If you are looking for online car repair manuals you’re faced with several choices. Not only are there many to choose from, but they come from respected brand names.
This makes choosing the right one for your specific automotive repair needs challenging. I have been turning wrenches for 30 years professionally. Over the last three decades I had the opportunity to use most of these programs at one time or another.
Now that I’m a retired do it yourself in the driveway mechanic, I’ve been downloading PDF vehicle specific service manuals. This beats getting a subscription for one vehicle for a year through other suppliers.
Choosing Online Car Repair Manuals
The truck repair shop I worked for had the working capital to join a car repair manuals service that covered their entire fleet.
Now I can get the the same high quality reference materials they have access to. Before you make a decision on which one you’ll buy, give me a chance to answer some frequently asked questions.
I also want to show you what the PDF manual looks like after you unzip the files on a PC or Mac. I added a quick demonstration video below as well.
Car Repair Frequently Asked Questions
The first question I get most often is will the service manual be hard to use and how much time will it take me to figure it out. This is a great question, and also what separates the online repair manual from the other kinds.
There’s a learning curve with any of these Diy auto repair products. They have a helpful index section that does a good job of explaining where to find information in their product. Tradebit also has a help desk where you can submit specific questions and trouble tickets.
Another impressive part about their auto repair manual selection is the search feature that’s available on every page. This literally allows you to search through the entire list of car manuals for your specific vehicle just as you would on the Internet.
Other brands use this to, but it often disappoints. I provide auto repair videos on my YouTube Channel and I’ll add a demonstration video below that shows you how to use the search feature. This is the best way to dig out the auto repair diagrams, troubleshooting charts and wiring schematics that you’re looking for.
Cost of the Online Repair Manuals
People often ask if this is a good value. The cost to download a manual fluctuate, but I paid $19.95 for the complete Chevrolet service manual for my 2004 Chevy Blazer. This is less than a three-month subscription to the brand x web based offering.
Some people argue that they would rather purchase a paper manual and have it for life. This is a good point, but you could print the PDF out if you wanted. However, since my Chevy Blazer manual is more than 2,000 pages I won’t be doing that.
Nevertheless, I will back it up on a thumb drive and can even use this as a selling feature when I go to sell the truck. I also want to mention If you were to order this type of automobile repair information from a dealership it would cost about $200.
If you purchase the paper version it wouldn’t be any safer than saved as a file in PDF format. The latest auto repair information can also be transferred to your tablet or phone with a PDF app. Now you have the repair procedures right at the vehicle with you.
You can’t back up the one-year subscription type car repair manual and I’m also not sure how well it works on mobile devices. If you sell the automobile you can’t transfer the subscription to the new owner so you just have to let it lapse.
What if the Service Manuals Don’t Work
Tradebit offers a return policy. But they also have a trouble ticket system that can help you exchange your purchase. The subscription service doesn’t offer a refund because some people would print out the information needed to fix a car problem then ask for a refund.
However, I have heard of people requesting a refund and it being granted through the customer service department of the major brands. I believe that if the vehicle you subscribe too doesn’t have the DIY auto repair information that you’re looking for that you should be able to submit for a refund.
I cannot guarantee in any way that you would get your money back. However, if you fill out a help desk ticket I can guarantee you that your request would be considered and may be granted if your reasons are good enough.
Note that Transmission and body repairs are included for most vehicles offering complete service manuals on PDF. Although technical service bulletins aren’t included you can find these online through other channels.
Car Repair and Service Manual Demonstration Video
I do have another video that shows more tips and tricks for using this online auto repair manual program. This next link will take you to more information about car repair manuals online.