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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi folks,


My 2015 Highlander XLE with 52k miles is completely stock, nothing but scheduled service (except for the external temp sensor that was swapped by the dealer), just threw a CEL and displayed TRAC OFF and Check AWD System on the dash display. I'm the first owner; it's less than 4 years old.



I googled a lot to find out what this might be; turns out there are about a million reasons this might occur so I can't get a quick answer without pulling any codes. I was due this week for an oil change so I'm taking it into my shop on Wednesday for investigation.


The car seems to be driving fine; no hesitation or engine issues that I'm aware of, though apparently I'm now in two wheel drive mode if I understand correctly. It's still plenty peppy and doesn't seem to be missing a beat in the engine.



From what I can tell, when there's a check engine condition, it turns off the AWD system and thus Traction Control too. Is this correct?


There is no clunkiness or other signs of poor driveability whatsoever. Shifts nice and clean. I figured I would check the transmission fluild, only to spend 20 minutes searching for the dipstick, eventually google told me I probably don't have one. Sealed transmission? Bah!


From what I've read so far it could range from a bad tank of gas, to a problem with the evap control system, to a bad sensor somewhere along the drive train, to a bad transmission.


Well, I'm still in the 60mo/60k drivetrain warranty so if it's the transmission hopefully I'm covered.


I've done service at the dealer up through 35k then at my local (very trusted) shop after; I have them change oil every 5k or so.

EDIT: I did check the gas cap; it was on tight. I removed it and screwed it back on; no change in CEL or AWD/Trac warning. If the problem went away, will the check engine light go away on it's own, or would it stick until service guy clears the code? I thought about taking it to the autozone to have them scan the code, but decided to wait for my trusted shop to see everything in situ. Note, I'm in Indiana and experienced the massive temperature swing this past week; thought this might be behind an evap issue. Sigh.



Based on the description above and lack of seriously pathological symptoms other than the warnings, any ideas as to what is going on would be appreciated. I'm on pins and needles until my appointment in a couple days.


Thanks folks!
 

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From what I can tell, when there's a check engine condition, it turns off the AWD system and thus Traction Control too. Is this correct?

Yes. 100% correct. This is normal. It's been normal for Toyota since at least 2005.


You need to get the code read to determine the cause. Either buy yourself a code reader or go to someplace like ADAP or Pep-Boys who'll read the code for free. Then you can determine your course of action. You shouldn't/can't go any further without determining what the error code is.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes. 100% correct. This is normal. It's been normal for Toyota since at least 2005.


You need to get the code read to determine the cause. Either buy yourself a code reader or go to someplace like ADAP or Pep-Boys who'll read the code for free. Then you can determine your course of action. You shouldn't/can't go any further without determining what the error code is.
Makes sense. I will be at my trusted shop tomorrow and they will pull the code so that we can figure out cause and solution. I have driven about 50 miles since it first popped up and the the CEL is still on so it doesn't seem to be a transient thing that would auto reset. I will know more tomorrow and will report back.

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Discussion Starter #4
CEL and warnings went away about 60-70 miles after appearing; still looking forward to seeing what the code was tomorrow when it is in the shop.

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Discussion Starter #6
All done at the shop.

There was a historical code P0015 Camshaft Position B-Timing over retarded

I've seen some threads about Camshaft Position sensor issues. If this is more than a one time thing --if it comes back-- would this be covered by the power train warranty?

And if so, should I do something to document with the dealer that I had this issue at 52k to get it on the books?

If I get a CEL again I will use Carista odb2 to pull the code while it is still a CEL and warning.

Appreciate any thoughts. Meanwhile the car is back to normal!



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2107 Check Engine / Check AWD System at 67K miles

I know this has come up before but I can't remember whether anyone with a 2017+ has gotten it. About 100 miles into a 400 mile driving day I suddenly get a Check Engine light/popup message and Check AWD System popup display. It literally showed up in the middle of an intersection. AWD is disabled. There is definitely a handling difference without AWD - you can feel the loss of rear-wheel torque. No cruise control. Start/stop disabled. I don't notice anything else except for possible rough idling. About 200 miles and about 6 stops later, I realize that everything is working again when start/stop kicks in at an intersection. From what I understand, the engine issue could be primary and the AWD system notification a result of that.

I have a handheld ODB scanner but figure I might have to wait take a look at it if it happens again.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I would take it to Dealer so they can check code and document whatever it is. If I get another instance of this that is what I will do.

