com

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Peter,

This is what the dealer suggested as well, however we live in a rather rural area of Maine and the local car junk yards don't have anything like this. It was previously suggested to explore ebay, but I was looking for a workable answer, which there does not appear to be any. Thanks for confirming what had already been suggested but it appears to be a big problem when a navigational system can render a car useless because the gps doesn't work.

Expert:  Toyotapro replied 4 years ago.
Just because you are in a rural area does not mean that you cannot locate a used unit. 90% of the salvage yards now days have computerized inventory and can locate parts NATION WIDE, contact a salvage yard that can locate this for you to keep costs down. I know in Maine you will need your heater reliable this winter.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Peter,

Sorry I did not get back to you as I had to leave for church. Anyway, I've tried the link you provided and the toyota discount place you provided had the computer for $4,500 versus $5,500, a savings but still not worth spending since the value of the car is only about $14,000. I will try the junk yard network through the locals but I'm not optimistic. There is an electronic guy in western maine interested in seeing if he can fix it but again, I'm not optimistic about that approach either. Unfortunately, I don't see how Toyota can make an owner dependent on an optional part that costs $6,000 in order for the car to basically work. This is a real problem.

Bob Laux, Bethel, ME

Expert:  Toyotapro replied 4 years ago.

I understand your frustrations but I have no input on product design, I only fix the vehicles and uphold the factory warranties. Just my input here to give you options.

Best of luck to you.

-Pete

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Peter,

Through another search option, I did find a Toyota/Lexus electronic guy who actually knew of a 2005 Toyota recall on that specific screen defect. He is sending me the actual letter from Toyota indicating a recall. Although I haven't received it yet, when I do I'll be happy to forward it on to you. I don't know if Toyota will stand behind the defect this late in the game, although we had returned the unit once to recharge the screen when it went blank several years ago. Anyway, I intend to followup with them and perhaps purchase a new screen from the guy who called me last night from Ohio. He indicated the screen is the problem and a new one from him would be about $600. Haven't purchased yet but may deal with that approach if a local electronic guy cannot fix it. That is why I haven't paid the fee, because I haven't got a solution yet.

Bob Laux, Bethel, ME

Expert:  Toyotapro replied 4 years ago.

The guy you talked to is misinformed, there was no "recall" on that issue, there is a service bulletin on that issue that outlines this, a service bulletin is simply a document that the manufacturer issues to let technicians know of "known" product quality issues and the resolution to cut down on diagnostic time and to ensure proper diagnosis and repairs. The service bulletin on your truck is not a warranty enhancement, it simply stated what to look for and how to resolve it. A recall on the other hand (which this is not a recall) is when a safety issue is found and in compliance with federal regulations a vehicle is recalled back to have free repairs to correct unsafe issues at no charge with no age or mileage limits.

The service bulletin that applies to your truck calls for multi-display replacement which is what we discussed the other day. Your original question was if the system can be bypasses or not and how to get your heat working which we discussed. Your question in my opinion is fully answered here. While yes I do feel sympathetic for you here and can fully understand you need to know right now that Toyota is not going to give you anything with over 100,000 miles I can tell you that right now from my many years experience, they do have what is called a "goodwill" repair but they do not authorize these on any car ovef 100,000 miles.

That file you were asking about is here:

http://www.mediafire.com/?zgmjzhjqkog

 

Click the blue link above and that will open.

Best of luck to you.

-Pete

 

Expert:  Toyotapro replied 4 years ago.
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