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What is FCW on Honda Accord?


If you drive a Honda Accord, you must have seen a light come on near the windshield when you are nearing a vehicle. In some cases, the car might display ‘FCW’ or ‘BRAKE’ on display. If you have ever wondered what this means, you are at the right place because today we will be answering the question: What is FCW on Honda Accord?

Forward Collision Warning, commonly known as FCW, is a safety system inside Honda Accord that prevents rear-end collisions by tracking the road ahead with a camera and issuing an audible or visual warning if there is an obstacle ahead.

If you want to jump into the details of FCW, read ahead!

What is FCW on Honda Accord?

To err is human, which is why many newer vehicles come with safety systems. One of the common collision prevention systems is forward collision warning or FCW.

FCW Honda Accord

In Honda Accord, the FCW system uses a camera mounted between the windshield and the rearview mirror to detect a vehicle ahead. For the system to be active, the driver needs to be moving at speeds greater than 10mph.

Depending upon the differential speeds between the two vehicles, the system determines whether there is a chance of collision. If found so, it issues a warning and might take preventive measures in the case of newer models.

What are the warning signals in Honda Accord for FCW?

In the 2013 Honda Accord, the vehicle only displayed three different warnings, including beeping, flashing of FCW indicator, and a heads-up light near the windscreen.

Coming a few years ahead, for the 2016 Honda Accord, you might see a ‘BRAKE’ message displayed on the MID (Multi-informational Display) and a series of beeps if the vehicle detects that you are too close to the vehicle ahead. The driver is solely responsible for applying the brakes and taking direct measures to prevent collisions in this model.

Over the years, Honda has greatly improved its warning systems, and you will find a three-stage response system in the newer Honda FCW. These are:

  • Stage one: The system detects visual or audible alerts in case of a vehicle or pedestrian nearby.
  • Stage two: If the driver takes no action, the system continues the visual and audible alerts and starts applying light braking along with it.
  • Stage three: In extreme cases, the system applies strong braking along with the visual and audible warnings.

Depending upon the criticality of the situation, you might see the car behaving differently, for instance, directly jumping to stage three preventive measures instead of mild warnings.

What is the range of FCW sensors on the Honda Accord?

The forward collision system on Honda accurate is quite accurate. Mounted behind the lower grille, the sensors can detect a vehicle 500 feet ahead of your car. They can detect a moving bicycle, car, truck, or motorbike.

FCW systems in the newer Honda Accord (2021 and above) can also detect pedestrians.

If turned on, the sensors work whenever the car is in use and allows the driver up to 5 seconds of reaction time.

What is the accuracy of the FCW system on the Honda Accord?

Although the FCW is an advanced safety feature, it also has its limitations, so the driver must do his best to be on guard under all circumstances.

Honda itself issues the warning that the system may not be able to detect all obstacles ahead. Furthermore, it may malfunction in extreme weather conditions, such as driving during a hailing storm, heavy snowfall, or through desert areas.

The problem of FCW system fail message:

Many Honda owners complain that they see an FCW system fail message without a discernible reason. This problem is common in Honda Accord, Honda Odyssey, and Crosstour.

Some of the reasons why you might be seeing an FCW system fail message are:

  • You have replaced your windscreen, and now your camera needs to be recalibrated.
  • Your camera has heated up due to extreme heat. You can prevent this by turning on the AC and making it face the windshield ahead.
  • You are driving during rain or snow, due to which the sensors are not working. In this case, the message may go away itself once the weather clears up.
  • You are using aftermarket headlights or in-cabin lights, and their glare is causing the system to malfunction and display a failure message.

 To prevent false system failure messages, keep your windshields clean, especially the area from the front of the camera, and avoid driving in dangerous weather.

Can a part failure also display the FCW system fail message?

Yes, various parts in Honda Accord’s safety system may fail, leading to this message.

One such part is the ABS modulator which prevents the wheels from locking up, resulting in the prevention of skidding of the vehicle. It can take $320-$1000 to replace this modulator to fix the constant failure message.

Another one can be the VSA module, which stands for vehicle stability assist and provides vehicle stability during turning and maneuvering slippery paths. You will need $1300-%1700 to fix a bad VSA module to prevent an FCW system failure.

Can you turn off your FCW system?

While the system is there for the safety of individuals, some people might find the constant beeping annoying. Fortunately, you can turn off the system in most models of the Honda Accord or change the distance at which the warning occurs. Here is a general way of doing that (it might vary depending upon how old or new your car is):

  1. Select Settings from DISP
  2. Now choose Vehicle Settings then Forward Collision Warning Distance
  3. You will be given a range of options, which might include Long, Normal and Short; they determine the range at which the warning begins. One of the options may be Off. Select it to turn off your system.

Final Words

FCW systems are an excellent method of accident prevention and are known to reduce collisions by 27 percent. Having these systems provides the drivers with passive safety and reduces the risks caused by distractions.

Therefore, you should keep the system on at all times no matter how much the beeping and the indicator light annoy you. It’s for your own safety!

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