Dead battery or key fob issue? - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
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#1 Old 01-22-2011, 01:36 PM
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Dead battery or key fob issue?

I have quite the frustrating situation at the moment. I can't start my Highlander! There are many factors to consider but I'm not sure how to address the problem/s.
1) As I have 2 cars, the Highlander has not been driven in a few weeks so the battery could have naturally died also due to the extreme cold right now in the Northeast USA.
2) Vehicle does not recognize the electronic key fob (I have a Limited) so I used the manual "Pin" key but when I pushed the "Start engine" button, the screen gives out the message "key not detected".
3) The brake pedal feels very rigid which could mean the battery is dead, apart from the key issue.

Do I simply replace the battery of the key fob and hopefully, the vehicle's electronics would finally recognize the key, or do I go ahead and also find a way to charge the battery? Although a 2008 model, this car is rarely driven and has only done about 6000 miles! I imagine it would still be under warranty.

I am unsure of how to proceed. Has anyone gotten the same message on screen before? Thank you for any help out there!!!

Daimlerz
'08 Highlander 4wd Limited
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#2 Old 01-22-2011, 02:29 PM
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I would ck. the battery first,If it a 08 the battery already 3 yrs.old and then not being driven very much it could be very weak.I would charge the battery and then have it load tested at a part store
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#3 Old 01-22-2011, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daimlerz View Post
I have quite the frustrating situation at the moment. I can't start my Highlander! There are many factors to consider but I'm not sure how to address the problem/s.
1) As I have 2 cars, the Highlander has not been driven in a few weeks so the battery could have naturally died also due to the extreme cold right now in the Northeast USA.
2) Vehicle does not recognize the electronic key fob (I have a Limited) so I used the manual "Pin" key but when I pushed the "Start engine" button, the screen gives out the message "key not detected".
3) The brake pedal feels very rigid which could mean the battery is dead, apart from the key issue.

Do I simply replace the battery of the key fob and hopefully, the vehicle's electronics would finally recognize the key, or do I go ahead and also find a way to charge the battery? Although a 2008 model, this car is rarely driven and has only done about 6000 miles! I imagine it would still be under warranty.

I am unsure of how to proceed. Has anyone gotten the same message on screen before? Thank you for any help out there!!!
If the screen shows key not found then your car battery is not completely dead. If it was too low to start the car, you'd hear the starter make some kind of noise. More likely your key fob is dead. Here is how you start the car without the key fob charged. Put your foot on the brake and take the key fob and place the toyota symbol on it on the "start engine" button. After a sec or two you will here a beep and the light on the start button should be green. Hit that and it should start the car. If this happens the key fob is dead....if it doesnt start... both are dead lol. The brake pedal is rigid because the vacuum has depleted (i think thats what it is), and the engine hasn't been run to "recharge" the brakes...(i could be wrong on that though)
I hope this helps

Click Here for the Full List of Mods Done to My Highlander ---->>> 2008 FWD Highlander Limited

Last edited by sweeneyp; 01-22-2011 at 03:42 PM.
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#4 Old 01-22-2011, 03:45 PM
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1) Living in frigid temperatures is already extremely taxing on a cars' battery.
2) When a car is driven 6000 miles in roughly 3 years..that's 2000 miles per year. Not really enough to keep your battery charged.
3) When your battery is dead it will not obviously recognize your key or let you open the door by pushing the button.

I would get the battery tested. If it's dead, get it charged overnight. It may save the battery, it may not. For future reference, keep a trickle charger on your car's battery (parts stores, even walmart carries them), so the next time you go to start it, it's not dead. Otherwise, if you know it won't be driven for weeks at a time, disconnect your battery and bring it inside.

I live in Wisconsin, where currently as I write this it is 8 degrees outside. I have a Mustang that isn't driven in winter, but once a week I go out to the car, start it up, let it get to full operating temperature, and put it through the gears. Battery hasn't died on me this way, ever.

