Skip the mechanic and give DIY a try

Posted: Monday, October 3, 2011, 9:27 am

Before you hit the road for the upcoming holiday season or take another long business trip, prepare yourself (and your vehicle) by checking out two great online resources for do-it-yourselfers.

Auto Repair Reference Center is loaded with detailed repair information on domestic and imported vehicles from as early as 1945. Step-by step repair procedures include printable wiring diagrams and complete schematics. Technical service bulletins and recall information are provided, along with maintenance schedules and labor time estimates. The Troubleshooting section helps you narrow down the cause of a problem. It also contains Auto IQ, an interactive aid that uses audio, video and diagrams to explain how the various systems of your vehicle work.

ChiltonLibrary.com puts the same trustworthy information on your computer screen as in their car care manuals, but in an updated, redesigned format. This comprehensive database, which goes back to 1940, is updated monthly. Videos, animation and close-up photos and images enhance the written descriptions. Keyword searching, "breadcrumb" trails and nested tree menus make for quick and easy navigation. Another great feature is the use of "trouble codes" to help users identify what their cars' computers are signaling them.

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