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Toyota Highlander Check Engine Light



  • I have been getting a little shimmy on my 03 Highlander 140,000 miles. At first I thought it was the transmission. I took it to Toyota and they said that its the Rear U-joint on front drive shaft binding. When I looked under the car I didnt feel any play on any of the drive shafts. Toyota wants $1800 to change it out (Tough Call). Could it just be out of balance? How do I have that checked or is there something else I should look for?.
  • phrosutphrosut Posts: 122
    edited December 2011
    There IS a hose that can be easily disconnected when checking/changing the air filter. It is a hose directly connected to the charcoal canister. It WILL set the CE/VSC light within a few days if it becomes disconnected.

    After some mice ate a few wires and those lights came on, I assumed the 'norm'. Much troubleshooting and learning later, apparently the critters must've shorted a computer circuit.

    So now... I can't pass smog with the CE light on. I worked on it for a year (before my next smog test) with no luck. Sometimes the CE light would be off for awhile and I'd think the problem was fixed. Sometimes not, and I'd begin the next step and pulling my limited hair out.

    I replaced the charcoal canister, some solanoids, other stuff... sometimes the light would stay out, but eventually it'd come back on.

    THEN I connected with a mechanic that understood the "system".

    The computer runs a test on the evap system at startup. But it doesn't run the test "IF" the fuel tank is more than 3/4 full ( and the computer has been reset by disconnecting the battery for a few minutes). It isn't supposed to run the test if the fuel is below 1/4 AND the engine is warm.

    My evap system has been mostly replaced, and the rest verified to be working correctly. But the test fails. To me, the mice must've shorted out a circuit in the computer than controls this test.

    So to pass the CA smog test, I gotta fill the tank, disconnect/reconnect the battery, then get my test before the tank goes below 3/4.

    Maybe this'll help someone with the same problem.

  • If tightening the gas cap doesn't get rid of the CEL, there's no need to disconnect the battery to reset it. Just locate the "EFI" fuse and remove it for 30 seconds.
  • Just had an O2 sensor replaced several weeks ago because of Check Engine light coming on and it just came on again. Read this post and it worked!!! Am so excited - thanks for the information.
  • In the owners manual for the 2004 Highlander, it says when the check engine light comes on, change the oil. It comes on around every 3500 miles.
  • You can go in to most auto parts stores and they will do a diagnostic check for free. My check engine light was on, so I went to O'Reilly Auto Parts and they hooked their gadget into my computer and said it was a bad thermostat - same answer I got from a state inspection. Easy and free - can't beat that!
  • hsamihsami Posts: 1
    I have a 03 HL. My CEL went on yesterday, and by reading previous posts seems like the most common problem is the O2 sensor.

    Assuming there is a problem with oxygen sensor, I wonder what would be the consequences of not replacing it for a while (~couple of weeks).
  • johnnybhai1johnnybhai1 Posts: 2

    I couldn't find a post number in the Maintenance and Repair Forum. How do I get to Post 4360 and 4362?

  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,640

    When we migrated to the new platform, we lost the post numbers, I'm afraid..

    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,963
    edited May 9

    There's 20 posts per page (currently, at least). So divide 4360 by 20 and you wind up at "page" 218. The posts you are searching should be on that page, or within a page. Perhaps this is close to the ones you are looking for?

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • johnnybhai1johnnybhai1 Posts: 2

    Thank you Moderators for those two responses, it was pretty close....213 had the posts I was looking for.

  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,963
    edited May 19

    Ok, within a page or five. ;) Glad you found it.

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

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