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#5 Old 01-22-2011, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweeneyp View Post
If the screen shows key not found then your car battery is not completely dead. If it was too low to start the car, you'd hear the starter make some kind of noise. More likely your key fob is dead. Here is how you start the car without the key fob charged. Put your foot on the brake and take the key fob and place the toyota symbol on it on the "start engine" button. After a sec or two you will here a beep and the light on the start button should be green. Hit that and it should start the car. If this happens the key fob is dead....if it doesnt start... both are dead lol. The brake pedal is rigid because the vacuum has depleted (i think thats what it is), and the engine hasn't been run to "recharge" the brakes...(i could be wrong on that though)
I hope this helps
No, that makes sense, as when the car is off and you keep pressing on the brake pedal, pretty soon you can't really do it anymore until you start the car again. All your vacuum has been depleted this way.

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#6 Old 01-23-2011, 11:13 AM
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Be aware too that these OEM Panasonic batteries that come with the Highlander aren't worth crap. Mine lasted 18 months before failing and needing replacement.....

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2002 Avalon XL
1987 Suzuki Samurai 4X4 - Treading where no Jeep can follow....
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#7 Old 01-23-2011, 10:15 PM
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I've replaced both remote batteries last year. I even keep spares in the glove box. Its too easy not to change the remote battery every 2 years. My Highlander also warned me when the keyfob battery was low.

Any vehicle sitting for weeks can have a battery drain down. Charge it and you should be fine. If the vehicle is regularly left alone for more than a week, you need to put it on a trickle charger, and use a fuel stabilizer to prevent fuel system problems.

If the vehicle is left outside, then a solar charger is worth getting. The VW ones from ebay are pretty cheap and work well when connected directly to the battery. I use a batteryminder solar panel one with desulfator for 1 of my cars which can sit for a couple months at a time. The battery is always perfectly charged when I do drive it. I have a Coleman unit on my other car. No desulfator on the Coleman but battery is always fully charged too.
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#8 Old 02-03-2011, 02:15 PM
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Thank you everyone, most particularly to sweeneyp for the information and suggestions. I did try holding the dead keyfob against the start button and voila, it started the engine! That way, I was able to recharge the battery which was low but not entirely dead from not being driven in many weeks under frigid northeast temps of late.

I just replaced the cell batteries of the 2 keyfobs and now they work fine and most definitely are recognized again by the vehicle. Also, I ordered a trickle charger/maintainer to sustain the car's battery especially since I do not drive the Highlander that often. Thank you once again for the valuable tips!

Daimlerz
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#9 Old 02-03-2011, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrailDust View Post
Be aware too that these OEM Panasonic batteries that come with the Highlander aren't worth crap. Mine lasted 18 months before failing and needing replacement.....
Seriously??? That's insane.....
When I worked back in the shop here at the dealership we'd get cars in ALL THE TIME that were 8+ years old on their original Panasonic batteries. Maybe their old school versions are much better than the current ones...

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#10 Old 02-03-2011, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arabianobsession View Post
Seriously??? That's insane.....
When I worked back in the shop here at the dealership we'd get cars in ALL THE TIME that were 8+ years old on their original Panasonic batteries. Maybe their old school versions are much better than the current ones...
Mine had died already on my 08 (rather annoying only 2 years old)...it was replaced by an energizer one so hopefully it will last longer

Click Here for the Full List of Mods Done to My Highlander ---->>> 2008 FWD Highlander Limited

Last edited by sweeneyp; 02-04-2011 at 05:10 PM.
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#11 Old 02-03-2011, 02:57 PM
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When I worked at Walmart I used to laugh at people coming in to buy the EverCrap (EverStart) batteries.....me and the guys would take bets to see how many months it would be before they were back for a different battery. It averaged around 6-7, lol.

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#12 Old 02-03-2011, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arabianobsession View Post
Seriously??? That's insane.....
When I worked back in the shop here at the dealership we'd get cars in ALL THE TIME that were 8+ years old on their original Panasonic batteries. Maybe their old school versions are much better than the current ones...
Yep, I was not amused when it failed.

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2002 Avalon XL
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#13 Old 02-03-2011, 04:55 PM
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I wouldn't be either, I'm sorry
If it makes you feel any better, sometimes when we go to deliver new cars, the customer tries to leave, and the battery is done for. Once it turned out to be the alternator on an 11 Highlander, one we had on the lot 10 days.

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#14 Old 02-04-2011, 05:55 AM
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Remember that if the battery goes in the SmartKey fob you still can start the car by holding the fob against the start button until the green light shows.

Just start as usual after that

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