Alldatadiy.com or Factory Service Manual?


#1

I’ve decided that the Haynes manuals for the two vehicles we own aren’t cutting it.



I’m trying to decide between a subscription to ALLDATA ($43.90 per year for two vehicles…$33.90 per year after that?) or buying a used FSM on eBay for each vehicle (hopefully around $60-70 per vehicle).



What are your opinions on the different options? Do you like one over the other, or are they about the same, or is one better for a non-mechanic who’s learning but not tackling the big jobs yet?



Thanks for your opinions.


#2

I use both Alldata and Haynes manuals. I do not have a factory manual. I find the Haynes to be decent for most jobs as far as how to remove and replace components. I find the Alldata useful for TSBs, wiring diagrams, component locations and OEM parts costs. I guess I’m too lazy to find and buy a factory manual. In my experience, today’s cars are so much improved that I really don’t do much work on them. I have a '98 Escort with 160,000 miles and the only unscheduled maintenance so far was an alternator replacement that was straightforward.


#3

Why not go to your public library and take a free test-drive on www.alldata.com? The library has a subscription to all.data, and it’s free, at no cost. Alldata isn’t easy to drive, and there is a lot of “how-to” stuff it doesn’t cover.
A better manual would be an ebook from an online source like www.eautorepair.net I think it’s $15 per month. Try it. You’ll like it!
I found a repair manual fr a 2002 Cougar that I couldn’t find anywhere else.


#4

I like AllData. I have a Ford Factory manual as well and I never saw any difference. With AllData you get TSBs. Find a model-specific forum for questions like, “how do I get the door interior panels off”.


#5

Why not go to your public library and take a free test-drive on www.alldata.com? The library has a subscription to all.data, and it’s free, at no cost. Alldata isn’t easy to drive, and there is a lot of “how-to” stuff it doesn’t cover.

Maybe YOUR library has a subscription. Mine doesn’t.


#6

I’ve been using ALLDATA since the early 90’s and I’ve been happy with it. It isn’t perfect but none of the manuals I’ve used over the years were perfect either. The difference is that if there was information missing I would call ALLDATA for that information, if they found what I was missing they would fax it to me for no charge.


#7

FSM

theres a catch though,make sure you buy the ones with all revisions in place.

good luck


#8

Does Alldata have things like, specs on the voltage you should read at the coil driver wire on an ignition coil?


#9

I prefer ink and paper factory service manuals. These are generally more thorough and accurate than ALLDATA. I’ve run across errors on ALLDATA a number of times, especially with wiring diagrams, and spending several hours tracing wiring that does not exist or is not color coded as ALLDATA states can cause a bit of aggravation to put it mildly.

The factory service manuals may be expensive as compared to Chiltons or Haynes but the manuals will still be around for many years after the ALLDATA subscription has long since lapsed.
Also, the manual is always in hand and it’s much easier than running to a PC constantly, jotting down notes, or beating a printer and ink cartridge(s) to death.
JMHO anyway.


#10

Thanks ok. You should’ve been in sales as well as mechanics…sold me!