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Have Automobile Forums Replaced Auto Repair Manuals?

Discussion in 'The Coffee Shop ~ Chit Chat' started by ChevyFan, May 17, 2012.

  1. The Heater

    The Heater Member 2 Years 100 Posts

    You can't print a large format schematic from a laptop. And you can't drop a laptop on a concrete floor, pick it up and keep reading. Nor can you spill a cup of hot coffee on it and just wipe it off.
  2. dsfloyd

    dsfloyd Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner Gold Member 1000 Posts


    this is about where I am. I use the books when out in the shop when I am looking for some things. I will also jump on line to try and find videos or further directions on things. I like having the manuals but use the online methods as well.
  3. Jamm3r

    Jamm3r Member 1 Year 100 Posts

    Depends on the laptop. I have a Lenovo X301 and have bounced it on the concrete several times. The keyboard has drains in the back to deal with coffee spills, just rinse with distilled water.
  4. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    Put another way, you have to take care of a laptop. Oh gosh, how difficult is that? Not very. Children do it regularly...
  5. The Heater

    The Heater Member 2 Years 100 Posts

    In my shop, I "take care of" tools. If it can't survive a three to four foot drop to a concrete floor, it doesn't belong in a shop. If you can't spill coffee on it, it is worthless. If it does not withstand an occasional size 12 1/2, 200 lb foot print on it, it doesn't belong out in my work shop. There's a place for my laptop and it isn't in my shop.
  6. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    By your logic a DiabloSport Intune doesn't belong in a shop ... and is worthless.

    Not everything in a shop has to be super rugged and, in fact, if you take care of things then you have no need to worry about spilling coffee on them or dropping them -- specifically because you take care of them.

    The clock on the wall in my shop can't survive a three to four foot fall or a coffee spill, but it definitely belongs in my shop and isn't worthless. I'd be very worried about the integrity of my air compressor and air tank if either fell four feet onto a concrete floor. I'm not terribly sure if my Dremel would survive a four foot fall and a coffee spill would probably kill it, yet it's not "worthless". My chain saw is also something I'd worry about if it fell four feet, as the fuel tank might crack, the bar might be bent, or a host of other issues might occur.

    Plainly put, I absolutely do not agree with your 'logic'. There are plenty of things in a shop (especially my own) that belong there even if they can't survive a 3-4 foot drop onto concrete or live through a coffee spill. Your shop must be full of rakes, shovels, and hand tools ... and completely devoid of electric power tools ... given that most electric power tools won't live through a coffee spill and, thus, per your comment they are supposedly "worthless".
  7. b-radical

    b-radical Rockstar 100 Posts

    Surrealone hit it out of the park! I use both but I was very disapointed when on my last coolant flush the chilton manual was completely different than my truck. I rely on the web now but the book is a good backup (for some repairs). Yes, I have the right book for my truck.
  8. Conlan Rose

    Conlan Rose Active Member 2 Years 1000 Posts

    When I did my radiator replacement I had the Clinton/Haynes manual and prints out from conversations on this site so I had the advice of my friends. I believe that using both the internet and the manual is the best any to do it. Online you can find better diagrams and in person explanations while the manual is cut and dry and doesn't always have all the visuals you need.

    I rarely bring my laptop in the garage to work but always have my phone. Yes my DROID⁴ is built like a rock but water/oil would kill it. I use my phone to take and view pictures and check info on this site. There are also shop lights we all use that may survive a drop, if the bulb doesn't break, but water would kill in a second.

    What belongs in a shop is the tools YOU think you need, not always what is the norm.
  9. PantheraUncia

    PantheraUncia Active Member 2 Years 1000 Posts

    I have found that for most of the work I am try to do to the truck myself these days requires a little more detail than what their outdated $24.95 general purpose manual's offer so I don't waste my money anymore.

    I take an ipad for diagrams under the truck now and use my android phone for taking photo's for comparisons.

    The "paper" manual is officially done for me, it makes no sense.

    If they would sell me a full tear down and rebuild manual for $24.95 with full electrical break outs (not engineering diagrams) but details about where the harnesses are weeded through the firewall and where all the connections go, etc. That might be of some value.
  10. The Heater

    The Heater Member 2 Years 100 Posts

    Based on your conspicuousness on this forum and the number of posts you make, you have exponentially more free time on your hands than I do. You will likely spend some of that time figuring out more items in your garage that can't take a 3-4 foot drop or withstand coffee spills. If you lived as long as I have, you have seen just about everything fall from ladders, at heights greater than 3-4 feet. Without making an exhaustive list, I can tell you all those things you list that I own have survived a fall to the floor, including a wall clock. (yes, including my chain saw).

    Would this resolve the question asked in this thread? No. So I suggest you start a new thread where you list your items and request replies to see if anyone out there has stuff that breaks like (apparently) yours break. I won't have the time to take a look.

    The question posited was whether electronic records have replaced printed material for automotive service manuals. If by this one assumes that more people use one or the other, I don't think they have. If we consider the proliferation of electronic record keeping in medicine and law and municipal operations, one can make a strong argument that eventually libraries may not have books any more, and perhaps there will be more people with electronic service manuals than printed media. But the time for that is beyond what anyone can presently predict.

    My point is simply this: compared to a laptop or a pc, which is needed to read the CD rom or download of an electronic manual, a book does not cost much, does not require 120 VAC or a battery, does not require a monitor or screen, does not require an operating system, does not get viruses and malware you have to remove, does not require internet service, does not require software upgrades or patches, does not require security software, does not get junk mail, does not require expensive repairs, and if you drop it from a table or a ladder or the back of your truck, it does not break. Yes, and you can also spill liquids on it and it only warps the pages a bit. In fact, if you threw a printed service manual out the window of your car on the freeway and stopped to go back and get it, you can still use it.

    When you find a laptop that can meet that criteria, get back to me. When I have some spare time, I will take a look at it. I use a laptop. I have a couple of CD rom manuals, but I rarely use them. And I use a keypad cover on my laptop so I can spill coffee on it, but I still don't use it in my garage. If you love your laptop in your garage, I suggest you write a letter to Microsoft, Apple, Intel, Asus, Seagate or Western Digital and tell them. I am sure they will appreciate the endorsement.

    And if you really have a chain saw that can't take a 3-4 foot drop, I suggest you spend some of that free time to earn some extra money and buy a good chain saw. I have a Stihl chainsaw and it can take that abuse.

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