2013 Toyota Highlander Consumer Review: Fails to start after sitting

2013 Toyota Highlander - Consumer Review

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Plus 4dr SUV (3.5L V6 AWD 5-speed Automatic)

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17 of 18 people found this review helpful
Fails to start after sitting
By kathyd4 on


2013 Toyota Highlander Plus 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 5A)


I only have 8000 miles and I got the car in Feb 2013.
Every time I go away and leave the car for a week, it won't start when I return.
Every time the temperature drops below 25F and it sits even 4 days, it won't start.
Toyota has replaced the battery twice although the second time they said there was nothing wrong with it.
They have run diagnostics and say there is nothing wrong.
Every car in my neighborhood starts.
Our Honda starts, our old Blazer starts, but not the Highlander.
I am soooo disappointed with this vehicle.
Toyota is supposed to be reliable, but mine isn't.

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Comments (5) Post a Comment
By profwatson
on 03/20/14 10:54 AM (PDT)

You are unlucky. It is like insurance. The insurance company can not tell which specific person will suffer a loss, only in total, over the population. Toyotas are more reliable than Chryslers, but sometimes you are lucky and get a 300 that is not junk.

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By loves_winter
on 02/26/14 18:31 PM (PST)

My 2013 highlander has a similar problem. Twice it started, but immediately stalled as if it was running out of gas. Many engine lights were flashing. When it restarted it ran fine. I chalked it up to a computer glitch.

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By vincent33
on 02/11/14 12:49 PM (PST)

Sad, if what you say is true. A good dealer mechanic would check for a "switch off drain" insert a multi-meter between the ground and ground terminal, and see if there is a draw. Then start removing fuses till the draw is narrowed down. Easy peasy. This is nothing that can't be fixed, and does not make your car a lemon either, things do go wrong, and things can be fixed.

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By mm092016
on 09/08/16 12:51 PM (PDT)

Did you find out what the problem was? I have a 2016 and it has not started twice now. They can't find what's wrong either.

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By flourchild
on 05/08/17 18:35 PM (PDT)

I am so glad that I found this. We have the same problem with our new 2015 Highlander. Now I can show this to the dealer. The service manager swore it was because we had a aftermarket remote start install. I then went back to the company that installed the remote start and had it disconnected, but the next time the Highlander sat for 3 or 4 days it still wouldn't start. I went back to the dealer who again insisted that it was the remote start, until I showed him the work order showing that I had it disconnect. The dealer then replaced the battery and told me that it would be the last time - because it wasn't Toyota's problem. Then, a few weeks later, after the Highlander had sat for 4 or 5 days, it wouldn't start with a two week old battery. Back to the dealer where they swore that ours was the first time he'd ever heard of the problem and told me to drive the car more often. I finally permanently installed a onboard trickle charger that we plug in and unplug every time we use the car.

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