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Car, Truck & Motorcycle Repair Resources

The Main Library of SFPL maintains an extensive collection of repair manuals that covers most popular automobiles, trucks and motorcycles, as well as many collectibles.

Most of the repair manuals are located on the 4th Floor of the Main Library for reference (in-library use) only, although there is a small collection of manuals for checkout. A valid ID must be presented to use items in the reference collection.  Information can be photocopied using library copiers.

The following print and electronic sources are available:

  • Chilton, Haynes, Mitchell and other print repair manuals
    • Repair manuals are broken into two types:
      • Model Specific Manuals (Chilton, Clymer, Haynes)
      • Annual Shop Manuals (Chilton, Mitchell, Motor)
    • There are two databases that can be used to search for the proper repair manuals by make, model and year of vehicle
    • Relevant repair manuals can also be found using a keyword or subject search on our online catalog (e.g., Keyword: “1996 Dodge Caravan” or Subject: Dodge Trucks)
  • ALLDATA Online - Printable full-text automotive diagnostic and repair information manuals
    • In addition to diagnostic/repair manuals, it offers Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs), recall information, projected labor costs for specific work, and various other information
    • The ALLDATA Online database is only accessible at the Main Library.  Information can be printed from the database using library printers.
  • Hollander Interchange Manuals
    • VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) breakdowns and engine ID numbers
      • Useful for finding parts that can be used in different vehicles
  • Mitchell's Mechanical Parts & Labor Estimating Guides
    • VIN breakdowns and major mechanical component part numbers with original prices
    • Estimated labor times
  • Automobile-related Periodicals and Articles
  • YouTube Videos and Internet Forums
    • There are many videos on YouTube that provide step-by-step repair instructions for specific automobile/truck models
      • Precise keyword searches work best (e.g., “1996 Dodge Caravan starter”)
    • There exists an Internet forum/newsgroup for practically every make and model of car and truck; these can be an excellent source of information. They can be found by Internet keyword searches.
      • e.g., “Dodge Caravan forum" or "Subaru Outback forum"
  • Pricing Guides for Used Vehicles (Print and Online)
    • Kelley Blue Book
      • Online values for vehicles (1994-Current)
      • Current Kelley Blue Book editions are available in print at the Main Library and select Branches
      • Older vehicle values (1969-Current) are available in print at the Main Library
      • Main Library also carries Kelley Blue Book guides for older cars, early cars, motor homes, camper & van conversions, motorcycles, manufactured homes, and trailers
    • Edmunds
      • Online values for vehicles (1990-Current)
    • National Automotive Dealers Association
      • Also available in print at the Main Library
    • The Main Library also has a number of other specialty pricing guides such as:

No single source is comprehensive; one sometimes needs to consult more than one book/database to find all the necessary information. Contact a librarian at the Main Library’s Business, Science & Technology desk for more information.

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