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Old 10-18-2010, 05:21 PM #1
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blinking red light on instrument panel ... engine won't start

Hi everybody,

I have a 1998 4Runner that recently won't start.

There's a red light on the instrument panel, right next to the Instrument panel light control knob, that won't stop flashing. (it's never lit before) According to the manual, that light is where the rear differential lock switch is supposed to be. Whether the key is in the ignition or not, the red light keeps blinking.

When I open any door, the tail lights and the front side lights switch on and off 15 times in a row, and then turn off... but that red light on the instrument panel continues to blink unless I disconnect the battery terminals.

Since the battery is still providing juice to power the lights, I'm assuming this isn't a battery issue. As far as I know, nobody has ever installed any alarm system on this car. When I try to start the car, it doesn't even sound like it's trying to turn over. It's as if the system is locked somehow. Does anybody have any idea what this red blinking light is telling me?


Thanks!
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Old 10-18-2010, 05:55 PM #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natrovert View Post
Hi everybody,

I have a 1998 4Runner that recently won't start.

There's a red light on the instrument panel, right next to the Instrument panel light control knob, that won't stop flashing. (it's never lit before) According to the manual, that light is where the rear differential lock switch is supposed to be. Whether the key is in the ignition or not, the red light keeps blinking.

When I open any door, the tail lights and the front side lights switch on and off 15 times in a row, and then turn off... but that red light on the instrument panel continues to blink unless I disconnect the battery terminals.

Since the battery is still providing juice to power the lights, I'm assuming this isn't a battery issue. As far as I know, nobody has ever installed any alarm system on this car. When I try to start the car, it doesn't even sound like it's trying to turn over. It's as if the system is locked somehow. Does anybody have any idea what this red blinking light is telling me?


Thanks!
No one has had an alarm installed? weird... I would say sounds like an alarm tripping balls...

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Old 10-18-2010, 06:23 PM #3
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Def sounds like an alarm (lights flashing, engine start disabled, etc). No clue what else it could be. Pic?

I'd say look under the front seats and look good under the dash for an alarm box.

edit: Wait, the flashing light is on the dash next to the dimmer knob? Sorry, I must have mis-read that the first time. Sounds like the factory VIP RS3000 alarm to me...
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Old 10-18-2010, 08:56 PM #4
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blinking red light on instrument panel ... engine won't start

Thanks for the replies!

I checked with the previous owner... it turns out they forgot that there was an alarm installed at one point. I checked under the dash and found 2 boxes that look like they could be an alarm box... one of them says "SAE PP-T20"... and it looks exactly like the pic in this link: Alarm Sensor?

I can't see the other, bigger box too well. I can read some text on the back... looks like it's describing what each wire is for:

black - ground
red black - door lock polariy
black green - not used
red - 12v
pink - aux out
org - siren
white - trigger
gray - led
20ga blue - switch 12v
green - unlock switch


Thanks for helping me figure out that much. Since I can't move this car, does anybody know how I can remove this alarm that I never knew I had? =P Or at least get it so that I can start the car again?


Thanks!
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Old 10-18-2010, 08:58 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natrovert View Post
I checked with the previous owner... it turns out they forgot that there was an alarm installed at one point.
Hmmm, that is kind of an important point...
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Old 10-18-2010, 09:02 PM #6
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Follow the wires and see which is giving it power. Then cut the power wire. When all else fails... Cut the Muther F'er out! lol
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Old 10-18-2010, 09:41 PM #7
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Sounds like the starter is disabled due to the alarm. Try this.

Close all doors, use your key, stick it in the drivers side door-lock and unlock 2 times (which is clockwise) This should reset the alarm.
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Old 10-18-2010, 09:49 PM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toy-runner View Post
Sounds like the starter is disabled due to the alarm. Try this.

Close all doors, use your key, stick it in the drivers side door-lock and unlock 2 times (which is clockwise) This should reset the alarm.
that resets factory alarm?

