Car Maintenance: The use ofowner manuals and factory service manuals

Car maintenance is a key part of car ownership;however, it is often overlooked by many owners. Often simple maintenance procedures that anyone with a small amount of knowledge can undertake are passed over to mechanics who charge you the same as they would doing highly advanced tasks, while this saves you time, it certainly won’t save you money.

When it comes to basic maintenance that any vehicle owner can undertake, car manufacturers already understand it is important to provide owners with knowledge for repairs and upkeep they can do themselves at home with some basic tools and some items from the local auto store. When it comes to these types of repairs, then you want to have your car owner’s manual ready.

The owner’s manual covers all the maintenance your car regularly needs, along with assisting in basic repairs possible to undertake by unexperienced owners. It details in clear guides and steps how to maintain the important basic aspects of your car, along with repairs that the owner will commonly encounter. The documents primary purpose is to help the owner complete tasks without help of the dealership or an external mechanic.

When it comes to more advanced mechanical repairs, manufacturers also produce documents on these topics, but they are only released to dealership mechanics, or at times provided additionally to certified constructor approved private mechanics, these types of documents are known as factory service manuals or workshop manuals.

The name factory service means specifically, dealership mechanics, they are issued to mechanics acting on behalf of the factory (manufacturer) completing servicing on the factory vehicles. The term workshop manual is also interchangeable, but often a workshop manual is a term applied to a document that is used both for factory service and for private mechanical use. All of these manuals are normally produced by the manufacturer;however, aftermarket versions do exist for private vehicle owners primarily.

Most mechanics prefer to use a factory service manual / workshop manual over the use of a privately published document because the factory / manufacturer is the ultimate source of knowledge when it comes to repairs, rebuilding and replacement of the entire car.

Home mechanics often use these documents too, making more advanced repairs at home to save further money, however it’s important that all home mechanics using a workshop manual / factory service manual have some basic training in mechanical systems or mechanical repairs before starting, as these types of repairs are critical to car safety and hence the reason they are primarily used by qualified or apprentice mechanics under supervision.

If you have a car under 5 years old, and purchased second hand without the owner’s manual present, you can normally purchase these or sometimes obtain them free of charge from one of the manufacturers dealerships. When it comes to the workshop manual, some dealerships do release them, and the factory often supplies them in PDF format if requested. There is also a number of websites online offering older historical car workshop manuals for free download if your car is 10 years old or more.