Which car manual?

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Tom Owad's picture
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I'd like to get some opinions on what the best service manual is for a 1997 Chrysler Sebring Convertible. The three I'm looking at are:

Chrysler Cirrus, Stratus, Sebring, Avenger, and Breeze, 1995-98 (Chilton's Total Car Care Repair Manual)

Chrysler Sebring, Dodge Stratus & Avenger: Automotive Repair Manual 1995-2002, All Models (Haynes Automotive Repair Manual Series)

1997 Chrysler Sebring Convertible Service Manual

I'm leaning towards the third one as it's b Chrysler and specifically about my model, but I don't have a good understanding of what it actually covers. Are the Chilton/Haynes manuals likely to have anything that the Chrysler is lacking?

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Hmmm.... Get a manual that is

Hmmm.... Get a manual that is somewhat like your car or one exactly about your car...DUH! Get the one about your exact car!

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dankephoto's picture
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factory manuals kick Chilton/Haynes a$$

While I'm not specifically familiar with Chrysler manuals, I can say I've never been impressed with any of the aftermarket manuals. In my experience the factory jobbie is the best longterm value.

You might want to call your dealer and ask how much the factory manual costs from the source. It might be less than you think, might even be less than the auction you've referenced.

edit: take a look at this (check out all the ads on the right) and this.

dan k

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Dr. Webster's picture
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I have the Haynes for my Cirr

I have the Haynes for my Cirrus; it's straightforward and includes a lot of information. I'm not a mechanic, though, so if you're doing anything involved (engine swap, etc.) you're probably better off with the factory manual.

You should also take a look through the forums at Stratusphere (http://www.stratusphere.net); it's a community for owners of Chrysler's "cloud cars" (Cirrus, Stratus, Breeze, and Sebring sedans and convertibles). Yes, I'm a member there.

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blackbag's picture
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Hands down

Get the factory manuals, there's no substitute.
I've owned factory manuals for all my Toyota vehicles for years now, and I've found that the best place to get them for a decent price is on a vehicle specific car forum. I picked up my last set of manuals (3 very large volumes) for $30. Can't beat it...

Tom Owad's picture
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Re: factory manuals kick Chilton/Haynes a$$

dankephoto wrote:

edit: take a look at this (check out all the ads on the right) and this.

I see there's the "Diagnostic Service Manual" you link to, and then also the "Body Service Manual," "Transmissions Service Manual," "Transaxle Service Manual," etc., which is where I was headed with my question about what was actually covered in the service manual I linked to.

Factory Auto Manuals' description of what I thought was the general service manual (1996, in this case) is that it "is the supplement to the Cirrus-Stratus-Breeze main service manual."

So unless Chrysler changed the manual from supplement to complete between 1996 and 1997, it seems I also need the 1997 Cirrus-Stratus-Breeze Service Manual, which is making this awfully pricey and getting me a lot more information than I'm likely ever to use. I'll probably write the seller and ask him if it is in fact just a supplement.

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Manuals...

You might also look at Helm, but I've had okay luck with Chiltons. Haynes is basically worthless, it glances over large tasks or simply skips them. Fortunately I'm a gear-head and mechanically adept enough to figure it out myself. I had to do a tranny swap on my Aerostar and it basically didn't even cover it. I mean it kind of did, but how hard is it to pull a RWD tranny? Fortunately it's not.

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i can say

i had to do some work on my VW when i first got it and wasnt familiar with the car yet, and haynes just wasnt helping me at all.... my car sat on jack stands for 4 days because the manual didnt state how to take off the water pump!! so i figured it out all on my own, breaking bolts as i go because it was an old VW... the rest of the car didnt last me much longer then 6 months anyways.... but yea factory manuals are the best ive seen... thats what i ended up getting for my passat when i did alot more work to it.

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RE: factory manuals kick Chilton/Haynes a$$

Quote:

I can say I've never been impressed with any of the aftermarket manuals.

Bentley Manuals are supurb, espescially for import models, though I doubt they make a manual for a Chrystler Sebring.

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re: factory manuals kick Chilton/Haynes a$$

"catmistake" wrote:

Bentley Manuals are supurb, espescially for import models, though I doubt they make a manual for a Chrystler Sebring.

Bentley are the factory manuals, for VW/Audi products at least, and nearly so for BMW too. Agreed, they are the gold-standard, that's why the Chilton/Haynes ilk never have come close to satisfying me. C/H/Whatever always seem to be lacking the specific details I needed, making them nearly worthless for anything more than changing the sparkplugs or airfilter.

Trust us TO, you really do want more than C/H/W delivers. The depth of coverage and specificity in factory manuals means you (virtually) never find yourself trying to decipher confusing and imprecise repair procedure descriptions.

dan k

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Another good source for servi

Another good source for service manuals is alldatadiy.com. It runs $24.95 the first year and you get access to the factory service manuals and technical service bulletins.

While not the cheapest out there it is good because you can get the information now.

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All Data Pro

Ive used this for a few years now and its awsome...

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Get the official factory repa

Get the official factory repair manual. It'll cost more, but is far superior in usefulness.

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