3 Methods of Resetting Maintenance Light on Highlander

Your Toyota Highlander’s “MAINTENANCE REQUIRED” light illuminates every 5,000 miles to remind you to service the vehicle. The light does not indicate that there is a problem with your Highlander, but it does mean that you should get your oil changed, your filters updated, and other routine checks done.

You must actively reset the “MAINTENANCE REQUIRED” light because it cannot be turned off itself. After having your Highlander checked out, it is important to disable the light so you will know when it is time for the next oil change and other regular maintenance.

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What Does Maintenance Light Mean on Toyota Highlander?

toyota highlander reset maintenance light

The maintenance light indicates that your vehicle is overdue for regular maintenance. This light will come on when your vehicle exceeds 5,000 miles or has been driven for 6 months. In this case, it applies to either of the two conditions.

The maintenance light will stay on until you service your car. Regular maintenance includes changing the engine oil, rotating the tires regularly, checking the fluid level, etc. You should service your vehicle at regular intervals (before 5000 miles or within 6 months) to keep the vehicle comfortable and reduce service costs.

Why Does Maintenance Required Light Come On

The maintenance light may come on for the following reasons:

  • The maintenance light is on mainly because you haven’t changed the engine oil after driving your vehicle for 5,000 miles or 6 months.
  • The light may come on even if the engine oil level is low.
  • The light may come on if the spark plug is worn or the air filter is dirty.
  • It is very unlikely that the maintenance light will come on if there is a problem with the engine or transmission.

Will Toyota Highlander Maintenance Light Turn Off by Itself?

No, the Toyota Highlander’s maintenance light will not turn off by itself. This light will only come on if the vehicle has not had a routine checkup every 5,000 miles or every six months.

I would suggest that you take your vehicle to a dealer and have them reset the light after regular maintenance. When you don’t want to go to the dealer, you have to reset the maintenance light yourself, according to the manual.

Preparation for the Reset

Before resetting the maintenance light, you should know the following:

  • Mileage: The Toyota Highlander’s maintenance light depends on mileage, so it’s necessary to figure out how many miles have passed since the previous oil change. The odometer of your vehicle will provide you with such data.
  • Date of most recent oil change: You should also be aware of when your vehicle’s most recent oil change was performed. You can find this information on your bill from the most recent oil change or in the service history for your vehicle.

Also, you will need some tools:

  1. Key to turn on the ignition
  2. An OBD-II scanner
  3. OBD-II scanner software
  4. A cable to link the scanner to your vehicle’s OBD-II socket

How to Reset Maintenance Light on Toyota Highlander [3 Practical Methods]

There are 3 methods to reset the Toyota Highlander maintenance light, including resetting manually by using an OBD-II scanner, and the third method is a combination of both methods.

Let’s discuss these methods elaborately.

Method 1: Manual Reset

You can do the manual reset by following these 5 steps:

  1. Turn the ignition on while keeping the engine off.
  2. Hold down the odometer button.
  3. Turn the ignition off while holding down the odometer.
  4. Leave the odometer.
  5. At this point, the maintenance light must be reset.

Typical practice for the majority of Toyota Highlanders:

This is the most popular way to reset the maintenance light. Anyone can perform it. However, the method may not be applicable to recent models of the Toyota Highlander.

What to remember:

Ensure that the ignition is turned ON rather than START. Maintain pressure on the ODOMETER key for a minimum of 10 seconds. Repeat once more when the maintenance light doesn’t go off.

Method 2: Using OBD-II Scanner

how to reset toyota highlander maintenance light with obd scanner

To reset the maintenance light by using an OBD-II scanner, follow these 5 steps:

  1. Connect the scanner to the OBD-II socket on the vehicle’s dashboard.
  2. While the engine is off, switch the ignition on.
  3. Start the OBD-II software.
  4. Select ‘Reset Maintenance Light’.
  5. Maintain the displayed directions to reset the light.


  • The scanner is a troubleshooting tool you can use to reset the maintenance light.
  • You will find a socket under the dashboard to connect the scanner.
  • By connecting the scanner, you can access your vehicle’s ECM (computer system) and reset maintenance light.

Method 3: Both Steps Together

If Method 1 and Method 2 fail, you can try another method combining the two methods. First, try to reset as per the manual. If that doesn’t work, try the OBD-II scanner method. If neither of the two methods works, you’d better take the vehicle to a mechanic or a dealer. But you can finally try a method that is a combination of the above two methods.


  1. Try the manual reset method again, but hold down the odometer switch longer.
  2. Try the OBD-II scanner method, but be sure to use the correct software.

Can I Drive with Maintenance Required Light On?

The maintenance light appears as a warning that your vehicle requires maintenance. You should take your vehicle to the technician as soon as the maintenance light turns on. You may drive the vehicle at your own risk while the maintenance light is on.

If you skip the light, your vehicle will not perform well and will eventually collapse. So when the maintenance light turns on, it is better to have the vehicle serviced as soon as possible.

Can I Travel a Long Distance with Maintenance Light?

How far you can travel with a maintenance light depends on the reason behind the light. If the light turns on for the engine oil change, you might be able to drive another 3,000 miles. But if the light comes on for low oil pressure, you should have your vehicle serviced immediately.

Driving the vehicle with the maintenance light may cause the vehicle to collapse. So, after the maintenance light turns on, driving is safe according to the time specified in the manual.

How Much Does It Cost to Reset Maintenance Light of Toyota Highlander?

The cost of resetting the maintenance light depends on the type of vehicle and the experience of the mechanic. It’s not very expensive, running between $20 and $50. If you get your vehicle’s engine oil changed at a mechanic, some of them will reset the maintenance light for free.

If you are hesitant about turning off the maintenance light yourself, ask a mechanic for help. Note that collapsing your vehicle will increase the cost, so it is best to have the vehicle serviced when the maintenance light comes on as soon as possible.

A professional mechanic can turn off your maintenance light in no time. This is the most time-saving and hassle-free way when the maintenance light turns on. The only drawback is that you have to spend something here.

They will use specific tools to turn off your maintenance lights until the next deadline. It will keep your vehicle safe and alert you to maintenance lights. So whenever the maintenance light comes on, contact your local dealer and get the vehicle serviced.

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