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Best Auto Repair Manuals for the Do-It-Yourselfer



earching for the perfect auto repair manual can be mind-boggling.  Whether youíre looking for a repair manual online or offline, we hope the suggestions below will allow you to find the manual that will help you fulfill your mechanical dreams.


Chilton's & Haynes

Both of these manuals produce some professional level manuals that you don't see in normal outlets. These usually cover all models for a specific year, and are very thick, and are available for all currently produced and most out-of-production vehicles on the road today.  They offer "mechanics of all skill levels" simple step-by-step directions on complete maintenance, service and repair.  Each manual is filled with detailed illustrations and photos to guide you visually.  They are written so that both professional mechanics and amateurs in the garage will be able to find what they need quickly. 



These manuals bill themselves as the oldest and most complete repair information books in the United States.  They have been around since 1937 and have perfected the art of the auto repair manual.  They have a complete set of books published and updated every year as well as a magazine that comes out monthly to keep you up to date on the current automobile techniques and news.  Their website, has the key articles from every issue since 1998. 


Popular Mechanics

Although not a repair manual, this magazine offers a monthly subscription to a magazine filled with articles on repair and maintenance of cars.  The regular Saturday Mechanic offers step-by-step instructions on a single complex repair, while Maintenance Basics covers less complex repairs and maintenance.  Included in every magazine are question and answer columns, which cover multiple topics in each issue. 


Honda and Acura Performance Handbook


These Performance Handbooks offer excellent step by step guides on modifications and bolt-ons to make your Honda or Acura faster, lower, louder, and cooler. Covers everything from easy, low-buck mods you can do in a weekend through all-out performance engine and suspension tuning for competition racing. This handbook is highly rated by many magazines.



This manual includes not only repair info, but also the latest technical service bulletins and shop hours estimates.



This is one of the most detailed books available and the hands-down best reference for the experienced mechanic. Unfortunately, Bentley focuses on European models mostly, not US models.



Written for factory certified mechanics, they may require access to special tools only available to authorized mechanics.


            The above manuals donít even touch the surface of whatís available to the do-it-yourselfer these days. However, when looking for a repair manual, it is important to find one that you can understand and follow without being lost and frustrated with the jargon and technical terms.  By choosing the right manual for your needs, you can enjoy your hobby of maintaining and repairing your vehicles.



Also see

Your Car's Mechanical Condition

Don't Let your Mechanic Take you to the Cleaners -more tips for choosing a trustworthy mechanic.

Rebuilt vs. Remanufactured Engines -Your engine has failed and must be replaced.  Which type do you choose?

Change Your Oil Once a Year or Every 35000 Miles! -learn about synthetic oil and it's advantages for you.

Glossary of Automotive Terms -from crankshaft to horsepower to spark plugs, find out what those auto terms mean!




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