What Is AFS?
The Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS) is one of the active safety systems on Lexus. It optimizes the driver’s visibility in low-light situations (like junctions or curves) by adjusting the headlight angle and intensity according to the vehicle speed, steering angle, and weather conditions.
The AFS operates at speeds of at least 6 mph.
What Does the AFS OFF Light Mean on Lexus?
When you start your car, the AFS conducts a self-test and triggers the AFS OFF light to turn on. If the system is operational, the light will go off in about one second.
In case the AFS OFF light blinks or stays on while driving, it indicates there is a malfunction in the AFS, and you have the system inspected as soon as possible.
Can I Drive With the AFS OFF Light?
Yes. Actually, it is not too dangerous to drive with a disabled AFS. Your vehicle still has normal lighting ability to continue your journey. But note that the AFS doesn’t work; you must drive carefully in poor-sight conditions.
Why Is the AFS OFF Light On?
The blinking AFS OFF light occurs for a variety of causes. Based on my experience working at the garage, here are the most common causes.
Broken or Incompatible Headlights
Many drivers took their cars to my garage due to the AFS OFF light, and most of them have trouble with faulty or incompatible headlights. As the latest client, he had an accident and got some front-end damage, including headlights. Then he replaced them with aftermarket headlights. The problem is that the aftermarket ones are incompatible with the AFS of the car. So that’s the reason why he got the blinking AFS OFF light.
If you encounter the same situation, choose between the two solutions below to turn the light off.
- Replace them with OEM headlights. The light automatically goes off after that.
- In case you don’t want to spend too much money on the replacement, continue using the aftermarket headlights. In other words, you accept not to use the AFS on your car. Removing that notification can be done by disconnecting the AFS ECU or taking out the AFS fuse.
The video below will give you a detailed guide on how to turn the AFS OFF light off. Note that you only use the methods when you accept not to use the AFS anymore.
The AFS uses different sensors to monitor your car, including:
- Front and rear suspension body level sensors – detect the height of the vehicle.
- Rain sensors
- Vehicle speed sensors
- Steering angle sensors
According to sensor signals, the AFS controller will analyze to adjust the headlight angle and intensity, supporting the driving in poor-sight conditions.
Some factors like dirt or water damage might affect the operation of the sensors, triggering the AFS OFF light to come on.
So, replacing the sensor will resolve the problem. However, you need an OBD2 scanner to diagnose which sensor is faulty. I will show you the diagnostic guide in the next part.
Low Battery Voltage
The AFS is powered by a 12V battery. If the battery voltage drops, the AFS can’t work properly and then alert the driver with a blinking AFS OFF light.
The solution is quite easy – recharge or replace the battery if necessary.
To set up the AFS, each component of the system must be connected properly with the harness and wiring. For some reason, connectors in the system might be loose or damaged.
You can perform a visual inspection of the system connection. However, I recommend you have the system checked by a professional.
What to Do When the AFS OFF Light Comes on
As I mentioned, you can follow the tutorial video on YouTube to turn the light off immediately. However, it is just a temporary solution. What you should do is fix the system, and the light will automatically go off.
Step 1: Test the battery voltage
With a multimeter, you can test your battery. If the voltage is below 12V, recharge it. In case you see some warning signs like the battery warning light, engine crank, etc., take it to a professional and have it replaced.
Step 2: Inspect the headlights and electrical connectors
- Turn on each headlight and walk around the car to visually check them.
- Also, check the electrical connectors at the back of the headlights for any damage or looseness.
Step 3: Use an OBD2 scanner to read the trouble codes
If you take your car to the garage to fix the AFS OFF light, the mechanic will conduct the diagnostic and repair procedure. I will tell you a secret that no repair shops want you to know. Actually, you can save diagnostic costs by using an OBD2 scanner to read the trouble codes stored in your car ECU.
- Plug the scanner into the OBD2 port and turn the ignition on.
- Once the connection is made, choose the “Read codes” function on the scanner.
- After scanning, you will get the trouble codes.
- Figure out what the codes mean by using the DTC Look-up Library of the scan tool or go to OBD2 Codes Lookup. You will find the meaning, symptoms, causes, and how to fix the codes you have.
Step 4: Repair the broken or malfunctioning parts
Once you have identified the cause, replace or repair the malfunctioning part with enough car knowledge and tools. Otherwise, get your car to a professional for inspection and repair.
Step 5: Reset the AFS OFF light
After fixing the problem, it’s time to reset the light.
- Press the “Menu” button on the steering wheel.
- Select “AFS” on the setting display.
- Switch the display from “AFS OFF” to “AFS ON”.
The AFS is operational once again, and the AFS OFF light will automatically go off.
You can watch the tutorial video below by Lexus to learn more details.
Another way to reset the light is by using a scanner to clear the trouble codes.
- Select the “Clear codes” function on the scanner.
- Restart your car and drive for 50-100 miles. The AFS OFF light then automatically goes off.
The blinking AFS OFF light can be due to several causes, from incompatible headlights to faulty sensors. Some causes can be easily inspected, while others require a scan tool to diagnose and reset the light.
If you encounter different situations, share your story in the comment box below.
Curious about the meaning of other dashboard symbols on your Lexus? Discover it with our Dash Lights Lookup!