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Toyota Highlander Transmission Problems

My '05 Highlander transmission seems to be geared wrong. When I slow down the car seems to slip into a higher gear and speed up. It is worse when the air conditioning is on. Anyone else have this problem?


  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    As you slow to a stop at about 10 MPH or below the Transaxle upshifts by design. Instead of speeding up what I suspect you "feel" is the loss of engine compression braking. In the past that has been referred to "as if being bumped lightly from behind".

    Read some of the transaxle hesitations posts for more info.
  • izzo233izzo233 Posts: 7
    My '06 does the same thing so I hope they are right about the whole engine compression thing.
  • Thanks this engine compression thing is beyond me. I still dont understand why it speeds up! But good to know mine isnt the only one doing it.
  • lugo_189lugo_189 Posts: 5
    I need help from some Ford Explorere Sport O/D ligth sudenly start blinking, what is this means? :confuse:
  • ladyjj3ladyjj3 Posts: 1
    I need help. I have a 94 Jeep Grand Charekee Laredo, which required rebuilding of the transmission. However, after the transmission was swapped out with another rebuild transmission vibration occurred at 1500 to 1700 rpm's. The mechanic has changed out the motor mounts, fly wheel and harmonic balancer; however, the vibration has not gone away. I didn't have this problem prior to the transmission being worked on. Please provide some advise on if the problem is with the transmission or something else.
  • my 88 accord is sliping sometimes when you take off from a dead stop but not all the time .fluid is good i was wondering if it could be something going out or maybe a clog filter or some simple i,m hoping. please let me here from somebody about problem thanks jim
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,910
    Try the Honda Accord (1976-1989) Maintenance & Repair discussion or Transmission Traumas?. This tranny discussion focuses on the Highlander and Honda owners aren't likely to see your post.

    Steve, Host
  • i have a 93 4runner manual and it will not shift un till i cut the truck off then i can shift i have put a new clutch slave cylinder in it but still nothing plz help
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,910
    Try the Toyota 4Runner: Problems and Solutions discussion or the Trauma discussion linked above.

    Steve, Host
  • karen18karen18 Posts: 2
    2006 brand new automatic 4 wheel drive. Transmission is rough, erratic.Over-revs, shifts too soon, hesitates, double shifts. Dealer says everything tests fine. Drives like someone driving a standard who doesn't know how, but of course, it doesn't do it all the time. Wish I had bought another Ford Escape
  • froggfrogg Posts: 16
    I have an '05 Highlander, and I am in the same fix as karen18... Two Toyota dealers have tried to help me, but we're down to chasing ghosts: Last time I took the car in, the service manager spent probably 1/2 hour with me, driving around. It was if the car knew to be on good behavior! But my problem is just as Karen18 describes. It could be said this way: Sometimes the computer/transmission makes really bad decisions about selecting gears. Transmission "clunks". Car lurches. I'm at a loss to know what to do...
  • ceamunkyceamunky Posts: 1
    I just bought a 2001 highlander limited with78k on it. It's in mint cond. Paid 15,999. I had trouble finding one on a lot. Is there anything I should know about this vehicle since this is my first toyota. Did I get a good deal?
  • scoti1scoti1 Posts: 676
    Edmunds has closed down the sites that specifically addressed this hesitation problem in all Toyota models, but there has been recent interesting discussion regarding hesitation related to the gas pedal and foot position on the "Toyota Avalon 2005+" and the "Transmission Problems with Lexus ES300?" forums. I am not sold on this being "THE" problem, but the discussion is very interesting. You may want to see if adjusting your foot position on the pedal as described in these forums remedies/lessens you hesitation problems. Let me know what you find out.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    Edmunds has closed down the sites...

    Discussions that are inactive for a period of time are automatically archived. Normally, we would reactivate a discussion when demand warrants but that capability is temporarily unavailable while we continue upgrading our system. Check back down the road a bit!

    tidester, host
  • karmatykarmaty Posts: 1
    I have a 2004 Sienna, which I am very anxious to get rid of - for the same reasons posted for the Highlander transmission problems. I love all of the features on my Sienna XLE - except one - driving it! It intermittently hesitates when rounding corners, pulling away from a stop, or accelerating onto the freeway. It is quite annoying - and not what I would expect from a $32,000 vehicle. I was (stupidly) considering getting a Highlander, but will not after reading that it has the same problems. Thanks for the info.
  • billranbillran Posts: 113
    I have owned a 2005 Highlander for over a year and have 16000 miles on it now. It drives perfectly and I have never once experienced any hesitation in any circumstance. I have two coworkers who also own Highlander V6s (2004 and 2005) as well as a neighbor who just bought a 2006 and they all love their cars. We have all discussed this issue and none of us has ever experienced any problems at all.

    There are over two million Toyotas on the road with the V6 5 speed drivetrain and you will be hard pressed to find enough complaints anywhere to add up to even one tenth of one percent of those vehicles. It is by no means the serious widespread issue that some in these forums would like for you to believe.

    There are some people who report a problem, but beware, there are others in these forums with the clear and obvious intent to amplify this issue and use it to smear Toyota for personal reasons. Test drive the cars and decide for yourself.
  • karen18karen18 Posts: 2
    I have no personal reasons to smear Toyota.As a matter of fact I happily owned a 4runner several years ago. I think what angers people is that Toyota, from the dealer to the company to the reps, all say that this is all within specs, "it's the nature of the beast" and that there's nothing they can do.
    Seems that you're a little too invested in hyping Toyota. These are just vehicles. For the amount of money we pay for them, they should drive properly. The problems we have experienced do not necessarily show up in a test drive. They are sporadic and unpredictable.
  • billranbillran Posts: 113
    Karen, Sorry, my comments were in no way directed toward you. The cars should drive properly and I am sorry to hear yours does not. There is a TSB available that has been reported as very successful by some people who have reported a problem similar to yours. You might ask your dealer about it.

    I have watched during that last year and these forums have become a mix of sincere owners like yourself looking for a fix, and others with the motivations I mentioned above. The latter group has often posted distortions, exaggerations and flat out untruths in their continuing quest to use this issue to their advantage. I am not at all invested it hyping any brand, but I feel it only fair to post both sides of the equation.

    Good luck, and hopefully the TSB will help your situation.
  • junepugjunepug Posts: 161
    The hesitation issue seems to be related to some drivers who use the left foot to brake and the right foot for acceleration. Seems like this could confuse the computer.
  • scoti1scoti1 Posts: 676
    This has been discussed in the Avalon and Lexus forums I mentioned above as possibly contributing to the problem, but there are plenty of people experiencing this who aren't left-foot brakers. One poster, wwest, has stated that applying the brake and accelerator at the same time could confuse the computer controls and aggravate the problem.
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