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· Registered
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have not posted here much, my Avalon is newer (2001), lower mileage (55K), and has needed very little work aside from regular maintenance. I DO post a lot on a Honda forum, because I have a mint 1994 Accord I have built out to street performance level, so I swap a lot of info. and ideas. I have been turning wrenches for 30+ years.

I have read some posts here, and they reflect what I have seen on the Honda forum. I have some VERY serious advice to give out here, and sorry to those of you for whom this is obvious- GET A REAPIR MANUAL for your car!

On this forum, and especially the Honda forum (due to the number of very young kids posting there), I have seen requests for repair info (torque specs, etc) and procedure info that is easily obtained from a CHEAP manual. I have both a Haynes and Chilton for my Avalon, and for the Avalon I prefer the Chlitons, it seems better organized. For my Honda I have "the best", a Helms, due to all the restoration I have done. For my Xterra, I have an OEM shop manual ($$$), due to the intricate 4WD system.

I use my manuals ALL THE TIME, even after 30 years of turning wrenches. I use them for all repairs and restoration work. I use them for maintenance work (torque specs, etc). I used the Helms to plan/develop/design upgraded systems for the Honda. I am currently using the Helms to design a custom engine for the Honda. Before I start ANY new work I study diagrams, read the procedures, and make a COMPLETE parts list so I have EVERY part I need BEFORE I start the work. I am a VERY good mechanic, but I never touch any new procedure before I consult the manual.

I DON"T know HOW anyone can work on a "new" car, or do a new procedure, without a manual. A Haynes or Chiltons costs about 22-$24. I have had MANY people state what I will here- the manual will pay for itself many, many times over in saved time and parts costs. It will save you money because you won't "break stuff" as you work, and you will have all the RIGHT parts the first time. It will save you money because the job will get done RIGHT and stay fixed.

More than once I have responded to posts where grossly incorrect torque specs were supplied. I have news for you youngsters- some idiots get a kick out of posting torque specs that are way too high, knowing you will strip out bolt-chases! ( have seen some comments posted!). I have also seen procedures described incorrectly, to the point I can't see how it's possible to use the info. Some folks who don't really know WTF they are doing post "info" that looks right, but it's useless.

GET A MANUAL, get the BEST one you can afford. When I bought the Avalon (new) the OEM shop manaul was about ($350??), if I remember right, so I bought a Haynes, and later a Chiltons, when it came out. Both were about $22-$23. If I remember right, I could now get the Toyota OEM manual for around $75 for the "engine/tranney" volume. I will probably eventually have to do this, especially as the car ages and needs more extensive repairs.

Well, that's it. I have swapped posts for very tecnical info before, I have posted advice before for little known procedures, but the BEST advice I have ever posted on both sites is GET A MANUAL.

It's amazing to me- as much as I, and numerous others, post this over, and over, and over again you will see posts for "Where are my sparkplugs?", "What is the spec for this torque?", "Where is my oil filter?". Its very scary, I REALLY don't ever want these types ever working on any car I buy.

Everyone has to learn how to work on a car, everyone has to learn about their "new" car (even me!). That's what good repair manuals are for. If you aren't a VERY experienced mechanic, and you WON'T buy a $22 repair manual, you should NOT be working on your car, you just don't have a clue. Later- Wrenchy

· Dave's
1,949 Posts
You have a very valid point and while I couldn't agree more, there are times I'll ask for a piece of info for someone else's ride. I'm capable of doing/helping with the work but just need to know something. Should they have a manual? Of course but I'm not going to refuse to help just because they don't. I try not to ask things which require a lot of effort or research, but if someone has it handy and doesn't mind posting then what's the harm?
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