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05-17-2012, 11:25 AM #1
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Have Automobile Forums Replaced Auto Repair Manuals?
ARE CAR & TRUCK REPAIR MANUALS DEAD?
So I got some emails from Chilton's recently, they're not happy that one thread on this website had a single link to a Michigan library system that allowed people to see some of the Chilton's Online Repair Manuals. I never logged into that library system (which I guess was supposed to be only available to residents of the state of Michigan, but they may have had weak security) and I never saw what they had to offer.
So I started to get all postured up and talked with some people about what legal action they could take, and for the most part they could file suit, but I would win and they're just hoping that I would cave in during the middle of all of this because an attorney would require money up front. HOWEVER, in thinking about it more it's clear they don't get the power of the web. I mean, has the overall purpose of the "car/truck repair manual" passed? Is there still purpose in getting one, or are they like the phone book ... yes they technically have the information you need, but who wants that thing lying around?
Thoughts on this? I'm not so much speaking to the issue of the online manual (which I have no clue what it looks like or how it works) but instead the printed auto repair manuals.
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05-17-2012, 11:35 AM #2
I think you are correct about the physical manuals basically becoming a dinosaur. Not just auto repair manuals but for lots of things. Just yesterday I couldnt figure out how to change a blade on a type of saw we have at work, but I found a youtube video which showed how to do it. I use google to search for repairs on all sorts of things, vehicles, printers, PC's, power tools etc.
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05-17-2012, 11:48 AM #3
Last edited by ChromeSilver02; 05-17-2012 at 02:03 PM.2002 Chevy Silverado & 1995 Ford Bronco
02 Silverado: 50K miles, 20" Motto Rims, Flowmaster 50 Series
95 Bronco: 160K miles, 4" Superlift, 33/12.5/15 Mickey Thompson
01 Civic: 75K miles, DD
05-17-2012, 12:19 PM #4
I have an older laptop I refer to as the 'shop laptop'. I also have a Chiltons. The Chiltons has been used exactly once for a schematic it had that I couldn't find online. The laptop, this site, Google, and YouTube are where I obtain the rest of my information. Plus, if I need a part, I can buy it online and have it shipped to my door. Show me a repair manual that can do that...
05-17-2012, 12:54 PM #5
It seems to me that the real question here isn't about the viability of auto repair manuals, but rather one of copyright. As I understand the way this works:
The manufacturer publishes repair information under copyright.
Other companies make some kind of arrangement to publish their version of the information, and they own a copyright on their manuals (and, I suspect, pay a royalty to the manufacturer).
Then comes the internet and, like movies, music, books, and other copyrighted information, it becomes really easy to distribute and share this information for very little cost. Which, of course, has thrown copyright owners and laws for a loop -- How do I control my copyrights in this new marketplace? As I see it, the question you've asked, Steve, is just a small subset of the overall question what does copyright mean in the internet age? Whose job is it to police copyright rules? How do copyright laws apply to internet blogs/forums/etc?
Personally, do you know what I think would be really useful? Rather than them coming in and trying to get us to delete links, help us compile a list of public libraries that have these subscriptions in place. I know Michigan is not the only library system with such an arrangement. Then many of us can find legitimate access to the information.'98 K1500 Suburban LS 5.7 L 4L60E NV246 ARB
'92 Ford Explorer XLT 4x4 4.0 L A4LD BW13-54 Trac-loc rear
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05-17-2012, 12:57 PM #6
I have three motorcycles, three cars (plus my wife's Subaru), a boat, a tractor and a Toro lawn mower, not to mention the two stroke garden tools. I can't haul around a laptop to look at a manual on a screen. I need something I can crack open on the spot where I am working.
So on the personal side, I use paper. I do have a CD ROM for my BMW, from Popular Mechanics, but I still use the Bentley manual instead. I also have a CD ROM factory manual for my Infiniti, but I don't use it mainly because that car is serviced by a client.
On the global side, the internet has had a substantial impact on many businesses. I guess Chilton's is one of them. I am not sure about overall use of the paper manuals versus the internet. I have downloaded very detailed instructions with photos for installation of an aftermarket dash kit and head unit for my Infiniti from an Infiniti owners' web site, but that is not something a service manual covers anyway.
Pick a business. Think about how the internet has changed or affected that business. Almost any business you pick, the internet has had some effect on it.
I still feel that we all should encourage back yard mechanics to buy a good service manual, either the OEM publication (I have all three books for my truck) or an aftermarket publication (I use Haynes).1994 Chevy K2500 Silverado, 454 (modified), original owner.
And other vehicles and toys.
"...If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
...you'll be a Man, my son!" Rudyard Kipling
05-17-2012, 01:35 PM #7
The boat forum I use had the same issue with mercruiser. People were posting manuals on it. The admins would take them down and a week later they would be back. I am a Michigan resident and have not heard of that site. Manuals are everywhere. People scan them and post them on torrent websites all the time. The same goes with college text books. Maybe if they did not charge so much for their product more people would be willing to buy it rather then get it illegally
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05-17-2012, 02:01 PM #8
I have a Chilton manual as well as a Haynes that I like to use if I don't know how to change out a part. To me the old way of doing things is MUCH faster because, if I had to get on the computer to look something up, it would take about 5 minutes to open, log on, wait till I can click on something, wait for IE to open, type in what I'm looking for, search through non-related crap only to get mad, throw the computer and go open the book. Whereas with the book, I could flip to the back, look at the index, find the page, and then start reading a little bit, then start working on what I'm working on.
To me technology thats supposed to get things done faster and "easier" is slower and harder. Plus like Chromesilver02 said, I could care less what gets on my manual.
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05-17-2012, 02:32 PM #9
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