BSM Toyota RAV4: Does This Setting Really Help Drivers?

BSM Toyota Rav 4 has helped reduced road accidents and kept drivers safe by alerting them whenever another vehicle or moving object pops up in their blind spot. The system has also increased driver awareness and attention on the road by blinking when a vehicle comes too close to the RAV4. With BSM, drivers can change lanes easily and park correctly without hitting another car or causing traffic accidents.

BSM Toyota RAV4


Discover the meaning of BSM, how the system works, how to use it, and how it has helped drivers of the Toyota RAV4 in this complete guide.

What Does BSM Toyota RAV4 Mean?

BSM Toyota RAV4 means Blind Spot Monitor, and this feature alerts drivers when something is within their car’s blind spots. Radar sensors in the rear bumper of the vehicle continuously detect other cars or obstacles in the blind spot of the vehicle and give warning indicators in the sideview mirrors.

– How It Works

According to Toyota, their blind monitoring system works by making use of radar sensors fixed in the rear fender of the vehicle. These sensors monitor everything around the sides and behind the vehicle at a 180-degree angle.

Once they detect any object moving above 10 mph, it interprets where the object is coming from (left side or right side) and sends the information to the appropriate side mirror. The appropriate side mirror then illuminates an orange signal, indicating to the driver that a car is close by.

– Turning on BSM

If your RAV4 comes with BSM, then you’re likely to find the BSM button on the dashboard on the left side of the steering wheel. The button features two vehicles — one in front and the other one coming up from the rear — and the letters BSM are boldly printed beneath the cars. Press the button and then a BSM light illuminates at the top of the button. This is followed by a buzzing sound then two, one each on the outside mirrors will come on and off for a few seconds.

All these are just part of a system check procedure to make sure the BSM is working, thus if you don’t experience any of the things mentioned above, then it’s likely the BSM is malfunctioning. Once the BSM is on, it’ll alert you whenever a car comes too close by illuminating the indicator in the side mirror where the other vehicle is. If you also turn on your indicator to switch lanes and there is another car coming up your rear, the BSM will alert you.

To turn on the BSM, simply navigate to the Settings screen on the Multi-information Display then look for the BSM tab and toggle on or off. Note that there is another one of RAV4’s safety features called the Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA) which alerts drivers of vehicles crossing their rear when reversing. The RCTA and the BMS work in tandem and both appear alongside each other on the Multi-information Display. It works just like the BMS and uses the same sensors to detect vehicles coming up to the car’s rear fender or crossing the vehicle’s rear.

In some versions of the RAV4, both the RCTA and BMS can be turned on or off individually while in other versions, once one of them is turned on, the other begins to work automatically. Check your car’s manual to determine which version your car uses.

– Turning off BSM

Turning off the blind spot monitor system is as easy as pressing the same “BSM” button again. However, the BSM Toyota RAV4 be found on the Multi-information Display found on the right of the steering wheel.

– Fixing a Faulty BSM

One of the frequently asked questions is whether a driver can fix the BSM when it becomes faulty. Well, it depends on the situation. Some faults can be quickly fixed by the driver while others will require the help of an expert. If you see a sign that reads “Check BSM,” here is how you can do it:

Fixing a Faulty BSM

  • Turn the car off and back on again to reset all systems including the BSM. Make sure that you wait for a few seconds between turning off and turning on the car.
  • If the system is faulty due to battery issues, then recharge the battery or replace it with a new one and the BSM will be ready to go.

If this does not work, then make your way to a Toyota center or a reputable auto repair shop to assist you in repairing it. As a precaution, remember to avoid tampering with the radar system because it could worsen the fault and cause a system failure.

How Does BSM Toyota RAV4 Help Drivers?

BSM Toyota RAV4 helps drivers avoid traffic incidents by increasing driver alertness, helping the driver react on time, and improving the driver’s overall safety. The warning indicators are a helpful sign that the driver should be extra aware of his or her surroundings.

Here are a few more ways the system keeps both driver and vehicle safe from avoidable accidents:

– It Increases Driver Alertness

As humans, it becomes increasingly difficult to concentrate on the road as our attention gets carried away by so many distractions, which is a major cause of road accidents. Many even tend to doze off behind the steering wheel and inadvertently hit another vehicle.

Research indicates that driver distraction is the 3rd major cause of accidents on the road with overspeeding and drunk driving being the first and second, respectively. Distraction while driving reduces reaction time, thus even if the driver notices another vehicle coming from their blind spot, it will be too late to avoid an incident.

However, the BSM Toyota RAV4 is fitted with mirrors on both sides of the vehicle. Therefore, if any vehicle enters the blind spot of the RAV4, the system lights up an orange indicator on either of the two side mirrors, depending on where the approaching vehicle is located. This immediately draws the attention of the driver who can then take measures to avoid scratching or colliding with the vehicle. 

– It Helps the Driver React on Time

When driving, situations are fluid and things can change within the blink of an eye. A swift turn of the steering wheel could either save the driver and the vehicle or destroy both. Thus, if the driver is warned early by the Toyota RAV4 BSM beeping, they are able to react in the nick of time to save the situation.

