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I'm a car n00b looking for a repair manual for my 2001 chevy malibu. I've heard that the Chilton manuals are way better than the Haynes manuals from several people. However, the Chilton manuals cover years 1997-2000 and 2004-2007. Haynes, on the other hand, has a manual out to cover 1997-2003 Chevy Malibu, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac cars.

What recommendations would you make? Would the 2000 Chilton manual be accurate for my car (especially since Haynes groups 2000 Malibus in the same manual as 2001s)? Would the Haynes manual work just as well?

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2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

If you can find it the factory service manual is best way to go. It will cost you a little more but it is much more detailed.

http://www.helminc.com is where I have bought several.

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Another vote for a factory manual, you often can find them on ebay, too. –  Timo Geusch Oct 6 '11 at 14:21
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After getting one of these manuals, you'll kick yourself for ever trying to use anything else. –  Mark Johnson Apr 1 '12 at 22:13
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Iwould reccomend the chilton for a novice mechanic.They don't explain every item but they do explain what a novice mechanic is likely to attempt.Another issue with factory manuals is they assume a certain amount of knowledge on the part of the user. ie. The factory manual may state remove the negative battery cable while the chiltons would show which cable and how to remove it.

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If you're recommending a Chilton, which one would be appropriate? I can't find one that covers the specific year my car was made... –  Joshc1107 Mar 7 '12 at 12:34
    
See if you can find Haynes or Clymer manuals they are similar to Chiltons. –  mikes Mar 7 '12 at 21:48
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For a novice mechanic that works in a technical field, I'd say skip the Chilton/Haynes stuff and go straight for the factory manual. –  Mark Johnson Apr 1 '12 at 22:24
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