P0700 Toyota Highlander – Symptoms


P0700 Toyota Highlander

One of the most common problems of Toyota Highlander is when he throws the P0700 fault code. A trouble code is a code issued by the automatic transmission when it detects in the Highlander that there is a problem that requires its attention.

P0700: Transmission control system malfunction

In the case of P0700, it is a general code. This means that it must be accompanied by some other code that tells you the specific problem. It is an OBDII code and not just a Toyota-specific code.

It is possible to obtain the P0700 code without any other codes being registered on your Toyota Highlander. If you don’t get any other codes, it means the transmission control circuit is malfunctioning. It is usually accompanied by other codes that will help clarify the situation. When the P0700 registers on its own it can be complicated. Below you will find some of the most common causes of P0700 on the Toyota Highlander.

Highlander P0700 Code Definition

If you’re scanning your vehicle right now, you should look for a second code to tell you what’s really wrong. Think about it like this.

  • P0700 says– “There is something wrong with this transmission.
  • The following code(s) says– “I am the real problem of the transmission. I am what you are looking for”

The code will cause the engine maintenance light to come on and may put the vehicle into fault mode. If your vehicle has entered limp mode, it will not come out until the Highlander’s computer detects that everything is operating within normal specifications. Here is more information about the causes of lame mode or how to fix lame mode.

Toyota Highlander P0700 Diagnosis and Symptoms

Toyota Highlander P0700 OBD2 Code

Since the P0700 does not indicate a problem (it indicates that there is a problem) here are some common problems that will cause the code to be thrown, as well as some of the most common symptoms that something is wrong with the transmission.

Highlander P0700 Causes

  • Faulty transmission control module
  • Faulty shift solenoid
  • Low flow
  • Short circuit
  • Valve body in poor condition

Highlander P0700 Symptoms:

  • The transmission has difficulty shifting gears
  • Clean Mode activated
  • Service engine light/transmission light
  • You don’t have all the gears available
  • The engine dies or runs poorly

What does a P0700 code mean?

Toyota Highlander P0700

The code could mean any number of problems with the transmission. You may have to do a more in-depth scan of the vehicle to find out what exactly is wrong. Does the vehicle feel different? Or is it a situation where you wouldn’t know something was wrong if the light wasn’t on?

Before taking it to a mechanic, you should at least check that the transmission is not low on fluid. If you’ve noticed a change in the vehicle’s handling, make sure you know the signs that transmission fluid is low.

You don’t want to end up spending a ton of money taking it to a transmission repair specialist only to find out that it could have been fixed by simply adding some transmission fluid.

How to check the P0700 code

The easiest way to check any fault code on a vehicle is to get an OBD2 Scanner. They are cheap and worth their weight in gold. If not, you can always take your car to the nearest auto parts store (Autozone, NAPA, etc.) and they will be happy to do the test for you.

Remember that once you find the code, you should not stop scanning. Let the scanner tell you all the trouble codes the vehicle’s ECM has and Google them, just like you did with this one.

What to do or what your mechanic will do

The first thing the mechanic will do is connect his OBDII scanner and see what code accompanies the P0700. As already said, it can be anything. But, it is often launched when there are shift solenoid problems.

After that, they will erase the code and take the vehicle for a road test. This is normal. They want to recreate the problem. If it was a one-time thing, there is no reason to replace the part yet. If there is a real problem, the code will almost certainly jump again immediately.

Before taking it in, be sure to check the transmission fluid. It’s also a good idea to take a look at the fluid itself. If the fluid has a harsh color, or worse, if you find metal flakes in it, it may be a sign that the transmission is going bad.

Here’s how to know what the color of your transmission fluid tells you.


The P0700 code on the Toyota Highlander is almost always accompanied by another code. There are vehicle-specific fault codes and there are specific codes for your manufacturer. Good luck repairing your vehicle. If there is anything you want to add, leave a comment below.


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