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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So recently bought a European 1992 Prelude 2.3 with 4WS.
The seller made in May a movie of the dashboard where no lights were coming on.
Due to registration issues I have barely been able to drive the car (getting a French 1992 car registered in Belgium is a pain when Honda Belgium can't deliver a certificate of conformity), but now the registration is OK and expecting license plates any day now.
However, the times I did drive the Prelude or started it in the driveway, I had following issues:
  • 4WS sometimes worked, sometimes it didn't. Sometimes it failed immediately after starting, sometimes it took a bit longer.
  • Handbrake light comes on. I do notice it changes in brightness when I pull up or down my handbrake lever, so it is detecting that.
  • ABS light is on. Brakes are working fine, passed the inspection for road legal.

Last week I did the resoldering of the 4WS relays described here.
I think it solved the issue a bit: light is of after starting the car and it works. However, after driving for 5 to 10 minutes, the light comes on again.
From my limited sample check (3 short drives), it seems to be lighting up always after the same time.
I'm thinking some timeout in the software because the ABS light keeps coming on? Could that be?
I'm hoping all the brake lights and 4WS light are related and fixed with a simple change.

So other issue: ABS, brake light and handbrake light coming on.
I've looked at these posts:
I have no mechanical background, so I'm thinking of leaving this up to my car guy.
But I do want to give him the best support on Honda Preludes I can give, with your help.

So I want him to do a full service of the car and I want to give him a step by step plan to tackle the brake light issue and this is what I came up with:
1) Check brake fluid level -> to me this seems quite high, but I'm no expert
2) Check ABS sensors

Other things that can be checked before taking apart the whole dashboard?
 

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JDM 4th Gen Prelude 2.2 Vtec Turbo
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You can pull the error codes for both the 4WS and ABS systems, the procedure is in the manual or a quick google will show you how. Doing this will narrow down the issue.

My money is on a rear speed sensor which would show a fault on both systems and usually only pops a warning light on after the vehicle moves.

The handbrake could be related, or could be low fluid (or faulty sensor connection), a dodgy handbrake switch, or a faulty alternator can also cause multiple warning light to come on on the dash board.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Will try that.
When searching for procedure, I found a manual with first 32 pages from Knowles and the next 1000 pages from Mitchell I think (don't know if I can post a link here).
Anyway in the Knowles section on 4WS it states that error code 74 is for driving the car with the parking brake on and the 4WS light will come on after 5 minutes.
That seems to correspond to what I see: handbrake thinks it is on, therefor 4WS will be triggered after 5 minutes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Tried to short circuit the connector under the dash.
First with a paper clip, then a wire from an Arduino set.
Is it correct that when it is short circuited the orange engine light goes on?
Because the 4WS nor the ABS light flashed any code, they just went off and stayed off.

The Brake Lamp Indicator light (most right light) and Parking Brake and Brake System Indicator light (most left light) went out for a short period when starting the car.
But next time I started the car, they came on again after a second or 2.

So no codes for 4WS or ABS. Is it a good assumption that it is then limited to the handbrake or brake system (without ABS)?
I doubt a bit that the handbrake switch is broken, because the Parking Brake and Brake System Indicator light goes a bit brighter when I pull up the handbrake.

Problem is that my insurance messed up the request for license plates, so I'll probably have to wait another 2-3 weeks before I can drive the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So 2 weeks ago I finally got my license plates and can take the car legally on the road.
While waiting on the driveway, the alternator seemed to have gone bad.
Got my car to my technician (no Honda garage, but jack of all brands)
He replaced the alternator, checked all belts and fluids and verified the ABS sensors.
Front ones were dirty.

Could still be that the ABS sensors or ABS module are faulty.
Brake fluid is topped up, so I would expect that is not the issue.
But Brake Lamp Indicator light and Parking Brake and Brake System Indicator light are still burning.
ABS also turns on after a short time.

I'm a bit hesitant to send it to a Honda garage, because it will probably take a lot of time to trace and thus quite a bit of money.
So I would like to investigate myself, but don't have ideas on how to tackle this practically.

Systematically, I would start at the handbrake switch, test it for operation and then follow the wiring if that proves OK.
Could you give more practical guidance on how to do that?
 

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JDM 4th Gen Prelude 2.2 Vtec Turbo
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The switch under the handbrake has a green/red wire going into it, just unplug it and ground it to see if the handbrake light goes out or not. You might be able to do this without removing the centre console (which is only 6 screws anyway if you can't).

If you download supplement 62SS023.pdf and go to page 23-6, the wiring for it is shown there.
 

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JDM 4th Gen Prelude 2.2 Vtec Turbo
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No worries, theres only one wire, it is green with a red stripe.

I've just looked at mine (mid facelift), it can be unplugged without too much trouble. Unplugging the wire turns the handbrake light out, giving it an earth turns the light on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So, didn't find it that easy to reach and the connector was quite firmly attached to the handbrake.
But by removing the button panel behind the handbrake, I could squeeze my right hand in and with a flat screwdriver in the opening of the handbrake I could wiggle off the connector.
Started the car: lights stay on.
So what is the next step to verify?

Other problem: I noticed the central locking unlocks the passenger door, but doesn't lock it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
So, did some checks.
Checked the float on the brake fluid: multimeter beeps when it is down, stops beeping when it goes up. Checked the cables on the cap and there is no continuity with the fluids topped up and cap screwed on. When I unscrew the cap and lift it, my multimeter starts beeping, so that sensor seems to work correct.
On the handbrake however, the multimeter seems to keep on beeping, whether it is up or down. I tried this without disassembling the console around it, but I'm quite sure my measurement is correct.
But when I disconnect the connector from the handbrake, the lights on the dash also don't go out.
So would that mean that there is another error in the system?
I would find that strange, since when I bought the car in May, there were no lights going on, and now there would be 2 separate issues in a few months time

Update: removed the center console between the seats to properly test the handbrake switch.
With the cable disconnected, it works as expected.
However, with the cable connected, there is always continuity, doesn't matter if the switch is up or down.
So it seems something else seems to be pulling the RED/GREEN wire to ground. No clue what.

Then tried the Brake Light Failure Sensor Test (page 23-157). Fails already in step 2: brake light comes on and stays on when I ground the White Green wire of the right brake light and turn power on. Manual then says to check for open in the White Green wire between the safety indicator and right failure sensor.
I verified 4 cables between left and right read light assembly, they all had connection, so that seemed fine.

I'm thinking of putting 12V on the Red/Green wire on the 4WS steering module to see if the dash brake lights go off.
Other suggestions?

I doubt the wiring is bad, all wires seem fine.
I'm thinking a bad solder joint in the 4WS module, ABS module or dash sub gauge cluster is more likely. What do you think?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So, after removing part of the interior to access the 4WS module and measure there, and then removing the dash, it seems the problem is in sub gauge cluster.
It seems one or more of the capacitors have leaked:


I've found a replacement sub gauge cluster that should work, so hopefully I receive that soon.
Is this a familiar problem?
 
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