How To Turn Off Blind Spot Monitoring In A Toyota RAV4 (2013-2023 Models)

Blind spot monitor is a safety system offered on the Toyota RAV4. If you wanted to for a little while, how do you turn off blind spot monitor?

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How Do You Turn Off The Blind Spot Monitor In A Toyota RAV4?

In most years of the Toyota RAV4, turning off the blind spot monitor system is a matter of scrolling through the screen within the driver information center and selecting to turn off the blind spot monitor. Some years might also have a “BSM” button or a pushable button that turns the system off.

We’ll explore how the blind spot monitor helps detect vehicles, why you would want to turn it off, and how you turn it off on a Toyota RAV4.

There are a couple of different methods for turning off the blind spot monitor on your Toyota RAV4 depending on what year the vehicle is from. We’ll break down the options:


Turning the blind spot monitor system on a newer Toyota RAV4 is pretty easy. Here is a list:

  • Turn the vehicle on (you can’t turn BSM off with the vehicle off)
  • Using the arrow pad on the left side of the steering wheel, continually scroll left or right until you reach the Settings icon, which is represented by a gear.
  • Select the blind spot monitor setting, which may be represented just by the acronym “BSM” or an icon showing radar off the side of a vehicle. 
  • Press the middle or OK button in order to toggle the blind spot monitor system on or off.


The previous generation of Toyota RAV4 actually makes the process even easier. According to Toyota, you should just locate and push the BSM button on the left side of the steering wheel or dashboard.

This may be represented by a radar icon. This will turn the feature on or off.

Enjoying this article on RAV4 blind spot monitoring? Check out our article on the best tires for RAV4s.

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How do I know if I turned it off or on?

The driver information center will briefly show you a message indicating that blind spot monitor is off. You may also see a warning light indicating that the system is currently off. 

What does a blind spot monitor do?

The purpose of a blind spot monitor is to provide an audio and visual signal that there is a vehicle in your blind spot, or more literally, in the place behind and next to your vehicle that can be a challenge to see while in traffic without craning your head.

The system uses radar sensors that “ping” the area around for objects, which means that the blind spot monitor helps detect vehicles and in some cases people. 

Most blind spot monitor systems have a small light in the side mirror that turns on when there is a vehicle in your blind spot

The vehicle also lets out an audible tone if you turn on your turn signal indicating that you are about to begin changing lanes or complete a turn. 

Where is the blind spot monitor?

The monitor itself is normally installed on the rear bumper of the vehicle, as the area most obscured on the vehicle is within the area of the rear bumper.

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Why would you turn off blind spot monitor?

We are going to start by saying that our vehicle has blind spot monitor and we find it extremely useful.

Toyota does not recommend turning off in normal driving situations, and neither do we – but there are some good reasons.

BSM Malfunction

Blind spot monitors can eventually develop problems that prevent you from trusting them, at least temporarily. 

This includes having sensors that are covered in dirt, snow, mud, or something else. Check your Toyota RAV4 manual to see what they suggest for maintaining your blind spot sensors and backup camera.

In the event of an electrical problem that makes the blind spot monitor either not work correctly or not function at all, one good option is to turn it off completely so you don’t rely on bad information when switching lanes.

Driver’s training

Car technology has changed a lot in the twenty years since people like me earned their driver’s licenses.

Before companies started putting advanced collision warnings and blind spot monitoring systems powered by the newly adapted radar sensor on vehicles, we had to learn to thoroughly check our blind spots by turning our heads and neck in traffic to ensure no vehicles were there.

While we don’t fully endorse the idea of training a new driver to drive without a blind spot monitor and other safety systems on, it could be a good idea to teach them what to do in the event these systems fail.

Malfunction issues and attempting to train a driver are the only two good reasons we can see to turn off blind spot monitors. 

The use of systems like these has proven to help drivers prevent accidents rather than needing the safety cage of a vehicle to protect them when an impact happens.

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Specific turns

There are some turns in my own city that involve two lanes turning left at the same time. There is a good chance that my blind spot monitor will chime with a warning about vehicles near my rear bumper, only because I happen to have my turning signal on when taking the turn. 

Another option here is to turn the turning signal off as you begin the turn – though neither one is really necessary to turn off if you can just deal with the temporary sound.

Why are blind spot monitors necessary?

While we could make comments about human behavior and people not quite checking their blind spot while doing a lane change or making a turn, the reality is that part of the need for blind spot comes from how vehicles are made today.

30 years or more ago, vehicles were often made with smaller pillars to hold the roof on, and larger windows to see out of. 

As more and more safety data came in, manufacturers realized that sometimes thicker pillars can help support the roof in the event of a rollover. 

Windows are good, but they can shatter or break in an accident while putting more of a plastic shell higher helps reduce injuries in an accident.

Having smaller windows and more “body” to the vehicle reduces our ability to see out the windows.

Many reviews we’ve seen – and cars we have driven in, have less space to see out the rear and side windows than ever.  

We’ve even heard customers complain about the lack of rear visibility before they were introduced to the various safety features meant to make it easier. 

Hence the need for radar and camera-based systems to be our eyes and ears when we are unable to quickly and easily see a car in the rear ¾ of our Toyota RAV4. However, be careful because there are some serious disadvantages to installing dash cams and other sensors.

How do I turn the blind spot monitor back on?

The good news is that you don’t have to memorize a unique way to turn the blind spot monitor back on. Reverse the previous instructions, and you’ll turn the blind spot monitor back on.

Key Takeaways

  • Newer Toyota models turn off BSM using the arrows within the steering wheel
  • Older Toyota models use an on and off button on the steering wheel
  • A blind spot monitor keeps an eye on your blind spot while traveling
  • Toyota recommends you keep blind spot monitoring on at all times
  • Cleaning the sensors on your blind spot system can help prevent malfunction.