Most do-it-yourselfer types still occasionally need some type of guidance when it comes to working on their favorite vehicle. While the basics are pretty similar between most vehicles, every vehicle has a few details that can baffle even the best mechanics. Most automotive manufacturers do have specialized teams that prepare factory repair manuals, but sometimes these instructions call for special tools available to factory race teams and technicians working with the big budgets. Additionally, the average person trying to save a few dollars by repairing and maintaining their own vehicles probably won’t have access to or budget for these factory technical manuals. Fortunately, aside from the factory service manuals, the next best auto repair manuals available can be easily and frugally purchased for most types of vehicles.
With the convenience of the internet, finding the manual with the instructions you need or the diagram that explains what you are researching is typically pretty straightforward. It used to be that you were only able to find a printed repair manual with black and white photos or hand drawn diagrams, and the repair instructions were quickly covered using just a few steps. If you were new to wrenching on a vehicle, those few steps weren’t enough. Fortunately, this is no longer the case as the internet now gives you a much greater selection of manuals to choose from. Perhaps our favorite repair manuals from the available options are those written by Chilton and Haynes.
The Best Auto Repair Manuals
Chilton has been disassembling automobiles since the 1960’s in the interest of offering the budget do-it-yourselfers an option to save money and better understand the hows and whys of repairing their automobile. Even for those who don’t work on their own vehicles, they could at least approach a professional mechanic with the necessary knowledge of the project at hand to easily understand what the mechanic was supposed to do during the repair process after having read a Chilton.
Each Chilton repair manual covers model-specific items that are applicable to your vehicle, which includes procedures for simple repairs such as bleeding your brakes as well as procedures for extremely involved repairs including head gasket replacements, electrical system diagnosis, clutch replacement, suspension repairs, steering rack refurbishment, and more. For newer vehicles with on-board diagnostic systems, the manuals list the trouble codes available with the associated common causes.
Chilton is part of Haynes North America based in California. Haynes also produces a line of repair manuals, online videos, and a few other options to offer a more in-depth view of sub-systems on modern vehicles from most of the major automotive manufacturers around the world. Some of their specialized manuals also cover general customization and other repairs like fiberglass and metal shaping. Haynes likely has a manual that will cover your specific vehicle in-depth whether you drive a car like a BMW 330i or a car like a Honda CRV. Haynes repair manuals are written by experts in basic language in order to make them easily comprehensible in order to make repairs as straightforward as possible.
As far as available purchasing options for both brands, Amazon’s availability and competitive pricing make it the first place we’d suggest looking for a Chilton or a Haynes repair manual for your specific model year and style of vehicle. Both brands have been producing leading automotive repair manuals for many years, and with the evolving technology in every generation of automobile, having one of the best auto repair manuals near your tool chest will serve you extremely well and will likely save you a good bit of coin over the long haul. If you’d like to read a more in depth comparison between Haynes and Chilton automotive repair manuals, click here. Happy wrenching!