Rav4 Security Light Blinking Car Won’t Start – Causes and Solutions

The Toyota RAV4 is a great go-to if you are looking for a reliable SUV. However, despite its impeccable reputation in terms of reliability, some of the older models of RAV4 experience issues with their alarms. More often than not, when this happens, your car will not start. 

If you notice that your security light keeps blinking, it is most likely to be an issue of low battery charge. To fix this, you can opt to charge the battery overnight. Another cause could be the hood or door switch fault, corrosion on battery terminals, and bad ground connection.  

This article highlights the common causes for this issue and how each of them can be solved. 

Rav4 Security Light Blinking Car Won’t Start – Causes and Solutions 

rav4 security light blinking car won’t start

A flickering security light on your dashboard and your car not starting may seem like a result of a major malfunction. In most instances, however, it is not usually a major cause for concern. 

Weak Battery 

The most common cause for flickering lights on the dashboard accompanied by an engine that won’t start is a weak battery. You can also tell a weak battery by a rapid clicking sound any time you attempt to start the engine. This results from a lack of enough power in the engine to power the starter motor. Therefore, when you crank the engine, the battery voltage gets so low to power anything. 


If you conclude that the issue is a weak battery, you can start by testing the battery using a multimeter. Typically, a healthy battery should have 12.6V or more when fully charged.

If the battery is dead, you can opt to jumpstart it. In the case of low battery charge, you are required to charge it overnight. If the battery does not hold a charge, your last resort will be to replace the battery. 

Corrosion of Battery Terminals

Battery corrosion is a relatively common problem, more so if the battery was installed more than 2 years ago. The acid inside the battery may seep and react with the metal terminals.

This leads to reduced current flow and loss of contact. If the current flow is inadequate, you will not be able to crank the engine and the dashboard lights will flicker. 


Checking the battery terminals is the first step. Lift the plastic covers that are often placed on them and inspect for any signs of corrosion. If any white or silver-green deposits but no cracks or damage, you may only have to clean them and not replace them. You can opt for quick cleaning or thorough cleaning. 

Bad Ground Connection

The battery may be in good health, but the current flow is being interrupted due to a loose connection. The ground connection may go bad due to rust or corrosion. This causes a lot of electrical issues such as clicking noises, no-start problem, and flickering dashboard lights.

The starter motor together with the solenoid depends on a good ground connection of the engine to function properly. The starter motor has a high current requirement that a bad ground connection may not be able to provide. 


You can perform a conductivity test to check the quality of the ground connection. If this check fails, move on to inspect the connectors of ground cables for any signs of corrosion or rust. If any, proceed to clean them with sandpaper. 


The ground connection is achieved when the negative terminal of the battery is connected to the body/chassis of the RAV4. The engine requires a ground connection as well to function. However, given how the engine is mounted, it often does not allow an electric current to flow between the engine and the body. Hence, a ground strap is used. 

Resetting the alarm on your RAV4 is a simple process. You are required to remove the power plug from the anti-theft ECU and then unlock the main panel with the provided key. Then, disconnect the system battery and reconnect it after a minute. This automatically resets the alarm.

To activate the alarm, you can either choose to lock your car with the remote key fob button or with the physical keys. Upon locking the doors, the alarm will be activated and will sound if the door is forced open or a window was broken. 

Final Thoughts

There are several reasons that can be responsible for your RAV4 dashboard lights flickering and the car won’t start. Anytime you are trying to diagnose your vehicle, start with the obvious cases that are easily diagnosable such as a weak battery. Either way, it would be best to visit a workshop since a professional mechanic will quickly diagnose the no crank issue.

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