We keep telling people to buy a service manual before pestering us with questions like "where's the ding-dang oil filter on this Chevy smallblock". People keep writing anyway. So now we're going to lay it out to you crystal clear: if you're trying to fix a car, YOU NEED A MANUAL.
You may find a manual at your local dealership. You may try Helm, Inc.. You might have some luck on eBay. Your local auto parts store or bookstore will have all the usual aftermarket books like Chilton's and Haynes. There are hundreds of titles at Classic Motorbooks. Even Amazon.com carries most of the common ones. Specialists may have valuable text relating to your specific car. Lloyd's Auto Literature has reprints of hundreds of vintage manuals. You have no excuse. Get a manual.
If you'd like to make a Cave Drawing of your own, please report to the Main Cave.
From Albert Amarol on 14 January 2004:
I just need to know how to set the clock for my 2002 Chevy Silverrado 1500.
Check with your owner's manual in the glove box.
From Chris Rampe on 16 November 2003:
i do have to say that the people that write this site cant get a point now i dont
understand the stupidity of the people that visit now ive been a master mechanic for
9yrs and i know that the manuals are very important.. makes the job
easier/faster/less aggravating well i hope people get your point..
Hey thanks for that. But I don't mind dishing out the floggings if that's what people are queueing up to get.
From Brian Cole on 10 September 2003:
Just a word about your adversion to all the stupid people out there. There is
another pitfall that you haven't warned these people about. It's the cheap service
manual. I assume that since you're an "expert" you've actually read a few. When
these people go buy a Haynes manual from Auto Zone, there likely to end up with what
they started with -$15. Some of them are ok for reference like my S-10 manual.
However, my friend with a 90 Mustang LX has beat himself over the head with his book
for buying it. It's a fifty/fifty split. If you're really serious or need a decent
diagram, I'd spring for the Chilton.
My experience has been that you don't have a complete set until you own the Chilton's Haynes, and factory service manual. A lot of people balk at paying for the factory manual but it really is worth the extra bucks if you plan on keeping your car for long.
From Ricci Romano on 12 July 2003:
You ever think that a manual might not show what people are looking for? I have been
there so many times it is redicules. You would think that if you purchase a [gosh
darn] manual for 80 [doggone] bucks that they would show just your car and nothing
alse. NOPE WRONG. We are a bunch of morons printing these books to confuse you people
the public in any way possible. Point is that if you are going to offer help to
people, then dont make up some lame excuse like get a manual in your answers. Look at
the first page that is your answer for every [darn] ? asked. Lamo
Hey now, I haven't told anyone to RTFM in, like, a month and a half. You don't like the FREE help you get here? Bite me.
From Chris on 8 July 2003:
Thanks for the info on good places to purchase service manuals. I have been searching
for a quality wiring diagram for a couple of days locally, and the past hour on the
internet. The wiring diagrams in my Haynes manual suck big butts when it comes to the
1997-2000 Ford Escort.
Hey, no problem, glad to help!
From Teri Hobbs on 22 June 2003:
to trevante carlson may 23 2003 re; vacuume routing
The mitchell manual company makes excellent vacuum routing diagrams for
virtually every vehicle, I recommend going to Mitchell Automotive
Manuals on the web and getting the "Emissions" routing diagram for your
car, it will have a very detailed map chart of the vacuum and emissions
hose and sensor connections according to engine size, make and model.
Good advice for Trevante and for everyone else with vacuum routing nightmares. Thank you!
From An Old House on 30 May 2003:
Could you tell me where to find the schematics for the 84 and 88 Chevy S10. We are
puting the motor from a 1984 S10 into a 1988 S10 but can't find a manual that the
the wiring diagram. The dealer says we can't get one.
Lies, lies, lies. First, see if an aftermarket manual such as Haynes or Chilton's has what you need. If that doesn't work, you should be able to get a factory service manual for it. See if Helm, Inc. has one.
From Lana Hardy on 26 April 2003:
My husband has a 1987 Corvette.
It has a security system that keeps draining the battery. Is there a
manual available that would tell us how to disconnect the system?
Any kind of advice would be appreciated.
It's probably just as simple as pulling a fuse, but no doubt any service manual that covers 1987 Corvettes will include a section on disarming the antitheft system.
