What causes check engine and VSC lights to come on?

MaryO
925

Asked by MaryO Jun 03, 2013 at 12:04 PM about the 2005 Toyota Highlander

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

what causes vsc+check engine light to come on together

52 Answers

Tom Demyan
127,655

Have the codes scanned at a local auto parts store to pinpoint the problem. Post the code back here and we can help.

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MaryO
925

I went to the local Auto Zone in town and they helped with the check engine light but said their scan was not sophisticated enough to scan for the Vsc light. At any rate they provided PO446,Po455 and PO441. The probable causes were listed anywhere from loose gas cap to evaporative emission system, evap.canister or hose not connected , vacuum leak at engine,purse or solenoid defective and oh, yes, vacuum leak at engine.. I don't think I can handle all of that, for sure. Before I posted my question I had reset the check engine light, it blinked =, went off, Great, but when I started the car again, it shone brightly along with the light.VSC, I hate to have to bring this to a mechanic as I always feel when one sees an older woman , I don't know if I'm getting a fair shake. BTW, thank you so much for your prompt response.

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Tom Demyan
127,655

All those codes are related to a EVAP and or vacuum leak. Try the cheapest fix and purchase a new gas cap and see if the light goes out in a day or 2.

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Kchall
580

My mom also has a 2005 highlander. She had the same problem with these two lights (vcs & check engine) and when she took it in it was just that the throttle fuse needed to be replaced & they tightened the battery cables. The Toyota deal ship didn't even charge for doing this.

58 out of 58 people think this is helpful.
Trdguin
370

I had Autozone scan mine and code p0505 came u

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Stillsearching
760

I went to Auto Zone as well. With the VSC, engine, and loss of traction lights all staying on. They got a code. Advised to change accelerator pedal assembly. Did that all lights went off, until I went through a water puddle. (Which is how this problem started.) Now all the lights are back on and Im out 150 dollars. Could it be the tire sensors?

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notacarguru
250

Not sure how old this thread is, but I have to thank all the posters - i went and checked my 2007 highlander's gas cap, and sure enough, it wasn't screwed on. Filled up in NJ over the weekend, and the attendant was so rushed he did not screw it on at all.

25 out of 25 people think this is helpful.
Dime Piece Thomas
160

Code 120

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Wendy Tucker
780

I too had my 2007 sienna VSC and check engine and TRAC lights come on today and remained on tried a few of your suggestions..some worled for a moment but then the lights came back on..What could it be?? Dont want to spend a fortune trying to figure out the problem then pay to fix it!

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Joel Cruz
70

MI TOYOTA RAV4 2009 ENCENDIO LA LUZ VSC, AL APAGAR EL MOTOR TAMBIEN SE APAGABA LA LUZ VSC LA LLEVE AL MECANICO RESETEARON EL SENSOR DEL GUIA Y NO HA ENCENDIDO MAS LA LUZ VSC

7 out of 7 people think this is helpful.
Science2501
220

My last 5 cars have been Toyota and have never had a problem other than the normal issues (Batteries, brake pads, etc.). On the way to work this AM my Engine, VSC, and TRAC lights all came on. Everything was running fine, I stopped and turned it off, checked all the belts, everything was fine. I then checked the oil... it was "just" touching the bottom of the dipstick (about a quart and a half low I'm guessing). I went home, put a quart in, and the lights went off. BTW, I'm driving a 2004 Toyota Highlander with 180k miles, it runs like new and still looks new. I'm sure, just like anything, you can find a bad car (Toyota) once in a while but overall, in my experience, you cannot find a better car on the road (as far as dependability).

22 out of 22 people think this is helpful.
Momech Technician
150

by replacing the manifold

7 out of 7 people think this is helpful.
Momech Technician
150

the mass airflow sensor / intake air temperature sensor or one in the same this code will

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toyo1234
205

I had all 3 lights turn on at once. After reading this blog I put some 3-in-1 oil on the gas cap gasket. Restarted the car and the check engine, VSC and TRAC lights all went out. I checked the engine with my OBD tool and had no codes. So because your gap is not seating correctly your Stability Control and traction control turns off so you can skid right off the highway. Make sense to me?!?

