2007 – 2009 Highlander How-To: If the Engine Will Not Start | Toyota

2007 – 2009 Highlander How-To: If the Engine Will Not Start | Toyota

If your vehicle will not start, there are a number of simple checks you can perform to determine the problem. Before making these checks, be sure you have sufficient fuel and that you have followed the correct starting procedure as outlined in your owner’s manual. Start by checking to see if any of your other keys will start the vehicle. If your vehicle starts, you may need to replace a key. If none of the keys work There may be a problem with the engine immobilizer. If the instrument cluster dims or the display turns off with the ignition on check to see if the 12-volt battery terminals are tight and clean if If the 12-volt battery terminals are ok the battery is discharged and you may try jump-starting your vehicle

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. My 2011 highlander with 21000 miles will not start. I tried to charge the battery, then went and got a new one. All lights and gauges work but nothing happens when you hold the break and push the start button.

  2. My recently purchased 2009 Highlander (used) went brain dead and would not crank at all. I admit that I was not very well trained in the mysteries of this beast. This is the Limited model with remote key entry. Apparently the engine immobilizer is very finicky and refused to allow the car to be started. There is little information in the owners manual to indicate how to fix this condition. As far as I know, I shut down the car normally but the next time we tried to start the car it did not crank. The 'Steering Wheel – exclamation point' indicator was on along with the check engine light. The steering wheel was not locked up as it usually is. I found some information in the users manual that said to put the remote fob with the Toyota emblem side against the start button. I then depressed the brake pedal hard as it did not seem to feel 'normal' and suddenly the engine cranked and started. Apparently, when the car was shut down, something was not to the computer's liking.

    The previous time, the car would not start up normally had to do with the rear 'glass door' hatch on the rear door. Somehow, it got out of whack and the computer was again brain dead. It took a while to figure that out as again the User's manual is not very informative.

    I like this car when it works, but there are apparently many things that can upset the computer and one needs some magical incantation to deal with them.

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