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If you’re a do-it-yourself mechanic, you’ve probably heard of the Haynes manuals – maybe you even have a couple of them in your bookshelf?

Either way, did you know that you can get many of them in digital format online?

But are they worth it? Do these online manuals have anything that the good old paper manuals don’t?

The short answer? Yes, they’re worth it. 

The long answer? Continue to read to discover more about what you’ll get with a Haynes Online Manual.

I’ve used the Twist and Go (automatic) 50 – 250cc Scooters manual for this review. Your experience might vary depending on the manual.

Since this blog is about two-wheelers, I also haven’t even looked at the car-equivalent versions of the manuals.  

How Do Haynes Online Manuals Work?

Before you can buy one of the digital manuals, you’ll need to create an account on the Haynes website.

Then, once you log in to the account you created, you’ll have access to every workshop manual you’ve purchased from your computer, tablet or cellphone.

Essentially, it’s available where you are.

Do I need to pay a monthly subscription fee?

No – the good news is that this is NOT a subscription-based service – i.e. you don’t need to pay a monthly or even annual subscription fee to use these online manuals.

You just pay once, and then it’s all yours.

And if you were curious – NO, you do not need to renew the subscription every year either.

What You’ll Get Inside

#1: Video clips and digital wiring diagrams

haynes manual video snippet
The best part about having a digital manual is that you’ll get access to high-quality video clips that show you in great detail how to do some tasks like:
  • Bleeding and changing brake fluid
  • Diagnosing your electrical system
  • Replacing the brake pads
The digital format is also a great help when reading wiring diagrams.  Even better, some wiring diagrams are high-lighted – meaning that you can focus on the wires that are relevant to the task you’re working on (such as the turn signal system, as displayed below):
image of highlighted wiring diagram

#2: Worldwide coverage

Don’t think that you have to be US or UK-based to access these manuals. I’m based in Scandinavia, and I was able to buy the manual I’ve used for this review without issues. Unfortunately, there are some manuals that might not available for every region. Luckily, most of them seem to be available no matter what region you’re in.

#3: Keyword search function

haynes online manual search function
In addition to the video clips, another benefit of a digital workshop manual is the search function.  All you have to do is search for a key phrase, like “clutch cable,” and the manual will find every page in the manual that contains that phrase. It’s that easy – it’s just like a regular Google search.
haynes online manual search function
In addition to the search function, there are also red hyperlinks all over the manual. Click on one of these, and you’re instantly taken to a specific page or chapter. You might have also noted that certain words are underlined in black. If you click on a word underline in black, you’ll get a popup containing a short definition of the term in question – such as “Water pump” in the image below:
water pump hyperlink

#5. Printing feature for offline viewing

While the digital format is brilliant, there are times when you might want to have a certain section of the manual in printed or PDF form for offline reading.  Maybe it’s the bike’s service schedule, the torque wrench settings, or even one of those highlighted wiring diagrams I mentioned earlier. Either way, that’s not a problem – just click on the “Print” button in the upper right corner of the screen.
image of haynes online manual print function

Are Haynes Online Manuals Any Good?

Absolutely – a Haynes online manual is a well-made digital workshop manual that you can access from your computer (or even your phone).

If there are any downsides,​ there are a few manuals that aren’t available in digital form yet.

For example, don’t expect to get an online version of the Haynes manual for the Honda MTX125 or the Norton Commando – they’re only available in print form.

Also, you can’t have two or more online manuals open at the same time. 

Apart from that, if you like Haynes manuals, the online versions offer everything you’ve come to know and love about the regular print manuals and more.