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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
Good evening fellow community members,

Does anyone have any experience or insight into troubleshooting a Highlander where the gas pump keeps shutting off as you try to refuel? I have taken a look under the car and have identified the the fuel tank and filler tube but not sure really where to go from here. I have watched tons of youtube videos but found nothing particularly for the Highlander. It seems to have become an issue all of a sudden. I need to begin by inspecting evaporation canister/tubing if anyone has any experience with this it would be greatly appreciated or can point me to any existing resources. It appears the fuel flow into the tank is exceeding the air flow out of the tank as the air is displaced. Even at a reduced flow I can hear the fuel back-filling up the fill-tube. Thanks in advance!
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thank you for your reply. I reside in California. I am confident it has to do with some sort of airflow restriction I just need to determine how to properly troubleshoot further. I do not want to carelessly blow air into the wrong tubes and possibly ruin a seal. The issue occurs when using any gas pump no matter how the pump is inserted. As I fill the tank at the normal flow rate I can hear the gas begin to back-fill up the fill tube until the cut-off initiates. My wife just noticed this became an issue all of a sudden. I tried testing with the car running which seemed to work for the first couple gallons but then the issue began to persist. I will continue to do additional research.

Highly recommend anyone looking to familaire themselves check out these videos.
This video demonstrates how the over EVAP system works and is very detailed.
This video demonstrates how to test the EVAP canister and vacuum switching valve.
 

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Premium Member
2008 Highlander Base
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35,223 Posts
Thank you for your reply. I reside in California.
I thought so. I too live in California, and those vapor recovery collars on the fuel handles are a nightmare. On average, when they're not shutting off during fuel filling half a dozen times or more, I find that for my vehicles the pumps typically shut off 1.5 to 2.2 gallons shy of a full tank, and I have to manually pull back on the collar and fill my vehicles' tanks the rest of the way. I do not have this issue in other states like Nevada that don't have vapor recovery collars. That's my experience and opinion anyway.
 

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Inveterate Tinkerer
2014 Avalon Limited
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<snip> those vapor recovery collars on the fuel handles are a nightmare.
TD (and all),

There's a fix for that. When I rode motorcycles in California I carried a little tool that slipped over the nozzle and held the recovery bellows back. With a bike it's handy to be able to see into the tank while filling. There are many designs, some metal some plastic, but this is one of the simplest. The only downside, you tend to forget the tool and ride away without it so purchase one, use it as a template to make a bunch more.

As a test, the OP might want to try manually holding the bellows back while filling to see if his issue goes away.

Cheers!
 

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2008 Highlander Base
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I have that problem occasionally. What works for me is swiveling the handle around so that it's pointing toward the rear of the vehicle.
Never heard or seen that before. I'll have to give it a try. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Good day fellow community members, thank you everyone for their responses. I decided to just take it into a certified mechanic to have them troubleshoot and identify the root cause further. The fuel is back filling up the fill-tube and is thus cutting off the flow to prevent over-flow. Holding back the bellow and or changing the angle/position of the nozzle did not make a difference for my situation. I will reply as soon as the issue has been confirmed resolved.

Best,
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Apologies for the delayed follow-up everyone! The issue was due to a defective solenoid/valve on the fuel system CANISTER ASSY CHARCOAL 77740-48140. When the fuel tank is being filled there is a solenoid/valve that opens which allows air to be displaced as fluid is entering the tank. Unfortunately we had to buy the entire assembly as we could not find the solenoid/valve itself.
 

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2009 Base AWD,leathe
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Always be careful when fueling ..when the pump shuts off, there is a reason...learned the hard way $$$$. I had to replace the charcoal (evap) canister on my 2015 Corolla after continuing to fill the tank after the pump had shut off...never had any problems with my 2009 Highlander ...but that canister is very expensive (easily replaced in 15 minutes though)


Just FYI
 
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