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I own a 2004 Highlander and it recently began to fail to shift into 4th gear on the highway. It began a few weeks ago and only happened very infrequently but now it is doing it about 70% of the time. The transmission fluid is full, has no metal flakes, and does not smell burned. I have tried searching the internet but can't find any similar instances. Can someone please lend some insight on what is causing this? Am I doomed to need a transmission rebuild/replacement?
 

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definitely replace that sensor, maybe it is avoiding loading the engine too much to avoid knocking by not allowing the transmission to shift into fourth. If that doesn't work, have you ever pulled the pan and replaced the transmission filter?
 

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I have an 02 highlander, this started randomly. Both knock sensors were coming up in the codes. I changed both and the wiring connectors for them, for months now it still says knock sensor 2 is bad. It seems to have the shifting/overdrive issue when I press the accelerator not so smoothly. If I get onto the highway slow and steady (while making everyone behind me angry) it almost always shifts fine. I'm dying to know what the real cause of this issue is. Something is setting off the sensor still, I will share more if I figure it out.
 

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I am positive that the knock sensor is what's causing this, when the codes are cleared it shifts perfectly. But eventually the light comes back on and the shifting issue happens again.
 

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I replaced the knock sensor when my 01 did that. Shifts fine now. Also, another culprit to look at is the harnesses for the antiknock area they go bad from the heat sometimes.
 
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