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2002 Highlander Transmission

I have a 2002 4 cylinder Highlander with an automatic transmission. There is a problem with the reverse gear. When I put the car in reverse and begin to back up, the car begins to chatter and shake. It has 150,000 miles and just had the trans fluid changed. All forward gears are just fine. Any thoughts?

2.4 liter, 3.0 liter, 4wd, or fwd??? Either way, reverse problems 99% of the time are internal. If the linkages are good and the fluid level is good the trans will have to be removed and disassembled to repair the problem. Who did the fluid change??? Was the pan dropped and the filter changed or was the trans flushed?? Did the person who changed the fluid use Toyota fluid in the trans?? These are important questions.


The engine is the 2.4 liter with 2 wheel drive. I had the transmission flushed using a high pressure “fluid exchange” as the mechanic called it. He said that the high pressure flush cleans out the filter so you do not have to remove the pan. They used BG Products fluid that, accoring to them, is better than Toyota’s fluid.

All I can think to say is “ouch!” What kind of shop was this?

Its probably too late, but either way find your best local transmission shop and get the car to them. Tell them all about it and have them see if they can minimize the mess. At the very least I’d get the actual Toyota fluid into it.

Sounds like a scam, huh? At least it didn’t make it any worse. Thanks for the feedback. I’ll see what happens.

Who did the flush, quick lube place, independent mechanic, chain shop (AAMCO, Firestone, etc) or the dealer? Did the problem occur before or after the flush was done?

Ed B.

ALWAYS change filter when changing fluid. I dont care what those idiots say. No machine will automatically clean out a filter. ALWAYS use manufacturer fluid.
He got his quick money from you. If this is a trans shop, he ought to be ashamed of himself.


An independant mechanic did the flush. I’ve used them for other things with good luck. The problem was there before they did the flush and after!