Looking for auto repair manuals? When faced with so many different choices it’s hard to decide what direction to go in.
Especially when many of these choices are from respected suppliers. This page can help you make an educated decision.
Watch the video below and see answers to the top five frequently asked questions about automotive manuals.
As you may have learned from pages on this site, I’m finished with paper books. In fact, I use the old ones to hold open the shop door on windy days.
After using repair diagrams and troubleshooting manuals that were first supplied on CD’s it was clear that the computer was a great way to find solutions to car repair problems.
Customers and some friends call me Master Tech Mark. I’ve been a certified mechanic for 30 years. I use automotive reference materials to fix cars, just like anyone else.
The only difference is I may be more clear on what auto repair manual is the better choice for specific situations. As a flat rate mechanic for most of my career, my goal was to fix the car problem in the least amount of time, so I could move on to the next one.
When service manuals first came out on CD they were very expensive to purchase for all make and models. In the 5-7 Thousand dollar range for a business license to be more exact.
Some of the leading companies providing the programs now offer expensive web-based services. This was a giant step forward and allows for future improvements.
No longer do you have to purchase updated CD’s at an additional cost.
Simply log in and all the improvements, updates and new technical service bulletins are waiting for you.
So now that I have explained why the computer-based manual is superior let me answer the top five questions submitted to me over the few years about them.
The Service and Repair Manual for Me
After using the three most popular web-based car repair programs I really believe that the clear winner at this time is none of them.
These services I have recommended in the past offer subscription based programs. When your time expires you no longer have access to the reference materials.
Therefore, I like the idea of getting a PDF version that I can download on my PC.
One that doesn’t expire and I’m aloud to print out. In my situation a copy of the factory Chevrolet service manual I’ll need for the average 10 years I’ll own my Chevy Suburban.
Auto Repair Manual FAQ
The number one question I get is do I really need it. Well my answer is yes. And I answer this way because of my experience with purchasing paper books for specific vehicles. Often these small guides don’t cover information that you are looking for specifically.
You may be able to relate to this situation? Often the service procedures listed in these cheap vehicle specific manuals sold at many parts stores are more like an overview of the procedure. If they leave stuff out there is no way to get any more.
The second most asked question is will a PDF service manual do what it says it will do. Now this question is a little harder to answer. The auto repair diagrams and vehicle specific information is there to help you fix your car.
The information is sourced directly from the manufacturers, service manuals. It is the most complete information available for do it yourself auto mechanics. But you may run into situations that fall through the cracks.
This is rare, but is possible. When I have provided assistance on using a downloadable resource, I find that if I continue digging for the information it is in there. The third most commonly asked question about data based repair manuals is, will this purchase be the only one I need to completely solve all my problems? This is a very fair question, but the answer is determined by the situation. I have never gone to a complete dealership level chapter for an answer to a question and not found it, but found it somewhere else in the universe.
Keep in mind if you’re following a diagnostic tree chart and it calls for you to take a voltage reading and you don’t have an automotive meter, you’ll have to buy one.
The good news is they have cheap electrical meters for about 15 bucks or try to find your solution by moving onto the next step. So if you purchase an online auto repair manual you may find that additional tools or testing devices may be required.
The fourth question that I receive a lot is what happens if something goes wrong with the web-based service. Tradebit has been a reliable company in my experience and their website is very stout. They offer a support ticket system that’s very responsive. If you download something that is less than what you expected they will help make it right or give you a refund.
The most common problem is people will have a difficult time finding specific information once they download the automotive resource. I will provide a video below that shows you some methods to hunt down that elusive information. But remember that a Tradebit do it yourself auto repair manual is supported by a help desk.
How to Use the Manuals Video
People ask me how hard the program is to use on a windows based machine. Since I have been using it for a couple of years it’s hard for me to have an objective opinion on this. I decided to make a quick video that shows you how to navigate through the system so you can see for yourself.
Bookmark this page and come back to watch the video again.
See Mark Gittelman’s Awards & ASE Certifications on Google+.
This next page has a video with more information on how to use the program. It provides a breakdown of what actually comes with the subscription. It’s my main page about automobile manuals for repairs.
You can visit the homepage from this next link. You can learn more about the car mechanic that built this automobile website and also review what else is covered here. You can also get answers to car questions.