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Shrksgrl8
160

I had a full 120,000 mile tune up. Two weeks later the VSC, Check Engine and TRAC Off lights came on. Now I hear a "chirp" every time I start the car when it is cold. The mechanic I went to no longer has the shop and I'm at a loss of what the next step should be. I hate that I will have to pay someone AGAIN to correct an issue that resulted from the tune up!

16 out of 16 people think this is helpful.
Liam Kennedy
20

Just had $500 of work done at a local pep-boys on my Toyota 4- Runner.. and the next day both the check engine and vtrac lights come on. Although I knew check-engine can be because of the gas cap being off - I just did not think there was any reason for it to be off. Turns out that was it. I can't think of any legitimate reason why pep boys needed to unscrew the cap. Maybe they wanted me to come back in and "fix something"?

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
SIdd
1,060

I spoke to couple of ppl, they said VSC and engine light comes on when there is a fluid imbalance or some sensor got disturbed. I found out that while going downhill and driving continuous more than hour cause the VSC and engine light to come on. I went to show the pepboys, I told them you guys checked everything and the next day the lights come on. he gave me some reasons why they are coming on and remove those lights. It is been 3 months I have been driving and nothing comes on because I don't drive more than an hour continuous and downhill comes once in a while on long drives out of state.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.
DINOKOS
20

I HAVE THE SAME PROBLEM WITH MY DAUGHTERS 2007 SOLARA. BUT I SHOW A CODE PO354 WHICH IS A #4 IGNITER, I CONFIRMED THIS BY PULLING OFF THE CONNECTOR AND THE ENGINE WAS STILL RUNNING ROUGH. BUT I BELIEVE WHEN YOU HAVE AN ENGINE CODE IT WILL AFFECT THE TRAC AND VSC BECAUSE THE ENGINE IS NOT OPERATING AT PEAK PERFORMANCE AND THE VSC AND TRAC CONTROL ENGINE POWER WHEN IT IS NEEDED.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
choice01
20

I had a similar problem with a Tarago, my dealer said it was because we had used the wrong oil and the engine needed a complete reflush which would cost $8000!!! Took to another mechanic who replaced oil and solved problem initially, but then it returned. Car not used for 18 months, on restart have had numerous problems. Maybe the reflush will fix it, but not willing to pay $8k

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Toy2007
110

2007 highlander check engine light and VSC have illuminated twice. Both times it was the gas cap not getting screwed on past the "one click" you should hear. (darn kids!) I screwed the cap past the one click, but that does not make the dash light disappear. To make the dash lights disappear and reset, I disconnected the battery for 5 seconds. Presto, all is well.

11 out of 11 people think this is helpful.
Mayberry_gal
30

Went to Autozone today, and even though the website and the ad on the door indicates that they will read the error codes they refused. Autozone said they will no longer read codes in California

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
TexToyota
70

Same issue: Engine check light + VSC + Trac Off on 2006 Toyota Sienna. So I put a little Vaseline on the gas cap O-Ring and presto, no more warning lights. Thanks everyone.

7 out of 7 people think this is helpful.
bbailey98
90

My son told me to make sure that the gas cap was on tightly and then disconnect the battery cable. Count to 30 and reconnect the cable. That did it! However once you do that you will have to reset the automatic window switches so the windows open and close properly!

9 out of 9 people think this is helpful.
DeeDee44
30

Engine check light+VSC+Trac Off on 2006 Lexus IS250. Call Lexus Dealership @ 8:30 am, no return call. But I have followed advice and open gas cap and re-tighten and lights went off. Thanks all you the information.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
Sammy Sega
70

I have a 2005 toyota sienna VSC & Engine light on and it won't reset. I replaced the Rack & Pinion , bled out the air ,did a zero calibration and still the VSC light stays on... Any ideas?

