I have a 2004 Acura TL. Over the last week, the VSA triangle light and the VSA light have illuminated 2-3 times along with the service engine light. The last time it happened, was while driving to the Raleigh- Durham, NC airport from Greensboro- about 75 miles. It happened about half way there. I need to get the car back to Greensboro this weekend when I get back. Will it be okay to drive or should I have it towed?
There are several things that could cause this. The most innocuous is a bad brake switch.
How’s the pedal feel? It isn’t soft by any chance is it? There’s a TSB about the VSA module letting air into the system.
Since the service engine light came on, there will be codes stored. Have them read and we can probably tell you more.
I think the brakes felt normal. However, I was really easy on the brakes.
The VSA system relies on more than just the brakes.
It chiefly involves the car’s ECM to reduce engine power, and the ECM also interacts with the ABS module to apply braking power to one or two wheels in order to reduce a skid.
Because of the involvement of the ECM in the functioning of the VSA system, any significant problem that is detected by the OBD system will trigger the VSA light, as well as the CEL/SES light. This situation could have been triggered by various problems including a problem with a purge valve in the Evaporative Emissions System, fouled spark plugs, a loose gas cap, or God only knows what other problem.
Thus, the place to begin is with a scan of the OBD system to detect which trouble code(s) are triggering the CEL/SES light. Once that situation is repaired, the VSA light should also turn itself off.
So–you should check the OBD PDQ in order to resolve the CEL/SES/VSA problem!
Thanks for all the info. I guess a trip to AutoZone is in my near future. I really have no idea what all those initials stand for but I bet I can figure it out when I have the owner’s manual in hand.
You’re right, of course. I mentioned the brakes because of the TSB on faulty VSA modules. A common symptom (in fact, this symptom must be present or the TSB doesn’t apply) of this problem is squishy brakes in addition to the VSA and engine lights coming on.
Back to the original question… Is it safe to drive my car about 75 miles with the VSA problem? I have a great mechanic there who I prefer to use and to give my business. When I left the car, the VSA light was gone, but the engine light was still illuminated.
We can’t really say without knowing why the lights are illuminating. I strongly recommend you get the codes read at Autozone before setting out on your trip. That will at least tell you why the check-engine light is on. The VSA is probably not going to be a safety hazard, especially since it isn’t winter. But depending on the cause of the engine light, you could damage the car if you drive it before it’s fixed.
Thanks. That was my plan. A lot of great info on this site & it’s much appreciated.