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Book Review: Chilton's 89-91 Chassis Electronics & Power Accessories

I picked up a copy of this book on eBay a while back and thought I'd post my
impressions, as I see the same book popping up on eBay regularly.  It does
not seem to be really popular, and many folks seem to be getting the book
for the US$7 minimum bid.  The book was brand new in a plastic wrapper, and
is paperback with over 800 pages ... all illustrations are in B&W.  

Hey, what can I say?  If a book has a picture of an Audi on the front I've
got to buy a copy!  :-)  In addition to Audi, the book covers Alfa, BMW,
Jag, MBz, Merkur, Peugeot, Porsche, Saab, Sterling, VW, Volvo and Yugo in
the same years.  The book is organized into 7 sections: 1 - Component
Locator, 2 - Basic Electricity, 3 - Diagnostic Equipment, 4 - Electronic
Ride Control Systems (Alfa, BMW, MBz), 5 - Electronic Speed Controls, 6 -
Power accessories (Antenna, Convertible Top, Sunroof, Rear Window Defogger,
Lighting Systems, Power Door Locks, Power Mirrors, Power Seats, Power
Windows), 7 - Security Systems.  Most of the sections are pretty
self-explanatory.  It appears that the Audi models that are covered include:
the 80/90 series, the 100/200 series and the V8 Quattro.  I must say that
while I did not have a chance to confirm each and every item, the Component
Locator looked pretty thorough, with each relay uniquely identified and its
location given.  In the Diagnostic Equipment section there are tables that
include "European Common Device ID" (e.g. K means relay, B sensor) and
"European Standard Terminal Designations".  They do cover the rare Audi
Quarto [sic] in the cruise control section with a good diagnostic procedure
(probably taken directly from Bentley).  Under power accessories for Audi
there seems to be good coverage of the sunroof mechanism, a couple pages on
the rear window defroster and interior lighting.  The power door locks and
heated lock cylinder debug flowchart is included, and there is a debug
flowchart for the power mirrors as well.  The power seat and power window
sections include assembly diagrams (the window section seems to have a
misplaced Porsche power mirror section in the middle of it!) diagnostic flow
charts and wiring diagrams.  The Security Systems section also has a lot of
info for debugging Audis, complete with quite a few wiring diagrams.  That
is what I would consider to be the biggest shortcoming though, the lack of
complete wiring diagrams.  In all fairness though, a book with all of the
wiring diagrams for all the cars that the issue covers would very likely be
several times larger than this book!

I'm thinking that for someone who does not have the Bentley because it is
either too expensive or unavailable for their car this book might be a good
one to have around.  

One of the things that prompted me to even bid on the item was the fact that
since the seller was given to be in Sacramento I figured I might be able to
save a few $ on shipping.  Well, it turns out that the seller lived within
blocks of my parents house!  I talked to the seller a couple times while
arranging pick up, and it sounds as though he has a business selling new
automotive books.  I thought that if there was sufficient interest I would
check with him again to see if he was interested in selling more copies of
this book to interested parties on the qlist.  If you think you'd like a
copy of this book let me know ... or if there are other similar automotive
books that you'd like to see if he can supply.  I'll give him a call to see
what can be done!

Steve Buchholz
San Jose, CA (USA)