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Honda: Body repair info just body-in-white; check elsewhere on OEM procedures site too

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Education | Repair Operations | Technology
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Honda body repair manuals are written from the perspective of a “body-in-white. A body shell,” Honda collision repair chief instructor Scott Kaboos advised the SCRS OEM Collision Repair Technology Summit on Nov. 7.

It won’t walk you through the remove-and-installs also necessary to work on that body, said Kaboos.

Those are in the service information portion of the repair procedure site, he said.

The same Honda OEM repair procedure subscription allows you to access both, but “it’s not in the same spot,” he said.

Kaboos was responding to what he said was a common question: Where can Honda and Acura OEM repair information be found?

“Very simple stuff,” he said.

He also said the body repair manual could be located by typing the letters “BRM” within the OEM repair procedure site.

Kaboos noted later during the event’s Q&A that when a shop says it uses procedures, it might not be using them all.

He’ll visit a shop, and it might have 26 pages of procedures printed out for replacing the quarter panel.

“That’s wonderful. That’s great. That’s way better than we saw 10 years ago,” Kaboos said.

However, then he’ll ask a shop what else it did to replace the quarter panel. The shop will discuss other parts it handled, such as disconnecting the battery, he said. Well, Kaboos will ask, did you look up the battery disconnect procedures?

No, why would it need to? “‘I’m not an idiot,'” the shop will reply.

But reading those procedures would have revealed a shop must reset the steering angle sensor every time the battery was disconnected, Kaboos said. The facility might not have known that.

A slide from Kaboos’ presentation also noted that “All model specific body repair manuals are meant to be used in conjunction with the Body Repair Basics and all other Service News.”

You can’t use those supplemental materials alone and ignore the actual OEM repair manuals.

This concept was illustrated through a Kaboos anecdote about a corporate trainer dealing with a tech who had separated a 1,500-megapascal door ring at factory seams. The trainer couldn’t prove the tech was wrong using Honda’s free welding and sectioning guidelines.

Kaboos called that publication one of the OEM’s “most important” documents outside of the vehicle-specific repair procedures. But it’s not a substitute for them.

The OEM repair procedures are “very, very specific” that you can’t do that — the part must be replaced as a complete unit, Kaboos said.

“He never looked up the model-specific information,” Kaboos said.

Kaboos responded that this might be a gap in Honda’s service information. Relying solely on the free one could lead to an unsafe repair.

Kaboos said he rewrote the guide to fix this, and it’s now eight pages, up from three. If a repairer was fixing a Honda without that document, “you’re probably not optimizing the repair. To say the least,” he said.

OEM resources

Honda’s OEM repair procedure site is at One of Kaboos’ presentation slides said shops must have cookies enabled and use the Internet Explorer Version 10 or 11, Chrome 44, Firefox 4.0 or Safari V8 Web browsers to access it.

Independent shops can pick one of two subscription options. Service Express is cheaper ($10 a day, $350 a year). Service Information System ($20 a day, $1,000 a year, free for certified shops) has better search capabilities, diagnostic trouble code detection and can walk shops through diagnostics if the facility is using Honda’s scanning software, according to a slide.

Repair procedures are available in Spanish and French too, Kaboos said.

Other resources include the consumer-facing owners manual repository and, which Kaboos said was intended to teach consumers how a piece of technology was supposed to work.

Kaboos noted that the latter could be helpful for shops too, noting that a facility might not know the ins and outs of a 2020 Civic either. If a consumer picks up the car and declares something to be different, the shop could check the normal function of the system on Honda Tech Tutor, he said.

Honda also in the past year or so had added consumer-facing collision videos and marketing tools on “Collision TV,” found at, according to Kaboos. The site also houses a video on how to use a Honda scan tool, he said. More content would be added monthly, he said.

Though the films are housed on the ProFirst certified collision network website, uncertified shops can use them as a resource as well for free, Kaboos said. He said the films could be shared on social media as an outreach tool.

Other resources include to order Honda-approved tools. Kaboos said certified shops can get discounts sometimes.

ProFirst shops also can order free brochures plugging the certified collision network to consumers.

“So far, only a small fraction of shops have taken advantage of ordering the Honda Collision consumer brochures and they are FREE!” a slide stated. “What’s Up with THAT ???” (Emphasis Honda’s.)

Honda-specific courses are also available on I-CAR, Kaboos said.

More information:

Honda OEM repair procedures site

Honda service tools website

Honda Collision TV


The 2018 Honda Odyssey’s body-in-white and components which would still need to be removed to access it can be seen in this model housed at the Steel Market Development Institute’s booth at the 2018 North American International Auto Show. (John Huetter/Repairer Driven News)

Collision repairers can tap a variety of official Honda documents to fix a vehicle correctly. (Honda slide; photo by John Huetter/Repairer Driven News)

Honda collision repair chief instructor Scott Kaboos speaks at the SCRS OEM Collision Repair Technology Summit on Nov. 7, 2019. Behind him is a slide explaining the difference between Honda’s OEM repair procedure options for independent shops. (John Huetter/Repairer Driven News)

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