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Discussion Starter #1
Have a 2018 Highlander AWD Lmited w Platinum package. It’s about a month old with 2000 miles.

Love the vehicle so far but my wife and I were at lunch today and came out, tried to start the vehicle and got a message something to the effect “low braking power” and the vehicle wouldn’t start. I did not have the presence of mind to take a photo because I was so flustered. About the time I was ready to give up it started and has started twice since.

I did do an internet search and saw this was an issue with RAV 4s a few years ago. Anyone have any ideas what this may be and particularly if it might leave me stranded. Yes I will take it to the dealer but with no photo and the unlikelihood that they can recreate the issue, not sure what they can do unless it stores a code?

Was planning on doing a 6 hour road trip this weekend otherwise would take it to the dealer tomorrow and leave it.

Any insight is appreciated.


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On the RX there was a recall of the brake booster not sure if the same deal is going on for your Highlander. There could very well be stored codes, also this error is quite specific so the dealer can't try the excuse that they don't have enough information.
 

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Could be that the computer is not detecting enough pressure on the brake pedal when trying to start (engine won't start unless foot is on the brakes). This could be a problem with the brake pedal mechnism, or a problem with the person trying to start the vehicle.

I would try pumping the brakes hard while in Park, and also apply the parking brake hard and release it about 5 times. On some vehicles, this helps with self-adjusting brakes.
 

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I have taken vehicles with problems to dealer service departments before and I didn't have a picture. Never knew it was required. And if I had a pic and they couldn't replicate the problem, what then?
 

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Can you take it by the dealer and see if it stored a code? If it did not and it cannot be duplicated go on your trip.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have taken vehicles with problems to dealer service departments before and I didn't have a picture. Never knew it was required. And if I had a pic and they couldn't replicate the problem, what then?


Thanks. Helpful. I too normally do not take a picture or a video, but because I could not remember exactly what the message displayed, or what other information was displayed, I thought it might be helpful in case no code was stored AND I continued to have a problem. I think you would agree that even if a code is not stored if your vehicle will not start, that is a problem, even if a computer says there is no problem.

My thoughts were that photographic and or videographic documentation was evidence that there is a problem which could be important if the problem persists.

I did take the vehicle to the dealer this morning and there were no codes stored and no other problems were noted with the vehicle. I will move on and chalk it up to a perfect storm sequence of events (no idea what they would be) or a one off that hopefully will not occur again. Would not be fun to be stuck in a remote location and have this occur and the vehicle ultimately NOT start.

Thanks for the feedback and if anyone else has had this happen would appreciate hearing about it even if it was just a one off and did not happen again.


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More and likely this caused by a vacuum leak. Engine and brake vacuum are all part of the same system. If Vacuum is low then engine will have a problem starting.
 

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I thought it is likely differnet, with little thought to it... in the off chance there is a relation, or a need of TSb...might as well have it looked at :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11


My vehicle is not part of this recall and what is described in the recall notice is not what is happening with my vehicle although the low braking power light IS what I am seeing when the vehicle will not start.

When I put my foot on the vehicle to start it the low brake power light comes on and the vehicle will not start. I have no braking issues at all.

This happened again last night and I had the presence of mind to take a photo so that I could show it to the dealer since he looked at me like I had 2 heads when I took it in last time.

Last night I quickly took my foot off the brake and cut the ignition off, and then went through the start up procedure again at which time it fired right up. Almost like re-booting a computer.

My wife thinks I need to take it back to the dealer. As long as I can just go through the start up sequence and get it to start quickly I don’t plan on taking it back to the dealer. I know they will tell me they could not recreate the problem and that no code was thrown. Just hoping this doesn’t keep happening or if it does i can get it to start quickly by cutting the ignition off and then going through the start up sequence a second time.




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2018 HL Limited AWD
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My vehicle is not part of this recall and what is described in the recall notice is not what is happening with my vehicle although the low braking power light IS what I am seeing when the vehicle will not start.

When I put my foot on the vehicle to start it the low brake power light comes on and the vehicle will not start. I have no braking issues at all.

This happened again last night and I had the presence of mind to take a photo so that I could show it to the dealer since he looked at me like I had 2 heads when I took it in last time.

Last night I quickly took my foot off the brake and cut the ignition off, and then went through the start up procedure again at which time it fired right up. Almost like re-booting a computer.

My wife thinks I need to take it back to the dealer. As long as I can just go through the start up sequence and get it to start quickly I don’t plan on taking it back to the dealer. I know they will tell me they could not recreate the problem and that no code was thrown. Just hoping this doesn’t keep happening or if it does i can get it to start quickly by cutting the ignition off and then going through the start up sequence a second time.




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What you are describing is not normal and I would caution against your ostrich strategy. Things don’t generally “go away” and it could be(come) a major issue. Your best avenue is to have the attempts to repair/resolve well documented by the dealer.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
What you are describing is not normal and I would caution against your ostrich strategy. Things don’t generally “go away” and it could be(come) a major issue. Your best avenue is to have the attempts to repair/resolve well documented by the dealer.


