Toyota 4Runner Backup Camera Not Working [How to Fix]

Your Toyota 4Runner backup camera keeps acting up, and you’re looking for a way to fix it.

If this sounds like you, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll share several proven tips you can try to fix your backup camera. Anyone can apply these tips, even if they have no technical experience.

Toyota 4Runner Backup Camera

First off, you want to know why your backup camera is not working.

Here are some reasons your Toyota RAV4 backup camera isn’t working:

  • Your infotainment system is malfunctioning.
  • Your infotainment system software is outdated.
  • Your camera’s fuse is blown.
  • You have a short circuit.
  • The Engine Control Unit is problematic. 
  • Your camera’s wires are rusty.
  • Your backup camera is damaged.

How to Fix Toyota 4Runner Backup Camera Problems

Here are some troubleshooting tips to help you get your Toyota RAV4 backup camera up and running:

Restart Your Infotainment System

The infotainment system in your Toyota 4Runner may encounter a bug while the vehicle is running. When this happens, your backup camera and other electronic devices in the infotainment system may stop working.

Bugs in your infotainment system often cause the Toyota 4Runner backup camera to display a blank screen. At other times, the camera might display the backup guidelines, but it won’t show your rear-view image.

If you’re facing this issue, you’ll need to restart your infotainment system.

To reboot your infotainment system, switch it off and turn it back on.

If your backup camera doesn’t work after the reboot, try the next step.

Update Your Infotainment System Software

Another reason your Toyota 4Runner backup camera may not work is outdated software. Over time, the performance of your infotainment system, which includes your backup camera, may worsen. Toyota introduces software updates regularly to ensure the proper functioning of the system.

If you keep using your backup camera with outdated software, the camera might stop working occasionally. The only way to fix this problem is to update the stereo system’s software.

Here’s how to update the infotainment system software in a Toyota 4runner:

  • Open your browser and search for Toyota audio updates.
  • The Toyota Firmware Update page will appear.
  • Click on the website link to continue.
  • Next, tap on the Select a Vehicle button.
  • You’ll be asked to enter your VIN, model, and model year.
  • Input the required information and click on Go.
  • You’ll find the available software updates for your stereo system.
  • Click on the latest update and download it.
  • Once you’ve finished downloading the file, connect an empty flash drive to your computer.
  • Make sure this drive contains at least 2 GB.
  • Go back to your homepage. Then paste the downloaded file into your thumb drive.
  • Eject your flash drive from your computer.
  • Now, press the push-to-start button on your car twice.
  • Insert your USB drive into one of the USB ports on your vehicle.
  • Next, tap on Apps.
  • Select Setup and choose General.
  • Scroll down until you find the Software Update option.
  • Select Software Update and choose Update.
  • Next, tap on Software Update at the bottom of the screen.
  • The system will ask you to confirm that you want to start the update.
  • Tap on Yes to continue.
  • The update should take about ten minutes.
  • Leave your flash drive in your USB port until your infotainment system completes the update.
  • Once the update is complete, press the push-to-start button again to switch off your car. Then turn it back on.

Now that you’ve updated your infotainment system, your backup camera should resume working.

Change Your Blown Fuse

If your Toyota 4Runner backup camera is showing a black screen, the device might not be getting enough power. This problem usually occurs when the backup camera’s fuse is blown.

You’ll need to replace the camera’s fuse to fix this issue.

If you don’t know where your backup camera’s fuse is located, study the fuse diagram in your owner’s manual. You should be able to identify your camera’s fuse after studying the fuse diagram.

Once you find the fuse, replace it with another fuse.

If your backup camera still displays a black screen after you’ve changed the fuse, continue to the next step.

Fix Your Short Circuit

A blown fuse isn’t the only issue that prevents your backup camera from getting sufficient power. If there is a short circuit in any component in your car, it will decrease the supply of power to other units.

To eliminate this problem, you need to test your car for a short circuit.

Here’s how to do that:

  • Turn off your car. Next, disconnect the negative terminal of your battery from its post.
  • Sand the negative terminal post with sandpaper. This will ensure that the vehicle’s connection is good.
  • Next, you need a DC multimeter to measure the voltage in your car.
  • First, turn the regulator on the fan to DC volts. Then place the red terminal on the multimeter onto the negative terminal on the batter.
  • Place the black terminal from the multimeter over the positive terminal.
  • You should get 8 volts if the system is working well.
  • Next, switch the regulator to DC Amps.
  • This time, you need to bridge the gap in the negative terminal.
  • Place the red terminal onto the battery’s negative terminal and the black terminal over the negative terminal’s post.
  • The battery should measure up to 8 amps.
  • If the power in your battery is less than 12.8 volts or 8 amps, you probably have a short circuit.
  • Now you need to find the culprit.
  • Leave your multimeter still plugged into your battery and ask a friend to monitor the measurements on the screen. Then walk to your fuse box and start disconnecting each fuse from the box.
  • After removing each fuse, ask your friend how much the power has dropped.
  • If the power drops close to zero when you remove a fuse, the fuse is the culprit.
  • Change the bad fuse to fix the short circuit.

