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-   -   SOLVED: VSA, traction control and brake warning lights on (https://www.acura-legend.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=165184)

lunytnz 06-18-19 03:17 AM

SOLVED: VSA, traction control and brake warning lights on
 
Last week, the VSA, traction control and brake warning lights all came on in the dash. A quick search online showed that the brake light switch (next to the brake pedal, under the dash) could be the culprit. I checked the brake lights and they were working fine, so the switch was working. I suspected a sensor.

The light came on, again, a few days later. Still no problem driving the car, or braking, and the brake lights checked out when I got home.

THEN, over the weekend, I started the car, but couldn't get it out of park! I checked the brake lights and they were NOT working. I kept trying and trying and eventually, the switch started working again and I was able to drive home without being stranded!

I replaced the switch in about 10 minutes (it takes a 14mm wrench to loosen the locking nut). :thumbsup:

I figured out that the lights were coming on when driving the car and likely coming to a stop, but the brake light wasn't working, so the computer is sensing the wheels have stopped, but the brakes aren't being applied, so that indicates a problem.

And, of course, the computer enforces safety by requiring you have your foot on the brake before shifting out of Park. If the brake switch isn't working, it can't tell that you have your foot on the brake.

If you replace the switch yourself, make note (take a picture!) of where the nut is on the shaft of the switch and that will help you get real close to the proper adjustment.

lunytnz 07-12-19 02:58 AM

Not so fast...
 
Well, it happened again. Car will start, but can't get it out of park and the brake lights are not working.

So, either the new switch went bad (what are the odds?) or there's some other (obviously intermittent) problem (maybe wiring?) that keeping the signal from getting where it needs to go.

I wiggled the connector around as best I could (I couldn't take it apart without tools), but no change.

Boy do I wish I'd held on to the old part so that I could test with that! (normally, I do that kind of thing, but this time I didn't because I thought the old switch was bad).

lunytnz 07-16-19 01:18 PM

Bad part!
 
It turned out the new part was bad!
I checked the fuses... fine.
I tested the circuit by using a jumper wire between the two larger connections in the wiring connector (that connect to the larger copper pins in the switch) and the brake lights came on, so that increased my confidence that the problem was with the switch. I returned the switch to O'Reilly for a refund and decided to go with the OEM part.
I also learned that the same switch is used in some Civics and Preludes, but when I called the Honda dealership, they couldn't look up parts for an Acura. I found the part (#36750-S04-003) at the Acura dealer for $75. With the part number, I called the Honda dealership and their price was MORE ($105)!!
It is kind of ridiculous how much they are charging for this part!

One helpful thing I learned along the way: there is a button, underneath a small cover, to the right of the shift knob, that releases the interlock and allows you to shift out of park if the computer does not sense that the brake lights are on. So, at least you can drive the car (without having to be towed), though you will likely be without brake lights.

So, I'm back to believing that the original problem was a brake light switch that was starting to go bad (likely some problem with the contacts within the switch). I hope it's solved, for good, now. I'm not interested in replacing that switch again! (even though it takes only about 10 mins to replace... even less now that I've done it a few times now!).


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