Wiring Diagrams, Service Literature, and Reference Material for FREE


Staff member
Nov 13, 2006
by Jud Hildebrant

Often, car owners and do-it-your-selfers would like to attempt a needed repair, but feel inadequate for the task. A lack of experience is one reason to feel reluctant, another is a lack of self-confidence, but I think the biggest reason is probably a lack of information. How can a person with little experience feel confident to repair wiring without a wiring diagram?
If you would like to get literature pertaining to your car, and perhaps a little training relating to the job you would like to attempt, the answer is closer than you think: Your local Public Library!

I recently toured a few public libraries in my (rural) area, and each one had at least 3 sets of bookshelves, (full from top to bottom) of automotive reference material! Each library also had at least one shelf full of automotive educational books, too.
I was able to find wiring diagrams, manufacturers service literature and recall data, maintenance schedules and specifications, and step-by-step directions for specific repairs for each of our 3 cars.
You will find collections of Chiltons manuals there, Haynes manuals, and Motors manuals as well. These manuals offer step-by-step instructions for most repair jobs, maintenance info, and some basic theory chapters.

KLH prints a series of reference books containing wiring diagrams which are broken down by sub-system. For example, one page might be a charging system, and the next might be the air conditioner. Another useful book is the Exchange manual, which is a reference work that can tell you what parts will fit which cars.As an example, I picked a certain car/year/engine combination, and found a long list of other cars' transmissions which will fit my test car. This is very useful if you need to get a part from a junkyard.

Many libraries are now offering Internet access, and access to a special libraries-only net. This allows you to search (literally) HUNDREDS of libraries; public, private, and academic, for your subject!

If your local library doesn't have the specific book that you need, ask a librarian about the Inter-Library Loan System. This is a system of libraries which loan books to each other. This, in effect, gives the library patron access to MILLIONS of books. You may be asked to pay for the cost of postage.Most libraries won't allow you to check out reference materials, but you can always make photocopies of the pages you need. My local library will let you make the first 10 pages for free.

Give your public library a try. You will be amazed at the wealth of information there.

The free Public Library is an invention of Benjamin Franklin.
Many public libraries were originally paid for by steel magnate Andrew Carnegie,
and most still bear his name.

Best Wishes to All,
Jud Hildebrant

Public Libraries
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