7 out of 7 people think this is helpful.
SIdd
1,060

I went to the car shop, he reset the computer , VSC and engine light went off. If you think your car is running well do it otherwise it might needed a fix. I guess Sienna computer is very sensitive as I see sometimes tire pressure light comes on and after I stop the car and later it went off

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
tazman13
20

Similar issue: Engine Check+VSC+TRAC OFF icons all lit on 2004 Toyota Avalon. Sprayed WD-40 on gas cap seal and tightened cap until the "one click" position; however, icons remained lit until I disconnected the battery cable for a few seconds. NOTE: If you have a memory saver device be sure to install before disconnecting the battery cable, otherwise you'll have to reset all of your settings. Still, it sure beats having to take your vehicle in to the dealer for a fix. Thanks to all that posted on this blog!

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
JustinJ2001
40

I had these same lights all come on and brought my Toyota Highlander to a local dealer instead of a Toyota dealership. When they ran diagnostic they said my battery was bad and that my O2 sensor needed replaced. So I obliged. The light went off until the next day and came back on. I took it back and they said thebother O2 sensor went bad... I paid for that thinking of coincidence. Now not even a day later the lights came back on... I checked the gas cap but didn't try any lubricant methods... Did I just get taken advantage of??

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
SIdd
1,060

Yeah no worth going to fix that VSC and engine light, if you usually drive local and avoid more than 2 hour continuous driving don't bother going to mechanic.

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JustinJ2001
40

Thanks for your prompt response

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
IMD
160

I have had the VSC and engine lights come on almost after all oil changes on a 2003 Highlander Limited 6 CYL AWD. It has only 74K miles on it, is garage kept and entirely dealer maintained. The first time it happened, it cost me $500. to replace the sensor. The second time it happened, was way too much of a coincidence...just two or three days after the oil change...this time I balked and told them it was something THEY did. They argued, I won, this time they found the loose hose. Next time, after change of oil and filters, VSC and Engine lights come on again. So I took it back and they tightened the hose. Lights went out. I had the oil and filters changed about 10 days ago...same thing. But the difference was, the was a lot of ice and snow so I had the car washed. It seems that a combination of getting that sensor wet either in a puddle or getting the car washed CAN make the lights go on ... but all I did this time was tighten the gas cap (as I have done before) and it went out. It is a marvelous vehicle, it just has that little oddity.

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IMD
160

In reply to someone above, if the 02 code comes up it means it is a sensor but it could have water or mud on it. Don't replace a darned thing. It could even mean loose battery cables. Just get it warm and dry and tighten the cap or REPLACE the cap, they do wear. I bought my car new and believe me it is well kept. It is just a glitch.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Lisa Naomi Stansbury
40

Need some help. About two weeks ago check engine light and traction control light came on. Took to shop. They told me it was the vacuum canister and they could order the new part after replacing the gas cap. I was going to take it in this Thursday to get the vacuum canister replaced. Guess what, today those lights are gone, everything appears back to normal. What should I do next? I called the lady I am working with at the dealership to see what her thoughts are. Please don't tell me they are still going to want to replace a vacuum canister with no codes.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.
notacarguru
250

Lisa, might be you just needed the gas cap. I'm no expert, but wait on the vacuum canister?

IMD
160

When you lose pressure in your gas tank, it generally takes around 200 miles after you fix the gas cap issue. Once the pressure in the tank is restored, the errant lights go out. I wouldn't do a thing if I were you, just make sure that gas cap is always a few turns past what the attendants usually do.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
IMD
160

Lisa; when I said it generally takes 200 miles...I shouldn't have said that...I should have said after you've tightened the cap, it takes under 200 miles. If it goes over 200 miles and the lights stay on, then it is time to go to the mechanic (I use the dealer). This started happening about 5 years or more ago. When the gas cap was replaced, the issue stopped. It seems that the gas cap ring wears down rather quickly. I had it replaced and it didn't happen again for a few years, and now I have to stand over the gas attendants once again. So I will have the gas cap replaced. In NJ you aren't allowed to pump your own gas, so it is a tense moment every time the tank is filled. It seems they have fixed the issue with the latest cars. My husband has a 2013 and his gas cap doesn't even click.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
adiyo22
20

gas cap was on tightly and then disconnect the battery cable. Count to 30 and reconnect the cable. That did it! However once you do that according to the answeres here l have to reset the automatic window switches so the windows open and close properly, right now windows do not open, any idea how i do that?

adiyo22
20

I have a 2004 toyota land cruiser gas cap was on tightly and then I disconnected the battery cable. Count to 30 and reconnect the cable. That did it However windows do not open properly (except for drivers window) according to the answers ehre i need to reset the automatic window switches so the windows open and close properly. any idea how I do that?

