Toyota Highlander Whines From Final Drive Gear
Some 2008-2013 Toyota Highlander vehicles equipped with a five-speed automatic transaxle may exhibit a whining noise from the final drive gear assembly, noticeable above 35 mph.
Test drive the vehicle at operating temperature and listen for a whining noise at a speed of more than 35 mph.
If the noise is detected, confirm that the fluid level is at the correct level. If adjustment is needed, correct the fluid level and test drive again. If the noise is no longer evident, return the vehicle to the customer. If the noise remains, remove the center instrument cluster finish panel assembly.
Using a plastic pry tool, disengage the 10 claws and eight clips starting from the upper part of the center instrument cluster finish panel assembly.
Disconnect each connector and remove the finish panel assembly.
Remove the upper console panel sub-assembly (disengage the four claws and four clips and disconnect the connector).
Apply protective tape to the area shown in the illustrations.
Attach a 1.75-ounce adhesive wheel weight to location A (see photo).
Reassemble and test drive to confirm the repair.
Install a 1.75-ounce wheel weight to location “A” as shown in the photo.