Yea.... Even though my inclination at this point is to not go back to the dealer, if it continues I probably will take it back....just feel confident it will be to no avail unless the occurrence frequency increases. Then I will be left with a lemon law fight.

Really like this vehicle and hate this is happening. I have had Toyota smart key vehicles for years, so not like I don’t know how to push the button and start them!


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Yea.... Even though my inclination at this point is to not go back to the dealer, if it continues I probably will take it back....just feel confident it will be to no avail unless the occurrence frequency increases. Then I will be left with a lemon law fight.

FWIW...Going to dealer can be a PIA. As mentioned & u need paper trail (r/o listing your issue) on this no start with msg. Somekinda glitch for sure. Your no where near Lemon law at this time. Yeah, decisions, decisions. :dunno: Anyhow, good luck on outcome.
 

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I have just experienced this issue on a 2018 Toyota Kluger in Australia. I was unable to start the car for a few hours.

The error is "Braking Power Low. Stop in a Safe Place. See Owner's Manual". If you Google that error in full you will see that it occurs on Lexus as well. There is nothing on this error in the manual.

The dealer was able to replicate the issue on my car by pumping the brake. They were not able to replicate the issue on another car of the same model. This suggests to me that it is a fault and not normal behaviour.*

The dealer said that there was no fault with the car and did nothing top fix the underlying problem.

What are Toyota / Lexus doing to fix the problem?

At the very least they should upgrade the software to make the warning more sensible. The warning suggests to consult the manual but the error is not listed in my manual.
 

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The Lexus manual here (https://www.manualslib.com/manual/1109823/Lexus-Rx350-2016.html?page=642) says "If the following messages are shown, there may be a malfunction. Immediately stop the vehicle in a safe place and contact your Lexus dealer. Continuing to drive the vehicle may be dangerous". I have serious concerns driving a vehicle with a vehicle exhibiting a warning highlighted as 'dangerous'.*
 

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Regarding your low braking power issue, some random thoughts:

1. Surprised no code was stored. Suggest you invest in an inexpensive code reader (I purchased one that works with my cell phone for as little as $20 on Ebay). You could leave it attached and see what it says during the event.

2. Some weirdness about the brake booster vacuum pump is that it is actually a wear part, and on my 2017 LE, the owners manual says to replace it at 120,000 miles as part of regular maintenance. I had to educate the dealer on this as they had no idea. I think it is kind of important due to the nature of the engine design, it may not generate sufficient vacuum under all circumstances without the benefit of the pump. Its nice to be able to stop when you need to.

3. My dealers maintenance program telling them what to do at each service interval did not specify this replacement, although it was there in black and white in the owner service manual.

4. IMHO this is important, and I would gently but firmly insist on getting it corrected, even to the extent of invoking the lemon law if necessary. It could be a safety issue. Your first task is to get the issue to reliably and demonstrably repeat or at least document it with a video.

Best wishes...
 

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2. Some weirdness about the brake booster vacuum pump is that it is actually a wear part, and on my 2017 LE, the owners manual says to replace it at 120,000 miles as part of regular maintenance. I had to educate the dealer on this as they had no idea. I think it is kind of important due to the nature of the engine design, it may not generate sufficient vacuum under all circumstances without the benefit of the pump. Its nice to be able to stop when you need to.

I can understand the confusion because that is NOT normally a wear item. They should last for ever.
 

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Have a 2018 Highlander AWD Lmited w Platinum package. It’s about a month old with 2000 miles.

Love the vehicle so far but my wife and I were at lunch today and came out, tried to start the vehicle and got a message something to the effect “low braking power” and the vehicle wouldn’t start. I did not have the presence of mind to take a photo because I was so flustered. About the time I was ready to give up it started and has started twice since.

I did do an internet search and saw this was an issue with RAV 4s a few years ago. Anyone have any ideas what this may be and particularly if it might leave me stranded. Yes I will take it to the dealer but with no photo and the unlikelihood that they can recreate the issue, not sure what they can do unless it stores a code?

Was planning on doing a 6 hour road trip this weekend otherwise would take it to the dealer tomorrow and leave it.

Any insight is appreciated.


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Brand new vehicle. Take it to the dealer and tell them to fix it!
 

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Some weirdness about the brake booster vacuum pump is that it is actually a wear part, and on my 2017 LE

I was looking at the factory maintenance schedule for my 14 HL. The brake booster vacuum pump is NOT in considered a wear part and not listed anywhere for replacement.




One note while looking at the schedules.. On the schedule it says at certain intervals to CHECK the oil filter. That is just plain stupid. If you go through the effort to remove the housing and pull the filter element out and inspect...why don't they just replace the $2 item (deal cost). In reality that line is just a filler to the uninformed owner that they are doing all this stuff to your car to justify the absurd maintenance schedule cost.
 
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