Toyota has been making vehicles safe for their passengers for ages, and they aren’t likely to stop any time soon. Over the years, this singular aim has spawned so many innovative technologies that have kept and continue to keep drivers safe on the roads.
Such mechanisms include the Star Safety System, the Toyota Safety Sense, the Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA), and the Blind Spot Monitor system (BSM). Amongst all these, the BSM holds its own, a mark of excellence and safety that ensures drivers can drive a little safer on roads. However, to the new RAV4 owner, it might seem a bit vague.
- What Exactly Is the BSM?
- What Does the BSM Do on My Toyota?
- How Do I Turn the BSM Light On or Off In My RAV4?
- Why is my BSM light on?
- What does the check BSM system mean?
- How do I reset my Toyota Blind Spot Monitor?
- What speed and distance thresholds Is the BSM limited to?
- How accurate is the system?
- In conclusion
What Exactly Is the BSM?
The BSM is a safety system that enables drivers to see their blind spot, e.g., behind the vehicle’s C pillar. When changing lanes, one has to be very aware of the surroundings, and it becomes imperative for the driver to first check around for oncoming traffic. The BSM helps this process by monitoring the vehicle’s blind spot. It has two functions.
What Does the BSM Do on My Toyota?
The BSM system aims to make the driver’s life easier by assisting with two main tasks:
It assists drivers in lane changes while driving
It is a basic procedure to check all sides before making lane changes. After all, this is one of the leading causes of road accidents, and half the time, the driver is not at fault; instead, the oncoming vehicle comes around through the blind spot.
The BSM helps the car become aware of incoming traffic through a series of radar sensors located around the vehicle’s rear bumper.
These radar sensors would help detect vehicles traveling at a threshold velocity and warn the driver of these vehicles. It relays this warning through a light located on the side mirror. There are two warning modes. First off, the light would usually come on if the turn signal was not activated. Secondly, it flashes brightly when the turn signal is activated, showing urgency.
It helps drivers to leave parking spots safely
This tech is so great that apart from detecting oncoming traffic, it also sees cross-traffic, i.e., traffic coming across in relation to a car’s point at a parking spot between other vehicles.
This ensures that drivers can know when cars are approaching from the side since the rest of their view apart from straight on is hampered by other cars in the parking lot. Again, the lights on the side mirrors serve as warnings.
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How Do I Turn the BSM Light On or Off In My RAV4?
Your BSM light can be controlled in two ways. One of these is the Multi-information Display, where drivers can scroll through and open the menu setting. From there, one can switch the BSM on or off.
The other way drivers can control it is through the BSM main button, which comes in some models. It is located on the left side of the dash and has the letters “BSM” imprinted on it.
When the BSM is turned on, the lights on the side view mirrors come on and blink out in a short while, indicating its activity. You would also hear a soft sound.
Why is my BSM light on?
This depends on the exact BSM light you mean. If it is the warning signal, your BSM light might be on for various reasons. It might be malfunctioning, and you would have to take it for repairs. Another reason is that it might have detected things coming from your car.
If it refuses to go off, it is a clear definition of malfunction. The check BSM notification is another thing entirely.
What does the check BSM system mean?
This error notification alerts drivers when their BSM system is likely malfunctioning and might give inaccurate responses. Various things can cause this, including
- The sensors are worn out and need to be changed.
- The sensors have become clogged with dirt and debris and other strange similar things due to the car being driven for so long. After all, the sensors are just underneath the bumper, so they are liable to issues like this.
- Strange weather conditions characterized by extreme temperatures (not necessarily 100% frigid or heated up)
- Sensor voltage has issues
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How do I reset my Toyota Blind Spot Monitor?
Like all car functions, you can reset the blind spot monitor by simply restarting the vehicle. In the case of a sensor caked with dirt and debris, one can restart the engine to restart the BSM system.
What speed and distance thresholds Is the BSM limited to?
The BSM system picks up moving objects only at a certain distance and moving at a certain speed. When the car is in reverse and is moving at a steady speed of less than or equal to 5mph, it can easily detect things moving at 5-18mph. It is designed to pick up at a distance of around 3.5 meters on both the left and right sides of the car. Note that this measurement starts from the back bumper where it is installed.
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How accurate is the system?
It is fairly accurate but should not under any circumstances be entirely relied on. And that does not mean one should ignore it fully either. The onus is still on the driver to use the senses to check for danger all-around before crossing lanes and doing similar things.
The system also is prone to inaccuracy under some conditions. Conditions like this include
- Extreme weather conditions like rain and snow
- Environmental discrepancies like mud, sand, fog, etc
- Certain highway conditions like the extreme speed of other vehicles in comparison to your vehicle
- Vehicles that are already in the range of detection and move steadily with your RAV4 as it moves
- Luggage carrying conditions in which the burden blocks the sensors
- Also, note that the BSM was designed to detect vehicles, not pedestrians, small craft like bicycles, stationary objects, etc.
The best approach to maintaining a BSM is to treat it like a delicate laser eye that can be blocked if not careful. You would always keep the parts clean and ensure that you do not upset the alignment during maintenance so that it does not eventually get blocked inadvertently.