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2010 Toyota Highlander Hybrid won’t accept gas

I bought my 2010 Toyota Highlander Hybrid AWD on Mar. 29, 2013 from a Toyota dealer as a “Certified Used Car” with 35K miles on it. I’ve had it serviced regularly by an excellent local foreign car shop. It needed $3,000 worth of front-end repair a year later. I wasn’t too surprised because I was told that it had been a 3-year lease-return from a guy who did off-road mountain-biking so it may have seen some rough roads. But it’s been a perfect car ever since.
It now has 126k miles on it.
This last summer it began refusing to take fuel: fuel nozzles in gas stations would shut of every 1/2 gal. or so making it nearly impossible to fill up. My mechanic spent a week trying to diagnose it. He “checked all computer parameters and circuits to the fuel evaporate system”, lowered the fuel level in the tank and “inspected the sensors and roll-over valve” and determined the the “valve was sticking at times”. So they “drained and removed fuel tank” and replaced the “valve”. He said they then tried filling the tank and had no problem. But a few weeks later, the problem returned. He then told me that they again dropped the fuel tank and decided that another “sensor” in the tank-- the “roll-over sensor”?-- needed to be replaced. He said he tried to buy just the sensor but said no-one sold it separately from the tank so he had to replace the whole tank–for around $1000.
The car has performed perfectly since then–until last week after about 3 months and 3k miles. Once agin the gas pump nozzle keeps shutting off about every 1/2 gallon and I’ve now tried 4 different pumps at 3 different stations.
Help! I’d like your input before I return to my mechanic. He and I may need your help. Thanks for any help you can offer.

I believe you don’t press the trigger hard enough,causing the pump to stop when you are filling up.Sometimes,when the underground tanks are near empty,you will feel less pressure at the pump causing the noozle to stop many times during a fill up.

I had similar issue on my Nissan Altima, shortly after I bough it new

dealer found that some hose responsible for vapor pressure equalization was pinched and collapsed in the fuel sender unit, they replaced it under warranty and problem was gone

I’ve owned a Chevy Avalanche for 14 years that exhibits this problem EVERY fall when the change from summer to winter gas happens. I’m guessing that the mix of the 2 causes excessive foaming in the nozzle when filling the tank and shuts off the flow. Some brands are worse than others. If it happens, I’ve learned change to another station. It goes away in a week or 2. This is a very common problem with Avalanches.

If you’ve noticed this is a seasonal thing, it can’t be fixed. It might be the problem with your Highlander. You may just have to live with it.

Have your mechanic inspect the EVAP system for infestation of spiders weaving webs and laying egg sacs in the vent part of the system. This would include the charcoal canister and the vent valve and hoses.

These little buggers can cause a restriction in the EVAP system where the gas tank can’t vent when refueling. And this causes the fuel nozzle to keep shutting off.

This problem is beginning to show up on all makes and models of vehicles as time goes on.



I’ve been having the same problem with my 2008 hybrid Highlander for the past few months. I’ve found that some pumps are worse than others. I’m also baffled but haven’t done anything about it yet.

Yes, I’ve also discovered that some pumps still do it but I just hold the nozzle at the right angle and it fills. No-one has been able to solve this so…

Thanks for the feedback. Good luck with “our problem”.

I have the same issue with my Durango after I had took it in for a recall on the filler line. The recall was issued because some would overflow if you left the pump running. I had no issues before this but now I have to put the gas in very slowly or the pump shuts off. I have yet to track down the issue.