How to Replace the Shocks and Struts in a Toyota Highlander
Regular use of any vehicle wears your struts out to the point that you need to replace them around 60,000 miles under normal driving conditions. If you off-road, that time might come sooner. To keep the same stability, handling and smooth ride that your Highlander had when it was new, replace the struts.
- Moderately Challenging
- Floor jack
- Jack stands
- Tire iron
- Ratchet set
- Adjustable wrench
- Torque wrench
Replace the Front Struts in a Highlander
Lift the front end of the Highlander with a floor jack and support it by the frame with jack stands. Loosen and remove the nuts securing the front wheels to the hubs with a tire iron and set the wheels and nuts aside. Locate the struts under the front end of the truck. They look like springs coiled around hardware that mount on both ends. They're directly behind the wheel hubs.
Follow the brake hose from the wheel hub to the strut and disconnect the bracket holding it and the anti-lock brake sensor there. Remove the bolt holding the lower end of the strut to the steering knuckle, which is the arm that turns the wheel hub left and right. Follow the strut assembly to the top and remove the nuts securing it to the frame. Pull the strut out and repeat this step on the other side of the Highlander.
Position the new strut. Set the dial on the torque wrench to 59 foot lb. and tighten the upper mounting nuts until you feel the wrench slip. Insert the bolt securing the strut to the control arm and torque it to 155 foot lb. Attach the stabilizer bar link nut and torque it to 55 foot lb. Attach the brackets removed before with the brake hose and the antilock brake sensor. Repeat this step on the other side of the truck.
Mount the front wheels and lower the front end of the Highlander. Have the front end aligned by a professional.
Replace the Rear Struts in a Highlander
Lift the rear end of the Highlander and support it by the frame with jack stands. Remove the rear wheels.
Follow the brake hose back to the strut and remove the bracket holding it and the anti-lock brake sensor. Disconnect the stabilizer bar link nut from the strut and slide a jack stand under the rear axle to support it. Remove the three upper mounting nuts and the lower two nuts and bolts. Repeat this step on the other side of the Highlander.
Position the new strut in the suspension and insert the lower mounting nuts and bolts. Torque them to 188 foot lb. Torque the upper mounting nuts to 29 foot lb. and install the stabilizer bar link nut torquing it to 29 foot lb. Repeat this step on the other side of the truck.
Mount the rear wheels and lower the rear end of the Highlander. Have a professional align the wheels.