Best Repair Manuals For Cars
Whether you need a manual to fix your vehicle or you’re thinking of running a business, you’ll most likely need auto repair manuals.
Keep reading to find how to get professional auto repair manuals 20% OFF for LIFE!
I’ve used Pro Mitchell 1, and Chilton Manual / Haynes repair manuals before. Although they are good manuals to start with, there are some issues I’ve run into when using them:
Pro Mitchell 1
This car manual provider is only suitable for bigger shops with bigger price tags. Pro Mitchell1 won’t really cater to DIYers who just have 1 or 2 vehicles that need to be repaired. You must subscribe on a monthly/annual plan to use their car repair manuals.
This may not be a viable option unless you run your own shop and you service many vehicles.
Chilton Manual / Haynes repair manuals
These repair manuals do offer a wide variety of car manuals books to choose from. On general level they can be quite good for you to tackle your basic automotive maintenance.
But I wish they offered more pictures and diagrams when diagnosing and fixing your vehicle.
So what do I recommend as the best car repair manuals for DIYers?
I’ve been using ALLDATA for more than five years now and their repair manuals do not disappoint. These guys know what they’re doing, and they’re the leaders of the industry for a reason.
Although ALLDATA runs on a subscription model, they do offer individual repair manuals which are perfect for any DIYer.
PROs of ALLDATA
The best feature about ALLDATA is that you get extra content to help you locate vehicle components. They will actually label a lot of things out for you. Making it clear to spot what’s what.
ALLDATA is originally made as garage workshop automotive database repair software. But their ALLDATA-DIY department allows anyone who isn’t a shop owner to use their car repair manuals.
ALLDATA will even link photos to the drawing diagrams to help you locate components even faster. I haven’t seen many companies offer this type of feature.
Very handy to have when you’re diagnosing electrical problems and you don’t know which connector is which, or where it’s located. They solve these types of problems.
Check out the examples below how ALLDATA refers the photo number on the diagram, and provides links direct to the photo to help you identify locations quickly.
ALLDATA also offers repair book time so you know how long a repair should typically take to complete.
And you also get the MSRP (Manufacture Suggested Retail Price) for how much parts will cost.
A very handy tool to have so you never get ripped off by any shop or parts store.
Quick Video Tutorial: How to Use ALLDATA
CONs of ALLDATA
The customer service is currently lacking big time. You’ll be on your own when using ALLDATA’s DIY repair manuals.
But if you decide you need ALLDATA staff to help diagnose and fix your vehicle problems, it will cost you a premium to get their technicians to help you.
All in all, ALLDATA still does a good job in bringing you most of the information you need to fix your own vehicle. I still recommend using their software for at least a year to get the most bang for your buck. It’s still the best repair manual among industry standards.
You get a lot of information which most other repair manuals don’t offer. You get information on labor cost and MSRP on parts; a big bonus in my books.
2) Emanual Online
Emanual Online is another great automobile repair book if you’re looking for similar quality manuals for bargain prices.
This company offer more car manuals than most other companies. I’m super pleased with using these shop manuals to help me do my own car repairs.
Emanual Online doesn’t offer any subscription model. Which means you don’t have to pay monthly or yearly to use their auto repair manuals.
But if you’re running your own automotive repair shop (or currently thinking about doing so) Identifix is another solid option to take.
PROs of Emanual Online
I’ve purchased a car repair manual from Emanual Online for a 2011 KIA Sorento I own.
Lately with ALLDATA-DIY upgrading their platform, customer service has been lacking. But, damn am I impressed with Emanual Online.
There are 1348 pages in PDF format with so many detailed instructions on how to remove and reinstall components for my KIA Sorento; mechanical and electrical. I’ve gotta say this is a step up from what I’m used to from most low cost manual providers.
All purchases from EManualOnline gives you access to your manual for life. You never have to pay monthly subscriptions like you do with other manual providers.
Not only that, they’ve got repair manuals for almost anything that’s out there!
Emanual Online not only have repair manuals for cars, but they’ve got manuals on:
- Heavy Duty vehicles
- The list goes on…
it’s insane. They’ve got over 1,400,000 manuals available for almost anything at the time of writing this! 🤯
So if you’re working on other projects and need a manual for that, they’ll likely have you covered!
CONs of Emanual Online
I’m happy this company put in a lot of effort compiling their auto repair books. But, there is something that is lacking. With over 1300 pages it’s a bit tough to navigate and find things quickly.
You have to constantly scroll back to the Table of Contents to find where things are. Although everything is there, it takes a while to locate what you’re looking for.
You’ll have to use the ‘Ctrl + F’ hotkey to search up the terms you’re looking for.
There is no information on costs for parts or labor time for the vehicle, which is a bummer. This feature is found in ALLDATA however.
And since EmanulOnline autorepair books only come in PDF format, there really is no support with your repairs.
Unlike Emanual Online, ALLDATA requires you pay a monthly or yearly subscription to have access to your repair manual online.
With over 1.4 million repair manuals (now over 2.5 million) to choose from, EManual Online should be your go-to place to find quality repair manuals for low cost. It’s a great addition if you’re working on boats, tractor, or motorbikes as well.
Nothing like working on other DIY projects with Emanual Online to have your back.
Emanual Online is one of the best repair manuals you can access when you’re offline from the internet. You’ll receive a downloadable PDF you can use at any time.
You keep your repair manuals for life when you purchase from Emanual Online.
I’ve used Identifix in the past. They are quite similar to ALLDATA with their car repair manual software.
Identifix offers a DIY Plan as well as a Pro and Academy Plan.
PROs of Identifix
Even though I’ve opted for Identifix DIY, I still got their technical support. Who doesn’t want real customer support at the DIY level?
At one time I was having difficulty looking for the wiring diagram I needed for an ignition switch on a PT Cruiser.
I reached out to Identifix and got their staff to help me locate the diagram I was having issues finding. This a bonus points in my books!
Identifix repair manuals also offers a database on labor rate book time and MSRP on parts. Which means you’ll know exactly how long each car repair takes no matter what job you do. And you’ll know exactly what any part costs on the market so no shop will be able to rip you off.
3 Million Confirmed Fixes
The technicians at Identifix have a database of over 3 million confirmed vehicle fixes. Which means you’ll have more confidence choosing Identifix to help you to diagnose and repair any automotive issues.
If you’re running your own shop (or currently thinking of doing so), upgrading to Identifix Hit Pro will give you access to all vehicles and models to diagnose and repair.
If you’re thinking of starting your own business, Identifix Pro Academy is another step u. You get access to everything I’ve already mentioned above, plus professional training to get your shop up and running smoothly.
Identifix Pro Academy offers over 350 training videos and courses on diagnosing any car out there – from fundamental to advanced skill level. You get extra training you need if you’re lacking in some area of skill as a mechanic.
Solera (the parent company of Identifix), also offers financing if you need assistance running your shop. It’s worth checking out for the serious (or up and coming) shop owner.
CONs of Identifix
I’ve had only one problem with Identifix before. At one time they had double billed me when I decided to do a test run with them.
I did eventually get credited for their mistake, but at the time I was pretty upset. So if you decide to go with Identifix, make sure to communicate clearly with their customer service on what services you actually want rendered.
Overall Identifix offers something for everyone, DIY and shop owners alike.
With high level software you can use to find almost anything you need to repair your car, comes nicely packaged with customer support that truly cares.
My experience has been good with them so far. Every professional should give Identifix at least one good try.
Last Update: October 11, 2023