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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an odd problem with a 2003 RAV4 --- some background that may help shed some light on the matter follows...

I am the original owner and when purchased, the car came with 2 remotes for locking/unlocking car. As far as I know, it has never had an alarm as I've never heard it chirp when the car is locked/unlocked, nor sound when battery is reconnected upon a replacement. However, the remotes are branded "United States Auto Security," a trait shared by a 2001 Corolla I bought at another dealership in a different state.

I mention the latter because I presented my odd problem to a dealer after a service call and they basically told me it is aftermarket and they can't really help me. That left me puzzled as both cars came off the lot with the systems already installed, but they are not "Toyota" branded systems.

In any case, the car stopped responding to the remotes some 2+ years ago. I've been using the key exclusively since. If you are wondering, the LED does light up on both remotes and I've tried both remotes, new batteries and other suggestions, all to no avail. This has complicated the solution to my problem even further.

The problem at hand is that after my last service call (which likely required disconnecting the battery), the entire instrument panel and parking lights start blinking for a while (about a minute) immediately after a door is opened, as though the anti-theft or alarm had been tripped. I can start the car and it drives without problems. Eventually the blinking will go away, but after some time it will return, sometimes the period of inactivity is rather short, other times it is longer.

For example, I open the door, blinking starts immediately (with clicking sound as though hazards were on), I start the engine (blinking is still ongoing), drive off (blinking is still going) and then it randomly stops on its own. Some time later, the blinking returns. For a while, the blinking would return immediately after doing anything electrical, for example, tapping the brakes, enabling the turn signal, turning on the wipers, pretty much anything, but now (about 1 month later), its return seems a bit less predictable.

When the remotes were working, this would happen on occasion, as the car wouldn't respond for whatever random reason and I would open the car with the key. A particular combination of opening door, turning key to ACC and hitting remote switches in a certain order would reset it.

Now that the car doesn't respond to any of the remotes, I am at a loss as to how to do the same without it. Frankly, I would be fine with ripping out whatever the "United States Auto Security" system happens to be, which I assume I would have to take to an alarm dealer, but I am curious if anyone has any suggestions that are less drastic.

Thank you in advance.
 

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After looking at the 2003 RAV4 owners manual, I can confirm that wireless door locks were definitely an option. To confirm if you have the OEM system, or an aftermarket system, I have attached some images of the OEM FOB.

The odd thing about these images is that they show one FOB with buttons for unlocking the doors, and another FOB which has the button for the panic alarm. Is this a double sided FOB, or did Toyota include 2 different FOBS.

Anyway, if your FOB doesn't look like the one in the images, then you probably have an aftermarket alarm system installed. You may be able to find this unit under the dashboard, and the problem may be as simple as a blown fuse.



 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the confirmation on the door lock option.

Well, it is definitely not a Toyota FOB, it is branded "United States Auto Security." This was further reinforced at the dealership when they told me they had no idea how to help me.

The puzzling part is that I have two Toyotas that both have the same systems (US auto security), which appears to be aftermarket, but it came off the lot as a new car with that system on it. I don't want to get sidetracked on that issue as it is tangential, but it does make me wonder how one gets a "Toyota" FOB if new cars don't always come with them.

I came across a vid on YouTube with instructions on how to re-program a FOB. Maybe that'll work. I suspect if I can get it to respond to one of the FOBs, I'll be able to sort it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Reprogramming the FOB led to my solution. Per my original thread, on past occasions the problem could be solved by a series of FOB presses and door openings. Without the FOB, I was out of luck.

Fortunately, the YouTube vid with the reprogramming instructions fixed my FOB. And the rest was just a repeat of prior steps.

Yay! No more annoying clicking.

(My post total doesn't permit me to post links, but search for "Toyota Rav 4 Replacement Remote Programming 2001 2010" and it should turn up a vid from car and remotes site with the instructions.)
 
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