2021 Toyota Highlander Check Engine Light

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What Does the Check Engine Light Mean?

One of the most frequently misunderstood lights or indicators in your 2021 Toyota Highlander is the check engine light. The check engine light is part of the critical onboard diagnostics system, and displays in a wide range of different ways. It can say "Check Engine", it can be a symbol of an engine, it can even be a combination of both. This light illuminates in either an amber or red color and is part of the diagnostics system found on your vehicle. Onboard computers increasingly have controlled and monitored vehicle performance since the 80s and do a wide range of things for your 2021 Toyota Highlander. Some of these essential duties include shifting automatic transmissions ignition timing, controlling engine speed, and implementing security control, just to name a few. With that being said, the check engine light can mean an assortment of different things. It can be as simple as your gas cap being loose or as hazardous as engine knocking. If your check engine light is on in your 2021 Toyota Highlander, contact Larry H. Miller Toyota Corona. Our Toyota service department can help you find out what code is turning your check engine light on or diagnose why your check engine light is flashing. Contact Larry H. Miller Toyota Corona today!

2021 Toyota Highlander Check Engine Light Flashing

Although there are countless potential causes of an illuminated Check Engine Light, we know from years of providing Check Engine Light Diagnosis Service that there are many common causes including something as simple as a loose gas cap. Other generally common reasons for a Check Engine Light are a malfunction with the fuel injection system, damaged oxygen sensor, faulty head gasket, dirty mass airflow sensor, faulty emissions control part, or broken spark plugs to name a few. No matter what is the root cause of the Check Engine Light, we have the Toyota Certified Technicians and the certified service protocol to isolate the root problem and completely repair it as needed to restore factory specifications. When this happens, the Check Engine Light turns off, and you can leave the service center knowing that your Toyota issue was completely fixed.

Every 2021 Toyota Highlander was designed with a high-technology performance monitoring system with a computer, and a series of sensors positioned strategically throughout the vehicle on its vital systems. The fast sensors are continually detecting conditions while sending vital data to the electronic control unit. If the electronic control unit detects that the data is out of factory specifications, the Check Engine Light illuminates telling you that there is a problem. Nonetheless, unfortunately that is the limitation of the Check Engine Light – it won’t tell you what exactly is wrong nor what to do about it. That’s where we come in; Larry H. Miller Toyota Corona provides a Check Engine Light Diagnosis Service that isolates the core problem and gives you a recommendation on what to do next from a Exceedingly Qualified Service professional.

Check Engine Light Service 2021 Toyota Highlander

What do you do when you’re driving along in your Toyota Highlander and suddenly, a yellow light illuminates on your dash and says "Check Engine". If you’re like most Toyota owners, your heart sinks drastically because you may have exactly idea about what that light is trying to tell you or how you should react. The fear of the unknown (or the cost of the unknown) can be just as stressful. But take a deep, calm breath and realize the light coming on doesn’t mean you have to pull the car over to the side of the road and call a tow truck, but it is recommended that you get your 2021 Toyota Highlander checked promptly. Ignoring that warning could end up causing major, extensive damage to expensive engine parts.

When your 2021 Toyota Highlander's ECM (electronic control module), which is the vehicle's onboard computer, finds a problem in the electronic control system that it can’t correct, a computer turns on your check engine light. This amber or yellow light is usually labeled “check engine” or “service engine soon”, or the light may be nothing more than a picture of an engine, or a picture of the engine with the word “check.”

When the light turns on, the ECM stores an engine code or “trouble code” in its memory that can immediately identify the issue, whether it's a sensor or a failing engine part. This code is read with an electronic scan tool that is used by our Toyota auto repair mechanics at Larry H. Miller Toyota Corona. There are again a number of essentially inexpensive code readers that are designed for do-it-yourselfers, should you select that route too. While this code will tell you the issue that is detected, a true diagnosis still requires an experienced professional to determine the absolutely correct issue and repair it.

2021 Toyota Highlander Check Engine Light

If the check engine light in your 2021 Toyota Highlander starts flashing, that means that the problem needs attention expeditiously and your Toyota should be brought in immediately. A flashing light signifies that the problem is tremendously serious and if not taken care of expeditiously may result in major and significant damage to the vehicle. This blinking light usually reveals a severe engine misfire allowing unburned fuel to be dumped into the exhaust system. There it can instantly raise the temperature of the catalytic converter to a point where damage is likely, requiring an costly and huge repair. Some owners ask if spark plugs cause the check engine light to flash? This can specifically be the cause. A faulty, old or dirty spark plug can cause the engine to misfire. If your check engine light is regularly flashing, please contact our team of automotive experts at Larry H. Miller Toyota Corona expeditiously by calling 9513360634. If the problem is totally ignored or you continue to drive, this can spread to the spark plug wires, catalytic converter, or ignition coils which can lead to a exceedingly pricey repair.

