How To Turn On Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) In A Toyota RAV4?

Did you recently purchase a Toyota RAV4, and are wondering how to enable the Blind Spot Monitor? You’ve come to the right place, for we have researched this question, and we have the answer for you.

The Blind Spot Monitor can be enabled through the Multi-Information Display. Navigate to the settings and then toggle "Blind Spot Monitor" on or off. Additionally, some models have a dedicated button to enable the Blind Spot Monitor system.

Find out more about the Blind Spot Monitor system in the succeeding sections. Discover the limitations of the Blind Spot Monitor system, including necessary precautions when using it. Read on!

Blind spot monitoring system warning light in side view mirror of a modern vehicle, How To Turn On Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) In A Toyota RAV4?

What is Blind Spot Monitor?

The Blind Spot Monitor is a collection of systems that help improve the safety of your Toyota RAV4. It performs two functions to provide this extra level of safety.

Safely Change Lanes

A car Toyota RAV4 on city road

It is important to check the side mirrors and the rearview mirror before changing lanes. We even make a quick look over our shoulder to check any nearby vehicles in the adjacent lanes. Unfortunately, vehicles behind the C-pillar or blind spot of the Toyota RAV4 might not be visible.

The Blind Spot Monitor helps in safely changing lanes by using radar sensors mounted at the rear bumper of your Toyota RAV4. These sensors detect the presence of incoming vehicles and their speed. The Blind Spot Monitor will warn you of an incoming vehicle if they are traveling at least 10 mph.

A warning light on the side mirror (that looks the same as the Blind Side Monitor icon on the dedicated button) will turn on if the radar system detects a vehicle that is approaching the blind spot of your Toyota RAV4. This is the standard warning if your turn signal is not engaged.

However, if your turn signal is engaged and there is an incoming vehicle on your blind spot, the warning light on the side mirror will flash instead of steadily light up. The blinking warning light ensures that you will notice this signal.

Safely Move from Parked Position

The Blind Spot Monitor also monitors rear cross-traffic. This is useful when you’re coming out of parking, and there is an incoming car that you cannot see because it is blocked by the cars on both sides.

The Blind Spot Monitor will also warn you of an oncoming car. The signal lights on the side mirrors will flash to let you know that there is an incoming vehicle on your rear. In addition to the flashing light, there is also a buzzer sound that will go off in some models when the system detects an oncoming vehicle.

If your Toyota RAV4 did not come with a pre-installed Blind Spot Monitor, the EASYGUARD EBS001 Blind Area Detection System is available on Amazon. Check it out through this link.

Maintaining the Blind Spot Monitor on your Toyota RAV4

View of many cars parked by the rear view mirror in a small city

There is one radar sensor installed inside each left and right side of the inside rear bumper. Here are some tips to keep the radar sensors performing at their peak at all times:

  • It is a good idea to always keep the left and right areas of the rear bumper clean.
  • If these areas have been subjected to a strong impact, it is a good idea to have the sensors checked at a service center. If the sensors are misaligned because of the impact, they can end up giving you a false warning or could end up failing to warn you of an approaching vehicle.
  • Never remove the radar sensors.
  • It is not a good idea to attach an aftermarket accessory or a sticker near or on the area where the sensors are installed.
  • Never modify the area of the rear bumper where the sensors are installed.
  • Never paint over the area where the radar sensors are installed.

What is the detection range of the Blind Side Monitor?

The Blind Side Monitor detects up to 11.5 feet on both sides of your Toyota RAV4. This range starts from the side of the rear bumper, where the radar sensor is installed.

The first 1.6 feet from the side of the bumper is not part of the detection area. The detection range at the back goes up to 9.8 feet from the outermost tip of the rear bumper. An area from the tip of the rear bumper going into your Toyota RAV4 up to 3.3 feet is also included in the detection area.

