Used car too good to be true?

I recently purchased a 2000 Acura 3.5 RL with 55,000 miles. This car passed the state mechanical inspection 5 months ago. Some things needed fixed, and were obvious, but this was not. The VSA activation indicator came on a couple times under normal driving conditions on dry smooth road conditions a few weeks ago. Most recently, the VSA activation indicator came on along with the Vehicle Stability Assist System Indicator and the Anti-lock brake system Indicator. This now occurs most of the time at start up, and continues while driving. I also observed that I previously had a noise when braking that sounded like metal clicking together several times per stop, and was more evident when cornering. This is definately not worn brake lining grinding on the rotors. Now that the indicator lights on the dash are on, I no longer have the clicking metal sound. Can anyone tell me what is wrong with my car? Is it safe to drive? How costly are the repairs? Will I need to have the Acura dealer do the repairs, or could my garage do it, or could I do it? I really need some big time help here!!

The grinding noise is the ABS/VSA system activating likely inappropriately.

Acura dealer or Honda/Acura specialist you shall go.

I’m not sure if it makes any difference, or not, but there is no grinding noise. It was a heavy metal clicking sound. The car brakes and stops normally in every other respect. Any idea of the cost to repair, or what needs replaced??

There’s no way to tell without having someone put a scanner on it to find out what the error codes are (these accompany those little warning lights). It could be as easy and inexpensive as cleaning and/or repairing sensor connections or as complicated and expensive as replacing major system parts. You just need to bite the bullet and take it for diagnosis. I would not be looking to a dealer, but would instead find a local, independent shop that specializes in Hondas. They will be just as good and probably cost you less. Stay away from corporate chain operations.

Figure probably in the neighborhood of $75 for diagnostics which you often get back if you do repairs (the shops have to protect their time). If you call around you might find a shop that will run basic diagnostics for free, though those are sometimes not the best shops.

The metal clicking is not a good sign and is probably gone b/c the computer has likely disabled the system b/c it detected an error. If you were to look in the owner’s manual it would likely say something like “if X warning light is on have the vehicle towed to your dealer’s service department.” Me? If the cars stops well when I step on the brakes I would drive it to a local, independent shop.

I have an independent shop that normally does all of my work. But that is the same place that did the mechanical state inspection 5 months ago, and did not detect anything wrong with the vehicle even though the clicking noise when braking existed then. Should I look elsewhere??