Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

Free wiring diagram

Where can I get a free wiring diagram?

You’re here because you searched for a free wiring diagram. The first thing you need to know about wiring diagrams is that there is NEVER a single wiring diagram for your car. Even within a single model year, different versions of the same car can have different diagrams. They vary by engine and even vary from sedan to coupe.

When I need a diagram, I have to enter the year, make, model, and OPTIONS into the first page of a professional shop manual program. Why? Because a wiring diagram for power doors locks on a 2001 Ford Taurus WITH a security system is different than the diagram for the exact same vehicle WITHOUT a security system. free wiring diagramI could go on and on, but the bottom line is that if you don’t key in all that information, you’ll get the wrong diagram. So when ask for a wiring diagram for your vehicle, your chances of getting the right diagram are, you guessed it, ZIP. Nadda. The same applies to step-by-step repair information—it’s different for vehicles depending on what equipment you have and which engine/transmission combination is in the vehicle.

Next, you should know that there’s really no such thing as a free wiring diagram or free shop manual. The cheap manuals (Haynes, Chilton, etc) have really lousy diagrams (in my opinion), which is why you see so many posts that say, “I have a Haynes manual but need a wiring diagram for….” The car companies are charging for all repair information these days and it’s not cheap. So in order to get your hands on good reliable information, you simply have to bite the bullet and pay for it or visit your local public library and access their online auto repair programs.

If you’re willing to pay for a wiring diagram, here are your options

eautorepair.net – This site is run by Mitchell on Demand, which is used by the pros. They redraw all the factory wiring diagrams so they are MUCH easier to read. Really, I’d rather use their diagrams than any factory manual. Their repair instructions are good too. The downside to this service is the lack of body repair information. You cannot get any door panel removal instructions or any interior door repair steps. The same goes for instrument panel removal. The upside is that their service is very accessible for DIY’ers.

Alldata – This site is like the eautorepair site except that they DO include some body repair information. They have diagrams that show how to remove door panels and some dash panels. Their wiring diagrams are all FACTORY diagrams. If you know how to read them, great. If not, it can be quite a challenge for the average DIYer.

Factory shop manuals – There’s no comparison here. These are the best manuals out there. They have the most diagrams and the best instructions. They also include in-depth articles on how the systems work. That can really help you when it comes to diagnosing a problem. The downside? The cost. Click here to find the site for your make. http://www.oem1stop.com/

Public library – That’s right, you forgot about them, didn’t you? Many public libraries subscribe to online repair services. If you have a library card you can use their computers and print out the repair instructions or diagrams for a small fee. The downside is that most libraries require you to access the service from inside the library—meaning, you can’t get it from home.

Ebay – If you sign on to ebaymotors, you’ll find tons of factory DVDs for cheap prices.

You also get service bulletins

The other important point you miss when trying to repair your car without the most up to date information is that many car problems can be solved with a software update or an updated part. Car makers publish that information in service bulletins to their dealers. If you’re trying to fix a problem with your vehicle and you haven’t read the most recent service bulletins, you could be replacing parts needlessly.

Here’s the bottom line, and there is NO way around it—if you want reliable information, you’re going to have to pay for it.

© 2012 Rick Muscoplat

Posted on by Rick Muscoplat


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