Car repair manuals sometimes produce amusing errors

Car repair manuals can be the bane of a diy’ers existence. Like when they refer to the same part using two different names. I’ve seen the text refer to a part one way, while the diagram on the same page the text references points to something named completely different.

I had to laugh at this mistake I noticed recently in a Corolla repair manual. It’s occurs in the procedure for how to remove the window-crank knob. Has to be removed in order to access the window-regulator mechanism behind the door panel.

It says to wrap a thin piece of cloth behind the window crank, then move it back and forth to pop-off the “omega” shaped clip that secures the handle to the shaft. That is all correct.

The problem is it shows this as the shape of the clip: ω

It’s actually shaped: Ω

I expect you see the source of the problem … lol … .


The manual for my 1971 Honda motorcycle was sometimes unique… the translation from Japanese to English led to some very hilarious instructions.

Current Chinese to English translations in many manuals and some Amazon ads are obviously done by Google Translate.


The manual for the 1970 Datsun 510 had some comical Japanese to English translations such as “when there is trouble in your car” So dad put on the hazard’s during a little “discussion” they were having while driving one day.

Early Toyota (or any vehicle made in Japan) manuals were really bad. The Japanese to English translations needed were not good at all. More than once I was totally confused by what the heck they were trying to say.

I got the factory repair manual for my '71 Charger, and one of the first things I noticed was that a lot of heavy repair procedures began with the following:
Remove engine

Unfortunately, nowhere in the manual did they provide instructions for removing the engine. Luckily, I only had to use that manual for fairly simple procedures.

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In the 1970s, instructions for Suntour ratchet shift levers on 10-speed bicycles described the sound of the mechanism: “saying tick-tack-tick-tack at the time of the gear selection.”

not an error, but my favorites are always the entire page with nothing but


well, it would have been blank, if you hadn’t left that large note saying it was blank…

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:


I take comfort from that notification, despite its - what would you call it, irony?

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That is actually a prudent action on their part. I recall an experience that my brother had when he was a college freshman. He took the final exam for his Marketing class, and although the last page of his exam packet was blank, he thought that it was just an innocent mistake on the part of his professor or the professor’s assistant. It turned out that the mistake wound-up shorting him on an entire page of exam questions, and he got a failing grade on the exam.

He was finally able to convince the prof to let him re-take the exam, and he aced it when he was given all of the questions. After that experience, if he received anything with a blank page, he took immediate action rather than just assuming that it was a mistake.


I used to buy Haynes repair manuals for my cars. While there was a lot of information in them, there was rarely anything I actually needed. When there was, it would tell me what to remove, but there were no tips to make the job easier. Sometimes it was obvious, but other times not so obvious.


Reminds me of a bomb deactivation my boss always used to quote, cut the red wire, after first cutting the black wire :wink:


I just figured the ASME or some such organization had published bomb making specs:
Flashing red light
Red wire controls everything
Easily readable digital timer

All bombs will disarm themselves eventually.

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I’ve never found any mistakes in a manual amusing because it generally means a wild goose chase along with losing time and money. Even factory manuals have been known to have blunders.

Many years ago a guy in a neighboring town asked me to change a starter motor in a Renaul LeCar. I eyeballed that starter for 1/2 an hour and could see no way of getting it out. Drug up a manual and it simply said R & R both engine and transmission.
He had no desire to go to that length so he gave me some discretion. Cut a hole underneath the clutch/brake pedals and pulled it out that way. Made a patch panel and riveted that in with some sealer. Even then it was a pain in the neck.,

Pros vs. amateurs when it comes to defusing a bomb… :wink:

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lol … you story reminds me of the time I was considering hiring someone to install a linoleum kitchen floor. I mentioned this to my co-worker, and he told me I should file a lawsuit before the work begins, b/c the unlikely chance of getting a good result. At least the legal paper would be in motion!! :wink:

Still waiting for insurance company to refund my 250 deductible after a big limb fell off neighbors dead tree and smashed our patio table and paid for cleanup. Last I heard they had sent a letter to the slumlord for reimbursement as I had text message from a year before about the dead tree. That was august 2021, dead tree still there and just waiting for the next claim I guess after it takes out our fence.

You are probably legally entitled to remove any tree branches overhanging the property line, might help prevent a future problem, albeit at your expense. Usually on tree branch issues I suggest the neighbor and I work on the problem together , he from his side, me from mine, each sawing away for a couple of hours the next Saturday afternoon. Sometimes that gets good results, sometimes (more often unfortunately) the neighbor refuses to help. No harm to ask anyway.

Had a tree break in half and was suspended above my garage. I called my insurance to see if they would have it taken down. They wouldn’t do anything unless it damaged my garage. I told them that I could wait untill it fell on my garage then I would give them a call. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:
They said that they would not cover that because I was aware of pending damage and didn’t remedy it. Cost me $1500 to take care of it.

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lol … definitely sounds like an insurance company. Happy to take your premium, unhappy to pay any money out …


Yeah but I would have to pay for that, and have no guarantee another does not blow into my yard. spiteful guy I am waiting for recompense at the moment, as we had talked about the dead tree a year before! Text message sent to agent now handling subrogation no interest in paying to prevent more cleanup and fence damage to be turned into insurance again, recourse in progress for a tree that has been dead for years by insurance company, next claim too bad slumlord! Then more claims, if that fails small claims court, Insurance did an estimate for the table, so no new table but broke even for big limb removal.
Now I am not always an AH, had a tree company out at the cabins and had a few dead neighbors limbs hanging over the bunkhouse removed, but neighbors are great and an extra $400 was not like I wanted to worry about it.

My biggest pet peeve slumlord has known about the dead tree for years, offered to pay half for fence materials I put in myself as his tenant at the time was running a day care and the kids loved to tease our dogs, never got a penny!