One of the most annoying situations is seeing the Honda error codes on the instrument cluster. You know that Honda came up with the maintenance minder system to inform you of the oil life and other aspects of car servicing.

But another code gives drivers sleepless nights; the 61-1 Honda code. It’s very annoying, especially if you want to park the car and know you must face trouble whenever you want to start it. Regularly requesting fellow drivers to assist you in jumpstarting the car can be tiresome and nagging.

Have you so far experienced the 61-1 Honda error code? Multiple car owners have contacted us requesting guidance on solving this error. Other related codes include 61-23 Honda code, 61 01 Honda code, 61-11 Honda code, and several other error code 61. Therefore, we have researched and crafted this article to help every Honda car owner solve the issue. Let’s go!

What is 61-1: Battery Voltage Malfunction?

The Honda DTC 61-1 code indicates that low voltage was detected while cranking the car. This code is prevalent in most Honda models since it’s the new technology applied to communicate with the driver.

Typically, this code can be caused by a dead battery. A battery may die due to poor maintenance, poor driving, or getting to its end of life. On the other hand, the code can illuminate due to a faulty alternator.

I will explain further if it hasn’t stuck in your mind. In a particular Honda Pilot model Technician Service Bulletin, it’s demonstrated that this 61-1 ABS error code is VSA modulator control Unit Initial IG Low Voltage.

VSA means Vehicle Stability Assist. I informed you Honda automaker has numerous technologies. This system has software that improves the driver experience during acceleration and deceleration. VSA relies on signals collected by various sensors. And that’s the reason it will illuminate the 61-1 code if there is less power supply to components like sensors.

Common Symptoms of 61-1 Code

Besides the instrument cluster display, several symptoms come with low voltage code on car. Since the battery is associated with the power supply, the symptoms are related to the electronic components. Read below:

1. AC is Not Working Properly

The air conditioning system relies on three other components: the drive belt, the air compressor, and the power source. The battery and alternator supply power to all these components. So, if there is a poor voltage supply to the air compressor, the AC will not function, and this is the first area you should confirm with.

AC is Not Working Properly: photo


2. The Car Has a Tough Time Starting

A normal battery should read 12.6V; the car needs at least 10.8V to crank. A faulty battery will drain all the power overnight, especially during cold seasons. As such, you will face trouble starting the car. Once the battery is drained, you will have no option but to jump-start the vehicle.

3. The Interior Lights Don’t Function Properly

Interior lights rely on the battery for lighting. If there is an obstruction in the power supply, there will be dim or no lights. The battery voltage should be around 12.6V to light the interior well and ignite the engine.

Common Causes of 61-1 Code

We have named the common symptoms that will occur concurrently with the 61 1 battery voltage malfunction code. But what causes the low voltage supply? Read below:

1. Faulty Wiring

A faulty wiring can supply less than the required voltage to the components. Sensors and other components will lack optimum operating strength, and the car computer system will illuminate the 61-1 warning light. Wires can wear due to age, driving conditions, or poor connections.

2. A Dead Battery

Car batteries reach the end of life. A manufacturer indicates the duration of service, but it can be affected by several factors. Driving conditions are the leading cause of a shorter battery lifespan. On the other hand, poor maintenance can also lead to a shorter lifespan. However, even a well-serviced battery will reach the end of its life. So, take note of the duration and plan on replacement.

3. Corroded Battery Terminals

Everything in the car can the all right, including the battery cells. But corroded battery terminals can ruin your day. What causes corrosion on the battery terminals? Several factors can lead to terminal corrosion. Take a look:

  • Overfilling the battery – some batteries are filled with distilled water. Overfilling the water can lead to leakages through the vents, and eventually, it comes into contact with terminals, resulting in corrosion.
  • Cracked battery – If it is not well secured, it can move around when braking and hit other surrounding components in the car. As a result, it cracks, and the water leaks, corroding the terminals.
  • Overcharging – overcharging raises the temperature causing the battery electrolytes to expand. Once pressure builds up, the electrolytes will escape through the vents and corrode the terminals.
  • Overheating engine – the battery is fixed around the engine. So, if the engine overheats, it will cause the same effects as overcharging.
  • Terminal reaction with copper clamps – the battery clamps are made of copper. On the other hand, the battery emits sulfuric gases that react with the electrons, corroding the terminals.
  • Age – once the battery ages, all the components wear out, which can lead to corrosion. Replace your car battery once it completes its lifespan.

4. Faulty Alternator

The alternator is responsible for keeping the car battery alive. It’s powered by the belts that connect to the crankshaft. The alternator converts mechanical energy to electrical energy, which recharges the battery and runs other components like the radio and the AC. If the alternator is faulty, all the components will rely on the battery for power. Unfortunately, the battery cannot recharge without the alternator.

Possible Solutions to the 61-1 Code

Every cause has its unique solution. You can fix some issues as a DIY job and save money. However, if the issue is complicated, call a professional to fix it. Here are the possible solutions for the 61-1 Honda code:

1. Repair Wiring Between Fuse and VSA Modulator Control Unit

Due to age, driving conditions, and rodents, the wiring can get damaged. Rodents chew the wire in case they get access to your garage. Inspect the wiring for any loose connection or disconnection.

2. Replace Dead Car Battery

If the car battery reaches its end, you will have to replace it. Most car batteries last for up to five years. Confirm with your car battery manufacturer. Ideally, use a multimeter to check if your battery is dead. It should read 12.6V

3. Repair or Replace Faulty Alternator

If the alternator does not charge the battery or power other electrical components, you will have to repair or replace it. If you have less knowledge about its components, you will need a professional to repair or replace the alternator.


Repair or Replace Faulty Alternator: photo


4. Clean Corrosion on the Battery Terminal

Clean the battery terminals with white vinegar or lemon juice and apply anti-corrosion grease. Ideally, schedule regular maintenance for your battery.

5. Substitute or Update the VSA Modulator Control Unit

If you have fixed all the issues and the warning message keeps popping in, clear the fault code on the module or replace the whole modulator unit. You can do this after exhausting the other options.

Final Thoughts — 61-1 Honda Code

61-1 Honda code means low voltage was detected while cranking the car. In simple, it is related to a faulty battery or the wiring system. Always service the vehicle on time since you can get late for work or have your vehicles stalled due to 61-1 Honda errors.