Strong Vibration at Cold Start - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
Highlander 2nd Generation (2008-2013) Forum dedicated to the discussion of 2nd generation Toyota Highlanders.

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post #1 of 121 Old 03-04-2008, 07:47 PM Thread Starter
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Strong Vibration at Cold Start

A couple days after I purchased the HL I have been having very strong vibrations everyday from a cold start. When the vehicle is in park or neutral from a cold start in the morning there is no vibration. As soon as the HL goes in drive or reverse I can hear and feel a very strong/deep vibration and it can be felt most strongly up front.

I took it to my dealer and of course they start it up in the morning and they claim they neither felt or heard any vibrations. I know I am not crazy and have felt these vibrations since the day it started.

If anyone has experienced this, jump in and let me know. If you have taken your vehicle in, let me know if there was a fix or if the technicians have determined a reason for this sound.
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post #2 of 121 Old 03-04-2008, 10:09 PM
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I joined the forum as soon as I saw this post....

I noticed this exact symptom the morning after I bought mine. I figured I would give it some time before I took it in to see if it would go away. It's been about a week and a half and I still had it this morning. If it's still there by this weekend, I'll take it in.

I will add that it goes away after about 2 to 3 minutes.
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post #3 of 121 Old 03-05-2008, 12:26 AM
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My HL is at the dealer for repair of another issue, and I'm currently driving a HL Base rental.

The rental has 2,000 miles on it and it's doing the same thing: strong vibrations up front during a cold start when switching to Reverse. It eventually goes away.

I have not yet experienced this with my HL Sport (crossing fingers)
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post #4 of 121 Old 03-05-2008, 05:57 AM Thread Starter
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Yup. Same symptoms. Once the car is warm, it is gone. I have told the service manager that it will stay at the dealer until they hear the vibrations. If I have to go up there in the morning just to make sure they are not BS'ing me I will because I know that sound is not a normal start up sound.
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post #5 of 121 Old 03-05-2008, 07:01 AM
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Are we talking about a AWD or a FWD Highlander??

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post #6 of 121 Old 03-05-2008, 07:43 AM Thread Starter
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FWD (Sport) for me.
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post #7 of 121 Old 03-05-2008, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcalm002 View Post
FWD (Sport) for me.
Two things come to mind...

1) The vibration only occurs when the engine is cold and operating at fast idle load and goes away when the engine is warmed up.

You usually get the "its normal" response from the service department on this one. The solution is to go out on the lot and find another FWD Sport and start it up when cold and see if it does the same thing. If not it is probably...

2) The Active Engine mount circuit is not working properly.

Quote:
Active Control Engine Mount
The operating range of the active control engine mount is during idling under the engine speed of 900 rpm.
Signals that are synchronized to the engine speed are sent by the ECM to the VSV and the engine vacuum
is utilized to vary the pressure of the intake air chamber in the active control engine mount.
As a result, the diaphragm vibrates, and using the liquid as a medium, the rubber mount vibrates.
This vibration of the engine mount acts to cancel out the engine vibration during idle, thus reducing the vibration and noise at idle.
The engine mountís damping force to generate vibrations is adjusted through the effects of the orifice and the side branch.

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post #8 of 121 Old 03-05-2008, 09:29 AM
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The rental I'm driving is a 2WD (the one with the vibrations) (2000 miles), and the one without vibrations thus far is my Sport AWD (800 miles)

By the way, about starting up a HL cold at the dealership -- I believe it only happens when the weather is colder. So, if you go to the dealer and start up the car when it's already warmer, the vibrations may not occur. Please correct me if that theory is wrong.

summerwind: good find about the Active Engine thing

Last edited by hksscom; 03-05-2008 at 09:30 AM.
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post #9 of 121 Old 03-05-2008, 09:36 AM Thread Starter
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That may be true. I took it to the dealer on a day where the temp was in the 70s and today in the 60s. But we have started the vehicle on days where it was 50s almost 60s and did get the vibrations.

I am curious now to see if it could be a malfunction on the active mount system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hksscom View Post
The rental I'm driving is a 2WD (the one with the vibrations) (2000 miles), and the one without vibrations thus far is my Sport AWD (800 miles)

By the way, about starting up a HL cold at the dealership -- I believe it only happens when the weather is colder. So, if you go to the dealer and start up the car when it's already warmer, the vibrations may not occur. Please correct me if that theory is wrong.

summerwind: good find about the Active Engine thing
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post #10 of 121 Old 03-05-2008, 10:11 AM
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My HL is a FWD. I happened this morning and it was about 55deg here in NC. I've got <600miles on the car.
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post #11 of 121 Old 03-05-2008, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcalm002 View Post
That may be true. I took it to the dealer on a day where the temp was in the 70s and today in the 60s. But we have started the vehicle on days where it was 50s almost 60s and did get the vibrations.

I am curious now to see if it could be a malfunction on the active mount system.
What I meant is that it probably happens in COOLER temps, not warmer ones

By the way, the rental HL Base did that vibration more strongly when doing Reverse, but when shifted to Drive, it's only there slightly.

I just got back my HL Sport AWD, and it's not having that problem. We'll see how it goes tomorrow early morning.
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post #12 of 121 Old 03-05-2008, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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Well, as an update, the dealer again today said they did not hear the sound and insisted that I pick it up and maybe take it to them on a colder day. When I arrived, the service manager and tech. were kind of enough to walk me to the vehicle and sit in it with me when I started it.

When I started it, the vibration did occur, but not as strong. The tech. did hear the sound and said that was a normal vibration. He explained that it is the way the system is programmed. It is set to have a higher RPMs upon start so as to get the engine oil up to a certain temperature and get the engine warmed up. I explained that it usually is very loud and he stated that there pretty much wasn't much he could do unless Toyota released any TSBs that covered the problem. He did say to call a 1-800 number and complain about the issue to Toyota so that they at least will know the problem/annoyance exists otherwise they will never investigate.

I guess this is the downfall of buying the first year model of a particular vehicle. What really doesn't make sense to me is that every 08 HL owner is not claiming to have the same vibrations which leads me to believe that there is some sort of defect and in fact this is not "normal".

Last edited by jcalm002; 03-05-2008 at 06:27 PM.
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post #13 of 121 Old 03-05-2008, 06:38 PM
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jcalm: a few HL owners DID report that they got the same issue, including me (with the Rental FWD Base Edition one.)

Which HL do you have again?
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post #14 of 121 Old 03-05-2008, 06:40 PM
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My bad. So far, 3 people have reported this vibration -- and all 3 have FWD HL's. As a reference, my AWD Sport doesn't do this (and it's at 900 miles)
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post #15 of 121 Old 03-05-2008, 09:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hksscom View Post
My bad. So far, 3 people have reported this vibration -- and all 3 have FWD HL's. As a reference, my AWD Sport doesn't do this (and it's at 900 miles)

Humm...wonder what the difference is between the FWD and AWD to cause this apparent "feature" with FWD's when cold

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