The essence of installed blind spot sensors is often not appreciated until one experiences Toyota blind spot monitor problems. The benefits include the ease of overtaking on a fast-moving highway.
Usually, you would have to double-check for oncoming vehicles before overtaking. But then, these monitor sensors scan areas behind your car and out of the Toyota side mirror’s radar.
Such hidden areas from the mirrors or driver’s view are blind spots and require a blind spot monitor for easy navigation.
What is a Blind Spot Monitor?
A blind-spot monitor is a vehicle-based detection sensor, generally located on the side mirrors and rear bumpers, that provides audio/visual warning of vehicles in the adjacent lane or within the hidden view of the driver.
How Does a Blind Spot Monitor Work?
Understanding the working mechanism of your Toyota blind spot monitor system (BSMS) is essential towards effective utilization of the driving aid.
The short video below briefly explains how the BSMS works on Toyota models.
While the monitor systems supplement the view from the side mirrors to side cameras, they do more than that.
CARFAX, a web-based vehicle supply company, explains the operating principle as a two or three-stage process including:
The two-step blind spot monitor system detects and notifies the driver of the estimated position of close-by vehicles.
They are the passive ones, while the three-step BSMS that detects notifies and also evades the potentially dangerous situation are the active ones.
For either of the steps, detection is the searching process of the sensors for nearby objects or vehicles. Very experienced drivers might wonder the importance of BSMS if they can look over their shoulders and see what’s behind.
However, those who have driven the latest Toyota models with the BSMS feature will agree that navigation is more straightforward, especially when switching between fast lanes.
Notification is the following process whereby the monitor system relates what it detects to the driver, except for Toyota blind spot monitor problems.
The system alarms when a vehicle is behind you. For notification, the BSMS utilizes sensor lights on the mirrors or dashboard. The warning might also be audible in addition to the visual signs.
The benefit of the audio alerts is to cater to cases where the driver cannot notice the light.
However, you might not hear the notification sound as well if the environment is noisy. That is why some manufacturers place vibrating sensors in the seat or steering wheel. Regardless of the method, the end goal is notifying the driver of possible situations.
The final step which is present in the three-stage process is evasion. The three-stage systems are also called active monitor systems because they go the extra mile of avoiding potentially dangerous phenomena in cases where the driver does not act as expected.
Rather than hit the other vehicle or even a pedestrian, the monitor systems automatically apply the brakes or steers you clear of the other car.
The working principle of these evasion sensors work is detailed in the video above.
Is the Toyota BSM System Covered by Warranty?
Yes, the Toyota Blind Spot Monitoring System is generally covered by warranty. Toyota’s new vehicle warranty includes a 3-year/36,000-mile comprehensive warranty, which covers most components of the vehicle, including the Blind Spot Monitoring System.
However, it is essential to consult your vehicle’s warranty information and terms and conditions to confirm the specific coverage for your model and year.
Please note that coverage may vary depending on the country, model, and year of the vehicle. Always consult your Toyota dealer or the vehicle’s warranty booklet for accurate information on the warranty coverage for your specific vehicle.
BSM Reset: The Easiest Way
Step 1: Check the operation
Before attempting any repairs or adjustments on your Toyota’s Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) system, it’s essential to confirm that it’s not working correctly. Start by checking the system’s functionality during normal driving conditions. Pay attention to the BSM indicator lights on your side mirrors, as well as any audible alerts that may accompany them.
Make sure that you’re driving in situations where the BSM system should be engaged, such as changing lanes or merging onto a highway. If the BSM system is not providing accurate alerts or seems to be malfunctioning, proceed to the next step. However, if it appears to be working correctly, there may be no need for further action.
Step 2: Disconnect the battery
Before you begin working on the BSM system, it’s crucial to disconnect your vehicle’s battery to ensure safety and prevent any electrical damage. Start by locating the battery in your engine compartment. Using the appropriate wrench, loosen the nut securing the negative (black) battery cable to the negative terminal. Carefully remove the cable from the terminal and tuck it away from the battery to avoid accidental contact.
With the battery disconnected, you can now safely work on your vehicle’s BSM system. This step is crucial, as it prevents any electrical current from flowing through the system and potentially causing harm or damage to you or the vehicle.
Step 3: Connecting the battery
After you’ve performed any necessary repairs, adjustments, or maintenance on the BSM system, it’s time to reconnect the battery. Before doing so, double-check that everything is properly secured and connected within the BSM system. If you’re satisfied that all components are correctly in place, you can proceed to reconnect the battery.
Start by locating the negative battery cable that you disconnected earlier. Carefully place the cable back onto the negative terminal of the battery, ensuring it is properly seated. Using the appropriate wrench, tighten the nut to secure the cable to the terminal. Be cautious not to overtighten, as this can cause damage to the battery terminal.
With the battery reconnected, start your vehicle’s engine and check the operation of the BSM system. Verify that the indicator lights on your side mirrors are functioning correctly and that the system is providing accurate alerts during driving situations where the BSM should be active.
