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Old 01-17-2012, 01:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question 2004 Highlander Multiple Warning Lights Stay On

I have the following warning lights that stay on all the time in my Highlander (VSC, Trac-Off, ABS, Brake and Low Pressure Tire). These came on over the past few months. I took my vehicle to Autozone where they used the scantool but did not find any error codes. They suggested most likely a short or bad ground. The vehicle drives fine and I cannot reset any of the warning lights. Can anyone give me insight as to where to start looking or how to troubleshoot? I don't have an electrical diagram so if you have links to one it would be greatly appreciated, otherwise I will have to find one.

Thanks,

Gary
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Old 01-17-2012, 07:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Gary..let's start with the basics. First pull battery cables and clean ends, terminals, & coat with terminal grease. Then check your main grounds to the body, engine, etc. inspect for loose connections or damage. Clean & tighten those as well. next proceed to the main fuse box and check the fuses. inspect the metal ends for corrosion or obvious blown fuses. Clean any corrosion or replace fuses. (Any excess moisture in the main fuse box by chance?) These is also a small fuse box on left drivers under side of dash, behind a small pop out storage bin. check those as well. Have a load test done on your battery at someplace like autozone or the like. Have them check continuity of your battery cables as well. I had a neg. battery cable start to go bad once and it drove me fits for about 3 months. Give these things a try then we can proceed to more advanced t-shooting. Wiring/ harnesses, etc. would be the next thing to explore. I'm sure some others with more knowledge may chime in with advice as well. I am assuming that these lights came on gradually one by one...or not ALL at the same time? Good luck, Hammer
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Old 01-30-2012, 07:14 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Still troublshooting

I looked at the fuses both inside the car and in the engine compartment. All fuses looked good. I did end up having to replace my battery finally last week - it was the original (2004) and it finally dies in 2012!!!
I did not see anything obvious with the wiring harness but did not remove anything in the dash.
What other suggestions do you have?
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Old 01-30-2012, 07:29 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I hate to do it but my next step would be to take it in to Toyota and pay them an hour's labor to diagnose the problem. You don't necessarily need to get it fixed there but they have tools and skills most likely to quickly identify/confirm the root cause of your symptoms.
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Old 02-06-2012, 08:29 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gshartman View Post
I have the following warning lights that stay on all the time in my Highlander (VSC, Trac-Off, ABS, Brake and Low Pressure Tire). These came on over the past few months. I took my vehicle to Autozone where they used the scantool but did not find any error codes. They suggested most likely a short or bad ground. The vehicle drives fine and I cannot reset any of the warning lights. Can anyone give me insight as to where to start looking or how to troubleshoot? I don't have an electrical diagram so if you have links to one it would be greatly appreciated, otherwise I will have to find one.

Thanks,

Gary
A couple of things come to mind. First would be the master cylinder, the second would be wheel speed sensors. All three lights, VSC, Trac-off, and Brake are all connected. If one turns on they all do. From what I know it's for safety issues. The low tire pressure light could also be a part of the issue. Just make sure, obviously, that your tires are properly inflated. I would follow jabberwock's advice and have someone have a look at it. You can usually save yourself some money and take it to a good independent garage.
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Old 02-27-2012, 03:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I took my Highlander to a shop where the tech did an analysis and determined that there was only 1.8 volts at the left side rear wheel sensor (instead of the 3 volts). He followed the wires from the connector back to where they enter the body and found the wires to be taunt. At that point the wires became encased in a rubber boot. I am going to look further into trying to troubleshoot and determine where the wire is pinched or cut.
The tech did say that this was related to 4 of the 5 instrument lights. The low pressure tire warning light is a separate issue not related to the wheel sensor.
So I am off to get into the interior and determine where the wires are pinched and hopefully resolve this problem.
Will let you know what I find out.
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Old 12-10-2012, 01:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Same thing Just Happened to Me!

Just wanted to share that the same exact warning lights just came on for me as well in December 2012. Probably no coincidence with the timing since mine's a 2004 as well. I live in an area with a decent amount of winter snow and salted roads too, so I figure that has something to do with it.

I know the exact moment it happened too. I have a 2004 Solara and had the car full of 4 grown men (not a typical loading for my car), took a sharp turn and BING...all of those same warning lights came on. I was freaked out and thought Oh my gosh! My parking brake is on and my ABS doesn't work! etc. But I quickly came to realize the function of the vehicle had not changed.

It would initially go away when I'd restart the car, but now it's in non-stop. I do have 190K miles on it though so I am thinking of just living with the problem, assuming it does not actually mean that I don't have ABS or VSC, etc.
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Old 12-20-2012, 06:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Lights on

Based on what I saw, you have no choice but to look for the bad connection and fix it if you want the lights off. Go to each connector at the wheel sensor and measure the voltage at the pins and see if you get 3 Volts. If you don't there is most likely a corroded connection. I traced the wires back to inside the car and found the location just inside the car body where there is a connection. I just cut the connector and spliced a short wire with shrink wrap and soldered in place. Problem solved and ABS brakes work again.

I guess it depends on where you live as to whether ABS is needed. If you can get by without them, and certainly many people have done so for a long time and you don't want to fix this then your all set to live with the lights. I think I lived with mine for about 6-8 months. I live in NY and the ABS light on still passed inspection because the brakes still function properly. ABS is only an enhancement to braking.

Glad to see you have 190k miles!! I have 110k miles and car is running great with no major issues. Keep on driving a Toyota.
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