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I would take it to Dealer so they can check code and document whatever it is. If I get another instance of this that is what I will do.

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If you get another error, you'd need to fix/repair the issue.
I would take car to dealer for warranty repair.
Obviously, if engine is sludged because of missed maintenance, then issue is caused by owner and could possible be not covered under warranty.

Either the oil control valve or the VVT controller is failing. Sometimes the solenoid fails, or the VVT controller is worn out.

Most of the time, the OCV screens need cleaning, caused by negligent oil change intervals, pathetic oil filtration, and cheap oil.

I would find out what filters and bulk oil the shop is using. "Trusted" or "reputable" shop doesn't mean a thing.

For now, I would use a synthetic 5w30 oil, quality synthetic oil filter, and shorten the oil change interval to 4000 miles. Hopefully, if there is any varnish or sludge, the fresh oil will clean it out. The engine might need some Rislone, Marvel oil, Autorx, Lubegard, BG.... to help clean out any sludge/varnish crud.

2107 Check Engine / Check AWD System at 67K miles

I know this has come up before but I can't remember whether anyone with a 2017+ has gotten it. About 100 miles into a 400 mile driving day I suddenly get a Check Engine light/popup message and Check AWD System popup display. It literally showed up in the middle of an intersection. AWD is disabled. There is definitely a handling difference without AWD - you can feel the loss of rear-wheel torque. No cruise control. Start/stop disabled. I don't notice anything else except for possible rough idling. About 200 miles and about 6 stops later, I realize that everything is working again when start/stop kicks in at an intersection. From what I understand, the engine issue could be primary and the AWD system notification a result of that.

I have a handheld ODB scanner but figure I might have to wait take a look at it if it happens again.
Wait for what? for the car to break down during rush hour traffic on the highway? World is full of spayed/castrated sheeple.

Scan it now and getting the codes. Pop the hood and check everything. Its really easy to use a dipstick to check the oil level, along with all the other fluids there, and easy to look at the wiring to make sure rodents didn't eat the delicious wire coatings.
 

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Franken...FWIW...had same happen on diff brand ride. CEL came on, code set, no driving issues & lite went out later. CEL never came back on, so assume it was one time glitch (so to speak) But, on that ride can't read codes if "CEL is off". As mentioned, various reasons that can cause DTC (code) to be set. If CEL does come back on & still no running issue, probably need to have diag. done etc.
 

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I have a 2014 Highlander Limited AWD, which we bought new. I first had this problem in September, 2018 when the car had about 90,000 miles on it. I was towing a UHaul and about 260 miles into the trip, the check engine light came on and the TRAC Off and Check AWD System messages appeared. I went to Autozone and they reported an error code P0012, which has to do with the camshaft position timing. I finished my trip with the trailer after another 300 miles, and when I disconnected the trailer, the light and codes went off. During this entire episode, the car drove normally. My Toyota dealer said not to worry about it.

About 6 months later, I was driving at highway speeds between Houston and Austin and the problem repeated itself. When I got home, about 120 miles later, I disconnected the battery, and the warnings did not come back on when I restarted the car. Again, the car drove normally.

I just returned from a 3000 mile trip. 100 miles into the trip, I got the same message. I went to Autozone and this time they came up with code P0025, camshaft position timing, over-retarded (bank 2). The car drove normally, and the biggest aggravation was that the cruise control did not function while the warning persisted. I disconnected the battery to clear the fault, which it did, but it came on again a short while later. Then I stopped for gas and when I restarted the car, the warning had cleared itself. I drove another 2500 miles before the warning reappeared today. I'm taking the car to Toyota on Tuesday. The car continues to drive normally. It has almost 114,000 miles on it. It has been regularly serviced by Toyota including synthetic oil changes every 5000 miles, and I only use Top-Tier gas. I also regularly use Techron additive to clean the fuel injection system. It's been a good car, but this "problem" is pretty aggravating.
 

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Sounds like it's an intermittent problem. The camshaft position sensor has a limit of how many faults it sees in a minute. If that limit is reached then a fault will be registered. Obviously it's just intermittent. If it was a hard fault then your HL wouldn't even run. At this point the fault is so infrequent that you'll never be able to feel it. Disconnecting the battery will clear the codes, or a code scanner can clear the codes. I suggest you get this fixed before it gets worse.

Believe it or not....one thing that can throw this code is dirty oil. When was the last time you had an oil change?
 
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