How to start Toyota Highlander with dead key fob battery

If your smart key battery is depleted, the doors can be opened and the engine started by taking a few simple steps as mentioned in this guide.

Toyota Highlander second generation XU40 – (photo by Toyota)

Note: You can unlock the driver door with mechanical key inside the key fob.


  1. To start the vehicle, place the transmission shift lever in Park and apply the brakes.
  2. Touch the Toyota emblem side of the electronic key to the ignition switch. You will hear a buzzer sound.
  3. To start the engine, continue to apply the brakes and press the ignition switch within five seconds of hearing the buzzer.
  4. To change the ignition switch from off to accessory and on, release the brake within five seconds of the buzzer and press the ignition switch. The mode will change each time you perform this procedure.
  5. To stop the engine, shift the lever into Park and press the engine switch as you normally would when stopping the engine.
  6. Since switching the engine mode is a temporary measure, you should replace your smart key battery as soon as possible.
Contact the author: stevietobias@wheelsjoint.com



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