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Toyota Service
Toyota Service, Toyota Expert
Category: Toyota
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Experience:  30+ Yrs of auto experience, Award Winning Svc. Manager; Just Answer Customer's Choice Award Winner
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2003 Toyota Highlander: V6..000 miles..highway..engine life/mileage

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I have a 2003 Toyota Highlander V6 with 156,000 miles (combination of highway and city driving). I was wondering what I could expect in terms of total vehicle life, engine life/mileage, etc and any major repairs ahead. To date, I've done all the required maintenance items, with no major problems with the exception of one of the catalytic converters (hole in one converter). I've used Mobil 1 5w30 synthetic oil from 10,000 miles and up, with oil changes every 3K-5K miles. Vehicle is in good shape and woul like to keep the vehicle as long as it's reliable.

Toyota Service :

Hello. Welcome to Just Answer. Please let me assist you today. How may I be of service?

Customer:

hello

Toyota Service :

Thanks for choosing Just Answer today.

Toyota Service :

You are looking for advice on the longevity of your engine?

Customer:

yes

Customer:

and truck in general

Toyota Service :

Since it appears that you properly maintain your vehicle, I would think for quite some time.

Toyota Service :

I personally service a vehicle not unlike yours that has been properly maintained, as you are doing. That vehicle has over 353,000 miles on it.

Customer:

is the engine made particularly well? or is it just due to toyota's engineering?

Toyota Service :

We really do not have a lot of 'common' problems with the Highlander product. THey are very, very reliable.

Toyota Service :

The stories about the engines are exaggerated.

Toyota Service :

The lack of proper maintenance caused the issues; that and some less than being honest on the part of the oil companies

Toyota Service :

The engines are very reliable. Proper maintenance is the key.

Customer:

are you referring to the sludge issues?

Toyota Service :

Yes indeed.

Customer:

that was up until 2002 with the camrys and highlanders

Toyota Service :

Correct.

Customer:

i always felt it was exaggerated also.

Customer:

will using synthetic (Mobil 1) definitely extend the life of the engine?

Toyota Service :

Yes

Toyota Service :

I had a similar question this week regarding the gel issue.

Toyota Service :

I told the Client this: "How many times, say before 5 years ago, did you ever see any mention of sludge in oil company commercials?" answer: Never. Until now. Pretty revealing, is it not?

Toyota Service :

Sludge is not unique to Toyota.

Customer:

true.

Toyota Service :

I seem to remember some young lady mentioning something about "letting the oil go past 3.000 miles" recently on a Castrol commercial. The oil companies are doing something to accelerate the sludge, such as leaving out an additive perhaps. I don't know. But in 35 years, the last few have been rather involved with sludge issues.

Customer:

interesting. i thought it was more related to changes in the engineering design of engines (making it tighter and running hotter)

Customer:

that was one reason i've been using Mobil 1 synthetic

Toyota Service :

No. There have been some shifts towards the Atkinson Cycle engine technology, but the engines are pretty basic; no heavy duty science going on here.

Toyota Service :

Regarding the Highlander, you might expect the ABS light to come on rather soon, if you have ABS. The right rear axle, where the ABS counter gear is located does have a common issue...the counter gears develop cracks, and that sets off the ABS light. A new axle shaft fixes the problem

Toyota Service :

Mobil one is excellent oil

Customer:

really? how much $ to fix/replace?

Customer:

is Mobil 1 really as good as it claims to be?

Toyota Service :

The axlew is about $350 form a dealership, about an hour's labour to change it

Customer:

it should be for what it costs. lol.

Toyota Service :

The beauty of Mobil 1, or any synthetic, for that matter, is how the molecules are arranged. In synthetics, they are symmetrial. In natural oil, the molecules do not have any symmetry. thusly less lubrication compared to synthetics.

Customer:

yes, i've done a lot of reading on the internet about synthetic vs. conventional oil. really interesting.

Toyota Service :

Yes indeed.

Customer:

as far as my highlander, i've been told that as long as i do the expected services/maintenance items, that i could expect 250,000 miles and up. Nothing is guaranteed of course.

Toyota Service :

250,000 is easily attained if you continue performing the routine maintenance as you do.

Toyota Service :

Is there anything else I can assist you with today?

Customer:

no, i think that answers all of my questions. i appreciate your time and i'll hope for the best.

Toyota Service :

If not, thanks again for choosing Just Answer for assistance. If you found my advice beneficial, please choose to Accept my assistance. Positive feedback and or a 'bonus' would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

Customer:

thanks for your help

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