...Haynes and Chilton manuals for my cars. Haynes seems to be written for the first time "mechanic" wanting to learn how to repair their vehicle up to a certain point. There are many sections where they say check this, this and that. If that doesn't correct the problem, take it to the shop. Chilton goes deeper into those sections and has more tips to make the job easier. About the only system either books doesn't cover are the automatic transmissions which are something I never worked on besides changing seals and filter/fluid maintenance.
There is a lot of overlap having both books, but I found one goes into more detail one place while the other does in another. Plus, one will have a: "...if you don't have this tool, you can use this..." to do the repairs.
Newer cars are safer, more fuel efficient and offer more driver friendly options, but I truely miss the days when you were able to tear the engine apart, change out factory parts for aftermarket and have an engine/transmission and rear end that would give you more horsepower and quicker E/T's at the drag strip. Or tighten up the suspension/brakes to handle those twists and turns on back roads so you wouldnt skid and wallow all over the roads. It seems even the most basic cars offered today has to many NUPI (No User Parts Inside) systems taking all the fun out of one reason for owning a vehicle. Dang, I'm getting too old for this stuff!