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Toyota Highlander acceleration question (1 Viewer)

Kirk Gunn

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Not sure how many Highlander owners scan this forum, but thought I'd give it a whirl....

We have a 2004 V6 2WD Highlander. The V6 is quite peppy, but there is a noticeable lag in acceleration at key moments (like merging onto a highway). The delay is almost 1 second.... Almost like the computer is saying "are you sure you really want me to kick in all 6 of these puppies ?" :laugh:

Once the rpm's kicks in, it fires up just fine. But that delay is quite annoying in key situations.

Thanks for any feedback.
 

dany

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Jan 4, 2005
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D
Injector cleaner and go on a nice 2-=3 hour freeway drive.
 

Mark Hayenga

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Jun 11, 1999
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Automatic transmission would be my guess. Some of them just work that way. Not sure if a chip or shift kit would fix it, I don't know a whole lot about that kinda stuff.
 

Andrew Bunk

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Nov 2, 2001
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I have a 2005 V6 4WD LTD Highlander, and occasionally it exhibits a little hesitation. Actually it's pretty kick ass when I gun it to merge if I'm already above say 20mph. But yeah, if I just floor it from basically no speed, it takes a second. I think that's just how a lot of these cars are. My V4 Camry was the same way.

I'd say the most noticeable lag I get is trying to gun it out of a turn. But these things are very minor. It's a great car, and drives like one, not like a box on wheels.

The only other thing I've noticed occasionally is when I'm in bumper-to-bumper, if I get chance to accelerate to somewhere around 20-25mph but then let off the gas right away to slow up, it seems like the transmission takes a second to catch up. Not sure if I'm catching it right at the break point for the next speed or not, if that makes sense. I have a 5-speed automatic, and I'm used to a 4-speed automatic, so maybe that's the difference.

Overall it's the nicest car I've ever owned, but that's not hard to beat considering I've owned four crappy used cars, a '99 Corolla and a '01 Camry LE. Not that my previous Toyotas were bad-they were great. Both times I just needed something with more capacity.
 

Mark Hayenga

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My experience with this phenomenon comes from my Lincoln town car. I think they make the shifts take a bit longer because it smooths out the shifts in normal driving. Is it trying to / does it eventually downshift when you stomp on it?
 

Carl Miller

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Mar 17, 2002
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This is common in Toyota V6 engines....My brother's Camry had it, our Lexus RX330 has it, and my 2004 Solara had it.

We were led to believe that this is a normal lag common to an engine which is shared between the Camry and Lexus RX models. However, recently I learned that there was a service bulletin out on the Solara.

I don't know specifics as I'm not much of a car person, but I took the service bulletin to my Toyota dealer and told them I was having this problem....If it's the same thing, and it sure sounds like it from what you describe, this has to do with something needing to be "reflashed"....

Here's where I found the info for my Solara...if your Highlander shares the same engine, this is probably your answer:

http://www.solaraguy.org/viewtopic.p...hlight=reflash

FWIW, after getting this done, my Solara is like a different car altogether. Much more responsive, no lag at all. I had no idea what I was missing for the first 2 1/4 years I had it.
 

Danny Tse

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Nov 1, 2000
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Have a 2005 Highlander V6 2WD....I do notice the gear-hunting once in a while, but I thought it was "normal". Need to do some "field work".
 

Steve Schaffer

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It's not the engine, it's the trans deciding what to do as far as downshifting.
Very common on the early 5 speed autos with the V6. There is a software revision for the ecu that helps in most cases.

A 5 speed auto has just been introduced on the 4 cylinder 07 Camry that must be driven several miles during pdi or it will almost shake your teeth out on the 3-4 upshift. These are all "learning" transmissions that adapt to your driving style but the new 4 cyl 5 speed auto is the first that had to be "taught" before you could sell to the customer.

The only complaints we used to get on the old 4 speed auto V-6s was harsher shifting after a few weeks or months of use. The things would learn to shift more crisply in response to driving habits. They were not really harsh, just not as slushy as when new. Quick, crisp shifts are actually preferable to lazy honey smooth ones as they result in less wear to the internal clutches in the transmissions, which are about the only parts that wear.
 

Kirk Gunn

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Aug 16, 1999
Messages
1,609
Thanks for all the feedback.

Steve - from your experience, will the dealer readily update the ecu rev if I complain about the "hunting" ?
 

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