When your Toyota Camry’s Intelligent Clearance Sonar (ICS) starts acting up, it can be a real pain. Fortunately, you can do a few things to try to fix the problem.
This article will discuss three possible reasons for ICS malfunction and how to reset or reprogram the system if necessary.
Water or accidental damage to ICS sensors, damaged wiring harnesses, blocked sensors, and wave interference from vehicle detectors are some of the most common causes of ICS malfunction in Toyota Camry.
Table of Contents
What is the ICS System in Toyota Camry?
The ICS system in Toyota Camry is short for the Intelligent Clearance Sonar system.
Just like a rear-cross traffic alert, this system is designed to help prevent collisions by detecting objects in the car’s path and providing an audible warning to the driver. The system can also automatically apply the brakes if necessary to avoid collisions.
ICS system is activated once the vehicle speed goes above 10 mph (or 15 km/h) and any object gets closer than 6-13 ft or 2-4 m.
The ICS system uses sensors to detect objects from vehicle straight ahead and then uses a computer to calculate the distance to the object and its speed.
If the system determines a possible collision, it will provide an audible warning to the driver. If the driver does not respond to the warning, the system can automatically apply the brakes to help avoid a collision.
The ICS system is just one of many safety features available on Toyota Camry models. Other safety features include eight airbags, antilock brakes, and stability control. These features help to make the Toyota Camry one of the safest cars on the road.
How Does Intelligent Clearance Sonar System Work?
Before you can understand the ICS system of Toyota, you must know how a SONAR system work. SONAR is an acronym for Sound Navigation And Ranging.
A SONAR system works by sending out sound waves and measuring how long it takes for them to bounce back. By knowing the speed of sound and the time it takes for the waves to bounce back, the system can determine how far away an object is.
The ICS system in Toyota uses these same principles but with ultrasound waves instead of sound waves. Ultrasound waves have a much higher frequency than sound waves, providing much more detailed information about an object’s shape and size.
The ICS system consists of two main parts: a transceiver and a reflector. The transceiver sends out ultrasound waves and measures how long it takes for them to bounce back.
The reflector is a special device that reflects the ultrasound waves so that the transceiver can receive them.
The ICS system can detect objects in front of the vehicle, even when they are not visible to the naked eye. This is because ultrasound waves can penetrate through the fog, dust, and other obstacles that would block visible light.
5 Reasons Behind ICS Malfunction
There are several reasons why the ICS system in Toyota Camry might malfunction. Some of the most common causes of ICS malfunction include:
- Water Damage to Sensors
- Damaged Wiring Harness
- Accidental Damage to Sensors
- Sensor Obstruction
- Wave Interference
Let’s take a closer look at each of these causes of ICS malfunction.
1. Water Damage to Sensors:
One of the most common causes of ICS malfunctioning is water damage to the sensors. The sensors are located in the front of the vehicle and are exposed to the elements.
If water gets into the sensors, it can cause them to short out or stop working. If you live in an area with a lot of rain or snow, you should have your vehicle inspected or check your intelligent clearance sonar system regularly for water damage.
You can check for water damage by looking at the sensors themselves. If there is any moisture on the sensor, there is likely water damage.
To prevent water damage to the sensors, you should regularly check them for moisture and clean them if necessary. You should also make sure that the wiring harness is free of moisture.
2. Damaged Wiring Harness:
Another common cause of ICS malfunction is a damaged wiring harness. The ICS system uses a complex wiring harness to connect the sensors to the computer.
If any of the wires in the harness are damaged, it can cause the system to malfunction. Damaged wires can be caused by water damage, corrosion, or physical damage.
You should also ensure that the sensors are not exposed to excessive vibration. Vibration can cause the wires to become loose or break.
3. Accidental Damage to Sensors:
Accidental damage can cause ICS sensors to malfunction. These sensors are designed to be durable but can be damaged if a hard object hits or sustains a sudden impact.
If you hit a curb or a pothole, it can damage the sensors. Damaged sensors can cause the system to malfunction.
If the damage is severe enough, it can cause the sensor to misread its surroundings or fail. While it is possible to repair some types of damage, the sensor may need to be replaced in other cases.
Ultimately, whether or not an ICS sensor can be successfully repaired after sustaining damage depends on the damage’s extent and the repair technician’s skill.
4. Sensor Obstruction:
The ICS system relies on sensors to detect objects in front of the vehicle. If something is blocking the sensor, it can cause the system to malfunction.
One of the most common causes of sensor obstruction is dirt and debris. If you live in an area with dust or dirt, it is important to clean the sensors regularly.
You should also ensure that nothing is blocking the path of the waves. Objects such as snow, ice, or leaves can obstruct the path and cause the system to malfunction.