From Terry Gabel on 24 April 2003:
how does the fuel line layout on 91 mr2 toyota to fuel filter. we
out where to route fuel line from fuel rail.
No clue. You mean to say you weren't paying attention when you took it off? A factory service manual may have diagrams.
From Barb Levy on 21 April 2003:
I am looking for a wiring schematic for my Grand Am. I have already
looked in the owners manual and there is no info to be found. I am
looking to test the wires and the relay for the horn assy because it is
not sounding. If you have or know anyone I may contact please e-mail.
You need a service manual, not an owner's manual.
From Melissa Todd on 3 April 2003:
belt replacement on a cavalier
Explained in a service manual.
From Jason Barrett on 21 March 2003:
believe it or not, those service manuals don't always show information
pertinent to every situation. You should change the name of this site to
You're absolutely right. And when people send me questions that are thoughtful, interesting, and not likely to be found in a service manual, I take the time to answer them. As you'd know if you spent five minutes browsing this site before getting your panties in a wad. Here's an idea: why don't YOU spend the next six years telling people where to find the fuel filter and then get back to me about how annoying it is when people can't be bothered to buy a service manual. If you're still not satisfied with the quality of service you get here, I'll promptly issue a full refund for the ZERO YOU'RE PAYING FOR IT. I think I might change the name of the site to RTFM.com.
From Lead Head Joe on 20 March 2003:
can you where the air temp. sensor is on a 1998 V6 mustang?
I can where a service manual in a parts store.
From Melissa Broadwell on 1 March 2003:
I have a 95 GT and was wondering if could you tell me what is the
coloring of the signal wires coming from the O2 sensors? I have a
Haynes manual and I see a GRY / RED from both and a RED / BLK from one
and a GRY / LT BLU from the other. All seem to go to the PCM. Thanks
for any help you could give.
Hi Melissa, unfortunately I don't have any more information than you do. Perhaps a factory service manual would be more helpful than the Haynes book.
From Geoff Sagencies on 24 February 2003:
Where is the diagnostic socket located on the Saab 93 diesel?
I dunno, but your service manual surely does.
From Jack Hearing on 25 January 2003:
i just purchased a 2003 mustang gt. in your opinion what is the best
grade octane fuel should i use.
Use what the owner's manual tells you to use.
From Daryl Swineheart on 20 January 2003:
Hi I`m looking for info on replacing the heatercore, in my 1992 camaro,
V6 with air, do you have any schematics on this or any info? thankyou
You'll find schematics and info in a service manual.
From Chris Krienke on 11 January 2003:
I am currently restoring a 75 vette and I am having problems getting
info on the vacume system. I have figured most of it out but I can't
seem to find out where the bottom hose on the EGR switch that is mounted
on the intake goes. The top hose goes to the EGR valve. Some help would
shure be appreciated!!
Love the site!
Chris, do you have a service manual for that Corvette? Because service manuals usually include vacuum diagrams.
From Susie Meadows Wind on 9 January 2003:
This is the wife of the mechanic who is helping a friend work on a 1974
corvette and is wondering if there is any way to download diagrams for
headlight assembly and emergency brake w/out buying manual. Seems there is
also a problem w/ vacuum assisted doors that open up and hidden headlights
too. We are both out of work so don't wanna buy manual as it is not our car.
Can you help??
Susie meadows Wind/Vermont helper-bee computer-literate one
Not really. The service manual guys are pretty protective of their copyrights; that stuff doesn't get online easily. You might see if the library has anything useful.
From Jim Harris on 27 December 2002:
i am replacing the heater core on a 94 GMC jimmy and i am having problems
finding the info could you please direct me the right way thank you Jim
You'll find instructions in a service manual.
From Mike Adams on 24 December 2002:
I have spent all day looking for a schematic diagram on an '88 700R4 tranny
out of a 1500 silverado. too much fun for me to have, can you help me or do
you have any such diagrams off hand?
mike from kaukauna, wi
Sorry, I don't happen to have a diagram handy. But, you can probably get one from GM, or else check a major bookstore for an overhaul manual -- if you don't have a major bookstore, try Amazon or Classic Motorbooks.
From D.L. Colby on 5 December 2002:
loacation of fuse box
Easily located in a service manual. Probably even in your owner's manual!
From Michael Harris on 5 December 2002:
I need to know the proper procedure to Test Tie rod ends.
