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Toyota Highlander Check Engine Light



  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    I can't speak to the female/male issue, I have no idea where you are taking it or where you live. I think in one of your earlier posts, you indicated that the Toyota dealer was an hour away. Is that really the closest Toyota dealer?

    I can't speak specifically to your year Highlander, but I've had an error code on one (non-Toyota) vehicle I own, where after the fix it required a certain number of successful warm up cycles before it would turn the light off, but that was all documented as part of that particular error condition. In those cases it is not possible to get thru state inspection until the code clears.

    It's not clear to me whether your situation is one where the mechanic doesn't know how to fix and reset your error condition....or an error condition which really does take a couple of cycles to clear (after it was fixed).

    I'm suspecting your mechanic may not have the detail knolwedge that a Toyota dealership would have in figuring out what your problem really is. I don't know how many miles you put on your vehicle in a week or two, but I'd plan to get it to a dealership in a reasonable timeframe, assuming you aren't putting on a ton of daily mileage.
  • ticadooticadoo Posts: 40
    Thanks. I have taken it to my Toyota dealer..and yes, the closest dealership is an hour away. Not sure dealership knows what they are doing..I just took it in to have timing belt changed and guess what??? I don't even have a belt, I have a chain. :confuse:
  • We have a 2001 Highlander V4 that I bought new from the dealership. Check engine light came on after about 30,000 miles. Dealership replaced the catalytic converter system for no charge because we were still in warranty. About 100 miles down the road, the check engine light came back on. Dealership reset everything, light went off. About 50 miles down the road, light came back on. Dealership said don't worry about it. After we went out of warranty and were at same dealership for routine service, I asked about the check engine light and was told it would cost $300 for full diagnostics and then additional for whatever repairs were needed. Took Highlander in for recall of the valve thing. Check engine light off. About 15 miles down the road, the light came back on. Took car to dealership because of silver-gray smoke coming out of exhaust on startup every morning. Mechanic started up the engine, observed the smoke and said I needed an engine overhaul -- $5,000. I took the Highlander to a small shop mechanic who said don't worry about it. I've switched to a higher grade of gasoline and am still driving the vehicle -- 140,000 miles. But my experience with this vehicle and dealership have turned me against Toyota forever. It's a shame because I used to have a 1978 Toyota Corolla that I could probably still be driving. It was a great little car -- no problems. From a lot of the posts I've read on this site and others, it seems that Toyota's famous quality reputation is being tarnished by shoddy systems and uncaring, incompetent dealership service departments.
  • kent17kent17 Posts: 3
    I have to say that I feel like I'm reading about our car and our experience. It seems to run fine, but the check engine light will come on, then go off, then come on again. The dealership said they THOUGHT it might be the catalytic converter (before the warrenty ran out), but elected to replace both oxygen sensors instead, which killed the light for a while. The light stayed out for a time, but it's on and off again now, and the dealership is back to the catalytic converter theory. Unfortunately, the car's out of warranty now and I'm not too sure I want to push that much money into it now. We've got the smoke at start-up going on as well. Guess we'll just drive it until it stops and put electrical tape of the check-engine light!

    Anything new going on with your Highlander?
  • ticadooticadoo Posts: 40
    Yep, all problems sound alike. I too was told that it might be the catalytic conveter, but since I had alreadyspent so much money on it, decided not to replace it. I was really disappointed with this vehicle and have recently traded it in.
  • ashleydeeashleydee Posts: 9
    i have a 2003 4cyl, my check engine light kept coming on and going off as well. i used a home diagnostic machine and it said both bays in my catalytic converter. i took my HL in after it coming on & going off several times and found out there was a recall. apparently something to do with my computer needing to be fixed. any of you that hasn't had your recall done needs to. the dealership can figure look up your vin and tell you if it has been.

    my HL has been just fine without any scary check engine lights... until this morning :( hopefully it's nothing :::crossing fingers:::.
  • ronnronn Posts: 398
    Hello everyone,
    please post what year your Highlander is when posting a problem or comment. It would be very helpful in trying to give an answer. Different years make a difference.
  • rusterruster Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 Toyota Highlander which I recently had a 60000 mile service. A few days later my check engine light came on. I took it to an auto parts store which performed a simple diagnostics test and told me it was something with the emissions. He suggested my gas cap was not tight, he reset it, that lasted 2 days and it came on again. Someone else suggested a bad EPR valve?? Any suggestions and could it have something to do with the recent major service at 60000 miles??
  • rodonnellrodonnell Posts: 37
    Do you know what code the computer is throwing? The simple reader should display it along with the system affected.

