Chilton & Haynes Auto Repair Manuals

Haynes Repair Manuals & Chilton Repair Manuals for
Auto, Truck, Van, SUV & Hybrid

Haynes Repair Manuals are available in five different types. The Haynes Soft cover Manuals that covers a specific year, make and model of a vehicle; the Tech Book, the Extreme Customizing Manuals and Hardcover manuals for European and Australian markets. Every Haynes Book contains wiring diagrams & vacuum diagrams. The Chilton Repair Manual comes in three different types. The newer manuals are called "Chilton Total Car Care", "Chilton Repair & Tune-Up Guides", Chilton CDs & DVDs.

Haynes Repair Manual

Haynes Auto Repair Manuals

The publisher, Haynes Publishing Group created Haynes Automobile Repair Manuals.  The manuals sold under the name "Haynes Owner's Workshop Manuals".  These manuals cover a wide variety of cars, trucks, vans & suvs with DIY repair information.  The typical users of this information are do-it-yourselfers, professional mechanics and trade schools.  The Haynes books sold in the USA are soft covers ranging from 150 pages to 300 pages. Haynes manuals sold in Europe, Australia and other parts of the world are hardcover versions.  The manual offers maintenance and repair information on many parts of the vehicle.  The engine is covered in detail and one can use the Haynes book to disassemble, repair and reassemble most any part on the engine. Transmission coverage includes adjustments, removal & installation and clutch replacement.  Other areas of coverage include suspension, steering, exhaust, engine cooling, brakes, trouble codes, window replacement, radio removal, steering column removal, seat removal, exterior & interior light adjustment, instrument cluster removal, gas tank removal, engine tune-up, fluid capacities and specifications and more.  Haynes  covers over 300 models of cars.


The Haynes Repair Manual and the Haynes Publishing brand was created by John Haynes, in the UK. He wrote is first manual in 1956 for customizing the Austin 7.  He wrote two more manuals while in the Royal Air Force. Haynes Publishing opened in 1960 and the first manual published was for the Austin Healey Sprite. 

Haynes started the autombile repair manual business in the UK.  After achieving success in Europe, Haynes Publishing branched out to Austrailia, the USA and many other countries.  Currently, certain Haynes Manuals are published in 15 different languages.  In the United States, the two existing competitors who existed in the market when Haynes expanded into the market were Chilton (Chilton Book Company) and Clymer (Clymer Publications).   Bother brands were eventually purchased by Haynes Publishing.

The work associated with developing an auto repair manual is extensive.  The entire manual creation process involves a two man team and requires a total of about 20 to 30 weeks of labor.  Haynes buys an appropriate vehicle with the intent of diss-assembling and re-assembling it.  The two man team carefully diss-assembly of the vehicle while taking pictures, videos and notes.  The pictures are actually used in the Haynes manual to assist the reader in understanding the repair procedure.  The videos are now used in the online version of the paperback repair manual.  Now, the repair information gathered in the diss-asembly process is edited to create both the paper manual and the online version ( of the paper manual.  The repair manual is broken down into chapters.  Each chapter covers a specific area of the vehicle with step-by-step repair procedures.  In most cases, the manuals include electrical information too, including wiring diagrams, fuse box and fuse details, battery care procedures, etc.  Haynes interfaces with the vehicle manufacturer to obtain technical specification and wiring diagrams when available.  Many procedures include photographs and sketches to communicate the intended repair information to the reader.  After the manual is completed the vehicle purchased is sold in good running condition.

Haynes Publishing also offers system specific "Techbook Manuals" that focus on specific vehicle systems, such as the engine, transmission air conditioning, fuel injection, etc.  

