Online repair manuals provide the easiest way for a hobby mechanic to get the job done right. Throughout most of the history of auto repair, we have had to deal with traditional paper repair manuals. While these books would get us through the ordeal, they also had some shortcomings that made them difficult to use compared to digital repair information.
A constant thorn in the side of the home mechanic who uses a paper service manual is automotive grease. It smears on the manual pages and never comes off. Many books have been ruined in this way. Although there are techniques to remove some of the grease, there is always a giant stain on the page that partially obscures the steps or diagrams of the repair procedure. Trying to remove a stain is also time consuming, which is probably very important when you have a repair job to do.
There is also the problem of simply losing the manual when it is in book form. Unless you’re doing one repair after another, the book can sit for a couple of months between uses. During this time, you can move around in random play. The next time you need it, you may find that you’ve lost the repair manual you paid twenty bucks for.
Crammed garages and piles of auto literature sometimes don’t mix either. When space is limited, the last thing you want is to have to install a bookcase. Even if you only have one manual, it can be a hassle to find a place for it; can’t exactly hang it on the wall. Also, during the job, you’ll need a way to place the repair steps where you can easily see or get to them, without leaving the manual all over the dirt and grime. With online repair manuals, you can print the information and bring it to the shop on disposable paper. You don’t get as much convenience with traditional repair literature.