Your Owner's Manual


Sometimes in one of our blogs, we will refer to your owner’s manual, which happens to be a wealth of information. It’s an instructional booklet which will help you not only keep your car running smoothly, but the information contained therein may well someday save your life.

Today, we’re going to talk about some of the information in the owner’s manual and how it can help you during the service life of your car.

Please keep it in the car.

A friend recently used the back gate of her Toyota Highlander, and then couldn’t get it to close again. The owner’s manual, which may have been able to help her figure out why the back gate wouldn’t close, was beside her bed, unfinished reading material.

In a case which recently got national attention, Peter Pyros, a 75-year old man became trapped in his 2006 Cadillac XLR sports car due to a dead battery. After 14 hours, a neighbor heard him calling out and rescued him. The Cadillac XLR has a manual emergency door handle on the floor beside each door for just such an occasion.

Both of these instances offer compelling reasons to keep a copy of the owner’s manual in the car.


We have talked before about automobile maintenance through the information in the owner’s manual instead of outside information. The owner’s manual provides information which is essential to the upkeep and timeline for changing fluids, which are the lifeblood of a car. But, it also outlines filter information and replacement times, tire pressure and care, as well as details on cleaning. For example, if the car has leather seats or other special attention. Safe driving tips, troubleshooting, information about warning lights are also included.


The location of many switches and parts

Every car is different, and even models of the same make can have switches and parts in different locations. The owner’s manual shows the area and operation of switches and components which are crucial to the safe and successful operation of the car.


The warranties on a vehicle are an essential part of car care. The owner’s manual thoroughly outlines warranty information. They are a written and binding commitment by the manufacturer to address certain defects in the car. Most are for a specific period or up until a certain mileage.

If you don’t have an owner’s manual

If you don’t have a copy of the owner’s manual, here is a website where you can obtain a copy of your owner’s manual online. While an online copy is free, paper copies can cost up to $50. Although an online manual makes for convenience, it wouldn’t have helped Mr. Pyros when he was in his predicament. So, if you have a paper copy, it’s to your best advantage to hang onto it.

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