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Old 11-23-2009, 11:40 AM   #1 (permalink)
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'04 highlander - won't start

The battery died on my highlander. We replaced it, but now the highlander won't start. The red light next to the steering wheel no longer flashes. Do I need to reset something since we had to replace the battery? We know the battery was dead previously because none of the electrical would work, but since we've replaced it the electrical works again.
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Old 11-23-2009, 12:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Make sure the contacts at the end of your positive and negative cables are clean. Use a wire brush to clean any corrosion off of them and you've got clean metal to metal contact. Most often, that's why a vehicle won't start after changing out a battery.
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Old 11-23-2009, 12:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Make sure the contacts at the end of your positive and negative cables are clean. Use a wire brush to clean any corrosion off of them and you've got clean metal to metal contact. Most often, that's why a vehicle won't start after changing out a battery.
If this was the problem would I still be getting power? Our lights work (and they didn't before switching out the battery).
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Old 11-23-2009, 12:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Batteries are funny that way. It's possible...IMO...for you to be getting enough juice for lights but not enough to turn the engine over. Are your contacts clean? If not, make sure they're clean and make sure they're tight on the battery posts. If that doesn't do it I'd try taking the battery back. On rare occasions a battery can come with a bad cell that will provide some juice, but not enough to turn over an engine. If a battery swap doesn't do it, then there's a deeper issue involved (alternator, etc.) that will require servicing. Always start with the simplest troubleshooting causes and work your way up.
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Last edited by TrailDust; 11-23-2009 at 12:34 PM.
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Old 11-23-2009, 03:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Batteries are funny that way. It's possible...IMO...for you to be getting enough juice for lights but not enough to turn the engine over. Are your contacts clean? If not, make sure they're clean and make sure they're tight on the battery posts. If that doesn't do it I'd try taking the battery back. On rare occasions a battery can come with a bad cell that will provide some juice, but not enough to turn over an engine. If a battery swap doesn't do it, then there's a deeper issue involved (alternator, etc.) that will require servicing. Always start with the simplest troubleshooting causes and work your way up.
I checked for corrosion on the contacts, and they are clean.

My theft deterrent system/engine immobilizer system indicator light does not flash when the key is out of the ignition, but everything I'm reading says it should. Does something need to be reset?
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Old 11-23-2009, 03:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Sounds like it, my '04 the Imobilizer flashes any time the key is not in the ignition.
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Old 11-24-2009, 10:12 AM   #7 (permalink)
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One more thing I didn't mention. When we got our new battery, it was labeled wrong (and thus we hooked it up backwards). We exchanged the battery for a properly labeled one, but could hooking up the battery backwards caused some sort of problem?
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Old 11-24-2009, 11:25 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Exclamation Oh Yes!!

Yep, reverse polarity with new computer systems on board and do all kinds of damage! I hope a fusable link prevented anything real bad.
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Old 11-24-2009, 11:36 AM   #9 (permalink)
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One more thing I didn't mention. When we got our new battery, it was labeled wrong (and thus we hooked it up backwards). We exchanged the battery for a properly labeled one, but could hooking up the battery backwards caused some sort of problem?
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Yep, reverse polarity with new computer systems on board and do all kinds of damage! I hope a fusable link prevented anything real bad.
Agree with what shortlid said. This is one of the most common mistakes, but it's one of the most costly ones too. Modern vehicles are a multitude of computers on wheels, and when you reverse polarity on a new battery the result is typically fried computers. At this point take your car in to be serviced, preferably at a local mechanic as opposed to a stealership.
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Old 02-05-2010, 07:28 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Late reply....but I have a feeling this did not have a happy ending..?
I've never seen polarity labled wrong on a battery....it's embossed in the case molding.
DOH !
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