Acura TSX dashboard warning lights explained

Acura TSX Dashboard Warning Lights

The Acura TSX first went on sale in 2003 for the first model generation, up until the second generation where manufacturing of the vehicle ceased in 2014. These Acura TSX warning light symbols are provided with an explanation meaning along with the recommended course of action to take based on the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Acura TSX Brake Warning LightAcura TSX Brake Warning Light

This warning light comes on either as part of the Acura TSX parking brake function, or as an indicator of a brake system malfunction. This red brake warning light comes on for a few seconds when the ignition is on and stays on when the parking brake is applied. The warning light along with the following messages may appear: ‘Check Brake System’ or ‘Brake Fluid Low’.

If the brake warning light comes on when the parking brake is off, firstly, check the brake fluid level. Top up with brake fluid if required. If the brake pedal feels spongy with little resistance, do not drive the vehicle and its braking ability will be impaired.

Brake Light and ABS Warning Light

If the Acura TSX brake light and ABS warning light come on together, it means the electronic brake distribution (EBD) system has failed. EBD balances the front-to-rear braking distribution according to vehicle loading. Have your vehicle’s brake system serviced immediately.

Acura TSX ABS Warning LightAcura TSX ABS Warning Light

The Acura TSX anti-lock braking system (ABS) helps prevent the wheels from locking up, and helps you retain steering control by pumping the brakes rapidly, significantly faster than a driver can.

If the ABS light stays lit, it means the the ABS part of the brake system has failed, but normal brakes will continue to work as usual. You may also receive the message ‘Check ABS System’ on the dashboard. For ABS to work, one wheel speed sensor is located at each wheel and these are prone to faults due to their location, causing the system to fail.

Acura TSX Oil Pressure Warning LightAcura TSX Oil Pressure Warning Light

An engine with low oil pressure means that oil is not properly lubricating the internal components. Running the engine with low oil pressure can cause serious mechanical damage almost immediately. Along with this red warning light, you may also receive the message ‘Check Engine Oil Level’. If the Acura TSX low oil pressure warning light comes on, do as follows:

  1. Immediately park the vehicle on level ground in a safe place.
  2. Stop the engine and let it sit for about three minutes.
  3. Open the hood and check the oil level.
  4. If the oil level is low, top up.
  5. Only if you’ve added engine oil, start the engine and check the low oil pressure warning light.
  6. If the light goes out: Start driving again.
  7. If the light does not go out within 10 seconds: Stop the engine and contact a dealer for repairs immediately.

Acura TSX Check Engine Warning LightAcura TSX Check Engine Warning Light

This engine symbol is called the ‘check engine light’ or ‘engine malfunction indicator light’. It should only come on briefly when the ignition is switched on, then go out. If the Acura TSX check engine light remains lit, it means there is a problem with the emissions control system. You may also receive the message ‘Check Emission System’.

The check engine light can also come on if the gas cap is loose or missing. Often an engine restart will cause the check engine light to go off. If the light remains lit, it’s usually safe to continue driving, but have the vehicle checked as soon as possible to avoid damage to the emissions control system.

If the Acura TSC check engine light continue to flash, it means an engine misfire has been detected. This has the potential to cause damage to the catalytic converter / emissions control system. Avoid high engine speeds and load and have your vehicle checked immediately.

There are numerous reasons why the Acura TSX check engine light comes on and as such, there’s not a straight forward solution. It’s recommended that diagnostic equipment is used to read fault codes that are then used to locate the fault. The most common reasons for the Acura TSX check engine light to come on are:

  • Loose or missing gas cap
  • A faulty oxygen sensor
  • Mass airflow sensor fault
  • Fault with the spark plugs or wiring
  • Catalytic converter fault

Acura TSX Battery Warning LightAcura TSX Battery Warning Light

The battery warning light comes on the Acura TSX for a short period when the ignition is switched on, then goes out. If the battery light remains lit, it means the battery charging system has a fault and the battery is no longer being charged. Along with the red battery symbol, you may also receive the warning ‘ Check Charging System’.

