Christchurch City Libraries has an extensive collection of repair manuals for cars, motorcycles, outboard motors and other engines.
Motor manuals from the lending collection are available for loan by placing a hold.
Motor manuals from the Reference collection are not available for loan but they may be viewed on request. Please talk to a librarian who will arrange for the motor manual to be sent to Tūranga within three working days for you to view.
Smaller lending collections are available at Fendalton, New Brighton, Shirley, and Upper Riccarton. Old manuals are kept to ensure they remain available long after the vehicles may have become less common on our roads.
Searching for a manual
If you are searching for a particular manual in the catalogue, enter the following information:
- Make of the vehicle – Toyota, Holden, Isuzu etc
- Model of the vehicle – Corolla, Commodore, Gemini etc
You will then be able to check for the date and engine size of your vehicle. It is also possible to search by engine series/number.
For motorcycles, the make and the engine size are usually sufficient.
Turbocharged and diesel models may have more than one manual in the collection, even for the same vehicle, so if you need assistance, ask a librarian.
For outboard motors, chain saws and power lawn mowers do a subject term using these terms or a keyword search using the manufacturer’s name.
For more information read our Motor manuals FAQs
Autodata is a popular technical series providing tune up and servicing specifications. Titles cover carburettors, wiring diagrams, braking systems and diesel injection amongst others.
Identicar is a New Zealand produced databook that acts as a model identification guide for both New Zealand new and imported Japanese vehicles. For the latter it also includes the names by which we know them in this country.
Chilton Asian Mechanical Service 2006 is a three volume work that provides good coverage for many popular vehicles on New Zealand roads.
Manuals, handbook or databook
are several types of books containing technical information about motors and vehicles. Each motor manual is catalogued and indexed in detail to make them as easy to search for as possible.
Workshop manuals usually have exploded diagrams and comprehensive how-to-fix instructions for home mechanics. Factory manuals have extended technical information and most are reference only, meaning they cannot be borrowed.
Handbooks are more like the glovebox guides that explain how to operate different functions of the vehicle as well as some basic technical information. Some handbooks can be borrowed from the library.
Databooks provide helpful technical information such as tyre pressures, spark plug gaps, torque setting, fluid levels and so on.
Find motor manuals in the collection
Motor Manuals FAQs
Yes. As well as manuals for cars and motorcycles the library does have manuals for chainsaws, lawn mowers and other small engines.
Yes. Manuals in the lending collection can be borrowed for the usual period of four weeks. Manuals in the reference collection can only be used in the library, but a copying service is available.
Haynes Manuals All Access
Yes. It is quite likely. Used imports quite often have a different model name to their New Zealand new counterpart. We suggest you try Wikipedia. It has details on car makes and models, and includes models with different names in different countries. The list of external links at the end of the article can also be useful.
A handbook is similar to the book found in the glove box in a new car; it will have some information but is not a full workshop manual.