2012 Toyota Highlander Transmission Problems


The gear is an automobile component that exhibits significant wear compared to other parts. This is due to the high temperature and friction generated while operating. As this situation continues, the gear system finds it unbearable and will deteriorate in a short period.

Most owners of the Toyota Highlander with manual and automatic gear often experience malfunctions due to the factor above. However, other factors can cause problems with the transmission system besides the one we talked about. For this reason, it is important to consider maintenance and conduct regular audits.

To address the problems related to the gear system, we first need to identify what these problems are. This article is here to help individuals with the 2012 Toyota Highlander identify their gear issues. The next time they pick up such signals, they will know what is wrong with their vehicle.

The Trouble with the 2012 Toyota Highlander Transmission System

If you are cruising on 2012 Toyota Highlander, there are some problems you may encounter with your gear system. They include the delay in the change of speed, the traction wheels are not engaged, the clutch and speed synchronizers have worn the defective needle bearings, and the whimpering sound of the drive system. However, there are other issues that you may experience outside of the foregoing. Once you have identified any of them, you should consider visiting the mechanic. Let’s check it out below.

  • Delay in Shifting

This is one of the issues you can face when driving a 2012 Toyota Highlander, specifically those with automatic gear. It is expected that when you switch gears to drive or reverse, the car should start moving. If the vehicle refuses to initiate the motion instantaneously and instead delays, then there is a problem. Your internal gaskets may have worn out due to low liquid, faulty transmission pump, or clogged transmission filter.

However, it is important to note that not all speed change delays indicate a defect in the gearbox system. Extreme temperatures can cause delays as well. But, in any case, you should carry out an inspection every time you encounter such travel delays.

  • Worn Clutch

People who face this kind of transmission problem are those cruising on Highlander with a manual transmission system. The clutch can easily become worn out due to an oil leak in the clutch master cylinder or driver error. A hydraulic oil leak can cause complete dryness in the main disc and therefore cause friction between the pressure plate, the clutch disc, and the flywheels. When this activity goes on, it can cause the clutch to wear out abruptly.

The driver’s mistake comes into play when there is constant acceleration and shifting speeds without the driver freeing their foot from the clutch. This will make the clutch wheel excessively hot and wear out easily. When your clutch becomes worn out, you will start to experience malfunctions when changing gears. You will end up with the option of repairs and replacement.

  • Grinding or Humming Noise when Accelerating

The 2012 Toyota Highlander drivers with manual gear are more likely to encounter grinding noise from their gearbox, although it can happen with automatic gears. Some of the factors that can cause grinding noise are a weak or contaminated transmission fluid, a cracked gear, and a defective synchronizer.

Other factors may include poor wheel bearing, engine or engine support wear, or a damaged CV joint. Whenever you drive and notice a strange sound erupting from your car, quickly make a mechanical diagnosis or better bring it to the mechanic.

  • Failed Needle Roller Bearings

It’s a common issue with automatic transmission. Needle bearings are smaller mechanical pieces with less weight. They are designed to avoid grinding the torque converter. If wear occurs, a grinding noise will start to emerge from the gearbox as you drive. Things that can cause your needle bearings to wear out include contaminating the lubricant, misalignment, poor installation, electrical failure, and more.

  • Burning Smell beneath the Hood

Two factors may cause a burning odor to erupt from your Highlander gear system. If there is insufficient fluid in the gearbox, it may easily overheat or burn in severe cases. Secondly, if your transmission fluid is leaking and then comes in contact with other hot parts of the engine, it will cause a burning odor.

When this happens, you must know that something is wrong with your transmission system. This would not take long; you will begin to experience erroneous behavior as you transmission system. Consequently, you are expected to perform a mechanical check on repairs or replacements.

  • Transmission System Light is Always On

Transmission systems are built with sensors capable of detecting any problem and sending a signal to your computer. The principal purpose of the transmission lamp is to report any existing or new problems within a vehicle. However, when your transmission light turns on or blinks, it is a sign of a problem and your gearbox could be one of them. It’s either the transmission temperature emitter is faulty, possible transmission failure, or weak transmission fluid.

  • Leakage of Transmission Fluid

It’s a transmission issue that can lead to another issue in a vehicle. 2012 Toyota Highlander can easily experience gear fluid leaks and when not handled in time, can cause a massive disaster. What may cause such a leak is the deterioration of the transmission case seal, damaged valves and solenoids, cracks or holes in a gear line, and so on.

When the transmission oil is low due to a leak, it causes friction between the moving gearbox parts. In no time, these parts will start to wear out or deteriorate and when this happens, your gear system will start acting badly.

The drive system is a component in a vehicle that should be handled properly, as it plays an important role as an engine. The gear issues that we have highlighted above are very common among the 2012 Toyota Highlander model. If you have one, then you should be monitoring it. When you notice a bad signal, promptly inspect your car and make the necessary repairs.