Toyota Nation Forum banner

Highlander would not start after getting gas - 2004 Highlander V6 FWD 3.3 Limited

4012 Views 12 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  syncreation
2004 Highlander V6 FWD 3.3 Limited 119,000 Miles


Was on a quarter tank the other day, stopped to get gas, and topped the car off with $40.00.. That filled the gas tank completely full, I didnt put any extra gas in after the pump stopped, but the fuel level on the dash was right above the full line.

When I started the car, it would not start. Sounded like the starter/iginition was firing and the engine was cranking, but the engine would not start.. No CEL lights came on.. I tried a dozen times, and finally it turned over. (See video for sound)

I was thinking maybe it got overfilled with gas, so I drove it for a while then turned it on and off multiple times and it fired right up. Did this about 6 times. Then I drove it today, and after driving to a few locations the same issue happened. Eventually it fired up again..

I am imagining it is a fuel pump related issue.. But I am not completely sure. Would love to hear if you guys have any suggestions or how I can diagnosis the issue.

Thank you in advance for any replies.

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Update:

After digging through the forums a bit, I found a post with someone experiencing a similar issue. They seemed to think it was the spare key they had bought through ebay. I was also using a new combined key/remote that I got from ebay. But the motor did not turn over and then cut out, can anyone confirm that is what would happen if the security programming on non oem keys was not working?

I am still thinking it is probably fuel pump related.. Can anyone confirm if there is a way to check the integrity of the fuel pump other than listening for it when putting the key to the second position? I would guess the pump need to be removed and inspected?

I disconnected the battery to reset the ECU.. I am a bit concerned to drive the car without a clearer idea of what is happening because if the fuel pump is failing I would need to get a tow long distance to my mechanic.

Let me know if anyone has any thoughts.
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
2,552 Posts
When I first read this in the morning, I didn't have time to respond, but the immobilizer was my first thought.

1. It is very very rare for Toyota fuel pumps to go out on these cars. It happens, but it is rare. The fuel pump pressure and flow can be verified by a shop. The factory service manual calls out making a special hose with a "T" to help keep foreign material like sealant or tape out of the injector path. I would add a fuel filter in the "T" line.
There are special banjo fitting bolts available from Summit Racing and in some fuel pressure test kits that allow a connection at the rail, but it uses pipe thread, so gasoline resistant tape or dope is needed, and you run the risk that some of the material will get inside the rail and clog one or more injectors. I would not use one, and I would certainly not leave it in place after testing.
2. It is common for aftermarket keys to not be read correctly by the engine immobilizer. It may be as simple as a bad contact or battery in the aftermarket key.
First, Do you have the engine immobilizer? If you don't know, check your VIN on the Toyota owner's app.
According to the FSM, the immobilizer will inhibit both fuel and ignition.
If the immobilizer is active (inhibiting) the security light will flash rapidly - I think it was once per second or faster.
If you want to simulate the condition, have a plain metal key cut and try it.

If not the immobilizer, next thought was CKP - crank position sensor going intermittent. This is also rare, but again not unheard of.

Right now, my money is on the aftermarket key.
 

· Registered
2003 Highlander
Joined
·
894 Posts
lex:
Your initial post was confusing. "turn over" means the starter engages and spins (cranks) the engine.
I think you were using "turn over" to indicate the engine started and ran.
Better descriptors for engine started:
-Started
-Fired
-Run, Runs, Running, Ran
-jumped to life
-vroomed
-caught
-chugged to life
-idle, idles, idling
-rev, revved, revving
-ignited
-
No offense. Just saying.
Best of luck, Haya....
 

· Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That sure sounds like Imbolizer to me..
lex:
Your initial post was confusing. "turn over" means the starter engages and spins (cranks) the engine.
I think you were using "turn over" to indicate the engine started and ran.
Better descriptors for engine started:
-Started
-Fired
-Run, Runs, Running, Ran
-jumped to life
-vroomed
-caught
-chugged to life
-idle, idles, idling
-rev, revved, revving
-ignited
-
No offense. Just saying.
Best of luck, Haya....

No offense taken, I edited the correction to the post.. Sorry for the confusion on that. I was under the impression that "turning over" is when the engine is converting fuel/spark and fully firing/running. Which I now know was incorrect.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,246 Posts
One note on what CR was saying about getting pipe dope/tape in the fuel system. To avoid this, use a fuel resistant pipe dope on the male threads only, and leave the first two or three threads dope free. That's how you plumb natural gas and propane lines to keep orifices clog free on startup. It's frowned upon to use teflon tape since it will clog an orifice more easily than paste but you can use it if you're careful.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
It's your fuel filters when low on gas adding gas stirs fuel injector cleaner up junk on the bottom of the tanks especially in older cars take to shop have them replace fuel filter then go to auto store and buy fuel.
Injector cleaner should be about 5.00 add each time you fill up before adding gas.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
197 Posts
I'd also state that it could be your fuel/ EVAP system.

Usually due to the fuel vapors not being properly vented/contained, so the ECU can't adjust for the difference to start the engine.

Common on Subarus when the fuel filler neck rusts or other parts of the fuel system fail.

If it starts normally anytime but when filling the tank, it's unrelated to your key.

If your check engine light / MIL is on, get the code scanned and report back. Most auto parts stores (not a dealer/mechanic) will scan for free.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top