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Looking for the best diy "shop manual" for 2004 honda accord

i want to do maintenance on my 4 cylinder 2004 Accord DX insofar as is practical. [i.e. i don’t have any computer analysis diagnostic tools!].

specifically i am looking at checking or renewing the brake pads. If there were some suspension issues to come up, such as replacing shocks, or renewing ball joints, i would want to do this work.

what book should i get that will best cover such topics. is it the honda 2004 accord shop manual (about $70, i think) or is it some other tome???

I am not looking for a book that is a compendium or encyclopedia (har, no pun intended!).

i want info that is specifically for a 4-cyl accord, of the 2004 manufacture year.

thanks for any good leads on this.


The Honda manual is the best IMHO. I’ve got the manuals from my '81, '85 and '88 Accords.

The shop manual will do the job, if you really want to pay that kind of money. You can also run by your local auto parts store and pay ~$17 for a Haynes or Chilton’s manual that will cover just about anything a home mechanic will be doing.

thanks for the response. i wonder if i may call you to talk this question out a bit more?
hope i’m not offending some etiquette of this forum in asking to speak to you by phone.
my concern is just that the manual you recommend (which would have been my choice) needs to provide info for a mechanic with the basic tools.
i mean, if there is a weird offset misshapen tool (perhaps referred to as “the A - 22B wrench”, you know!) i wouldn’t be prepared for that kind of recurrent mentoring, in cases where a crescent wrench bite on a square shaft screwdriver would do the same job . . . if you get my drift!
thanks for your lead on this, circuitsmith. my e mail address if i may call you is,

thanks for the response. now, here’s exactly the problem i have with “haynes authorities”–from personal use of the series, and from the pasted reviewer’s quote i just took from the Amazon site, that is selling the haynes book:

Purchased this for my Wife’s car. It covers the basics adequately, though the print quality is poor making the photos difficult to make out. It doesn’t cover much beyond the basics, and is a poor comparison to the manufacturer’s manuals I’ve picked up for other Honda vehicles.

i want a book that will actually make the jobs easier, not ambiguous. My interest is in saving lots of money–i am a contemporary american stiff, interested in seeing the corporate and ancillary industries of internal combustion gasoline commerce become smaller and smaller.

my favorite recurrent R&R is the replacement of brake pads on my 91 Mazda B2200–costs twelve dollars, takes about thirty minutes. of course,
i have a floor jack, cost $30 new about ten years ago, provenance–china.
imagine paying for that routine brake maintenance job [and suffering the shop flack, and down time, associated therewith] in the current “free market economy”!

i think there is a morality tale implicit in this behavior, of individuals vs “the market”.
again, mush obliged.

I have the factory manual for my '97 Accord, and it covers EVERYTHING. Costs a bit, though.

I use a Haynes manual for my other car, a '96 Subaru, and have that anything it doesn’t explain I probably don’t want to mess with anyway.

Try for decent prices on used manuals, both factory and otherwise.

May I ask, are you a university professor?

i witch; i’m just a malcontent socialist. i can understand how you’d ask that question; and i take no offense at the question. m.

i’m seeing one bid up to < $40 at the moment on eBay, for 2003 - 05 (that part scares me–if it’s for a 2004 specifically, it wouldn’t actually be a honda factory manual for three years span, would it???)
another vote for the factory manual?
thumbs up for the jiggering all-thumbs mechanic!

You witch? No offense was intended.

devil in the details, i guess; witch, wish . . .
honi soit qui mal y pense, springs to mind too . . . clear, coo-o-o-o-l-l-l warter.

I have had Haynes and Chilton’s manuals for 6 cars. While Haynes are better than Chiltons, both are lousy. Most of the time I’m on my own.

I have two suggestions. is an electronic database with repair manuals. For the one vehicle that I had a factory DVD manual, FoMoCo, it was an exact match including wiring diagrams, vacuum diagrams and diagnostic flow charts… The advantage is that you also get TSBs. You might check with your local public library. Sometimes they have paid subscriptions to on line databases like this, perfect for a malcontent socialist.

Factory manuals are fine; but, they are geared toward the professional mechanic who may have the special tool so-and-so. If you are interested in working on the car’s electronics, the factory manual will, definitely tell you to use a factory scan tool, and such.

I’ve always used Haynes, and Chilton’s Repair Manuals (model specific, not the big book) to good effect. They are the best for the non-professional mechanic. They will guide you through the testing of, at least, engine electronic components (like sensors and actuators such as egr valves) using a universal scan tool (or, an auto parts store use of), and how to make test measurements of ohm and resistance values of sensors and actuators with an ordinary digital, high impedance, multimeter (at Walmart for $25). Either will give you the instructions on doing that brake job.

The hand tools that the Haynes, or Chilton’s, list are those in any shade-tree mechanics tool box (or, at least, should be in it).

If you want greater detail on some things, public libraries have Internet subscriptions to auto repair Web-sites, and (free use).
There are other repair manuals you can buy, and download, from the Internet for $15 to $25.

thanks for the tip.
as “hellokit” advises in the next post there are a variety of auto repair web sites, sometimes useful.
what i intend to do is maintain the vehicle, being an Accord i do not anticipate working on the car’s ‘electronics’, even with a factory manual. i say this because in the last couple of decades during which i’ve used toyotas, hondas, mazdas exclusively (generally older than five years) i’ve never had an electrical problem.

certain mechanical components have wear cycles and generally the vehicle’s user manual lists a maintenance schedule for the most important issues–the obvious, liquids needing attention, the drive train and bearings needing routine inspection, the suspension etc–i drive my japanese cars in such a way that i have not had to do more than attend to these wearing parts.
for instance, i bought that 91 mazda b2200 when it had 77K miles on it [in 1996]; now it has 177K and the sum total of work i’ve done is replacement of front pads (many times), rear shoes once, timing belt (to follow a prudent preventive interest) twice, water pump once, and dig this–one tuneup at the Mazda garage.
and every year it passes the texas emissions test (91 mazda is a vintage of vehicle requires the sensor stuffed up the exhaust pipe).
oh, yeah–i change the oil (10W30 castrol) religiously, every 5K mi, or less.
truck gets 22mpg in town, stick shift.
good socialist work horse, sweet, quiet, and until the bulshite world of republican economics (har!), it was easy on the pocketbook.

Thanks again hellokit, I think I might spring for the website instead of the book, or both if I can find a used one… I did some more googling, from scratch -of my error codes- and I kept reading that a good possibility for all 3 codes is a vacuum leak. So, I’m going to attempt to do a more thorough leak inspection. Seems like the WD40 method will be simplest and safest for me.

I just bought a Haynes manual for my 2005 Accord. It’s the same one the OP would use. It’s a lot better than I expected. There is a lot more useful inormation than in the Haynes manual for my 1998 Regal or 2003 Silhouette. I’d buy it again!

If you have a car you will be keeping for a while then it probably makes sense to invest in both a Haynes and the Factory Manual for that specific year. Try to solve problems using the Haynes first, utilizing the factory manual when Haynes isnt clear.