How Much To Fix VSA System?

Buying a car and longing for its forever service life may be the most refined desire of every driver. And for a part responsible for the stability and steadiness of the car like the VSA system, its purely lasting and unblemished function until the end can be a miracle. However, in reality, things will not go as you wish sometimes.

The system will crash, and it will eventually misbehave. And to be well-prepared and grasp the amount you have to pay for the unexpected system errors, we will now discuss how much to fix VSA system.

How Much To Fix VSA System

When you notice the system starts malfunctioning and showing significantly visible or sensible symptoms, you will have to dig deep into the core price and solutions. Repairing a VSA system malfunction will cost between $1,200 and $1,800. However, the differences in price that centers offer you between states and service centers are significant. If you intend to replace the VSA system, you must not spend more than the usual cost. But there is no definitive answer regarding the cost of repairing a VSA system, as the nature and severity of the damage, as well as the vehicle’s brand and model year, will all affect the final price.

If you can repair the damage without replacing major components, it often costs less than if you had to replace them. Specifically, if only one detector or fuse were to be changed, the cost would be minimal. You should keep in mind that in case the entire VSA system changes, the price of this service and the on-time fix will be much more expensive. There are many different VSA systems available, and some can cost up to $700. However, an alternate system costing between $300 and $700 is available for many different brands and versions of vehicles.

Overall, the most straightforward way to grasp the cost of repairing the VSA system or making some improvements is to consult with a proficient mechanic or specialized dealership.

After getting the info on the VSA modulator repair cost, for those who want to get a better conception and understanding of the whole system function, follow along on the next parts.

What Is VSA In A Car

In this section, we will clarify the principle of operation of the VSA system in the car. Vehicle loss of control and slippage is one of the biggest causes of traffic accidents. International research shows that at least 40% of fatal accidents are caused by wheels slipping off the road.
And for these unexpected moments, the VSA has come to the rescue.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Vehicle Stability Assist system (VSA) reduces the number of crashes by 35% and is one of the most advanced safety systems available today. In 2015, this stability control system was made almost mandatory for all car models sold in Europe.

Reportedly, VSA can prevent up to 80% of slip-related accidents as it will determine if a slip hazard is imminent. The system will interfere very quickly, and the driver can still be in control of the vehicle away from these hazards, with the condition not to exceed the limits of the laws of physics.

The basics of the VSA system

Specifically, VSA is an electronically-controlled safety system working to reduce the risk of losing control due to mistakes made by car owners. This stabilizing assistant is always enabled on the vehicle. Within a system, a microcomputer receives and checks signals from the VSA sensors every 25 times a second to ensure that the steering movements correspond to the actual directions of the vehicle.

In addition, it will determine the possible slip turns, acceleration, and steering angle to intervene when the vehicle tends to overturn or lose control. Car losing control can occur when the driver turns the steering wheel quickly to avoid an unexpected obstacle. They can also turn too much or too little when cornering, causing the vehicle to swerve, splash its head and possibly lead to an accident.

The system uses independent brakes on each wheel to steer the vehicle after losing control, something humans are less likely to do. Moreover, the VSA not only initiates intervention in the brake system but can also intervene in the engine to help accelerate or decelerate the wheels.

what is vsa in a car
The VSA system can identify hazards and bring the car to a state of balance when spotting something wrong. (Photo: Honda)

In essence, VSA is a system consisting of the following subsystems:

  • ABS: Anti-lock Braking System can minimize the phenomenon of loss of control when the driver both brakes and avoids obstacles at high speed. If the wheel sensor detects slippage on any wheel, the brake pressure on that wheel will reduce.
  • ASR: Acceleration Slip Regulation system prevents the active wheels from slipping when the vehicle starts and accelerates suddenly. Another main task of ASR is to help improve vehicle stability by adjusting the wheel traction during departure and acceleration. If ASR detects the active wheel is slipping, the wheel speed sensor will send this signal to the ECU. The ECU will command the brake system to act on the wheel and reduce the needless smooth turning. At the same time, the VSA system also sends a signal to the engine control box to close the throttle or slow down the ignition timing to reduce engine torque.
  • EBR: Engine Brake Regulation system prevents slippage of the active wheels operating in forced idling mode and ensures vehicle stability. This process takes place without the driver’s awareness.

With the coordination of the above mechatronic systems, the main function of VSA is to minimize the phenomenon of understeering and oversteering when the vehicle enters a corner or avoids an obstacle in the event of an accident.

