How to Buy an Automotive Repair Manual

Car Repair Manuals

Need specific repair information? You came to the right place. We are a team of ASE certified online mechanics that have created this guide to give you tips on how to get specific repair information free from the web if is it available. The internet is being filled up will information slowly but there is so much of it the process will take some time.

There is a commonalty among cars where generic repair guides can help by expressing basic repair knowledge which can be found on

Learn more: Free Car Repair Guides

Back when cars were easier to figure out a manual was not needed, that is not the case currently. In today's cars and their many sensors and controls combined with computerized systems, the wiring alone is mind boggling.

Before purchasing an online manual do some research and even call the companies to make sure they will have the information you are looking for. For example, if you are looking for camshaft timing marks for a 2004 Mercedes Benz c230 Kompressor they will not have it. Sometimes they simply are not given the information from the manufacturer. Some levels of information are not released to the aftermarket industry and are only available to the dealer repair service centers.

A service manual is commonly used to reference individual car information pertaining too:

  • Electrical components locations
  • Torque specifications
  • Serpentine belt diagrams
  • Oil change light service resets
  • Timing belt and chain marks
  • Troubleshooting procedures
  • Wiring diagrams

Professional garages pay anywhere form $3,000 to $5,000 dollars a year to use a professional grade information system which services most cars. These companies include: Mitchell1, Alldata, Chilton and Haynes. Each of these companies offer a "do it yourselfer" online version that will allow you to purchase one or more car's for personal use for a set amount and for a limited number of days usually anywhere from a week to a year. A good advantage for this information is you can get it within minutes, the disadvantage is when the time runs out you will need to repurchase. If you are unhappy with the information they offer once the purchase is made simply call the company and they will refund your money. 

Beware of websites offering free repair manuals because it is against copy write laws to offer this information in bulk to the public. However, small pieces of information are sometimes permitted for promotional purposes.

Before spending your money check Google images for what you are looking for because sometimes someone else might have posted it and Google will find it. Or check which have a small liberality of diagrams for serpentine, timing belt and timing chains.

If you are going to keep your car for over a year we suggest buying a paper manual so it can stay with the car and help you with any troubles that might arise for as long as you own the car. They are close in price to the online manuals and from Amazon with prime you can get it the next day.

Here is a List of Book Manuals from Amazon

Choose by manufacturer:

A technical service bulletin or TSB are issued by the manufacturer after common defects have been discovered after the release of a particular vehicle. The manufacturer is required by law to produce a notice and post it on this government website:

If the problem is safety related or more serious it is recalled by the manufacturer and can be checked by visiting:

If you have any questions about repair manuals please visit our online mechanics forum where we will answer you promptly.




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