5 important reasons to read your car owner’s manual

When you get a shiny new car, it's understandable if reading through the owner's manual is not something at the top of your to-do list. There are seemingly more pressing things that require your attention, and that's alright. 

However, we're here to let you know that your car owner's manual is a source of comprehensive information that you'd be needing down the line. Knowing what's inside can save you a lot of trouble when something goes wrong with your vehicle. 

That's true in the case of a relatively simple machine like the Toyota Vios or a tech-packed crossover like the Ford Territory. So, let's go through five of the most important reasons to read your owner's manual.

man reading car manual and checking engine

Buying a car is a significant investment. It takes many people years of saving up to afford their dream cars. Big purchases often come with immense responsibilities, and that's true when acquiring a vehicle.

Your owner's manual contains much of the information you need to get to know every bit of your car. From what every button does to what each warning light signifies, the manual will tell you all that and more. It will tell you how to access the hood, the fuel door, the spare tire, and everything else you need to own and drive your car as smoothly as possible.

Many cars available today come equipped with advanced technology. Active safety features like adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, and more were absent from most vehicles merely fifteen years ago.

While automakers design these features to be simple to operate, it makes sense to familiarize yourself with them to get the most out of your car. The owner's manual will tell you how a particular feature works, how to use it, and how to turn it off if it's an option. You could even know more about rudimentary features like climate control and adjustable power seats. You never know—you may even find a piece of tech you never knew your car had.

It can be tough goings when your car stalls in the middle of nowhere. When that happens, it's good to know what went wrong and how. Reading the manual and knowing your vehicle from top to bottom should make it easier for you to watch and listen for things that are out of order.

For example, newer cars today come equipped with "limp mode," a security feature that activates when the vehicle computer detects an issue with the engine or transmission. This function typically slows your car down to a crawl and shuts off less essential features like the air conditioning. If you knew about limp mode from your manual, you would know when it's activated and what you'd have to do next. This thinking goes for many other minor car problems.

A lot of car owners let the mechanics handle the maintenance, but it could save you a lot of time, money, and effort if you knew about keeping your vehicle in top shape.

The owner's manual will tell you what type of fluids are best for your car. If your vehicle has a tire pressure monitoring system, the manual will also tell you about the feature and how to use it properly. Some models today also feature oil change reminders, and the owner's manual could inform you how to access that and reset it if need be.

Nothing is certain except death, taxes, and the inevitability of car accidents. No matter how many precautions you take, you will probably get your car into a mishap at some point, minor or otherwise.

When you get into a car accident, it can be all too easy to panic and freeze, not knowing what to do at the moment. However, if you read your owner's manual, you'd know about features that could save your life. One example is learning how to release the child safety lock in case of a malfunction. Some cars today have an electronic system that controls child locks. If the system somehow encounters an error during an accident, the owner's manual could inform you how to release the locks manually to get yourself to safety.

man reading car owner's manual

Your car owner's manual is not optional reading material. It's an essential part of your vehicle that you should take the time to absorb and apply. Read the manual carefully and help yourself become a better owner and a more responsible owner that cares for the safety of everyone around you.

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