Detailed below are the dashboard warning lights for the popular Toyota RAV4 SUV. The Toyota RAV4 has been in production since 1995 and is currently on its 5th generation. These warning lights primarily focus on Toyota’s 5th generation of the RAV4 (XA50), 2018 onwards, but the warning lights may still offer help to earlier and later models of the RAV4. Dashboard display design layout and warning lights location will vary depending on your model of RAV4.
All warning lights that may illuminate on your RAV4’s dashboard are displayed along with an explanation. You’ll also often see the recommended course of action to take based on Toyota’s guidelines. Warning lights typically illuminate in either red or yellow. Red warning lights often mean danger and generally require urgent attention. Yellow or amber warning lights may illuminate due to:
- A maintenance or service issue
- A non-urgent minor fault
- A system or utility that has been manually deactivated where usually it is on by default
Brake Warning Light
The Toyota RAV4 brake warning light can illuminate either in red or yellow. By illuminating in red, it means that either there is a brake system malfunction, or that brake fluid levels are low. If the brake light come son in red, stop the vehicle as soon as possible and do not continue driving as it may be dangerous. If brake fluid levels are low, it may indicate a leak in the brake circuit.
If the brake light comes on in yellow, it means there’s a fault in the parking brake system. You can continue to drive, but have the parking brake inspected right away.
Battery Warning Light
The Toyota RAV4 red battery warning light stays on after engine ignition or comes on while driving due to a fault in the charging system. If the light comes on while driving, immediately switch off any non-essential system that consume electricity. Continued driving with the battery light on may affect vehicle braking systems.
The usual cause for the battery warning light is a failing alternator or loose / broken drive belts. Check also battery connections, battery condition and wiring.
Coolant Warning Light
The Toyota RAV4 red thermometer symbol comes on while driving to indicate the the engine coolant has overheated. You may additionally experience a loss of engine power and the needle on the engine temperature gauge goes into the red. If driving, pull off the road as soon as safely possible and switch off the engine.
Allow several minute for the engine to cool and then inspect radiator and hoses for sighs of leaks. Check coolant and if levels are low add coolant. Engine coolant is a mixture of ethylene glycol and raises the boiling temperature of the fluid and helps to prevent it freezing. Normal water can be used in emergencies, but this must be replaced with coolant as soon as possible.
After adding coolant, start the engine and check that the cooling fan is operational by switching on the air conditioning system. If the fan is not operating, switch off the engine and contact a Toyota repair workshop. Only continue to drive the vehicle if all warning lights and messages go off.
Oil Pressure Warning Light
This Toyota RAV4 red oil light is not to be confused with the low oil level light as this one means that the oil pressure is low. Low oil pressure can result in the engine components not being properly lubricated and therefore becoming damaged. Very low engine oil levels can trigger the low oil pressure light.
If this red oil light comes on while driving, pull off the road as soon as safely possible and switch off the engine. Check oil levels and add oil if required. However, only continue to drive if the oil light goes off.
Check Engine Warning Light
The Toyota RAV4 engine warning light, or check engine warning light comes on due to a fault with either the electronic engine control system, the electronic throttle control system, or the emission control system. There are many reasons why the engine warning light is lit and the only way to diagnose the engine light is to use a fault code reader.
Every time the engine light or check engine light comes on, a fault code is usually generated and stored. Diagnostic fault code readers can read the fault code. which can then be used to determine where the fault is. You can wither have fault codes read at most auto workshops, or you can purchase fault code scanners yourself. You can usually continue to drive with the engine light on, but have your vehicle inspected as soon as possible.
Airbag Warning Light
As with most warning lights, the airbag light should come on briefly with the ignition and go out shortly after. If the Toyota RAV4 airbag warning light remains constantly lit, it indicates a fault with the SRS airbag and seat belt pretensioner system.
Faults range from airbag module problems, worn clock springs, seat belt buckles and airbag sensors. A diagnostic fault code reader that’s capable of scanning ABS faults should help to diagnose the fault.
ABS Warning Light
The Toyota RAV4 ABS warning light remains lit when there’s a fault with the Anti-lock Braking System. ABS is an additional safety function that enables the driver to steer the vehicle during hard braking. When the ABS light is on, your normal brakes will continue to work as usual, but without ABS support. The usual cause for an ABS fault is one of the four wheel speed sensors malfunctioning.
Power Steering Warning Light
The Toyota RAV4 uses electric power steering rather than hydraulic and the power steering warning light illuminates either in red or yellow. A red light often means total loss of power steering, while a yellow light means partial failure.
