Q: Cold weather makes the motor knock

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My 2008 Toyota Highlander has a problem basically every time it starts up. The vehicle just passed 70,000 miles and there is a kind of knocking noise from the engine when I start it cold. It is more of a rattle than a violent knocking noise and it goes away once the motor is warm. Is this something I should get checked out or is my vehicle just showing its age?

This is a common problem with Hybrid Highlanders. Does the Check Engine Light illuminate when the knocking occurs? If so, Toyota released a technical service bulletin (TSB) related to cold start misfires. The associated TSB (T-SB-0210-11) covers the inspection, diagnosis and repair of the cold start misfire. However, coverage under this TSB is only applicable during the 96 month/100,000 mile hybrid warranty period. Your local Toyota dealer can provide further information. If the unit is not covered under warranty, a local mechanic (like those with YourMechanic) can diagnose the problem with a scan tool.

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