The REAL meaning of the Haynes Manual Instructions

Over the course of our lives, we have all used Haynes manuals and found them to be frequently “delightfully inaccurate.” I found out recently that the manuals are actually QUITE GOOD but it was me who misunderstood the phraseology and meaning they operate under. I hope this guide helps you as much as it did me.


Haynes: Rotate anticlockwise.
Translation: Clamp with vicegrips then beat repeatedly with hammer anticlockwise. You do know which way is anticlockwise, don’t you?

Haynes: Should remove easily.
Translation: Will be corroded into place … clamp with adjustable spanner (monkey wrench) then beat repeatedly with a hammer.

Haynes: This is a snug fit.
Translation: You will skin your knuckles! … Clamp with adjustable spanner then beat repeatedly with hammer.

Haynes: This is a tight fit.
Translation: Not a hope in hell buddy! … Clamp with adjustable spanner then beat repeatedly with hammer.

Haynes: As described in Chapter 7…
Translation: That’ll teach you not to read through before you start, now you are looking at scary photos of the inside of a gearbox.

Haynes: Pry…
Translation: Hammer a screwdriver into…

Haynes: Undo…
Translation: Go buy a can of WD40 (industrial size).

Haynes: Ease …
Translation: Apply superhuman strength to …

Haynes: Retain tiny spring…
Translation: “What was that! It almost took my eye out!”

Haynes: Press and rotate to remove bulb…
Translation: OK – now that the glass broke off, let’s get some good pliers to dig out the base and remaining glass shards.

Haynes: Lightly…
Translation: Start off lightly and build up till the veins on your forehead are throbbing then re-check the manual because what you are doing now cannot be considered “lightly”.

Haynes: Weekly checks…
Translation: If it isn’t broken don’t fix it!

Haynes: Routine maintenance…
Translation: If it isn’t broken… it’s about to be!

Haynes: One spanner rating (simple).
Translation: Your Mom could do this… so how did you manage to botch it up?

Haynes: Two spanner rating.
Translation: Now you may think that you can do this because two is a low, tiny, little number… but you also thought that the wiring diagram was a map of the Tokyo underground (in fact that would have been more use to you).

Haynes: Three spanner rating (intermediate).
Translation: Make sure you won’t need your car for a couple of days and pray that your AAA cover includes Home Start.

Haynes: Four spanner rating.
Translation: You are seriously considering this aren’t you, you moron!

Haynes: Five spanner rating (expert).
Translation: OK – but don’t expect us to ride it afterwards!!!
Translation #2: Don’t ever carry your loved ones in it again and don’t mention it to your insurance company.

Haynes: If not, you can fabricate your own special tool like this…
Translation: Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!

Haynes: Compress…
Translation: Squeeze with all your might, jump up and down on, swear at, throw at the garage wall, then search for it in the dark corner of the garage while muttering “******” repeatedly under your breath.

Haynes: Inspect…
Translation: Squint at really hard and pretend you know what you are looking at, then declare in a loud knowing voice to your wife “Yep, as I thought, it’s going to need a new one”!

Haynes: Carefully…
Translation: You are about to cut yourself!

Haynes: Retaining nut…
Translation: Yes, that’s it, that big spherical blob of rust.

Haynes: Get an assistant…
Translation: Prepare to humiliate yourself in front of someone you know.

Haynes: Refitting is the reverse sequence to removal.
Translation: But you swear in different places.

Haynes: Prise away plastic locating pegs…
Translation: Snap off…

Haynes: Using a suitable drift or pin-punch…
Translation: The biggest nail in your tool box isn’t a suitable drift!

Haynes: Apply moderate heat…
Translation: Placing your mouth near it and huffing isn’t moderate heat.
Translation #2: Heat up until glowing red, if it still doesn’t come undone use a hacksaw.

Haynes: Apply moderate heat…
Translation: Unless you have a blast furnace, don’t bother. Clamp with adjustable spanner then beat repeatedly with hammer.

Haynes: Index
Translation: List of all the things in the book but the thing you want to do!

Haynes: Remove oil filter using an oil filter chain spanner or length of bicycle chain.
Translation: Stick a screwdriver through it and beat handle repeatedly with a hammer.

Haynes: Replace old gasket with a new one.
Translation: I know I’ve got a tube of Krazy Glue around here somewhere.

Haynes: Grease well before refitting.
Translation: Spend an hour searching for your tub of grease before chancing upon a bottle of liquid soap. Wipe some congealed soap liquid from the dispenser nozzle and use that since it’s got a similar texture and will probably get you to Autozone to buy some Castrol grease.

Haynes: See illustration for details
Translation: None of the illustrations notes will match the pictured exploded, numbered parts. The unit illustrated is from a previous or variant model.

Article by Ted Theodore ,  published on The Southern Driver Web Site  2012