If you're into do-it-yourself car repair, an auto repair manual is always a handy tool to have. But manufacturer manuals might not always have all the information you need. The language might sometimes prove confusing and they're not guaranteed to be the most up-to-date guides available. Online auto repair guides and manuals have become an increasingly popular tool that seems to be slowly but steadily replacing the printed repair manual. You can search for exactly what you need and forego the page-flipping. Here are some of the different online auto repair resources available.

What the Pros Use

ALLDATA has been for some years providing auto shops with a comprehensive online database of detailed auto repair information on a fairly complete selection of vehicle makes and models. ALLDATAdiy.com is the place where civilians can access the same information but on a single-vehicle basis. You pay $27 of a years-worth of access to the repair manuals, troubleshooting guides and diagrams for one vehicle make and model. You pay extra for each additional vehicle. The guides themselves are professional and easy to use. The unique part about the website is that you can converse with other car owners and ask about specific issues via the bulletin board. It's a worth-it investment if you like doing a lot of your own repairs.

Haynes

Haynes has been publishing quality auto repair manuals for years. You can order them off their website for 25 dollars each plus shipping. The manuals contain detailed diagrams, and easy to understand step-by-step instructions. But they also have a good selection of auto repair videos that take you step by step through both basic and complex auto maintenance and repair procedures. Best of all, the videos are free.

User-made Manuals

There is also, of course, a ton of user-created auto repair materials to be found online for free, and while the quality of user-created repair manuals and guides will vary, a little research can lead you to some great free resources. YouTube, for one, has auto repair video guides on everything from changing your tires to replacing your shocks. You can even watch French maids teach you how to change your car's oil. For more detailed auto repair guides, the website freeautorepairmanualz.com offers micro repair manuals, each focusing on a specific issue for a specific kind of car make and model.

All of the sources you'll find online, despite their varying degrees of quality, come with the convenience afforded by the instant access to the specific information you need provided by the internet. While many repairs can be done yourself, others can be quite complicated and will require a visit to a qualified San Diego mechanic.