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Automotive, Auto Repair Service Shop Manuals: Auto repair manuals take to the Internet
Remember Star Trek’s engineer Scotty and his technical journals? These days any professional repairman or shade-tree mechanic can find his own automotive auto repair service shop manuals in digit form on the Internet!
Every mechanic who repairs automobiles uses automotive reference materials to fix cars. The difference is that instead of having huge bound manuals printing on paper lining the repair shop shelves, the manuals are now accessed from compact disc or on the Internet. You don't even really need to be all that computer savvy to make use of these manuals either!
Mechanics say that when repair diagrams and troubleshooting manuals first came out on CDs, they were expensive to purchase for all makes and models. Now instead of having to buy update CDs every year, the three leading companies that provided manuals in digital format have upgraded to using the Internet.
Master technicians say that amateur mechanics – and even some professional repairmen – who think they can fix a car just by “eyeballing” a problem had been think again. They highly recommend that mechanics use a repair manual written for the specific vehicle. And they strongly urge that all mechanics take advantage of accessing the repair manuals available on the web.
Part of the reason for this shift is that printed books can be outdated fairly quickly. Last year’s book, even last year’s CD, may not have vital information that a mechanic needs. Service procedures could need updating, or they may be skipped altogether. There’s no way to access more information if something has been left out.
Online automotive repair service manuals are a different kind of resource altogether. The online database includes auto repair diagrams and vehicle specific information. The reference material is taken directly from manufacturers’ service manual, and is the most complete information available to help fix a car.
While the online databases contain the best collection of information on automotive repairs, the information can be useless if the mechanic doesn’t have the right kind of tools. For instance, say a mechanic is following a chart known as a diagnostic tree. This spells out a sequence of things to look for when trying to determine the problem with a car. The chart may require the mechanic to take a voltage reading, but the mechanic doesn’t have a multimeter, the tool to take the reading. The mechanic’s options at this point are either to buy the correct tool, or try to find a solution by moving on to the next step without taking the voltage reading. The mechanic might still find an answer, but it could take a lot longer.
The biggest drawbacks to web-based auto repair service shop manuals are:
• Maintaining a good Internet connection.
• Understanding how to search properly for information.
Most web-based auto repair manual services need a lot of computer space to store all their data, so they’re usually kept on systems with lots of space and power that run practically all the time. Local Internet connections can go out now and then, and when that happens, there’s nothing to do but wait until it comes back up.
Learning how to search through the online database of an auto repair service shop manual is a key new skill for every mechanic to develop. Once the mechanic has a good sense of how to look for needed information, the online auto repair manual is a breeze to use.