The Latest in Honda Diagnostics

Vehicles rolling off today’s assembly lines incorporate an advanced network of dozens of microcomputers.  So we keep up-to-date with the latest diagnostic software, in particular the Honda Diagnostics System (HDS).  That lets us see all the details of system functions and update the transmission and engine control module programming.


Starting in 1996 all new vehicles manufactured were required to include an OBD connector.  What’s that?  It’s On-Board Diagnostics, constantly running tests on hundreds of sensor data points including the ABS (anti-lock breaking system), airbags, TCU (transmission control unit), and ECU (engine control unit).  If any test fails it turns on the check-engine light or a similar fault indicator.  The connector lets the vehicle owner or a mechanic read out a diagnostic code.  Looking up the code tells you what triggered the alert.

You can get OBD code readers for as little as $20, and some even let you clear the code to turn the alarm light off.  But that doesn’t fix the problem!

Professional Honda Diagnostics Equipment

In mid-2017 the Honda Diagnostic System underwent a major update, and is now referred to as i-HDS.  The interfaces and diagnostic software lets mechanics display all the data necessary for fast and accurate troubleshooting.  So it’s far more than an OBD reader, but no longer a huge rolling cart.

The i-HDS is available in several forms:  a tablet, a pocket unit (the same as used by Honda and Accura dealerships), and a personal-computer/laptop add-on.

The hardware goes way beyond connecting to read the on-board diagnostic code, and includes

  • a portable tester
  • a digital multimeter (for measuring volts, amperage, and resistance)
  • a bar-code scanner for reading vehicle identification numbers and parts IDs, and
  • the Honda Interface Module for vehicle communication.

For efficient, dependable troubleshooting the software package includes features such as

  • DTC (diagnostic trouble code) reading and clearing,
  • scan tools for running tests,
  • grabbing rapidly changing data at some specific condition,
  • displaying and graph data,
  • DLC (data link connector) locator diagram and other reference materials, and
  • control module updating.

But they’re not cheap.  The tablet version costs around $8,000 plus about $800 per year for software updates.  Even using a PC requires well over $1,000 in hardware interfaces and software fees jump to over $2,000 per year.  So Pacific Auto is making a big commitment to bringing you the latest in diagnostic gear.

Module Reprogramming

Engine and transmission control module programming is especially important.  Honda periodically updates set points and system functions as they accumulate results from millions of miles of actual on-the-road data.  Programming keeps your vehicle up to date, and lets us calibrate to your particular vehicle.  We can even change keyless entry codes.

Visit Pacific Automotive

There’s no need to buy your own OBD reader to assess your Honda Diagnostics.  Just drop by our shop and we’ll read out the code for you, no charge!