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Many years ago in 1980's before the internet was available to the public, when I owned different cars over the years (Chevy Corsica, Corolla, Civic, Camry, Accord, 1983 BMW 735i), I always bought either Haynes or Chilton's Repair Manuals, which often contain very generic information and nothing about fancy things like ipod, Dice, Bilstein etc. etc.

I see that after the birth of the internet in the 1990s and an explosion of all kinds of forums, there is less and less a need for Haynes, Bentley, Chilton Manuals.

When I bought my E39 (98 528i) in 2006, I made a conscious effort not to buy Bentley because there are so many forums out there, plus there are so many good DIYs out there (Suspension Overhaul, Cooling Overhaul etc.) that the typical Repair Manual cannot cover.

The beauty of a forum is the users' feedback that a repair Manual cannot provide:

How can Bentley cover the frequency of FSR failure?
How can Bentley discuss DICE/Ipod?
How can Bentley discuss water pump brand: OEM, Graf, HEPU etc.?
How can Bentley discuss OEM vs Koni vs Bilstein?
How can Bentley discuss different tire brands?
How can Bentley discuss Brembo vs Zimmermann rotors?

So I officially abandon repair manuals for all of my cars. I simply use different car forums.
Anyone doing the same?

PS: I'd not be surprised if the sales of Haynes, bentley, Chiltons suffer because of the internet car forums.
 

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I believe the forums are great, to be sure, however, the information within the Bentley is clear, precise, and to the point.
Sometimes the information on the forums can be a little skewed or opinionated, which is hard to tell, IMO.
I like I having my Bentley for exact torques, and as back-up, while following a DIY from the forum.
 

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Many years ago in 1980's before the internet was available to the public, when I owned different cars over the years (Chevy Corsica, Corolla, Civic, Camry, Accord, 1983 BMW 735i), I always bought either Haynes or Chilton's Repair Manuals, which often contain very generic information and nothing about fancy things like ipod, Dice, Bilstein etc. etc.

I see that after the birth of the internet in the 1990s and an explosion of all kinds of forums, there is less and less a need for Haynes, Bentley, Chilton Manuals.

When I bought my E39 (98 528i) in 2006, I made a conscious effort not to buy Bentley because there are so many forums out there, plus there are so many good DIYs out there (Suspension Overhaul, Cooling Overhaul etc.) that the typical Repair Manual cannot cover.

The beauty of a forum is the users' feedback that a repair Manual cannot provide:

How can Bentley cover the frequency of FSR failure?
How can Bentley discuss DICE/Ipod?
How can Bentley discuss water pump brand: OEM, Graf, HEPU etc.?
How can Bentley discuss OEM vs Koni vs Bilstein?
How can Bentley discuss different tire brands?
How can Bentley discuss Brembo vs Zimmermann rotors?

So I officially abandon repair manuals for all of my cars. I simply use different car forums.
Anyone doing the same?

PS: I'd not be surprised if the sales of Haynes, bentley, Chiltons suffer because of the internet car forums.
One supplements the other.
Bentley has quite a few things in its sleeve like torque specs. Sometimes the order on how to disassemble things.
Vol2, is amazing with the electrical info - wiring. This (wiring) is quite hard to troubleshoot over the net.
The net has way better pics and some updated procedures.
The "live" feedback is a huge plus for the forum.
 

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Gotta agree CN90--last book I bought was for the 960 Volvo I owned--with whats going on with the folks we all deal with from time to time--great info helps us all--and those that do have the bentley also share their knowledge.
 

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Check twice, fix once...
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I usually open the bentleys for torque settings, quck ref for fluids so forth. On the front suspension DIY I'm doing now, it was actually helpful in addition to what's available on the forums.

I did just order a complete set of BMW TIS, ETK, EBA, KSD and WDS documentation for the Carsoft Laptop I set up, so, it'll be interesting to see how often I reference the Bentley manual moving forward.
 

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I've been doing my maintenance using the good information provided by forums such as this one, bimmerforums, roadfly, etc.
I purchased the CD TIS deal and I found it to be worthless.....

Forums is where it's at. Oh I forgot to mention, I've learned so much on car repairs and maintenance through the forums than I ever have owning a Chilton's.

+1 Mil for forums.
 

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Forums wll tell you from experience, Bentley will only provide base information.

I use Mitchell OnDemand 5 and All-Data for mechanical references.
 

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Check twice, fix once...
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I've been doing my maintenance using the good information provided by forums such as this one, bimmerforums, roadfly, etc.

Forums is where it's at. Oh I forgot to mention, I've learned so much on car repairs and maintenance through the forums than I ever have owning a Chilton's.

+1 Mil for forums.
:thumbup:
 

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'03 540, '03 M5
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CN,
As one of the most repected posters, in my opinion, I am following suit.
You can expect more Q's from me in the future!
Thanks for all the great info you have provided, not to mention some nice "comebacks".
And, DAMN, I LOVVE MY 540!!!
HB
 

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Forum DIY's > Bentley.

Bentley is good for torque specs.
 

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Seek to understand,^Value
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I like I having my Bentley for exact torques
I love the forums too, but you guys don't seem to discuss torques so I agree .. the Bentleys are good for the specs.

Of course, in my posts, I do provide torques (e.g., see this brake job torque chart I wrote up for Bimmerfest in this thread), but the point is I got 'em from the Bentleys, not from the forums.
 

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They serve different purposes. I think the bentley is well worth it.
 

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Seek to understand,^Value
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You need both the Bentleys and the forums (methinks)

Another thing I use the Bentleys for is to answer questions I don't get answered here ... and vice versa ...

For example, on the Carsoft thread, I had asked where my 20-port diagnostic connector was ... and in the Bentleys, I found the answer. It doesn't exist.

On the other hand, only in the Bimmerfest forums do you find out how exactly to install a DICE Silverline, as noted in the original posting.

So, both are necessary and useful. I try to give back to the forums as much as I take and I hope you all do too.
 

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I need a drink
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I like having the book in my trunk for quick looks but most of what you need can be found here or with a little Google.

"I see you have learned to work the Google on the internet machine." - Chazz Michael Michaels
 

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You Lick It, You Own It
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i remember when we had our toyotas, my dad would get the repair manual straight from toyota which was 1000x's better than anything out there. each manual was detailed specifically for that model car.

the bentley... it's good for electrical stuff a bit here and there but other then that, it's practically useless. i still have it just to have it but have only referenced it for someone else.
 
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