How much does it cost to get the engine light checked?

The check engine light warns of issues ranging from a gas cap that's not properly tightened to a more serious failure like a bad catalytic converter or a problem with one of the car's oxygen sensors, so it good to get the proper code reading and diagnosis. The average cost for a check engine light diagnosis & testing is typically between $88 and $111. The good news, Larry H. Miller Toyota Corona offers totally complimentary multi-point inspections and free diagnostics, in most cases, to help determine the cause of your check engine light.

Is it safe to drive your 2021 Toyota Highlander with the check engine light on?

If the check engine light is flashing, this means that there is a serious issue and it is advised to service your Toyota Highlander quickly. This question is not extremely simple because it all depends on the severity of the issue. If the cause is a minor issue, such as a loose gas cap, it should be safe to drive. This is typically indicated by a steady glow of the check engine light. If you notice a difference in the performance of the car, it could be an indication of a more serious problem. Call the experts at Larry H. Miller Toyota Corona by dialing 9513360634 so you can describe the issues. Or reduce your speed and bring your 2021 Toyota to our certified mechanics as in the near future as imaginable.

How many miles can you drive with the check engine light?

The safest bet is to decipher the code and then plan your strategy accordingly. It could be anything from a bad sensor to plug wires needing to be replaced. Since each check engine code has its own level of severity, it is ordinarily difficult to predict how many miles you can be secure in driving with the warning light on. If you check engine light is flashing, we advocate that you pull over and contact Larry H. Miller Toyota Corona to help determine if your car is secure to drive in or if we advocate a tow truck.

Will the check engine light reset itself?

The check engine light on your 2021 Toyota Highlander will usually shut itself off if the issue or code that caused it to turn on is fixed. For example, if the cause of your check engine light coming on was a loose gas cap, if it's tightened, the light will swiftly turn itself off. Again, if your catalytic converter is working accurately, and you did a lot of stop-and-go driving, that may have turned on the check engine light due to the high usage of the converter. In most cases, your 2021 Toyota Highlander light will go off after about 20-40 miles. If you drive over that amount and the light is still on, you will need to bring it in to Larry H. Miller Toyota Corona so the light and code can be double-checked and reset.

What could cause the check engine light to come on in a 2021 Toyota Highlander?

When your check engine light comes on, this could be as simple as tightening or replacing your gas cap. Again, the check engine light could still be a warning of an essential problem that could cause serious damage to your engine and come with a hefty and expensive repair bill. Depending on your make and model, the check engine light will illuminate or blink. A steady and continuous glow usually means something less serious but a flashing check engine light indicates that your vehicle’s engine is in serious trouble and helpful service is needed immediately. If your check engine light is flashing in your 2021 Toyota Highlander, we extremely recommend not to drive the car and schedule Toyota service today. Below is a list of the most common reasons your check engine light can come on:

