The Best Auto Repair Manuals Of 2022

Ask any owner or technician and they will all say the same thing: your shop can’t go without an auto repair manual! 

But in this booming digital era with ever increasing options, it’s hard to know where to turn. That’s why we’re here!

Here is our take on the best auto repair manuals available right now. 

But first: why invest in an auto repair manual?

With how fast technology is evolving, the engines of today require a much higher level of care and maintenance than they did even 20 years ago. 

Let’s say you need to replace a head gasket. You might have all the tools handy and the skills to complete the job but without service information, you wouldn’t know how tight to torque the bolts. If done incorrectly, the head gasket will fail prematurely, meaning more time and money wasted.

So whether you’re just starting out as a DIYer or working full-time in a shop on vehicles, having a reliable and comprehensive auto repair manual can make all the difference.

What to look for

There are some key factors that you should consider when deciding on an auto repair manual, including: 

  1. Price: The cost is a huge deciding factor when it comes to investing in an auto repair manual. If the prices seem high, you might want to consider getting started with free online resources and go from there.

  2. Subscription & lifetime plans: This completely depends on how often you plan to use the manual. Choosing a one-time payment can potentially save money for your shop long term.

  3. Relevance: An auto repair resource that doesn’t cover your shop’s specializations would be of no use to you. Doing proper research to determine the most relevant manuals can save you time and money.

  4. Format: Knowing which formats are compatible with your shop technology is imperative. Perhaps you want a digital version on hand that you can easily pull up during a repair order. Or you just use paper copies when working on brake repairs. Make this determination before buying a manual.

What do the professionals use?

You could go around collecting your own data and researching the best manual to turn to. But why not focus on the industry favorites?

If you’re asking yourself what auto repair manuals mechanics use, we’re afraid there is no one answer. Yes, the industry leaders like Chilton and Haynes will forever have their fans. But as more and more digital resources are rising to recognition such as ALLDATAdiy and AutoZone, there is a clear expansion in audience preference. 

We choose to look at this as an opportunity! Why not step out of your comfort zone and see what options are out there? So let’s explore the best that 2022 has to offer.

The best auto repair manuals of 2022

Although this has been a great year for companies publishing auto repair manuals, there are certainly some familiar brands staying relevant. Let’s start with the biggest names.

1. Chilton

Created back in 1904, Chilton has dominated as the king of auto repair manuals ever since. Perhaps more than any other publisher of vehicle maintenance manuals, Chilton has the largest vehicle data library. Additionally, the books go into great detail for each repair required on a model-specific level, making them very helpful for both professionals and beginners. 

What works:

Each Chilton handbook contains comprehensive, step-by-step instructions for all repairs and maintenance tasks included in the text. Since each handbook is model-specific, you’ll never have to wonder if the repair instructions are accurate for your car. 

Their manuals include essential instructions for tasks like engine maintenance and overhaul, electrical system guidelines, and drivetrain repairs. Additionally, they provide model-specific guides to trouble codes that explain the meaning of each code, listing the sensors and auto parts that are connected to it. A vast majority of automobile makes and models – including cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans – are covered in Chilton manuals.

Chilton manuals tend to be the best guides for mechanics who have a basic knowledge of auto repair and are looking for detailed instructions for specific cars, trucks, SUVs and vans. Chilton is also a great option for mechanics looking to join a community of other mechanics and car enthusiasts online.

What’s missing:

Chilton manuals do provide some in-depth graphics, photos and diagrams, but they frequently place more emphasis on the requirements and specifics. While this provides mechanics with a thorough overview of the repair procedure, it could be more challenging for DIYers to understand, especially if they prefer more visual guidance.

2. Haynes

Despite being established in England in 1960, Haynes Publishing quickly gained recognition among motorcyclists and car fans in the US. The business began with one book on building an Austin 7 Special and has now grown to approximately 1,000 publications on fixing and maintaining cars, motorcycles and ATVs.

What works:

Haynes is known for delivering one of the best auto repair manuals. Users love how digestible the format is. Pictures and illustrations simplify the repair process for less experienced mechanics.

Compared to Chilton’s manual, Haynes tends to provide more photos and illustrations. Their manuals also tend to spend a lot of time explaining how and why to do certain procedures a certain way, making them ideal for novice and experienced mechanics alike. Haynes manuals cover almost every vehicle make and model you can think of. 

What’s missing:

The main thing to note here is that the manuals have many standard procedures which are referenced in other sections of the book. These procedures can sometimes be difficult to follow and feel repetitive, prompting users to flip through the pages to get to the point.  


While Chilton and Hayles might dominate the print medium, ALLDATAdiy is definitely ruling the digital realm with easily the most comprehensive library of vehicles dating back to the 1980s.

What works:

With easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions, this publication focuses heavily on visuals and diagrams to convey information. The company keeps their online manuals refreshed, as TSBs and recalls can occur. They even update OEM parts pricing, which is also subject to change. Users rave about ALLDATAdiy’s modern interface, which makes it much easier to browse.

What’s missing:

With a resource as good as ALLDATAdiy, there had to be a catch. Although users have the option of paying a much higher price for a pro version, the standard package only grants access for a limited amount of time. 

4. AutoMD

AutoMD is a free auto repair reference that can be searched to meet several different criteria.

What works:

If you’re an experienced mechanic and interested in helping others, or if you’re having trouble with something on the website, AutoMD offers several ways to correct incorrect instructions. For newbies, the shop locator may be more interesting, as it helps them find a reliable service provider if their own attempts fail.

What’s missing:

Although an excellent online resource, certain features leave something to be desired when it comes to AutoMD. Generic information is what makes it most difficult to rely on. The guidelines and tips are not segmented by car make and model, making it hard to find exactly what you’re looking for.

5. EManualOnline

EManuelOnline, available for a one-time cost, simplifies how you research makes and models.

What works:

For specific searches, the interface is user-friendly. Once subscribed, you’ll have access to all of a respective vehicle’s annual manuals. This popular auto repair manual is also known for its advanced parts catalogs and wiring diagrams. Select the manual you need, add it to your shopping cart, pay with a credit card or PayPal, and download instantly.

What’s missing:

EManualOnline specializes in vehicles that are at least 5-10 years old. They don’t have many manuals for newer cars. Another disadvantage is that there is no fixed format for all repair manuals. Although they guide you through the process, it can be a hassle.

6. AutoZone

AutoZone, a top parts and tools supplier, prides itself on providing the right equipment along with the proper instruction. 

What works:

Being a trusted name, AutoZone’s manual doesn’t disappoint. Repair pages are sorted by vehicle area, mechanic skills, and more. It includes both written instructions and an extensive video library that covers an impressive number of auto repair scenarios. AutoZone even has a crowdsourcing feature for users to share their own insights.

A shop locator is included as a convenient reference to other authoritative resources for all skill levels. AutoZone will suggest which tools you should use for a specific job.

What’s missing:

Overall, there is a lack of comprehensive information. The advice given is sourced, but not on a professional level. 

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