5. Wave Interference:
The intelligent Clearance Sonar (ICS) system uses ultrasonic waves to detect obstacles. Wave interference from other ultrasonic waves sources can cause ICS sensors to malfunction by producing false readings or causing the sensor to fail to detect an obstacle.
Interference can be caused by objects in the path of the ultrasonic waves, such as vehicle horns or motorcycle engines, or by environmental conditions, such as wind or rain.
ICS systems are designed to filter out interference, but in some cases, the interference can be strong enough to overwhelm the system.
One potential cause of interference for ICS sensors is wave action. If the waves are too high or come at the sensor from the wrong angle, they can cause problems with its ability to function properly.
Conditions Under Which ICS Doesn’t Work
While the ICS system is designed to function in various conditions, there are some situations where it may not work as well as usual.
- ICS system is turned off or disabled.
- ICS sensors might not be able to detect objects made of cotton, wool, or other natural fibers.
- The ICS system will not work if something is blocking the path between the sensor and the ground, such as snow, ice, or mud.
- The ICS system may not work properly if the vehicle’s wheels are not balanced.
- The ICS system may have difficulty detecting small objects or objects close to the ground.
- The ICS system will not work if the vehicle is not traveling in a straight line. This can happen if the car is turning, going up or down a hill, or if the road is curved.
- ICS sensors cannot detect thin objects such as wires or branches.
- The ICS system may have difficulty detecting objects the same color as the ground. This can happen if the ground is wet or has a lot of foliage.
- The ICS system may have difficulty detecting the road’s edge on narrow or gravel roads. The same issue arises in Toyota models while parallel parking.
- If you have stickers on an electronic component or a backlit license plate.
- They may not work if the vehicle posture is not upright due to excessive carried load.
- The ICS system may not work properly in cold weather. The sensors may become less sensitive in temperatures below 32°F (0°C).
- The ICS system may produce false alerts if objects are close to the vehicle, such as buildings, walls, or parked cars.
- When driving in tunnels or under bridges, the ICS system may not be able to detect objects in front of the vehicle.
- The ICS system will not work if the vehicle’s bumper is damaged or missing.
- The ICS system may produce false alerts if the vehicle’s headlights are dirty or obscured.
- While driving on metal gratings or grates, the ICS system may not be able to detect objects in front of the vehicle.
- Other sources of ultrasonic waves (such as other vehicles with ICS systems) may interfere with the ICS system and cause it to produce false alerts.
- The ICS system may not work properly if the vehicle’s 12-volt battery is weak or dead.
- If you have aftermarket LED headlights, they may emit a frequency that interferes with the ICS sensors. You can try using different headlights, such as halogen or HID.
- Some objects, such as plastic bags, newspapers, and cardboard boxes, can absorb ultrasonic waves and prevent the ICS system from detecting them.
- At railroad crossing gates, the ICS system may not be able to detect objects on the other side of the tracks.
- When strong winds blow, the ICS system may have difficulty detecting objects in front of the vehicle.
- The ICS system may produce false alerts if you are driving on a road with many potholes.
How to Fix ICS Malfunction in Toyota Vehicles?
In some cases, the ICS may malfunction and fail to detect objects properly. This can lead to accidents or injuries. If you experience this problem, there are several things you can do to fix it.
1. Check the ICS sensors.
The first step is ensuring that all ICS sensors are clean and free of debris. You can do this by visually inspecting them or using a diagnostic tool to check for errors.
2. Calibrate the ICS sensors.
If the sensors are not properly calibrated, they may not be able to detect objects accurately. You can calibrate the sensors using a special tool or follow the instructions in your vehicle’s owner’s manual.
3. Update the ICS software.
Sometimes, you may need to update the ICS software to fix bugs or improve performance. You can do this by downloading and installing updates from Toyota’s website.
4. Replace the ICS sensors.
If none of the above solutions work, you may need to replace one or more ICS sensors. The cost of ICS sensor replacement can vary depending on the model of your vehicle.
However, the average cost for ICS sensor replacement is between $300 and $700. If you need to replace your ICS sensors, we recommend you consult a qualified mechanic or dealership to ensure the job is done correctly.
How to Reprogram ICS in Toyota Camry?
Due to improper programming, the ICS system in some Toyota Camry vehicles may become inoperative. As a result, the ICS system may not detect obstacles. One way to fix ICS malfunction is to reprogram the ICS system.
(I) Tools Required:
- Techstream 2.0 / TIS Techstream / Techstream Lite
- Hand Tools Set
- GR8 Battery Diagnostic Station
(II) Scan for Trouble Codes:
- Park the vehicle on a level surface and turn the engine ON.
- Connect Techstream 2.0 / TIS Techstream / Techstream Lite to the DLC3 port of the vehicle and turn the ignition switch ON (IG).
- Select ‘Clearing Diagnostic Trouble Codes’ in the ‘Vehicle’ menu, then select ‘All’ or ‘Current.’
