What Causes Toyota Highlander Vibration & How to Fix It

The cause of the problem with vibration in a Toyota Highlander can be extremely hard to pinpoint and fix. You can experience shaking, minor low vibration, or a bumpy ride, and all of these effects have different sources. 

But generally, the Toyota Highlander vibration issue is caused by worn-out parts, bad alignment, engine problems, physical damage and even something as simple as wrong tire pressure.

We will look into the most common culprits behind this effect one by one. And also provide some tips on how to fix the issue.

Toyota Highlander Engine Vibrations

Uneven power supply and faulty engine parts can cause a Toyota Highlander vibration problem. This issue is quite distinct from the rest, so we will start with this one. It is also very concerning since this issue can be detrimental to the engine and its integrity.

This happens when you have old spark plugs, oxidized or damaged connections, loose timing belt, or hoses. Even clogged filters can cause vibration in Toyota Highlander.

How to diagnose:

It is noticeable while the car is idling. This eliminates problems with wheels, another common issue. This issue can be speed-related or not. Try experimenting in neutral to replicate the vibration while raising and dropping RPM. Speed-related issues will only be noticeable at certain speeds and disappear when the RPM drops.

How to fix:

It is best to fix the engine vibration in Toyota Highlander as soon as possible. And it is better to consider getting professional help too. Old spark plugs, of course, can be fixed in your garage, but it is worth looking into possible underlying issues associated with vibration.

Toyota Highlander Damaged Rims

More often than not, vibration problems in Toyota Highlander occur because of wheel damage. Rims are quite vulnerable to physical damage, and they can cause some trouble when you hit a speed bump. Wheels are supposed to absorb some shocks from the uneven road, but once they get bent, be ready to experience much more than vibration issues.

How to diagnose:

Sometimes the unevenness can be noticed with the naked eye, and sometimes, it cannot. If you run into trouble with potholes and speed bumps and then experience unusual vibration at high speeds, your rim is damaged or bent. Only special equipment can measure the wheel properly and find irregularities.

How to fix:

Unfortunately, this cannot be fixed in a regular garage. Only professional-grade equipment can spot and fix the damage. There are cases when the damage is too much, and the rim must be replaced with a new one.

Toyota Highlander Wheels Are Out of Balance

Unbalanced wheels can cause unpleasant vibrations in Toyota Highlander's steering wheel or body. Depending on the way your car vibrates, you can find out what pair of wheels causes it. It can be the front or the rear wheels.

How to diagnose:

If you feel your steering wheel vibrating at high speeds, then it is the imbalance in the front wheels that is causing it. If the vibration spreads through the body, it must be the rear wheels instead. This imbalance can be caused by uneven road surfaces and occur upon impact or over time.

How to fix:

To fix this Toyota Highlander vibration issue, check the wheel alignment at a local shop. Ideally, to prevent balance issues, drivers are advised to rotate wheels once every 6 months or check the balance after about 6 000 miles.

Misaligned wheels

The same speed bumps and potholes can harm wheel alignment, causing Toyota Highlander vibrations and other issues. Alignment issues can cause uneven wear and impact performance. Vibration is only one of many reasons why you should take care of the wheels.

How to diagnose:

You can diagnose this issue by multiple effects. Aside from vibration, you will notice that the car is steering to one side and you constantly have to adjust it. The odd steering wheel position when you drive straight can also indicate this exact problem. Other signs are rapid tire wear in specific areas and even tire noise.

How to fix:

To get this cause of Toyota Highlander vibration fixed, you need special equipment with tremendous precision. It can only be found in professional automotive shops. There you can get your wheels aligned properly for $50-$160.

Toyota Highlander Faulty Wheel Bearings

Failing and damaged parts of the wheel can also cause Toyota Highlander vibrations. This particular issue is easier to notice at high speed and whenever you are cornering. It is also very concerning as it can lead to serious wheel damage if left unattended for a long time.

How to diagnose:

This issue creates lots of noise. With a bad bearing, you will also hear knocking while cornering and grinding while driving straight. The noise will intensify with speed. And, of course, there will be plenty of vibration running through the vehicle.

How to fix:

Once you locate the reason for the vibration and noise, remove the faulty bearings, examine the wheel and replace the damaged parts with the new ones. Bearings are usually beyond repair, so this is the most common option.

