Why car factory service manuals are a better resource than commercial workshop manuals

Nowadays, with rising prices, it is becoming extremely difficult for the average car owner to maintain his/her car. As a result, DIY culture is on the rise, and many people are resorting to vehicle service manuals and skipping mechanics and workshops to do their work themselves. If you are just getting on the DIY bandwagon, you need a proper guide to give you information on your vehicle.

A manual will teach you how to change the engine oil and filter, how to change the headlights, and how to inspect the belts and pulleys among other things. However, there is more than one type of manual in the market, and you should know which one suits you best according to your circumstances.

The two manuals are Commercial service manuals and factory service manuals. Let’s take a look at both and see why a factory service manual is better than a commercial workshop manual.

Commercial Service Manuals

Many third-party companies make service manuals and sell them commercially, hence the name. Several brands sell a commercial service manual but a few take the limelight. The most commonly available are the ones from Haynes, Chilton, and Gregory’s. These companies make a profit from selling these manuals and they have made a reputation for themselves over the years. When a new car enters the market, Haynes, Chilton, and the lot of them inspect these vehicles from top to bottom, find out all the faults, and publish the solutions.

A commercial service manual will have a lot of general information but hardly any specifics. You should expect that since these third-party companies are not the actual manufacturers of the vehicle. Moreover, commercial manuals are not model-specific, meaning they are focused on a wide range of models and years. If you are looking for a specific model or an issue in that model, you won’t find it easily in a commercial service manual.

Factory Service Manuals

The factory service manual, on the other hand, is compiled and published by the vehicle manufacturer. Therefore, there is bound to be more information in it than in a commercial manual. Not only that, there will be more detail in the factory manual. If you want, you can get one for your particular car model and year. The detail will help you solve many problems that you would otherwise find impossible.

Furthermore, you will get a step-by-step guide, with pictures and diagrams. The manual is so detailed that even the most inexperienced individual will be able to decipher the information and make a repair. In other words, you will get all the knowledge down to the tee.

You can also find most car factory service manuals free online for download at various websites.


So, it depends on what kind of repairs you want to do and how detailed you want the information. The factory service manual is always the best choice but if you are frequently changing vehicles and automotive brands then a commercial service manual will work best for you. For free factory service manuals we recommend taking a look at the All Car Manuals website, which is one of the oldest and most reliable free manual services.

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