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3 MIL warnings come on simultaneously for Traction Control, Power Steering and TPMS. No other symptoms

8972 Views 34 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  Julio.torres2191
2014 Accord Sport with CVT. 97K miles, well serviced, runs flawlessly.

About a week ago I was running home to grab something, so I left my car idling in the driveway to run into the house and grab the thing. Came back out after about two minutes and suddenly had three warning lights on my dash: Power Steering, Traction Control and TPMS.

The power steering works fine, as far as I can tell the TC does too (hard to test that), and all of the tires are at regular pressures. To knock out an easy one, I tried calibrating the TPMS but it either gives me a 'failed to calibrate' or it seems to start calibration but never clears the TPMS light. From my perspective, there is absolutely nothing malfunctioning with any of those systems. Over the following week the lights have come on intermittently, with the only thing seeming to trigger them is when the car has been running and fully warmed up for at least 20-30 minutes. They don't come on during short trips.

I bought an Ancel AD310 Classic Enhanced OBD2 scanner and have been driving with it plugged in reading live data every trip, patiently waiting for two days for the MILs to come back on. They finally did today while driving home after having waited in the drive through for a while (suggesting again it only happens when the car's been on for >20-30 minutes). But even though I'd had the scanner plugged in and reading live before the lamps came on, it will not read the codes.

I tried every combination possible of plugging in the reader with the car off first, ignition on but engine off, engine on already, etc. Codes are on the dash but they can't be read by the scanner. I tried using the scanner to clear the codes but of course it gave an error since it hadn't read them anyway.

Any ideas what could trigger those three seemingly unrelated warning lights?

Any idea why the scanner may not be able to see them even when they're on?
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Thank you for the reply! The battery isn't very old, changed in December of 2019 so it's just over 2 years at this point. What sort of voltage should I be seeing? I just took a short drive after the car had been cooling for ~2.5 hours. No warnings again. Plugging in the scanner it reads ~12.2V before I start the engine, and about 14.2V after starting while idling. After I got back home and shut the engine off, voltage was down to 12.0V. That's probably low, right?

I should have been clearer about the OBD2 scanner not reading the codes. The scanner connects fine, and shows all of the live data you'd expect both before and after starting the engine. It simply doesn't 'read' that the lights are on the dash, which is... upsetting.

Ok, I got a chance to measure the battery directly at the terminals with the car off and I'm getting 12.7V, so that's looking much better than what the scanner was reading. Not sure where it takes that measurement.
Thanks again for the replies. You guys are awesome.

Yeah, it seems like it's only capable of reading faults that are there when you key on. These only appear after starting the engine.

So do I just need a better scanner, or is this going to require taking it to the dealership and getting the full diagnostic test? If they're going to charge me $100+ just to scan it and tell me it's a faulty TPMS sensor, or I can buy a higher end scanner for the same(ish) money, I'm fine buying the better scanner and returning this one.
Hi @Rogue6, your 2014 should not have in-wheel TPMS sensors. My 2013 has no sensors. This generation of Accord uses the ABS sensors to infer a low tire.
So does that mean it's a bad ABS sensor? If so how can I diagnose that/figure out which one? I thought there was a different warning light for ABS vs TPMS, so wouldn't I see an ABS light if a sensor were bad?
12.0 is a 50% charge level.
That was the measurement the scanner was giving. When I checked the battery with a multimeter directly at the terminals it was 12.7V.
The multimeter could be measuring higher because the battery still has surface charge. Try turning some lights on to remove the surface charge and see if the voltage drops a few cents, to closer to 12.0 V.
OK, just tried this on my car. Voltage before I did anything was 12.7V still. Turned the headlights on (car still off) and the voltage dropped to 12.02V. Turned the lights back off and waited a few minutes and the voltage had recovered back to 12.68V.

To give a comparison, we just replaced the battery in my wife's 2018 CR-V two weeks ago (on the same day my problems started). Her battery before doing anything was at 12.5V, and dropped to 11.9V With the headlights on. So it really doesn't seem like my battery is causing the problem.
So with the voltage test out of the way, back to your sensor question: if an ABS sensor was faulty I would definitely expect to see a code in the scanner. The issue might be in the electrical system instead. Specially because the power steering light turned on too.
Another question: when you left it idling and then the warning lights came up on the dashboard, was the climate system running? Was the AC engaged in AUTO?

