Check VSA system Acura means there is a problem with the stability assist system. The system helps the driver control the vehicle while driving in harsh weather. Automobile technology implementation has been a long journey. In fact, most of the technological advancements are safety and comfort related.
The Honda automaker is working tirelessly to incorporate more car features to improve the driving experience. Most features will save the driver from a potential crash. And if they fail to prevent the crash, the car occupants will sustain zero to minor injuries. Thanks to technology.
One of the main systems Honda has discovered is the VSA. The system was founded in the late 90s, and we can conclude it’s really worth the effort. Let’s discuss the full meaning of the VSA and how it works in the next sub-topics. We will also inform you of VSA off meaning and how to turn it off in some instances.
What is a VSA System in Honda Acura?
VSA stands for Vehicle Stability Assistance in Honda cars. The system helps maintain traction on the road, thereby reducing accidents. Usually, the system is activated every time you ignite your Acura engine. It has a triangular light symbol with an exclamation mark inside. This is the indicator that it’s on and functioning.
However, a second VSA light on dash reveals danger if it is illuminated. But that shouldn’t worry you as an Acura owner because we have provided a lasting solution.
How VSA System Works
Vehicle Stability Assist is an electronic stability control system based on the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS). Once the system is active, the control unit monitors the steering rotation angle. Secondly, it monitors the position of the accelerator and the brake pedals.
The system can predict the driver’s intended path by measuring and processing this data. Additionally, the yaw rate and the lateral acceleration are measured using various sensors. And the system determines the direction of the car’s movement.
So, if the actual path of the car differs from the determined driver’s intended path, the system quickly reduces the car’s speed for better traction. This works when the ABS modulators get the command to slow down the sliding wheel.
Also, the system takes this data and interacts with the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) to regulate engine torque in accordance with the terrain. The VSA system is automatic. It activates in certain road conditions but is equipped with an option to turn it off. You can turn it off by pressing the VSA off button until you hear a beep.
What Does it Mean When the Light Comes On?
I hinted about the triangle-shaped VSA light Acura with an exclamation mark. This is the light that turns on when you start the car. The light does not reveal any danger because it shows the system is functioning well. Normally, the triangular light will keep blinking.
On the other hand, the light illuminates without blinking once you turn off the VSA system. This is to inform you the VSA system isn’t active to help you control the car in harsh weather.
However, a different light replaces the former when there is a danger. This is known as VSA system lights, and it reveals there are errors within the system.
What Might Cause the VSA System Light to Go On?
The second VSA light and check engine light on is due to the malfunctioning of the following components:
1. A faulty Brake Switch
The VSA system is connected to the brake system, as discussed earlier. On the other hand, the brake system has the brake light switch integrated around the pedal. This switch helps light the tail lights to inform other drivers you have applied brakes.
When the manufacturer implemented the VSA system, the brake light indicators would not be left behind. There is no difference between when you brake and when the VSA system automatically applies the brakes. So, the system is connected to the brake switch to help alert other drivers and prevent accidents.
If this switch is faulty, the VSA sensors will detect it, and the usual VSA indicator light will switch off. Then, the second light illuminates to inform you there is a faulty component within the system.
2. Wheel Speed Sensor Fault
The wheel speed sensor is located around the wheel hub near the rotors. The work of the wheel speed sensor is to monitor the wheel spinning speed and send the signal to the Electronic Control Unit.
Wheel speed sensors have been used in airbag systems, but when the VSA system was discovered, it wouldn’t operate without the same signal. As such, the system is connected to the wheel speed sensor to help determine which wheel slides than the others.
Considering the wheel speed sensor location, it’s prone to dust, grime, mud, and other contaminants. So, the sensor can fail and cause the VSA warning light will illuminate.
3. Yaw Rate Sensor Failure
The yaw rate sensor is located under the driver or the passenger seat and mounted on the floorboard. The yaw rate sensor is fixed at this location to access the vehicle’s center of gravity. It measures the vehicle’s angular velocity in degrees or radians per second. With this data, the sensor determines if the vehicle aligns with the driver’s intended path.
The yaw rate sensor is located in an exposed area which makes it prone to water, dust, mud, and other contaminants. And when this sensor fails, the VSA system will show some errors. The yaw rate sensor is expensive to replace and needs a professional because of the after-installation calibrations.
4. VSA Control Module Errors
VSA control module is connected to the Anti-lock braking system, traction control system, and other vital systems. Bearing it controls several systems; it can fail at any given time. Normally, it can malfunction due to software errors that may require simple updates through programming.
On the other hand, the module may fail to the extent of replacement. In all issues regarding the VSA module, seek professional services if you have less knowledge about the system.
Note that the module may be expensive to replace, costing around $1500, and labor charges may be added.
Here is How to Diagnose the “Check VSA System” Message Yourself
Although the VSA system may seem complicated, you can fix some errors as a DIY job and save money. To scan which components have the problem, find an OBD II scanner. The device connects with the vehicle through a diagnostic link connector.
Here is the procedure:
Step 1: Connect the OBD II scanner to the OBD port. The OBD port is located under the dashboard on the driver’s side in the Honda Acura. It’s usually covered with a flap, but you can check on the user manual if challenging to identify it.
Step 2: Read the scanner instructions on whether to keep the car on or off. This will allow the scanner to connect with the car computer system without damaging the scanner app.
Step 3: Enter other information requested by the scanners, like the vehicle VIN and the engine number. Then, check the scanner menu screen and select which system you need to have scanned.
Step 4: Identify and understand the codes to fix the errors. The trouble codes begin with letters followed by numbers. Finally, if the errors are minor, fix them or call a professional if the issues are complicated.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Is the VSA the Same as Traction Control?
No. The systems perform almost similar functions but are two different parts of modern cars. The VSA system improves the driver experience by keeping the vehicle from sliding and going off the intended path. On the other hand, the traction control system regulates the spinning of the car wheels during acceleration to avoid losing grip.
How Do I Reset My Acura Light VSA?
Switch off the car engine for a while and restart later. If the VSA module has some errors, it will reboot and clear the lights. However, if there are complicated issues, you should first fix them before trying to reset the light. VSA system errors can range from minor to complex, requiring professional and high-technology calibration machines.
How Do I Know When My VSA is On or Off?
When the VSA system is activated, the triangular light with an exclamation mark will blink continuously on the instrument cluster. And when the system is off, the light will also go off. The other method you can apply to determine whether the system is on or off is keenly observing the engine output. You will note the engine doesn’t lower the torque when the car slides. Also, the automatic braking will not function.
How Much Does it Cost to Fix VSA System?
Your location and the components that have faults will determine how much to fix VSA system. For instance, you can pay around $1500 to replace the VSA module, $150 for a faulty brake switch, $700 for the yaw rate sensor, and $250 for the wheel speed sensor. You may pay for the scanning services if you don’t have the OBD II scanners and the labor costs.
Is it Safe to Drive With VSA Light On?
VSA system is a vital part of the car in saving you from a crash or getting stuck in muddy areas. However, if the system fails, you can drive without it, but you will lack an essential safety feature in the car. Typically, the car will perform well on the highway, but if you get to tough terrain, you must be keen to avoid accidents.
Conclusion — Check VSA System Acura
Check VSA system is a warning message in Honda cars. It alerts the driver of the possible fault within the vehicle Stability Assistant system. The VSA system is essential in a car because it controls the vehicle’s traction improving the driving experience. As such, you must ensure the car is diagnosed, and the problem is fixed to stay safe on the road. Suppose the system fails while on the highway; you can still drive since it does not activate the limp mode.
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