The Toyota 4Runner is a rugged SUV that’s been tearing up tough terrain since 1984.
The newer models are loaded with tech and safety features that can trigger various beep noises.
If you’re at a loss why your 4Runner keeps beeping this article is here to help.
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Toyota 4Runner Beeping
The most common causes of beeping on a Toyota 4Runner include the dash camera, anti-theft alarm, sunroof is open, faulty seatbelt sensors, loose electrical connections, low keyfob battery, navigation alerts, low tire pressure, defective door latches or 4 Low has not engaged properly.
Beeping can be caused by a wide range of things, we’ve detailed the most common ones below.
Spare Keys Left in Vehicle
If you’ve left a spare set of keys in your 4Runner you may hear a warning beep when you go to lock the vehicle as it thinks you are trying to lock the keys in the truck.
If you have the Toyota factory installed dashcam you’ll likely hear this beep on startup.
You won’t see any warning lights come up on the dash, however, if you look behind your rearview mirror where the dashcam is located, you will see the dash camera flashing.
If you see an error flash, you may notice the micro SD card has not been fully inserted into the camera.
By pressing the SD card into the dashcam, this should stop the beeping.
However, if the SD card is in and it’s still beeping, press and hold the ‘action’ button while you turn on the truck.
- Make sure the vehicle is completely off
- Make sure you are parked on level ground
- Make sure the camera has shut off
- Press and hold the action button
- Then start your vehicle
By doing so you will recalibrate your vehicle.
You should hear a couple of beeps and see a green light and you’re good to go.
Loose Connection: Seat Belt Sensors
Loose wiring or a bad electrical connection may be triggering a beeping noise.
It’s worth checking underneath every seat in the vehicle and checking / pressing together all the plastic wire connectors to ensure they are all tight.
It’s also a good idea to do the same behind the glovebox.
Key Fob Battery
This one is fairly self-explanatory.
Make sure your key fob battery isn’t running low, try swapping out the battery.
The Toyota 4Runner’s anti-theft works through a programmed key chip connected to the truck’s immobilizer.
To reset the anti-theft and turn off the alarm’s beeping:
- Depress the fob’s panic or unlock button.
- Insert the key into the driver’s door to unlock and reset the security system.
You can also try pressing the panic button for 5 seconds followed by pressing the lock button twice.
Walk ten feet away from the truck and wait 10 minutes before depressing the unlock feature on the fob twice as well.
This may reset the anti-theft warning.
Lastly, you can try disconnecting the battery cables for 15 minutes.
This will re-calibrate the ECU (electronic control unit) and will hopefully clear the warning beeps.
If turning the ignition on does not clear the alarm then you may need your key fob to be reprogrammed or replaced due to a faulty transmitter.
Seatbelt Alarm & Weight on Seat
The seatbelt alarm is a known suspect for annoying beeps.
There might be a faulty sensor that isn’t recognizing that your seatbelt is fastened.
Alternatively, you may have some weight on the passenger seat like a bag of groceries or your pet pooch which is triggering an alarm.
In which case you can try fastening the passenger seatbelt.
The Blind Spot Monitor warns the driver if someone is in their blind spot or if someone is coming up behind your vehicle when you start to reverse, a warning light will flash in your mirror and it should also make a beeping sound.
A faulty headlight switch or a faulty ignition switch may be the cause of the beeping.
Since the headlights being on, or the key being in the ignition will cause the chime to sound, one of these switches may have a loose connection or be faulty.
Check to make sure that none of your lights have burnt out, you should check your rear lights and brake lights too.
Burnt Out Airbag Warning Light
On many vehicles, if the airbag warning lamp has blown on the gauge cluster, the truck will beep to warn the driver.
You should be able to see the light come on when you start the truck.
Watch the Dash Display
This could give you a clue about what’s causing the beeping.
For example, does the beep sound when the ECO light comes on?
Also, keep an eye on the radio / infotainment screen, this might give a clue too.
Toyota 4Runner 4 Low Beeping
If your Toyota 4Runner 4 Low is beeping this can be because it is not engaging. You must brake fully, put the truck in Neutral, and then switch to 4 Low. It will engage and should not beep and you can put it into drive and go.
The 4 low will trigger a flash/beep when it’s trying to engage but can’t.
