Unfortunately, this is a fairly common problem with the Acura DSP system. The problem appears to be a bad solder joint in the circuitry that powers the display. This unit is made by Panasonic and Acura has an exchange program with them.
If none of the stereo lights come on when the dash lights lights come on... that's something else. Check the stereo illumination switch. It's on the stem with the Balance/Fader controls. Push the knob in so that it pops out. Then, pull it out slightly farther. In this position, the knob controls the stereo lighting when the dash lights are on.
If you have the serial number, your Acura dealership can get the code for you. You'll have to remove the stereo to get the serial number. Your dealership will also be more than happy to remove it for you (at prevailing labor rates) and re-set the stereo.
My car alarm goes off when I unlock the door. Or (less commonly), the alarm won't "arm" itself when I lock the door. Whats wrong?
The probable cause is a bad door lock actuator switch. The switch contacts become oxidized and they block the unlocked door signal to the security system control unit. The fix is to replace the switches (and their retaining clips). The switches are attached to the door lock actuator inside each front door.
We've also found that the connectors
between the door actuator and the security control unit develop corrosion over time,
causing a bad connection. Cleaning these connectors will enable a good contact between the
door actuator and the alarm computer. The December
02 Timely Topics article will show you how to fix this.
NOTE: An aftermarket security system will NOT fix this problem if it uses the existing switches to determine whether a door is unlocked.
My front seat passengers can open their window, but they can't close it using their switch. The switch on the driver's door will close the passenger side window. What's wrong?
The problem is usually corrosion and some dirt on the contacts inside the switch. The proper fix is to replace the switch, but at least one member has successfully repaired his switch. If you'd like to give it a try, read on. Here's what you need to do to fix it.
First, you'll have to remove the door panel. Then, unplug the window switch assembly, unscrew it from the door panel, and remove it. The switch is really easy to open upit looks like its completely sealed but it's not. You'll see the part that you normally move with your finger (to control the window) is attached to a rubber boot that kinda covers the lower body of the switch. Pull that rubber boot up, away from the body of the switch, and you will see the pivot point where the switch lever pivots about the switch body.
Carefully use a screwdriver to pry the plastic part off of the pivot tab. Be careful how you pull it apart. While you do this, make sure to hold the lever part of the switch up, or else all the pieces will fall out when you take it apart. The switch will now come apart and you'll see a bunch of metal contacts inside with a metal free-floating arm. Take careful note how they're oriented so you can put it back together properly.
One or both of the contacts will have oxidation on them. Clean away the oxidation with a spray of "tuner cleaner" or "switch cleaner" from Radio Shack. Then, lightly burnish the contacts with a burnishing tool. If you don't have one (What? You don't have a burnishing tool?), then use the striker from a book of paper matches. Do not use sandpaper.
Next, there may be areas of melted plastic surrounding the contactsthe plastic got too hot because of the excess current drawn through the corroded switch contacts. If you see any of this plastic, scrape it off, because it may get in the way and prevent good solid metal to metal contact. If the contacts are completely recessed within the plastic, or too badly burned, then you'll need to replace the switch.
After you've cleaned it and scraped away any excess melted plastic, put some dielectric silicone grease in there and snap the switch back together. Plug it back in and it should work perfecty. Simpilot71 reports that this fix has held up over a year so far. Also, check out Juanvaldez's December 02 Timely Topics article, Repairing the Vig's Door Lock Actuator.
The Check Engine Light (CEL) will come on whenever the car's computer (called an Electronic Control Unit, or ECU) detects a problem with one of the engine's components or sensors. When the light comes on, the ECU will store a "code" (called a Diagnostic Trouble Code, or DTC) which can help determine where the problem is.
Before checking for codes, re-set the ECU and drive the car to see if the CEL comes on again. Occasionally, a transient glitch will set a code. When this happens, the glitch will go away, but the code will stay stored in the ECU. To re-set the ECU, remove the #39 Back-Up Fuse from the Under Hood Fuse Box. Count to ten. Put it back in.
If you re-set the ECU and the code CEL doesn't come back on, you're good to go. Problem solved! But if the CEL does come back on, you'll have to see what the problem is.
To read the trouble codes, first
find the Service Check Connector. Its under the dash on the passenger side, near the
center console. It has two wires coming into it. One is brown, the other is green with a
white stripe. To read the trouble codes, you have to jump these two wires at the
connector. A paperclip will do nicely.
A paperclip will do nicely.
Then, turn the ignition switch on. The Check Engine light will flash the DTCs. One digit codes are a series of short flashes. Two digit codes have long flashes for the first digit and short flashes for the second digit.
The code list is...
If your car shows a code that isnt listed, re-set the ECU and check again. If it STILL shows a code that isnt listed, your ECU (or its associated wiring) is bad.
The Ant-lock Brake System control unit has detected a problem with one of the ABS components. When that light is on, your braking system reverts to "normal" 4-wheel disc brakes and the control unit stores a code.
To read the code, you'll need to follow the same procedures described for the Check Engine light, except the ABS light will flash the codes instead. The codes are...
It's possible for the control unit to set a code temporarily, especially if the car has lost traction for any reason, the car has been driven with the P-brake on, or the car has been driven over rough roads.