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
IMD
160

@adilyo22: Here, this will show you how to do it. Very easy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=we66pU0MN1M

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adiyo22
20

@IMD: thank you very much! that worked!

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
IMD
160

@adiyo22 My pleasure.

Frumpy
20

2013 Toyota Highlander and my CHECK and TRACK OFF light came on. It seems like my car doesn't want to change gears and vibrates pretty good when I go above 40 MPH. I only have 27000 miles on the car too soon for issues in my opinion!

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
toyotagal12
20

My husband turned the car off, took the gas cap off entirely and started the car while the gas cap went off- the lights went off!

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Gate68
0

I just had my alternator replaced by a friend. I knew it was bad. However, I believe he did not reconnect something back because the battery charged back up but the car jerks and stalls before going into gear. The check engine, VCS and off trac lights then came on today and it started whining and smoking. I believe there is a hose left unconnected or something. Any answers? I don't have it in my budget to take it to a shop.

sandip8280
10

Today I filled Gas and suddenly VSC ligjt get on, I tried to clean Gas Cap nut still light is on please suggest

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Anupam Bhomia
430

I had the traction light, the VSC light, and the check engine light all come in at the same time....after reading this blog I tighten my gas cap....restarted the car engine, and the lights went right away

43 out of 43 people think this is helpful.
SIdd
1,060

I was on my way for a trip when I was going downhill and the VSC light comes up followed by the engine light. I was able to drive to my destination. I went to pepboys. They check the computer onboard which sent the 0 Error code that means there is nothing problematic and at the same time both the lights went off. I was glad. Then I started my trip back to home. Again there was a steep downhill and I was going 55 mph which was not fast on a 70 mph hwy and again going downhill these engine lights went ON. Any ideas?

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essasser
30

My check engine light and VSC came on at the same time, I tightened my gas cap and all lights turned I have a 2007 Toyota camry.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
init2winit
20

2005 Toyota Highlander (115,000 miles) with VSC + Trac + Engine light along with poor acceleration and power. Problem was with a knock sensor. Replaced one (of two) sensor and the harness and problem solved.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Shawntele Lewis
2,100

My check engine light is on and vsc light is too. I put my car in drive and my car barely even moves

210 out of 210 people think this is helpful.
Craig Bialy
360

I have had this issue from day 1 with my Toyota RAV. It has been a major pain from the day I bought it to the present. I have contact the dealership and the corporate offices and they are all very nice but these lights appears far too often. I do not like driving a car with three warning lights showing. I also will definitely not purchase another car from the dealership and probably not get another Toyota. The issues stated from Toyota are numerous, but not life threatening. The question is why should all of these lights come up for something minor? Toyota get your act together. I have been very disappointed with them.

36 out of 36 people think this is helpful.
Neil Tester
0

When I bought my 2004 Toyota solara that VSC + Trac + Engine lights were on,one of the things that had to be fixed before purchase,the other thing was my safety . Toyota dealer was responsible (was told that it was part of he emisions controller covered by Toyota up to 160000 km) the lights,was told it was a bad pollution sensor. Took a couple weeks to get fixed. Started by replacing one sensor -light still on-can't remember what they told me? In the end they ended up replacing all 3 sensors, and all three sections of the exhaust manifold off the engine. Been fine But my 3 lights are back. Happened after starting the car and belt slipping squealing noise normally after a couple revs the squealing noise goes away, which it did but 3 lights on> Just checked my gas cap , removed and put back on, but lights stay on. One think that I believe is correct is my gas cap only gets one quick click when tightening -I don't think its tight I though my cap used to get several clicks when tightening the gas cap?

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