Due to the RAV4 using electric power steering (EPS), switching off the ignition and restarting may reset the EPC system. EPS issues can occur due to low battery charge, so it might be worth charging the battery. Occasionally, the EPS motor can overheat if the driver has been making significant steering movements while the car is stationary. In this instance, the EPS will resume once the motor has sufficiently cooled.
PCS Warning Light
The Toyota RAV4 has a Pre-Collision System (PCS) that alerts the driver by either audio and warning light alerts and if necessary initiates automatic braking to avoid a forward collision. The system relies on a camera mounted at the top centre of the windshield. When the area around the camera sensor is covered with dirt, moisture (fogged up, covered with condensation, ice, etc.), or other foreign matter, the PCS system may not operate correctly. Clean the part of the windshield in front of the camera.
LTA Warning Light
The Toyota RAV4 has a Lane Tracking Assist (LTA) function that while driving on a road with clearly visible lane lines, the LTA system warns the driver if the vehicle may deviate from the current lane by use of audible or warning lights signals and also can slightly operate the steering wheel to help avoid deviation from the lane.
LTA warning lights illuminate in white, indicating that LTA system is operating, green to indicate steering wheel assistance of the steering assist function or lane centering and function is operating and flashing in orange to indicate the lane departure alert function is operating. As with he Pre-Collision System (PCS), LTA uses the same camera sensor mounted at the top-centre of the windshield and requires the area to be clean.
Engine Stop Start Warning Light
The Toyota RAV4 engine start stop system stops and starts the engine according to brake pedal or shift lever operation when the vehicle is stopped. A green symbol illuminates on the dashboard when engine stop has been initiated. The engine start stop system can be disabled, but is reinitiated upon each manual ignition cycle of the engine.
There are several conditions that must be met in order for the Toyota RAV4 engine stop start system to work. If one of these conditions are not met, you may see the stop start unavailable warning light along with a message. For further information, see Toyota RAV4 stop start not working.
Intuitive Parking Assist Warning Light
The Toyota RAV4 Intuitive Parking Assist system helps the driver with parking by measuring the distance, front and rear of the vehicle and communicates this bother visually and via an audible alert.
If a buzzer sounds along with the Intuitive Parking Assist off warning light, it indicates a malfunction in the Intuitive parking assist function. If the Intuitive Parking Assist off warning light illuminates but a buzzer does not sound, it indicates that the system is temporarily unavailable, possibly due to a sensor being dirty or covered with ice, etc.
Intuitive Parking Assist Sensors
There are a total of 8 Intuitive Parking Assist sensors. Always ensure that the areas in and around the sensor location is clean and clear of mud, ice etc. There are four on the rear and four on the front of the Toyota RAV4 located in the following areas:
Parking Support Brake Warning Light
The Toyota RAV4 PKSB (Parking Support Brake) system can detect a vehicle approaching from the right or left at the rear of the vehicle and the system determines that the possibility of a collision is high, the PKSB system will perform brake control to reduce the likelihood of an impact with the approaching vehicle.
The Toyota RAV4 PKSB system uses two radar sensors, one located on each rear corner of the vehicle. If a buzzer sounds along with the PKSB off warning light, it indicates a malfunction in the PKSB function. If the PKSB off warning light illuminates but a buzzer does not sound, it indicates that the system is temporarily unavailable, possibly due to a sensor being dirty or covered with ice, etc.
BSM Warning Light
The Toyota RAV4 BSM (Blind Spot Monitoring) system uses radar sensors to detect the following vehicles traveling in adjacent
lanes and advises the driver of the presence of such vehicles via the warning light on the outside rear view mirrors. If the BSM system is not working properly, check to ensure that the areas around the sensors are clear from dirt, snow mud etc. It’s also possible that the sensors may not operate correctly in very hot or cold temperatures.
RCTA Warning Light
The Toyota RAV4 RCTA (Rear Cross Traffic Alert) system alerts the driver if it detects approaching vehicles from left or right rear. To alert the driver, a warning light will flash in the outside mirror and an audible alert sounds.
The Toyota RAV4 RCTA system uses two radar sensors, one located on each rear corner of the vehicle as illustrated in the Parking Support Brake diagram. If a buzzer sounds along with the RCTA off warning light, it indicates a malfunction in the RCTA function. If the RCTA off warning light illuminates but a buzzer does not sound, it indicates that the system is temporarily unavailable, possibly due to a sensor being dirty or covered with ice, etc. Ensure the radar sensor areas are clean for optimal use.
