Replacing your oil, changing your spark plugs, fixing a headlight—these are all repairs you can do yourself. But you shouldn’t just run out and try without having a guide. To help you, here are eight of the best online car repair guides. Note: If you’re having serious issues with your vehicle, it’s best to visit a mechanic before attempting to fix anything yourself.
Chilton is easy to navigate and offers a variety of repair guides to suit your needs. It has step-by-step repair instructions, troubleshooting guides, recall information, animated diagrams, and video examples. This website is in-depth and offers guides on nearly anything that’s wrong with your vehicle, and it isn’t free. It does, however, present several purchasing options. You can buy a 30-day plan for $14.95 or a year for $24.95. Pretty cheap considering how much you’ll save doing these things yourself.
- Workshop Manuals
This website provides its manuals for free, though the options are less numerous than Chilton. Despite being free, it offers comprehensive guides that are easy to follow. If you’re having an issue with your vehicle, this website can tell you what could be wrong with your car as well as what tools you'll need to fix it. Plus, it’ll give you the part number should you need a replacement.
iFixit started out showing you how to fix your Apple products, but it quickly grew and expanded its free manual selection to cars. Now it offers information on how to fix some makes and models from as early as the 1960s up to 2011. The guides tell you what tools and parts you need before you start the project, then they give step-by-step instructions that include clear pictures.
This company is already well known for helping car owners with repairs. It’s no surprise it offers some free vehicle repair guides right on its website. It offers “problem solving” guides if you need a little help figuring out what’s wrong with your car. Based on how your car feels, looks, smells, or sounds, you can troubleshoot the various issues and find solutions right on the website.
ALLDATA is well known for providing information on car repairs for the do-it-yourselfer. It offers manuals for most domestic and imported vehicles sold in the U.S. from 1982 to 2012, except for BMW and Mini Cooper. It’s the most comprehensive website on this list, and information is easy to find. ALLDATA also requires pay memberships. You can purchase a one-year subscription for $26.95 or a five-year subscription for $44.95.
This source is invaluable to the amateur car mechanic. PepBoys even lists HaynesOnline as the place to go for car repairs. Instead of individual repair guides, you get an online manual repair book. These repair books offer extensive information on such topics as routine maintenance, tune-up procedures, engine repair, and more. Haynes isn’t a free website, but it has three membership options. You can get a one-year membership for $29.99, a three-year membership for $34.99, or a lifetime membership for $39.99.
Mitchell1 offers information on most domestic and imported vehicles sold in the United States between 1983 and 2011. It is designed with the do-it-yourselfer in mind. This site offers numerous mechanical repairs, though it avoids larger projects. It’s definitely geared toward novice mechanics, and the manuals have plenty of easy-to-follow diagrams. This website also offers three membership options, which include a one-month membership for $16.99, a one-year membership for $25.99, or a four-year membership for $39.99.
AutoMD is the WebMD of the car community. This website allows you to search for various topics on basic car repairs. The only downfall of this website is that it isn’t narrowed down by vehicle make and model. Each guide gives you a general idea of how to repair or replace something in your car. Like some other guides, it tells you the parts and tools you'll need, but it also explains the difficulty of the repair and gives any tips on your project it may have to offer. It’s free, so it’s worth a try for simple fixes.