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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This morning when I started my 2007 Highlander Limited V6 that has a little over 140k miles on it, the Check Engine Light started flashing and the VSC light remained lit. I don't have access to a device to get error codes, unfortunately. I drove it around the block and it idled roughly at stop while in gear. For a couple of weeks now I've been hearing a slight "knocking" noise when it was ascending an incline at the parking garage. Timing couldn't be worse with the holiday. I called my Toyota dealer who made an appointment a week from Monday at 7:30am. I tried to speak to the Service Manager who I know for years but he wasn't taking calls today it seems. I'll try again on Friday.

Any idea what this might be? Perhaps an ignition coil issue? I checked the connections that people say sometimes get knocked off and everything seems correctly attached. Gas Cap is also ok with a definite "Click". My biggest question though is is this vehicle safe to drive while in this state until 12/6 when it goes in for service or is it going to leave me stranded on the road?
Thanks.
 

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Stop driving it and have the car towed to where it can be repaired. Flashing check engine light indicates the computer has detected a condition-usually misfire- which will damage the catalytic converters.
Without codes it is difficult to even give you a direction to look.
 

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Access to an OBD2 scanner is as near as your car part store where they will pull codes for you. Write the codes down exactly. You should buy a cheap code scanner. You will use it more than once, so it's worth spending $20-$50 for a scanner. Check engine light means check engine, not guess engine. Trouble codes tell you what parts and systems are acting up, but they do not say replace them. Codes can be looked up online to see what they mean and troubleshooting methods. Some fixes are easy and some must go to the shop. What's in your wallet?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Auto Zone was open today so I went and got some codes. Under "Power Train" P0304 (Cylinder 4 Misfire), and under "Anti-Lock Brake System" C1223 (Malfunction in ABS Control System) and C1241 (Low battery postiive voltage or abnormally high battery postive voltage). The recommendation of their "Innova Fix Finder" computer was "Replace the Ignition Coils" and "Replace the Alternator". The Alternator was replaced about 6 months ago and last month when the AAA replaced my battery they assured me that the alternator was fine. I'm still suspicious though of why I paid $280 installed and Consumer Reports says it should cost $795? Maybe that $795 only applies to newer Highalnders? I spoke with the local AAA garage and I'll drop it off there tomorrow morning to see what they say. I know that the Ignition Coils are a "weakness" in these vehicles, if you could call getting 140,000 out of them before a problem being a weakness. My local Toyota dealer (the one with the worse service department than the Toyota dealer I take my Highlander to) has a low mileage 2018 Forester listed that is very tempting right now. But I'd rather keep this Highlander to 200,000 miles and beyond if it's reasonable to do so rather than deal with possible CVT issues on the Forester in a few years.
 

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You could move the coil to a different cylinder and see if the code changes to P030x (x= whatever cylinder misfires). That's why you need a code reader. Then again it can be that the spark plugs are starting to fail. If the P0304 remains, that could mean a bad spark plug instead of bad coil is there. Consumer reports isn't the best reference for prices...rebuilt parts are way cheaper than new OEM at the dealer+installation there. A simple multimeter can tell you your battery's voltage and the alternator output voltage, to show if it's working or not. Knowledge is power and ignorance is expensive. Ignorance still means you CAN learn. Happy thanksgiving and don't drink too much turkey.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You could move the coil to a different cylinder and see if the code changes to P030x (x= whatever cylinder misfires). That's why you need a code reader. Then again it can be that the spark plugs are starting to fail. If the P0304 remains, that could mean a bad spark plug instead of bad coil is there. Consumer reports isn't the best reference for prices...rebuilt parts are way cheaper than new OEM at the dealer+installation there. A simple multimeter can tell you your battery's voltage and the alternator output voltage, to show if it's working or not. Knowledge is power and ignorance is expensive. Ignorance still means you CAN learn. Happy thanksgiving and don't drink too much turkey.
Local AAA shop checked out the vehicle today. Recommended replacement of the spark plugs ( I don't remember the Toyota dealer ever replacing them which is hard to believe with 140,000 miles on the vehicle) and replacement of three of the ignition coils. Time will tell if it solves the issues. I do plan to get a reader for future use.
 
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