Reviews

LAST UPDATED: February 16, 2020

Best Auto Mechanic Books: Learn More About the Industry

Use any of these auto mechanic books to get a comprehensive guide on automotive systems

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The Review Team

  • Product Network

    12 Products

  • Clock

    13 Hours

  • Reviews

    16 Reviews

How We Decided

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PUBLISHED ON February 16, 2020

If you are a self-taught mechanic or are looking to advance your trade with a little more knowledge, then you will do well with a well-researched and accurate auto mechanic book. It can help you gain vast knowledge on how to fix, service, and upgrade your vehicle. The best part is that you get all the important tech information without joining a trade school that may cost a fortune. If you are looking for one of the best books to teach yourself how to handle your vehicle, consider any of the options in our buying guide.

  • Best Overall
    Tom Newton-How Cars Work 
    Tom Newton-How Cars Work 
    Summary
    Summary

    An illustrated book with simple line drawings and language that describes how 250 important car parts work.

    Pros
    Pros

    Clear and concise language. Uses simple diagram illustrations. It helps you understand the inner workings of your vehicle. Includes tests after each chapter to help with memory. Perfect for beginners. It can improve your auto mechanic vocabulary.

    Cons
    Cons

    May seem too basic for professional mechanics. The book lacks in-depth information. Poor graphics. 

  • Best Overall
    Tom Newton-How Cars Work 
    Tom Newton-How Cars Work 
  • Best Value
    Tony Candela-Automotive Wiring and Electrical Systems
    Tony Candela-Automotive Wiring and Electrical Systems
    Summary
    Summary
    A simple mechanic guide to automotive electrical and wiring systems that will help in making modifications, conducting diagnostics, and repairs.
    Pros
    Pros
    Simplifies basic electrical principles including Ohms, amperage, and voltage laws. Explains how to properly install aftermarket electronics and new circuits. Offers a guide on how to troubleshoot and repair electrical circuits.
    Cons
    Cons

    It doesn’t offer much useful information on upgrading modern vehicles. Lacks step-by-step guides on troubleshooting automotive circuits. 

  • Best Value
    Tony Candela-Automotive Wiring and Electrical Systems
    Tony Candela-Automotive Wiring and Electrical Systems
  • Honorable Mention
    James D. Halderman Automotive Technology
    James D. Halderman Automotive Technology
    Summary
    Summary

    The fifth edition of principles, diagnosis, and service by Jim Halderman that offers an in-depth look into automotive servicing and technology.

    Pros
    Pros

    An easy-to-understand automotive service guide for beginners. A very informative and certified publication for students. Great point of reference for professional mechanics. Broken down into short sections for easy-to-read coverage.

    Cons
    Cons

    One of the most expensive auto mechanic manuals. It contains a lot of fluff information where the point could be clear and concise.

  • Honorable Mention
    James D. Halderman Automotive Technology
    James D. Halderman Automotive Technology

    If you are a self-taught mechanic or are looking to advance your trade with a little more knowledge, then you will do well with a well-researched and accurate auto mechanic book. It can help you gain vast knowledge on how to fix, service, and upgrade your vehicle. The best part is that you get all the important tech information without joining a trade school that may cost a fortune. If you are looking for one of the best books to teach yourself how to handle your vehicle, consider any of the options in our buying guide.

    Why Trust Us


    All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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    Tips

    • Don’t be afraid to highlight, circle, underline, and write a few points in the manual. It will help you understand the book better and also help you learn to pick out the important bits of information. 
    • Do a little research about the book before you buy it. See what the book is about and learn the contents, size, and a little about the author. The best way to get all that information is to read as many user reviews as you can find. 
    • Buy a book that matches your experience; otherwise, you will feel like the book was a total waste of your time. If you are a professional, price shouldn’t be a motivating factor since the cheaper ones are mostly beginner manuals. 

    FAQs

    Q: Should beginners use advanced auto mechanic books?

    A: If you are a beginner and choose an advanced level book, you may toss the book aside after a few chapters because it will be difficult to understand. Instead, buy something recommended for beginners with simpler language, better illustrations, and step-by-step guides into the basics. 

    Q: How do I pick the best auto mechanic book for my work? 

    A: First, you need to have clearly defined goals in terms of what kind of knowledge or skill you’d like to acquire. Most auto books are about repairs, maintenance, or troubleshooting the problem areas of an automobile. Go with the one that best suits your interests, and pick a few more surrounding the topic for some diversity. 

    Q: Do I still need formal training after buying auto mechanic books?

    A: It depends on your level of interest and how far you would like to take your new-found skills. If you want to consider a career in mechanic work or want to expand your knowledge, you should consider enrolling in an online or local program for auto service technicians. 

    Final Thoughts

    Our top pick is the Tom Newton-How Cars Work. It will help you understand your vehicle inside and out, and you will know what to do when a part fails. It’s also a great book for students and beginners. 

    If you are looking for a more pocket-friendly book, consider the Tony Candela-Automotive Wiring and Electrical Systems.