Low range four-wheel-drive, aka 4 Low, uses different gearing to create the torque needed to safely descend and climb steep gradients with loose rock-strewn surfaces or hills involving mud, sand or snow.
Shifting From 2WD to 4H
Can only be done at speeds less than 100 km/h or 62 mph.
Shifting back to 2WD can be done at any speed.
Shifting From 4H to 4L (Automatic)
To shift from 4H to 4L with an automatic transmission, the vehicle MUST be brought to a complete stop.
- Stop the vehicle
- Depress the brake
- While continuing to hold the brake pedal, shift the transmission into neutral
- Turn the control knob to 4l
The 4LO indicator on the dash should flash, this can take a moment.
Wait for the 4LO indicator to stay on and stop flashing to confirm engagement.
Note: Shifting out of Neutral before the 4L light is solid can damage the transfer case.
Follow the same steps to shift back into 4H and wait for the indicator light to go out.
Once the light has gone out, you’re good to go.
Shifting From 4H to 4L (Manual)
- Stop the vehicle or if its not possible reduce the spped to only 2 mph
- Depress and hold the clutch pedal
- Push and turn the control knob from 4H to 4L
- Wait for the indicator to stay on when engaging and stay off when disengaging before releasing the clutch pedal and driving off.
Note: These instructions might not apply to your Toyota model, it’s best to always check your owner’s manual.
Toyota 4Runner Beeping While Driving
If you are experiencing beeping whilst driving your Toyota 4Runner, this may be caused by a faulty door latch, if you have a ‘door ajar’ light on the dashboard then this is almost certainly the case, these latches can often become stuck.
Faulty latches are very common across all vehicles – you may need to have a latch replaced although you should first try lubricating it with something like WD-40.
If it’s not related to the door sensor/latch then it could be caused by a damaged wire.
A lot of mysterious beeps and electrical issues can be traced back to damaged wires or loose electrical connections.
4Runner Beeps When Exiting Vehicle
If you are hearing a beep or chime when you turn off your 4Runner this is likely because you opened the door first without turning off the engine. It may also be caused by if you left the sunroof open.
- Engine running
- Put vehicle into Park.
- Turn off the Engine
- Open the door.
- Engine running
- Put vehicle into Park
- Open the door
- Turn off the Engine
It may be possible to disable this using the Toyota Techstream software.
Toyota 4Runner Not Beeping When Locked
If your not 4Runner isn’t beeping when you lock it, it may be because the lock beeps have been turned off. The procedure to turn the beeps back on is fairly straightforward.
This trick is common across a wide range of Toyota vehicles from various years and isn’t specific to the 4Runner.
- Sit inside the vehicle leave the door open
- Put the key in the ignition
- Release it straight away
- Put the key back in
- Turn the key to ON
- Count to 10
- Press any key on the fob, release.
- Press it again.
- You should hear a beep, that means it worked.
- Step outside the vehicle and test it out.
You may also be interested in our article:
Other Common Beeping Causes
- Door / rear hatch open or not closed properly
- Traction control (beeps when it activates)
- Exceeding speeds set in cruise control
- Door is open and key is ignition
- Seatbelt not fastened
- Headlights on / key in ignition when door is open
- Low fluids e.g. windshield waher fluid, engine oil etc.
- Reversing (in some cases)
- Spare set of keys locked inside
- A warning / error condition on the instruments
- Low fuel
- RSA (road sign assist)
- Rear hatch not shut properly
- Lane Sway Warning (excessive swaying within the lane markings)
- Lane Departure Alert
- BSM (blind spot monitor)
- Outside temperature warning
- ICS (Intelligent Clearance Sonar)
- Park Assist
- PCS (Pre-Collison System)
- Red light camera warning beep
- Cell phone left under a seat
- Aftermarket head units
- 12V battery needs replacing
Diagnosing Beeps With a Scanner
Another possible option if you’re hearing a beeping sound is to use an OBD2 diagnostic scanner tool.
These are fairly easy to use, you simply plug them into your truck – there’s usually an OBD2 port under the steering wheel.
Once you have the scan codes you can research these online specifically for the 4Runner.
There are also OBD apps available so you can connect your truck straight to your smartphone (either with a cable or Bluetooth) without even needing a scanner.