    I generally don't trust the minimum wage employees at the parts store to give me an accurate assessment of the problem so I bought an ACTRON Scan Tool from the auto parts store, about $150, works for every vehicle manufactured beginning in 1996. The tool will give you a code(s) readout plus give a status rundown of all the systems the vehicle computer monitors. You should be able to cross the code to the charts in the maintenance manual, (I use Haynes supplemented by a subscription to All Data). This should point you in the necessary direction.
  • bikeman3bikeman3 Posts: 85
    Make sure vacuum hoses are attached Mine comes on after oiL changes at jiffy lube each time something was amiss I now get oil changed at reputable shops taht dont try to sell me something I have an 03 highlander 100K
  • angiethangieth Posts: 3
    Is Toyota now downgrading its quality??? Very happy with mine until recently at my 60K(done @ 62K) check. Replaced worn front pads and resurfaced machine rotors, transpan replcmnt because of seapage, replaced weak battery, performed total fuel system addition to the 60k check. The dealership got $1,100.00 from me just that day. Now, 2 wks after, my engine light came on. Had them performed the diagnostics and found out it was the oxygen sensor. Since the warranty is long gone, I called the 800 number for TOYOTA to find out if there was any recall (after providing bin #) as it's still very early for this vehicle to be having the sensor replaced. Was told there was none and that no one called with such a problem before....opposed to the web-info I'd been coming across heavily.
    Also responded to my question that Toyota hasn't downgraded it's quality but that they can't guarantee the "parts'- life". (HUHH???) And that my only resolve is to talk to the Dealership I'd been taking my vehicle for some discount. I just can't believe that this is now what TOYOTA is. Anyhow, my questions are for those who has the same year model: Did you have the same problems?? And what more problems did you encounter past its 62K life??? Is Toyota worth some re-thinking or just solely on Highlanders??? Thanks.
  • ashleydeeashleydee Posts: 9
    well i'm back to the drawing board on this check engine light business. my 2003 4cyl HL is once again almost giving me a nervous breakdown!!

    i read somewhere that if you blow in the tank after pumping gas it will keep from your CEL coming on. i've even tried that.

    my error is: EVAP emission control system malfunction

    i only have about 86K miles on my 2003 4cyl 2wd HL. this should not be happening. i've been a tried and true believer and preacher of toyota since 16 and have never had this many problems.
  • ashleydeeashleydee Posts: 9
    i bought my 2003 HL used and it didn't have the cup holder insert. i bought it from the dealership (only place i could find one)... and had to dish out about $32!!! i was livid. especially since i've already broke it :(
  • bikeman3bikeman3 Posts: 85
    I have 100K on mine very happy just replaced timing belt at 97K along w/water pump. No problems at all sorry about 02 senser. I would not give up on it I'm going for 200K just did 400 mile trip 24.8 mpg mine is V6. Good luck
  • angiethangieth Posts: 3
    Bikeman3 : Good for you -- Wish I can say the same thing. Mine is also a V6 which gives me around 21-22 with the crazy DC traffic. And like you, also planned to hang on to it until it's last breath.. I just fear that it'll be closer than what I want. Thanks for the info.
    Ashley Dee: I've always loved Toyota and considers it to be the best.. I just now feel betrayed. Until then, it's "goodluck to our pockets", I guess. Thanks.
  • ashleydeeashleydee Posts: 9
    check engine light is off!! i'm crossing my fingers it doesn't come back on again!

    after doing some googling i found out that sometimes when they change the oil on them they might accidentally knock a hose off by/near the air filter. well in my case they did! i called my local dealer (that changes my oil, cheaper than jiffy lubes and better) and told them about my CIL coming on and they had just changed my oil. ran up there and in under 5 minutes i was rolling off with my hose attached!
  • mazaniacmazaniac Posts: 2
    We've had this problem several times with our '03 Highlander and since the first time, the time I went to the dealer for the CEL and learned about the hose, every single subsequent time the cause has been the hose coming loose from behind the air filter housing. If the CEL does not go out after reconnecting the hose, my understanding is you can disconnect the battery and that will clear the light.
  • bikeman3bikeman3 Posts: 85
    Every time you change the oil and fool with the air filter this light will come on .

    You have to tell the attendant not to touch air filter and make sure if they do that they replace the hose. If you don't the CEL will come on anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months
  • Hi,

    So did get you problem solve , I have same issue EVAP emission. cost for repair is $800 , should change my EVAP Canister. this was guys recommended after running full diag which cost me $90 .

    please HELP

  • ashleydeeashleydee Posts: 9
    yes i did! my CEL has yet to come back on. i've heard from several other folks that the hose coming off is pretty common.

    seriously have them check to see if he hose behind your air filter has been knocked off before you shell out that $800!
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