Something official from a manual.
I have a Mass State Inspector who insist's that he use a 12" pair of channel
plyers, squeeze the tie rod end and if it moves they are bad. I think he is
wrong and so does my regular mechanic. I just need the proof. This is for a
1997 GMC Sierra SL1500 v8 350.
You already know you need to get a service manual...
From Linda Ed on 30 November 2002:
Transfer wire diagram or drawing for a Ford Explorer 1993
Transfer yourself to auto parts store and buy service manual.
From Mark the Gentleman on 19 November 2002:
I need some help in finding a 1978 Mercury Monarch Vacuum Skematic please.
Thanking You In Advance-
Factory service manual.
From Jake and Diana on 15 November 2002:
does anyone know where the turn signal flasher is on a 2000 Pontiac
Grand Am SE and how to change it
It's under the dashboard somewhere -- a service manual, and maybe even your owner's manual, would say for sure -- and it just unplugs.
From Mike Tuggle on 15 November 2002:
ford excort 94
how do i get the heater core out is there any tricks to the tread can you
send me any pictures
A service manual will explain this procedure for you. I don't have any pictures, having never swapped a heater core in an Excort.
From Walker County Buzz on 27 October 2002:
I am installing an intake manifold on a V8 buick but when having the heads
reworked I was told they was oldsmobiles heads from the factory what should I
torque the intake sequence down to olds or buick.
A service manual would have that information.
From Jeff Hawkins on 11 October 2002:
LOOKING FOR FIREING ORDER ON A 1972 PONTIAIC LEMANS W/400 ENGINE,
FINDING IT IN A SERVICE MANUAL.
From Paul D of Tennessee on 2 October 2002:
Help with 1992 Bonneville Fuel Filter
Just need to know where the thing is mounted and how to seal off the fuel while
Get a serv-- oh, what the hell. It's along the front subframe on the passenger side. You can't stop the fuel flow -- some will pour out no matter what you do, but depressurize the system to reduce the mess. THAT is covered in a service manual.
From Mike "Dino" Dart on 20 September 2002:
I HAVE 1976 VEGA WAGON WITH NOMAD EMBLEMS ALL OVER IT BUT THE ENGINE WAS
TAKEN APART . I WANT TO PUT THE ENGINE BACK THE WAY IT WAS . I HAVE THE SMOG
PUMP AND NEED TO FIND OUT WHERE IT HOOK IN TO ETHER THE BLOCK BY THE EXHAUST
OR IN TO THE EXH. MANIFOLD. THANKS DINO
YOU'LL FIND A SERVICE MANUAL VERY HELPFUL WITH YOUR ENDEAVOR.
From Collin Fill on 7 September 2002:
I am looking for an Emissions diagram for a 1978 CJ-7. This jeep is stock with a
304 AMC V8 standard trans. I am not sure what kind of smog equipment it came
with. I think this car is a Calif. car which is where I live. Tough smog
standards. Any help on where the vacuum lines go and to what components would
be greatly appreciated.
Service manuals usually include vacuum line diagrams.
From Richard Worley on 7 September 2002:
I am looking for instructions on operating the onboard computer for my car.
I have no idea what some of the functions shown on the dashboard mean.
Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated.
What you need is an owner's manual. If Audi refuses to help you, watch on eBay.
From Levi Vader on 7 August 2002:
I already have a manuel on the Subaru but it does not tell me how to
disassemble the front axel. It shows how to on the rear axel. I hope you
can tell me how to do it. Or even tell me where I may go to find out.
Try a different manual. Seriously. Not all manuals are created equal. I haven't done the job myself so I can't give you firsthand pointers.
From Carl Ricenice on 6 August 2002:
1963 GMC pick up
I need to know how to adjust a new clutch for this vehicle also how much
gear oil to refill the tranny when its empty old muncie 4 speed top loader
A service manual might contain that information.
From Dave "T-Bone" Byron on 2 August 2002:
I'm attempting to find the oil sensing unit on my daughter's 1990 4
Cyl.Camry. It has a major leak. I'm told by those who seem to know, the
sensing unit may be bad. I've attempted on several occasions to find it but
I'm hoping you can point me to a drawing of the engine that will enable me to
find the oil sensing unit.
Thanks for your consideration
Yep, you'll find a diagram of the engine in a service manual. Definitely.
