Are you a DIY-er (Do It Yourself) when it comes to cars? Want to understand more about your vehicle before heading to the mechanic?

The new Auto Repair Reference Center interface provides for an increased amount of content with access to repair information for more than 37,000 vehicles. In-depth repair coverage—representing the most comprehensive collection of automobile repair reference information in the market—is provided for each vehicle.

The information in the Auto Repair Reference Center comes from Nichols Publishing, the former publisher of the Chilton auto repair manuals. It has nearly 857,000 drawings and step-by-step photographs, approximately 99,000 technical services bulletins and recalls, and over 158,600 wiring diagrams.

The first step in using the AARC is to choose the year of the vehicle (anything from a 1954 Volkswagen Beetle to a 2010 Subaru Forester), then work through the make, model, and engine specifications. Most vehicles have repair information, technical service bulletins, wiring diagrams, maintenance intervals, full specifications, an estimator for labor times and costs, and diagnostic information.

For example, say you wanted to find the capacity of the fuel tank for a 2000 Toyota Tacoma pickup with a V6 engine. Checking the Specifications area, then Capacities, the truck has a 18.1 gallon fuel tank. Good to know.

If you want a diagram of the horn for the same vehicle, click on Diagrams > Horns.  The diagram opens as an Adobe PDF document that you can print or save for later reference. Finally, you can find instructions for removing the tailgate under Repair Information > Body > Doors/Lids & Hood/Trunk. These instructions can also be printed, saved, or emailed.

Each screen has a couple of tabs at the top of the screen: Vehicle Search will take you back to the initial search screen for the vehicles. The AutoIQ tab has short video presentations about the different parts and system of a vehicle. The topics include fuel management, heating and air conditioning, and brakes.

The Care & Repair Tips section opens a new window with links for almost everything you need to know about caring or and repairing your vehicle, from the necessary tools to buying parts and supplies. You can use this section to learn more about what your mechanic tells you, or to learn how to do basic maintenance yourself.

Finally, the Troubleshooting tab is a great place to start to diagnose problems with your vehicle. For instance, say no air comes out when you turn on the air conditioning. Choose Climate Control > Air Conditioner and the link to the specific issue. The ARRC suggests several remedies, including checking the air conditioner fuse or loose wiring. I can go back to the Vehicles section to find specifics for checking those in my vehicle.