Tip & How-To about Toyota Highlander

Toyota Highlander_ How to change plugs

The Toyota Highlander is available in three different engine sizes: 2.4, 3.0 and 3.3 liter. The basic technique for replacing spark plugs is used for both engine sizes, but depending on the engine size you need to remove different parts from the Toyota Highlander to gain access to the spark plugs.

  1. 1 Pull the hood release and raise the hood on the Highlander. Allow the engine plenty of time to cool.
  2. 2 Remove some components to reach the spark plugs. On a 3.3 liter engine, unscrew and remove the V-bank cover and intake air tank. On a 2.4 and 3.0 liter engine, remove the number one engine cover.
  3. 3 Locate the ignition coils and spark plug wires that connect directly to the spark plugs or directly to the engine in the Toyota Highlander. In 2001 and 2002 models, theses are on the front and back of the engine. On models made after 2002, the spark plugs are along the sides. Grab the ignition coils or spark plug wires by the thick plastic piece at the end of the wire. Squeeze the end and turn it to release it from the spark plug. Pull back to remove the plug from the engine.
  4. 4 Slide the spark plug socket over the spark plug. The most common size of spark plug socket used on a Toyota Highlander is 16mm. Turn the socket to the left to unscrew and remove the spark plug from the cylinder well.
  5. 5 Apply a thin coat of anti-seize compound to the spark plug thread and into the wire boot to reduce the chance of sticking.
  6. 6 Insert the spark plug into the well and manually turn the plug into place. If you cannot reach the plug well manually, insert the plug into the socket and extension and use the extension to turn the plug into place. Do not use a socket wrench or flexible extension for this process because their force damages the spark plug.
  7. 7 Connect the ignition coil or spark plug wire to the spark plug. Turn to lock it into place.
  8. 8 Continue this process for the rest of the spark plugs. Replace any removed items onto the engine and lower the hood.



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1 Answer

replace water pump


Well the bad news is if you have the 3.5 liter engine, the entire engine assembly needs to be removed in order to change the water pump. If you happen to have the 3.3 liter engine you will need to remove the timing belt in order to get at it. Need to know what your engine size is before I can help any further

Oct 11, 2013 | 2008 Toyota Highlander

1 Answer

where is the spark plugs located for the 2002 4 cylinder highlander located. Plan on replacement.


First, remove the no. 1 engine cover. Locate the ignition coils, these will be squarish-looking packs with spark plug wires (4 of them) coming out. The wires should be going to the spark plugs, which are on the front and back side of the engine.
Grab the ignition coils or spark plug wires by the thick plastic piece at the end of the wire. Squeeze the end and turn it to release it from the spark plug. Pull back to remove the plug from the engine.
Slide the spark plug socket over the spark plug. The most common size of spark plug socket used on a Toyota Highlander is 16mm. Turn the socket to the left to unscrew and remove the spark plug from the cylinder well.

Mar 07, 2011 | 2002 Toyota Highlander

1 Answer

anyone have picture/illustration of where the spark plug are located on a 2005 highlander?


  1. 1 Pull the hood release and raise the hood on the Highlander. Allow the engine plenty of time to cool.
  2. 2 Remove some components to reach the spark plugs. On a 3.3 liter engine, unscrew and remove the V-bank cover and intake air tank. On a 2.4 and 3.0 liter engine, remove the number one engine cover.
  3. 3 Locate the ignition coils and spark plug wires that connect directly to the spark plugs or directly to the engine in the Toyota Highlander. In 2001 and 2002 models, theses are on the front and back of the engine. On models made after 2002, the spark plugs are along the sides. Grab the ignition coils or spark plug wires by the thick plastic piece at the end of the wire. Squeeze the end and turn it to release it from the spark plug. Pull back to remove the plug from the engine.
  4. 4 Slide the spark plug socket over the spark plug. The most common size of spark plug socket used on a Toyota Highlander is 16mm. Turn the socket to the left to unscrew and remove the spark plug from the cylinder well.
  5. 5 Apply a thin coat of anti-seize compound to the spark plug thread and into the wire boot to reduce the chance of sticking.
  6. 6 Insert the spark plug into the well and manually turn the plug into place. If you cannot reach the plug well manually, insert the plug into the socket and extension and use the extension to turn the plug into place. Do not use a socket wrench or flexible extension for this process because their force damages the spark plug.
  7. 7 Connect the ignition coil or spark plug wire to the spark plug. Turn to lock it into place.
  8. 8 Continue this process for the rest of the spark plugs. Replace any removed items onto the engine and lower the hood.

Read more: How to Replace Spark Plugs in a Toyota Highlander ' eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_4484644_replace-spark-plugs-toyota-highlander.html#ixzz1C6Y4k5y2

Jan 26, 2011 | 2005 Toyota Highlander

1 Answer

When should spark plugs be changed? I have 80,000 Kilometers on the Toyota highlander and they have never been changed.


I am in Australia and so am unfamiliar with the highlander, it sort of looks like our landcruiser.
Look in your owners manual to see what type of spark plugs your car has, if thet are platinum plugs they need to be replaced every 100,000 Kms or 5 years, If they are standard plugs they require replacement every 40,000 Kms or 2 years, I hope this helps

Aug 10, 2010 | 2005 Toyota Highlander

1 Answer

need to change spark plugs in highlander.


Those back plugs are a bear to get to but they can be got. There is no easy way. You need to get your hands back there and pull the wires off and use whatever combination of extensions to do it.

Mar 23, 2009 | 2002 Toyota Highlander

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