Saturday, November 20, 2010

Online Auto Repair Manual Reviews: Chilton

“Where smart enthusiasts click for service information”—that’s the tag line that Chilton DIY Online Auto Repair Manuals. In this post, we’ll be taking a quick look to see if it stays true to that promise.

Chilton DIY screenshot
Chilton DIY is made by Cengage Learning, a Singapore-based provider of modern learning solutions for both traditional and virtual learning environments. On the whole, Chilton DIY offers a healthy mix of features. You get detailed spec sheets that also contain corresponding maintenance schedules, illustrated step-by-step procedures for servicing and repairing your ride, troubleshooting vacuum and wiring diagrams, and access to certified mechanics that can answer questions (at a small price, of course). There are also videos and animations that can make it easier to learn and understand certain procedures.

All you need to access the manual is to make sure your computer complies with the minimum requirements, though you most probably will be able to use it as long as you have a decent computer or laptop by current standards. System requirements are Adobe Flash and Shockwave players, Windows XP or Vista operating system, Internet Explorer 6 or higher or Mozilla Firefox 2 or higher, and a high-speed connection.

Now let’s go to another important factor: cost. A Chilton DIY subscription will cost you $24.95 annually, with a 30-day option for $14.95. If you’re getting one, might as well take the 12 months because you get better value that way. That’s good for registering one vehicle. The price is right about the cost of an actual vehicle-specific manual from other sites like Haynes, with the difference being this is all online. If you’re not too keen on paying monthly or annually, you can opt for more generic Chilton DIY Total Car Care CD-Roms, which fetch for $19.95 each.

Overall, Chilton DIY is a good online repair manual alternative. If you’re willing to pay the yearly fee, the complete set of information in a manual for a particular vehicle make and model should be well worth the price.

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  2. Chilton DIY is garbage!! DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT!! The online product is not comprehensive, they have few graphics, and as a shop manual it is a complete/utter waste of money!

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