The Toyota Highlander was equipped with a number of gearboxes, included the A140, U140F and U241E transmission. But they aren’t without their problems though, so let’s look at some of the most common Toyota Highlander transmission problems, look at cost estimates and figure out what you can do about them.
Toyota Highlander Transmission Models
Toyota Highlander Transmission Replacement Cost Estimate
Pricing varies by model. To be 100% sure on pricing, have your VIN# handy and use our Get An Estimate feature to look up your transmission by VIN#.
What are the DTC codes related to Toyota Highlander transmission problems?
|P0705||Transmission Range Sensor Circuit Malfunction (PRNDL Input)|
|P0710||Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit|
|P0711||Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit Range/Performance|
|P0712||Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit Low Input|
|P0713||Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit High Input|
|P0714||Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit Intermittent P0715|
|P0715||Input/Turbine Speed Sensor Circuit|
|P0717||Input/Turbine Speed Sensor Circuit No Signal|
|P0724||Torque Converter/Brake Switch B Circuit High|
|P0741||Torque Converter Clutch Circuit|
|P0746||Pressure Control Solenoid 'A' Performance or Stuck Off|
|P0748||Pressure Control Solenoid 'A' Electrical|
|P0753||Shift Solenoid 'A' Electrical|
|P0755||Shift Solenoid 'B'|
|P0758||Shift Solenoid 'B' Electrical|
|P0766||Shift Solenoid 'D' Performance or Stuck Off|
|P0770||Shift Solenoid 'E'|
|P0771||Shift Solenoid 'E' Performance or Stuck Off|
|P0773||Shift Solenoid 'E' Electrical|
|P0776||Pressure Control Solenoid 'B' Performance or Stuck Off|
|P0778||Pressure Control Solenoid 'B' Electrical|
|P0791||Intermediate Shaft Speed Sensor Circuit|
|P0793||Intermediate Shaft Speed Sensor Circuit No Signal|
|P0796||Pressure Control Solenoid 'C' Performance or Stuck off|
|P0798||Pressure Control Solenoid 'C' Electrical|
|P0872||Transmission Fluid Pressure Sensor/Switch C Circuit Low|
|P0873||Transmission Fluid Pressure Sensor/Switch C Circuit High|
|P0877||Transmission Fluid Pressure Sensor/Switch D Circuit Low|
|P0878||Transmission Fluid Pressure Sensor/Switch D Circuit High|
|P0982||Shift Solenoid D Control Circuit Low|
|P0983||Shift Solenoid D Control Circuit High|
|P0985||Shift Solenoid E Control Circuit Low|
|P0986||Shift Solenoid E Control Circuit High|
|P0989||Transmission Fluid Pressure Sensor/Switch E Circuit Low|
|P0990||Transmission Fluid Pressure Sensor/Switch E Circuit High|
|P2714||Pressure Control Solenoid D Performance or Stuck Off|
|P2716||Pressure Control Solenoid D Electrical|
|P2757||Torque Converter Clutch Pressure Control Solenoid Ctrl Circuit Performance or Stuck Off|
|P2759||Torque Converter Clutch Pressure Control Solenoid Ctrl Circuit Electrical|
|P2769||Torque Converter Clutch Circuit Low|
|P2770||Torque Converter Clutch Circuit High|
Toyota Highlander Transmission Recalls
Toyota Highlander Technical Service Bulletins (TSB)
Common Toyota Highlander Transmission Problems
No reverse – A140 transmission
Problem – The transmission upshifts properly, but will not engage reverse.
Solution – The overdrive drum will have to be replaced.
Premature upshifts at moderate to full throttle – A140 transmission
Problem – The transmission may prematurely upshift through several gears under moderate or heavy throttle. It may shift normally during light throttle application.
Solution – One or more of the A140 solenoids could be restricted.
Harsh shifts or shift flares between 2-3 or 3-4 – U250E transmission
Problem – Shortly after starting up, vehicles may experience shift flares or unusually hard shifts into third or fourth gear. The problem may go away, but return after the vehicle has sat overnight.
Solution – It’s possible that the battery needs to be replaced (the voltage is too low, resulting in the ECU going into the “relearn” process after starting up), or the ECU grounds are corroded.
Lack of Response
Grinding or Shaking
Whining, Clunking or Humming
Refuses to Go Into Gear
Torque Converter Issues
Valve Body Issues
Transmission Noisy in Neutral
No 3rd or 4th Gear
No 1st or 2nd Gear
Trouble Codes / Check Engine Light
Can I drive with a transmission problem?
If your Toyota Highlander can still make it up and down the road, you might say “It’s fine, I’ll just drive it until I can get it fixed”. But that is not always a good idea, depending on the symptoms. You see, there are a lot of (very expensive) moving parts inside of a transmission, and if something isn’t right, continuing to drive with a transmission problem could damage something else.
How often does a Toyota Highlander transmission need to be replaced?
The overall lifespan of a Toyota Highlander transmission largely depends on how well it was maintained. Factory design flaws also factor into this equation, along with how/how hard you drive. But on average, we’ve seen the Toyota Highlander transmission last for between 130,000-180,000 miles. A high quality replacement transmission however, can last considerably longer if all of the factory design flaws have been addressed and the vehicle has been maintained.
How are Toyota Highlander transmission issues diagnosed?
It is fairly easy to guesstimate what the root cause of your Toyota Highlander transmission problems might be, but you won’t truly know unless you have the right tools and experience. A good mechanic or transmission repair center will be able to connect your truck to a computer and find out which diagnostic trouble codes (DTC’s) have been stored. Once they know what to look for, they can perform a visual inspection to verify the problem.
How is a Toyota Highlander transmission replaced?
In order to replace your Toyota Highlander transmission, the truck has to be lifted from the ground in order to gain access to all of the parts that will need to be unbolted. Then the transmission can be lowered to the ground (typically with a transmission jack), so the new transmission can be installed.
Recommendations for Toyota Highlander transmission issues?
To save time and get back on the road faster, have your 17-digit truck VIN# handy and you can get an online quote for a reman Toyota Highlander transmission here, then find a local shop using our Find a Shop guide to install it for you.
How to Solve Toyota Highlander Transmission Problems
Solution A: Buy a Used Toyota Highlander Transmission
The quickest way to fix your transmission problems is to simply buy a used transmission or used transmission. These can be found at most junk yards, and they often come with a 30-90 day warranty. However, there’s no way to determine the actual condition of the internal components, so you could be spending a bunch of money to have the exact same problems. Plus, that warranty only covers the transmission if it’s defective, not the labor costs that you’ll have to pay.
Solution B: Buy a Rebuilt Toyota Highlander Transmission
Another option would be a rebuilt transmission or rebuilt transmission. A local repair shop will remove your transmission, then install a bunch of new parts during the rebuild. The problem here is, the skills and experience of each transmission rebuilder will vary widely from shop to shop, so you could have problems from something that wasn’t adjusted properly. And the 1-2 year warranty might only cover you at certain transmission repair shops, in a specific geographical area.
Solution C: Buy a Remanufactured Toyota Highlander Transmission
Many owners depend on their vehicle to commute and get things done. Their gasoline engines are designed to go 100’s of thousands of miles, so it makes sense to invest in a remanufactured transmission.
What Problem Does Your Toyota Highlander Have?
Let us know the year, mileage and problem you’re having as well as any trouble (OBD) codes you’ve found. If you’ve been given a quote or paid for a repair, we’d like to hear about that too!