2014 Toyota Highlander: Dead at the Curb
September 5, 2014
Rushing out the front door, hands full of laptop bag, gym bag and things-I-must-mail-at-the-post-office bag, I fumble for the 2014 Toyota Highlander's key fob. I press "unlock." Nothing. I press it again. Twice. Still nothing.
Dropping all my daily baggage on the dusty sidewalk, I walk toward the SUV, looking directly at the remote as I again press the unlock button. A little red light blinks on indicating power to the remote, dashing my hopes that it's just an issue with the key fob's battery.
I take the teeny, tiny metal key out of the fob and unlock the driver's door. Door swings open, cabin remains dark. No welcoming light of any kind. At this point, putting my foot on the brake and pressing the Start button is just a formality. I already know the Highlander is as dead as a doornail.
I refrain from kicking the neighbor kid's scooter as I drag my bags back in the house to call AAA. Forty minutes later, the local garage sends help. The technician pops the hood and prepares to zap the battery. I climb in the Highlander, waiting to start it up.
First push, the dash lights illuminate, but there's no cooperation from the engine. Second push, the Toyota's 3.5-liter V6 whirs to life, and in less than 5 seconds, it sounds healthy as ever.
The service tech unhooks his cables and peers into the cabin.
"Don't see anything that was left on," he says. "No lights or anything."
"Me, neither," I say, thanking him for his help.
User error? Guess so. Unless it happens again.
Kelly Hellwig, News Editor @ 8,914 miles