Honda Offers Cautions for Collision Repairers on New Acura Models

Aluminum Fender with Clip
American Honda said collision repairers should be aware of specific foam insulation clips that need to be used with the aluminum fenders on the 2022 Acura MDX and the 2021 Acura TLX.

Collision repairers need to be aware the aluminum fenders on the 2022 Acura MDX, released this past summer, and the 2021 Acura TLX, released about a year ago, require the use of specific insulation clips.

“If you do not use those insulation clips, if you use a regular tin clip or something else, there is a good chance that the dissimilar metals are going to corrode each other, and you’ll end up with fenders that are flopping in the breeze,” said Scott Kaboos, collision technical specialist for American Honda. “These are not one-time-use only. They can be reused. But you have to be sure to use those correct insulated clips.”

Both cars also have cast aluminum strut towers. There are procedures in Honda’s service information for inspecting the strut towers for damage by checking for cracks in coatings or body sealer. If those signs exist, the coatings need to be removed to inspect the rivets and conduct a dye penetrant test to make sure the casting is not cracked---if it is, it will need to be replaced.

In order to avoid shops needing to buy a self-piercing rivet gun to install a replacement strut tower, the part comes as part of an assembly that can be welded on.

“We do want you to apply body sealer over the self-piercing rivets, and on both seams, inside and out,” Kaboos cautioned. “That’s not going to come with the part you get in the box. That’s something body shops are expected to know and do.”

Kaboos said there are some simple blocks (part number 07AAF-TGVA100) auto body shops should use when removing a passenger side airbag on the 2021 TLX.

“Without those, it’s really easy to damage that airbag,” Kaboos said.

He said the inner and outer portions of the front rails on the vehicle are made of two different strength steels, neither of which is repairable.

“So if we have damage to a front rail, we’re going to do a replacement on that part of the rail,” he said. “You can replace just the outer or just the inner, or both, but neither one is repairable. That’s going to be a challenge for the industry, I’m sure.”

The steel used for the rear rails on the TLX offers more opportunity for some repair.

The rail situation is reversed on the 2022 MDX, where it’s the front rails on which shops can do some straightening or pulling.

“We even have a sectioning procedure written for both the inner and the outer,” Kaboos said of the MDX front rails. “It replaces the front 8 inches or so. If there’s damage behind that, then it’s going to be a full replacement.”

It’s the rear rails on the MDX that are made of an ultra-high-strength steel that is non-repairable.

“The nice thing is it’s not a complete rail assembly. It actually comes as a subset. So it’s about an 18-inch piece that you have to replace if that rear rail is damaged,” Kaboos said.

John Yoswick

John Yoswick is a freelance writer and Autobody News columnist who has been covering the collision industry since 1988, and the editor of the CRASH Network... Read More

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