It’s no news that the Toyota brand is unarguably one of the best car brands in the world in terms of efficiency, drivability, and security. When it comes to security, Toyota has gone beyond the usual features a lot of us are familiar with to adding features that help to alert you on things happening around you as you drive.
One of these security features is the BSM or the Blind Spot Monitor – a relatively new technology that has been included in Toyota models since 2014.
In this post, we’ll be focusing on the Blind Spot Monitor on Toyota Rav 4 limited models. We’ll take you through everything you need to know about Rav4’s BSM from what exactly it’s all about to its usage, maintenance, etc.
Table of contents
- BSM on Toyota Rav4 – What Does This Mean?
- How to Turn On Blind Spot Monitor on a Toyota Rav4 Model
- Major Functions of The BSM on a Rav4
- How to Maintain The Blind Spot Monitor on Your Toyota RAV4
- How to Fix Faulty BSM on Toyota RAV4
- Can Toyota RAV4’s BSM Work in All Weather Conditions?
What Does BSM Mean in a Car?
BSM (Blind Spot Monitor) is a security feature on newer car models that alerts a driver of the presence of a vehicle in their blind spot. Its function is quite similar to the rear cross-traffic alert that warns a driver of an approaching vehicle when backing up.
The BSM helps to alert you to the presence of vehicles that might escape detection in side-view mirrors. This is designed to enhance your confidence and optimize the safe operation of your car.
How to Turn On BSM on Toyota Rav4
If your Toyota Rav4 is equipped with the BSM feature, you’ll find the button on your dashboard – just to the left of your steering wheel. To activate this feature, press the button to turn the blind spot monitor on. It’ll illuminate and you’ll hear the sound of a buzzer. This will be accompanied by indicator lights in the outside mirrors coming on for a few seconds as part of an initial system check.
When an adjacent vehicle enters your blind spot area, that area’s side-view mirror indicator will illuminate. If you signal a lane change in that direction, the indicator will flash to get your attention.
To turn off the BSM, press the same button labeled ‘BSM’ on the left side of your steering wheel and the feature gets turned off.
Major Functions of The BSM on a Rav4
Toyota has done its best to ensure that the BSM always serves its safety purpose. However, it’s important to note that your safety as a driver still largely depends on you. In fact, Toyota warns that you should not exclusively rely on the Blind Spot Monitor. Always look over your shoulder and ensure that you use your turn signal.
There are limitations to the function, detection, range, and clarity of the monitor system. To learn more about this, we would advise that you check your owner’s manual.
That said, here are some of the major functions of the BSM on a Toyota Rav4:
1. It Assists You with Lane Changes
The Toyota RAV4’s BSM can be helpful if you find it difficult to stay in your lane. It uses a camera and sensors to detect when your vehicle begins to drift out of its lane. This can happen for different reasons, such as sudden steering movements or excessive speed variation within the lane. The BSM alerts you via warning chimes or messages on your display.
2. It Helps You Safely Leave a Parking Spot
The BSM feature can be very helpful while leaving a parking spot. With it, you can see what’s behind your vehicle even if it is dark outside or if there are some blind spots.
This helps you avoid any damage to your car or other cars. If there is something in your path while leaving the parking spot, the system will alert you so that you don’t hit it.
Read: Rav4 LE vs XLE
How to Maintain The Blind Spot Monitor on Your Toyota RAV4
The blind spot monitor uses radar sensors to detect vehicles in your blind spots, so it can alert you when it detects a vehicle approaching from the side. In order to maximize its functionalities, you need to always ensure that it’s properly maintained. Here are a few things to maintain it:
1. Always Keep The Area of The Rear Bumper Clean
Keeping the area of your rear bumper clean is very important to avoid interference. If you have a lot of dirt or snow on it, use a soft brush or clean cloth to clean it off before starting your car.
2. Get The Sensors Checked Periodically
It’s a good idea to have the sensors checked at a service center periodically, or as often as you service your car. You can never be too careful with a safety feature.
3. Never Remove The Radar Sensors
The radar sensors are important for the operation of the blind spot monitor and must be installed as original equipment. The sensor must not be removed from its mounting location to avoid damaging it.
4. Don’t Attach Stickers Near Where The Sensors Are
If you want to add a little flair to your vehicle, it’s totally fine to do so. You just need to be mindful of where you’re putting them. If a sticker is placed directly above or below one of the radar sensors, it could block the radar waves and cause false alarms with your car’s safety features.
5. Never Paint Over The Area Where The Radar Sensors Are Installed
If you paint over the area where the radar sensors are installed, it can block the signal from reaching them. This could interfere with their ability to detect objects. Painting over these areas can also cause the sensor’s performance to worsen or even fail.
Read: Cars Similar to Rav4
How to Fix Faulty BSM on Toyota RAV4
If your BSM is not working, you may see a warning such as “Check blind spot monitor system”. This means that one or both of the BSM sensors are not functioning correctly and cannot detect vehicles in your blind spots. Here’s how to fix it:
1. Turn The Car Off and Back On
Turning the car off and back on will reset the BSM in a Toyota RAV4. After 10 to 15 seconds, you may switch it back on to see if the warning clears. If it doesn’t, try the next option.
2. Visit Your Toyota Dealership or an Auto Shop
Get in touch with your nearby Toyota dealership or a reputable independent auto repair if switching the car off and on doesn’t solve the problem.
Read: Why do Toyotas Last so Long?
Can Toyota RAV4’s BSM Work in All Weather Conditions?
No. The BSM Toyota RAV4 is not an all-weather system and does not work in all weather. However, it does provide optimal driving performance in most weather conditions. Here are some reasons why the BSM may not work in all kinds of weather conditions:
1. Heavy Rain, Fog, or Snow Might Cause Your Blind Spot Monitor to Malfunction
The Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) does not operate in heavy rain, fog, or snow. The camera for the BSM is mounted on the rear of your vehicle and is designed to look at objects that are approximately two car lengths away from your vehicle.
Heavy rain can blind your Blind Spot Monitor by causing water droplets to form on the camera lens. Foggy conditions can also cause a lack of visibility, affecting how well you can detect other vehicles while using BSM.
2. Ice and Dirt on The Back Bumper Might Impair The Blind Side Monitor’s Ability to Identify Other Cars
If your car is covered in mud or ice on the rear bumper, it can prevent the Blind Side Monitor from accurately detecting other vehicles. This is dangerous because it can cause you to crash into another car. Another reason why you should not absolutely depend on the BSM.
This is because the Blind Side Monitor system uses infrared sensors to detect objects around the vehicle. If there is dirt on these sensors, they may not be able to detect smaller vehicles approaching from behind.
As you can see, the BSM system on your Toyota RAV4 has a lot of benefits and uses. The fact that it helps with lane changes and parking is great for drivers who need assistance when they are a big deal. You can engage it through a multi-information display on your car or through the BSM button.
Maintaining your BSM will help ensure that it lasts long, and would increase its effectiveness. You can maintain it by keeping the area of the rear bumper clean and servicing the sensors periodically.
It’s important to note that the BSM can not work in all weather conditions. This is because heavy rain, fog, or snow can cause it to malfunction.
Lastly, you can fix a faulty BSM by turning off your car or visiting an auto shop.
Ugo is a passionate car enthusiast with a Bachelor of Electrical and Electronics Engineering degree and hands-on experience in troubleshooting and fixing automobiles.
I combine my electrical and mechanical engineering knowledge with practical skills to address car-related issues.
My love for cars and dedication to educating others led to the creation of Fixandtroubleshoot.com!