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Old 08-09-2021, 01:12 AM #1
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Security system issue after replacing battery (HELP!)

We have a '97 Limited 4Runner that has the security system with glowing red push button on dash to left of steering column. We do not have the keyless remote (fob) so we keep the system disengaged and always lock/unlock doors with the key. A few years ago when we got this Runner I changed the battery and got a big surprise when the alarm triggered and I had no way to disable it. At that time I was able to find something online that listed a sequence of steps that were necessary to reconnect battery, disable alarm (without remote) and be able to start the truck. It took a while to find that info and it was very specific. I can no longer find it and we have a stranded Runner. I dug online for at least an hour onsite; seems like the info just vanished. I tried all the other tricks I could find posted... turning the key to on and off 3x, 5x, pushing the red button 3x, 4x, then turning the key, etc, etc, etc. What is the trick here besides having the remote? Trying very hard to avoid towing when I KNOW this info is (or was) out there somewhere. Hoping someone can help.
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Old 08-09-2021, 04:19 AM #2
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My 97 has the factory remote and only button I have is on the module under the drivers seat.


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Old 08-09-2021, 08:55 AM #3
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Pic of said red button? Sounds to me like you have an aftermarket alarm
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Old 08-09-2021, 10:04 AM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunpunkT4R View Post
We have a '97 Limited 4Runner that has the security system with glowing red push button on dash to left of steering column. We do not have the keyless remote (fob) so we keep the system disengaged and always lock/unlock doors with the key. A few years ago when we got this Runner I changed the battery and got a big surprise when the alarm triggered and I had no way to disable it. At that time I was able to find something online that listed a sequence of steps that were necessary to reconnect battery, disable alarm (without remote) and be able to start the truck. It took a while to find that info and it was very specific. I can no longer find it and we have a stranded Runner. I dug online for at least an hour onsite; seems like the info just vanished. I tried all the other tricks I could find posted... turning the key to on and off 3x, 5x, pushing the red button 3x, 4x, then turning the key, etc, etc, etc. What is the trick here besides having the remote? Trying very hard to avoid towing when I KNOW this info is (or was) out there somewhere. Hoping someone can help.
I did a search on here and came out with these results.

Is this the sequence on post 1 on this thread?
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Old 08-09-2021, 12:19 PM #5
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I have seen those results as well. And no, that's not the sequence I found before. We did try it though, we tried a ton of combinations. Guess we weren't holding our mouths just right :/ Honestly I don't think the magic answer a few years ago was even on T4R, seems like it was buried on some other more obscure site. Dug around on yotatech too with no success so far. I'm not back to the truck yet to take a pic but the button is very similar if not the same as image attached. It is spring loaded with an 'in' and 'out' position (armed or disarmed). Hope that makes sense. Now I don't recall which is armed and which is disarmed. When I ran into this before I didn't even know it was a button. Just thought it was a light. I miss the valet switch underneath dash like on the '94.
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Old 08-09-2021, 03:09 PM #6
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On tangent - what about hooking up a power source like a NOCO Genius to the battery cable ends before disconnecting the battery to keep systems powered during a battery swap?
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Old 08-09-2021, 07:10 PM #7
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If I don't have my key fob to unlock the door my 4runner will not start as well. However, if I go underneath the driver's seat where the module is and unplug everything connected to it the truck will start without the key fob being used, the power lock just won't work till I reconnect it. I have the VIP system or whatever Toyota called it but if you can do the same it's worth a shot

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Old 08-14-2021, 01:25 PM #8
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Thanks all. Late rely but we were able to get it started. Unfortunately, my daughter who was in the truck trying things didn't pay super close attention to what exactly she did that finally worked. She THINKS she pressed the button 3x while simultaneously turning the key either to ON or to ACC 3x, then it started. Frickin' weird. I really wanted to have a definitive answer for anyone else who runs into this. You can try this at least. We had of course disconnected & reconnected negative terminal. I also had a shop tell me they usually disconnect negative terminal, turn the key to ON, then reconnect negative terminal to bypass security. This did not work for us. Attached is a better pic of our button light. I need to find a fob that works.
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Old 08-23-2021, 08:59 PM #9
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I ordered a key fob but can't seem to get it programmed (no surprise). Watched several vids and read instructions posted on different sites. Most seem to refer to a reset button on the main module typically under one of the front seats. I finally found what I believe is the main module. Not under a seat but hidden behind the top edge of a driver side panel under the dash. See pics. Anyone know what to do in this scenario? If I need to remove the panel for access to the module, what does that process look like? I've already tried the method where you insert key, remove key, go thru locking & unlocking doors, so on & so one. No luck.
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Old 08-24-2021, 09:51 AM #10
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What's with all the wire taps? Are you sure it doesn't have an aftermarket keyless entry/remote start system on it?
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Old 08-24-2021, 09:59 AM #11
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Actually, no, I'm not 100% sure this isn't aftermarket. It was in the truck when we got it a few years back. I'm fairly certain it isn't the VIP system as there is no VIP sticker on the windows. There is however a sticker that says PERMAVIN Security. I also don't see anything in the user's manual about security system so unfortunately it's looking more like it may be aftermarket.
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Old 08-24-2021, 10:13 AM #12
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You might try following some of those wire taps to see if you can figure out where they go. What year and trim do you have?
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Old 08-24-2021, 10:51 AM #13
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I just had Toyota dealer check original specs with the VIN. Maybe this info will help someone else as well. According to dealer: before being sold for the first time, the truck went to a distributor called Gulf States Toyota here in TX. They installed what is called "Security System Plus" (brand name unknown but could be PERMAVIN). Even though a Toyota distributor installed the security system before the truck was first sold, it is classified as 'aftermarket'. They gave me another part number for key fob, different than what they first told me since they dug deeper. If I find one and it works I will post the part number for anyone with this system.
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Old 08-24-2021, 10:53 AM #14
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Quote:
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You might try following some of those wire taps to see if you can figure out where they go. What year and trim do you have?
It's a '97 Limited
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Old 08-24-2021, 01:12 PM #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunpunkT4R View Post
We have a '97 Limited 4Runner that has the security system with glowing red push button on dash to left of steering column. We do not have the keyless remote (fob) so we keep the system disengaged and always lock/unlock doors with the key. A few years ago when we got this Runner I changed the battery and got a big surprise when the alarm triggered and I had no way to disable it.
I'm pretty sure I have that same security system on my 01 & 02 with the same red button. To my knowledge the security system was present at the time of original purchase. I experience the same thing, anytime I reconnect the battery the alarm will go off (horn blaring).

Thankfully I have my factory keyfob to turn it off but my questions are:

1. What is causing this?
2. Is there a way to prevent the alarm from going off when the battery is reconnected? ...other than removing the system


I'm wondering what is specific about this security system that causes it to go off when the battery is reconnected because I haven't experienced this on other cars I've owned.
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