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No Headlight chime, footwell flashing - maybe on purpose?

11 January 2021
Ontario, Canada
Doh! When I got my 2001 NSX, I noticed it had a peculiar lights-on reminder system. The strange thing is that the symptoms were so peculiar and inter-related, I wondered if a previous owner did it on purpose - perhaps an owner who disliked the seatbelt reminder also disliked the audible lights-on reminder but wanted some sort of visual cue? Here are the symptoms:
  1. When you open the driver's door, the footwell light does not come on.
  2. When you open the driver’s door with the key left in the ignition, that beeper works fine.
  3. After shutting off the car, if you open the car door without shutting off the headlights, the customary lights-on chime does not sound. However, the FOOTWELL LIGHT FLASHES. Changed to some sort of visual alert?
  4. If you open the door, it does sometimes make one brief chime from the headlight-left-on alarm.
  5. The seatbelt indicator in the gauge cluster never comes on. (related? not?)
I removed the driver’s side undertray that holds the footwell light and lights-on reminder chime unit. Reviewing the wiring diagram, the orange lights-on chime wire was plugged in to the footwell light. The 2 connectors are interchangeable! The grey connectors go together; blue goes into the white light housing. When you give the foot well light the input for the chime unit, it flashes (probably only if it is an LED, since it is reversing the voltage to have the electromagnet strike opposing mechanical chimes - I'm stunned that they use mechanical chimes!). Connected correctly, the system now works properly. I haven't been able to find the footwell light wiring in the electrical manual.

Before (The hindsight=20:20 tip is the blue male plug plugged into the grey female connector with clearly different coloured wires at the male and female ends.):

I'm still chasing the seat belt indicator light that never comes on. I don't know where that would have been bypassed, perhaps at the buckle C786? Hopefully the LED has not been removed from the gauge cluster, but that is unlikely since the chime would still sound and I have no seatbelt chime either.
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An interesting find, indeed. Thanks for sharing!
Regarding the seat belt reminder, that icon is located differently depending on the market the NSX was sold. In Japan it's integrated into the open-door-warning and can't be disabled without soldering but for the US it's a sparate bulb on the top right if I'm not mistaken.
Yes, I discovered the same issue when I plugged mine in wrong after I had the panel off to disconnect the key-in buzzer. I labeled the jacks so I wouldn’t mix them up again.
>The seatbelt indicator in the gauge cluster never comes on.

The previous owner of my JDM car bypassed the seat belt warning via the connector underneath the seat.

The connector has different number of pins depending on the year. Please don't cut wires...connectors are easy to swap.

[A race seat was installed for the RHD driver side....which I replaced with a LHD passenger seat shipped in at great expense from the EU for NZ registration compliance.]
Thanks for the awesome input guys!

Wow. They are clearly checking things more carefully there for roadworthiness. Mine passed at least 2 arm's length safeties for registration with:
  1. No daytime running lights, unless the previous owner put them in for the registration and then took them out.
  2. No functioning seatbelt warning light on the dashboard.
  3. No seatbelt warning chime. (Not sure if required for 2001, but it is mentioned in the owner's manual.)
I will look under the seat at C526 & C786 as per the electrical manual, but I'm not pulling the dash or removing the under-dash fuse panel to examine C522 on the back of it. P 20-39 & 20-43 in my service manual.
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Seatbelt warning light update. I located the seatbelt receiver switch, which was unplugged at C786, interrupting both the light and the chime. I was about to plug it back in, but I don't want the chime.

Since this is really a completely different topic than the headlight chime/footwell flashing light, I decided to start a new thread:
Interesting that some markets are wired to actually require some sort of bypass to get rid of the nanny, where US cars have a sensor switch that can be easily unplugged, a much better way to do it.