I had to put key in ignition turn to on, hold down factory alarm reset button located on driverside kickpanel, still holding reset turn key back off and then back to on. Truck would start after sequence.
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Old 10-18-2010, 10:18 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cj80cruiser View Post
that resets factory alarm?

I had to put key in ignition turn to on, hold down factory alarm reset button located on driverside kickpanel, still holding reset turn key back off and then back to on. Truck would start after sequence.
Yes, I have the RS3200 alarm, and that is how I reset the alarm. My FOB key blows up the taillight fuse everytime I would use it, so now I use the actual key to arm and disarm the vehicle.
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Old 08-30-2017, 09:39 PM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natrovert View Post
Hi everybody,

I have a 1998 4Runner that recently won't start.

There's a red light on the instrument panel, right next to the Instrument panel light control knob, that won't stop flashing. (it's never lit before) According to the manual, that light is where the rear differential lock switch is supposed to be. Whether the key is in the ignition or not, the red light keeps blinking.

When I open any door, the tail lights and the front side lights switch on and off 15 times in a row, and then turn off... but that red light on the instrument panel continues to blink unless I disconnect the battery terminals.

Since the battery is still providing juice to power the lights, I'm assuming this isn't a battery issue. As far as I know, nobody has ever installed any alarm system on this car. When I try to start the car, it doesn't even sound like it's trying to turn over. It's as if the system is locked somehow. Does anybody have any idea what this red blinking light is telling me?


Thanks!
I know this is an old thread but I need HELP!! I recently just bought a 2000 and mine does the same thing, I found where someone had rigged some wires together behind the kick panel. I followed them around for a minute and the alarm just kept going and going so I just jerked all the damn wires out. Fixed the issue I thought...no more alarm going off when you open the door or anything like that but now the lights just flash on like 3-4 times every 2-3 minutes and the little red theft light on the dash blinks constantly when the door is closed, open the door and it stops and the lights won't flash on and off periodically. I work on cars every day but this damn thing really has me scratching my head.
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Old 08-04-2019, 08:24 PM #11
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I hope it's okay to resurrect this old thread...

Our 1999 4Runner is having a similar issue with the security system. There's a red light to the left of the steering wheel (no button), and a small red button on the vertical kick panel (if that's what it's called?) to the left of the clutch pedal.

The red light was flashing (no alarm sound), and what worked to start the vehicle was to hold down the small red button while turning the key to on (the horn beeped at this point), then back to off, releasing the button, then starting the vehicle as usual (like in the post quoted below). However, after doing this, the red light stayed on (not flashing), and to start the vehicle again we had to do the same process, holding the small red button down etc. I've tried holding the button down while doing the on-off key turn three times, per some of the above-mentioned advice, but this didn't affect the red light.

I've read through various threads and haven't found anything regarding when the light is solid red. I'm also hesitant to try disconnecting the battery, as it appears this could cause an alarm to go off when reconnected?

Thank you in advance for any advice on this!


Quote:
Originally Posted by cj80cruiser View Post
that resets factory alarm?

I had to put key in ignition turn to on, hold down factory alarm reset button located on driverside kickpanel, still holding reset turn key back off and then back to on. Truck would start after sequence.
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Old 09-15-2019, 11:56 PM #12
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Trying to bring this back as well...my girlfriend has a 1999 T4R with the same equipment (little red ******* light, kick panel button) we were at the car wash one day and when she went to start the truck it did literally nothing. The marker lights were flashing. We finished cleaning our rigs and still no start. I guess I got lucky somehow after sticking the key in the door locks and opening and shutting the hood and the truck fired right back up no problem. Jump forward to now and the marker lights will start to go off whenever you open the back door (nothing has to be locked), she occasionally has a problem with the engine immobilizer and her key fob does not/will not work.
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Old 09-16-2019, 02:12 AM #13
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Take the car to an MECP-certified alarm installer and have the aftermarket alarm someone installed removed. These alarms often included a starter/transponder key bypass that will have to be removed and the original wiring will have to be reconnected, hence why you can't just yank the thing out and hurl it into the bin.
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