>> Check More: Car Safety Features You Want To Get When Buying a Car

Additional functions of VSA

As shown above, the main task of the VSA is to prevent the vehicle from slipping out of rotation. But it can give us more than that. The system then increases safety and provides the driver with a comfortable feeling and an extremely flexible driving mode.

Traction system on slopes

Starting on slopes is always a complex task, especially for large trucks. Drivers must act very quickly between the brake pedal, accelerator, and clutch to prevent the vehicle from drifting downhill. On the VSA system, the slope-start function makes things easier. This function maintains brake pressure for about 2 seconds after the driver lifts his foot off the brake pedal. As a result, the driver has enough time to switch from the brake pedal to the accelerator without using the handbrake.

Emergency brake assist

In an emergency, the driver often does not apply enough pressure on the brake pedal. The emergency brake assist function knows when to assist the driver in stopping the vehicle by monitoring the sudden change in pressure on the brake pedal. In case the driver does not brake hard enough, the system will increase the maximum braking force.

Adapt to load

The payload and center of gravity of a cargo vehicle can vary considerably from time to time. Vehicle load has a huge impact on the brakes, traction, and balance. The adaptive load function identifies changes in vehicle mass and center of gravity, then makes corresponding adjustments thanks to the interventions of the ABS, ASR, and ESP safety systems.

Vehicle rollover forecast

The rollover prediction function uses the sensors of the ESP system to intervene when the vehicle is in danger of overturning. It can apply brake pressure to each wheel individually or reduce the force of the engine to prevent the car from rolling over and keep it balanced.

Tire pressure monitoring system

A drop in tire pressure can result in a difference in speed and grip at the wheels involved. By comparing the speed of each car wheel, it is possible to detect any change in pressure. This feature will control tire pressure to avoid using additional pressure sensors in the tire.

When does the VSA system work

The signaling lights of most cars usually appear on the dashboard displaying full driving information, and so does the VSA. When this system operates, the VSA light will light up or flash. On the contrary, if the left light lights up, we can recognize the system has been disabled.

If the indicator lights up, you can also understand that the anti-slip or traction control system (TCS or ASR) is working to help the car accelerate without the wheels spinning. Since these two systems (VSA and ASR) are interrelated, considering the two warning lights as one is sometimes acceptable. However, at the same time, if both lights flash uncontrollably, there is a high chance that your stability assist system is malfunctioning. Then you should take the car to a service shop to get a full-speed check.

The VSA lights’ meanings

You can get the most out of your stability-keeping system and the vehicle in general through just a series of lights that flash incessantly or dimly on the electronic control panel.

A blinking VSA light on the dashboard

You may feel bothered and worried when the VSA light flashes on your vehicle dashboard nonstop or so suddenly. But there is no need to bear those feelings with you since these flashes do not indicate any fault or other severe warning.

The flashing light on the dashboard is only a reminder that the car’s navigation and safety systems work well together to help you steer safely. When the stability assisting system is running, you may notice some changes in processing, including:

  • The accelerator may not provide as much power increase as you expected.
  • If you do not lift the accelerator, the output from the engine may slow down.
  • The brakes may automatically be applied, although this should be relatively minor and gradual.

While the VSA system is an excellent tool for drivers, it is not without its drawbacks. If you see the car’s light coming on frequently, you may be pushing the car a little too hard. And this overused-like act, in the long term, can lead to damage and cause hazardous situations if left unrecognizable.

Permanent VSA activation light

If the VSA activation indicator remains lit up on the dashboard, it often means that the system has been disabled by turning it off using the console switch. If you turn on the system back, this light will go away.

VSA assisting system indicator light

For better and more careful observation of the system overall to get the most in-time car treatment, you should also be aware of the second VSA light on the dashboard. When the VSA System Indicator light comes on and stays on, it can be a sign that the system is not functioning properly within. If you notice this, pull over if only it is safe to do so, turn off the engine, then turn it back on again. If the light comes back on, you can consider setting an as-soon-as-possible service inspection to determine the core cause of the problem.

In the meantime, it is still safe to drive your car when the VSA indicates light flashes. But the VSA system will not be able to protect you in unexpectedly difficult conditions.

vsa system malfunction
It is always a good idea to drive with extra care until the problem with VSA is fully solved. (Photo: mycarmakesnoise)

Why Does The VSA System Fail And Need Fixing

Aside from the cost of fixing the VSA system and its basics, you should also be aware of the reasons why it might fall in the first place to be ready for the well-prepared inspection and have a better plan for the following maintenance acts.

