What Is the Difference between After-Service Manual and Factory Service Manual?



There are two common types of repair manuals as a factory manual and an after-service manual.  These are the common types of manuals that are beneficial for almost all kinds of machinery. This includes automobiles, a CD Changer, a video screen, and the recent GPS that guides people on roads. 

Let us see more about the difference between these types of manuals. 


Factory repair manuals are often found in an elaborate and specific tone as opposed to the aftermarket service manuals that are written in the general tone.


A majority of factory service manuals offer improved quality in terms of representation. They are more descriptive and elaborate in terms of the content they offer to the user. 

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Extent of information

A factory service manual is a useful component that provides remarkable maintenance and repair services of an automobile. They offer information in the form of diagrams and print about several general-purpose and specific automobile issues. 

Factory service manuals are provided by the original equipment manufacturer in the form of a CD or a book. They can also be downloaded from auto repair websites or purchased from the original manufacturer site.  

The “Aftermarket” manual implies the manual for devices and the parts that are provided separately from other sources or brands. They are used to repair or modify the automobile or machinery. These manuals are limited regards to the information provided for the maintenance of the automobile.

An after-service manual instructs the user on the operations and upkeep of different parts attached to the vehicle. These include car accessories such as bumpers, wheels, an A/V system. 

Why a Factory Service Manual is the Most Detailed Repair Manual for Your Car – 2016 New Car Models


Both these manuals may refer to one product but it is important to note that they have a different origin source and differ in their contents. It is always advised to visit the specific factory service repair manuals, in place of getting them in book and CD form. 

Which One To Choose: Factory Repair Or After Service Manual? 

A person should use a factory service manual if they require specific instructions and guidance for the automobile. The manual content here is very unlikely to mislead you into misdiagnosing the problem in your car because the manual is primarily focused on the functions of the automobile. This manual is relatively expensive than the after-service manual. 

The after service manual cost less but provides less information related to the automobile specifications as compared to the factory service manual. With less information, you would not be able to perform many types of repairs on your own. Due to this reason, the after-sales manual doesn’t prove to be an amazing money saver in the future.


The aftermarket service manual or factory service manuals are both beneficial for repair work. They are intended to repair and maintain the vehicle. The right selection of the manual depends on the requirement of the user. Factory service manuals offer more information that can save a lot of money incurred on simple repair tasks.

Jim Lewis

Jim Lewis is worked as a Cadillac sales for several dealerships over many years. He is currently managing used car dealerships, luxury cars and cars for sale Huntsville AL. He enjoys writing about brand’s vehicles and upcoming projects.