Fixing Your Ford with a Chilton DIY Repair Manual
There are a few ways to tinker with your Ford, only a couple of which any sane person would recommend. You could go at it with a hammer and a butter knife and no knowledge of trucks at all. Alternatively, you could go to school for a couple of years and then work your way through the Ford Service Technician Training, using special tools and shop equipment to work on your Ford, as well as everyone else’s.
We’re thinking you’re somewhere in the middle, with a respectable basic toolbox and some mechanical aptitude, but how can you fix your Ford reliably?
There are plenty of things you can probably take care of without ever referencing a manual. Replacing an air filter or doing an oil change are simple operations, and you can look up quick specs online or at the autoparts store. Still, what if you need to do something a little more intensive, perhaps a 1998 Ford F-250 timing chain or wheel bearing? Again, you could just “wing it,” but there’s no guarantee that you’ll get all the steps right on the first try. You might even take apart too much, wasting time and energy. At worst, you could seriously damage your truck.
Chilton Repair Manuals vs Ford Repair Manuals
If you want to get the job done right, you need a repair manual. Just as there are different levels of auto repair, from novice to DIY to professional, there are different repair manuals you can choose from. For the basics, an online search might get you a diagram or a few steps you can follow, but you’re often left on your own to figure out the rest.
At the other end of the spectrum is the Ford factory repair manual, a set of which can cost upwards of $100, but there’s a couple of snags, you see. First, you will likely use just a fraction of the factory repair manual, because most repair procedures in the book aren’t common. Second, factory repair manuals always direct you to use factory special tools, most of which will be impossible for a DIYer to find, and almost zero recommended alternatives. Finally, this assumes that a printed repair manual even exists, as most modern repair manuals are accessible only online.
Chilton Repair Manuals are priced reasonably and not written with the professional in mind, but DIYers with basic hand tools and a fondness for getting a little dirty. Only the most common Ford maintenance and repair operations are included, such as the timing chain and wheel bearings, as well as operations for other systems, such as brakes, suspension, steering, and air conditioning. Chilton Repair Manual’s Ford repair procedures are written mostly from complete teardown and rebuild operations, done right here in our shops, giving specific instructions and tool options that will be easy for a DIYer to understand and put into practice. Even better, most of these step-by-step procedures come with step-by-step photos, exploded diagrams, and informative callouts, which really give you a better idea of what exactly you should be looking at on your own Ford.
The next time you need to do something on your Ford, take the time to do your research. Any good research project will include looking up the relevant information, such as in online forums, walkthrough videos, at the autoparts store, and a readily-available Chilton Repair Manual. Then, fixing your Ford the right way is just a matter of using the right tools at the right time with the right parts.