If none of the fuses causes the power on the multimeter to drop close to zero, you might not have a short circuit. In that case, continue to the next step.

Reset Your Engine Control Unit

Apart from a bad fuse and a short circuit, a malfunction in the ECU (Engine Control Unit) can also limit the amount of power that reaches the backup camera. This issue causes the camera to display a blank screen.

The easiest way to fix a faulty ECU is to reset it.

Take these steps to reset your Engine Control Unit in your Toyota 4Runner:

  • First, you need to write down your radio settings because the ECU reset will remove them.
  • Open your hood and locate your main fuse box.
  • Search for the short pin at the center of the top area in the fuse box.
  • Note that the short pin looks like a fuse, even though it isn’t one.
  • Once you find the short pin, pull it out.
  • This will reset the Engine Control Unit.
  • If you realize that the dome light isn’t working, don’t worry about it.
  • The dome light will stay off for about four hours to enable the ECU to complete its factory reset.
  • You’ll also notice a blinking dot on your compass.
  • The dot indicates you need to perform a Circle Calibration.
  • Check your owner’s manual to learn how to perform this calibration.

After resetting your ECU and completing the Circle Calibration, check if your backup camera is working. You should be able to see your rear-view image clearly on the backup camera.

Check Your Camera’s Wires

Are the images on your backup camera flickering? Then your camera’s wires might be loose.

You can repair these wires by splicing and soldering them.

Follow these steps to splice and solder your Toyota 4Runner backup camera’s wires:

  • Cut the wires in the fraying area.
  • Make sure both pieces of the wires have enough exposed parts.
  • If not, use a cable stripper to remove some insulation on the wires.
  • Next, twist both parts of each wire together. This is how you splice them.
  • Get a soldering iron, some solder, rosin paste flux, and a brass wall cleaning pad.
  • Use the iron to collect some of the flux, and rub the excess over the brass wall cleaning pad. Then add some solder onto your soldering iron.
  • Collect a small quantity of flux again.
  • For the second time, rub the soldering iron on the brass wall cleaning pad.
  • The iron is now ready to use.
  • Place your hot soldering iron over the twisted wires to solder them.
  • After soldering the wires, cover up the spliced area with electrical tape.

Now, set your gear in Reverse to turn on the backup camera. The images on the camera should be stable now.

Replace Your Backup Camera

If your backup camera keeps malfunctioning after you’ve tried all these tips, the device might be damaged. As such, you’ll need to replace the camera.

The guide below will show you how to replace your Toyota 4Runner backup camera:

  • First, you need to detach your tailgate panel from the vehicle.
  • Pull up your tailgate.
  • Remove the screws holding the grab handle to the tailgate.
  • Use a body panel tool to pull out the lights on both sides of the tailgate panel.
  • Again, use the body panel tool to open up the clip at the bottom of each light.
  • This will detach both lights on their left sides.
  • Unplug the clip at the top of each light to disconnect them from the panel.
  • Now, you can remove your tailgate panel.
  • Use a flathead screwdriver to pry off the panel at its edges. Then pull out the panel carefully.
  • You’ll see a silver metal piece at the edge of the tailgate.
  • Unbolt the screws on the piece. Then detach the metal piece from its clips to remove it from the car.
  • Next, use a body panel to release the sticky plastic item on the tailgate.
  • Remove all the nuts on the tailgate with a socket and ratchet.
  • Remember to unscrew the nuts hidden inside the holes on the tailgate.
  • Disconnect all the plugs you find in the vehicle.
  • Take out the rear speaker on the passenger side.
  • Close your tailgate and detach the emblem on your trunk.
  • Unscrew the bolts beside the emblem to help the backup camera loosen quickly.
  • Now, you need to remove your backup camera.
  • Pull the clips beside the camera slightly, but don’t detach them from the tailgate.
  • This will loosen the connector from the camera. Next, remove your camera.
  • Now, get your new backup camera and re-insert it into the tailgate.
  • Replace all the items you’ve removed and re-install your tailgate panel.

Now, get into the driver’s seat and try using your new backup camera. The camera should be back to normal now.

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Wrapping Up

All the tips here will help you fix your backup camera if you apply them correctly. However, if your backup camera fails to work after you’ve tried all the solutions, contact your dealer.


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  2. Consumer Reports