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What Is BSM in Toyota RAV4?


Have you ever been on a multi-lane road? In most cases, you end up in dangerous situations whenever you want to change lanes. It’s hard to notice an approaching vehicle in the rear blind spot. However, BSM steps in to prevent such accidents.

Blind Spot Monitoring in rav4 uses mounted radars on the rear bumper, detecting any approaching vehicle behind the car in the adjacent lane when changing lanes. The BSM alerts the driver by displaying light signals in the correct door mirror on either side of your car; if you need to change lane, the light flashes or warning sound beep to signal you of any approaching vehicle in the adjacent lane.

Read through this article to expand your knowledge on the appropriate practices of BSM, how BSM works, and the different light signals of the car you will experience.

How Does BSM Work?

The BSM works through the assistance of the radar signals connected to the rear bumper. However, the performance of your car compromises under poor weather conditions. Such weather conditions include rain, fog, and snow. Also, the status of the approaching vehicle and the road conditions greatly influence the BSM performance.


To prevent any possible accident, take quick over-the-shoulder checks to identify any approaching vehicle in the rear blind spot of your car. The system is there to assist.

However, you should never over-rely on the BSM. In rare cases, the alerting signals take time to display on the mirror when a vehicle approaches. It is always your responsibility to check for any car in the rear.

Watch-Out Warnings for BSM in RAV4

Although the BSM is reliable and effective in its performance, its operations have a few nuances and drawbacks. Things you should be aware of include the following:

  • The system only is good under highway drives and highway speeds; it’s useful on byways and city streets.
  • BSM can delay the detection of fast-moving vehicles. Apart from the rav4, each car system has a different speed limit. You will find the maximum speed limit of your car in the owner’s manual guide.
  • You should keep clean and in suitable condition sensors in the rear bumper and side-view mirror lenses. When snow, mud, ice, condensation, or dirt blocks the sensors, the system won’t work appropriately.
  • It’s hard for the BSM to detect motorcycles or any small vehicle of the same kind on the road.
  • BSM is an assistance checker. You should not over-rely on it for your safety. The BSM can’t judge the safety time to change lanes.

Rear Cross-Traffic Alert

Think of taking an emergency brake when backing your car to prevent hitting other vehicles. How was the experience? RCTA can help you to avoid any possibility of hitting other vehicles when backing from a parking zone.

The RCTA uses indicators and radars similar to the BSM in vehicles. The indicators and radars help identify any approaching vehicle on either side of the road and send alert signals. 

How Does the RCTA Work?

As the BSM, the RCTA also uses an icon on the mirror to give light signals. For the rav4, a warning beeping sound follows the light signal.

However, you should visually check the surroundings before reversing. The same applies, do not over-rely on the RCTA alert signals.

RCTA functions differently from parking sensors installed by car dealers, which create an alarm sound whenever they detect any stationary object.

Best Practices in Blind Spot Monitoring

Advanced Driver Assistance System in Rav4 helps in reducing accidents and injuries which you cannot avoid during driving.

However, ADAS has challenges for the driver and repair options alike. To fix this gap, let us consider best practices while working and driving under a BSM-capable vehicle.

Know Your Expectations on Your RAV4 BSM

Get to know how they assist the system of the blind spot monitoring of your car work. Know where to get alerts. You should also know if your BSM system provides independent, active assistance.

Besides, it is helpful to think about what should happen for the BSM to go off. Should you reach a certain level of speed to go off? Or it shall activate whenever you turn off your turning indicators?

BSM Is Not a Fully Independent System.

Although the Toyota company ensures safety, you should not usefully over-rely on the BSM. Sometimes its performance interferes, and the results from these; signals won’t be indicated.

However, the system cannot prevent all accidents. You should make quick over-the-shoulder checks to identify any vehicle in the rear behind the blind spot.

Understand When Your RAV4 Needs Calibration.

The blind-spot warning system helps to reduce injuries from crashes by alerting drivers of approaching vehicles. Unfortunately, they can’t stop crashes.

You will need to recalibrate the cameras and radar sensors whenever an accident occurs. You do this for accurate monitoring of the vehicle in an actual blind spot.

Calibration on the blind spot monitor is part of the services you need to do. Adjusting sensors and cameras is a crucial element for the correct performance of your car’s BSM system. Common problems people undergo include:

  • Malfunctioning of BML
  • Blind spot monitoring reset
  • Blind sport warning failure
  • Block to the blind spot warning sensor
  • Error to the blind spot warning
  • The error of the blind sports collision warning
  • Blind spot alert becoming temporarily unavailable
  • Unavailability of blind spot alert services
  • Blind sport detections become unavailable
  • Radar blocked and blind spot detection disabled
  • Blind spot alert becoming temporarily unavailable

If your rav4 gives any of these notifications, it is a good sign that you need calibrations on your Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS).


Like in any other car with the BSM services, the system in Toyota Rav4 works through the mounted radars on the rear bumpers. The radars work in hand with the indicators on the side-view mirrors. The radar sensors detect any approaching vehicle on the adjacent lane in the rear of your car behind the blind spot.

However, it’s difficult for the BSM to detect approaching motorbikes in the blind sport or any small vehicle. The BSM does not guarantee drivers’ full safety as they can malfunction.

Conditions that can cause the poor performance of BSM include; fog, snow, rain, or even condensation. Also, when mud and other debris blocks the lenses on the rear bumper, it will send no signals to the side-view mirror sensors.

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