Types of workshop manuals and where to find free car repair manuals
These days finding information on virtually anything is possible because of the internet. If you wanted to find information on how to change a spark plug or do pretty much anything on your car you can simply Google it. However, when it comes to workshop manuals, things aren’t as that simple as that. The truth is there are thousands of car makes and models available out there and are all technically different. You could download a car workshop manual to refer to if you wanted to try your hand at doing your own car repairs. Before you even consider that, consider the definition of a workshop manual and what it is meant for:
Workshop manuals are used to diagnose faults in the way the car runs, and offer detailed information.
If you need to diagnose a fault, perform some maintenance work yourself, or simply want a better understanding of how your car works, a workshop manual will prove an invaluable source of information.
There are different types of workshop manuals.
Factory service manuals are made by auto manufacturers. They are technical manuals that are more useful for getting down to the details, they will for example, provide service specifications, fluid capacities, torque values, diagnostic charts, instructions for repair procedures, prescribed maintenance timings, and other facts and figures that are related to your car. Aftermarket repair manuals are more suited to a non technical person. They focus more on ‘how to’ guides that are suitable for beginners.
There are specific manuals that deal with individual components like wiring manuals, manuals for specific individual components such as the manuals for the engine.
Is there anything like a free workshop manual?
Workshop or car repair manuals that are completely free might only be available from a library. However, factory service manuals issued by the manufacturer are normally free, and there are resources online where you can download them.
Finding a free car manual
You can buy a workshop manual from any car workshop but you can also find quality free factory service manuals online. Sometimes the owner manuals that come with your car will have enough basic information that can help you troubleshoot you may have with your car.
If you really need a detailed manual and your car is fairly new, ask your car manufacturer for a copy of your car factory service manual, these days they are often available in PDF, the days of expensive thousand plus page books are long gone. You can also download one from resources online that offer them for free download.
There are also forums where communities of DIY car mechanics share tips on car repairs for specific car models. You can post a question about your specific problem and get an answer.
Online free Auto Mechanics also have websites where you can post a question and get an answer from a certified technician. Sometimes these “free” websites have a catch. Just be careful and understand what you are signing up for.
Paid car repair manual services
You can try eBay Motors and see if there is a seller who has the manual for the exact car make, model and year.
There are also paid online repair manual services run by “Haynes” or “Chilton” repair manuals. These have model specific manuals and specific diagrams which are very good at outlining how to complete basically all repair jobs required on your car, including bodywork and electrical.