From Lee Hnrch on 28 July 2002:
I need to get the igntion out of the column of my 70 GTO. I have the stearing
wheel removed and can get the part of the column out that contains the
ignition. What is the best way to do this? Can I drill it our "pop" it out
some how? Any help would be appriciated.
You'll probably find information on how to do that in a service manual.
From Wayne Sinclair on 28 June 2002:
I need a shop manual for a 1965 ford galaxie .
Lloyd's Auto Literature. Now. I need a Kawasaki Ninja.
From Keith Maestas on 27 June 2002:
My name is Keith Maestas. I have a 1998 Ford Escort. I am having some problems with
my air conditioning and think that it is the ccrm relay. The only problem that I
have is I cannot find it! I have looked everywhere I could tink of and have run out
of ideas. Can you tell where to find it?
Thanks for your time
Yep. In a service manual.
From Rhetta Kutch on 19 June 2002:
I have 1985 vw gti and I changed the timming belt and wanted to know what position
that the crank has to be in. that would be the top crank on the side of the motor.
I'll have to look that up in a service manual... but why should I have all the fun? I think I'll let you do it!
From Mike Gray on 12 June 2002:
i am trying to locate a phantom view, or a drawing of the front suspension
on the Honda Odyssey Van. Can you help?
Service manuals are full of exploded diagrams.
From Iminden Hall on 1 June 2002:
I have a severe rattle comming from the rear area,could it be that metal sway bar
that runs under the rear axel?Is it supposed to have rubber sleaves? If so, what is
the best way to repair it.Could it be the rear shocks or brakes?I can't find a manual
for this car anywhere.
The manuals are out there. Try Amazon.com if your local parts store can't hook you up. If your sway bar hasn't got its rubber insulators, it's sure to make a hell of a racket, in addition to not doing its job.
From Milton Douglas on 5 May 2002:
1992 Buick Regal headliner
I would like to find out how to remove this headliner and also to push out the roof
because of an accident.
The headliner question will be answered by a service manual, and the sheetmetal repair question will be answered by a good bodywork manual.
From Daniel Kutch on 27 April 2002:
I would like to know if anybody has diagrams or pictures of an engine like
mine so i can see how the vacuum hoses go and the air conditioner is hooked
up and the power steering pump. I just rebuilt the whole engine and thats
the only thing holdin me up on getting it runnin, its a 86 iroc-z with a 305
in it, if u or anyone you know could send me some pictures of one like mine
i would apperciate it. Thanks!
A service manual is a highly likely source for this kind of information.
From Carol Brown on 26 April 2002:
fuel filter location on a ford ranger pick-up
Easily identified in the pages of a service manual.
From Bud Bonnie on 26 April 2002:
can you guys help me on were to find the PVC valve on a 1997 chevy camaro, its the
V-6 model? thanks
Do Click and Clack get questions like this? Please, please buy a service manual. Don't make me come over there and feed you one, page by page.
From Guy Wilson on 23 April 2002:
I recently bought an ACCEL 300+ ignition and want to hook it up to my 1985 Toyota
Celica. Do I leave the stock igniter connected? Can you give me a wire diagram to
include the colors from the igniter?
If your new unit includes an ignition module, then you hardly need your old one, do you? You'll find a wiring diagram in your service manual.
From Bonnie Francis on 18 April 2002:
Can you tell me where on line I can locate the schematics for the vacuum hoses from
No, but I can tell you that a service manual will have a vacuum diagram in it.
From Jennifer Garrison-Marlow on 15 April 2002:
I need to replace my power window motor and regulator in my 1999 Pontiac
grand am se drivers side door. Can you please tell me how to or where to
find directions or diagrams to fix it?
Please let me know ASAP, my window is broken and has been for about 3
Someday I'm going to write a service-manual song that I can sing to everyone who asks a question for which the answer is "go buy a service manual". Then maybe at least I'll get tips in my hat or something.
From Robert Potter on 12 April 2002:
help 86 tbird fails deq with high nox readings...need to change out egr valve.. i am
a mechanic not automotive but know tools well. is there some online illistration and
step by step guidelines to this repair...
So far the service manual guys have done a pretty good job of keeping their manuals offline. But even the cheap aftermarket manuals like Chilton's or Haynes ought to have the EGR replacement procedure. You should find that it is probably not too bad to do.