  • Your mass airflow sensor (known as MAF) needs to be replaced. The mass airflow sensor in your Toyota Highlander is what determines how much fuel is required to run your engine efficiently by measuring the amount of air entering the engine. As a part of the engine management system, the mass airflow sensor helps adjust to certain changes, like altitude. If your Toyota Highlander is having trouble starting, idling rough or has a sudden fast change in the position of the throttle pedal, this could be a critical sign of a damaged mass airflow sensor.
  • One of the most common and frequent cause is that your 2021 Toyota Highlander gas cap is loose, damaged or missing. The gas cap for your 2021 Toyota Highlander serves different purposes. It prevents dangerous gas fumes from being released when you aren't driving, it seals the fuel system and helps maintain pressure within the fuel tank. What happens if you have a damaged fuel cap? If your gas cap is old or has a ruptured seal, you can lose fuel through evaporation which will result in more trips to the pump and be more costly. Luckily, to replace a gas cap isn't pricey. If your check engine light turns on rapidly after you put gas in your 2021 Toyota Highlander, first thing you should check is to make sure the cap isn’t loose — or that it's still on your car’s roof or at the fuel pump.
  • Your 2021 Toyota Highlander has a vacuum leak. Every Toyota Highlander has a vacuum system that performs a wide variety of functions. The vacuum system also helps lower adverse emissions by routing the fumes as gasoline evaporates through the engine. If you notice that your RPM is high in idle or randomly surges, a vacuum leak could be the cause. Over time, vacuum hoses can dry out and crack, exceptionally if they’re exposed to intense heat or extreme cold.
  • Your catalytic converter is bad or going bad. The catalytic converter is a part of your 2021 Toyota Highlander’s exhaust system. The catalytic converter's function is to turn the carbon monoxide created by the combustion process into carbon dioxide. A damaged catalytic converter is normally caused by invariably neglected maintenance, which is why Larry H. Miller Toyota Corona offers a complimentary multi-point examination with every Toyota service. If you have an issue with your catalytic converter and don't get it repaired, your 2021 Toyota Highlander will not pass an emissions test, show a lack of engine performance and will negatively affect your fuel economy. Your car may run at a higher temperature, too, which can cause other perilous problems from overheating.
  • Issues with any aftermarket items. An aftermarket alarm, exhaust or other item can wreak extreme havoc on your 2021 Toyota Highlander if it’s not installed accurately. These aftermarket parts and accessories can drain the battery, trigger the check engine light, or even prevent the vehicle from starting. If these issues sound familiar, bring your Highlander to Toyota and have our team of accomplished certified mechanics guarantee that your aftermarket items were installed properly and aren't causing any issue. Getting accessories, exceptionally aftermarket parts and accessories, or using OEM parts first place might cost a little bit more but could help you save considerably from having to get poor work and damage caused by poor installation work corrected.
  • The battery is low or dead. The battery in your 2021 Toyota Highlander is every crucial. Without a car battery, your car won’t start, light up the road ahead, play the radio or charge your phone. Today’s car batteries last much longer than they did a few decades ago, and they don't really require maintenance. The price of a new one depends on the type of Toyota you drive, but check our current service coupons and specials.
  • New Spark Plugs or Plug Wires are required for your 2021 Toyota Highlander. The spark plugs are the part of your engine that ignites the air/fuel mixture in the combustion chamber of your vehicle. This explosion is what moves the pistons and makes the engine run smooth. The spark plug wires deliver the spark from the ignition coil to the spark plugs. If your spark plugs or spark plug wires are bad or old, you will experience a conspicuous poor performance and reduced power. In some extreme cases, your engine will have trouble starting or continuing to run. Worn spark plugs and plug wires can cause clogged catalytic converter or damage to ignition coils and O2 sensors, leading to more pricey repairs.
  • Your O2 Sensor (Oxygen Sensor) needs to be replaced. The Oxygen sensor, known as the O2 sensor, measures the amount of oxygen in your exhaust system. If there is excess oxygen in your exhaust system, fuel burns more expeditiously and your vehicle will be less efficient when it comes to fuel economy. So what happens if I don’t replace your O2 sensor? A damaged sensor can not only affect your miles per gallon, but it can cause serious damage to your catalytic converter and your 2021 Toyota Highlander's spark plugs. The O2 sensor sends data to the vehicle’s onboard computer to determine the explicitly correct mixture of air and fuel that enters the cylinders in your engine. A damaged O2 sensor can also cause a car to fail an emissions test.

2021 Toyota Highlander Check Engine Light Codes

The check engine light turning on can be quite intimidating, especially to see that little light on your vehicle’s dashboard suddenly illuminate, but in reality, it is not something that should cause you to shut down in fear right away. If you hear the term, diagnostic trouble codes (DTC), these are just another name for check engine light codes. These are automotive computer codes stored by the ECM, also known as the OBD (on-board computer diagnostic system) in your Highlander. There are hundreds of different codes that your check engine light can accurately represent. While that sounds daunting, with a little patience, tackling basic diagnostics will give you helpful knowledge about your vehicle and will also allow that crucial Check Engine Light to do what it is genuinely supposed to do: be your guide. Sadly, obvious and helpful vehicle symptoms do not consistently accompany an illuminated Check Engine Light. Since there are hundreds of possible OBD codes, there are also hundreds of possible reasons for the light, including:

  • Emissions controls issues
  • Loose Gas Cap or Missing Gas Cap
  • Fuel and air metering systems problems
  • Transmission issues
  • Ignition system faults
  • O2 Sensor
  • Old Battery
  • Bad Spark Plugs
  • Computer output circuit issues

This is why it is vital for someone who does not have a lot of predominant automotive knowledge to not assume what a code means. If the engine light comes on due to a serious concern, you risk damaging your car further by not repairing the issue right away. When your check engine light comes on, you should get it checked out expeditiously by a proficient certified Toyota mechanic. Call Larry H. Miller Toyota Corona at 9513360634 today or schedule your check engine light service online today!

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