The Toyota RAV4 has 5 driving modes; sport mode, snow mode, mud and sand mode, rock and dirt mode and ECO mode. When one of the modes is selected, a symbol displays on the dashboard. The following applies to each of the 5 driving modes:
- Sport Mode alters the steering and engine to create a more responsive feel that is suitable for sporty driving.
- Snow Mode can be selected to suit the conditions when driving on slippery road surfaces, such as on snow or ice.
- Mud and Sand Mode can be selected for driving on roads with increased driving resistance such as sandy roads, muddy roads, etc.
- Rock and Dirt Mode can be selected for driving in bumpy road conditions, such as on unpaved forest roads.
- ECO Mode improves fuel economy by more smoothly generating torque in response to accelerator pedal operations and restraining air conditioning system operations (heating/cooling).
Slip Indicator Warning Light
This symbol is part of the Toyota RAV4’s Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) program and helps the driver to control skidding when swerving suddenly or turning on slippery road surfaces. The VSC warning light flashes when the system is in use and remains constantly lit when a fault is detected. A constantly lit VSC warning may indicate a fault with:
- The Multi-terrain Select brake control
- The VSC/Trailer Sway Control system
- The TRAC system
- The hill-start assist control system
- The downhill assist control system
A common cause for a VCS fault is either the VCS module or a faulty wheel speed sensors. Many of these system depend on wheel speed sensors which are prone to failure.
Foot on Brake Warning Light
The foot on brake warning light illuminates to indicate that the Toyota RAV4’s Brake Override System is operating. If the foot on brake warning light illuminates along with an audible alert, it indicates:
- Brake Override System is malfunctioning
- Drive-Start Control is operating
- Drive-Start Control is malfunctioning
- Parking Support Brake function (for static objects) (if equipped) is operating
Brake Hold Warning Light
The Toyota RAV4’s brake hold system keeps the brake applied when the gear shift lever is in D, S or N without having to constantly keep the brake pedal applied. The system automatically releases the brake when the accelerator pedal is depressed. The brake hold indicator symbol illuminates in green indicating that the brake hold function is active. While system is holding the brake, the ‘HOLD’ warning light illuminates in yellow. If the HOLD warning light flashes, it means there’s a fault with the brake hold system.
Park Warning Light
The Toyota RAV4’s park warning light illuminates when the parking brake is applied. If the red park warning light flashes, it’s possible that the parking brake is not fully engaged or released. Operate the parking brake switch again.
Tire Pressure Warning Light
The Toyota RAV4’s tire pressure warning light illuminates due to one or more vehicle tires becoming underinflated. If the tire pressure light flashes, then remains lit, it means there’s a fault with the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). A audible alert and message will signal.
Faults with the TPMS often occur due to a wheel or tire change where pressure sensors have not been installed or have been damaged. They TPMS may also not function correctly if tires of different specification or model are fitted. After checking and altering tire pressures, it’s normal for for the tire pressure warning light to illuminate for a short time. The warning light should turn off shortly.
ECO Indicator Light
During Eco-friendly acceleration of the vehicle (Eco driving), the ECO driving indicator light will illuminate. When the acceleration exceeds the zone of ECO driving, or when the vehicle is stopped, the light turns off.
Smart Key Indicator Light
The smart key indicator light illuminates when the system has detected the smart key. This means the vehicle can be started provided that the parking brake is set, the shift lever is in Park and your foot is firmly pressing the footbrake.
Security Indicator Light
The car and lock symbol is the Toyota RAV4’s security indicator warning light. The vehicle’s keys have built-in transponder chips that prevent the engine from starting if a key has not been previously registered in the vehicle’s on-board computer. The security car and lock symbol flashes when the key has been removed from the ignition or when the engine has been switched off for vehicle with smart key start.
Conditions that may prevent the engine from starting is if the grip part of the key is in contact with a metallic object or if the key is in close proximity or touching another key that contains a transponder.
Low Temperature Light
The snowflake symbol is the Toyota RAV4’s low temperature warning light. When the outside temperature is approximately 37°F (3°C) or lower, the low temperature warning light will flash for approximately 10 seconds, then stay on. The snowflake warning light illuminates to warn that roads may be icy and slippery and to drive with care.
Downhill Assist Light
The downhill facing car symbol is the Toyota RAV4 downhill assist control system (DAC) warning light. The downhill assist system helps to prevent excessive speed build up on steep downhill slopes. When facing a steep downhill gradient, if equipped, press the DAC button on the dashboard. The system will operate in reducing speed build up when the vehicle is traveling under 15 mph with the accelerator and brake pedals released.