Updating Control Units/Modules – Honda

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June 10, 2016
04216 Version 12


Updating Control Units/Modules

(Supersedes 01-023, dated February 15, 2013, to revise the information)



All Models With Programmable Control/Units Modules



This service bulletin has been extensively revised; American Honda recommends that you read the entire bulletin.



Starting with the launch of the i-HDS software, updating (rewriting) a vehicle control module will require a dedicated i-HDS laptop and an approved vehicle communications interface (VCI).

NOTE: The CM Update (rewrite) feature within the MVCI menu is removed and is no longer supported.


vehicle communications interface (VCI)vehicle communications interface (VCI)


The procedures in this service bulletin are used and referenced in other service bulletins.

For detailed information on i-HDS usage, refer to the i-HDS Quick Start Guide on SIS. Click on General Publications > Tool Information.  Most 2002 and later Honda vehicles have reprogrammable control modules. To update (rewrite) any of these control modules, you need the vehicle along with the Denso DST-i or the Bosch MVCI, and a laptop installed with the i-HDS software.  The i-HDS software includes the J2534 Rewrite icon, which is used for vehicle control module updates.

This service bulletin describes these subjects:




Skill Level: Repair Technician

Refer to the specific service bulletin for the symptom you are repairing.



The DST-i is available through the Honda Tool and Equipment Program. To purchase, call 888-424-6857.  Note: The MVCI is supported; however it is no longer available for purchase





Interface Tools

NOTE: For more information about the DST-i, refer to the DST-i User Guide on SIS. Click on General Publications > Tool Information, or the Honda Tool and Equipment Program on the iN. DST-i – Model Number – DSCWIFI

3 Meter USB Cable – Model Number – DSCUSBCABL

3 Meter DLC Cable – Model Number – DSCDLCCABL

4GB SDHC Memory – Model Number – DSCSDCARD

IMPORTANT:  American Honda strongly recommends against performing control module updates over a wireless connection between the laptop and interface device. If communication is disrupted during rewrite, permanent control module damage may result.



  • When updating a control module/unit on a new vehicle, make sure all its fuses were installed at PDI.
  • To prevent control unit/module damage, do not operate anything electrical (audio system, brakes, A/C, power windows, moonroof, etc.) during the update.
  • The corresponding service bulletin will always indicate the correct database update to use. To check the database Update version on the i-HDS laptop, click on the HDS Download Manager icon on the taskbar

HDS Download Manager icon


  • Look at the Database Update then Installed Version. It should be the same or a later version than what is stated on the corresponding Service Bulletin.
  • In addition, The most current software version information is also available on iN. Click on Service > Service Bay > Diagnostic Tools Software Versions.

HDS Download Manager


  • Do not connect an additional power supply to the DST-i or MVCI when it is connected to the vehicle; power is supplied through the DLC.
  • To ensure that the control module/unit is not permanently damaged during updating, verify that the vehicle’s 12-volt battery is fully charged before starting an update.

NOTE: If the vehicle’s 12-volt battery drops below 10 volts during the update, the programming status bar may go past 100 percent, or the updating tool may display an error message.

If a problem occurs during an update, do the following to minimize the chances of damaging the control  unit/module:

IMPORTANT: Keep the ignition ON.

  • Connect a jumper battery (do not connect a battery charger).
  • Disconnect the DST-i or MVCI from the vehicle’s DLC.
  • Restart the Rewrite application.
  • Reconnect the DST-i or the MVCI to the vehicle’s DLC, and retry the update procedure again.

NOTE: Unnecessary or incorrect repairs resulting from an update (rewrite) will not be covered under warranty.



For questions about the Honda-supplied updating equipment, call the Special Tools hotline at 800-346-6327. For questions about the iN, call the iN Support Center at 800-245-4343



  1. Click on the i-HDS icon from the Desktop.

i-HDS icon


  1. On the HOME menu, Click on the J2534 Rewrite icon.

J2534 Rewrite icon


  1. Next enter a Service Bulletin, if applicable. If no bulletin number is available, click on Start to go to the regular J2534 Rewrite application.

NOTE: A correct Service Bulletin number will launch the appropriate J2534 Rewrite Special Application. Leaving the service bulletin number section blank will launch the regular J2534 Rewrite application.

Next enter a service bulletin, if applicable


NOTE: Under certain conditions the HOME menu screen may pop back up, if it does, just minimize the screen to show the screen below.

  1. Connect to a vehicle and click Start to begin reprogramming procedures.

Connect to a vehicle and click Start


  1. Follow the on-screen instructions and then click Next.

Follow the on-screen instructions


  1. Select the system you want to update and click Select.

NOTE: Please wait until vehicle communication has completed.

