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New 2008 Highlander Base
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All, this is my first time posting on TN. Please provide an insight you might have. Tks!

I just brought a brand NEW 2008 Highlander Base 4WD (Blue color) with only 30 miles on it. After driving it for a few days, I notice there was a slight shudder/hesitation with the car when I try to accelerate between 30-40 mph. This shudder/hesitation does not happen all the time. It seems like it only happen when I accelerate over 40 mph and then let go of the gas pedal until the speed drop down to 20+ mph then accelerate again. This is when I will feel the shuddering/hesitation with the car when it is around the 30 to 40 mph range. This happen very sporadically and sometimes I can't even duplicate the problem no matter how hard I try. (FYI, I do not slam on the the gas pedal when accelerating, I accelerate & decelerate lightly and slowly.)

I have since took the car back to the dealership & the service dept found nothing wrong with the car. They told me that the car is probably still in the "Break-In" period and say if the problem persist after 1,000 mile, then bring it back to check again.

I am very concern about this problem. Any insight into this matter is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

p.s. I never thought I would have this type of concern with a brand new Toyota. Not to mention the hassle of bringing the car back to the dealership on the second day.
 

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First, as Traildust would say.... WELCOME TO TN! The shiftpoints on Toyota's transmission have been the subject of MANY debates. While Toyota calls it "normal", I think everyone here would agree when I say that it sure doesn't feel normal. However, Toyota has not done anything to smooth it out. Before I would pass yours off as what Toyota considers normal, I would ask if you are sure on the "shuddering" part? The problem that most of us have experienced is more of a hesitation in shifting. There are previous conversations about the hesitation here if you want to do a quick search.

Welcome again,
DeWat
 

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2008 Highlander Base
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First, as Traildust would say.... WELCOME TO TN!
Hey, that's my line, DeWat! ;) :lol:

jcwy999, like DeWat said there are a couple of past threads talking about this issue, and one of them is here. I have the same hesitation at times, but it's nothing I consider to be a problem, just a slight irritant. I guess no vehicle is perfect, but for it's minor flaws I'll still take the Highlander any day.

Oh, and :welcome: to Toyota Nation! :D:D:D
 

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You need to "learn" the proper way to release the gas pedal after a period of acceleration, even moderate acceleration, when you want to coastdown to a lower speed vs slightly releasing the gas pedal in order to begin cruising.

Toyota and Lexus, and very likely others that use the same transaxle source, have a design flaw in the transaxle that was introduced initially with the RX300 in 1998.

Your '08 HL engine/transaxle controlling ECU firmware tries, TRIES, to predict your future intent by "watching" the rate at which you release the gas pedal immediately subsequent to a period of moderate acceleration that requires something less than top gear.

A slow release will get you an upshift whereas a fast release will more likely result in the transaxle remaining in the lower gear you were just using for acceleration. Provided remaining in "that" lower gear will not result in a significant level of engine compression braking and thereby raise the potential for loss of control should the roadbed hapen to be slippery.

The worse instances will be if you are accelerating moderately and then fully release the gas pedal. In that case the transaxle will begin an upshift as the engine RPM declines to idle. Without the earlier design's ATF pressure holding/sustaing accummulator the upshift will EXHAUST the ATF line pressure. Now you suddenly realize you need to accelerate again but with the engine at idle and no ATF line pressure remaining the DBW system will hold the engine at idle 1-2 seconds, until enough, a HIGH line pressure is built up to support the downshift.
 

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New 2008 Highlander Base
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Discussion Starter #6
2008 Highlander Base 4WD - Shuddering/Hesitation/Shaking/Vibrating??

Thank you for all the inputs. I'm really not sure how I should describe the shuddering/hesitation. But all I can say is that you can definitely feel the car shaking/vibrating a little bit. I can even hear the water bottle sitting in the cup holding making noise as a result of the shaking/vibrating.


**LATEST UPDATE** The last two days the shuddering/hesitation/shaking/vibrating disappear. No matter how hard I try to duplicate the issue, it did not happened. I guess that's good news. Now I am wondering if "stale" gas have anything to do with it. When I got car, it came with a full tank of gas that might have been sitting in the tank for more than several months. Three days ago, I have fill up with BP Regular 87 gas & the issue seems to disappear. I hope is for good. Finger's cross..
 

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HL tranny is rough

First, as Traildust would say.... WELCOME TO TN! The shiftpoints on Toyota's transmission have been the subject of MANY debates. While Toyota calls it "normal", I think everyone here would agree when I say that it sure doesn't feel normal. However, Toyota has not done anything to smooth it out. Before I would pass yours off as what Toyota considers normal, I would ask if you are sure on the "shuddering" part? The problem that most of us have experienced is more of a hesitation in shifting. There are previous conversations about the hesitation here if you want to do a quick search.

Welcome again,
DeWat
My HL doesnt really shift so smooth as well, i suppose that toyota wants to make lexus look good :confused:

Off topic, dewat, any problems with your fleabay HID lights/fogs?
 

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My HL doesnt really shift so smooth as well, i suppose that toyota wants to make lexus look good :confused:

Off topic, dewat, any problems with your fleabay HID lights/fogs?
You might be thinking of someone else Evoman, I didn't do the HID/fogs.
 
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