Blind Spot Monitor Precautions

Here are some important reminders to keep in mind when using the Blind Side Monitor in your Toyota RAV4:

  • The driver is completely responsible for maintaining the vehicle's safety and all the passengers at all times. Always be observant of your surroundings!
  • Treat the Blind Spot Monitor as an auxiliary device that helps you to become more aware of the surroundings of your Toyota RAV4. Do not rely on it too much because it can’t determine the true level of danger when changing lanes. Relying on it too much could lead to an accident resulting in death or serious injury.
  • The accuracy of the Blind Spot Monitor system is dependent on environmental conditions. Thus, it is important to rely on the driver’s vision to confirm if it is safe to change lanes or not.

Objects BSM Cannot See

The Blind Spot Monitor is not designed to detect all objects entering the blind spot area of your Toyota RAV4. Here is a list of objects that your Blind Spot Monitor will likely fail to detect.

  • Pedestrians
  • Bicycles
  • Motorcycles
  • Vehicles traveling in the opposite direction
  • Walls, signs, and guardrails
  • Parked vehicles and stationary objects
  • Very slow vehicles (a car must be traveling at least 10 mph to be detected)
  • Vehicles following your Toyota RAV4 on the same lane
  • Vehicles that are two lanes away or more

Can BSM Malfunction?

No man-made system is perfect. Thus, some situations or conditions can prevent the Blind Spot Monitor from giving you an accurate warning.

Traffic in heavy rain on the highway

The list of conditions below can prevent the Blind Spot Monitor from detecting vehicles entering the blind spot area of your Toyota RAV4:

  • Heavy rain, fog, or snow can blind your Blind Spot Monitor.
  • Ice and mud on the rear bumper can prevent the Blind Side Monitor from accurately detecting other vehicles.
  • BSM can fail while driving on a wet road, including rain or standing water.
  • BSM can fail to detect an oncoming vehicle moving extremely fast in comparison to your RAV4's speed.
  • A stationary vehicle that is inside the detection area that stays in the same area as you accelerate will not be detected, such as at a stoplight.
  • Driving consecutive inclines along the roadway, such as hills
  • Multiple approaching vehicles with a small gap between them.
  • When driving in wide lanes and vehicles in the adjacent lane are outside the detection range.
  • A vehicle enters the detection area with a speed that is close to the speed of your Toyota RAV4.
  • The Blind Side Monitor can fail to detect a vehicle that is too low or too high compared to the height of your Toyota RAV4.
  • When the Blind Side Monitor has just been activated or turned on. 
  • The Blind Side Monitor will fail to detect vehicles while you’re towing a trailer.
  • When you have an equipment carrier at the back of your Toyota RAV4, like a bicycle carrier, it can block BSM.

What are the common problems of the Blind Spot Monitor?

Dim warning lights

The warning lights are installed behind the side mirrors. Unfortunately, there are lighting conditions that make it impossible to see the warning lights. One of the situations where this can happen is if a bright light gets reflected on your side mirrors.

Unfortunately, this is a design defect that can only be fixed by moving the location of the warning lights to a surface that does not reflect too much light. This will be a modification of the standard Blind Side Monitor of your Toyota RAV4.

Check Blind Spot Monitor system error

This is a message that can pop up on the dashboard display. A dirty sensor is often the culprit behind this problem. Fortunately, cleaning mud, dirt, debris, and other obstructions can get rid of the error. Turn off the engine after cleaning and turn it back on to reset the sensor.

Keep in mind to be careful not to move the radar sensors while cleaning them to prevent misalignment. If the problem persists after cleaning, bring your Toyota RAV4 to a service center to check the Blind Side Monitor sensors.

Can Blind Spot Monitor prevent crashes?

Bicycle accident

Blind Spot Monitor has been proven to prevent lane-change crashes. Similar research has shown that there is a decrease in lane-change crashes that have led to injuries.


The Blind Side Monitor can be turned on using a dedicated switch near the steering wheel or through the Setting menu on the Multi-Information Display.

If you enjoyed reading this article, you might find the articles below equally interesting:

Can a Toyota RAV4 Go Off Road?

What Are The Trim Levels For Toyota Rav4?

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