Labor General Information

IMPORTANT REMINDER: Labor related notes in the text portion override the Procedure Explanation pages.


The labor times shown for aluminum panel R&R represent replacement according to the manufacturer’s recommended procedures and guidelines. Within the published labor times Mitchell has also taken into consideration these commonly asked about items; Remove and Replace: Rivets, Drill and de-burr rivet holes, EMC screws, Flow drill screws, Body pretreatment: Flame coat treatment, Application of bonding adhesives, Welding (if applicable): Welding equipment set-up, “Run-on” or “Cold start tabs.

NOTE: In addition, Aluminum panel replacement follows the guidelines outlined in specific applicable panel P-Pages. e.g. Aluminum Quarter Panel replacement follows Procedure 20, Quarter Panel R&R.

IMPORTANT REMINDER: The cost of aluminum panel replacement materials is not included in panel replacement R&R times. (example: Rivets, Panel bonding, Adhesives, Bonding primer, EMC screws, Flow drill screws etc.).

Caulking/Seam Sealer

The labor time for welded panels includes the application of caulking/seam sealer to the joints, gaps and seams of welded panels to achieve water sealing. It does not include the use of a caulking/seam sealer product as undercoating or sound deadening. It does not include any necessary masking, set-up and clean-up of an application tool, test patterns or application of material to duplicate factory look, texture and color or to create noise and vibration absorbing properties for the panel(s).

Caulking for standard factory application

The labor times shown in the Guide for bolt on panels includes the application of caulking/seam sealer. The performance of this operation is inclusive of the requirements necessary to replace the factory application of caulking/seam sealer. Necessary requirements may include, but are not limited to: Prep Work, Priming for adhesion, Masking, Standard Factory Application of caulking/seam sealer and Clean up. In some instances, Mitchell may determine that an OEM replacement part(s) is not serviced consistently by a vehicle manufacturer. In those cases, we will footnote the specific panel(s) with the labor footnote: #Does Not Include Application of Caulking and a headnote will be included in that section with a labor allowance for the performance of the task if necessary.

Labor Times

THE LABOR TIMES SHOWN IN THE GUIDE ARE IN HOURS AND TENTHS OF AN HOUR (6 MINUTES) AND ARE FOR REPLACEMENT WITH NEW, UNDAMAGED PARTS FROM THE VEHICLE MANUFACTURER ON A NEW, UNDAMAGED VEHICLE. Any additional time needed for collision DAMAGE ACCESS, ALIGNMENT PULLS, NON-ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT or USED PARTS should be agreed upon by all parties. Times for some operations are applicable after necessary bolted, attached or related parts have been removed. Mitchell labor times represent labor tasks being performed in a collision repair facility equipped with the necessary tools and equipment, and performed by experienced technicians trained to complete a proper and safe repair in accordance with vehicle manufacturer repair procedures and expectations. Exceptional circumstances, including all the sub-operations or extra operations, are indicated as notes throughout the text or are identified in the Procedure Explanations. The actual time taken by individual repair facilities to replace collision damaged parts can be expected to vary due to severity of collision, vehicle condition, equipment used, etc.

Labor Categories

The labor times shown in the Guide fall into various categories (for example, body, frame, mechanical) as determined by the repair facility’s operating procedures. As a guide, components for which R&I or R&R is commonly considered to be a mechanical operation when performed in a collision repair environment are designated with the letter "m" in the text. These designations are only a guide. They are not necessarily all inclusive, nor do they suggest the application of a labor rate.

Welded Panels

Replacement labor times for new panels that are joined by welding include the necessary use of inserts and accepted sectioning guidelines developed by OEMs, I-CAR, and TECH-COR. The labor times for welded panels include grinding, filling and final sanding with up to 150 grit sandpaper to match the original panel contour. Labor times do Not-Include the Feather, Prime and Block refinish operation. See Procedure 28 in Procedure Explanation section, for information on Feather, Prime and Block.

Adhesive Panel Bonding

Replacement labor times for panel bonding include all necessary weld applications identified by adhesive material manufacturers and OEM guidelines. Users should reference best practices procedures from bonding material manufacturers and/or OEM guidelines before selecting this replacement method option.

A/C Evacuate and Recharge

The labor times shown in the Guide represent utilizing A/C servicing equipment in a collision repair environment that evacuates the system by applying vacuum that must then be held by the system for a certain period of time (leak check) confirmed with electronic leak detection equipment post re-fill. Diagnosing a failed leak check test is not included.

Shop Material

The labor times shown in the Guide do not take into account the cost of any materials, or the cost of hazardous materials recycling or disposal.

Disable and Enable Air Bag System

The labor times shown in the Guide represent the procedures necessary to disable and enable the air bag system in order to replace air bag system components and/or to perform repairs not related to the air bag system, e.g., welding. This procedure includes visually monitoring the air bag warning light to verify proper system functionality. The allowance does not include troubleshooting of the system if proper system functionality is not present.

Adhesive Emblems

The labor times shown in the Guide represent installing the emblem in the correct location by performing some combination of measuring, marking and aligning to ensure proper positioning. Time for the fabrication of a template for emblem installation per specific OEM procedure is not included.

