Chilton vs Haynes Car Repair Manuals

Majority of auto repair enthusiasts are relying on these two most leading auto repair manuals in the automotive repair industry.

What really is worth buying for between the two? Auto repair enthusiasts have compared the two Chilton vs Haynes car repair manuals. Let’s check it further.

Brief History 

In 1956, John Harold Haynes wrote and published a book that was based on the Austin 7. The first manual titled the “Haynes Owners Workshop Manual” was founded by J. H. Haynes & Co. on May 18, 1960. It was in 1965 that the first manual titled the “Haynes Owners Workshop Manual” was published.

On the other hand, the Chilton Company was famous for its trade magazines and automotive manuals edited by James Artman.

The name Chilton was selected from the Mayflowers list by the company.

George Buzby, James Artman, and C. A. Musselman merged their companies in 1900 to form the Trade Advertising and Publishing Co.

This company expanded into booklets, circulars, posters, and automotive catalogues.

The partners sold Chilton to United Publishers Corp in 1923 and underwent a complete reorganization in 1934. Chilton had been passed on and sold to different companies.

In 2001, Nichols Publishing sold the print manuals to Haynes Publishing.

Currently, both companies continue to craft information, utilizing technology to better provide a legacy in information excellence.

A Car Repair Manual’s Aim

A car’s manual is very important in maintaining the health of your vehicle. It is your car’s best friend, especially when mechanical issues arise.

More importantly, it is your teacher as it can help you solve mechanical problems and improve systems.

Mainly, a manual’s aim is to guide do-it-yourself amateurs who lack knowledge in repairing vehicles.

It also aims to support professional garage mechanics in their day to day tasks. The series covering a wide range of makes and models of cars focuses primarily on maintenance and repair.

Chilton vs Haynes: The Comparison

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Both car repair manuals have their own features. They both have step-by-step procedures with graphics diagrams and pictures to make troubleshooting easier for car owners and car repairers.

Haynes Manuals are based on a complete teardown and rebuild while Chilton has been producing automotive repair information for more than a century with an improved database of content.

About Chilton and Haynes

If you’re interested in knowing more about these two companies, read the information below. The table will help you better understand the differences between the two.




Country of Origin

United Kingdom

United States


John Haynes

George Buzby, C. A. Musselman, and James Artman

Year Founded



Available Languages

English (including British, American and Australian variants) French, German, Swedish, Finnish, Polish, Danish, Czech, Bulgarian, Greek, Hebrew, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish (including American Spanish versions), and Russia

English and Spanish

Chilton vs Haynes: The Pros and Cons

Each of the two car repair manuals has their own advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of these two.







These manuals provide step-by-step instructions for general repairs and maintenance.

They don’t have enough detailed information.

This company is a better-known brand than many other companies that provide car repair guides.

They do not give in-depth information.

The company has their own technicians that go through each job and write about the job.

They are great for minor repairs. However, they do not give detailed information on the larger auto repair jobs.

Their printed guides, as well as their DIY web guides are great, especially if you are looking for general maintenance and small repair job instructions.

They give customers an option to talk to certified mechanics to ask for help regarding their vehicle problems.

Haynes repair manuals arewidely available.

In Haynes website, some of the information is hard to find.

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5 Reasons Why You Need a Printed Auto Repair Manual

open book

Every car owner knows the importance of auto repair manuals. However, because of the advent of technology, many people nowadays use online manuals instead of printed manuals.

While both have their own advantages and disadvantages, we’ll present some of the reasons why you need a printed auto repair manual in this section.

1. They are written by seasoned technicians.

Car repair manuals had been written by seasoned technicians. They really go through a long drown out process in order to try and to give you useful information.

2. They do not need batteries.

No matter how long you leave them open, no battery will ever go dead in your paper manual.

3. They’re safe from greasy hands.

You will not absolutely touch your keyboards or touch screens with your greasy hands.

4. There’s no need for an internet connection.

You don’t need to cram for internet connection or electricity when you are in a remote area.

5. You can save money on repair expenses.

Minor repairs that you can do on your own using the manual can save you money.

Check out different Chilton auto repair manual options available online!

Accessing Auto Repair Manuals Online

Since the world is evolving very quickly, we have to be in tune with the drastic change the world offers.

In terms of auto repair manuals, it’s inevitable that many people regard printed manuals as a thing of the past.

Online car repair manuals have been around for at least the last 15 years.

They brought these programs to shops on CDs at first. Further step forward had been taken with the faster speed of the internet.

Now, web-based car repair manuals allow people to get access online to fix their cars at home.

A lot of people are looking for free online automotive repair guides, and this is not a wise decision because free manuals are usually unreliable.

You are putting your car at risk as you may just find yourself reading just a general repair manual that has nothing to do with the specifics of your car.

