The Civic Type R FK8 comes with a fairly decent stability assistance and traction control computer. However, it's behavior is largely undocumented by Honda and some of this information is guesswork from the community.
There are four distinct modes that the stability computer can be in, each successive mode disabling more and more of the stability computer.
Disabling VSA in any manner decreases the proven road safety of your vehicle. Do so at your own risk.
This is the default mode for VSA. No lights should be displayed on the cluster. Primarily helps control wheel spin by closing the throttle plate whenever the ABS sensors detect a deviation between the front and rear wheels.
Also known as 'partially off'. Hold the VSA button for two seconds in any drive mode. The VSA light should appear.
Despite the cluster saying VSA is off, it's not actually completely off. This mode greatly reduces the VSA computer's actions in regards to wheel spin, but it will still attempt to keep you in a fairly straight line. This is a good medium for when you want a bit of wheel slip but still want to be safe on the roads, or you need to get out of some snow/sand. Very few drivers will be held back by this mode.
Also known as 'fully off'. Hold the VSA button for ten seconds in +R mode. A separate 'VSA OFF' light should appear and the cluster will have a warning about the system being fully off.
In this mode, the stability computer will make no attempt to keep you from actually losing control. It will let the back get loose and will not interfere with the engine output whatsoever. This is highly desirable for track duty, but should not be used on the street.
Despite being 'fully off', the high speed cornering assistance will still be active above 80mph and applying very slight braking pressure to the rear wheels through the ABS system. This system cannot be turned off except by entirely disabling the VSA computer via the pedal dance described below. No benefit for the track other than reducing pad wear has been found by doing so.
Also known as 'maintenance mode' or the pedal dance. Start with the parking brake engaged, ignition on, but engine off.
- Foot brake on, parking brake off, short-cycle VSA.
- Parking brake on, foot brake off, short-cycle VSA.
- Foot brake on, short-cycle VSA.
To cycle VSA, hold the VSA button for two seconds until the VSA light turns on, and again until it turns off.
The 'VSA OFF' light should be blinking after this and you should now be forced into sport mode. If it isn't blinking, you did something wrong.
In this mode, the VSA computer is entirely off and is no longer performing self-checks. This is useful for the dyno where the wheel speeds and G sensors will not represent real world conditions. This mode should really only be used on the dyno and rarely on the track. It is not absolutely necessary to do this on the dyno as it does not affect power output, but it will potentially leave the FK8 without a parking brake and stability systems for 5-30 minutes.
Hondata Traction Control
If you flash your FK8 with a Hondata FlashPro, you can also optionally enable their free traction control software that comes with it. This system acts much quicker by retarding ignition before the factory system closes the throttle plate, which is much better for keeping smooth power through the pull and has been proven to result in better track times than using the factory system alone.