From Don Smith on 25 March 2002:
where should the fuel line conect. if i close the left srew it does nothing and the
right is set at 3 turns but still backfires if you get on it. do you hve any
Ya know, I really try to be patient with you guys. But I don't think it's too much to ask for you to BUY A DING DANG BLARNEY SERVICE MANUAL and at least TRY to read it before surfing the net and dropping some bizarre question on poor old Cave Drawings!!
From Chicago Andris on 10 March 2002:
aRE THERE ANY ONLINE SITES THAT WOULD HAVE REFERENCE INFORMATION SUCH A
CHILTONS MANUAL ONLINE?
nO, THE PUBLISHERS LIKE cHILTON'S HAVE DONE A GOOD JOB KEEPING THEIR STUFF OFF OF THE INTERNET. yOU MIGHT TRY aMAZON.COM OR YOUR LOCAL BOOKSELLER. bE SURE TO ASK FOR THE SPECIAL cAPS-rEVERSED eDITION SO THAT YOU ARE COMFORTABLE READING IT.
From Cecil Janepate on 1 February 2002:
I would like to know the procdure of adjusting valves on 305 gmc engine .
Mine is a 79 GMC truck. Building engine is no problem,but I have yet found a
way to adjust valves good.
Any help would be valued.
Thank you for your time
Hi Cecil! Repeat after me: "Service manuals are gooooood mmmmmmkaaaaay."
From Carol Bear on 13 January 2002:
is there a web site that can give you such things as where the fuel lines fuel filter
ect are on a 1991 ford explorer
I don't know about a website, but if you visit your local parts store, you'll be able to get a Chilton's or Haynes service manual for about 15 bucks.
From Susan West on 25 July 2001:
i need a alternator put in my , 1990 pontiaic grand am, 4 cly.pleses help.
is it hard to do?
Nope, piece of cake. Get y'self a Chiltons or Haynes service manual and follow the
From Ronald Feragotti on 6 July 2001:
I HAVE A 91 CAMARO RS AND I AM IN JAPAN WHERE RESOURCES ARE
VERY LIMITED. I AM LOOKING FOR THE STARTER ENABLE RELAY AND THE
CHILTIONS MANUAL I HAVE SAYS ITS ON THE DRIVERS SIDE KICK PNL. BUT
ITS NOT OF COURSE BECAUSE THAT WOULD BE TO EASY. RIGHT NOW I HAVE
MY STARTER HOOKED UP TO A TOGGLE SWTICH. ANY INFO YOU CAN
PROVIDE WOULD BE HELPFUL.
Ron, I don't know where that thing is on your car. I do know, however, that you need to get a
factory service manual ASAP. They show up from time to time on eBay, or you can order them directly from Dal Slabaugh at Vandevere Oldsmobile, who offers very favorable
From Michael Michalski on 1 July 2001:
how does the housing for the dip stick get secured to the engine block
so it does not move.their is a clip but Icant remember how it goes
on.this is for a 1991 4-wheel drive.GMC 1500 sierra series
I dunno. You need to get a service manual for your truck, which should show you how it
From Melissa Fleming on 30 June 2001:
do I have to pull the engine to get the oil pump off? There is not enough clearance
between the oil pan and the crossmember to just pull it off.. I am hoping there is
Hi Melissa! You need to get your hands on a service manual for that car. It will give you
much more advice than I can offer. Chances are you're gonna have to at least prop up the
From John Smeltzer on 18 June 2001:
I was on your website and see that you give instructions on how to replace the brake
pads on a pontiac. Do you have instructions for a 2000 Dodge ram 2500 ( pick-up ) ?
Thanks John Smeltzer
Hi John, I don't have specific instructions, no. But if you pick up a Chilton's or Haynes
manual, they'll provide some guidance. Brake pads are rarely particularly difficult.
From Laverre Bugg on 12 April 2001:
How hard is it to replace the starter on a 97 Mustang GT? The garage
wants about $180. What's up with that?
Thanks alot, Laverre
I haven't done it on a 4.6L but it shouldn't be too hard. We're only talking about a couple of
bolts and a couple of wires. It only gets complicated if you have headers. Really, you can do this.
Go buy yourself a service manual and save some bucks. Be sure to get a quality starter though --
it's not so easy that you'd want to do it twice.