The best thing about a car owner’s manual is that it can answer most questions about your vehicle. All new cars come with a printed owner’s manual with some companies also making digital copies available. However, very few people actually read the entire booklet but maybe they should as it contains useful information covering just about everything.
An owner’s manual, also known as an instruction manual or user guide, is an instructional booklet that companies supply with nearly every technologically advanced consumer product. The car owner’s manual is no different as it’s specifically made for your vehicle and aims at helping you take better care of your car.
What’s Included In A Car Owner’s Manual?
It’s true that when most of us buy a new car, we simply get in and drive off without ever consulting the vehicle owner’s manual. This means you could miss out learning more about the inner workings of your car and additional advice on ownership. Some of the most important information in your car owner’s manual typically includes the following.
- General setup instructions
- Setup of features and gadgets
- Service and maintenance schedules
- How to check and refill fluids (oil, coolant, windshield wiper fluid)
- The type of fuel your car takes
- Ideal seat positions and headrests
- What all the dashboard lights mean
- How to change your tyres and the ideal tyre pressure
- Warranty information
- Useful tips and tricks for extending the lifespan of your vehicle
Vehicle Setup Guidance
Some cars don’t need additional setup but many newer models have technological features that require some user input, i.e. Bluetooth, keyless entry and voice recognition. Then there is the setup process for all of the features and gadgets inside your car. Instead of pressing all the buttons to see what they do, rather learn the new system properly by reading your car owner’s manual.
Some of these settings may include how to dim, brighten or modify your headlights. For example, some vehicles may also have a “battery run-down” feature that automatically turns off the lamps and lights to conserve battery life. When used correctly, the car owner’s manual can make the setup process so much simpler and faster.
Maintenance Schedule And Warranty Information
There’s no denying that preventative care for your vehicle is worth every cent. Regular servicing helps identify any potential issues early on which often means they are cheaper and easier to fix. Your vehicle will also last longer with better performance, fuel economy and higher resale value, especially if you keep a full-service history.
Consult your car service manual to find out the proper maintenance schedule for oil changes and service intervals. You can save even more money on unnecessary maintenance and oil changes if you follow the manual’s recommendations. Instead of taking a mechanic’s or dealership’s word as gospel, always refer to your vehicle’s service manual for the most accurate fluid change schedule.
In terms of vehicle warranty, you can save a lot of money by checking your car owner’s manual to see what service and parts are covered. Before paying anything, be sure to check your manual first. You will also learn whether you have roadside assistance and what could void any existing warranties.
How to Check and Refill Your Car’s Fluids
While it may be obvious to some drivers as to where the windshield wiper fluid, coolant or oil is supposed to go but for those who don’t know, save yourself loads of time and effort by checking the car owner’s manual first. You may learn a thing or two in the process, like whether it’s better to check the fluid when it’s hot or cold.
One of the most important things to remember is filling up with the right engine oil and petrol or diesel. In the “Engine Oil” and “Fuel” section you will find out how to check your oil level, what kind of oil and oil filter to use, oil change intervals and the right fuel type for your car.
What Does Each Dashboard Warning Light Mean?
Contrary to what some may think, dashboard warning lights are not the same for all vehicles. Some warning lights are nothing to worry about while others could indicate important messages about the condition of your brakes, engine or fluid levels.
Your vehicle owner’s manual will show you exactly what each warning light means and whether it is urgent or not. If a dashboard warning light comes on that you don’t recognise, consult your vehicle owner’s manual immediately as it could save you from a dangerous situation and expensive repairs.
Changing Tyres and Tyre Pressure
Changing a tyre is not overly complicated but it does require some knowledge on how to remove the tyre and use the car jack. Considering all cars are different, make sure that you jack-up the car at the proper location which you can find in your car owner’s manual.
Don’t underestimate the importance of your vehicle owner’s manual as it will also indicate how you long you can drive on a spare wheel, how inflated it should be and the recommended tyre pressure specific for your vehicle and load.
A top tip is to use the tyre PSI from your manual instead of the number on the sidewall of your tyre. You can also find the right tyre pressure on the inside of your driver-side door, cubbyhole or fuel flap. The PSI on your tyre usually indicates the maximum allowed pressure which you should never exceed. If you overinflate your tyres, you risk overheating, a tyre blowout or worse.
Invest in a digital tyre gauge to check your tyre pressure properly and at least once a month. By maintaining the correct tyre pressure you will also enhance driver safety and improve fuel efficiency.
Additional Tips And Tricks
The section with additional tips and tricks can include specific driving tips for your vehicle, how to extend the lifespan, increases fuel economy and maximise passenger safety. It will also show you how to manoeuvre your new car and it’s important to follow these instructions even if you’re a seasoned driver.
Depending on your car, the owner’s manual will often have tips on special functions as well. For example, in some cars, you can lower the windows a little bit on hot days by pressing the button differently or flip another switch that will dim the dashboard and infotainment system.
Your car owner’s manual contains many hidden features that you may be missing out on. Whether it’s a new or used car, you should read the manual before setting off as every car is different. You will never get the most out of your car if you don’t know the preferences, systems and settings so make sure you read yours.
Follow our blog for more interesting articles covering various topics from around the motoring world. You can also visit our Website to find out more about our large selection of new and quality pre-owned vehicles.