What Does The RCTA Light Mean On A Toyota?

RCTA is short for Rear Cross Traffic Alert and is an advanced safety system used in Toyota cars to help drivers to reverse. Cross traffic alert RCTA can detect rear cross traffic, making it easier and much safer for drivers to back up.

What Is RCTA On A Toyota

When the RCTA light comes on in your Toyota, there is rear cross traffic approaching, and it will usually be assisted with a warning tone. This can help prevent any potential collisions, especially in parking lots, and enables drivers to back out of a parking space with much more ease.

What Does It Do?

The RCTA uses a radar infrastructure to identify when vehicles are approaching the rear of the vehicle. It is designed to automatically activate once the car is put into reverse.

The cross traffic alert RCTA system looks different for different Toyota vehicles. For instance, in a Toyota Camry, two short-range radar sensors work at a 120-degree angle to ensure the driver is alerted once there is any rear cross traffic.

Toyota RCTA Light Symbol

Once rear cross traffic is detected, the indicator lights will show up on the side mirrors, and the driver will know that it is not yet safe to back out of the parking spot. On most Toyota models, the light symbol on the dashboard will read “RCTA Off.”

If the RCTA Off light is illuminated, and the car makes a buzzer sound, then this usually means that there is a malfunction and the safety feature is not working properly. If the light illuminates without the sound, the RCTA is temporarily unavailable.

Check out more on how this looks and understand what other symbols you may find on your Toyota dashboard.

Where Is The RCTA Sensor Located?

The available Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert safety features use the same radar sensors to detect traffic. These sensors are situated in the rear bumper of the vehicle.

How To Turn On RCTA On Toyota

For your safety, the BSM and RCTA will automatically activate and begin using the sensors to detect rear cross traffic once the car is shifted into reverse. It works when the vehicle is operating at a speed of 5 mph or less and detects cars from behind that are going up to 18 mph.

How To Turn Off RCTA On Toyota

As the BSM and RCTA system is designed with your safety in mind, it is unlikely that you will want to turn it off. It can help prevent collisions by identifying traffic that can be difficult to detect due to adjacent cars blocking your vision.

However, if you have decided that you do not want the Rear Cross Traffic Alert switched on in your Toyota, you will need to use the multi-information display located inside your vehicle. From here, navigate to the BSM setting and switch the button off.

It is important to note that in some Toyota’s, you will not be able to switch off the Rear Cross Traffic Alert without also turning off the blind spot detection.

What Is RCTA On A Toyota

The Importance Of RCTA

The Rear Cross Traffic Alert is one of those safety features you want to be switched on in your vehicle. Listed below are all of the advantages of using the traffic alert RCTA system.

Blind-spot monitoring

The main reason checking over your shoulder when setting off and merging lanes is so important is that everybody has a blind spot. Well, the Rear Cross Traffic Alert works to greatly improve your vision when driving with its blind-spot detection.

Using the BSM’s radar sensors, cars such as the Toyota Camry can detect when a vehicle enters a driver’s blind spot at the side of the vehicle. This makes driving safer and gives you peace of mind when reversing.

Please check out more information on the Toyota Camry and what other features can be found on this model of car.

Reduces the risk of collision

The Rear Cross Traffic Alert greatly reduces the risk of traffic incidents. This is because blind-spot monitoring can detect when there is a car approaching the driver’s blind spot and will transmit a warning sound, so the driver knows there is a car behind them.

This way, a driver will know to brake when reversing out of space and can start backing out again safely once the rear traffic has passed. Without the Rear Cross Traffic Alert, there is more risk of an accident as it can be difficult to know when a car is approaching behind a vehicle, especially when there is adjacent traffic.

Works automatically

The Rear Cross Traffic Alert could not be easier to use, and it is installed on all Toyota models as part of the Toyota Safety Sense. The alert is triggered as soon as the vehicle is in reverse and will automatically begin using the BSM’s radar sensors to pick up rear traffic.

The RCTA works to pick up traffic traveling between 5 and 18mph and when the vehicle itself is going at a speed less than 5 mph. If rear traffic is detected at either side of the vehicle, the driver will be notified with a flashing indicator on the side mirrors and an audio warning.

Great when used in conjunction with other safety features

While the Rear Cross Traffic Alert is a great feature along with the blind spot monitor when used with other safety programs that massively improve a driver’s experience on the roads.

For instance, when the RCTA is used alongside Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), not only does the car know when there is rear traffic, but the vehicle will automatically apply the brakes if it is thought that a collision may potentially occur.

Toyota Blind Spot Monitor Problems

As with any kind of car part, the blind spot monitor is also prone to issues with functionality and may require fixes or replacement from time to time.

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Author: Dave Johnston

Dave Junior is a hands-on automotive technician with experience in performing service, diagnostics, and repairs on domestic and imported vehicles. He enjoys writing and sharing his knowledge far and wide.

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