Toyota ICS Malfunction (Solved & Explained) 

The Toyota ICS system helps drivers avoid crashing into obstacles when driving at low speeds. The system may malfunction if the wiring harness is damaged, if the sensors are damaged because of a low-speed crash, or if the sensors become waterlogged. 

What is an ICS Malfunction and what causes the malfunction? 

The ICS system inside a Toyota vehicle is extremely helpful. The system is so helpful to drivers, that when the system malfunctions, they change their schedule and send it over to a Toyota Certified mechanic as soon as they can.

When the ICS system experiences a malfunction, it will flash a warning sign on the dashboard. the driver will see a text box blinking on their dashboard. 

The box will say “A malfunction in the intelligent clearance sonar system has been detected. Do not rely on this system. Contact your Toyota dealer to have your vehicle inspected.”

ICS Malfunction is common in the following Toyota and Lexus models: Camry, Prius, Avalon, RX350.

What is an ICS Malfunction

3 critical causes of an ICS Malfunction

There are three common reasons why an ICS system malfunctions.

Damaged wiring harness – When the wiring harness is damaged, it can no longer communicate with the computer and the sensors. But a malfunctioning ICS system is not the only symptom of a damaged wiring harness. 

The wiring harness is an extensive set of wires that transfers electricity throughout the entire vehicle and the engine. If the wiring harness is damaged, your vehicle will experience more electrical issues than just the ICS system malfunctioning.

Damaged sensors – like any computerized system, the ICS system is not perfect, and it may not be able to detect certain obstacles. This is supposed to be true if the vehicle is moving too fast for the sensor to sense obstacles. Sooner or later, you will get into a low-speed collision. This will damage the sensor.

Water leaking around the sensor – impacting a sensor with an obstacle is not the only way to break a sensor. are extremely delicate and can easily become waterlogged if they are not cared for.

Some Toyota owners find that the sensors on new vehicles stop working because they went to an automatic car wash that uses high-pressure hoses.

How to fix the issues causing the ICS system to malfunction.

Fixing each of the three issues above is not difficult for a Toyota Certified mechanic. But depending on the issue, you may have to pay hundreds to thousands of dollars in repairs.

A damaged wiring harness – Depending on the extent of the damage, the wires, and terminals inside the wiring harness may be able to be replaced. But if there’s a lot of damage, the mechanic will suggest that you replace it completely.

How to fix ICS system

Sometimes, repairing the wires and terminals inside of a wiring harness can be more expensive than simply replacing it. So ‌watch the costs and get a rough estimate on both the replacement and the repair. 

Damaged sensors from impact – if you have been in a low-impact collision or a fender bender, you may have accidentally struck one of the sensors. If the sensor is damaged, then you just need to replace it.

Unfortunately, replacing a single damaged sensor is expensive. Replacing a single sensor usually costs anywhere from $150 to $650

Waterlogged sensors – just like the sensor damage from a low-speed collision, you will need to replace any sensor that has been damaged from exposure to water. However, there could be a leak from the inside of the car that could have damaged the sensors.

A mechanic cannot determine if the sensor was damaged from the water outside of the car or from the fluid inside of the car. You will also have to replace any other small devices, like fuses and wires, which were damaged from water exposure.

What is the ICS system?

If you have never heard of ICS, then you probably are not a Toyota owner. The Toyota company has developed several types of systems for their vehicles so that they can work more efficiently, and they can alert the driver about the issues without delay.

The many preventative systems inside a Toyota vehicle are one of the main reasons why they are such a reliable company. 

What is the ICS system

The ICS is the Intelligent Clearance Sonar. As you can probably tell, it is a sensor system that is designed to assist drivers in parking lots and other areas where there are a lot of obstacles.

8 sensors are placed all around the Toyota vehicle and each sensor is designed to detect objects that are getting too close to the vehicle. When there is an object that is far too close for comfort, the alarm system inside of the vehicle will alert the driver.

But if the driver is driving too quickly to react, the ICS system will automatically activate the brakes to prevent a collision with the object.

So, if you have a totaled vehicle that has an ICS system, it will help you back out of parking spaces without hitting a grocery basket or a small child who was walking by themselves.

How to reset an ICS system

Once you have figured out the issue that is causing the system to malfunction, you can fix it as soon as possible.

But after repairing the ICS system, you will need to reset the system along with its sensors. You can ask the mechanic to do that for you or you can do it yourself.

How to reset or turn off the ICS system.

To reset the ICS system, you just have to turn it off and turn it on again.

  • On the steering wheel, locate the directional buttons with an okay button in the middle. Press the down button.
  • The Dashboard will bring up the Eco setting or the driving support system. No matter what pops up first, keep pressing down until you reach settings.
  • Once you are at settings, press the right button until you reach the ICS on/off setting.
  • The system is currently on. Highlight the symbol and press the okay button. 
  • The screen will change, and it will ask if you would like to turn off ICS. Press the up button so the YES is highlighted and press okay. When the ICS system is off, there will be a small orange symbol indicating that it is off.
  • Now you can turn off the car. After the engine is finally cool, turn the car back on and then reactivate the ICS system.


If there’s an issue with the ICS system, it will be because the senses are damaged, or the wiring harness is damaged. Placing a sensor can cost anywhere from $150 to $650. Once the issue has been solved, reset the ICS system by turning it off and on.

  • Eric Williams

    I'm the founder of Daily Car Tips. I wrote articles in the automotive industry for more than 10 years, published in USA and Europe. I love sharing my knowledge and insights with fellow enthusiasts. Join me on this journey as we explore the exciting world of cars together!

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