How To Deal With ICS Malfunction On Toyota – A Complete Guide

To fix ICS malfunction you need to check the sensors for dirt and debris. Then proceed to calibrate the ICS sensors, update the ICS Software to fix the bugs. If the problem still persists, you have to replace the ICS sensors.

Intelligent Clearance Sonar (ICS) is the smart safety feature in Toyota that helps you prevent unwanted collisions. However, if the ICS system starts acting up, it can cause real distress. 

An Overview of ICS System And ICS Malfunction 

Toyota incorporates a high-tech low-speed collision warning system into its more modern cars. At low speeds of about 9 mph, the Intelligent Clearance Sonar system warns when it spots possible crashes. (1)

Toyota cars contain a total of 8 sensors. 4 sensors are placed at the front, and the other 4 are located at the back of the bumper.

The ICS system is very helpful in practical situations. It makes maneuvers like backing out of a parking space easier. For example, it is likely that you won’t be able to see much out of the rear and side-view mirrors while reversing out of a car sandwich. (2)

However, the Rear Cross-Traffic Braking feature in the ICS system detects vehicles or pedestrians moving from either end of the vehicle’s rear. It automatically adds the brakes for two seconds, activates an alarm on your dashboard, and gives out a distinct sound, allowing you ample time to avoid a crash.

The ICS system in some Toyota models also limits the amount of engine power released, causing the car to slow down.

Several Toyota owners of older models may not be familiar with the ICS dashboard warning light. It is designated with a traffic cone in the back of a car and a star in the middle. When you perhaps turn the system off or when it is experiencing a malfunction, an OFF sign comes up beneath the icon.


Intelligent Clearance Sonar system warns when it spots possible crashes. When this system stops working, that means your car has an ICS malfunction. 

How to Fix ICS Malfunction on Toyota Vehicles 

If you face issues with your ICS system on Toyota, there are several things you may do to solve them. 

Here I will discuss all of it in a step-by-step process. So you can grasp the idea and fix the malfunction easily and effortlessly.

Step 1: Inspect your vehicle ICS Sensors 

The first step is making sure that all ICS sensors are free of any dirt or debris. You may ensure this by inspecting them visually or utilizing a diagnostic tool to scan for errors.

Step 2: Calibrate the Toyota ICS Sensors 

In case the sensors are not correctly calibrated, they won’t be able to detect objects properly. You may calibrate the sensors by going through all the instructions provided in the car’s owner’s manual.

Step 3: Updating the ICS Software of your Toyota

If the problem is still there after applying the first two steps, then you need to try this one. 

Occasionally, not just for Toyota but all vehicles, all you might be required to do is update the ICS software. The purpose of doing this is to fix bugs as well as enhance its performance. You can do this by simply downloading and installing updates from the website.

Step 4: Replace the damaged ICS Sensors 

Now, this step is to be applied If none of the above solutions is working. You might have to replace one or perhaps more ICS sensors. 

The expense of ICS sensor replacement does vary depending on the model of your car.

Nonetheless, the average expense for ICS sensor replacement can be between $300 to $700. 

If you want to replace the ICS sensors, I recommend you consult an expert mechanic or dealership to confirm that the job is done correctly.

Is the Fixing Method Same for Different Toyota Models?

There are various models of Toyota cars available in the market. (3)

For example, Toyota Camry, Toyota Prius, Toyota Rav4, Toyota Corolla, Toyota C-HR, Toyota Avalon, etc. All of these models contain the same type of ICS system with the same functionalities. Granted, some may be a bit more advanced than others. 

Regardless, the reasons why ICS Malfunction comes up are pretty much the same for all Toyota models. Hence, the same fixing method can be applied to all of them, and the issue should be resolved. 

5 Reasons Behind ICS Malfunction 

ICS malfunction can happen for several reasons. In this part, I am gonna provide you with a basic idea of all those reasons. 

Sensors Damaged by Water

Water may enter into the proximity sensors that the ICS system uses. It happens if your automobile is driven through a period of heavy rain. The same is true for vehicles that spend time outside in the snow.

Other times, the vehicle wash’s powerful water hoses and jets may damage the proximity sensors, which would prevent the ICS from operating as intended.

Broken Wiring Harness 

The complexity of the wired network needed to power the equipment increases as cars grow more technologically advanced. As a result, there is a huge possibility that the wires will become damaged.

