Why Find a Cheap Service Manual

I am going to give it one more shot at convincing people that a service manual can be worth the $12 it costs to gain access to it. I totally understand that these are bad economic times. But there are some occasions when spending a few dollars can save many more.
Wire diagram from service manual Picture
service manual diagram
I know how it feels to be broke. When the economy crashed in 2008 I was not immediately affected. But now that we are at the end of 2011 I am totally engulfed in the destruction that the crashing economy has caused. I purchased (what I thought was) an affordable home in 2007. It was the cheapest house in town (and crappie). I paid 185K and put 20k into it to make it livable. Now I have abandoned houses on both sides and the house is valued at $55,000. I know what it’s like to be underwater.
So when people send me questions and I tell them they should find a cheap service manual they e-mail me back and say… what “do you think I’m rich”.  I say it’s only $12 and they say if I had $12 I could buy a new car. I then tell them that if I had to do this specific repair that I would find a service manual to follow. If I didn’t follow the service manual I could do damage to the vehicle and extend the repair time.

This is why car repair manuals can often be much more valuable than the money it costs to secure access to it. When it comes to things going wrong on automobiles chances are someone has experienced the same exact problem and fixed it several times. More often it will be a professional mechanic that works on that particular model vehicle often dealership technician) that will be the first one to put it down in writing.

Yes there is a chance that you can go on the Internet and browse through different automotive forums and find the answers. But when it comes to fixing the vehicle it is hard to beat the information that originates from the factory. The service manual for your vehicle has extremely efficient diagnostic charts for solving many car problems.

When the diagnosis has pinpointed a failed component this very same service manual can provide instructions on how find (component location diagrams, part numbers, average costs, repair time) and replace that specific part. With diagnosis and repair procedures available in one location it really is hard to beat these reference materials that have been specifically prepared for your individual make and model.

Service manuals are inexpensive

Picture of cheap service manual page
step by step repair procedure

A lot of people go to the Internet to find the information they need for free. I don’t blame you for trying and if luck is on your side you may find exactly what you need at no cost. But when the information that you need and more is available for cheap, you should set a time limit when it comes to searching the web for free service information. I don’t care who you are, time is money.

The price that we put on our time varies with the individual. Some lawyers feel that their time is worth $487 an hour. Others feel that their time is worth eight dollars an hour. If your time is worth eight dollars an hour spending two hours on the Internet trying to find a service manual for free has eclipsed the $12 it would cost to buy the professional factory version.

I know how you feel when $12 is a lot of money. In my town unemployment is around 25% and you can get a pizza for under $10. When faced with the decision of whether to get a pizza or an auto repair manual as long as your car is still driving you will probably choose the pizza. Just remember that if you can’t find the information that you need to fix your car for free then it is available at a reasonable cost.

When it comes to free information I provide a lot of it on this website. I have drive belt diagrams for free that are very popular. The problem is that it may not be the stuff that you are looking for. But just in case it is this next link will take you to the blog homepage for online auto repair. There you can see the most recent articles and see if the information can help you out or not.


One comment

  1. I agree, the manual is a must (full factory service manual is the best). If your are looking to save $, there are many used book sources on the web: half.com, amazone.com, ebay.com, etc. Many times common manuals are less that $12 including shipping.

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