How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask thebesthonda Your Own Question
thebesthonda, ASE MasterTechnician
Category: Acura
Satisfied Customers: 783
Experience:  26 years experience
Type Your Acura Question Here...
thebesthonda is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have same problem as a previous question (about 3 years

Customer Question

I have same problem as a previous question (about 3 years ago). Have a 2002 Acura MDX with the SRS light staying on. Honda dealer says sensor needs replacement about $695 (CDN) and 100-150 labour. They said if that doesn't fix problem the SRS system would have to be replaced.Had the light reset twice but back on again. Should I have them check the seat belt buckles? HELP!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Acura
Expert:  Eric replied 1 year ago.


I am not able to see the question you are referencing, so you would need to provide a link for it.

As to your vehicle, to know whether the seat belt buckles need to be tested, I would need the fault code number that the dealer retrieved when they scanned the control module.

As to whether the sensor would repair the issue, again I would need the fault number code, and I would need the actual name of the sensor they are recommending to replace as there are several in the SRS system.

Please remember that I am not there, and therefore rely on the owner to provide as much detail as possible and on occasion may need to ask for more information. I can only be as accurate in diagnosis as the owner is in providing ALL pertinent information.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This is the link I referred to seeing which seemed the same as my problem code I was given by the dealer was 15-3 Faulty OPDS sensor. They recommended replacing sensor $635 plus labour About $200. They said if it still resets then the SRS unit would have to be replaced. I'm hesitant to do this spending over $8oo only to find I need the SRS unit replaced. Must be some other way?
Expert:  HONDASERVICE7791 replied 1 year ago.

ok, I will try my best to help you with your concern.

do you know for a fact that your vehicle had the same code as the previous question you are referencing?

It is very important that I know the exact code you have.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I cant say for sure if the code was the same as a previous post (cant seem to find the link) but i was told TWICE (different service locations) that the code was 15-3 (faulty OPDS sensor).
I read somewhere else that it could be faulty set belt clasps or something to do with seat belts. Can you confirm this? I just hate to spend over $800 to replace the sensor and then find out I have to replace SRS unit (god knows how much that would be).
Expert:  HONDASERVICE7791 replied 1 year ago.

I can confirm that code 15-3 has nothing to do with the seat belt buckles. Replacing the OPDS unit is the repair. The OPDS unit is located in the side of the passenger seat. If for some reason the repair doesn't work, it does happen on occasion, the OPDS sensor back sensor would have to be replaced.

I do not remember ever having to replace the main control unit for the srs when a fault of 15-3 was present.

the codes for the seat belt buckle faults will usually reset, they will eventually come back but can be reset for a while.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
you are saying my only option is to replace the OPDS sensor and it is very unlikely that the SRS unit would have to be replaced. I don't know why the dealer told me that I need to replace the OPDS sensor BUT it may not fix the problem and then I would have to replace the whole SRS system. Surely they should know or be confident that replacing the sensor should fix the problem.Your comment that you don't ever remember having to replace the main control unit makes me feel more confident. By the way, was there ever a recall on this problem, as it seems it is quite common. I presume that this job is not for DIY?
Expert:  HONDASERVICE7791 replied 1 year ago.

yes the only option is to replace the opds control unit. In some cases the sensor which is in the seat has to be replaced as well. but more than often it just needs the control unit.

Although the control unit is not very hard to replace, it must be done by the dealer because they have the software to reinitialize the system. You basically have to tell the main computer that you replaced a part so it recognizes the new part otherwise the light will not reset.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Now I'm a bit confused. You said in your last comment the only option is to replace the opds control unit. I thought that code 15-3 meant that the opds SENSOR needs replacing. Or are we talking about the same thing? Dealer is quoting $150 - $225 labour to replace the sensor. Does that sound about right? Seems a lot to me to just replace a part and hook up to a computer. Is it difficult to get at? I think dealer is ripping me off on the labour. Probably charging me for 1 1/2 to 2 hours labour.
Expert:  HONDASERVICE7791 replied 1 year ago.

I see how it can be confusing. Let me see if I can clear it up. first yes according to the original troubleshooting document 15-3 would lead you to replace the OPDS sensor first That is the sensor in the back of the seat.

Many revised documents came out after that changing the way the code is handled.

the most up to date one states that first the OPDS control unit must be checked first to see if it is the updated part number. I can tell you from my experience this I have never encountered that. After checking the part number the OPDS control unit, which is in the side of the passenger seat is replaced and the system is reset.

If for some reason the part number is ***** or the replacement OPDS unit does not get the light to turn off, then the OPDS sensor in the seat is replaced.

And as I stated very, very rarely the srs control unit might have to be replaced.

In order to replace the OPDS sensor or control unit, the passenger seat has to be partially disassembled so the labor is more than far for the work required to properly do the job.

I hope I was able to clear up any confusion.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
there is a very good chance that I will only have to have the sensor replaced and it should work properly. If, however it doesn't work after replacing sensor, am I in for a big bill to replace control unit?
Expert:  HONDASERVICE7791 replied 1 year ago.

yes, replace the OPds control unit first and if needed the sensor in the seat.

the srs main control unit can be expensive $400-600 I believe.

but hopefully you won't have to get that far.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
You are confusing me again. You say replace the opds control unit and if needed replace the sensor. Dealer says and I quote " OPDS sensor requires replacement. IF DTC still resets after opds sensor replacement, srs unit will need to be replaced" Your comments seem to be the reverse of what they say. What is DTC by the way? Sorry to keep bugging you with this, but I want to be perfectly clear on how to proceed and to make sure the dealer is not leading me on here. Thanks for your patience.
Expert:  HONDASERVICE7791 replied 1 year ago.

ok I can see how it would be confusing. Let me try and clear it up. code 15-3 is for the OPDS sensor being faulty. Early troubleshooting procedures had the technician testing the sensor and replacing the sensor, which is in the seat. Then if the code did not go away the next step was to replace the SRS control unit, which is the main control unit for the whole system.

If the dealer is telling you that then they are using old documents that should not be used.

The latest and most up to date document is a updated bulletin put out by Honda/Acura.

The bulletin states to replace the OPDS control unit, which is in the passenger seat, FIRST. further research by Honda indicated the problem was caused more by the control unit than the seat sensor.

If for some reason the code did not reset, then you would need to replace the seat sensor.

and on the very rare occasion that did not solve the issue, then the srs main control unit would have to be replaced.

Does that make it clear for you now?

The dealer has access to the same bulletins that I do, so I don't understand why they would be leading that way.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
That makes a lot more sense! I got my info from a Honda dealer as we don't have an Acura dealer close by. Maybe I should contact the Acura dealer? I had hoped the Honda dealer would be able to service my Acura. I will explain the information you have given me, which has been extremely helpful by the way. Hopefully I will get this fixed PROPERLY after your very helpful information. I may not get this done very soon, but in the meantime, if I have more concerns regarding this, will I still be able to contact you?
Expert:  HONDASERVICE7791 replied 1 year ago.

the Honda dealer should be able to repair it for you. It's no longer a warranty concern so they should have no problem fixing it for you.

Yes, please accept the answer so that I can receive credit, and you will be able to ask questions for a little while afterwards,