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Like any of you who’ve already discovered the usefulness of AllData’s auto manual service for DIYers, we got an email today indicating that they’re upping their fees. The new fees: $27/year for your first vehicle, $17 for additional vehicles, and $17 for all renewals. That’s a $2 price increase.

But even with the price jump, I’m planning on keeping my subscription. AllData’s manuals have proven extremely helpful in troubleshooting electrical issues and taking on major repair tasks, often offering information above and beyond factory or other aftermarket manuals.

If you’re planning on keeping a car a long time — or if you know you’ll be working on a single make/model a lot — you can always try their three-year pricing: $45 first vehicle, $30 additional vehicles and renewals. That’s pretty low-buck.

ALLDATAdiy.com [Corporate Site]

 

11 Responses to AllDataDIY Increases Pricing — Still Worth It

  1. We have access to Alldata at our county libraries. I hope their subscription doesn’t go up enough for them to discontinue the service.

  2. Dan says:

    As a dealership employed, ASE Master Certified Technician, in my opinion, there is no data like the kind supplied by the manufacturer. I’ve seen all kinds of incorrect technical data published by companies such as Mitchell’s and AllData. The mistakes I refer to weren’t specific to any type of repair – I’ve seen anything from incorrect/mislabelled wiring diagrams to incorrect torque specs and procedures.

    For a few extra dollars, purchase a factory service manual specific to the make, model and year of your vehicle. Helm, Inc. is a good source for domestic manufacturers.

    It will save a lot of headaches when you’re deep into a repair.

  3. Chuck Cage says:

    Dan: In a perfect world, I’d have both. When we were logging a lot of hours on Project Yukon’s engine swap, we found that the factory manual left a lot to be desired sometimes — like troubleshooting diagrams, easy-to-understand wiring charts, and so on. On the other hand, the manual did indeed contain some information missing from AllData.

    I guess my take is that if you have the cash and are either doing major work — or planning to keep the vehicle forever — invest in a factory manual. I’d add AllData to that, because sometimes it provides good insight. If one was tackling a one-off job, I’d say that an AllData subscription will kick the crap out of any of the other aftermarket manuals available and will likely get you through the job.

    And on a side note, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen huge tasks rolled up into a single “note” in aftermarket manuals.

    Engine Replacement

    Step 1: Remove engine.
    Step 2: Install new engine.
    Step 3: Profit!

    Doh!

  4. Toolboss says:

    Dan:

    If you truly are a dealership employed ASE Master, you should know that Alldata is the only player in the information game that has the license to exactly reproduce OEM information. If you look at a page from any OEM info program and then look at Alldata, you will find they are the same, whether you are looking at a wiring diagram, maintenance recommendation, torque spec or repair procedure.

    When was the last time your Helm manual salesman came out and added the pages of info that are either missing, too grease smudged, or weren’t available yet when the book was published? Another advantage of Alldata-the latest TSB information and corrections to your much valued OEM info are included in the subscription cost.

    Oh yeah-let’s not forget that cost-Helms is $89 for a start on most models. I could have info for 4 cars for that from Alldata.

    Disclaimer to be fair-I too am a Master ASE certified technician, and no longer work in a dealership, because I own my own shop, with 4 full time technicians, all of whom are also ASE Masters. We don’t screw around, each tech has Alldata on a laptop at his bay. Find many dealerships that have that capability? Most dealership I’ve seen may have one computer for every three or four techs, if they are above the average.

  5. Mike lee says:

    Thank you guys for this infor. I was looking into this and I am convince it would be a good investment.

  6. Angelo says:

    As a DIY’er most of the time (why would I be on Toolmonger if I wasn’t?) I like the idea of the AllData pricing waaaayyyy better than FSMs. I’ll keep one for my fifteen year old Caprice, but I’m not going to buy one for my wife’s year old car. Or my mother-in-laws so I can answer questions about weird things she’s done to it. I’m not shelling out 80 bucks for a FSM on a 98 CRV, but 17, yeah sure.

  7. I have the professional version of AllData and I’m not really that impressed. Yes, it is good to have all the vehicles. My factory manual I bought for my truck has a lot more information than the AllData. The really nice thing about the professional discs is that I have many vehicles and don’t have to pay a $100 for each factory service manual.

  8. Dan says:

    Sure, I agree that Mitchell’s and Alldata can provide some valuable information. As far as it’s accuracy is concerned, I choose not to gamble.

    The “Right to Repair Act” (HR 2048) died on the floor and was never passed.

    There is no law stating that automobile manufacturers have to share their technical data with the aftermarket.

  9. Chris says:

    Is there a similar service anywhere for motorcycles? AllDataDIY doesn’t seem to have any motorcycle information.

    cl

  10. Toolboss says:

    Dan and Chris:
    According to my Alldata rep, there is no law, but there is a Federal Mandate:

    In the 1982 model year, the big three US carmakers started using computers across the board for emissions control. Ford, GM and Chrysler all thought they were going to corner the market on vehicle maintenance and repair because the consumer would be required to return to factory approved facilities (i.e. dealerships) to get their car fixed. In one of the few things the EPA ever did right, they issued a mandate as part of the emissions laws that all repair information must be made available to the public for “cars and light trucks, up to an including one ton vehicles”.
    That quote comes directly from the reg. That explains, to you, Chris, why no one provides info for motorcycles like Alldata does (or jet skis, or medium duty trucks, etc.). It is “proprietary” information-owned by the manufacturer. One of my customers has an International 4700 series straight truck, and to get the same information from the manufacturer for that one truck would cost him (or me as the repair shop) $5200 per year, purchased from International.
    As far as the Right to Repair Act, Congress did not advance the bill because it was determined that the information was already available and a law was not required. The people behind RtoR were mostly the parts manufacturers, and they wanted access to the manufacturer’s design information, so they could more closely copy the individual parts and be able to duplicate OEM without having the expense of engineering that the manufacturer has when he makes the first part. Congress basically told the Auto Industry that it wasn’t broke, the OEMs were following the EPA guideline, and if it wasn’t broke, they weren’t going to try and fix it. One of the industry leaders is the Automotive Service Association, a trade group for independent repair shops. (www.asashop.org) They have an excellent website where you can do a search on “right to repair” and learn a lot.
    And not to bust your chops too hard, Dan, but if you can go compare your Helms manual to Alldata and find 10 errors on one vehicle, I’ll offer you a crisp $100 bill. However, I get to then go on Alldata, and I know I can find ten pieces of information that your Helms won’t have, because Alldata updates their pages. Yesterday, I was working on a 2007 GMC Yukon, and found 92 TSBs that won’t be in the Helms manuals until they issue a reprint. do you suppose that our of 92, there might be ONE that is of value? It seems to me that incomplete information is much more of a gamble…

  11. Dan says:

    Toolboss,

    You make excellent points.

    It’s true that manufacturer’s service manuals are only more informative providing that you’ve had the factory training to accompany it. Sometimes even searching for proper procedures or specs in a factory service manual is difficult unless you’ve used them extensively in the past.

    Alldata probably provides more information for the DIY’er or enthusiast.

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