TODAY'S TIP: Finding Car Repair Manuals

The Library carries an extensive selection of vehicle repair books. Most of the manuals are for reference in-library use only. This tip will help you find the repair manual you need.

You can locate car repair manuals by searching the online catalog by subject or keyword. Do a subject search using the make and model as your search terms, e.g. “Honda Civic.” This will retrieve books that have that subject heading. If nothing shows up in a subject search, try a keyword search using the same search terms. This broad search will find all books with those two words anywhere in the record, and will include annual shop manuals such as Motor, Chilton and Mitchell's that cover a variety of makes and models.

Or you can use the SFPL-created Automobile & Truck Repair Manual Database to find repair manuals for a specific year, make and model of automobile. Once you fill in make, model and year, this handy database will return a chart that includes the call number, title (which includes all vehicles covered in the manual), and whether or not wiring diagrams are available. To narrow your search to Mitchell Manuals only (for professional auto and truck shops), type "ALL" in the Model box.

The Motorcycle Repair Manual Database works the same way for finding repair manuals for a specific year, make and model of motorcycle.

How do you find the Automobile & Truck Repair Manual Database and the Motorcycle Repair Manual Database? From the SFPL homepage, click on the eLibrary tab, then "Research Tools." Down at the bottom of this list, under "Repair and Consumer," you will see links for the Automobile & Truck, and Motorcycle Repair databases, as well as a good overview of what's available in “Motor Vehicle Resources.”

Excelsior Librarians and Staff share tips & tricks to help you make the most of the San Francisco Public Library catalog, databases and website. New tips posted Tuesdays on the Excelsior Blog. Watch this space!

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