How Do I Turn Off Master Warning Light in Toyota Highlander? Causes And Easy Fix

The Master warning light in Toyota Highlander can be steady or flashing in different colors. And sometimes accompanied by a sound. It can be displayed for various reasons, including a system malfunction.

To turn it off you must understand the reason, which is usually displayed on the instrumental panel. You can turn off the warning light by scheduling maintenance on the instrumental panel, and using the control switches on the steering wheel. Resetting the maintenance data using the trip odometer button also clears the master warning light.

With each warning light having its meaning, there are different ways to fix them. Read on for an in-depth look into the different types of warning light, their meaning, and how to fix them.

What Do the Master Warning Lights in Toyota Highlander Mean?

The following table shows some warning lights and audio alerts on the Toyota highlander and what they mean.

Warning LightAudio AlertMeaningFix
SteadyYesDriving-related system malfunction i.e., an open doorRectify the malfunctioning system i.e., close the door
FlashingYesAn urgent situation that can result in a damageImmediate maintenance on the failing part
SteadyNoThe vehicle requires maintenance/ possible electrical malfunctionRectify the malfunction in a service station
FlashingNoOperation is incorrectCorrect the parts and install them again.

Why Does Master Light Turn on My Toyota Highlander?

Toyota highlander’s master warning light is a triangle with an exclamation mark in the middle. The Warning light can illuminate your Toyota highlander’s instrument panel for various reasons. They include:

  • The vehicle requires maintenance
  • The last maintenance operation done to your car wasn’t correctly done
  • Fault in the vehicle, especially the powertrain
  • An unread message on the multi-information display
  • A loose or unsecured part, like the car door or trunk
  • Your vehicle, is almost running out of gas

The reasons can be vital or minor, depending on whether the light is flashing or steady. A warning light accompanied by a sound is often more grave than a steady warning light.

Toyota highlanders manufactured from 2014 onwards also have a message section on the instrumental panel, where you can read the master warning message.

How to Turn Off Master Warning Light Toyota Highlander?

Most times, after maintenance or after correcting the error causing the master warning, it automatically turns off. However, sometimes you’ll have to perform various functions on your car to turn it off. Following are some ways to turn off the master warning lights.

1.                By scheduling maintenance

This method works for most of their models from 2017 to 2019. Follow the steps below.

  • The multi-information display switches are either on the right side of the steering wheel or the left. They are used to control various information on the instrumental panel. Press the return key, which should take you to the menu
  • In some vehicles; you’ll also have to press the key underneath the return button once
  • Use the right scroll button until you get the wheel icon. It’s usually the last icon
  • Afterward, scroll down till you see the scheduled maintenance.
  • Press the center button to enter
  • You’ll be requested to confirm whether you want to schedule maintenance; press okay

2. Resetting the Maintenance Data

Follow the steps below.

  • Turn the vehicle ignition to on position (Not accessories or engine on)
  • Press the change trip odometer on the instrumental panel until it displays “Trip A”
  • Turn off the ignition
  • Press and hold the trip odometer and turn the ignition light back to the “On” position.

3. Scanning Your Vehicle

Sometimes the warning light won’t turn off after performing the steps above. If this happens, your remaining options are to scan the vehicle or take it to a service station. To scan your vehicle, use an OBD2 scanner,and follow these steps

  • Switch off the vehicle
  • Locate the OBD port on your car. It is usually above the pedals and below the steering wheel.
  • Plug in the scanner and turn on the vehicle
  • Turn on the scanner and toggle to the appropriate section for diagnosing the vehicle and start scanning.
  • The scanner will return a code error and the name of the malfunctioning part.
  • You can Google the code returned for more information on the error.


This section covers some frequently asked questions about Toyota highlander’s warning lights.

Can I Drive Toyota Highlander with Master Warning Light On?

While the warning light might illuminate for minor reasons, it is best to avoid driving when they’re on. If the warning light is flashing and there is a sound alert, you shouldn’t drive the vehicle. However, if the light is steady and there is no sound alert, you can drive to the service station.


The master warning light in your Toyota highlander alerts you of any malfunction in your vehicle. This allows you to fix the problem before more serious damage is done. In most cases, after tending to the faulty part, the warning light turns off.

However, sometimes the warning light would still illuminate even after you have fixed the malfunctioning part. You can either reset the maintenance data to fix it or schedule maintenance on your instrumental panel. If the warning light persists, you can scan your vehicle or hire a professional to scan the problem.

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