Repair manuals can be as valuable as any other tool when needed. Especially automotive repair manuals, which come in exceptionally handy when you want to work on a vehicle—in fact, for any serious repair, you can’t really do without one.
Car repair manuals are essential and contain specifications, detailed instructions, and troubleshooting procedures for repairing and maintaining a particular vehicle. And worth mentioning, unlike the owner’s manual, good repair manuals do not come with the vehicle. Instead, you have to get one yourself, or if you are a mechanic, you probably already have tons of them at the shop.
With cars typically needing more repairs and maintenance as they age, old repair manuals, in particular, may be worth more than you might think. Car collectors are always scouting nice deals on old classic cars, and they are interested in maintaining them in mint condition. Hence, accessible online automotive repair manuals for professionals are also a trend now.
Why Old Car Repair Manuals are Still Worth Having
Repair manuals are there to guide you in repairing whatever is wrong with your car. However, old repair manuals may have other worthy purposes.
Still Useful for Classic Car Restoration
The market for classic cars has grown over time. It could be nostalgia, or it could be because internal combustion engine-powered cars are slowly being sidelined, but petrolheads and collectors are increasingly trying to restore classics nowadays.
Automotive technology and innovation keep advancing, and past knowledge will eventually be lost. In fact, students of today who will become the mechanics of tomorrow don’t even learn how carburetors work or how to rebuild an alternator. Thus, these old repair manuals are the main hope of restoring your favorite classic cars, such as the 1969 Ford Mustang Mach-1, 1989 Nissan Skyline GT-R R32, or even 1987 Ferrari F40.
Moreover, these repair manuals are also helpful for classic car conservation once restored. Even automotive professionals don’t memorize every part of a particular vehicle. Thus, repair manuals act as a car’s ‘bible,’ containing all necessary information for its service and maintenance.
Invaluable Knowledge Regarding Past Technology
A new service manual would rarely contain information about older models. Each model year gets its own edition (although some manuals about cars that stay the same from one year to the next can still be good enough).
Repair manuals contain information details on the exact car model of the year it describes. Therefore, as newer cars are born, and new parts are designed and produced, the old ones fade, and resources become scarce.
Thus, old car repair manuals contain endangered service knowledge in one piece.
Some Old Repair Manuals are Worth Good Money
Even if you don’t find these old repair manuals helpful, or you still have a copy for your old Charger long after it was sent to the junkyard, you could still sell them at a reasonable price. Related to the previous point, with information resources becomes limited, there is a good chance collectors and classic car specialists would pay a lot of money for it.
Take classic Land Rover repair manuals, for instance; they could be worth somewhere between $20-$40 each—sometimes even more for exotics and rare models. Better yet, those are for the soft copies you can find online. The hard-copy books would potentially cost a lot more for their collectibles value.
Usually, the older the car model, the rarer the stock of the repair manuals, especially old exotic ones. Vintage Ferrari’s and Porsche’s collectors hunt their model’s repair manuals and pay hundreds of dollars for them due to rarity. And, we expect prices to only rise in the future since these manuals will become rarer.
Can be Sold at Auctions as Collectibles
Last but not least, even if you find it challenging to sell old car repair manuals that you own, you could register them for auctions too. Like classic cars, some old repair manuals can be classified as collectibles and therefore eligible for auction. Auction sites such as eBay or Sotheby’s should be happy to accommodate you with your auction-related needs.
It seems that old car repair manuals not only can solve your mechanical problems but could be a worthy investment as well. They’re money-savers, too, when you think about it. If you treat car repairs and maintenance as a do-it-yourself project, you may save a lot by not hiring a mechanic to resolve minor issues, like replacing an air filter, spark plugs, or the radiator, for instance.
Besides, provided you have the experience, a repair manual can be invaluable for a complete engine or transmission rebuild since it contains all the necessary information. It includes all the torque specs you might need and detailed assembly, disassembly and even troubleshooting procedures if something was to go awry.
It’s worth mentioning that, if you are on the lookout for repair manuals for any car, they are fortunately very accessible nowadays. For instance, you can easily find online auto repair manuals for professionals here. They usually come in a PDF format, which can be accessed through your computer or mobile phone. Also, some of them allow you to do a keyword search and find the answer to your problem swiftly. Or, you can print them and have a personal hard copy—the choice is yours.