Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

How to Work on a Car that Doesn't Have a Service Manual - New Toyota Vehicles

What do I do for example when I go and rotate my tires? I just guess the torque? The dealerships have told me that they are no longer making their own service manuals???

Like this one example. Toyota is no longer making them. So I’m just supposed to rely on third party service manuals? But it seems that there aren’t any out yet for like the newer Yaris or Camry or Corolla. So what are you supposed to do?

There’s a difference between an owners manual and a service manual.

Are you confusing the two?


I’m talking about the service/ repair manual with how to do all maintenance and torque specifications etc. No Haynes manual or Chilton manual exist

1 Like

You just tighten the lug nuts just as if you had replaced a flat with the spare . This is not Rocket Surgery .

1 Like

For a Toyota?


Lug nut torque spec is in the owners manual.

With service manuals online the dealers stopped buying printed manuals years ago, there is little call for Toyota to have them printed today.

For a fee you can access service manual information from Toyota;

To view or download additional manuals that take you down to the nuts and bolts of most Toyota models from 1990 and beyond, you may subscribe to our Technical Information System (TIS) at

1 Like

Right for a Toyota. I have to pay to use this database, TIS? Is there anyway I can just print out the information for my car from this database and pay for a month subscription or something like that?

I was not aware that printed factory service manuals had fallen out of vogue. I was also not aware that aftermarket service manuals such as Haynes or Chilton are no longer being produced.

While professional mechanics in a dealership service department might have a computer with a large monitor in each service bay for the purpose of viewing service manuals, I can’t imagine that smaller shops or DIYers would want this. I certainly would not want to subscribe to a monthly service which allows me to view PDF manuals on a computer, when a printed book is a one-time expense, and a lot easier to use while working on a vehicle.


For most of my repairs, I have been able to find DIY instructions with torque specs from model specific forums. Now if you bought the first car from a new model and you need to do something a month later, this info might be difficult to come by. But then most of the maintenance stuff is in the owner’s manual, the rest should be covered under warranty.

Lug nut torque - in a matter of seconds Mr. Google found a chart for me to look up almost any vehicle on the road lug nut torque .
And I don’t need a service manual for a new vehicle until the warranty is expired .

I defiantly prefer factory printed manuals. Buy once, never pay again. They also hold value pretty good, the printed manuals.

1 Like

The prices are in the link, click the subscribe button. The prices may seem high but to buy every volume of manual for one car would cost more than $200. You can save or print any information that you are interested in with a 2 day, month or year subscription. Or you might wait a few years for the aftermarket manuals to become available.

I can’t remember the last time I looked at a printed service manual?


That has always been my style, and on a lot more than just lug nuts.
Never seems to have mattered.

You’re supposed to log onto the Toyota technical website and pay for access to information

information is a commodity

auto manufacturers are transitioning from printed service manuals

Why should a shop have untold bookshelves full of manuals, when you can have everything readily available on one computer?

Those factory service manuals were ridiculously expensive. For example, a set typically comprised 3 service manuals, at least one wiring diagram book, one or more emissions diagnosis manuals, and possibly a few parts manuals. You’re talking several hundred dollars

If a shop isn’t equipped like that today they won’t be in business much longer. I’m the shop manager at an independent, family-owned shop. We have 4 computers located throughout the shop, all loaded with Mitchell, Alldata, and Identifix. In addition, every mechanic has his own tablet, and when your current work order is open one touch of the screen gets you to Alldata for the specific vehicle you’re working on. I understand that not every indy shop may be that well-equipped, but workstations with computer based service info has been the norm for 20+ years now. Printed books are simply unworkable anymore, if for no other reason than the ridiculous amount of space they take up.

A printed book is obsolete the moment you buy it. It does not provide current service bulletins, software updates, revised torque specs, parts, or procedures. Not to mention completely unmanageable when you’re hands-on under the dash or hood.


There’s a company called Alldata that has a DIY side that will get you access to torque specs and repair procedures for not very much money. Paper manuals have gone the way of the dinosaur.

Same here. My last new car was my '95 Avalon. Dealer offered me lifetime oil changes for free. I asked (and received) the factory service manual instead . Saved me a lot of money .

1 Like

This change from printed service literature to online “subscription services” with a high monthly fee sounds like the racket that publishers of college textbooks are doing.

Back in the 1990s, students purchased printed textbooks. Printed books are easy to use and very convenient. Also, there was nothing to stop multiple students from sharing one book, nor was there anything to stop a student from reselling their book once the course has been successfully completed. If the textbook contains material which will be useful for years to come, there was nothing to stop a student from keeping his book and referring to it as-needed in the future without any additional expense.

Then, in the mid-2000s, textbook publishers started including a one-time-use code with each new textbook. This code was required in order to access the online study guide, and to complete the online homework, which many professors require, and is typically 10%-15% of the final course grade. Sure, you could buy a used textbook cheaply, but unless you’re willing to pay an inflated price to buy a new code–thus eliminating any savings from buying the used book–you will have to skip the online homework and forfeit one letter grade in the course as a result.

Apparently now, many “textbooks” consist solely of a digital code, and perhaps a DVD-ROM in a cardboard sleeve. I guess the student is forced to pay hundreds of dollars–not to receive a physical book, but to receive a “subscription” to view a protected PDF document, which cannot even be printed.

I thought this scheme was a real rip-off when I was in college, and I think it’s an even bigger rip-off in the context of buying repair manuals to work on your own personal vehicles. I suppose for a professional auto repair shop, it might make sense to pay for a subscription if the subscription allows access to manuals for any vehicle that might drive in. In that case, it might be cheaper to pay subscription fees than to store and keep track of hundreds of printed manuals.

Of course, this might not be the case if multiple employees need to share the service manuals. I looked at the link to purchase Toyota service literature, and the subscription is not a site license–it allows one person to be logged in on one computer at a time. Printed manuals can, of course, be shared among multiple employees at one location, provided that only one person needs to refer to a specific manual at a time.