Some shops just use inspections to upsell you on services you don't need. At a good shop, inspections are valuable tools to keep your car in good shape.
Your vehicle’s Owner’s Manual is the best source of useful information about your car. Most people who purchased their vehicle new will already have their owner’s manual in the glove box. If you have removed it, or you bought your vehicle used, there are a few good reasons to make sure you have a copy of it just in case. Below we take a look at the most common uses of your owner’s manual and where to go to download a new digital copy.
What do you use it for?
The owner’s manual contains most of the information you need about your vehicle’s maintenance. If you want to know how to install a child seat properly, how to reset the ‘Maintenance Required’ light, what the warning lights on the instrument panel mean, or when to shift the transmission and how to jump-start your car, it’s all there. How to check engine oil, how to change the bulb, or how to use overdrive when towing a trailer, or how to change the tire and where is the jack located – your owner’s manual has the answers. You will find things like:
- Engine Compartment Overview: Want to know where the engine oil dipstick and the transmission fluid dipstick are located? Your owner’s manual has a diagram explaining maintenance items under the hood of your car.
- Engine Oil Capacity and Type: You can find the oil capacity and the recommended type under Specifications > Capacities section. Once you downloaded the manual, just type: CTRL+F (Command+F for Mac) to open the search box and type: ‘Capacities’ or ‘Engine oil’.
- Transmission fluid type: Many modern cars require a very specific type of transmission fluid. Using the wrong type of fluid can cause problems. The owner’s manual describes how to check the transmission fluid level and what type of fluid to use.
- Maintenance Schedule: Your owner’s manual has a maintenance schedule, where you can find how often to change engine oil, transmission fluid and perform other maintenance tasks. You also can check if your car has a timing belt and when it has to be replaced.
We did a bit of poking around and we found a list of links to where you can download the owner’s manual for your make and model. Just search for your manufacturer below and follow the links to find your model year.
- Acura: register to download an owner’s manual.
- BMW: follow tab ‘OWNERS’ » ‘OWNERS MANUAL’
- Chrysler: download Chrysler owner’s manual for recent models.
- Dodge: download Dodge owner’s manual for recent models.
- Ford: download an owner’s manual. Ford owner’s manuals are usually very thorough with many illustrations.
- General Motors: – Once registered, you can get access to various information including maintenance tips, warranty information and an owner’s manual for your GM vehicle, including Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, GMC, Hummer, Pontiac, Saturn and Saab.
- Honda: Honda / Acura maintenance tips, recall information, maintenance schedule, access to electronic owner manuals (follow ‘Vehicle Information’). As we checked, some links in owner manuals don’t work in some browsers, like Firefox or Chrome, but work in Internet Explorer.
- Hyundai: Register for digital owner’s manual, warranty & more.
- Infiniti: – follow the link ‘OWNERSHIP’ Owner’s Manuals available for download
- Mazda: follow the tab ‘Parts and Service’ » ‘Owners’
- Nissan: download an owner’s manual for your Nissan.
- Subaru: – My Subaru (registration required).
- Toyota: – select your car model and year at the top, then click the ‘Owner’s Manual’ tab on the right and then click ‘See Manuals’. Toyota even provided a search box to help find specific information.
- Volvo: – Owner’s Manuals, Service and maintenance information Warranty information and more.