Tire Size

Every tire on your car must be set in the same dimension and be a specific type to make sure that the VSA system inside will function properly. Replacing one or more tires with different specifications and varieties can result in VSA unit failure.

Using lighter and thicker small tires will make them not more tolerant to broken and malfunction. It is best to use winter tires of the same size as those provided by the manufacturer or the VSA may break down.

Faulty Braking System

The VSA system can influence your car engine output and the braking system to help decelerate your vehicle if necessary. The VSA cannot help you if your braking system malfunctions because of rust, fatigue, or other relevant factors. To keep your brakes from wearing out, you need to inspect and service them regularly.

Faulty Sensor

The VSA system requires two detectors to be operational to work properly. This sensor monitors and controls the speed of your vehicle’s tires. The sensitive sensors within the system will improve grip on a rocky or slippery surface by automatically adjusting the engine’s power. When turning a corner or sharp curve, one of your tires may rotate faster, forcing your driving steering angle to be out of sync with others. In this case, the Tire Speed Detector will be activated to correct this problem.

Whenever the ABS light illuminates alongside the VSA indicators, it means that the ABS is faulty and is not sending instructions to the VSA. In this case, the following operations will not be completed as demanded, resulting in a malfunction of the VSA system.

Steering Angle Sensor

This detector ensures that you will always drive and monitor your car in the desired direction. The VSA sends feedback to the driver so that if the driver is oversteering when negotiating a turn, this stabilizing system can assume control and ensure the car handles the bend correctly. Whenever the VSA indicator light sparkles, the detector of the driving angle is not working correctly, which is preventing the VSA unit from operating correctly.

Faulty VSA Switch

You can use the VSA button to activate or deactivate the VSA system. The circuit is completed whenever the traction and tire motion systems of the VSA system regulate themselves. If the button on the VSA is broken, it will not come on instantly. You could test the switch’s integrity by removing the VSA button and using an electronic multimeter.

Moreover, if the circuit is damaged, the VSA lighting will falsely indicate that the system is operational. For example, after pushing the VSA switch to turn on the VSA system, the VSA indicators may still be off.

Worn Out Tires

Your tires need a good grip on their liner to help the car stay on the road and make turns easily. The VSA system will assist you to corner well. So if your car tires wear out, it would likely malfunction even though it has completed the necessary orders.

VSA is designed to increase engine power and maintain a constant speed when climbing steep grades. Because of the small-like friction between the tires and the road, if you use worn tires, it can make the process even more difficult.

FAQs On The VSA System On Car

1. How do you test a VSA modulator?

If you have a diagnostic system, note the neutral position of the VSA sensor as follows:

  • Connect the system to the 16-pin data link connector under the dashboard on the driver’s side with the ignition off.
  • From the menu Select System, choose VSA to open the VSA Properties dialog box.
  • Select Neutral Test from the drop-down menu, then All Sensors. Follow the system’s instructions.

2. Can you drive with the VSA light on but still ensure safety for yourself?

Understanding this is critical when discussing the issue of how much to fix VSA system to repair. Without VSA, your car will brake and corner normally, but it will not have the VSA traction and steadiness enhancement.

The VSA system is activated when you start the car. So is it safe for you to drive when the VSA still flashes? Yes.

check vsa system
You still can drive when your VSA lights are on. (Photo: salemcarpetsplus)

3. Is VSA the same as traction control?

Traction control is part of the auto system. You will find the Driver’s Side airbag Off/On button on the side of the control panel. Press and hold the VSA button for about three seconds until you hear a beep sound. Then you will be able to use the brake and turn your car. But note that your traction control system will be less effective during this duration.

4. How much do you have to spend to fix anti-lock brakes?

You can buy a new ABS control module from $250 to nearly $1,000, but it may take some time. If you hire someone for a task, you will pay an extra charge of around $70-$130. However, the price range is not completely based on the labor fee. It depends on how much the control module costs, how hard it is to find the replacement part, and how long it will take to get the control module.

Summing Up On How Much To Fix VSA System

For today’s modern vehicles, the electronic stability control system can be one of the indispensable features to ensure almost absolutely balanced rides for you and your family. Technical problems with the system can often be quite noticeable if you notice even the smallest change in the steering feel and performance of the car.

Through this article, we hope you gained a little insight into how much to fix VSA system and the common causes of system-wide problems.

For more car maintenance tips, visit Car From Japan today.