Therefore, if your car’s wire harness is broken, you can experience difficulties turning on a number of electronic systems and functions. This includes the Intelligent Clearance Sonar (ICS). 

Damage Sensors due to an Accident

You shouldn’t depend too much on the ICS system because it isn’t foolproof. Because of this, there is a chance that it won’t always engage to slow down your car. Especially in situations involving probable low-speed collisions.

You might thus get into some potentially unsettling collisions that harm the car’s proximity sensors. As a result, later on, the damaged sensor might be unable to detect other things.

Sensor Obstructed by External Objects 

To identify things in front of the car, the ICS system uses sensors. The sensor may be blocked, which could lead to system failure.

Dirt and debris are among the most frequent reasons why sensors become obstructed. It is crucial to frequently clean the sensors if you live in an area with a lot of dust or dirt.

Make sure nothing is obstructing the waves’ path as well. The mechanism may break down if something blocks the passage, such as snow, ice, or leaves.

Interference by External electric Waves

Ultrasonic waves are used by the intelligent Clearance Sonar (ICS) system to find obstructions. Other ultrasonic wave sources can interfere with the ultrasonic waves produced by ICS sensors. It can lead to inaccurate readings or a sensor’s failure to identify an obstruction.

Vehicle horns and motorcycle engines are examples of objects that may interfere with ultrasonic waves, as well as weather factors like wind and rain.

Although ICS systems are made to filter out interference, occasionally, the interference might be so intense as to overwhelm the system.

Wave action is one potential source of interference for ICS sensors. Waves can interfere with a sensor’s capacity to operate effectively if they are too high or are aimed incorrectly.


Water damage, sensor obstruction, or accidental damage to sensors can lead to ICS malfunction. Other than that, damaged wiring harnesses and wave interference may also be responsible for this. 

Is It Possible You Drive with ICS Malfunction?

Yes, it is possible to continue driving with an ICS malfunction. But make sure you get the system inspected by any qualified technician as soon as you can because it might signify a more serious issue.

ICS is a safety feature that assists in preventing collisions by spotting objects in the car’s path. Also, it automatically applies the brakes if needed. So, if the system isn’t functioning properly, it may put you and others sitting in that car at risk.


Yes, you can drive with ICS malfunction, but it’s not entirely safe as there remain risks of collisions. 

How to Reset an ICS System on Toyota 

Here I will provide you with the instructions that you can follow if you need to reset the ICS system in your Toyota car.

  1. First of all, turn off the engine after parking the car in a secure area.
  2. Then, press the down arrow button that you will find on the steering wheel. By doing this, you will be able to access the Eco Settings or Driving Support System menu on the multi-information display.
  3. Next, select ICS from the options and simply press Enter.
  4. Finally,  for 3 seconds, press and hold the reset button. The indicator light should go out, and thus the ICS system will be reset.

So, that was how you could reset the ICS system on Toyota. Now it is safe for you to continue driving.

ICS Malfunction on Toyota Vehicles Infographic


What is an ICS malfunction on an Avalon?

ICS malfunction on Avalon or any car model from Toyota brand means that the ICS system has stopped functioning or provided faulty reading. It can’t detect obstructions anymore. It can happen from several factors, like when sensors are damaged or exposed to water, maybe there’s a damaged wire harness.

What is the detection range of Toyota ICS systems?

The Toyota ICS system has a detection range of about 16.0 feet in front of the vehicle and about 19.0 feet behind the vehicle. If an object is moving swiftly or is close to the car, the system might not be able to detect it.

Why are my reverse sensors not working?

Often a malfunctioning reverse sensor does not work properly simply due to being coated in dirt. This may impact its capacity to sense anything around the vehicle. Try cleaning the sensors if issues like this arise. 

Last Words 

Hope I have cleared all your queries on how to deal with ICS malfunction on Toyota? 

Now you know the answer. Follow the instructions given very carefully. Otherwise, you may mess the entire thing up. However, If you think you are not able to do it alone, you can always take help from a professional. 

That is all as of now. Have a great day.

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William Baldwin

This Is William Baldwin, The Founder & Managing Editor of this website. Me and my team share automotive tips, tricks, and news

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Talha Atta

Talha Atta, a Mechanical Engineer and experienced technical content writer and editor at with a passion for the automotive industry.