Won't shift into 5th gear when travelling 40mph... - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
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#1 Old 08-21-2012, 06:17 PM
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Won't shift into 5th gear when travelling 40mph...

Hey Everyone,

It has been a few weeks since we picked up our used 2011 HL. Overall both my wife and I really like the vehicle.

However, when driving around town in which speeds don't get over 45mph.. It seems that the HL is staying in 4th gear. So when driving @ 40mph, engine @ 1800 rpm and as soon as you let off the gas it wants to slow down. I have tried switching to manual shift, it displays "4th gear" and then I try to put it into 5th gear - It just won't go!

I can get it to go into 5th gear if I speed up to ~50mph and then just let off the gas until I am doing 40 again, of which ( and I can't remember 1005, the engine is @ 1200 rpm or so). The HL will go into 5th gear when traveling over 50mph and your can then manually shift from 5th to 4th and back to 5th.

@ 66mph in 5th gear the engine rpms = 2000
@ 66mph in 4th gear the engine rpms = 2750

Any ideas on whats is up! I am glad I am still under warranty!

CraZySteve
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2011 Highlander Base - V6/4wd
2003 Avalon XLS - 150K (4/2014)
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#2 Old 08-21-2012, 06:37 PM
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Yup, that's how the program has it set up. I have an '08 and noticed that was the limit as I drove around town. A tech guy told me if you went into the program you could change the shift points but you would void the warranty. I kept thinking the the better millage I'd get around town if I could just get it to shift into 5th around 40 or 45. But,..........no go since Toyota would not make the change.
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#3 Old 08-21-2012, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by PhotonDreams View Post
Yup, that's how the program has it set up. I have an '08 and noticed that was the limit as I drove around town. A tech guy told me if you went into the program you could change the shift points but you would void the warranty. I kept thinking the the better millage I'd get around town if I could just get it to shift into 5th around 40 or 45. But,..........no go since Toyota would not make the change.
That is BS!~! I mean seriously.... If I were in 5th gear I would get better mileage!

So in other words - don't waste my time taking it my stealership?

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#4 Old 08-21-2012, 06:50 PM
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You could try a dealer and see if, in the last four years they have changed their policy on this issue. I'd say they have a vested interested in setting up a Highlander to, in this day and age get the best mileage but on the other hand 5th gear does not have a lot of leverage at lower speeds and I suspect they have tested everything and reached the conclusion that they would trade less mileage for less stress on the transmission. Thing is, you could almost bet that they set it with a fair margin for error.
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#5 Old 08-21-2012, 07:32 PM
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totally normal. I don't know if your used to a V8, but the v6 doesn't have the torque to hold that gear going up hills at that rpm. The soonest it will shift into 5th (on mine at least) is 46mph (which really is 43mph). But it won't shift back to 4th again until it hits 42mph/needs more power. You have to be on flat ground for it to hold 5th at 44mph.

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

Last edited by sweeneyp; 08-21-2012 at 07:33 PM.
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#6 Old 08-21-2012, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by sweeneyp View Post
totally normal. I don't know if your used to a V8, but the v6 doesn't have the torque to hold that gear going up hills at that rpm. The soonest it will shift into 5th (on mine at least) is 46mph (which really is 43mph). But it won't shift back to 4th again until it hits 42mph/needs more power. You have to be on flat ground for it to hold 5th at 44mph.
Yes, my previous vehicle was a POS 2006 Ford F-150 w/5.4L and a 3.73 LS rear end...

But.. my 2003 Avalon will be in Drive when doing 40mph and it will "Coast" if you let off the gas...

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#7 Old 08-21-2012, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CraZySteve View Post
Yes, my previous vehicle was a POS 2006 Ford F-150 w/5.4L and a 3.73 LS rear end...
Yep, someone is used to a big lazy v8 The HL axle ratio's are set for mpg not torque. The front is 3.478 and the rear is 2.928.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CraZySteve View Post

But.. my 2003 Avalon will be in Drive when doing 40mph and it will "Coast" if you let off the gas...
But your avalon weighs more than 800lb less than the HL, and only has 30 less ft*lbs of torque.

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

Last edited by sweeneyp; 08-21-2012 at 07:44 PM.
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#8 Old 08-21-2012, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by sweeneyp View Post
Yep, someone is used to a big lazy v8
maybe.....

I sure don't miss the crappy gas mileage that thing got... 16mpg combined... I could squeak 19mpg on the highway by driving 62!

My Avalon gets 23-24mpg combined - not bad for a 9 year old vehicle w/130K. It also rides alot better since I just replaced all 4 struts today as well as the coil springs!

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#9 Old 08-21-2012, 10:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CraZySteve View Post
It seems that the HL is staying in 4th gear. So when driving @ 40mph, engine @ 1800 rpm and as soon as you let off the gas it wants to slow down. I have tried switching to manual shift, it displays "4th gear" and then I try to put it into 5th gear - It just won't go!
And this is probably a good thing for the longevity of your HL. At that speed the engine rpm is just not high enough to develop enough torque or vacuum for proper air flow. Thus you end up with unburned fuel which will contaminate the exhaust system.
Consider the "old" cars with standard transmissions..if you drove at say 15 MPH in third (high gear) up a moderate hill you would notice raw fuel dripping out of the exhaust.. and if the car was old enough with vacuum windshield wipers they would stop working..
A modern engine requires the correct rotational (RPM) to develop the required torque and run efficiently.
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#10 Old 08-21-2012, 11:39 PM
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Hey, Steve, great minds think alike. Only someone with a brilliant mind and excellent character would own both a Highlander and an Avalon....

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#11 Old 08-21-2012, 11:47 PM
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Originally Posted by TrailDust View Post
Hey, Steve, great minds think alike. Only someone with a brilliant mind and excellent character would own both a Highlander and an Avalon....

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

Last edited by sweeneyp; 08-22-2012 at 02:31 AM.
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#12 Old 08-21-2012, 11:55 PM
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#13 Old 08-22-2012, 09:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrailDust View Post
Hey, Steve, great minds think alike. Only someone with a brilliant mind and excellent character would own both a Highlander and an Avalon....
That's right! The Avalon is a great car! No major issues and 130K and going strong! Everything still works! I am hoping the Highlander keeps the Toyota reliability tradition going strong!

CraZySteve
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#14 Old 08-22-2012, 09:38 AM
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I wish mine would do that, keeps clunking in and out of OD around town. Glad they resolved it so it stays in a lower gear.

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