If your vehicle is running a high electrical load, it’s likely the engine may die, so immediately turn off the climate control system and rear defogger and any other non-essential electrical utility in order to reduce electricity consumption. Avoid switching off the engine and make your way directly to the nearest auto repair. Reasons why the Acura TSX battery warning light comes can include:

  • A loose or corroded battery cable
  • A fault with the alternator or voltage regulator or belt
  • Damaged cells or plates inside the battery
  • Faulty wiring in the car’s electric charging system

Acura TSX Transmission Warning LightAcura TSX Transmission Warning Light

The red cog and exclamation point is the Acura TSX transmission warning light. If there’s a fault with the transmission, the shift position indicator may flash and the red transmission symbol may flash along with a message ‘Check Transmission’. In this situation, avoid harsh braking and acceleration and have your vehicle transmission serviced as soon as possible.

If the Acura TSX transmission light comes on or flashes, it can be an issue with low transmission fluid. This is often what should be checked first. Another common fault is the transmission temperature sensor.

Acura TSX Airbag Warning LightAcura TSX Airbag Warning Light

Under normal operating conditions, the airbag light comes on for a few seconds when the ignition is switched on, the goes off. If the light remains on, it indicates a fault with the supplemental restraint system, side airbags, side curtain bags or seat belt tensioner. Along with he warning light, you may also receive the message ‘Check Airbag System’. Possible reasons for the Acura TSX airbag warning light coming on can include:

  • Airbag sensor fault
  • Airbag system needs resetting
  • Failing battery
  • Dislodged wiring / connections under the front seats
  • Clock spring inside steering wheel requires replacing

Acura TSX VSA Warning LightAcura TSX VSA Warning Light

The Acura TSX VSA light stands for ‘Vehicle Stability Assist’ and helps the vehicle to maintain traction during acceleration and cornering. The light will flash to indicate that the system is currently operating. If the light remains always on, it means there’s a fault.

Due to VSA relying on wheel speed sensors, this can usually be the fault. VSA can also be disabled when the check engine light comes on and when the vehicle goes into reduced power mode. This is a safety procedure to stop the VSA system from activating. The VSA light will go off when the fault related to the check engine light is fixed.

Acura TSX Power Steering Warning LightAcura TSX Power Steering Warning Light

The steering wheel and exclamation point symbol is the electric power steering warning light. Along with this warning light, you may receive the message ‘ Check Power Steering System’ on the dashboard. This warning light can come on for the following reasons:

  • A fault with the system.
  • Pressing the accelerator pedal repeatedly to increase the engine speed while the engine is idling, the indicator comes on, and sometimes the steering wheel becomes harder to operate.
  • Leaving the steering at full lock while the engine is running.
  • Constantly steering from lock-to-lock for a long period of time.

This can be an indication that the motor has overheated. Once it has cooled, the warning light will go off and steering will resume as normal.

Acura TSX Tire Pressure Warning LightAcura TSX Tire Pressure Warning Light

The Acura TSX tire pressure warning light comes on for two possible reasons; it remains lit to inform the driver one or more tires have a loss of pressure or if it flashes, it means there’s a fault with the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). In the event of a fault, you may receive the message ‘Check TPMS System’. The tire pressure light will flash if you have a compact spare tire fitted, or a tire that is fitted and doesn’t contain pressure sensors.

It’s often recommended to replace sensors with new tires. The batteries that operate the sensors will last for around 5 years before causing the fault light.

Acura TSX Message Indicator LightAcura TSX Message Indicator Light

The letter ‘i’ in a circle is the Acura TSX message indicator light. It informs the driver that there’s a message to read or a non-critical problem. The symbol may come on along with a beep. Select the information up/down arrow buttons to see the message again.

Acura TSX Immobilizer Warning LightAcura TSX Immobilizer Warning Light

The flashing keys symbol indicates a fault with the Acura TSX immobilizer system – either with the vehicle’s ECU or the key itself. If possible, try another key. Check the fuses as this can also be the problem. Quite a common fault is that the immobilizer fails to communicate with the ECU, often resulting in the ECU or immobilizer being replaced.

M2 Sequential Shift Mode IndicatorAcura TSX Sequential Shift Mode Indicator

The ‘M’ (followed by the corresponding gear) symbol comes on when the sequential shift mode is applied. If the ‘M’ symbol flashes, it indicates a problem with the transmission. Sequential shift mode allows the driver to shift gears manually using the paddle shifters from between 1st and 5th gear.

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