Toyota Highlander manuals

Toyota Highlander Owners Manual: Off-road driving

Your vehicle is not designed to be driven off-road. However, in the event that off-road driving cannot be avoided, please observe the following precautions to help avoid the areas prohibited to vehicles.

Additional information for off-road driving

To obtain additional information pertaining to driving your vehicle off-road, consult the following organizations.

Warning


Off-road driving precautions

Always observe the following precautions to minimize the risk of death, serious injury or damage to your vehicle:

  • drive carefully when off the road. Do not take unnecessary risks by driving in dangerous places.
  • Do not grip the steering wheel spokes when driving off-road. A bad bump could jerk the wheel and injure your hands. Keep both hands and especially your thumbs on the outside of the rim.
  • Always check your brakes for effectiveness immediately after driving in sand, mud, water or snow.
  • After driving through tall grass, mud, rock, sand, rivers, etc., Check that there is no grass, bush, paper, rags, stone, sand, etc. Adhering or trapped on the underbody. Clear off any such matter from the underbody. If the vehicle is used with these materials trapped or adhering to the underbody, a breakdown or fire could occur.
  • When driving off-road or in rugged terrain, do not drive at excessive speeds, jump, make sharp turns, strike objects, etc. This may cause loss of control or vehicle rollover causing death or serious injury. You are also risking expensive damage to your vehicle's suspension and chassis.

To prevent water damage

Take all necessary safety measures to ensure that water damage to the engine or other components does not occur.

  • Water entering the engine air intake will cause severe engine damage.
  • Water entering the automatic transmission will cause deterioration in shift quality, locking up of your transmission accompanied by vibration, and ultimately damage.
  • Water can wash the grease from wheel bearings, causing rusting and premature failure, and may also enter the differentials, transmission and transfer case, reducing the gear oil's lubricating qualities.

When you drive through water

If driving through water, such as when crossing shallow streams, first check the depth of the water and the bottom of the riverbed for firmness. Drive slowly and avoid deep water.

Inspection after off-road driving

  • Sand and mud that has accumulated in brake drums and around brake discs may affect braking efficiency and may damage brake system components.
  • Always perform a maintenance inspection after each day of off-road driving that has taken you through rough terrain, sand, mud, or water. For scheduled maintenance information, refer to the "scheduled maintenance guide" or "owner's manual supplement".
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