Highlander Wheel Fasteners Getting Loose

When wheel fasteners like lug nuts and bolts loosen up over time or because of incorrect installation, your Toyota Highlander may experience some vibration issues. The lug nuts should be kept in check and retorqued when necessary.

How to diagnose:

Grab the torque wrench and compare the measurements to the number specified in your manual. Examine the nuts for any signs of corrosion and damage while you are at it.

How to fix:

Retorque the nuts with a torque wrench. Be careful not to apply too much force. This can cause more harm than good.

Signs of Wear On Toyota Highlander Tires

Uneven wear and damage can create vibrations while you drive. Some signs of damage are easy to notice, but sometimes the problem is hidden inside the tire.

How to diagnose:

Look very closely at the tires for cuts, bulges, cracks and other signs of wear and tear. You might need to get your wheels checked by a professional if the damage is internal.

How to fix:

Find the root of this issue - what is actually causing uneven wear? Then get your wheels fixed at the shop if the damage is repairable. Or replace the wheels with a new set once you figure out the reason why they get damaged in the first place.

Wrong Tire Pressure

Underinflated and overinflated tires alike can cause Toyota Highlander to experience vibration. This issue also causes effects like irregular tire wear and wobbling. This is a serious concern. Incorrectly inflated tires can blow at high speeds, putting you and other drivers in danger.

How to diagnose:

There are several ways to find out if the tire pressure is off. If it drops below a certain point, you will see a light indicator on the dashboard. Another way to find out is to just inspect the tires yourself by looking closely and comparing. But the best thing you can do is to stop at a gas station or a nearby shop and check the pressure with a special tool.

How to fix:

If there is no damage to the tire integrity involved, this is easy to fix. Get some extra air out of the tire if the pressure is too high. And pump some more air in if the pressure is too low.

Worn Out Parts

If your Toyota Highlander suddenly develops vibration issues, it can be a sign of failing suspension or steering components. These parts can deteriorate over time, especially in challenging conditions. Once their condition becomes extremely poor, your vehicle can become very difficult to drive.

How to diagnose:

The signs are similar to bad wheel balance, but on top of that, the vehicle also experiences worsening at high speeds once you encounter speed bumps and also dangerous wobbling. The vibration spreads through the vehicle from the front end further.

How to fix:

To fix this vibration problem, you should examine the condition of your suspension and steering components. Replace the worn-out parts or the entire system if necessary. Faulty suspension or steering parts get you into a lot of trouble.

Faulty axles

Axles are the rotating parts connected to the wheels. They can cause vibration in Toyota Highlander if their joints deteriorate. Damaged axles can severely impact your driving. This is not a problem you can afToyota to ignore.

How to diagnose:

You can notice unusual vibrations paired with loud knocking. This is happening because the axle is unable to absorb the shocks anymore and needs urgent replacement.

How to fix:

There is only one thing to do if your axle causes violent vibrations. You have to replace it as soon as possible and check if it caused any more collateral damage.

Toyota Highlander Vibration at Idle

If the Toyota Highlander experiences vibration problems while idling, t is most likely due to spark plugs. They can deteriorate and cause an uneven power supply to the engine. The best thing to do here is to check the spark plugs and replace them as soon as possible.

Toyota Highlander Vibration under Acceleration

When your Toyota Highlander Vibration vibrates and shudders while accelerating, this can indicate several issues. A bad or dirty air filter prevents normal airflow. Clogged fuel lines can supply an insufficient amount of fuel for the engine. Sometimes spark plugs can contribute to this issue as well.

Run a thorough check, clean it up and replace faulty parts to fix the vibration.

Toyota Highlander Vibration at High Speed

Poor wheel alignment and condition can cause severe vibration at high speeds. These problems usually don't disappear at lower speeds, but they become much more apparent the faster you go. To fix wheel issues, you should first locate the source of the problem. It is best to consult a professional car mechanic for this.

Toyota Highlander Vibration at Low Speed

If the speed is low or your Toyota Highlander is idling but still creates vibrations, the cause is in your engine. Most likely, some airways and fuel supply system got dirty or the spark plugs are dying. Check everything related to engine issues and fix that. This should help to get rid of the vibration and prevent more problems in the future.

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