Also read: Tire sizing calculator

Advantages of Online Auto Repair Manuals 

Some car owners prefer to use printed auto repair manuals while others like to use online manuals. Here are some of the advantages of using the latter.

 You can save trees.

You can help save trees. Plus, you can save money. Online manuals are much cheaper than traditional auto repair manuals.

Downloadable PDFs are just a fraction of this cost.

You can enjoy discounts and updates.

You will have the benefit to purchase discounted, top-quality automotive equipment and tools. You can also easily find updates on new products.

You can easily get information.

There are new sections that review common car problems and provide information from factory issued technical bulletins.

You can find stuff quickly.

Using online car repair manuals is more convenient than using printed manuals.

In online manuals, car brands and models are categorized alphabetically. This makes your task of finding information much easier.

You can view videos.

Some key features that are exclusive to online service manuals are videos to support articles.

There are also educational videos that you can watch for you to learn more about DIY car repairs.

The idea is to give you a quicker option to get your own car fixed. You don’t need to deal with upsells from mechanics.

Sometimes, you can do things on your own.

You just need the right guide for you, so you can know what needs to be done to solve your car problems.

See Haynes Auto Repair Manuals online!

Disadvantages of Online Auto Repair Manuals 

While online car repair manuals have advantages, they may also have disadvantages.

Simply put, there may be risks involved in using online auto repair manuals.

1. There might be a malware attached.

Clicking some websites that you don’t know much about means putting your computer’s safety literally at risk.

Normally, these free manual guide sites require you to download them in order to view them for free.Just to be safe, avoid downloading unfamiliar manuals that seem unreliable.

If you do this, you can save yourself from the expensive costs of repairing the problems caused by viruses.

2.There are sites that are not free at all.

There are automotive repair guides that you may bump online that advertise that they are for free.

However, in order to read the rest of the information, you will be asked to pay.

That is another risk when you enter your personal account information.

3. You have no idea who wrote the manual.

Before you follow the instructions in the manual that you use, make sure that it is a reliable guide to follow. Scrutinize the credibility of the author.

Is he really an expert mechanic who knows his stuff, or just someone who just wants more clicks to his site?

4. The information may be outdated.

Not all types of information are usable. Some may not be useful to you as they may be outdated.

This means that the information may not be fit to the latest changes in the car repairs. 

5. Repair instructions may not match your vehicle.

You will not get the specific information that you need when you base on a generic repair guide.

The worse thing could be that you will just find out later that you have already caused more damage than repair to your car.

Cost-Saving Repairs That You Can Do On Your Own

Not all kinds of repairs have to be sent to car repair experts to be fixed. There are also some easy and simple repairs that you can do on your own without the need of an expert.

1. Replacing Air Filter

You need to change your clogged air filters from time to time as they may lower your car’s performance.

Replacing air filters is one of the easiest repairs that you can do to increase the power of your engine and the gas mileage of your vehicle.

2 Changing Oil

It is highly recommended to change engine oil every 3 months or 3,000 miles.

Engines are composed of many moving parts that need to be properly lubricated.

Luckily, you don’t have to spend bucks every 3 months to get your oil changed. You can just do it yourself.

3. Changing Car Battery

One of the preventive measures that you can do for your car is changing the battery every four years.

Most batteries have replacement date attached to them.

While changing your car’s battery is not as easy as changing your television remote control’s batteries, changing your car’s battery would not be as simple. However, it would be doable for you. 

4. Checking the Brake Pads

To avoid accidents, the brake system should be properly maintained. Check your pads’ thickness every 10,000 miles.

It is a simple procedure that mechanics normally charge hundreds of dollars. Clearly, it is so simple to do to cost that much.

5. Checking the Headlights

A burned out light can cause an accident and in turn, a fine. Checking your headlights is one of the easiest tasks that will only take a few minutes to do.

6. Changing Wipers

To change your wipers, all you need is a screwdriver and new wipers.

Wipers should be replaced when they begin to squeak, skip, or smear, so make sure to check them from time to time.

7. Replacing Seat Belts

By law, you are required to wear seatbelts to protect you from further injury in case of a car accident.

If your seat belts do not operate properly, replace them right away.

If you don’t know how, you can check your car’s manual, or you can watch some guide videos on the internet.

8. Replacing Tires

Use a jack and a wrench to replace a damaged tire. To handle this situation, practice changing a tire in your garage.

How are you going to do all these? Check your automotive repair manual. After all, this is the main reason why you bought it.

Familiarization of your car and patience to learn these simple repairs can save you lots of money.

Go over your manual as many times as needed until you learn how to do these repairs yourself.


Chilton vs Haynes car repair manuals: as a car owner, this concept may get you overthinking. After all, these are two of the best car repair manuals available in the market.

Nobody can tell which among the two is better for you. To be able to choose the most appropriate one for you, you need to identify your needs and preferences and then start there.