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cardoctor71, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 675
Experience:  ASE MasterCertified Tehnician with 35 years experience diagnosing and repairing all makes and models of cars and trucks.
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Highlander: OK. Give this a try: My wife drives our 2008

Customer Question

OK. Give this a try:
My wife drives our 2008 Toyota Highlander. ~105K miles.
"VSC Off" light comes on and blinks every two to three weeks. The Check-Engine light also comes on at this time. When this happens, we notice that the transmission will feel like it shifts hard when accelerating from a stop. Somewhere in the range of shifting from 1 to 2 (or 3?).
Also, when this happens, if we go to manually shifting (as we might if we were doing a controlled descent down a long grade), the transmission wont let us select 2nd gear. I'm thinking they're related, but not sure.
I've read that there's a sensor that might be to blame for this issue, but I'm unsure. Some forums have suggested that if the sensor gets water on it, it can have this effect. We've had a couple months of drought with this problem still recurring.
After a while, the VSC light and Check-Engine light goes off and everything seems to return to normal.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Toyota
Expert:  cardoctor71 replied 2 years ago.
More than likely the problem will be centered on the ABS Hyd Control unit,when this unit fails it disables the transmission functionality,unfortumnately the unit is non serviceable,and pricey,so full diagnosis by a licensed technician is advised. It is good that it has been turning on the warning lights because this sets codes for the technician to use to determine the actual failure.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So, to further diagnose this issue, I'll need to have a certified mechanic diagnose the problem. Correct?
When you "ABS Hyd Control unit". Is an non-abbreviated version: Anti-lock Brake System Hydration (Hydrogen? Hydrometer?) Control Unit? Trying to understand the nature of your response so I can think about defining the 'pricey' concept a little. :)
Please advise.
Expert:  cardoctor71 replied 2 years ago.
ABS Hyd Control Unit is the main hydraulic component of the Antilock Braking /Traction Control system and yes it will require a technician