The Answer

Better Living Through Research


I stumbled across the very helpful while researching a question about air bag requirements. is a US government website designed to be a clearing house of information on car safety issues, laws, recalls, crash testing, tires, child safety, etc. written in a very readable format.

What I especially like about the website is that since it is by the US government it is reliable and I don’t have to worry that they have an underlying agenda.

A  helpful facet of the website is the ability to input a VIN and find out if the air bag has ever been deployed.

Posted under Research, Websites

How to Keep Your Car Running for as Long as Possible


I know nothing about cars and don’t care how my car looks – as you can see – as long as it runs. Since I don’t know anything about cars and I have had many different mechanics over the years, just to be on the safe side, I can make use of two of the library’s free databases about car repairs to check out how much work is involved and even how much a part should cost.

ALLDATA Online contains automotive diagnostic and repair information for foreign and domestic cars and trucks. It covers models produced from 1982 to the present. Diagrams and specifications are provided for all systems. Recall notices and estimates of repair costs are also included.
Skokie Public Library’s guide to this database available. This database is available for in-library use only.

Auto Repair Reference Center which contains step-by-step procedures written specifically for the do-it-yourselfer, but is comprehensive enough for professional technicians. Auto Repair Reference Center contains information on most major manufacturers of domestic and imported vehicles, with repair information for most vintage makes. Coverage of approximately 25,000 vehicles starting as far back as 1954 includes more than 65,000 technical service bulletins and recalls issued by the original equipment vehicle manufacturer; wiring diagrams for easy viewing and printing; a labor time guide and estimator; and over 100,000 factory drawings and step-by-step photographs. This database is available from home with your Skokie Public Library card.

Posted under Databases