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Monday, August 10, 2015

Do-It-Yourself with CHILTONLibrary

In this climatically challenged and widely dispersed part of the country, we have to have our cars and we have to have them working. We’re lucky to have a bus here, but it doesn’t run all day or go everyplace that we need to go. So when your car is on the fritz, it can feel like a crisis situation. No worries though. Among all the other things the library offers, we also provide a fantastic car repair database. It is all yours with a few taps on your keyboard, if you have a Stillwater Public Library card.

Last week, we replaced our old car repair service with a new one, CHILTONLibrary. The impetus for the change was the hub’s continuous grouching about how bad the old database had become. He couldn’t find any meaningful car repair instructions on the old service, and I started noticing that more and more of the most useful info was disappearing (and yet the price kept going up).

After looking for some alternatives, we called in the help of several library users who work on their own cars and had them try out both services. All involved agreed that the CHILTONLibrary service was superior.

CHILTONLibrary provides expert advice on repair, maintenance, and service for cars, trucks, vans and SUVs. The information is continually updated and includes step-by-step repair procedures, diagnostic trouble codes, wiring diagrams, and troubleshooting for most vehicle makes, models and years. The instructions often include easier to understand photos, diagrams and videos.

The database is still accessible on the same page at You can access the service online from anywhere and use it at any time. It you want to put the app on your phone, I’ve got it listed on our “Apps” page--that way, you can pull up the repair info right under the hood.

It’s a pretty good tool for do-it-yourselfers, but it’s also good for professionals. CHILTONLibrary includes short sample tests with content approved by master technicians that provide an assessment of your overall readiness to pass an ASE certification exam. Use this option to get a better understanding of your strengths and weaknesses before you take the test.

Now then—for those of us who can barely figure out how to get gas in our cars? CHILTONLibrary provides a tool to help estimate repair time. So, the next time you go to get your car fixed, you can run the estimating tool to see whether you are getting a fairly standard labor price or not.

If you need help using the service or just want to know more about, let your librarian at the Help Desk know.

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