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Auto Repair Manuals: Top websites and meterials

If you are an amateur auto mechanic who loves to dig into car engines until the wee hours of the morning while most people are under their covers, involves the do-it-yourself spirit and isn't afraid to get grease on your hands, or if you find yourself in an emergency situation, a very useful resource is the availability of the proper auto repair manuals.

There are two types of automotive repair manuals:

  • Online downloadable manuals
  • Printed manuals

Online Manuals

The best thing about online manuals is that whatever manual you need for any make of car is just a few mouse clicks away; you can download it from the Internet in no time.

If time is an important factor for you, for example, if you find yourself in a situation that requires immediate repair information and your knowledge of the specific problem is limited, the quickest and most economical solution is to search for high quality vehicle repair manuals online.

Some of these manuals include not only repair information, but also up-to-date technical service information and some of them even include approximate office hours. This is valuable information if you decide to take your car to a mechanic: you'll know in advance how much you can expect to pay for the repair. Most of these websites charge a minimal fee for their service, but compared to what you'll get, it's worth it.

Good vehicle repair manual sites also have up-to-date diagnostic and maintenance information. Their manuals are original service manuals written by the manufacturers and contain the original shop repair descriptions. Therefore, many professional automotive technicians use quality downloadable manuals.

Good manuals contain thousands of pages of diagrams and all the detailed information needed for the specific vehicle and auto part repair.

Printed manuals

I have chosen to do a brief review of three of the best printed auto repair manuals available on the market today. If you choose these over the online alternative, expect some time for shipping and handling.


Target is the experienced mechanic, and many experts consider it the undisputed best reference.

Probably the most detailed auto repair book available.

Unfortunately, Bentley focuses primarily on European models, not U.S. models.


Simple step-by-step procedures, easy to follow standard format, their target audience is the average backyard mechanic. Focusing on basic maintenance and repairs.

Containing a wealth of photographs and sequential graphics to simplify maintenance and make the job easy and fun.

New cars are treated with special attention. However, older cars are grouped together and the instructions for these are a bit more generalized.