- Check for any DTCs displayed and clear them if necessary following the prompts on Techstream 2.0 / TIS Techstream / Techstream Lite screen
(III) Check Current Calibration of ICS:
- Select ‘Diagnostics’ in the ‘Vehicle’ menu, then select ‘Body’ and enter the vehicle configuration.
- Select ‘Intelligent Clearance Sonar (ICS) System.’
- Check if the current ICS system update is displayed as YES.
- If an update is available, proceed with the reprogramming procedure.
(IV) Preparation of Vehicle:
- Unplug the connection between the cooling fan assembly and the motor. This will prevent voltage draw from the ICS system when the vehicle is ON.
- Turn on the ignition but don’t turn on the engine.
- Engage the parking brake and place the transmission shift lever in the P position.
- Turn off all lights, including fog lights, daytime running lights (DRL), and headlights.
- Connect the GR8 power supply to the vehicle battery.
- Before starting, check that Techstream is fully charged, the DLC III cable is intact, and the latest version of Techstream is installed.
(V) Reprogramming Procedure:
- First, record the customized ICS settings (if any) before starting the reprogramming procedure.
- If you’re driving a hybrid model, depress the air brakes twice within two seconds and wait for 10 seconds.
- Update the advanced parking guidance/ICS/Intuitive P/A ECU.
- To do this, connect the Techstream 2.0 / TIS Techstream / Techstream Lite to the DLC3 port of the vehicle and turn ON the ignition switch (IG).
- Click ‘Intelligent Parking Assist System (IPAS)/ICS/EPS.’
- Click on ‘Start Update’ and follow the instructions on Techstream 2.0 / TIS Techstream / Techstream Lite screen.
(VI) Finishing and Testing:
- Rerun the DTC check to make sure that there are no lingering codes.
- Confirm the CID update is complete, and ICS is functioning by following the on-screen instructions.
- Restore customized settings (if any) using Techstream 2.0 / TIS Techstream / Techstream Lite.
- Reconnect the cooling fan assembly motor connection.
- Turn off the GR8 power supply and disconnect it from the vehicle battery.
- Test drive the vehicle to check for proper operation of the ICS system.
That’s the process of reprogramming the ICS system in the Toyota Camry.
Intelligent Clearance Sonar (ICS) is a safety feature in many Toyota vehicles. ICS is considered a reliable system, but it can malfunction like any other electronic device.
If you experience problems with your ICS, there are several things you can do to fix them. Check the sensors, calibrate them, update the software, or replace them if necessary.
If you face an ICS malfunction, visit your dealer immediately and get your vehicle completely inspected.
Always remember that the ICS system is designed to supplement, not replace, the driver’s attention and judgment.
The driver is always responsible for safe driving. Drivers should use caution and drive slowly when using the ICS system. They should be prepared to stop if an object is detected.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I reset my Toyota ICS?
If you need to reset the ICS system in your Toyota Camry, follow these steps:
- Park the car in a safe location and turn off the engine.
- Enter Eco Settings or Driving Support System menu on the multi-information display by pressing the down arrow button on the steering wheel.
- Select ICS from the menu and press Enter.
- Press and hold the reset button for three seconds. The ICS system will be reset, and the indicator light will turn off. You can now continue driving safely.
How much does it cost to replace ICS sensors in Toyota?
Intelligent Clearance Sonar (ICS) sensors are used in Toyota vehicles to help prevent collisions. These sensors are located in the front and rear bumper of the car and use ultrasonic waves to detect objects in the vehicle’s path.
Each Toyota vehicle has eight ICS sensors, four in the front and four in the rear. Replacing ICS sensors is not a cheap proposition, as each sensor costs around $300-700.
Therefore, replacing all eight sensors would cost around $2,000-5,000. However, this cost may be worth it to prevent a collision and possible injuries.
What is the detection range of the ICS system?
The ICS system can detect objects within a range of approximately 16.0 ft (five meters) in front of the vehicle and approximately 19.0 ft (six meters) to the vehicle’s rear. The system may not detect objects that are close to the vehicle or that are moving quickly.
Can you drive with ICS malfunction?
Yes, you can continue to drive with an ICS malfunction. However, have the system checked by a qualified technician as soon as possible, as it may indicate a more serious issue.
Intelligent Clearance Sonar (ICS) is a safety feature that helps prevent collisions by detecting objects in the vehicle’s path and automatically applying the brakes if necessary. If the system is not working properly, it could put you and others at risk.
What objects ICS may not be able to detect?
There are certain objects that ICS may not be able to detect, such as:
- Things that are close to the vehicle or that are moving quickly.
- Small things, such as bicycles or motorcycles.
- Low objects, such as curbs or small animals.
- Objects in blind spots.
- Things behind other vehicles or obstacles.