The BSM on RAV4 can also help the driver to avoid changing lanes when a vehicle is coming from behind, even when the turn signal is on, to avoid an unfavorable situation.

– It Improves Driver Overall Safety

RAV4’s BSM keeps the driver safe at all times as it monitors happenings around the vehicle while the driver keeps their focus on what is ahead. The system prevents the vehicle from running into another car and avoiding collisions with cars moving in the same direction or vehicles coming from adjoining lanes.

It Improves Driver Overall Safety

This is especially efficient on highways with many lanes going in the same direction as sensors monitor everything around and behind the vehicle.

How To Know the Toyota RAV4 BSM Is Malfunctioning?

To know if the Toyota RAV4 BSM is malfunctioning, you can check if the indicator in both or any of the side mirrors is on even if there’s no vehicle close to you. Another way is when the BSM check light comes on unprompted.

The Radar Sensors of the RAV4 BSM Are Blocked

This means Toyota RAV4 BSM not working and you need to have it fixed as soon as possible to save your life and that of your vehicle. Depending on what’s wrong with the system, the driver can either fix it or send the car to an auto shop. Here are a few things that could cause the BSM to malfunction: 

– The Radar Sensors of the RAV4 BSM Are Blocked

This can happen when items such as plastic or paper bags interfere with the sensors of the radar when they attach themselves to the rear fender of the car. Accumulated dirt or snow can also block the sensors and cause them to malfunction. To fix this problem, simply remove the object or dirt obstructing the radar signals and the system will begin to function properly.

– A Weak Battery

When the battery is weak, the car’s electronic system may not function properly and this includes the BSM. Though the system does not require much battery power, it is advisable to charge the batteries periodically to keep the system functioning optimally.

– Extreme Weather Conditions

Extreme weather conditions such as dense fog, rain or snow can interfere with radar signals, thus causing the BSM to malfunction. However, take note that this is extremely rare as the BSM kicks into action when the other vehicle is too close to your RAV4.

The best advice is to stay home or park during a huge storm and seek shelter somewhere else while you wait for it to pass.

How To Keep Your BSM Toyota RAV4 in Optimal Condition?

To keep your BSM Toyota RAV4 in optimal condition, make sure to always keep the rear bumper clean, don’t place stickers on the sensors, avoid tampering with the radar sensor, and don’t paint over the radars. Doing these things will make your BSM less effective.

As we’ve discovered, the BSM could malfunction and endanger both driver and vehicle, therefore it is important to keep it in tip-top condition. Here are a few tips to do that:

– Keep the Rear Bumper Clean

Dust and other items can interfere with the radar sensor or the camera mounted inside the bumper. This can prevent the blind spot monitor from detecting any vehicle close to you. Therefore, make sure the bumper is clean at all times by constantly inspecting it and if it is dirty, use a soft cloth, tissue or soft brush to clean it.

– Don’t Use Stickers on the Sensors

It is nice to give your vehicle a great visual appeal or support a worthy cause by using stickers. However, remember to place them away from where the sensors and the camera are located. Placing a sticker directly on the sensor could cause a false alarm — alerting you that a vehicle close by when there’s none. Even worse, it could prevent the blind spot monitor from functioning properly, putting you and your vehicle in danger.

– Avoid Tampering With the Radar Sensor

Avoid the temptation of removing the radar if you detect that the system is malfunctioning – leave that to the experts. Tampering with the radar could damage it, and it could cost more to replace it. It is advisable to periodically send the RAV4 to a Toyota service center to have the radar checked. Doing this will keep it functioning properly and protect the vehicle from road accidents.

Avoid Tampering With the Radar Sensor

– Don’t Paint Over the Radar

Spraying over the sensors can block their signals and prevent them from detecting any vehicles in close proximity. Painting the areas where the radar is located can also cause the system to fail. To prevent paint from accidentally getting on the areas of the sensors, place a piece of paper or cloth on the sensors during painting. However, remember to remove them as soon as the painting is done.


So far, we’ve looked at how the BSM on RAV4 helps drivers to avoid traffic accidents and keep the integrity of their cars intact. Here are a few points that this article has covered:

  • The BSM on the RAV4 assists drivers to detect moving vehicles that come into their blind spots, which gives the drivers enough time to react to avoid road accidents.
  • Also, it helps to save lives and property by monitoring both sides and the rear of the vehicle with sensors and cameras to make sure that the driver is aware of all that is going on around them.
  • The BSM increases the driver’s alertness on the road by indicating exactly where the other vehicle is coming from by illuminating that indicator on the appropriate side mirror.
  • The monitoring system, like any other system, can become faulty, thus it is necessary to periodically check it to ensure it functions optimally.
  • However, do not tamper with the radar as that could worsen the case, instead, send the vehicle to a Toyota auto shop or a reputable service center to have the whole BSM repaired.

Blind spot monitoring may not work in all weather conditions, therefore, it is advisable to avoid driving in a strong storm (rain, wind or storm) as these may affect the system. Always remember to switch on the BSM once the vehicle is started to make sure you benefit from its qualities.

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