End of an era: Haynes/Chilton


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End of an era: Haynes/Chilton

Post by WingAdmin »



There used to be two generic repair manual publishers: Haynes and Chilton. I was always partial to Haynes, and had them for all of my cars.

Haynes was started by John Haynes in 1960. Haynes bought Chilton a number of years ago. John Haynes passed away last year, and the Haynes company was sold to InfoPro Digital.

Two days ago, InfoPro Digital announced that they will not be producing any new printed manuals. Old existing print manuals will remain in print for as long as they continue to sell, but no new manuals will be produced.

They did say they will be publishing generic online "guides" (i.e. how to fix electrical problems) but not model-specific ones like the Haynes manuals.


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Re: End of an era: Haynes/Chilton

Post by C-dub »

Awww, my dad loved Chilton's. He had one for a couple different cars. I had one for my 1979 Fiat Spyder 2000.
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Re: End of an era: Haynes/Chilton

Post by DenverWinger »

I have the Haynes on my desk for Deb's Pontiac, a '99 Grand Prix. Now giving ignition troubles.

This book is half the size of the Clymers I have for the 1500 Goldwing, but covers '88-'04 Buick Regal, '90-94 Chevy Lumina, '88-97 Cutlass Supreme and '88-07 Grand Prix. And at least six different engines.

Precious little information specific to any given vehicle, but better than no info at all.... (and of course, you can never beat a FSM, even though they are often wrong, too!)

Poor Pontiac starts from dead cold, but the ignition sputters out in less than 30 seconds or so. Then it won't start at all for a couple hrs. I know it's ignition failing, I can see the tach fluttering out as the sparks die. And then no further sparks from the coil packs. It's either one of the two crankshaft hall effect sensors or the ICU itself.

The car is parked across the street, it won't run long enough where I can get it turned around and get it in my garage off the alley. If the weather warms up enough I'll string a bunch of drop-cords across the street and hook up my old CRT oscilloscope to the sensors, meantime Deb has her Hyundai to drive. (I never did get that DIY Oscilloscope kit, this is where it would be handy!)

But back to the Haynes, as diluted as it is with the many different vehicles this particular book covers, the info I need for troubleshooting the ignition (plus a little Google research) is there. I grew up on Chiltons/Haynes, it is sad to see them abandon print books.
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Re: End of an era: Haynes/Chilton

Post by seelyark1 »

I have the books, either Chilton or Haynes, for every vehicle I have ever owned except for my first one, a 54 Chevy. They were simple enough that with a screwdriver and a paper clip you could get it home. Think my next "new" vehicle will be a 53 Chevy pickup. With all the garbage they put on them now, you have to have a book to find the spark plugs. "KISS has gone out the window. :roll:
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Re: End of an era: Haynes/Chilton

Post by kwthom »

seelyark1 wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:14 am <...>With all the garbage they put on them now, you have to have a book to find the spark plugs. "KISS has gone out the window. :roll:
An interesting response (better than what I could have written...) here:

https://pictures.dealer.com/seekinsford ... ce8af7.pdf

So, maybe this is the big reason Haynes/Chilton have reached the 'end of the road'.

(Note: might also be some push-back from the Right to Repair...)

https://www.autocare.org/government-aff ... to-repair/
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Re: End of an era: Haynes/Chilton

Post by Pam »

Sad to hear. Nothing better than paper manual when your leaning on a fender
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Re: End of an era: Haynes/Chilton

Post by WingAdmin »

seelyark1 wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:14 am I have the books, either Chilton or Haynes, for every vehicle I have ever owned except for my first one, a 54 Chevy. They were simple enough that with a screwdriver and a paper clip you could get it home. Think my next "new" vehicle will be a 53 Chevy pickup. With all the garbage they put on them now, you have to have a book to find the spark plugs. "KISS has gone out the window. :roll:
The only problem I ever had with them was that often they would go into inordinate detail on the simplest tasks - like four pages and 7 pictures dedicated to changing the air filter.

Then, when it came to something more complex, you got, "step 3: remove the transmission" - with no picture.

Exaggeration, of course, but that's the idea.
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Re: End of an era: Haynes/Chilton

Post by seelyark1 »

Read both of Kwthorm's links, and still don't see where it makes a driver more educated as to how to drive correctly, only a let me do it for you attitude. If people knew more about what they should do rather than expecting the vehicle doing it for then, I believe it would be much safer on the road. Kind of like hang up and drive! Sound sort of old school? Should.
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Re: End of an era: Haynes/Chilton

Post by kwthom »

seelyark1 wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 11:34 pm Read both of Kwthorm's links, and still don't see where it makes a driver more educated as to how to drive correctly, only a let me do it for you attitude. If people knew more about what they should do rather than expecting the vehicle doing it for then, I believe it would be much safer on the road. Kind of like hang up and drive! Sound sort of old school? Should.
Your comment I quoted was referring to spark plugs - the servicing of a motor vehicle, more than the general operation of the item.

From the first link, the first paragraph:

" Cars and trucks are better engineered and are more powerful, with better fuel economy, lower emissions, better durability and more driver and passenger safety and convenience features than ever before. "

Now, I do see from a guy like Jay Leno and his YouTube channel that Model T's are still reasonably available, with close to a million of them still on the road after the last one rolled off the assembly line over 90 years ago.

The discussion was about the demise of Haynes/Chilton, not of how vehicles have (allegedly) made drivers worse.


...but, if you want to do that rat-hole:

https://injuryfacts.nsc.org/motor-vehic ... and-rates/

TL;DR: In 1913, 33.38 people died for every 10,000 vehicles on the road. In 2018, the death rate was 1.42 per 10,000 vehicles, a 96% improvement.
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Re: End of an era: Haynes/Chilton

Post by minimac »

Way to derail a thread, people. :cry:
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Re: End of an era: Haynes/Chilton

Post by brettchallenger »

TL;DR: In 1913, 33.38 people died for every 10,000 vehicles on the road. In 2018, the death rate was 1.42 per 10,000 vehicles, a 96% improvement.
Similar picture in the UK, the first statistics recorded are from 1926 when 4,884 road deaths occured. In 2019 there were 1,870.

Back to Haynes. A real shame. Yes, their manuals were/are flawed and even the latest editions have awful, grainy, black and white illustrations which are often worse than useless. But the manuals were affordable and usually did work. They certainly started me on the path of being able to service and repair my own cars and motorcycles.


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