Did your car break down and you don’t feel like paying some outrageous price to your local mechanic? I don’t blame you. Nobody wants to fork out their hard-earned money if they can do it themselves.
First off, I hope your car hasn’t left you stranded on the side of the road, especially in the winter months. But if it has, it is probably safest to have it towed to a location that will be convenient for you to do the needed repairs. Your own garage or concrete driveway is your best bet. If you don’t have a nice place of your own to work on your vehicle, consider asking a friend or relative if you can borrow their garage for a few hours before you call the tow truck. Once you have the vehicle delivered it won’t be easy to move again without paying for another tow bill.
Now, assess the problem using the troubleshooting section in the repair manual as a starting place. If you have more than one diagnosis for what it could be, always start with the cheapest thing to replace first. That way if it’s not the more expensive parts you haven’t wasted the money buying them. A couple of trips to the auto repair store may be necessary but worth it in the long run as some parts for cars and trucks (depending on the model) could be quite pricey.
Your automotive repair manual will help you to diagnose the problem and then show you diagrams and pictures of how the part comes on and off of your vehicle.
If you have any kind of mechanical skills at all, you should be able to fix your car or truck yourself using the proper manual for your make/model. Sometimes things will seem like you are never going to get back on the road but just keep working at it, and even ask someone with a little more knowledge about your issue. Sometimes just hearing someone tell you how to do something will click with what you have seen in your repair manual.
Don’t be afraid to give it a shot yourself because when you are back to cruising down the road at 55mph you will feel a sense of accomplishment knowing that you were able to fix it yourself without having to pad the pockets of the local garage owner.
Inside every car owners manual is a wealth of information about your specific vehicle. I opened up my 2006 Chevy Silverado’s owners manual and this is what I found inside:
Seats and Restraint Systems
This section includes the front and back seats, seat belts, child restraints and the airbags.
Features and Controls
This section of the owners manual deals with the locks and windows along with the theft deterrent system, mirrors, OnStar System, storage areas, sunroof and any vehicle personalization.
This section has an instrument panel overview, tells about climate controls, goes over the warning lights, gauges and indicators and covers the Audio System.
Driving Your Vehicle
This section talks about your driving, the road and your vehicle. It also goes over towing information.
Service and Appearance Care
This is the section most people need their car owners manual for. All the good information about your vehicle will be found in this section. It covers the servicing information and doing your own service work. You will find fuel information and how to check things out under your hood here. This section also covers the front and rear axle and the four wheel drive if your car or truck has that. You can learn how to replace light bulbs, windshield wiper blades and find the information on your vehicles tires. There is also a nice guide to the care of my interior including the seats upholstery, carpet and keeping the instrument panel cleaned. Wheel care and taking care of your paints finish is also covered here. This is also where you will find the car or trucks electrical system information here too.
This section has all kinds of good information about the regular scheduled maintenance of your vehicle. Read this information carefully and refer back to it often to make sure you keep up with your repairs and maintenance.
If you have a symbol or a light lit up that you need to identify, there is normally a chart in the front of your car owners manual that shows every symbol and light associated with your specific vehicle.
There are thousands of searches each month for automotive repair manuals but many times the information people need are actually in the car owners automotive manuals. You should check the glove box of your car or truck to see if there is a owner’s manual inside that has the information you are searching for.
The radio/stereo system that came originally with your car will have directions inside the owners manual. You should be able to also get the information on your vehicles navigation system.
The most important thing anyone will find in their manual is the maintenance schedule. Keeping up with monthly and seasonal maintenance is important to keep your car running in tip-top shape.
If you can’t locate your original owners manual, you can find many places online to download one for free. You can check the links on the side of this website to see if you can find your manual.
They are available for all makes and models of cars.
An auto repair manual can be an invaluable part of any automotive repair project. Trying to fix a car without one is like trying to go on a trip without a Google Map. It’s just not a good idea.
Save time by knowing exactly what to do, step by step procedures and diagrams for getting the job done correctly without wasting time trying to figure out how to take something apart or put it back together. With the proper manual you will be able to do just that in a fraction of the time it would take you without one.
Printed book repair manuals are quickly becoming a thing of the past. We have the Internet to thank for that. More and more car mechanics are finding that they need to have a computer as a part of their toolbox. If you aren’t quite up to date with a hi-tech computer system in your garage, you can always download the vehicle specific repair manual and print out the pages or diagrams that you need in the garage.
Once you have the proper guidance of a repair manual, we are confident you can get the job done right and get your car or truck back on the road fast.