Chilton's Repair Manual

Chilton Auto Repair Manuals

Chilton's Repair Manual for Automobiles is intended to teach the user about the inner workings and repair procedures on a car allowing the user to save money on necessary repairs.  Typically, the first two chapters contain maintenance and tune-up information.  The other chapters are involved with specific systems found within the vehicle such as suspension, steering, exhaust, engine cooling, brakes, trouble codes, window replacement, radio removal, steering column removal, seat removal, exterior & interior light removal, gauge cluster removal, gas tank removal, tune-up, fluid capacities and specifications, etc. However, these Chilton Manuals will not tell you how to rebuild your transmission, differential or transfer case because of the special tools and experience required.  The secondary purpose of the Chilton Manual is to provide reference information to owners who want to understand their vehicle better.   All chapters contain adjustments, maintenance, disassembly and reassembly information.  Typically the procedures allow the reader to remove and reinstall a failed part.   The Chilton Repair Manual is very similar in its layout and construction to the Haynes manual.  Each chapter details a specific part of the vehicle.  Repair procedures include pictures, written text and diagrams that provide step-by-step instructions for the do-it-yourselfer or pro mechanic.


The Chilton Book Company founder James Artman started publishing in 1896 with the Cycle Trade Journal.  He and two other partners started incorporated the "Chilton Publishing Company of Pennsylvania" in 1904.  The company adopted the name "Chilton Company" in 1910.  MotorAge magazine was released shortly afterwards and eventually the "Cycle trade Journal"  was incorporated into the MotorAge magazine.  The company was sold in 1923 to United Publishers Corporation.  This new owner improved the automotive magazine and produced new magazines for the iron, jewelry, dry goods, hardware and economist industries.  In 1934 J. Howard Pew bought a controlling interest in the company and incorporated under the name "Chilton Company".  Chilton sold its auto repair manuals in auto parts stores, book stores and through a staff of salesman who regularly visited auto repair shops.  The salesmen sold the new Chilton/MotorAge Hardcover Professional Service Manual, Wiring Diagram manuals, Heavy Truck Repair Manuals, and diagnostic manuals.  In the auto parts stores, Chilton sold the soft cover manuals and hardcover manuals.  The hardcover manuals were sold by the name "Chilton's Repair Manual" for auto, truck & van, suv and import cars.    The Chilton soft cover manual sold in the auto parts store and in book stores changed over time in both its form and content.  The early versions (starting the 1960's were hardcover versions with the name "Chilton Repair Manual".  Later versions in the 1970's were soft covers and were called the "Chilton Repair & Tune-Up Guide".  Later versions starting in the late 1980's were larger in size (8.2 x 10.7 inch) and also contained wiring and vacuum diagrams.  Finally, after Haynes Publishing bought the rights to publish the Chilton soft cover manuals around the year 2000, newer Chilton manuals are now very similar to the Haynes soft cover manual.  (In the mid 1970's the author of this article remembers shopping for Chilton Repair & Tune-Up Guides in a bookstore in the local Mall.)  Now, continuing with the company history, in 1979 the Chilton Company was sold to American Broadcasting Company (ABC) and became an operating division of the parent company.  In 1985 Capital Cities then purchased ABC.  In 1996 the Walt Disney Company purchased Capital Cities/ABC.  This conglomerate was short on cash and divested itself of Chilton and sold the company in parts.  Reed Elsevier bought the MotorAge magazine in 1997.  In 1999 the Hearst Corporation purchased the hardcover Chilton/MotorAge professional manual business.  However, a court injunction divided these assets between Hearst Corporation and Nichols Publishing for three years.  Nichols Publishing eventually purchased the soft cover auto repair manual business.  In 2001 Nichols sold the Chilton soft cover business to Haynes Publishing Group.  Nichols still retained licensing rights to these manuals for 10 years.  Nichols sold these rights to Thompson Learning in 2003.  Thompson Learning started selling the hardcover professional manuals in 2003 and continues to sell them today.  Thompson Learning also sells Chilton soft cover manuals and Online versions of the Chilton manual. Thompson Learning changed its name and is now known by the name Delmar/Cengage.

Automobile Manufacturers Covered by Chilton & Haynes Repair Manuals include: Chrysler, Dodge, Eagle, Jeep, Plymouth, Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Geo, Hummer, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Saturn, GMC, Acura, Daewoo, Datsun, Honda, Hyundai, Isuzu, Infinity, Kia, Lexus, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Suzuki, Toyota, Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mercedes, Mini, Cooper, Porsche, Range Rover, Saab, Triumph, Volvo, Volkswagen

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