Select the system you want to update


  1. Confirm the update information and click ENTER to start reprogramming.

Confirm the update information


  1. Wait until the progress reaches 100%, then follow the on-screen prompts for ignition cycling.

Wait until the progress reaches 100%,


  1. Click System to return to the System Selection

Click System to return to the System Selection screen




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i-HDS Diagnostic Software and J2534 Reprogramming Software


Honda J2534 Pass-Thru User Guide

Honda J2534 Pass-Thru Software Download

Latest ECU Software


i-HDS Diagnostic Software and J2534 Reprogramming Software

American Honda Motor Co., Inc. ("Honda") offers the i-HDS (Honda Diagnostic System) software suite for the diagnosis and repair of electronic systems on Honda and Acura automobiles, and for the reprogramming of electronic control units (including, but not limited to, ECMs and PCMs). This software provides access to all Honda and Acura vehicle systems (access to the immobilizer security system requires a Security Professional level software subscription and Vehicle Security Professional [VSP] registration with NASTF). To use the i-HDS software, you need to purchase one of our convenient subscription options. In addition, you will need a pass-thru Vehicle Communication Device (VCI) that is compliant with SAE J2534-1 and J2534-2 in order to communicate with the vehicle


Vehicle Communication Interfaces (VCI)

The i-HDS software supports the use of a generic pass-thru VCI that is compliant with SAE J2534-1 and J2534-2. However, Honda recommends the Denso DST-i or the Bosch MVCI for use on Honda and Acura vehicles, as Honda has worked closely with these manufacturers to ensure their hardware and our software interact safely and within the J2534-1 and -2 specifications, for both diagnostics and reprogramming. If you choose to use a generic VCI, please carefully consider the customer and technical support options you will receive from your chosen device supplier. Honda does not provide technical or customer support for generic VCI devices.

The VCI Application Table below lists devices that either are approved and supported by Honda or are known to have completed and passed an independent, exhaustive validation program with our i-HDS software suite.

VCI Name Manufacturer Version Information Notes
Firmware J2534 API
DST-i DENSO 2.02.0002* 04.04 This is the current generation VCI used by Honda and Acura dealers. Honda routinely validates the functionality and provides customer support for this device.
DST-nano DENSO 2.02.0002* 04.04 This is the current generation VCI used by Honda Canada Inc. Honda and Acura dealers. Honda routinely validates the functionality and provides customer support for this device.
MVCI Bosch 3.01.60* 04.04 This is the previous generation VCI used by Honda and Acura dealers. Honda routinely validates the functionality and provides customer support for this device.
MongoosePro Honda Updating Control Units/Modules - Honda | small light Drew Technologies 1.9.5** 04.04 This company has completed an independent i-HDS validation and claims it to function with the i-HDS software. Honda does not provide ongoing validation, nor customer support for this device.
d-briDGe Pro Dearborn Group 3.303** 04.04 This company has completed an independent i-HDS validation and claims it to function with the i-HDS software. Honda does not provide ongoing validation, nor customer support for this device.

* These versions may have been superseded. Honda provides the latest supported versions to current i-HDS subscribers.
** Version used in validation program. See Terms and Conditions and Important Notice Regarding Reprogramming below for more details.


Reprogramming with the J2534 Rewrite Application in i-HDS

Included in the i-HDS software suite is a new reprogramming application called J2534 Rewrite. This application is made available to all subscribers of the i-HDS software suite and replaces the previous generation software, J2534 Honda Pass-thru Reprogramming Software.

This new application is compatible with generic VCIs that comply with SAE J2534. It must be used to reprogram any Honda/Acura vehicle equipped with ECUs that support reprogramming. Refer to the table below for legacy applicability for the programming of ECMs and PCMs. Though system dependent, late-model vehicles may be equipped with other ECUs that support reprogramming as well, e.g. ABS or VSA. J2534 Rewrite must be used to reprogram these control modules, as instructed in an applicable service bulletin.

As shown in this table, not all legacy Honda/Acura models are equipped with a reprogrammable ECM/PCM. Furthermore, all 2007 and later models not listed in the table are fully supported with this application.

Updating Control Units/Modules - Honda | small light CarDAQ-Plus 2 Diagnostic Code Reader and J2534 Programming Tool
Updating Control Units/Modules - Honda | small light Drew Technologies (DRWCDPLUSKIT) CarDAQ-Plus J2534 Flash Reprogramming Kit
Updating Control Units/Modules - Honda | small light CarDAQ-M Modular PassThru J2534 Vehicle Reflash Hardware
Updating Control Units/Modules - Honda | small light VSI J2534 ECU Reprogrammer & Diagnostic Adapter
Updating Control Units/Modules - Honda | small light MAXIFLASH PRO (ALT-MF2534)


DST-i Information:

MVCI Information:





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