I’ve had a problem this past year with my 2006 Honda CR-V which is a great SUV. The problem has been that the VSA (Vehicle Stability Assist) light and it’s counterpart exclamation point in a triangle indicator has been stuck in the ON position while driving. Which means it’s disengaged. See the photo below with the car sitting still.
There is a VSA control button below the dashboard gauges that can turn it on and off but it has no effect to solve my problem. There are many posts on the Internet saying you have to spend over $1,000 to replace the car’s computer. Another video says to short some pins on the OBDII connector, and yet more videos say to buy a $119 OBDII mechanic’s diagnostic computer to reset things. To make matters worse my BRAKE indicator was ON but I knew my brakes weren’t serviced that long ago. I knew something was up as these lights would sometimes turn OFF while driving at the same time, but then go back ON at the same time. The fix seemed to be spending money, money, and money!
But I figured out what was really going on and how to avoid these faulty lights.
The secret is to start the vehicle with your foot pressing down on the brake pedal. Apparently holding down the brake pedal resets the computer for the VSA and Brake systems check, and the lights will go off while the car is running! You can still disengage VSA manually and the exclamation indicator will go on but that’s normal.
In the above photo, you can see the car at idle with the parking brake engaged with the light on.
I think this issue with the lights will only affect older drivers because we were taught to ‘pump the gas pedal a couple of times, then start the car.’ This was back in the days when cars had carburetors, and the only computer in the car was your brain. We never had a foot on the brake pedal (maybe the clutch) as you may have to pump the gas slightly more while the engine was turning over. You can tell I’m old because that’s called the ‘accelerator’ pedal and not the ‘gas’ pedal these days, and all of us older folks ‘flooded’ the engine once in awhile trying to get the car to start. If you don’t know what ‘flooding the engine’ is ask your parents or grandparents.
Hopefully, this helps other Honda and probably Acura owners out there who have suffered these warning lights on the dashboard. And when you buy a new car, just remember you have to press the brake pedal before pushing the START button to start your car. ‘Car keys? What are those?’
As a side note, I also had a Vinli ODBII in the OBDII port. I’m throwing it away as I think that may have caused some issues too as I could get the lights to misbehave plugging/unplugging it into/out of the OBDII port. The device isn’t supported by the company anymore and they refunded some of my money for my end-of-life device. Also, the ultra-tiny incandescent bulb behind my Parking light indicator is burned out and nobody, not even Honda, carries it. There are two sizes of these tiny bulbs in the dashboard, the bigger one can be found, the smaller one not.
Aloha and safe driving everyone.