Disclaimer: I'm not a mechanic, just technically inclined and trying to follow some logic.
No, when it was idling in the garage the A/C system was completely off. It was a mild day outside, so I just had the windows cracked a bit.

I've continued to carry the scanner with me in the car and plug it in from time to time since I first posted. On the occasions where the codes come up, it still doesn't read them. To reiterate, the codes are never there before the engine is started. They only come on after the engine is running.

I've also noticed that in the last week when the outside Temps here have dropped, the codes have come back less. Not only does it seem to be triggered only when the car warms up, but it also seems to be more likely to present when it's a warmer day outside (which could simply be because that warms the car up faster). It's supposed to be cold the next two days, but back into the 70s on Wednesday. Maybe it'll come back again then.
Your battery isn't holding a charge as it should be..supposed to bear at least 14.4V under load, I believe.
I'll check it at the terminals with the engine running later tonight when I get home. My first voltages posted were read from the scanner, but it seems to read quite a bit lower than the voltage at the terminals. Not sure I'd trust those original values anymore. If anything it seems to be a healthier battery than I originally thought.
You need to get an OBD2 reader that will read ABS and TCS codes. Not sure if yours reads them. The description of your model on Amazon says it cannot read and erase ABS codes. The one you have is mainly for engine and emissions. ABS, Traction Control and Tire Pressure usually are wheel sensor type codes.
Yeah, I was thinking I need to return this one. Any advice on a scanner that will read these codes, or would the free scan offered at Autozone read these?
I just had this exact same problem on my 2016 CRV. I had a start that took longer than normal (maybe 5 long seconds), and those 3 lights came on. TPMS, Power Steering, Traction Control. I can't verify TPMS or Traction Control, but power steering seems to be totally fine. Did you find a resolution to this? Every subsequent start has been fine, and nothing seems obviously wrong with the car while driving.
Yes I did!

Sorry for forgetting about this thread. I got my diagnosis from Honda. My VSA Modulator had gone bad. For those unaware, this is the hydraulic block that controls the individual/paired sets of brakes. It is what controls the pulsing of the brakes during ABS events or brakes individual wheels during stability/Traction control events. One or more of the solenoids/sensors in my Modulator had become faulty. Honda's only recommendation was to replace the Modulator. Deep breath here: $1900 for the job, they quoted. The Modulator alone was either 1100 or 1300, and the rest was labor. And the part is on backorder for months, I'm told.

Long story short, I found a much better solution.

This small company in Idaho rebuilds these modules for tons of makes and models. A new Modulator was 1100-1300; Module Master rebuilt mine for $250, and it's absolutely flawless. Codes are gone, brakes are perfect. It even has a five year warranty.

There are some major logistics to work out with this job. To start, you have to send your Modulator to module master. They can't sell you one ahead and have you swap/return (see side note at the bottom). That means for all the time it takes to remove it, ship it out, repair it, ship it back, and reinstall, your car is entirely disabled with no brakes. So here's how I did mine:

I was determined to get this done as quickly as possible, but speed costs money. I found a local shop that was willing to remove it, push the car out of the building and park it, and give me the part to ship out. I paid about $150 to FedEx the part in 2 days to Module master (had to get it there before a holiday weekend). I paid MM 250 for the repair, plus $75 more to do a one-day turnaround on the repair (standard is five days), and then another $80 for them to next-day-air the part directly back to the shop doing the swap. The shop got the part back and reinstalled it same day. It is VERY easy for any shop that regularly does brake work to swap this part, at least on my 2014 Accord. It's easily accessible. They only charged my 1.5 hours of labor and a bottle of fluid to bleed the brakes. The actual job of swapping the part was only $164. My grand total for absolutely everything involved with this repair was about $900 IIRC, and more than $300 of that was paying for rushed shipping and rushing the repair at MM. And I would happily do that again. Module Master literally saved me more than $1000 by doing the rebuild. I can't sing their praises loud enough.

Side note: if you buy a new Modulator, or find one in a scrap yard, I'm told it will require a special programming job to render it compatible with your car, which can only be done at a dealership. More money, more time. With Module Master rebuilding your same unit, NO REPROGRAMMING IS REQUIRED. Seriously, get it done through MM. I was able to borrow my dad's truck for the days while my car was out of service (five days total even with all the rushing), so you'll have to work out your own logistics on that.

Hope this helps!
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