Diagnose Air Bag System

The labor times shown in the Guide to diagnose air bag systems include system disable and enable, removal and installation of air bag module(s) (where required), installation of appropriate simulators, and retrieving and clearing of trouble codes. Time for specific troubleshooting of Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) is not included.

Glass Labor Times

The labor times shown in the Guide for glass listed with the NAGS part numbers are Mitchell times, not times from NAGS. Glass labor times are for remove and replace (R&R), i.e., removal of the existing glass and its replacement with new glass. Some glass labor times are also shown for removal and the later installation (R&I) of the same glass.

Stripes, Decals and Overlays

The labor times shown in the Guide for these items refer to installation only.

TECH-COR Repair Information

The labor times shown in the Guide for TECH-COR repair procedures are supplied by Mitchell. TECH-COR does not endorse, sanction or otherwise approve such times. TECH-COR publications are copyrighted material. However, reproduction of TECH-COR bulletins is permitted as long as the bulletin is reproduced in its entirety, including source attribution. TECH-COR bulletins may be obtained by contacting: TECH-COR, Inc., Technical Communications Dept., 100 East Palatine Road, Wheeling, IL 60090; Phone: 847-667-2341.

Base Model Vehicle

Vehicle with the minimal level of equipment available from the manufacturer.

Types of Vehicles

The types of vehicles covered are regular production models only.

Comprehensive Labor Time

While completeness is strived for in each Guide, there will be instances, however, in which a labor time has not been established for an operation at the time of publication. If an item requires replacement and can be replaced as an individual item but shows no time, a time should be agreed upon among all parties and recorded on the damage report. It also should not be inferred that a component with no established Mitchell labor time has been included in another component’s replacement allowance.

Procedure Reference

Throughout each vehicle “service” there are Procedure Explanation reference notes located immediately following the main section headings. Example: BUMPER/FRONT PANEL is followed by, “Use Procedure Explanations1, 3 and 28 with the following text.” This indicates that the text portion and the Procedure Explanations for Front Bumper, Front Panel and Refinish should be used in conjunction with one another when writing a damage report. LABOR RELATED NOTES IN THE TEXT PORTION OVERRIDE THE PROCEDURE EXPLANATION PAGES.


The Procedure Explanations on the following pages outline the operations which are or are not included in the labor time listed in each vehicle "service." You are encouraged to become familiar with these procedure pages to be sure you have a thorough understanding of the Mitchell approach to collision estimating.

The left Included Operations column means that the labor time shown in the Mitchell Collision Estimating Guide text includes that particular operation or operations.

The right Not Included Operations column means that the labor time in the text does not include that particular operation or operations. Performance of one or more of these operations may or may not be necessary as determined by the individual job requirements. If an add-on time has been established for any of these operations it will be shown in the text. If a time has not been established or if the add-on time is dependent on conditions that vary due to collision damage (example: access time, free up parts), the additional time should be recorded on the damage report. Labor times relating to the repair of a damaged panel or the use of used parts would come under this category.

Additions to Labor Times

Due to the wide range of collision damage and vehicle conditions, labor times for the following operations are not included in the Guide.

Access Time

Remove extensively damaged parts by cutting, pushing, pulling, etc.

Accessing Repair Information

Research, retrieval, review or usage cost of OEM and/or other service procedural information.

Anti-Corrosion Rust Resistant Material

Remove and/or apply weld-thru primers, wax, petroleum based coatings, undercoating or any type of added conditioning.

Broken Glass Clean Up

Clean vehicle of all broken glass.


Clean vehicle to pre-accident condition.

Drain & Refill

Fuel (see fuel tank)

Electronic Components

Time to remove and install as necessary; includes wiring and/or wiring harness and computer module.
Time to reset memory code function (example: seat position, radio presets) when battery has been disconnected to perform repairs.
Time to complete computer relearn procedures for proper operation of vehicle systems (example: power sunroof, power window) when battery has been disconnected to perform repairs.
Time to aim/calibrate/diagnose/re-set/scan or test.


Fabrication of reinforcements or inserts (new component not cut or manufactured from existing or new part, but from raw stock).

Free Up Parts

Time necessary to free up parts frozen by rust or corrosion.

Measure and Identify

Structural damage by comparing vehicle under-body, under-hood, and upper-body reference points to accepted, OEM-based dimension specification to identify damage to unibody vehicles.

Plug and Finish Holes

Time to plug and finish unneeded holes on parts being installed.

Pre/Post Repair Scans

OEM recommendations may include pre/post-repair scan(s) on vehicles involved in a collision to assist in discovery of any specific Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC’s). Refer to OEM specific position statement(s) and/or repair procedures for additional information.

Repair or Align

Parts or adjacent to parts being replaced.

Rework Parts

To fit a particular year or model (example: cutting holes for lamps, modifying a radiator support).

Tar and Grease

Removal of these or any other materials that would interfere with operation.

Transfer Time

For welded, riveted or bonded brackets, braces or reinforcements from old part to new part.

Weld Testing

Time to perform weld testing or matching. The performance of destructive weld testing.