This article is about the importance of using service guides while repairing any type of electrical mechanical device.
The main type of work I do is repairing Hewlett Packard laser printers. It really doesn’t matter which type of machine that you repair, it is always a good idea to have a service manual handy. I work on the same equipment almost daily but I will always need to reference a service manual at any point in time.
I remember being in a customer’s office and reading the service guide for an adjustment I was performing. I wasn’t aware of it but the customer had called into the office to complain that I didn’t know what I was doing, just because I was reading the service manual. I still don’t know what was up with that customer but to me I would be more worried if the technician didn’t have a service manual than if he just did everything by the seat of his pants. Now, I just go outside to look up what I need because of that one incident. Why some people feel that you don’t know what you are doing if you use a service manual is beyond me.
Manuals are very useful and here are some practical uses. Tear down and dis-assembly, finding part numbers, adjustment procedures, precise measurements, supply yield information, error codes/self diagnostics and more.
If you find yourself in a situation where you don’t have a service manual for a particular machine I feel your pain. The cost is minimal especially compared to the extra time spent doing the job incorrectly and then having to redo it again. Invest in some guides and skim through them. I guarantee you that you will find something of value and it will help with what ever you work on. I have saved myself hours of work just from the dis-assembly procedures.