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Josh, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Honda
Satisfied Customers: 1571
Experience:  Honda Factory Trained Technician with 13 years of experience
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What does VSA on a Honda Pilot mean?

Customer Question

What is the meaning of VSA? It's showing on my dashboard. I have a Honda Pilot 2005.

Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Honda
Expert:  Josh replied 7 years ago.

It means there is a fault stored in the VSA system and that the system is disabled because of it. You'll need a fully functional scan tool to determine what code is stored before I can assist you in diagnosis of the problem.

Josh and 2 other Honda Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

What is a VSA system and how do I enable it?

Expert:  Josh replied 7 years ago.
It's the vehicle stability assist system, it's what keeps the vehicle straight in bad road conditions using a combination of throttle control and individual control of the brakes. In order to enable it you'll need to fix whatever problem has caused the fault. It's also possible that you've accidentally hit the vsa button disabling the system, but that would reset as soon as you turned the vehicle off.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I just worked on the hands; like brakes and ball joints yesterday and today. It shows that sign but i notice the brake makes noise each time I press on it could that be the problem?

Expert:  Josh replied 7 years ago.

Yes, since the VSA system uses the wheel speed sensors as an input it's definitely possible something was damaged during the repair, you'll need to have the vehicle scanned for codes to determine exactly what the problem is.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Could that possibly be the brakes because there is no way I can scan the car? That's why i am asking this question.

Expert:  Josh replied 7 years ago.
It wouldn't be an issue with the brakes themselves, it'll be a problem with a sensor.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Do you have idea of the sensor?

Expert:  Josh replied 7 years ago.
It'll likely be one of the wheel speed sensors, but before you spend money guessing which one it'd be best to have it scanned by a shop.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Ok, where is wheel speed censors located? Also, what fault will it bring to a car so I can compare if that's what I feel when I am driving it?

Expert:  Josh replied 7 years ago.
It's located at wheel hub, there will be a black wire running from the vehicle to the hub leading to it. It's cause the vsa light to come on and possibly erroneous antilock brake operation, but mainly it'll turn the light on.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Please can u explain this erroneous anti-lock brake operation?

Expert:  Josh replied 7 years ago.

Anti-lock brakes coming on when there isn't wheel slippage.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Wheel slippage this again I don't understand, anyway tell me what to do if I discover where the VSA problems is?

Expert:  Josh replied 7 years ago.

The anti-lock brake system operates when it senses one of the wheels has locked up during a stop, a faulty wheel speed sensor will not give an accurate reading of the wheel speed, so it'll think the wheel is no longer turning, then try to release the brake on that wheel.

When you find out what the problem is you can disconnect the battery to clear the code. Make sure you have the radio code if you have an anti-theft radio before you disconnect the battery.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Well if I drive and the speed is 60 the whole body and steering will be shaking what's the problem with that?

Expert:  Josh replied 7 years ago.
That's a wheel balance issue, if balance the tires it'll likely take care of that issue.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I did that already, but still can't solve it.

Expert:  Josh replied 7 years ago.
Was the vibration there before you did the brakes?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
its there and i dint just do the brakes tierod and socket stabilizer linkage bread pad but i havent test it to 60 speed today cos i just did all that yesterday what i notice was just that vsa that came up from teh dashboard
Expert:  Josh replied 7 years ago.
I'd try clearing the vsa code and see what happens when you drive it, it may go away, though probably not.

As far as the vibration, when you balanced it, did you notice if all of the tires were round, no flat spots or high spots? While the tire may be balanced it may also have a problem that's not allowing it to roll smoothly.

Alternatively, It could be an axle problem, but usually those will go away if you let off the accellerator.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I will try that again and see if it's not vibrating again.

Expert:  Josh replied 7 years ago.

Ok, let me know what happens.

VSA Honda problems

The Honda VSA is the Vehicle Stability Assist system. This feature comes standard on most Hondas. The VSA goes hand in hand with the traction assist system in the vehicle as a safety feature while driving. The VSA helps to prevent over and under correcting. One of the most common situations it comes in handy is in slippery conditions.


If you are driving on a slippery road you may see the VSA light begin to flash. When the light flashes, the system is functioning properly. If you see the light begin to illuminate while flashing, this is typically a sign that you need to let off the accelerator, as you may be driving too fast in adverse conditions. Once you let off the accelerator the illumination normally turns off.

VSA light stays on

If you notice the light is constantly on, there is likely something wrong with the system. In case this occurs, first pull over to a safe place, turn the engine off and sit for a few minutes. After restarting the vehicle, if the light it still on you should consult with an Expert. Continuing to drive with the light on should not cause you any detrimental issues with your Honda. However, more than likely you will not have the added features of the VSA system until the problem is corrected.