To clear the codes from the ABS control unit's memory, remove the ABS B2 fuse for at least three seconds.
It could be caused by a kazillion things, but erratic idle speed is usually the result of dirt in the throttle body.
To clean the throttle body, first remove the air supply inlet from the throttle body opening. Then, start the engine. Spray the inside of the throttle body with an O2-sensor-safe "carburetor/throttle body" cleaner and work the throttle plate back and forth. This will usually restore smooth idle.
In some severe cases, it may be necessary to remove and clean the idle adjusting screw. Make sure you don't lose or damage the rubber O-ring that's on the screw. Count the number of turns when removing it, and screw it back in with the same number of turns. Your idle speed may be off slightly, so it would be wise to check/adjust it after reinstalling the screw.
Low coolant level or a bad coolant temperature sensor can also cause an erratic idle -- they can confuse the ECU so it won't know whether the engine is warm or still cold. In this case, the ECU may command the engine to go back and forth between "cold" idle speed and "warm" idle speed.
A faulty EACV or a bad fast-idle valve can also cause a "too high" or "too low" idle speed. If the EACV is leaking, the idle speed will fluctuate but no code will be set by the ECUit can't recognize a leak, only an open or a short circuit.
One other possibility is a leaking vacuum hose or connection. As these cars approach their 10th birthday, the rubber hoses are beginning to show their age. They're becoming brittle and may deteriorate, causing a vacuum leak.
The coolant temperature sensor is probably going bad. When these sensors fail, they tend to fail "cold." That is, they mistakenly report a "cold engine" to the ECU. When you start the car in the morning, everything's fine, because the engine is cold. But when the engine gets up to operating temperature, it won't re-start because the ECU thinks the engine's still cold. So it dumps a lot fuel through the injectors (which it should, for a cold engine) and the engine floods.
Then, when the engine cools down sufficiently not to flood, it'll start fine again.
Bad news. Most likely, it's the blower motor, which is behind the dashboard. (That means the whole dashboard has to come out in order to replace it, so it's a pretty expensive job.) To verify, run the diagnostic test. First, set up the heater controls...
Turn the ignition switch ON and, within 5 seconds, toggle the Recirculation switch from RECIRCULATE to FRESH and back three times. The A/C light will come on for a second and then go off as the circuits are being tested. Within a minute, the A/C light will flash a trouble code if a problem was found.
NOTE: Sometimes the blower won't work unless the fan switch is set to MAX. If it works only on MAX, then the blower motor is okay and the power transistor has probably failed. Cristofo1 reports that it's easily accessed under the dash. "...just pull down the passenger rug and find the 3p connector. Push the seat all the way back, then lay upside down with your feet in the backseat so you can see. Unplug the connector to the power transistor. Unscrew with a small screwdriver(3") and move the wire harness as far out of the way as possible.." Thanks, Cristofo1!
Replacing a blower motor is a time consuming job, but if you'd like to try it, see the November 02 Timely Topics article, Replacing the Vig's Blower Motor.
This happens because of the stiff material used in the bushings that connect the struts to the suspension. This is normal.
My antenna makes a loud noise when it goes up or down. Sometimes it wont go all the way down. Whats wrong?
Clean the antenna mast and leave it dry. DONT lubricate it with WD-40 or anything else. If that doesnt fix it, then one or more of the tubes on the antenna mast is probably bent. If you watch the antenna go up and down, you can find the bent tube and straighten it.
If that doesnt fix it, then replace the antenna mast. A&H Motorsport sells them for $41.00 plus shipping (10/21/01). Acura dealerships sell them for under $50.00.
To replace the mast...
On 7/12/04, Stephende adds...
This is generally caused by leaking distributor O-rings. To replace them, you'll need to remove the distributor, slip the old ones off, put the new ones on, and re-install the distributor.
See the August 03 Timely Topics article, Replacing the Distributor O-Ringsby Lvmilkman202for step-by-step instructions on how to do this. Thanks, Milkman!
Most likely, the oil cooler O-ring. The May 06 Timely Topics article, Replacing the Oil Cooler Figure-8 Gasket, by Heimonator will show you how to replace it.
Of course. Every car has areas where rust starts, depending on its design. Something has to be the first to go, right? If every part of a car were equally rust resistant, then when the car finally did start to rust, it would simply rust everywhere at once! Poof! Instead, there is always a weak link in the chain for every model of car... a place where rust begins. Any competent body shop should be able to repair it, especially if you get the car in there quickly.
Fortunately, Vigors are pretty good when it comes to rust, but they do tend to start rusting at the back of the rear wheelwells. It's important to get this fixed as soon as you can, or it can spread rapidly and extensively. Vigs also tend to rust on the back of the trunklid, behind the V I G O R letters, but this is allegedly more common on '92's.
Some members have reported rust developing in the following areas, but these are nowhere near as common as the two areas mentioned above:
The underbody should be checked for rust whenever the car is on a lift. As these cars get older, we'll probably get reports of other rust areas, too. But for now, that's about it.
To prevent rust, see CW's October 03 Timely Topics article.