If you have been doing your own car repairs for any period of time, you understand the need for a repair manual. Without instructions to follow, even an experienced repair technician can make serious errors. But paper manuals are vulnerable in the home and especially in the garage. Let’s discuss some of the most common causes of repair manual damage and what you can do to avoid them.
The repair book’s worst enemy is shop grease. One little dot turns into a smudge, and that smudge might as well be printing ink because it is not coming off and will completely obscure anything underneath it. Take extreme care not to touch your manual with greasy hands or position it near any dripping components.
Another major cause of damage is simple liquids around the house or in the garage. Like any book, a paper service manual doesn’t take kindly to a soaking. Keep critical books like repair manuals away from the glass of lemonade! If you have a pet, you have probably learned by now to keep it away from important books. But just in case – don’t let your pet anywhere near your repair instructions.
Another way to damage your repair manual is to age it prematurely by storing it in a hot, humid environment. This will accelerate the aging process and yellow the paper faster than usual. And remember, all of this is moot if you lose your manual. I have probably damaged fewer manuals than I have lost outright (before I switched to digital information). Keep your repair instructions somewhere you can’t possibly lose them, because there is no backup for a paper book.
Hopefully these pointers will help you preserve your paper repair manual should you choose to use one when doing your own repairs. Above all else, have fun with your DIY project and follow the appropriate safety precautions.