Features & Usage of Blind Spot Monitor Systems (BSMS)
The key features that differentiate the mode of operation of different blind spot monitoring systems are as follows:
Sensors serve as the “eye” of the vehicle or “extra eyes” for the driver.
The sensory technology is unique based on the manufacturer’s preference, but they all do the job of signaling the indicators when something enters the surrounding view of the vehicle.
Indicators refer to the audio or visual alert systems we discussed. They let you know when the monitor system discovers something.
However, the following are essential for safe usage of the BSMS:
3. Accuracy levels of sensory technology
When we talk about accuracy, we relate more with how effective the sensors are in differentiating potentially dangerous situations from everyday driving that poses no danger.
Although some vendors install their products to suit DIY users, we recommend having a professional do the installation for you. The monitor systems are delicate and must be installed appropriately.
Common Toyota Blind Spot Monitor Problems
1. Dim Indicator
Since the blind spot sensors are installed under the side mirrors, the sensory lights might not be visible under some lighting conditions.
2. Speed Limit Check
Minimum efficiency when the driver is at low speeds less than 20-35 mph for most of the monitor systems.
3. Switching off on its own
This problem is possible after prolonged use of the monitor systems. When such occurs, the solution involves loosening the connectors and reconnecting them.
4. Failed Sensors
While we do not expect the blind spot sensors to fail, the vehicle’s overall safety remains the driver’s duty.
Hence, it’s best to also look out for yourself before turning. The BSMS are to guide and not to replace appropriate driving practices.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ) about Blind Spot Monitor.
What is rcta on Toyota?
The Toyota rcta is also a car safety feature with similar sensors on the blind spot monitor systems. It provides signals of vehicles on either side of the lane that is not visible in your side mirrors.
How can I locate the blind spot sensors?
While the design might vary slightly for different vendors, blind spot sensors are commonly located at each side of the rare bumper, parking sensors, or tail light.
Is the Toyota blind spot monitor built for vehicle detection alone?
No, the monitor systems are designed to detect persons along the walkway as well. These people are also plying the road and can decide to cross lanes too.
Therefore, the safety mechanism of the sensors caters to them as well. However, it’s still best to take a glance or two as there might be a few cases of sensory errors.
Is it possible to install blind-spot monitors?
Yeah, the availability of aftermarket blind spot sensors makes it possible to enjoy the feature even if the manufacturer of your vehicle did not originally install it.
However, the slight disadvantage is that the aftermarket sensors might not be accurate as factory-installed units. But then, they still do the work of improving driving view and safety.
Where is the blind spot monitor indicator light located?
The Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) indicator light is typically located on the side mirrors of your vehicle. When the system detects a vehicle in your blind spot, the indicator light will illuminate on the corresponding side mirror to alert you.
If you attempt to change lanes while the indicator light is on, an audible warning or additional flashing may occur to warn you of the presence of a vehicle in your blind spot.
Please note that the exact location of the BSM indicator light may vary depending on the make and model of your vehicle. Consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual for specific information about the location and operation of the Blind Spot Monitor system in your car.
What is the budget for BSM repair?
The cost of repairing a Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) system can vary significantly depending on the make and model of your vehicle, the specific issue that needs to be addressed, and the labor rates at the repair shop. Generally, BSM system repairs can range from $100 to $500 or more.
In some cases, the issue may be as simple as cleaning the sensors, which can be a relatively inexpensive fix. However, if a sensor needs to be replaced or there is an issue with the wiring or other components, the cost can be considerably higher.
What are the BSM notifications like?
System notifications are designed to alert drivers when a vehicle is detected in their blind spot. These alerts can come in various forms, depending on the specific BSM system and the vehicle make and model. Common types of BSM notifications include:
- Visual indicators: Most BSM systems use visual alerts, typically located on or near the side mirrors. When a vehicle is detected in the blind spot, a light or icon will illuminate on the corresponding side mirror. Some vehicles may also display the alert on the dashboard or on the head-up display (HUD).
- Audible alerts: In addition to visual indicators, some BSM systems also use audible alerts. When a vehicle is detected in the blind spot and the driver activates the turn signal, an audible warning will sound to alert the driver of the potential danger. This could be a beep, chime, or other distinctive noise.
- Haptic feedback: Some advanced BSM systems offer haptic feedback, which can involve a vibration in the steering wheel or driver’s seat to alert the driver when a vehicle is in the blind spot. This type of alert is less common but can be helpful for drivers who may not immediately notice visual or audible warnings.
It is essential to familiarize yourself with your vehicle’s BSM notifications and understand how they work to make the most of this safety feature. Always remember that BSM systems are designed to assist drivers and should not replace careful driving and proper mirror checks.
While the blind spot monitor systems have a host of benefits and slight downsides, the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. As such, you should address existing Toyota blind spot monitor problems with your vehicles with utmost urgency. The monitor systems are crucial for safe driving with ease. You can also consider installing the aftermarket ones if your Toyota model did not come with a factory-installed one.