Misfire and/or Check Engine Light Due to Failed Ignition Coil on Toyota Highlander

Problem Description and Possible Solution

On higher mileage vehicles, an engine misfire may develop and/or the Check Engine Light may illuminate due to a failed ignition coil. It is not uncommon to replace all the coils when the first one fails in order to prevent return trips to the repair shop.

Problem Data
RepairPal Verified
Average mileage: 124,577 (80,000–300,000)
8 model years affected: 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, more2007, 2008, 2010, 2013
20 people reported this problem
Viewing 1 - 17 of 17 comments
One coil went bad, at 84000 miles. My mechanic told me to replace all four, at same time. Replaced all four, then had 2 more replaced within a year that went bad. Now have another bad, which totals 7 that need replaced within a years time. If anyone would have any answers that would be great. I worked in a factory and understand that quality cannot be perfect all the time.
Driving on the highway and all of a sudden my 'Check Hybrid System' and 'Check VSC System' lights come on. Car drives fine and isn't making any peculiar noises. Took it to a shop and they said spark plug in cylinder #3 was misfiring, however I had just gotten them replaced 3 months previously, so they said it may be the ignition coil in cylinder #3. Don't know if this will fix the problem entirely or not, but I sure hope so!
VSC light on and engine light flashing. Took to Toyota dealer to be fixed. Within 40 miles of having the new coils installed the VSC and engine light are both on. Took back to the dealer they reset codes, but think it may be the catalytic converter for a cost of $3200 (parts & labor)to replace. But after reading information on the website... I'm not sure if they checked the air filter hose connection so will check that first before replacing the catalytic converter.
check engine light on..4 different mechanics offered to install rebuilt engines...some with over 100000 miles for 4000-5000 bucks.one honest mechanic foreign auto worcester ma. james recognized the coil problem and painstakingly went thru entire engine and rep;aced all coils for alot cheaper than what everyone was saying.it took him over 20 hours to do the job....maybe thats why most mechanics take the easy way out
I have a 2010 highlander hybrid limited. At 80,000 miles ignition coiled failed without any warning and car stopped. -- this model will not operate if one of the ignition coils is not working. Had to have the Highlander towed to the dealer and coil replaced. About 25 days later started car and it vibrated and made loud noise, clearly firing on five cylinders. This same noise preceded the earlier failure of the ignition coil. Drove to dealer. Couldn't identify which ignition coil was failing. I refuse to drive the car. To dangerous. Currently negotiating with the Toyota dealers to replace all the coils. I have been driving for more than 50 years and have never had a coil fail before.
I drive a 2003 Highlander. Engine light went on, car started trembling then it would jerk when I would accelerate. Took it to mechanic came out with an OBD reading of P0355, bad ignition coil #5, replaced it for $120. Car worked fine...for three hours, then, boom! all three came back. Could be all three faulty coils or bad cylinder.
1st time.... Car was driving fine. They just died in the middle of the road. Had to have to towed to the shop. They replaced #1 and the spark plug. $249.
2nd time... A year later. Same thing. 177,000. Car driving fine. Stepped on the gas in the middle of a major interstate and the car died. Managed to get it over to the side without killing myself or anyone else. Towed again. They replaced #3.
We were driving at HWY speed, the check engine light came on, the engine produced a severe shutter (aprox. a 4 cycle very rapid succession) in a total time of one second. It felt as though the engine was turned on and off very rapidly at each cycle. Then the check engine light began to flash for about 10 seconds then stayed on solid. We took it straight to the shop and it logged a PO356 code found to be a bad ignition coil.
Engine running rough first mechanic replaced #1 coil and also ran an engine cleaner thru engine . Within week or two engine running rough again and second mechanic replaced same coil which went bad again
car has 50,000 miles the check engine light has come on flashing with trac on steady four times after accelaration on hill. Y
First time brought in car they could not find any codes that had come up second time pending code for cylinder 1 misfire. They said they replaced coil and moved plug to cylinder 6? The same lights came on on a hill the next day
Two ignition coils went out within a week.
Number three coil was replaced at around 175,000 miles.
Number four coil failed on the road, @ about 270,000 miles, and I spent an hour replacing the plugs and coils on cylinders, 2, 4, and 6 (front bank) in the parking lot of the auto parts store.
Picked-up replacement plugs and coils for the back bank at the same time. Unfortunately, I forgot about doing the odd-numbered cylinders for a while.
This morning, it looks like the #1 or #5 coil bit the dust. (VSC lit, Track Off lit, with Check Engine flashing, and signature misfire. Haven't pulled the codes yet.).

Looks like I'll be replacing the even-numbered plugs and coils in the driveway, this morning. (A 5 hour job.)

TIP: The coils are only $42.00/each, at Rock Auto Online, with free shipping. AutoZone charged me $69.00 each.
VSC light on, engine light on, repair shop says rodents ate through coils and they have to pull whole engine to repair/replace, parts alone $1400 tot al cost about $3k maybe more. Not sure if worth fixing on a 7 year old car...
Check Engine, VSC and Trac Off warning lights all lit; engine idles rough; code indicates cylinder 3 misfiring. Replaced ignition coil.
check engine and VSC light on. Car had lost power and was shaking. Took it in and said I needed to replace 1 ignition coil and plug for $250. Hopefully the others will last.
Check engine and VSC lights came on. Mechanic replace 6 plugs, rotated coils and replace 1 through process of elimination. Lights were able to be reset and car drove fine in the parking lot. 5 minutes later on the his gbway, check engine and VSC lights came back on, and running rough again. Going g to have to coils replaced at ~$150/EA.
Recurrent ignition coil problems about a year after they have been replaced.